Hood Dual Degree Alumna | Holly Barnett, MBA
Hood alumna Holly Barnett earned a dual degree (4PLUS). She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Business Analytics and a minor in Mathematics. One year later, Holly earned her Master of Business Administration (MBA).
Holly Barnett, MBA '20
- Business Administration (MBA)
- Business Administration (B.A.)
- The George B. Delaplaine Jr. School of Business
"As I began the 4Plus program, I had expected to become more knowledgeable, but I left the program with so much more. I was able to hone my strategic thinking, creative problem-solving, and communication skills. All of these skills are helping me in my career today, and will continue to do so in the future"
Please tell us about your background. Include any general background that you would like to share, as well as your educational and career background.
I graduated from Seneca Valley High School in 2015 and attended Hood College the following fall. In May of 2019 I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Business Analytics and a minor in Mathematics. One year later, I earned my Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Hood.
During my time in school, I worked part-time at a catering company, Simply Fresh Events, as an Event Manager and had numerous internships. I was fortunate to receive the first internship opportunity during my first graduate class taken during my sophomore year. Thiel Butner, one of my classmates and a Managing Principal at Pando Alliance, offered me an internship.
I also completed an internship at Leidos, where I worked as a Competitive Intelligence Analyst. After graduating with my MBA, I returned to Leidos as a full-time employee, and am currently completing a two-year rotation in the Business Development Leadership Program (BDLP).
I also had the opportunity to work in the Office of Accessibility Services at Hood College as a Graduate Assistant while completing my MBA.
What made you choose Hood Graduate school and the MBA Program in particular?
When I was selecting my major as an undergraduate, one of the various reasons why I chose Business Administration was because of Hood’s 4Plus program. It had been a goal of mine since high school to earn a MBA, and Hood presented me with an opportunity I could not turn down.
Other considerations also came into play, such as the convenience of being near my hometown; however by the time I decided to proceed with the 4Plus Program, I was already in love with the school and community.
I started early, meticulously planning my courses and working with my advisor to ensure this goal was achieved in the timeframe of one year. I took a heavy course load, which allowed me to start taking grad courses as an undergraduate.
You completed your MBA through Hood's 4Plus (dual-degree) Program. How was that advantageous for you over completing a master’s degree in the traditional manner?
I enjoy a challenge. I knew the dual-degree program was not going to be simple, but it was extremely rewarding. By fast-tracking my education, I have an early, competitive edge in the job market and will be able to reach my financial goals even earlier in life than I originally planned. I am hoping I will be able to give back to the community earlier in my life as well.
There were times during the last year of my studies where it seemed impossible to complete my MBA in this compressed time frame, but I never let it stop me. Instead, the pressure drove me to work even harder to ensure I completed the MBA program in one year.
As a side note, how cool is it to say, “I completed my MBA at the age of 22!”.
How has your graduate degree helped further your career and/or your life?
Receiving my graduate degree has helped me achieve life-long goals of a high-caliber education and an amazing start to my professional journey. Not only has my graduate degree allowed me to obtain my current role in the Leidos’ Business Development Leadership Program, but it has empowered me on a personal level and increased my overall confidence.
As I began the 4Plus program, I had expected to become more knowledgeable, but I left the program with so much more. I was able to hone my strategic thinking, creative problem-solving, and communication skills. All of these skills are helping me in my career today, and will continue to do so in the future.
What did you enjoy about Hood College? Do you have a favorite memory?
I am grateful to have spent the last five years at Hood College. The Hood community is what sets Hood apart from other schools. I was involved in clubs, organizations, and honors societies, which made my experience full and rewarding.
The small class sizes allowed for personal interaction with professors, which I really enjoyed. I felt as though every professor had an open-door policy and would always make time to help me.
I truly believe the entire Hood family was eager to contribute to my progression and enjoyed watching me succeed. I was able to develop a great network and life-long relationships.
I don’t think I can pick out just one favorite memory, but two key milestones that first come to mind are presenting for Enactus and becoming a co-captain of the Hood College Dance Ensemble after my first year.
These were two experiences that really advanced my leadership and presenting skills. I have some pretty great memories of late nights working on various group projects, Dr. Zuberi wearing a blonde wig for a full class period, and Professor LaFleur bringing in snacks each night to class.
Is there any other information, outside interests, or interesting facts that you would like to add?
One last thing I would like to say is “thank you.”
Thank you to all the faculty, staff, and students who created an amazing atmosphere and such an incredible experience for me.
A large amount of my success ties back to my time at Hood College and all the encouragement and advice I have received from the people around me. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to learn with and from such talented and experienced individuals.