Emily Sobestanovich was able to complete her master’s degree while moving across the country twice and living in three different time zones, thanks to the flexibility and convenience of Florida Tech’s online courses.
“Being able to continue this program throughout all of those career changes and moves has been something I never could have done with a classroom experience. I was able to take a break for one class during these moves, which helped me balance my continuing education with the rest of my life and only delayed my schooling by eight weeks.”
The project manager was looking for an MBA program that focused on project management and found that with Florida Tech. The fact that the MBA in Project Management is accredited by the Project Management Institute’s Global Accreditation Center should help with her next goal: obtaining her PMP® certification.
We spoke with Sobestanovich about balancing life with school, her favorite course in the program and more.
Q. Tell us about your background.
I have undergraduate degrees in forensic science and chemistry. I started working in engineering, then transitioned to continuous improvement. Now, I work in project management and am looking to get into marketing. I am originally from Connecticut, but I moved to California for a year. Then, last September, I moved to Colorado.
Q. What were the most important factors in your decision to choose Florida Tech?
I wanted an online school so that I would be able to work full-time while earning an advanced degree. I also wanted a school that had an MBA program with project management so it would be more applicable in business beyond project management. The fact that none of the tests were time-specific also allowed a lot of flexibility.
Q. How will your Florida Tech degree make a difference in your career?
I am currently working as a project manager and am planning to get my PMP® certification later this year. What I learned from this degree has already helped me engage more productively in strategy discussions at work.
Q. Do you have any future plans with your degree?
I plan to get my PMP® certification and use the knowledge from this degree to pursue a career in a different industry, as I am currently working in aerospace.
Q. What surprised you most about taking an online program?
I knew I wanted to pursue an online program for the flexibility. At first, I thought this was only because it would be hard to make specific class times when I went on vacation or had to work long hours. Since starting this degree program, I have moved across the country twice for career opportunities and have been in three different time zones. Being able to continue this program throughout all of those career changes and moves has been something I never could have done with a classroom experience. I was able to take a break for one class during these moves, which helped me balance my continuing education with the rest of my life and only delayed my schooling by eight weeks.
Q. What was your favorite class and why?
I enjoyed Strategic Management the most overall. I enjoy thinking and operating at a system level, and I’ve always found strategy fascinating. This class helped me understand how to analyze a company to create a strategic plan. This level of thinking has already helped me provide advice and input into a few lines of business within my current company.
Q. What was your most valuable takeaway from the program?
No matter how much you think you know or understand, there is always another way to view and think about a topic or situation. I may not remember every concept from every class off the top of my head, but overall the program has changed the way I think about most situations by how it altered my collective life experience.
Q. What advice would you give other students who are considering enrolling in the program?
Don’t underestimate the value of being in a flexible program! Education is supposed to open doors for you, and an online program allows a great deal of freedom to pursue new opportunities in your life that a classroom program is not able to provide. I was able to make two very large life changes without compromising my education in the process; that was invaluable.
Q. Who has been your support system?
My supervisor in Connecticut was extremely supportive and helpful when I first decided to start this journey. During this degree, I’ve relied on friends and many coffee shops with Wi-Fi and power outlets!
Q. What was the most challenging part of your student journey?
Managing school work with new careers. During my time pursuing this degree, I’ve had three major job changes and multiple part-time assignments that have kept me constantly learning and adapting at work. I’ve also needed to meet and create a new support system twice when I moved out of state. This is a lot to manage along with a master’s program. There have been days where I have had to go straight from work to a coffee shop all night to work on school, and weekends I’ve passed on spending time with friends to work on projects. Now that I’ve completed the degree, the sacrifice has been worth it, but it took dedication to keep reminding myself of the end goal!
Q. Who or what inspires you to succeed?
I would consider myself self-motivated and a lifelong learner. I can’t sit still or do the same thing for very long and be satisfied. When I would feel overwhelmed managing this program with the rest of my life, I would look at my peers and classmates who were doing all of that plus raising and supporting a family. These individuals are incredibly inspiring, and I have so much respect for their dedication. Watching them helped me continue without getting discouraged.
Q. What is one fun fact about you?
I am creating a podcast with my best friend about emerging adulthood aimed at examining all aspects of this particular period of life. Our hope is to create an empathic environment and community to help prove how connected we all are (or can be!) and combat the loneliness epidemic.
Have you completed one of Florida Tech’s online programs? We would love to share your success story in our Student Spotlight series. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional details.