Graduating senior continues with master's at Penn State Smeal to follow passion

May 18, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For Jessica Oney, graduation will not be a goodbye, but a see you soon. A computer science major from Tannersville, Pennsylvania, Oney will continue her education this fall with her admittance into Penn State Smeal’s Master’s in Management & Organizational Leadership (MOL) program.

“I have a minor in engineering leadership development,” Oney said, “and that was a huge part of what drove me to the MOL program. I think the program and community really solidified my choice to pursue my passion for leadership in the technical industry.”

“Recently we have worked with many students who have lost interviews, internships, and full-time job offers due to the pandemic. We are here to help these students and a large part of it is to help them explore new options, like furthering their education.”

-- Joy Mack, assistant director of admissions for graduate programs at Penn State Smeal

The Penn State Smeal MOL program is a one-year residential master’s program that begins in August. The program is designed for pre-professional students from technical, STEM disciplines, and bridges the gap between a technical background and the business world.

“The opportunities an MOL program graduate has and the combination of a technical background with a business foundation is something that I want for my young professional career,” Oney said.

She first learned about this opportunity while at a meeting for the Association of Women in Computing during her freshman year. A representative from MOL came to talk about the benefits the program had to offer. Since then, Oney knew she wanted to enhance her collegiate career by enrolling.

Even in the current state of affairs, Oney says she’s been reassured that the admissions team is doing everything it can to support students right now.

“We understand these are unprecedented times, and as an admissions team, we continue to be accessible to any candidate interested in our graduate programs by scheduling virtual meetings, offering GMAT/GRE waivers, and extending application deadlines,” said Joy Mack, assistant director of admissions for graduate programs at Penn State Smeal.

“Recently we have worked with many students who have lost interviews, internships, and full-time job offers due to the pandemic,” she said. “We are here to help these students and a large part of it is to help them explore new options, like furthering their education.”

In the meantime, Oney is looking forward to meeting everyone in the program and having a smaller class size. As a computer science major, she has had classes with upwards of 200 students. MOL classes are capped at 60, and she will work in small teams alongside peers from various STEM and engineering disciplines.

With her technical background, Oney said she believes she will thrive in the innovative and creative environment. She eventually would like to pursue a leadership role in the workplace and obtain a career where she can utilize her entire tool belt. This would allow her to not be boxed in and have the opportunity to pursue her passion.

She encouraged graduating seniors with uncertain futures to help quell their fears by seeking more information about career opportunities.

“There are so many people from Penn State, as well as MOL students, who have so much advice to give,” Oney said. “During my junior year, I talked to an MOL student about the admissions process; it made me feel so confident with my decision and I don’t regret anything. If you never ask, you’ll never find the answer to your questions and get the chance to learn more.”

The Penn State Smeal MOL program is currently accepting applications from prospective students through June 1 for fall 2020. No GMAT/GRE scores are needed to apply. Visit the website to learn more about this accelerated master’s program.

Last Updated May 18, 2020