Skip to main content

Andrew McConnell on how to succeed in the online MBA program

Andrew McConnell grew up in Nampa, Idaho, and started his college journey at the College of Western Idaho. He soon transferred to Boise State University’s College of Business and Economics to pursue a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Human Resource Management. After speaking with the department, he realized he yearned to help others and expand his knowledge in human resources. 

“When I got into my very first HR class, I knew it was something I wanted to do. There is a people element to it, but there is also a technical element as well. I fell in love with it,” McConnell explained. “Even when I graduated with my BBA, I wasn’t sure if I would still like it once I started working in the field, but I like it even more now.”

Find a program that fits your lifestyle

Shortly after completing his bachelor’s degree, Andrew McConnell started working in HR at the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. He realized that a graduate degree would be helpful in advancing him even further in his field.

He researched different graduate programs that would strengthen his skills and accommodate his busy lifestyle. He came across Boise State Online’s Master of Business Administration but had a few questions about the admissions process.

A Boise State student talks with another student while sitting at a table.
Andrew McConnell, Online Master of Business Administration graduate, at work at the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Photo by Adam Eschbach, Boise State Extended Studies.

“I was really nervous to take the GRE and when I spoke to Ally [Director of the Online MBA program], she said based on my job experience and GPA that I did not have to. I hadn’t been in school since 2013. That was a huge selling point for me,” McConnell said.

“Seeing how much flexibility the online program offered and the possibilities to me made sense. At that point, I didn’t even continue looking at other colleges. Boise State was what I wanted to go with because it seemed very good.”

Lean on your support system

When classes began for the Master of Business Administration program, McConnell was worried about the potential challenge of math-based classes. After speaking with his advisor, he learned of additional resources to excel in those courses — earning a few As along the way! McConnell initially chose the Boise State Online MBA for the flexibility of online learning but succeeded because of the support. 

“I talked to my advisor multiple times, probably about every 7 weeks, to make sure I was on track. The whole advising staff was very willing to answer questions. I really enjoyed the advising team. They were super helpful,” McConnell explained.

“Especially for someone who has been out of school for a certain amount of time — I think it really helps build that confidence knowing you have a team that is willing to support you. I saved time from not driving down to campus, parking… flexibility was my original reason for choosing it, but after getting into the program and experiencing the support, I would argue that it was better online compared to what I received in person.”

You’ll succeed in the online MBA and all Boise State Online programs with support from faculty and staff. From the start, student success coaches help you find which program works best for your needs, goals and lifestyle. After acceptance into a program, academic advisors help you prepare your degree plan and connect you to student success resources along the way! 

Online MBA student, Andrew McConnell, smiling while working on projects
Like Andrew McConnell, you’ll succeed in the online MBA program because of the supportive staff. Photo by Adam Eschbach, Boise State Extended Studies.

Consider your future goals

Boise State helps you succeed in the online MBA and in your career. The Online MBA program gives working professionals a competitive edge by enriching their skillset with in-demand business expertise and leadership skills. 

“I felt like the Online MBA program was crucial for me to get into the position that I want to be at eventually,” McConnell said.

“My ultimate goal is to become a head of human resource department or a VP of HR in a larger company.”

As Andrew McConnell looks toward the future with excitement and anticipation, he still recalls the proud moment of graduation and earning a master’s degree.

“When I graduated I felt a sense of relief, accomplishment and at the same time, disbelief, as I couldn’t believe I actually did it.”

Ready to succeed in the online MBA program?

Learn more about the Online MBA

Contact a Student Success Coach


Story by Alexis Ross, Boise State Extended Studies