Megan Crites is a student from Redmond, Washington, currently pursuing an online MBA through the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. After earning a bachelor’s degree in neurobiology and physiology, Crites decided to build off of that foundation and move into the business side of science.
In 2022, Crites enrolled in the online MBA program at Purdue. Now in her second semester, she plans to graduate by 2024, ready for a future in STEM.
Read Crites’ story and how the Purdue Online MBA is helping her pursue her dream career.
A Background Beginning at Purdue University
Crites studied neurobiology and physiology at Purdue University. Most recently, she worked with an interdisciplinary team in a health care ergonomics and analytics lab on a project to optimize nursing outcomes.
“I really like understanding how people interact with the world around them at the cellular level,” she says. “I am interested in how the brain processes, interprets, and responds to the many aspects of our environment and interactions and how this impacts how we function.”
Why an MBA Was the Next Logical Move
Having finished her Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology and Physiology, Crites saw a chance to grow her career opportunities with an MBA. She was interested in working with interdisciplinary teams and building skills to bridge the gap between business and science.
“I thought getting an MBA would be a great way to build off of that science foundation,” she says. “I would get the skills needed to apply science in a business environment.”
Crites feels the MBA will give her a wide range of options with a STEM career. “Right now, I am particularly interested in pursuing a role in project or product management at a tech company,” she says.
The Benefits of the Krannert Experience
Crites says she was drawn to Purdue’s online MBA program because it offers the valuable opportunity to learn from the experiences of fellow students who are professionals at different career stages and in other fields. “Krannert has wonderful connections in the STEM industry, given that Purdue University is a strong STEM school as well.”
She says that with the program’s emphasis on team, community, leadership, and networking, she’s been given a great opportunity to build her knowledge and professional presence. “You're not only learning from the traditional classroom environment, you're also learning a lot from your peers,” Crites says.
In addition to collaborative online learning, students have resources available to help them balance their professional and academic needs.
Crites says she started with foundational courses, but she’s also pursuing a Business Analytics Graduate Certificate to finish her degree.
“I'm currently getting a graduate certificate in business analytics,” she says. “Being able to analyze the data you’re given and making informed decisions based on that is a skill set that is helpful across the board.”
One thing she appreciates about her coursework is the expertise the instructors bring to each class. “Each professor runs their class a little differently, but every course has a strong emphasis on teamwork so that we can learn from each other during activities,” she says.
“In the past module, I was part of a team that would meet three or four times a week to work on [assignments] together. It was very helpful to have that level of collaboration.”
Crites says the online learning platform is beneficial not only because of the synchronous and asynchronous activities but because of the flexibility of being able to fit learning into her schedule.
“This program has already allowed me to work with and learn from other professionals not only from other states but also from other countries,” she says. “And even though I’m communicating with people from all over the world, there haven't been too many difficulties with scheduling. Everyone is motivated to figure out their availability because they want to be here.”
Crites says there are many mechanisms in place to support students—from career coaches to academic advisors to student organizations. For example, she says that she meets frequently with the Women in Business group:
“There are multiple coaches available. Career coaches are willing to talk to you about everything from academics to success to your career. They can help you make a decision on a career transition or just talk out the future.
“Academic advisors help us plan a course of action for class selection and scheduling to fit our needs. For example, they’ll help you figure out the best class to take next to help develop the skills you need to proceed.
“Finally, professors have regular office hours, and are flexible with scheduling time outside of those hours as well for one-on-one discussions.”
She shares that she feels a particular affinity for the online community.
“It’s really wonderful,” Crites says. “Everyone's really supportive, and we all like to help each other succeed.”
Advice for Future MBA Students
Crites says Purdue has a lot of resources in place for students that will help you succeed. “You’ll get the most out of the program when you take advantage of the resources,” she says. “They’ll help you succeed not only in your academics but beyond that in your personal life and in your career as well.”
She also says it’s important to be prepared to learn new problem-solving skills, especially if you come from a math or science background. “In the business world, there is not always going to be a clear-cut solution,” Crites says. “During your MBA, you learn how to take the information available and make justifiable business recommendations and decisions—even when there is not one specific ‘correct’ answer.”
Earn Your MBA Online with Purdue
Want to earn an MBA from a leading STEM institution? The Purdue Online MBA can help you expand your career opportunities. The courses are offered 100% online, so you can earn your degree on your own schedule. Contact us today for more information.