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Andy Kelly headshot.

A Rapid Ascent at UnitedHealth Group

After Andy Kelly '18 received his undergraduate degree, he told himself he’d never go back to school. But once in the real world, a handful of opportunities fell in his lap so he jumped on it. “I realized that I needed an MBA to keep up the momentum to grow in my career instead of climbing the ladder slowly."

Kelly applied to the Health Care MBA program at St. Thomas and quickly immersed himself in the cohort: “Spending two years with the same 25 people and getting to know their families, stories and challenges really added to the quality of our learning.”

Kelly was one of the younger cohort members of his class, graduating in the top 20% of all business school graduates. He was promoted at UnitedHealth Group halfway through the 21-month MBA program. He now works as associate director on a strategic consulting team: “My MBA really gave me the tools to nail the interview. I feel like a very impactful and contributing member of my team now.”

Before St. Thomas, Kelly admits he was in the camp that if he works hard enough, the opportunities will follow. “What I realized was that I was impatient,” he said. “I wanted to have all those things fall into place a lot sooner than were appropriate.”

Kelly now feels he’s got the skills to back himself up in his work. “Especially at UnitedHealth Group – with its giant pool of talent – I view the MBA as a differentiator.”

To make early waves in any profession, he recommends jumping in head first. “Get embedded and interact with your cohort or classmates as much as possible,” he advised. “Make yourself the person they think of for a new job or role they may have available. They can speak and vouch for you because they’ve known you for the past few years.”