The best and brightest online MBA for 2022: Juliana Litu, IE Business School

“Lifelong student, curious and restless. Engineering experience with philosophical questions and interests in human psychology. “

age: 33

Hometown: Athens, Greece (currently based in Dublin, Ireland)

Fun fact about yourself: I have a twin brother who is literally my alter ego.

Bachelor’s degree and degree: Informatics at the Athens University of Economics and Business (Doctor of Computer Science from the same institution)

Where are you currently working? Senior Project Manager at Meta

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Obtaining a doctorate in computer science is perhaps one of the achievements I am most proud of. It’s not as difficult to do research on the subject as it is to learn how to deal with the rejection of your work, to collect and arrange feedback, to adjust the work again so that it addresses the concerns raised, and then to return. exposing yourself and becoming vulnerable to rejection once again. Ultimately, you learn to accept it as it is: an opportunity for improvement, not rejection as such.

Another achievement I am proud of is that I was not afraid to move to a country where I do not know anyone (twice). I thought the opportunity was worth it, even a little scary. It is an experience that teaches you how to open up, communicate and connect with people. Basically, no matter how good you are at your job, if you’re not brave enough to communicate it, it’s as if you’ve never done it. I feel that this experience has taught me how to approach people and communicate ideas in unfamiliar environments. I’m still learning this and I followed the MBA program to make sure I was doing it in the best possible way.

Why did you choose the IE Business School online MBA program? I participated in an event where I contacted various MBA programs in an attempt to determine which one aroused my interest the most and will be worth the time and effort I have to devote. Talking to people from universities helps you understand the culture and leadership styles that these institutions cultivate. In addition, you get an idea of ​​the other students you will be communicating with in the courses. IE Business School stood out for me as accessible, understanding and professional, with a focus on inspiring students to make a difference, be bold and innovative, while putting the human aspect at the core (well-being, social entrepreneurship, etc.). Then, of course, as a data-driven person, I looked at rankings, alumni feedback, and the mix of experience and diversity in the program. This is because I felt that this experience should be an opportunity to build a global network and learn about other cultures.

What was your favorite part of participating in the online MBA program? The biggest advantage of an online MBA is the global community you have the opportunity to interact with – because since no physical presence is required, you can meet and work with people from Japan, Peru and Canada – all in one go. same time.

What was the most surprising thing about the online learning environment? What surprised me the most was how you could really connect with people you had never met in person and who probably would never have had the opportunity to meet if it weren’t for the online learning environment.

How does your online experience compare to your classroom experience as a student? There is a misconception that online learning is not as effective as classroom experience. My online MBA experience completely refutes this misconception. When it comes to learning, it all depends on how commitment and interest in the classroom is encouraged. This is up to the professors and your fellow students, not the room you are in or the environment used to deliver the lessons. Again, it’s all about the people you interact with, and so far I think the professor has really put a lot of effort into engaging students online so that the overall quality is high. Combined with flexibility, I guarantee an online experience with some classroom events that help people connect even more.

What would you change in an online MBA program? I would probably add some more deliberate informal events and even fun activities where the families of the people you see in the courses can also interact. Sometimes it’s easy to miss a person when you’re only together for a few hours a week in a very specific professional context – and it’s easy to make biased assumptions about them when you know nothing outside of those hours in class.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? I work in a global team, which is why online conversations and interactions are common. Online training prepared me for this and taught me what to watch, how to communicate and engage with people and how to ensure that everyone is on the same page. It also taught me how to build meaningful relationships with people when you can’t spend that time chatting over coffee in the office.

Did you earn a promotion during the program or immediately after graduation? I changed companies during the program and to a higher position, from technical project manager at IBM to senior project manager at Meta.

Did you earn a promotion during the online MBA program? Yes

Number of hours per week spent in the MBA: Approximately 20 hours per week.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I know the impact I want to make, but the professional goal is difficult to define. I want to give people the opportunity and encourage them to challenge their own biases. For example, I see how people fear what technological advances can mean for humanity and choose to criticize and refrain from actively trying to find ways to mitigate risks or recommend social welfare applications to such achievements. After all, we all want a better world, and what better way to achieve that than by actively striving to shape the future? My personal achievements will perish with me when that time comes, but I hope to change people’s lives with my work and this is my long-term professional goal.



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