Executive MBA Online Information Session

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Find out if the Washington State University Executive MBA Online is for you. This session covers:

  • An overview of WSU and the Carson College of Business
  • An in-depth look of the Executive MBA Online program
  • Military and veteran benefits
  • Admission requirements and support available to students
  • The international field study, EMBA Leadership Conference, and other networking opportunities
  • A firsthand experience from an Executive MBA Online graduate


  • Evan Barton, MBA Admissions Manager
  • Matt Beer, Military and Veteran Affairs Manager
  • Suellen dos Santos Frank, Executive MBA Online Graduate
  • Darnell Johnson, Enrollment Advisor

Originally presented on February 9, 2022.


Darnell: Hello everybody. And welcome to the Executive MBA Online Information Session. We’re hosting this for our upcoming Summer Stars for the Executive MBA. Really just want to share some good information about the program, give you guys a solid understanding of what we’re offering, and see if it could be a good fit for anybody who’s able to attend this. All right. So, before we get started into the presentation, I want to cover some logistics.

Darnell: In order to minimize background noise, we did set this into broadcast only mode. And what that means for you guys is you can all hear us, we’ve got a few speakers on the line. However, we can’t hear your audio. So, if you do have any questions, we have a Q&A session feature at the end. It should be on the right bottom of your screen, so go ahead and ask any questions or add any comments in there and we’ll be able to see those and actually bring them up later in the conversation. Then finally, there’s a recording of the session that’s going to be emailed to you after the webinar. So, if you have to hop off early, you want to watch this again or even share this with anybody, you’re welcome to do that and watch the recording after the session is over.

Darnell: All right. So, I do want to cover just the agenda of the session, give you a bit of an understanding of what to expect. We’re going to start off with some introductions here, so you know who’s speaking and sort of where we’re coming from. From there, we’re going to dive into the history and rankings and accreditations of Washington State University, as well as the Carson College of Business and of course, the Executive MBA. From there, we do have our military coordinator online, so we will be talking about some of the military and veteran student benefits we have. Then we’ll move into just a nice overview of the program, so you know what the structure looks like and the flexibility. We’ll talk about the admission requirements and curriculum. Then we’re lucky enough to have a student speaker on the line, so we’ll talk about the day in the life and sort of what it looks like to be an Executive MBA student and how people are able to balance that alongside work.

Darnell: We will also touch on the networking opportunities within the program. From there, we do have a pretty cool opportunity. We have an international field study in the program. It’s an optional opportunity for students, but we want to give you a clear picture of the opportunity and talk through sort of what it looks like as well as some of the other networking events. One of those highlights will be the Executive MBA Leadership Conference. We’ll delve into that a little bit later, as well as some additional networking events. We’ll wrap up with the live Q&A session that I mentioned earlier. So again, any questions that you have, please don’t hesitate to chat those in the Q&A feature.

Darnell: All right. So, let’s get started off with some introductions. My name is Darnell Johnson. I’m an enrollment advisor here for the online MBA, as well as the online Executive MBA. Really, my job and my team’s job is to help students as they research the program, and then if it seems like a good fit form, we’re also here to guide students through the admissions process and really help craft the best application possible. We also have Evan Barton on the line. Evan, can you take a second and introduce yourself?

Evan: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks, Darnell, and thanks everyone for joining today. My name is Evan Barton and I am the MBA Admissions Manager for the Carson College of Business grad and online program. I’ve been with WSU for just a little over four years now, and I’m actually a recent graduate of the online MBA program through WSU as of last semester.

Darnell: Awesome. Thank you very much, Evan. Really happy to have you on the line and give some of your feedback on the different elements of the program. Next, we have Matt Beer, our Military and Veteran Affairs Manager. Matt, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the support that you provide to our military students?

Matt: Sure. Thanks, Darnell. Matt Beer, retired Lieutenant Colonel for the United States Air Force, an alum of Washington State University in the way back, and I am the Military and Veteran Affairs Manager for the Carson College of Business. And I look forward to sharing some of the programs and opportunities we have for our military affiliated students today. Thanks for being here.

Darnell: Thank you very much, Matt. Excited to have you on the line as well. Then last but certainly to not least, we have Suellen on the line. Suellen is our student speaker. Can you take a second and introduce yourself, Suellen?

Suellen: Of course. Thank you so much, Darnell. Hi, everyone. My name is Suellen dos Santos Frank, I am a Senior Lead Engineer for the Boeing company, and I have just graduated off the Executive MBA online program in August of 2021.

Darnell: Excellent. Thank you very much Suellen. We’re excited to bring you in later in the presentation on the day in the life slide, as well as our Q&A session. But I do want to take this time to just talk a little bit about the history of Washington State University. Evan, can you tell us a little bit about Washington State?

Evan: Absolutely. So, I just want to start off by sharing a little bit about the history of Washington State University. So, Washington State University was founded in 1890 in Pullman, Washington. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Pullman or where it is exactly, Pullman is located on the eastern side of Washington State, right on the Idaho-Washington border. So, if you’re familiar with Seattle and where that is, we’re about a four and a half hour drive from Seattle, and about an hour to an hour and a half south of Spokane, Washington. The great thing about WSU though, is that it’s Washington State’s land-grant institution. So, that means that as a university, we were founded on the mission of providing affordable education to anybody who was willing and able to pursue that education. WSU was originally founded as an agricultural school, and it’s grown into what it is today as a well known PAC-12 institution.

Evan: If you’re familiar with Pullman and where WSU’s main campus is, you might know a little bit about all of the wheat fields in the surrounding area. So, it makes a lot of sense that it started as an agricultural school and grew into what it is today. With that being said, we have over 125 years of alumni legacy though, and we actually have one of the largest alumni associations anywhere in the world. The cool thing about this is that anywhere that you go, if you’re wearing something WSU affiliated like a t-shirt or a hat, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have somebody shout, “Go Cougs,” to you wherever you are. It’s a pretty amazing experience, and the Cougar community is really great. Some people say that it’s a little cult-like, but it’s actually really cool experiencing the pride that WSU alumni have for the institution. Going into specifically the Carson College of Business, we have over 60 years of excellence in graduate business education and over 20 years of excellence in perfecting our online degree program.

Evan: The Executive MBA as it is today really began in spring of 2011, with the goal of being able to be achieved or pursued by working professionals who are busy. And so we’ve designed the program so that you can do the classes that you need to do, while also being a working professional or working and having a family. We’ll talk a little bit more about that later on in the presentation as well. And then we do have an international network of corporate and academic alliances, which allow our students to pursue more corporate and more learning opportunities that way. And then like we talked about, if you go on that international study trip, you’ll also be able to see more of those opportunities as well as doing the executive MBA events as well.

Evan: So, let’s talk about accreditations and ranking. So, accreditation is really important and is a great starting point for your research into an Executive MBA Program. It’s a great way to evaluate the academic respect of the institution and the program as a whole. And rankings is a really good way to get some of that brand recognition evaluation, and see how much weight is in the name of the MBA Program that you’re going to be pursuing, or the EMBA Program you’ll be pursuing. So, starting with accreditation, there’s two main accreditations that you’re going to want to be looking for. The first one is going to be programmatic, and that’s what this AACSB accredited symbol means. And so, this is where you’re going to be looking at that programmatic accreditation, and Washington State does have that. And the Carson college of Business specifically is among less than 2% of business schools in the world that are accredited on the AACSB level.

Evan: We have this accreditation for all levels of education as well within the college. So for our bachelors level, master’s level, and doctoral level. And so AACSB is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and that’s the international body that ranks and accredits those different business programs. It’s really thought of as the gold standard and the top tier accrediting body for business programs, so we really recommend that any school that you’re looking at, you try to find that AACSB accreditation, because that’s going to hold the most weight and it’ll really make sure that the program is as strong as possible that you’re looking at. From here, like I mentioned earlier, we really also are looking at your accreditation in terms of the university as a whole. And so, there’s two types of accreditation for a university, there’s national or regional. And so, you really want to be looking out for that regional accreditation as that really the one that’s most sought after, whereas that national isn’t usually the ideal in my experience.

Evan: So since we’re in the Pacific Northwest, we’re accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. So, we do hold both of these two main accreditations that you want to see, that regional accreditation for the university, plus the AACSB accreditation for the business programs at WSU. If you look at the right of the screen, you’re going to see that we have a variety of different rankings for our executive MBA. So, one of the main ones that you’re going to see is that U.S News & World Report. This is an excellent resource for rankings for schools, cars, other things like that. And so, they’ve ranked us as the number 20 best online MBA programs for 2022. And we’ve consistently been in the top 20 with U.S News & World Report for the past about four to five years. And so, we’ve really maintained that high ranking there.

Evan: And then there’s another great resource below that, that’s the Poets&Quants. And they’re a really good academic ranking body as well. And they currently have us at number 25 for 2022 for the best online MBA program. So, those are two pretty big rankings that we like to talk about. We also have a specific one to the executive program from CEO Magazine, and they currently have us ranked at number 55 for our Global Executive MBA, which is a really great ranking. And then specifically to our military students, we do have a pretty big military population here in our Executive MBA Program at WSU. And so we’re ranked number 15 for the best online MBAs for veterans by U.S News & World Report for 2022 as well. So, as you can see, we have both great accreditation that you want to be looking for, as well as a great brand recognition through our rankings. We don’t typically chase rankings, but we’re really happy to see that we are being recognized for the excellent education that you’ll receive here at WSU.

Evan: So, let’s talk a little bit about the student population in the Executive MBA as well. The first thing I really like to point out is the average completion time. It takes our students about 16 to 18 months to complete the Executive MBA. And then the other area that I like to point out too and kind of call out is the average work experience. So, the average work experience for our Executive MBA is about 15 years. And then another one I like to talk about too is the WSU alumni percentage. So, about 13% of our executive MBAs are WSU alumni. In addition to that, we have student geography. As you can see about 51% of our students come from the Northwest, about 26 from the Southwest, and then about 10% from the Midwest. Our average age of our students is about 41 years old. And our gender percentages are about 65% male, 35% female, as well as our ethnicity data here. And then you can also see that about 26% of our students are military affiliated as well.

Evan: All right. Well, I’m going to hand it over to Matt Beer to talk a little bit about the military and veteran support services for our students.

Matt: All right. Perfect. Thanks. I appreciate it. And again, glad you could all be here today and hopefully find that there’s some good information here for you. We do have a pretty healthy contingent of military affiliated folks. That’s our active duty military, veterans and their spouses as well we include in this community. So it makes up, I would say around 26%. And it’s kind of a neat opportunity for them because they bring a lot of leadership and operational experience to the classroom. Whereas a lot of other folks will be bringing their business acumen. And so there’s a lot of good cross pollination that occurs while they’re getting that degree. For our students, we try to really focus on three things. One is the experience, two is the community, and three is that professional development. So for experience, this kind of goes across all of the student body, but we want to make sure you can concentrate on the content, on the learning, and on the experience of growing, instead of on a lot of the administrative stuff. So we try and knock down some walls, especially for those students who are using some military benefits.

Matt: We tr and keep a community, so we try and provide opportunities for these students who may not have a broad civilian network to draw upon. And so we try and build that while we’re here. And we’ll talk a little bit more about that later, but we have some opportunities for that. And then the third piece, which really is pretty robust at this point, is our professional development. So again, a lot of these students have a lot of experience, but have never had to write a real resume or do a LinkedIn profile or have an interview with a hiring manager. And so, those are experiences that we try and backfill so that they can take their really amazing leadership experience and leverage that as they move into the civilian space.

Matt: So, that’s a little bit just some highlights about what we do. We do a lot of workshops and do some other events, in fact at the end of this month, we’re hosting an all call, which is a webinar for our alumni, our students and community partners. We’re going to be talking about logistics and supply chain management. So if you’re interested in that, or if you’re interested in any questions about the program, please don’t hesitate to reach out. And my contact information is right there on the slide. And again, thanks for letting me be here today.

Darnell: Awesome. Thank you very much, Matt. It’s been awesome to have you as part of the program. You’ve built out a lot of great opportunities for our military students. And me being a ex-Marine or once a Marine always a Marine, I really appreciate you as well as everybody that I’ve talked to as students. All right. So, let’s get the next side. So, now what I want to do is I’m going to just give you a nice overview of the program. Here’s some frequent questions and topics that I typically talk about with my students. Starting off, it’s a hundred percent online program, so there’s no mandatory travel for the Executive MBA. Any travel opportunity will be optional for you, so you can complete it really wherever you are. It’s also a pretty quick program. You can see, we can complete the Executive MBA in as few as 16 months, so a little bit under a year and a half from start to finish.

Darnell: We also designed everything to be very flexible, that’s one core pillar of the design that we’ve chosen here. So, we’ve made it fully asynchronous for all the mandatory sort of requirements. There is no mandatory time you need to be logging in for class. Anything that is live, will have the recorded element to it, so you can watch it at a later date. We have those live sessions each week. That’s also a huge thing that I want to highlight, and it helps the engagement from our students. We want our students to be connected with our professors and also with their classmates, as we have an awesome network here. Those live sessions that you’re going to have each week are an element to that. But if you can’t attend, like I said, you have something going on, you’re working late, you have family requirements, of course there’s always going to be recordings for you to watch on your own time.

Darnell: We do like to keep our class size kind of small here for the Executive MBA. So currently, we’re looking at about 20 students per course. That way you’re getting immediate answers that you need from your professors, and the support that you need as well. But you’re also going to be able to connect pretty intimately with your classmates, really getting to know the people in your course alongside with you, and working together on various assignments and projects, just like your capstone. Those are few of the main elements that I really like to feed into for the design for the working professional. We want this to be balanced alongside career and alongside family. We also have world class faculty and curriculum. So really, we’re trying to stay cutting edge with the classes that we’re teaching here. We want this to be relevant in the sort of modern era, big emphasis on technology and innovation within the Executive MBA.

Darnell: And it’s taught by excellent professors. The vast majority of them have PhDs. If they don’t, they have a ton of industry experience, often paired with a master’s degree. So, really good people to be learning from and really good connections to be made. One thing that I think is incredibly beneficial is the next bullet point, the course structure. We have 15 courses that are five week courses. So essentially, what we did is we made it a one class at a time program with the exception at the end, you’re going to have that capstone project that I mentioned earlier alongside with your regular classes. What this structure does is it allows you to really focus on one topic at a time. You know exactly where to spend your efforts, and you’re not doing that sort of class-school juggle when you’re really already trying to balance it alongside work and family, potentially. I do think that it’s a huge benefit to our students to maintain flexibility.

Darnell: Now, we do end the program with one of our final requirements, which is going to be the capstone project that I keep talking about. So, most graduate programs will have a final deliverable. Sometimes it’s a big thesis paper, other times it’s a large comprehensive exam. We opted for the project where you’re actually going to be developing a business plan from start to finish, as we think that’s the best way to really apply that material, and also have you to have a clear takeaway from the program, something that you can apply to your career or further opportunities moving forward.

Darnell: We have a International Coach Federation for professional coaching sessions. This is a fairly new development in my experience. We’re really trying to help students take some practical outcomes from the program and apply them to their career and growth. We have that optional International Field Study that we’re going to have on a slide a little bit later. It’s a really cool opportunity as well. Then, we do have an optional Executive Leadership Conference. It’s something we’ve specifically built out for the executive students, and a cool networking opportunity as well. We’ll speak about that a little bit further in the presentation. So, here are some highlights from the program. We have 16 months for the length of the program from beginning to end, so it’s pretty quick, under a year and a half. It’s a hundred percent online. There’s no travel, no residency required. And you have that optional Field study and Leadership Conference for more networking opportunities.

Darnell: All right. So, being an enrollment advisor, I like to talk a little bit about the admission requirements. I want to give you a clear expectation of what’s needed to put together a comprehensive and competitive application. So to start, you’re going to have an online application. So, you complete that, and there’s a section that you’ll be signing. Within the application, we’re going to get a few different documents. We’re going to get official transcripts from all the schools that you’ve attended. So, if you’ve transferred credits from one school to another and received a degree at that school, you need the transcripts from both schools. We are going to have you send in a current resume. A resume is certainly an important document for the Executive MBAs. We want to see that leadership and that management experience that you have.

Darnell: We’re also going to get one letter of recommendation. Ideally I’d say, try to get this from a manager or supervisor. Essentially, you’re just putting their contact information in the application and we’ll send them out the required materials and information and the instructions. After your letter of recommendation, you do have a statement of purpose essay that you are going to write. It’s a 500 word essay, fairly simple. You’re basically just covering your background as far as your work and your school experience. You’re covering your goals of what you’re trying to do in your career, and then you’re connecting those two dots of why am I a good fit for the program, given the background that I have, and why is the program a good fit for me on the path that I’m on? From there, we also have an organizational chart, just for showing sort of where you are within the hierarchy of your organization.

Darnell: If you’re in a big company like Amazon, Microsoft, or something like that, we don’t need the entire company org chart, we just need the sort of the specific department or section of business, because that could get getting kind of big. Then, we wrap up the application with a brief interview. Now, the interview will be held with an enrollment advisor like myself, and we’ll just ask you a few questions and then move on from there. Next, now under the documents bullet point, you see the experience bullet point. For the Executive MBA, we’re seeking students who have about five or more years in management experience. So, we want to see students where if they have a significant amount of leadership and they’re on a path to some of those higher levels of leadership, that our curriculum is really targeting that. That’ll be what you’re communicating through your resume primarily. Now, from there we also have a GPA requirement. Ideally, we’re looking for a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

Darnell: If you’re below that, that doesn’t mean that you’re not qualified for the program. We do make exceptions to the rule typically each semester. So if you’re under a 3.0, don’t just write the program off, definitely reach out to an advisor like myself and we could talk through sort of what opportunities and options you may have. Then, another important element is the GMAT exam. A lot of students like hearing about this, and it’s the first thing that they usually question us about once we get on the phone. We do have GMAT waivers, they are available to those qualified applicants. I’d say a significant portion of the Executive MBA applicants that I work with, they’re getting GMAT waivers. However, if you need to take the exam, students are typically submitting around a 550 or better. And that number is really based on a few different factors.

Darnell: If you’re planning to take the exam, you want to know what score you should be shooting for individually. So, this is another reason you want to reach out to your enrollment advisor to assist in that area. All right. Now, at the bottom here, you’re going to see the tuition. So, it’s $1,296 per credit hour, that’s not including the cost of books. You’re going to have a total of 42 credits in the program, so that’s an overall tuition of about $54,432. Those again are just some of the main highlights that I like to point out. All right. So, we can move on from there. Now, this slide is going to cover the course flow, cover what it looks like as well as what the courses look like online. So, let’s start at the top here. This is a sample of our spring 2022 session. So this breaks down what those five week courses look like when we spread them out over a semester. We can see the first third of the semester goes in from January 10th through February 13th.

Darnell: Now, you might hop in with our managerial leadership and productivity class. Once that class concludes, once your five weeks is up, now we’re moving into your next course. That one will be from February 21st through March 27th. Now, you might be in our focus in on operations management for the next five weeks. Then from there, after that class ends, you’re going to do a quick transition into your final class of the semester. That class will be going from March 28th through May 1st. And that will be your marketing management class. That’s sort of how the five week course flow works. As you can see it’s a very focused effort throughout, that way you’re not spread too thin on different topics. Now, the bottom half of the slide does show what an actual course would look like to students. You can see this is what we use. This is a program called Canvas.

Darnell: There’s other platforms out there. A lot of people are familiar with Blackboard, but a lot of people are familiar with Canvas as well nowadays. That’s sort of the main portal in the classroom. This is an example of one of our early classes, BA 599, which is sort of an introduction to the Executive MBA, which you’ll be doing some strategic planning for personal and program success. You see the different weeks. We really break it up in sort of a modular element with the weekly approach. So, you’ll have week one of doing my introductions. You’ll click on that tab. You know exactly what to do, all your resources are going to be there so it’s clear navigation as well. Now, you move on to your week two, week three and your week four. So it’s broken down into a pretty clear cut structure for you guys.

Darnell: Starting day one, you’ll also have access to your enrollment advisors. We are here to guide you through the admissions process. We’re here to answer questions that you may have about the program, address any concerns that you may have as well, and if you think there’s something that could possibly get in the way of you being successful as a student. Now, as soon as you’re admitted into the program and you’re about to start, we’re going to hand you off to our student support advisors. For the Executive MBA, currently we have our Lead Student Support Advisor, Meghan Steinbeiss. She’s the advisor for all the MBA students and she is awesome. Really, her role is to guide students through the entirety of the program. So she’ll help you navigate any situation that comes your way. She’ll help you with your schedule, help you with your registration, really offload a lot of the administrative side of things on her plate.

Darnell: Then, being that we’re on an online program, we do have pretty thorough technical support. So every individual application you might use has a technical support line and team that can help you out with that. Being Washington State University as a whole, we have an awesome tech support team it is called the Crimson Help Desk. They are able to help you with a lot of these application and technical support requests and issues. Like I mentioned earlier, another part of the support that we have here is smaller class size, that allows our professors to be much more hands on with assistance and teaching more thoroughly. And it also allows you to connect with your classmates a lot better, because networking is going to be important to you. Then we have section instructors, where we break up the larger classes into smaller sections, where now you have your lead professor being sort of the mastermind behind the curriculum.

Darnell: However, you have your section instructor, who’s an expert on the curriculum and they’re able to assist with individual homework questions, assignment questions, and also get you in the right path there. As you can see, a lot of layers of support, I think that’s a big reason why our awesome candidates are successful in the program. We do typically see about a 90% graduation rate for the Executive MBA. So now, this is our Day In The Life slide. So, I want to bring Suellen in on the conversation. Suellen, are you ready for me and to sort of get some feedback from you on what it looks like to be an Executive MBA student?

Suellen: Yes, I am

Darnell: Awesome. Okay. Well, let’s start off with class weeks. Classes are broken up into week by week sessions. So class weeks begin on Monday and they’ll end on Sunday. It’s really up to you guys to be divvying up your work throughout the week to complete your deadlines by Sunday. So Suellen, tell me, what was your standard approach? How were you tackling your coursework? Were you doing it every day? Were you mainly doing it on the weekends? Tell us a little bit about that.

Suellen: I think for me, what works best was to plan before the classes started and I would create… Before class started on a Thursday before that first Monday, you receive your introduction into Canvas and there you have the full schedule for the program. I created my own bird in the wire with the requirements of what are the assignments, how many articles I would need to either write or read, and how often I was going to do that to be able to plan myself better. And then I did not let it accumulate. I would always do a little bit at a time every day, guaranteeing that I was a day or two ahead of schedule, just to maintain also my family time. Because one of the things I schedule is every Friday night I would not do any school work at all. I would dedicate that for family night. So the kids would do movies, we would be playing games and something like that. So I could also have that balance between work, school, and my family activities.

Darnell: Okay, love it. Yeah. That’s really what I’ve been seeing from a lot of students. The sort of breakdown that seems to work really well is doing more of your reading and stuff and learning from Monday to Friday during the weekdays, where you can spend an hour to a night and then applying that through your assignments over the weekend. So a lot of students are doing somewhat the same thing. So now, live sessions. Live sessions are typically in the window of Monday to Thursday, usually between the hours of 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM Pacific. We try to make these after work hours, so it’s a little bit more convenient for people to attend. And usually about 45 minutes to an hour long session. Suellen, did you attend most of those session or did you watch most recordings? And was it some sort of hybrid between the two? Bring me a little bit up to speed with that.

Suellen: Yes. I think a little bit of a hybrid mode. It depend of what I was doing at work, if I was traveling or what was going on in life. I tend to attend most of the live sessions because you get more from it. You are able to interact with colleagues as well as with your professors and get your answers right away. But several classes, I saw myself attending the lab session, taking notes, but then going back into the recording sessions and revisiting those questions that I had after I was about to complete an assignment or even thinking about it throughout my work week. And one of the things I really liked is the ability of watching the live session from my own session instructor, but then going into the recording session from there section instructions and comparing contrast. Taking notes, watching in a little bit more faster speed, but also getting different perspectives from those other instructors.

Darnell: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s really what we were hoping for. If it fits into your schedule, the collaboration is huge. I’d say the live sessions are sort of the main way of collaborating with classmates, so that’s awesome to see as well. And being able to do the hybrid thing and go in between your live sessions, and also what you do with checking your recorded sessions between your sections. That’s an awesome thing too. So tell me, what do you think about this? Typically we’re having students right around 15 to 20 hours a week. As time commitments for everything work and reading to attend live sessions, is that what you saw?

Suellen: It depends on the class. Some of the classes, yes. And wasn’t necessarily the class, but my knowledge prior to joining that class in specific. Some classes, it was a little bit more challenging on staying on 20 hours. And that was also for me, I’m a person that strive for perfectionism and 4.0 GPA was a big thing. So I tried for those high grades. So some classes I did spend about 25, 30 hours a week. It also depended on what was going on at work and how much I was able to do and all that, and work accordingly. So if you leave it to accumulate over the weekend, you may end up spending 20 hours over your Saturday and Sunday to complete all the work assignments.

Darnell: Okay. Absolutely. Yeah. 20 hours was pretty much on a mark. You’re doing a little bit more than that 20, but 15 to 20 hours is sort of that sweet spot. You just kind of find a couple hours here and there during the week, and then weekends you really kind of finish up everything with your remaining time. Awesome. So, that’s good to see. I’d say probably in our student experience, the Capstone Project is where it can climb a little bit higher than those 20 hours, as you’re balancing that with other coursework. What do you think?

Suellen: Yes, for sure. Capstone is one of the classes that you’re going to have more of time consuming. You’re going to need to think and combine all the knowledge you got throughout the whole program in one class, in one final project. So it will take a little bit more of time. The good thing is because Capstone is done in a group environment, you actually get to collaborate with others and split the work and use your strengths, and learn from the strengths of others even more. So you may be spending a little bit more on that, but you end up increasing maybe five hours on that work week besides of the other class, just because it’s a split work. So it’s not going to be 20 or 40 hours because you have two classes. It’s going to be a 25, I would say like that.

Darnell: Yeah. Okay. Those last five weeks when you’re basically putting together your final Capstone project and doing those other classes, that definitely adds more time. That’s something I always tell perspective students is come be prepared that the last run to the finish line does take a little more effort, but it’s well worth it. So, absolutely. Can you tell me what you did for your Capstone project? We know it’s building a business plan, so typically coming up with a new opportunity and a new product. So tell me, what did your group do for your Capstone project?

Suellen: So our group, because most of our EMBA was done throughout the pandemic process, we actually capitalized on what we were learning from the pandemic. And we created a startup company that was able to combine virtual appointments from doctors and hospital and some clinics, as well as some portable equipments that can be used at home on similar to an Apple Watch, but with more benefits for the health industry. So, we went from prototyping the unit to develop some code, as well as putting together the whole business plan of creating the company as a startup, and having a plan on how to go from a startup into the market with the possibility of being purchased by one of the bigger companies.

Darnell: Okay. All right. That’s awesome. All right. Well, it’s been really interesting. I’ve talked to a few different recent graduates of the Executive MBA and asked the same question, “What was your capstone project?” It’s been really interesting to see the common theme of the COVID-19 themes, and sort of how that has impacted businesses and then coming up with a solution like yourself. So, that’s excellent. Very cool. I appreciate you sharing your experience. All right. So, last question that I have for you right now. I’m sure we’ll be moving you back in, in the Q&A session. But tell me, I want to know two things. What was the most fun course and the most relevant course that you took? Then after that, I’m going to ask you about sort of which was the most difficult for you. Let’s start with the fun one. To tell me what jumps out to you from your curriculum that you took?

Suellen: Okay. The most fun one for me was the marketing class. I am an engineer from a background, have most of my life worked on a extremely technical environment and never really paid attention too much on the marketing aspect. And that class was really fun because I was able to bring a more creative side, put myself outside of my comfortable zone, and look for other perspectives, which had benefited me tremendously on my job too. So, that brought some smiles to my face that I didn’t even thought that I would have fun with. Not as technical as I would imagine marketing would be.

Darnell: That’s awesome.

Suellen: And then you asked for the most challenging, there were a couple.

Darnell: The most difficult.

Suellen: The most difficult. Difficult on, it took me a lot of time to go through back and forth to really get like good at, because I, again was striving for the higher performance, I think was finance management. It was a lot of going back into college like 20 years ago and trying to remember some of statistic analysis and math, that I haven’t used in many, many years. So that was a little bit more difficult for me to brush it off some concepts. But I think the most challenging one was managerial leadership. And it is because it really made not just me, but most of my cohorts to evaluate and look into activities and situations with a different perspective. Put ourselves to think with a different cap of looking into the gray zone, not being so as black and white, trying to define situations and really strive to be the best leaders we can be in every single situation we are at. And learning to be the best followers we can, so we can then be the best leaders for our teams.

Darnell: Absolutely. And that’s something that’s really interesting about the Executive MBA, is just the vast amount of different industries, different professionals, and everybody has sort of worked together and put together on these awesome assignments, as well as putting together a great Capstone, leveraging the different skillsets that you have. Well, Suellen, again, really appreciate that. You have awesome insight into what it’s like to be a student. We’ll bring you back in the Q&A session, but at this time I’m going to pass it off to Evan.

Suellen: Thank you.

Evan: All right. Thanks, Darnell. So I’m going to talk a little bit about networking opportunities that we have in the Executive MBA for program. So, these first two bullets that you see the International Field Study and the Leadership Conference, they’re both optional. And we’ll talk a little bit more about those in the preceding slides. So, I’ll start talking about meet and greets. So, there’s opportunities for meet and greets and different ways to connect with your peers in person. We do a lot of these events in Washington State right now, in both Seattle and Spokane for the most part, but we are looking into potentially starting these meet and greets in other areas of the country as well where we have lots of other Executive MBA students also,. We also have the Carson College Power breakfast. And so that’s going to be an event where if you’re at the leadership conference as well, you’ll specifically be called out at the Carson College Power Breakfast. But this is an opportunity to connect with different faculty and staff, and other fellow students from the Carson College of Business.

Evan: These happen in both Seattle and Spokane. Alongside that, we also have our CougsFirst! shows. And these are like trade shows where you can interact with different Coug-owned businesses or different businesses that give specific preference to Cougs. So lots of different opportunities there to connect and network as well at the CougsFirst! shows that are going to be in Spokane and Seattle. There’s also a ton of different Alumni Association events and watch parties throughout the country. So once you become a Washington State alumni, or you can actually join the Alumni Association as a student, you can go to watch parties for Cougar football games or basketball games, or other events like golf tournaments and things like that throughout the country. So we have Alumni Association chapters located all throughout the United States is pretty great. There’s also the opportunity to attend in-person commencement and then the Carson College reception.

Evan: So, Commencement really is the culmination of all of your work. And you can walk across stage at graduation and get your Executive MBA there. And then we also have the Carson College reception the night before where you can meet different faculty and staff again from the college. And you’ll be specifically recognized, and then you’ll also get some free gifts as well, which is pretty great. And then I’ll let Matt Beer really quickly talk specifically about military student events.

Matt: Sure, thanks. Yeah. I had mentioned a couple of these before, but I’ll just re-highlight those. So we do have some events throughout the course of the year, allowing our students to connect with one another, but also they get support for them to connect with industry and fellow students too. Our military outcall is one of the ways we do that. And so, like I said, we’re having that event here at the end of this month. And we typically invite some industry leaders. So that’s vice presidents, senior directors, managers of their organizations to answer questions about their industries, but also how veterans can add value to those industries based on their previous experience. So that’s turned out to be a really nice event where we get our students, our alum, and again, some industry partners, and we have some really nice and surprising sometimes conversations, and it’s also a way to network.

Matt: So people become more and more comfortable with doing that online. And so we’re grasping that opportunity and using that because our students, as you might suspect, just like you are all over the country, all over the world, and this is a great way for them to connect with one another in spite of that geographical boundaries. We look forward to doing that. That’s a big push for me to take advantage of the Veteran Network and the WSU network, and put those things in a bottle and it’s really created a lot of goodness. So I look forward to hopefully seeing you at some of those events. And again, thanks for letting me be here and share some of that info.

Evan: Awesome. Thanks, Matt. All right. So now we’re going to talk really quickly about our Executive MBA Leadership Conference. So like it’s been mentioned a couple of times, this is an optional multi-day event that’s exclusive for our executive MBA students, and Executive MBA alumni every fall. This is held usually in Seattle in a face to face setting. This last year we did do an online virtual event, but this year in September, as of right now, we’re planning to go back to a face to face model and potentially looking at building in some hybrid activities online in the future. But most of the conference is going to be held face to face. But this is an opportunity for you to participate in different sessions and network with other EMBA students and alumni. At the 2021 conference, we had a dean’s reception with students where we had Carson college faculty and staff, and then it was hosted by Dean of the Carson College of Business Chip Hunter.

Evan: And we talked about different things like triple win succession formula with all the different pillars of successful succession, as well as had an alumni panel with four WSU EMBA alumni. And next we’re going to talk about the International Field Study. And so this is a really exciting opportunity as well that’s also optional. But this is an opportunity for you as an Executive MBA student to really go on a once in a lifetime experience, that’s going to be a 10 day visit to another country to do business activities. So you’ll get to hear from business leaders within different businesses in the country, as well as do cultural activities. So lots of networking opportunities as well. And then each of these trips has local guides that can take you to, again, different cultural activities or historical activities. In the past we’ve gone to places like China. And then this year for 2022, we are doing a trip to Prague and Estonia. That’s going to be happening right at the kind of start of that summer semester in May.

Evan: So if you get into the program for summer, that’s going to be a really exciting opportunity as well. And with that, I’m going to hand it over to Darnell to wrap up the rest of the webinar.

Darnell: Awesome. Evan and Matt, thank you so much for expanding on that. We’re close to the end of our hour. So real quick, if you got to hop off early before the Q&A session, if you’re looking to start, we got the May 8th start coming up. That’s our summer session. I’m going to say the sooner, the better you apply. It just gives you a better experience of getting onboarded. So give us a call. We’re happy to help and see if it’s the right fit for you. But like I said, let’s move into the Q&A session. We’ve got a ton of questions that’s rolling in. So I want to begin answering those now. All right. So, where’s the question? First question is where? Just give me one second, grabbing the questions out. As soon as I can find them all. Can somebody show me where the questions are in here?

Matt: Hey, Darnell, this is Matt. I can see them. I’ll read them out and maybe you can feel the answer. There’s one here from somebody in the audience who was just curious about breaks in the program for the EMBA. I know it’s a shortened program and pretty accelerated. So they were curious about taking vacations, things like that. Are there any natural breaks in the program or how does the student coordinate that kind of stuff?

Darnell: There would actually be small breaks in the program in between your classes. We actually give you a total of six years to complete your degree. And you would coordinate things like if you have to take time off, you would reach out to your academic make advisor about that as far as time off. Does that answer that question?

Matt: Yeah, I think so. I think it does. And like if life happens, things happen, are students able to stop and restart the program? Is that a possibility?

Darnell: That is correct. As I just mentioned, we give you up to six years total to finish your degree. It doesn’t say use that time just for crazy things. But if you have like deaths in a family, illness have to be out for medical reasons or things like that, you reach out to your academic advisor and you all will schedule some time off. And once you’re ready to come back, you come back in, you talk to your academic advisor and they’ll get you back up and running. Anything else?

Evan: Yeah. Darnell, it looks like we have a question specifically for Suellen. And somebody’s asking how many of the classes include team projects? Suellen, do you want to answer that?

Suellen: Sure. Pretty much in every single class, you’re going to have some small teamwork. Some takes a little longer, and you are going to go through every week doing smaller portions of it as a team. Others, you are in a discussion group where you better reply to your colleagues or brainstorm together. I think there was only one class where you actually brainstorming with your whole class. So, you get to do team work with 20 students at a time. And that was really interesting. It required some coordination, but the tools that the school provides with OneDrive and the ability to work together there helped tremendously to get it down top early.

Darnell: Okay. And I see another question here about letters of recommendation. Do they have to provide contact info for the individual who will be writing it or upload actual letter to the application? Well, what’s going to happen inside your application, you’re basically going to provide the person’s name, their email address. Once you submit your application, it’ll send that information out to the recommender. And then the recommender will fill out the information, resubmit it, and it’ll go directly back into your application. So you don’t have to provide that information to us. It’ll actually be inside your application. Any other questions? I don’t see anymore in here?

Evan: Yeah. I see another question for Suellen really quickly. Suellen, did you attend the EMBA Leadership Conference? And if you did, could you talk a little bit about your experience?

Suellen: Yes, I did. It was actually interesting. On my first year with EMBA, it was the year where we transitioning due to the first year of COVID and the conference was online. So I was really looking forward to an in-person conference because like everybody else here, I attended this event on getting to understand the program. I saw there was one of first opportunities of facing face to face with some of my colleagues, but end up not being that. And I was quite surprised on how well it was put together by the EMBA staff from the previous year. We were able to still interact with staff members, with EMBA alumni from previous years to discuss. And we talked about some of the difficulties that we were facing within the program. How could we overcome that? Create some network opportunities. And that was a lot of fun.

Suellen: I got to meet on a video camera, some of the colleagues that I had, had class with or was having class with, that was from the Seattle area where I’m located and we ended up meeting face to face later on. And then last year in 2021, I did attend the in-person conference in Seattle. It was amazing. Some of the people I was meeting for the first time, others, we have became close friends and we hang out once every two, three months and still network, text message and support one and another. So it is a fantastic opportunity. Highly recommend if you are within the program on the first year when you are in class, attending can be a little bit overwhelming because you’re going to be trying to do class, work, family, plus a couple of days on the conference, but I still have recommend it to try at least some of the coffee meetups or the network opportunity.

Darnell: Okay. And we have another question here. Are there scholarship opportunities available with this program? Evan, can you take this one?

Evan: Yeah, absolutely. So there are a lot of scholarship opportunities to look into. You would need to look at those on the WSU Carson College of Business website. And there’s specific parameters for all of those, but those are available. So you can just jump on the WSU Carson College of Business website and take a look at all of those under the scholarship section. And then we also have several corporate partnerships too. So if you are with a company right now and looking at that, you might want to look into one of those corporate partnerships that we have. With those partnerships there are some perks in terms of potentially having tuition reimbursement for you, or even getting like your application fee waved, things like that. So definitely look into those options as well, because WSU does have those corporate partnerships too.

Darnell: All right. Awesome. Let’s see if there’s anything else. International study. Can you pick what session you travel in in? Evan, can you handle this one? And this will be the last one.

Evan: Yeah, I can. So from my understanding with the International Field Study, those usually only happen in the summer just once per year. So you would be traveling during that summertime kind of window right there. It’s usually for a couple of weeks or I guess 10 days, in that time period around the middle of May. So that is really the only time that we do go on those international studies with the program.

Darnell: Okay. Awesome. All right. Well everybody, thank you. Evan, Matt, especially Sue Ellen, thank you so much for coming on and a big thanks to everybody who was in attendance today for this session. We would love to have further conversations with you guys and see if this is the right program for you. Application deadlines are coming up. I did list those. You can see our number on our calendar actually, if you want to schedule an appointment with an advisor too. There are several different advisors. Make sure if you’re talking to an advisor, pick the right advisor when you’re scheduling those appointments. We are here to help. If that advisor is not available, you can always pick somebody else because we do assist each other. I’m going to wrap this up and say, “Go Cougs,” to everybody. Thank you again for attending and everybody have a wonderful day.