‘A Beautiful Coincidence’

Dallas residents, both UConn MBA students, live on the same street but met for the first time at UConn

Two UConn students stand before a colorfully painted wall.

Julia Carter and Anna (Neupert) Wildfeuer '19 (BUS), who live on the same street in Dallas, didn't meet until they both enrolled in the Online MBA program at UConn (Photo courtesy of Max Wildfeuer '18 (BUS)).

What are the odds that two women, complete strangers from Dallas, Texas, would enroll in the UConn Online MBA program during the same semester?

How about the chances that these two graduate students happen to live on the same street?

Whether it was destiny, or just a rare and delightful coincidence, Anna (Neupert) Wildfeuer ‘19 (BUS) and Julia Carter are glad they met at orientation in Connecticut last fall. They have since become both collegial classmates and good friends.

Wildfeuer, a Loyal Husky, Now Loves Dallas 

Wildfeuer majored in finance at UConn and completed her bachelor’s degree in business in 2019. She met her husband alumnus Max Wildfeuer ’18 (BUS), also a finance major, in a business law class during his senior year.

She began her career working for Aetna/CVS Health in a rotation program, spending her first few months in Hartford before moving to Dallas in 2020.

Now the lead director of strategic planning at Aetna, she is a self-described “loyal Husky’’ who just happened to fall in love with a Dallas lifestyle.

“The sunshine down here is really, really nice,’’ Wildfeuer says. “But I also really love the sense of community. Neighbors really know each other. There are a lot of opportunities to volunteer, to work with a charity, or to join organizations like the Junior League. Dallas is a very engaged community.’’

Two UConn graduate students stand together with the Dallas skyline behind them.
Julia Carter and Anna (Neupert) Wildfeuer ’19 (BUS), who live on the same street in Dallas, didn’t meet until they both enrolled in the Online MBA program at UConn (Photo courtesy of Max Wildfeuer ’18 (BUS)).

Wildfeuer was watching the UConn football team compete in the Myrtle Beach Bowl in 2022, when an ad for the University prompted her decision to pursue an MBA at her alma mater.

“That was the moment I decided, ‘I’m going to apply and see what happens,’’’ she says. “I had just finished my rotational program, and I wanted to continue to grow professionally.’’

Carter, a Dallas Native, Is Pursuing a Dual Degree

Carter took a different path to UConn. Born and raised in Dallas, she graduated from Texas A&M five years ago with a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology. After college, she returned to Dallas and now works as a business consultant for Deloitte.

The UConn program captured her attention because she wanted to pursue an MBA and a Master of Engineering degree simultaneously, making her well-rounded in both technical and business skills. She was a bit concerned about being rusty when returning to the classroom, but her fears were unfounded.

“I found the program and the camaraderie so welcoming that it was easy to get back in the flow of studying,’’ she says. “The classes have been challenging, but I’ve learned a lot, and have already been able to implement some of the information from class into my daily job.’’

Both were drawn to the program for its reputation, flexibility, and speed of completion. Because out-of-state students pay the same tuition as Connecticut residents, the program was affordable for them.

“UConn’s OMBA does a good job of making you feel just as welcome in Texas as everyone else in Connecticut,’’ says Wildfeuer, who has partnered with Carter this semester to work on a class marketing project.

A Tour of Hartford and a New Friendship

“Meeting Julia was really, really wild,’’ Wildfeuer says. “I flew to Connecticut for the MBA orientation and we were all mixing and mingling, and I asked where she was from. She said she was from Dallas, but many people say that who are near, but not in, the city. When she told me she was on Blackburn Street, I couldn’t believe it!’’

Carter was equally surprised.

“Meeting Anna, when I was in Connecticut for orientation, was a great connection to home,’’ she says. “She was immediately so welcoming and took me on a tour of Hartford. It was a fun surprise that we both lived so close to each other in Dallas.’’

“I think it was a beautiful coincidence, not only that we both live in Dallas and are in the same program, but we also have a lot in common in addition to that connection,’’ Carter says.

Wildfeuer taught her new friend about Connecticut and the Husky chant. In turn, Carter has shared recommendations for great local businesses, especially the top gyms.

Jamie Kirschner, program manager for the Online MBA Program and Carter and Wildfeuer’s advisor, says the women’s introduction, some 1,700 miles from their homes, reinforced what a small world it is.

“We’re so glad that Anna and Julia have brought their unique experiences to the program, but equally happy that we were the catalyst for a really great new friendship,’’ she says. “It may be true that ‘everything is bigger in Texas,’ but we think what we’re doing in Connecticut is pretty remarkable, too!’’