Editor’s note: The following question-and-answer interview with Jeffrey C. Teixeira originally appeared in Poets&Quants and is reprinted with permission.
Jeffrey C. Teixeira
“Actively open to what the world has to offer.”
Hometown: Naugatuck, CT
Fun fact about yourself: I am fluent in Portuguese since I spent part of my childhood there.
Undergraduate School and Degree:
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – Bachelor of Science Biomedical Engineering, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences- Doctor of Medicine
Where are you currently working? United States Army Medical Corp
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? As a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, I get to help patients who may be experiencing the worst day of their lives as a result of trauma. Being able to be part of their care and journey through healing gives you pride in the work you do and makes all the long hours worth it.
Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I choose the University of Delaware as a result of their concentrations in Healthcare and Strategic Leadership and a strong history of working with active-duty military members and veterans.
What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? My favorite part was the flexibility which allowed me to really focus on the course material based on my own schedule.
What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? I was actually surprised to see how interactive it was. While you are not physically seeing your classmates, the technological advances currently used to allow for a fulfilling social and interactive experience.
How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? I would say that the online experience provided significant flexibility so that you are able to better appreciate the material in a non-traditional way and share your ideas with a bigger audience. In a traditional classroom, it may be hard to ask questions. With online discussion boards, everyone is able to get their ideas out there. I think this improves collaboration and deeper in-depth learning instead of the traditional in-person professor lecture.
What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? I have two pieces of advice. First, the increased flexibility means you have to plan better and stay on top of your work. Most of my classmates were working full-time, so being organized and having a study plan for the week is definitely a key for success. The second is to enter each topic with an open mind and be prepared to have some of your views challenged, especially with the open concept of discussion boards and diverse personal and professional backgrounds of each student.
What would you change about an online MBA Program? I choose an online MBA program because it specifically met my needs for flexibility and learning objectives. As a result, I don’t think there is anything I would really change.
How has your online education helped you in your current job? Going into my MBA, I was hoping to learn more about financial concepts, but I was surprised by how much I learned about organizational behavior and structure. I was really surprised on how much scientific research there is when it comes to managing teams. Some of the classes I took on leadership and conflict resolution really provided me skills and building blocks to be not only a better manager but to strive to be a leader. These skills have carried over into daily interactions I have at work leading medical teams.
What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? For now, my goal is to continue to build my clinical practice. However, I could definitely see myself combining my clinical and management skills by entering the executive side of medicine down the line.