The MBA@UNC Advantage: A Genuine Kenan-Flagler Experience

(Editor's Note: As you may have seen around the web, we have launched an ad campaign stating that "Online MBAs Aren't Created Equal." This is meant to callout the advantages and features that set our program apart from other online MBA programs. To further this message, MBA@UNC student Kristen Fanarakis has decided to write a series of posts highlighting her experience and what makes the MBA@UNC program stand out from the competition. This is the first post of Kristen's series.)

When you think of online classes, what comes to mind? Logging on to a site and answering multiple-choice questions? If you meet for live classes with a professor, do they know your name or even if you attended?

MBA@UNC has made every effort to ensure that nothing is lost in the online format; the program requires students to meet with their professor and 10 to 15 of their classmates in a virtual classroom. Just as they do in a physical classroom, UNC professors lead a discussion of the problems or cases relating to the latest lecture. Though they are virtual rooms, classes feel more like sitting in a circle with your professor in the quad, where everyone is visible and expected to participate.

Other MBA programs have 40 to 70 students per class, large even for a traditional program and enormous in an online setting. MBA@UNC boasts small class sizes with only 15 students in a class, at most. The professors not only know our names, they know where we work, what projects we’ve been working on, and where we’ve traveled recently.

Before this program I was the person who sat in the back of the class doing the crossword, trying my hardest to stay out of the professor’s line of sight. The face-to-face layout of our virtual classes forced me out of my comfort zone in a way the traditional classroom never could. The relationships I have formed with my classmates and professors in this setting have enhanced my overall learning experience.

There is a misconception that no online programs require regular live meetings with professors. MBA@UNC blows this misconception away. The MBA@UNC isn’t an online degree. It’s genuine UNC Kenan-Flagler from afar.  

About Kristen Fanarakis: Kristen spent the last 13 years working in financial services after graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BA in economics and political science.  She started her career in investment management in Boston where she earned her masters in international economics part-time.  She spent the last seven years in foreign exchange sales covering institutional managers for various Wall Street banks.