Student Success

Dipti Rane quote - My internship was one of the most rewarding experiences 
            I could have hoped to get. It helped me learn many of my
            current skills I use today. Dipti Rane - MBA Class of 2009 / Global Business Development Manager, 
            Society for Human Resource Management - 
            Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Student Success

Students in the UNL MBA program come from a variety of professions, ages and from throughout the world to receive their master's degree in business. Earning an MBA at Nebraska has been proven to be a tremendous value and is a stepping stone to greater achievement. Here are a few success stories that demonstrate what is possible with an MBA from UNL.

Meet Bill

Born into a hockey family outside of Chicago in Lombard, Illinois, Bill Sweatt’s dream was to play professionally. In 2010, after signing a contract with the Vancouver Canuck’s organization, he not only accomplished his goal but also was able to play with his older brother, Lee. He eventually played in the National Hockey League for Vancouver and his hometown Chicago Wolves, a minor league team. Throughout his hockey career though, he was also working toward another goal – completing his MBA degree online at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
“My parents taught me school is equally as important as athletics,” Sweatt said. “I heeded their consistent warning that hockey cannot last forever and someday I would have to find a job. After I turned pro, I decided to take a year off from school. The following summer, I studied for and passed the GMAT exam and decided to earn my MBA,” he said.
Sweatt has found the UNL online MBA program to be the perfect complement to his hockey lifestyle.
“Playing professional hockey is demanding for a couple of hours each day, but there is a lot of free time too. I used to think I was too busy but I fought through that negativity. I have chosen to take one class at a time and found it to be no problem,” he said.
Bill Sweatt on the ice
Bill Sweatt on the ice
He currently plays professional hockey in Sweden’s top tier league for the Brynäs IF team, which makes the flexibility of UNL’s MBA program even more important.
“My biggest thing is being able to work ahead and some classes are setup so it is easy to do. I had classes where the teacher laid out all the course documents and syllabus and said, ‘This is what needs to be done in eight weeks. Have at it.’ Those are the classes that are easiest for me with my lifestyle.”
Regardless where Sweatt has moved to play hockey, the ability to work on the degree at his own pace and schedule has been helpful.
“Practice days are where I have the most time. I get to the rink at about 8:30 a.m. and go through a workout that takes about an hour. Then we get dressed to practice on the ice. Early in the season, practices run at least an hour and then I work on personal things after practice. I get home around 2:00 p.m. and the rest of the day is mine,” he said.
Sweatt, who played collegiately at Colorado College and also won a gold medal as part of the United States U-18 team at the world championships, is planning on taking the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams to go along with his MBA degree.
“I am going to take the first of three CFA tests next June. To study for them, I am going to hold off on taking my final two MBA classes until I complete the first CFA exam,” said Sweatt who plans to graduate in the fall of 2016.
Dr. Richard DeFusco, professor of finance and director of the MBA program said, “Our online MBA students have varied professional backgrounds though Bill is our first professional hockey player. The quality and flexibility of our UNL MBA program makes it a first choice for many students. I’m glad we are able to help Bill with his professional goal of working in finance after he retires from hockey.”

Meet Dipti

Dipti Rane has lived many places throughout the world, but the experiences she received earning her MBA from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln continue to have an impact on both her life and career.

Originally from Mumbai, India, Rane made her decision to pursue an MBA while earning an undergraduate degree in engineering in her home country. She looked at many options and chose UNL.

“I researched universities globally after deciding on going into a full-time MBA program,” Rane said. “UNL had exactly what I was looking for in affordable courses, a lot of on-campus work and the best faculty in my intended specialization of human resources.”

The program gave her the opportunity to pursue an internship that fit perfectly with her career aspirations.

Dipti Rane embraces her MBA internship
Dipti Rane embraces her MBA internship
“I was fortunate to obtain an internship in the office of U.S. Congressman Jeff Fortenberry. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I could have hoped to get. I spent my final semester learning how a congressional office works and liaising with his Washington D.C. office,” she said.

Rane was awarded a Congressional Recognition for serving in the office which gave her the joy of achievement and also the experience to know she could accomplish anything she set out to do. That sense of achievement was also reinforced in her classroom experiences at UNL.

“Dr. Jerry Sellentin was one of my faculty mentors. He was a true motivator beyond academics. I will never forget the life lesson he taught me when he said, ‘It is all about perseverance.’ Dr. Gwen Combs was also a big influence because she was the first HR academic expert I met. I worked with her on many projects and she introduced me to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), who is now my current employer in Dubai, United Arab Emirates,” she said.

In her current position as global business development manager, Rane manages the business and relationship management for SHRM members and clients in her region.

“My internship with Congressman Fortenberry helped me learn many of my current skills such as managing partner relationships, client relations, training programs and advising human resource departments of large businesses and government organizations. I learned those communication skills at UNL which is key to the competency required in my day-to-day role at SHRM. It’s also preparing me for my next career level in this job,” she said.
Rane has held her current position since receiving her MBA in 2009, working in various locations including Alexandria, Virginia; Mumbai; Bangalore, India; and Delhi, India, before moving to Dubai in 2013.

Meet Deepak

Dr. Deepak Madhavan received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in 2001 and spent several years in residency and fellowships specializing in epilepsy research. He founded Midwest Regional Epilepsy Associates in 2009, and currently serves as a faculty member and Director of the Nebraska Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at UNMC. Yet with all his experience and education, Madhavan believes earning an MBA from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, was a vital component in augmenting his career and independent practice.

His decision to earn an MBA at UNL began after setting up his own practice.

“Having no prior business experience, I was amazed at the level of business know-how and management tasks I needed to run a business,” Madhavan said. “I quickly realized an MBA would add versatility to my education by providing critical training to expand my career into areas such as consulting and administration.”

Deepak Madhavan
Deepak Madhavan

Madhavan also knew an MBA would provide practical experience through an internship which would let him see the business world from a new point of view. He actually interned twice while earning his MBA.

“I was aware of the solid reputation of the UNL MBA program. It also afforded me the internships that let me apply my MBA training in real-world, practical settings where I could expand on classroom training,” he said.

His internships not only provided additional skills, but also made him aware of aspects of a business he had not encountered before.

“One of my internships was with Cyberonics, a large medical device company. I worked with their senior executives and marketing staff to develop strategies to expand their marketing message. This in turn expanded the use of their products in new practice settings. I gained experience developing processes in marketing and corporate strategy I use today,” he said.

His second internship gave Madhavan a completely different perspective.

“I worked with Bridgeport Merchant Banking, a local investment bank as their medical and biotech associate. My responsibilities were to perform diligence and comparable transaction analysis to help make recommendations on potential clients. Because of my background in medicine, I brought a sought-after point of view to both internships which allowed me to jump into interesting projects with significant responsibility.”

Madhavan lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with his wife and two children ages three and one. Even amidst an extremely busy schedule he encourages other MBA students to pursue internships.

“I viewed my internships as experimental ‘free-for-alls’, where I could pretend to work in another area and absorb as much as I could. Both internships created career growth opportunities and I remain involved with both companies,” Madhavan said.

Meet Danielle

Danielle Kinser credits her internship experiences for her success as a financial analyst at Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha, Nebraska. Kinser interned twice while earning an MBA from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

“While I had work experience coming into the MBA program, it wasn’t what I would deem professional experience,” Kinser said. “In my internships, I learned how to prioritize work, balance it with school life and interact in a professional work environment. I also had the opportunity to interact with customers and exchange information internally.”

Danielle Kinser
Danielle Kinser
Her first internship was at Nanonation, a digital software company. There she developed their internal Sharepoint site. She learned many skills, but decided to explore other areas of business.

“I got a second internship at Neebo, the Nebraska Book Company, to see if a finance position was right for me,” she said. “I spent time running and analyzing weekly reports, as well as working on ad hoc projects where I learned ways to save the company money. Had I not done the second internship, I wouldn’t have had financial work experience and likely would not have gotten the full-time position I have now.”

Kinser hopes others looking to jump start their professional careers in the UNL MBA program consider an internship. In addition to preparing students for a career, many internships lead directly to jobs.

“If you have little work experience, it’s essential to intern to get that competitive edge when applying for jobs later,” Kinser said. “I’ve been helping with recruiting efforts at UNL for Union Pacific and I’ve witnessed first-hand how students with internships on their resumes are the ones who get interviewed. Also, many companies offer interns full-time positions after graduation. Regardless, internships let you see if a position is a good fit for you.”

Meet Kurtis

Kurtis Charling graduated in December with an MBA from the College of Business Administration and a budding career with the Lindsay Corporation in Omaha, Nebraska, after strong performances in two national startup competitions.

The staff in the Center for Entrepreneurship encouraged him to enter his Strategic Management of Agriculture Related Technologies (S.M.A.R.T.) business in contests sponsored by Forbes and Farm Bureau, to showcase his ideas which will impact the agriculture industry.

Charling at CBA
Charling has two patents including one for an irrigation technology which he entered in both competitions. Over 2,500 entrepreneurs applied for the Forbes $1 Million Global Change the World Social Entrepreneurs Competition which focused on entrepreneurial pursuits aiming to solve the world’s most dire issues.

Charling’s technology focuses on preserving water, the earth’s largest natural resource. He was among the top 50 in the competition and was invited to attend the prestigious Forbes Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia in October. That month he also won $10,000 as a semifinalist for the Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge announced at the American Farm Bureau Board of Directors Meeting in Washington, D.C.

“The staff at the Center for Entrepreneurship is very supportive of young entrepreneurs and found these competitions to help with funding for my business,” said Charling. “Being invited to the Forbes Under 30 Summit is a huge honor. I was able to network with the top entrepreneurs in the world which will help move my business forward. I am also proud to be a Farm Bureau award recipient because I see my future in agriculture and improving ways to feed the world.”

Meet Enrique

Enrique Caño Ruiz had been searching for a way to broaden his undergraduate degree in marketing and business management he earned in Madrid when he decided an international MBA experience was the answer. For Caño Ruiz, who was living in Spain, Nebraska was the perfect fit. The MBA program at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln provided everything he was looking for, from broadening his experience through an affordable program to the opportunity to secure an internship where he could hone his skills.
“I didn’t have much business experience in my country due to low employment rates in recent years,” Caño Ruiz said. “In Spain, it’s not as common for students to work while they’re in school. Getting an internship in the U.S. was a tremendous opportunity for me. It allowed me to gain real business experience with an international company.”
His internship opportunity came with Sandhills Publishing, where he learned business skills while enhancing his résumé.
Caño Ruiz enjoys travel as part of internship
Caño Ruiz enjoys travel as part of internship
“As a sales intern, my first experience was working in the marketing department where I was introduced to the company’s products and services. I also was able to go on a few trips where I had a close-up look at the firm’s distribution setup. It was great to get in touch with people in the industry to help me learn information I’d later use in sales.”
Caño Ruiz spent time traveling to both Mexico and North Dakota to get a broader perspective before being transferred to the sales department. The sales experience showed Ruiz each day would bring unique challenges.
“The sales department let me apply everything I had learned. I'd never worked in sales, so the internship showed me how to approach a customer, how to present product advantages and how to understand customer needs. It gave me the opportunity to learn a whole new industry, and personally helped me build confidence to where I feel I'm better prepared to face challenges than when I left Spain,” he said.
Caño Ruiz sees Nebraska as a perfect landing spot for other international students wanting to combine their educational and work experiences.
“Lincoln is a very comfortable place to live and gave me an authentic American experience. When you combine that with an internship it helps you see the big picture of what it takes to succeed in a business. Living abroad gave me additional challenges, but ultimately helped me achieve my educational goals and grow professionally.”