Michael Caserta is an MBA candidate at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. Caserta, who plans to graduate in 2021, shared his experience choosing Lerner graduate programs and how it has impacted him both personally and professionally.
Lerner: Why did you go back to pursue your graduate degree? Why did you choose the Lerner College for your studies?
Caserta: I decided to pursue my MBA largely due to the pandemic at the time. Finishing up with my undergraduate degree at the Lerner College, I knew that there was no time like the present to continue to grow professionally to launch myself into a career in marketing. The quality of education I received as an undergraduate student at Lerner played a huge role as to why I decided to also obtain my MBA from Lerner also. I also had a growing interest in business analytics and having the opportunity to get my MBA while majoring in business analytics was something that had tremendous value.
Lerner: What did you learn through this opportunity that you wouldn’t have learned anywhere else?
Caserta: I have learned a lot about the value of building a network. Having the opportunity to be a part of the Graduate Internship Program was something that allowed me to grow both personally and professionally. The resources in terms of career services were extremely beneficial, along with the practical experience that I was able to get, through working as a marketing analyst for a local law firm and now as a product owner for an accounting and consulting firm would not have been an experience I had if it were not for Lerner.
Lerner: What is an example of a course or concept that you were able to apply directly to your life and/or career?
Caserta: My data mining course provided me with experience in best-utilizing tools such as Excel to siphon through data efficiently that came in handy on a data cleanup project that I was working on as a product owner intern. Putting these skills to use allowed me to utilize Excel best practices and ensure that the project was completed in a timely manner.
Lerner: Can you describe an important connection you have made through your graduate program?
Caserta: An important connection I have made was with Sarah Baker Andrus. As a younger MBA student, I was very worried about landing an MBA internship and putting my best foot forward to land an interview. Sarah really assisted in providing sound feedback on what I needed to do to stand out and ensure I landed an internship that I desired. Through the mentorship she provided, I was able to land my dream summer MBA internship where I will be working as an associate global marketing specialist.
Lerner: If you were to describe your classmates in one word, what would that be?
Caserta: Professional. The level of professionalism that I have experienced in all of my group projects is something that really stands out to me. The professionalism shows in the work they do, how they communicate and our joint effort to ensure that projects are done correctly and on time.
Lerner: Fill in this sentence: “My graduate program helped me become…”
Caserta: A well-rounded leader.
Lerner: What was the most impactful hands-on project or case competition that you were able to participate in?
Caserta: One impactful thing I have gotten to be a part of is the Graduate Student Government Communications Committee as the chairperson. Throughout this year we have been working on revamping our social media and website to ensure that we are able to create more engagement with our community. Having the opportunity to lead a team of people and see our ideas come to fruition has been the most gratifying out-of-class project I have had the opportunity to work on.
Lerner: What are your plans or next steps for the future?
Caserta: Currently I am an MBA intern with Merck in Global Vaccines Marketing. COVID-19 has made it very clear to me the importance that medicines play in ensuring people can live a normal life. Upon graduating from the University of Delaware, I aspire to continue in this industry, specializing in marketing and saving and improving people’s lives through innovative medicines.