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FIU MBA online alumna – Sarah Youbi

Meet Sarah Youbi. She's an online CMBA graduate from FIU. Sarah joined the program to strengthen her chances of advancing her career in marketing.

She's passionate about exercise and fitness, specifically running and CrossFit. She even coaches kids in CrossFit. But that's not what she wanted to do for her career.

"My passion is actually marketing, so I've been mostly focusing on that and trying to get my career starting off on that, especially project management, which I found I had a strong suit in managing," she says.

She enjoys project management and wants to use her capabilities to manage big projects and in a time-efficient way: "My co-workers can depend on me to get things done on time."

As for why she decided to pursue an MBA, she said she needed more than a bachelor's degree for career advancement.

"After I finished my undergraduate studies, I really found a need for furthering my career. I couldn't find jobs that I really wanted in marketing. I thought it was all bottom of the line, and I needed to move up a little faster, so I decided to go with my MBA for those reasons to move up the ladder a little quicker."

Sarah also earned her undergraduate degree from FIU, but through the traditional, on-campus model. For her MBA, she needed something a little different.

"I wanted a program that let me do what I needed when I needed to do it without restricting me for class times and things like that," she says. "So that's how I selected my master's program."

Flexibility of an online MBA

Sarah also likes to travel, so the flexibility of the online MBA program was key to her decision to continue her education.

"Doing my online MBA allowed me the freedom of time, freedom of getting any job that I wanted to or traveling," she explains. "Since the Internet is available everywhere, I wanted to be able to take school with me and that allowed me to do that."

Specifically, Sarah was able to take a vacation in Puerto Rico without missing anything at school. She was still able to talk to professors, complete homework and turn in assignments on time.

Sarah also found that she didn't have to compromise quality for convenience: "And I knew that being in an accredited college like FIU, I was going to get the good schooling, good professors and good courses and, on top of that, I would be able to take school with me wherever I needed to."

Classroom experience

Here's what Sarah has to say about her online classroom experience:

"My online classroom experience was very easy actually. It was easy to interact with students. I remember my first quarter I was thinking, you know, I'm going to have to make friends, especially the ones that live in Miami to see if we can get together and study together, and that was easy to do. We had very easy introductions done by the professors. The interaction was easy, even in group work where we had people [from] Dubai in my group, I had teammates that lived in Tallahassee and we never had an issue to get our group work done."

The online MBA program at FIU proved to be more than a local experience for Sarah. While she was able to meet some teammates in person, she was also introduced to people across the globe.

"Doing my online MBA definitely opened my eyes to different cultures. We got to see how people do business differently, different lifestyles meant different answers, different trains of thought," she says. "We had people who lived in the Midwest, and I think that they brought something different to the group that we're not used to here. That was really interesting. And people from Dubai brought another perspective and had a different aspect of international business."

Professor connection

Sometimes prospective online students fear that they will be disconnected from the learning process since they're not in a physical classroom. But that was not Sarah's experience at FIU.

"The professors were easy to get to know. We had a good bio with each class beforehand so we got to know who they were, their background, how they taught at FIU, what they taught, what they expected from us," she explains. "It was good, easy interaction, email, phone — some of them provided their cell phone numbers if we had emergencies.  Since it is an online program and we had strict deadlines, they wanted to make sure that we could get in touch in case something happened."

Sarah also said that she felt like she was basically in a classroom setting – just online.

"You can ask questions live with a mic or type a question if you're uncomfortable with that. It felt just like being in a classroom," she says.

Sarah sums up her FIU online MBA experience this way:

"Doing an online program allowed me to still hold a job. Since I do love being outdoors and doing sporty things, I got to do that. It kind of gave me a break in life. It allowed me to do all those little things that you want to do, traveling, little jobs here and there, things like that. It fit perfectly for what I was looking for."

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