Online MBA and EMBA Program Overview Fall 2016 Webinar
Jason Rhoades, Enrollment Advisor, Online MBA Program
Jason Techeira, Enrollment Advisor, Executive MBA Online Program
A.J. Ferretti, Student Services, Online MBA, Executive MBA Online Program
Kevin Nix, Online MBA Program, Graduated 2016
Penny Kiraly, Executive MBA Online Program, Graduated 2016
Topics include information on:
- The Carson College of Business at Washington State University
- The MBA program
- The EMBA program
- International Field Study
- Student Experiences
- Live and Engaging Q&A
Courtney O’Hehir: Good afternoon and welcome everyone. My name is Courtney and I will be your moderator today. I’d like to start by thanking you all for joining us for the Washington State University online MBA and executive MBA online degree program webinar. Before we get started, I’d like to cover a few housekeeping items. In order to minimize background noise, the presentation is in broadcast only mode. You can ask a question at any time by using the chat Q&A feature to the bottom of your screen.
Please note you’re in broadcast mode, so you can hear us, but we cannot hear you. We will do our best to answer as many questions as possible during the Q&A session at the end of the webinar. If we are unable to answer all of your questions today, one of our enrollment advisors will follow up with you. Finally, a recording of this session will be emailed to you after the webinar.
During this webinar, you will have a chance to learn more about our online MBA and executive MBA program, our actual international field study, student experiences and ask questions as well. Your presenters today are Jason Rhoades, an enrollment advisor for the online MBA program, Jason Techeira, an enrollment advisor for the EMBA program, and A.J. Ferretti, your student services support for both programs.
Also presenting at student panelist Kevin Nix, a graduate of the online MBA program who is currently working with Epson Portland, Inc. and Penny Kiraly, a graduate of the executive MBA online program who recently worked with the Troop Medical Clinic in Qatar, Middle East. Now I will hand it over to Jason Rhoades to start the presentation, which should run about 30-40 minutes, followed by a live Q&A session at the end of the slide presentation. So, please stick around.
Jason Rhoades: Thank you Courtney and thank you everyone for joining us today. Let’s start off by giving you some history of the university, our accreditations and some of the recognition we received. WSU is a land grant university that was founded in 1890. Our main location is in Pullman, Washington. We do have satellite campuses across the state of Washington and international learning locations in Shanghai, Switzerland and Tanzania. We have been offering graduate level business programs since 1957, with over 20 years spent perfecting online courses and online degree programs. We have managed to build a strong international network of corporate and academic alliances. That being said, that’s gonna be a little bit more about our accreditation.
Diving more into the accreditation, you will see that we are regionally accredited through the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities. Also, if we take a moment to discuss the value of accreditations, it’s gonna be one of the most important aspects to choosing the school. The accreditations that you have will speak to the quality of the program and the standards that your instructors, as well as your coursework will be held to. The WSU Carson College of Business is AACSB accredited at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level. In fact we are part of 2% of all business schools that hold that accreditation at all those levels.
Now looking at our recognitions and rankings that we have received, the WSU online MBA program has received a number of recognitions that we are proud of. We have been consistently ranked in the top 25 by U.S. News & World Reports for having not only a top online graduate MBA degree, but also providing one of the best online MBA programs for veterans. We also hold a top 25 ranking from the Princeton Review, ranked by CEO magazine and finally WSU – the university as a whole, has the honor of being a military friendly recognized university, as well as the best vets for colleges in 2016.
Kevin Nix: So again my name’s Kevin and I just completed by MBA in May, 2016 so I was in the program for 29 months. And during the program, I did maintain a full-time job. And also I’m married with two elementary school aged children. So, as probably most of the people that are here or that are prospective students, free time does not exist very much even before the program. So, I just wanted to give you – we’re all there together I think is what I wanna say here.
So at any rate, I chose Washington State University for a couple reasons that Jason tried to cover for you. The accreditation was really important to me. There are a lot of colleges out there, universities that offer similar online MBAs, but were not accredited by the regional or the national accreditation board. So, that was really important to me.
And also, just the overall value and the rankings, as also mentioned in there was the U.S. News & World Report top 25 for the last several years. This stuff is really important and I think that it basically puts all the schools on a level playing field so you can kind of see which ones stand out and WSU definitely does. And just the value. I looked at tuition, cost of program and Washington State University, again, was right up there on the top. So, I’m very pleased with the education I received and overall benefit from the program, it’s been great.
So, generally, my pursuant of an MBA came for two basic reasons. One, I wanted a chance to advance my career. I’d been in the same position with the company for several years and some of it out of my control, some of it I felt was in my control. And so I knew an MBA would be a good gateway to probably a promotion and advancement here. And as a matter of fact, in December of last year, I did receive a promotion and I wanna say it’s in part, thanks to the MBA.
And then also the second main reason was I just wanted a challenge. I’m kind of mid-career and I wanted to see what else I could do with myself. So, it definitely was challenging. Twenty-nine months is a long time to be in a program, but I walked in the commencement ceremony, I was so glad I did and I was just still pleased that I went through this program and finished it. And I’ll talk about it a little bit, I did concentrate on international business.
So, I wanna talk also now about commitment to succeed in this program. It definitely takes some time. I recommend highly that everybody stays definitely on top of each week’s deliverables. You’ll get your syllabus and your schedule for the entire class in advance or when it starts and you’ll see what’s deliverable or what’s due each week. You need to start early and dedicate quite a bit of time every day to stay up with it. I know there’s some people that did succeed that waited ‘til the weekend or the day before it was due, but I don’t recommend that. I think that puts too much pressure on you and your family if you do it that way. If you take my advice, definitely stay in front of all the assignments.
And you’ll have a lot of deliverables that’ll pile up. Some that maybe some weeks will be easier than others. But no matter what, you need to plan in some free time. It’s the best way for you to guarantee success again is to make sure you get yourself away from the school work as much as you can. There are breaks throughout. You get typical spring break, winter break, things like that, but just during if you can get some free time during the week, maybe a Friday night or something like that, definitely do it. So, try to maintain your normal life as much as you can.
And I did, I’ll admit, I did have to give up a few things that were priority before, but now I’m back into them like coaching my son in baseball, I gave that up for a year, but now I’m back to it, so thankful for that. And as far as the challenge of the curriculum, you will have – it’ll challenge you in many ways. You have the normal homework assignments that generally – not too bad. But then you’ll have papers, you’ll have case studies and then I think what the team wanted to talk about was the Capstone. That’s a real major portion of the program. It’s a culmination of all you’ve learned is how they’ll tell you. And it really is. You have to put together for the OMBA, you have to put together a full business plan and it requires you to understand finance, everything operations, the whole gamut. You have to understand it so be prepared for that. It takes some time, but in the end, again, all the stuff is really rewarding when you look back and see what you’ve done.
As far as the international study, I did take the opportunity to travel with the school. It was about a 10 day trip for me, it was in January, 2015. We traveled to China and Vietnam and you can see on the slide that’s currently on your screen, that’s me in the Forbidden City. And this was an amazing experience and it was probably the highlight of the entire MBA career for me, aside from the commencement exercise, that was also great. Because for one, I’ve traveled quite a bit for business and traveled some for pleasure, but this was different than both of those because with business you’re there to work and you get some free time maybe. With personal travel you’re a tourist so you don’t get the same experience.
This study trip was great because we got to see businesses in action. We got to speak with people who are actually working in these countries. But then we also had time to do fun stuff and we had a chance to – we had tour guides that were with us in both countries that were locals. They knew areas, they knew everything about the culture and we learned just so much about it. It was a wonderful experience.
In addition to that, we had a chance to bond as a group. This online program is wonderful, but one thing you do miss out on is the face to face interaction. This helped bring all that together. So, you see names on the page when you’re doing your discussion boards or when your reading somebody else’s posts. Well, here we got to meet people and really bond with them. For 10 days when you spend a good part of your day, 18 hours together, you really get to know each other. So, I still keep in touch with several of the people that I traveled with on this and some of them graduated with me, so it was a great shared experience.
But overall, the program is outstanding. I highly recommend you look strongly at Washington State University. It’s wonderful and if you can again plan in that international travel. My concentration was international business, so the three electives I took had to do with international business management. But I believe you can also travel on, even if you don’t concentrate on that, you can still do this one elective and that’s the international field travel. So, that’s all I wanted to talk about as main points. I will stick around for the Q&A. And what we’ll do now is it looks like we’re gonna go back to Jason Rhoades and he’ll take over. So, if you have questions, please feel free to ask me, I’ll stick around. Thank you very much.
Jason Rhoades: Thank you Kevin. As you can hear, our technical issues that we’re having with the fire drill is now over, so I appreciate everyone bearing with us. And now what we wanted to do is, I know Kevin did talk more to the international business trip, as well as the program. But I did wanna also touch on some of the basics here as far as just program details.
In order to complete the program, students will have about 13-20 courses to complete which averages about anywhere from 22-29 months if you were to go straight through the program and that’s doing one course for every 5-7 weeks. All the course material will be asynchronous, however there will be optional live lectures which are an opportunity to participate and get some more real time feedback from not only your faculty, but also get to know your classmates as well. These optional live lectures will be recorded and you can watch those at your convenience.
As Kevin mentioned, there is some time commitment that will be required for the program as there’s on average about 20 hours a week to set aside for courses and studying. Some courses might be less, some courses might be more. Really varies on a class by class basis.
The reason for the – anywhere from 13-20 courses in 22-29 months is that some students – we understand that some of these students may come from different backgrounds with different majors and no business education experience. So, there are seven foundation courses that can be waived, but if you haven’t taken any business courses, it does help you get a good grasp on the basic business concepts before moving to the advanced concepts of the MBA. If you would like to have these waived and you feel like you had those, please do discuss that with your advisors.
The other portion that Kevin did mention is that he did take part in the international business concentration which provide you with that certificate once you are completed with the program. So, we have currently a variety of different concentrations for you. We currently have marketing, finance, hospitality business management and international business.
Regarding these certificates, now these certificates are offered through your MBA and these are not by adding any additional courses, which is nice. All you have to do is get a B or above in those courses. And it is the certificates are other master’s degree, but it is a nice little advance education to show that you’ve had this specific education in a graduate field. Again, not only are these offered with the MBA program, but they are also offered as individual certificates as well. So, if you’re not sure you’d like to do the MBA or like to participate and do a certificate, that is something that is an option for you. Your enrollment advisor will be able to assist you more on that process. I’m now going to pass on over to A.J. who is going to touch on maybe a couple of the things that they can cover about the international field study.
Jason Techiera: Thank you Jason. And Kevin did a great job talking about that. Kevin had the opportunity to go last spring as he said to both China and Vietnam as part of the international business study. That opportunity is available with the students in both the EMBA and OMBA programs. It’s more of a field trip than a semester abroad. As he said his trip was 10 days. Generally, they’re about that long. Last couple years they’ve gone to China, Vietnam, Korea a couple years ago.
In addition to visiting those various companies and getting to meet with different people at the businesses, you do also have some of that free time that he talked about. You have guides with you who are people who live in those countries and are able to offer a little bit more as far as cultural opportunities and things like that goes.
As he also mentioned, it was a wonderful opportunity for him to network and get to meet some of his peers, people who’s been in these online classes with but never had the chance to meet face to face. That’s nice. Also giving you the opportunity to network with some of the instructors who attend or accompany you on the trip. Usually 1-2 of the instructors would be along with you.
Again, that’s an optional part of the program. If you’re doing the international business concentration, it’s a great opportunity certainly. There are ways you can also receive the international business concentration without having to participate in the field study, although the students that do go really have nothing but great things to say about it. So, if it’s something you’ve thought about or always wanted to do, it’s really a great opportunity.
I was gonna turn it over to Kevin – we’re a little bit out of order here, but we’re gonna hop back over to I think Jason’s gonna take over talking a little bit more about the curriculum here.
A.J. Ferretti: Thanks A.J. And I wanna thank everyone for joining us today again. Terribly sorry about the technical difficulties we were having earlier, but do wanna tell you about our executive MBA degree plan. The EMBA platform is designed for someone with a very experienced business background. It’s geared mainly towards incorporating a more strategic approach, gaining strategic business skills while enhancing a set of already established business skills.
The EMBA degrees exclusively going to cover all aspects of the industry while going beyond functional skills and knowledge, really geared towards developing a rigorous decision making architecture. Processing all the complexities of leadership as well as vision, strategy, innovation, management and the integration across all functional areas that are going to impact the entire company.
There is an optional international field study within the EMBA program as well, such as A.J. and Kevin both mentioned. And students typically go every year during the summer, during which students acquire a global view of the business world. You’re able to focus on interconnectivity, the effects of globalizsation. You get to learn all of the intricacies of managing a global marketplace. And just like the MBA program, the executive MBA is structured to be completely asynchronous with weekly live lectures that are all recorded and archived for later viewing.
Fortunately, we actually have the privilege of having a recent graduate of the executive online MBA program with us today, so I would love to turn it over to Penny Kiraly to tell us a little bit more about her experience during her degree plan.
Penny Kiraly: Thank you so much J.T. My name is Penny Kiraly and I am incredibly proud and honored to say that I just graduated the WSU executive MBA program. Overall it was definitely challenging, inspiring and incredibly engaging. Being a wife, a mother, working full-time both here in New York and during the course of the program, being honored to serve the military and government through overseeing the troop medical clinic in Qatar, it was absolutely the right decision completing my executive MBA through WSU.
So, time management is an important focal point for most professionals in any setting. The executive MBA program has deliverables due at various times throughout each week, and there were definitely times where a completion of assignments, discussions were left up to unforeseen circumstances. So it was absolutely essential to anticipate any potential delays, even more than we are accustomed to when typically juggling our professional and personal lives.
With regards to group work, there is once again consideration that I would like to share with you. We know our own dedication and focus necessary to join and complete this program. So, it is really important in the group setting to keep in mind that your colleges also share this drive and to use it as a way to enhance your submissions and your own knowledge. Group work allows for great collaboration and respect to the processes that your teammates of various industries are used to and also help brainstorms in ways that allow you to definitely think outside of your own industry box.
Now moving onto the WSU executive MBA capstone project which is done as a group. It is actually broken down into capstone A, capstone B and the final committee review before you’re actually ready to be awarded your degree. Capstone A and B run for a length of 15 weeks each, with other courses running five weeks each simultaneously.
In Capstone A you are actually choosing your product idea, testing it through feasibility study to assess whether or not it’s a go for commercialization. Capstone B actually takes your right product idea and fits it into a business plan, introduces it into the market and refines the business plan so that it’s ready for investors. BA702 or Capstone C as it is referred to at times is where the oral and written business plan that you had formed is submitted to a three-person committee who will act as potential investors, and so you are asking for funding for your product.
And finally the networking opportunities are definitely immense. Within my own capstone team, we had IT, marketing, accounting and for me health care leaders brought to the table. The EMBA summer class of 2016 brought advanced standing leaders with a conviction to do a lot more through learning more. We definitely have relied on each other well outside of the program and we have learned what works through continuing conversations and we will much later than when our degrees are conferred. So, thank you all for your attention and I will also stay until the end for Q&A. So for now, let me go ahead and pass the presentation onto A.J. Thanks so much.
Jason Techiera: Thank you Penny. I’m gonna talk a little bit more about myself and my role in all of this. My name is A.J. again and I’m one of the student support advisors here with the program. In both programs when you start you’ll be assigned to a dedicated student advisor whose job it is to support you with everything you do as you move through the program. We’re with you start to finish. We usually talk you at least once a semester just to see how things are going and to get you prepped for what’s coming up next in your next courses and so on.
We communicate all goings on within the program with you, but you know when it’s time to register for classes, what classes you’re going to be registering for. We let you know about the textbooks you’re gonna need and everything before the class begins. We send you your schedules. Any time there’s changes within the program we’ll let you know about those things.
When it’s time to apply for graduation, we help you with that. We’ll be sending you grade reports at the end of all of your courses. Really, anything you need while you’re in the program. You’ll be reaching out to your advisor for those answers. Anything we can’t help you with, we can always get you to the person who does. So, any time you have an issue or a question, your first call should be to student support.
Things like taking a leave of absence or anything like that during the program we can help you facilitate. Just anything that comes up while you’re in the program, your advisor’s gonna be your go to person and it’s our job to make sure you’re successful. From here, I think I’m gonna turn it over to Jason again who’s gonna talk a little bit more about some of the networking opportunities we were talking about earlier.
Jason Rhoades: Thanks A.J. Your support and ability to network in the MBA and EMBA programs here start from day one. One of the great things about an online program is that there are so many tools at our disposal to use to build business relationships. There is an online Facebook group. There’s the exclusive executive MBA online LinkedIn group. We typically have yearly events taking place within and outside of the region, not to mention that we have one of the largest alumni associations in the nation where you don’t even have to be an alum to join.
Within the program and within the alumni association, there are also many resources for career planning, or engagement at your disposal as well. The alumni association provides career expos, resume reviews and partners with quite a few companies and organizations for career searches. Many of our alums such as Jeffrey Loeb who’s currently the VP of Global Manufacturing at Vizio Control say how the online MBA programs at WSU don’t feel like it’s a distance degree, but really that the program’s very integrated, engaging and very responsive.
WSU does pride itself in being a very military friendly institution. But, as far as just a quick recap of both programs here, they are gonna be 100% online with a flexible schedule taking only one course at a time, completing the entire degree in about 18 months for the EMBA program and between 22-29 months for the MBA program. Myself, as well as Jason Rhoades and all the admissions advisers here are more than happy to review your resume, go over your background and your goals and help determine which program is going to be the best fit for you.
And then with us being such a military friendly institution, we do have all of the flexibility that the program provides to assist our active duty military students to be able to complete their MBA with us. We offer military support, have dedicated military support staff and a VA coordinator to assist you with the entire process. If anybody logged in today is a military students, please do reach out to, again, me, Jason Rhoades or any of the advisors here. We’d be more than happy to help. And at this time, I would love to turn it back over to Courtney, our moderator for questions and answers.
Courtney O’Hehir: Thank you Jason and thank you Penny and Kevin that was a great presentation. Before we go into the live Q&A session, I just wanna point out, again, for the fall, application deadline is July 25 and the first question is Jason is the GMAT required?
A.J. Ferretti: The graduate management admission test is a typical requirement, however, we do offer GMAT waivers to all qualified candidates. I’d be more than happy to review your background, your education, professional experience and see if a GMAT waiver is something that we can apply to you. So, feel free, again, to reach out to your advisor and we’ll be able to move forward from there.
Courtney O’Hehir: Great, thank you. The next question is both for Penny and Kevin. How did you find the collaboration with your classmates? Do you believe you will continue to stay in contact with your cohorts? Penny, why don’t we start with you?
Penny Kiraly: Great question. I definitely will stay in touch with them. It was trying because we’re all leaders and we all want to have influence over the eventual outcomes. So, it was incredibly important that you kind of gauge your weaknesses and strengths and it was very obvious from the get go that we were all strong and very scary and so definitely we will stay in touch.
Kevin Nix: Yeah, I would have to say – sorry, this is Kevin. So, I would have to agree completely with Penny on this. I will keep in touch with many of my cohorts, especially the ones that I participated in the international trip with. As a matter of fact, one of them lives in Minnesota, Minneapolis area, and my wife’s family just happens to live in that area too. So, we’re planning a family vacation out and I’m gonna make a special trip to see this friend. So, this is a testament to the online environment where I can be great friends, classmates, colleagues with people who live halfway across the country. So, yeah I will definitely keep – and there are some in my local area that we already have plans to get together. So, yes definitely keep in touch with my coursemates, my cohorts.
Courtney O’Hehir: Great, thank you. The next question’s for A.J., can you speak a little bit to the breakdown of the Capstone process of the OMBA versus the EMBA?
Jason Techiera: I can yeah, that’s a good question too. With the Capstone process as Penny was talking about, that’s the three-step Capstone series of classes. That’s what students do at the end of the program. For the EMBA program, that project is done in a group. For the OMBA students in the program, that project, the Capstone project, is currently done individually. We may be opening up some group options as we move forward. We’re kind of always making changes to the program based on feedback we get from students, but currently students in the OMBA program doing the Capstone project do it individually.
Again, it’s a series of three classes with an entrepreneurial nature. With the first class, you’re really laying the groundwork for creating your own business model or product. And as you move through the other two classes, you’re developing that business plan further. Ultimately, as Penny mentioned, it culminates in Capstone C, the last Capstone class where you’re ultimately giving a business presentation with everything you’ve put together while working on the Capstone A and B.
That’s the final presentation you give in the program. It’s done via video where you’re taking a video of yourself doing the business presentation. We always compare it to the show Shark Tank. It works a little bit like that where you’re taking a bideo of yourself giving a presentation with the product. It’s reviewed by a panel of faculty and ultimately you’re given your completion letter once the Capstone project’s been turned in and approved.
Courtney O’Hehir: Great. Thanks A.J. The next question’s for Jason. Is there an orientation that requires a student to come to the campus if they are in the EMBA program?
Jason Rhoades: There is never gonna be a need for you to ever visit campus. If you ever wanted to visit or participate in the graduation ceremony at the end of your program, you are more than welcome to, and that applies both to the online MBA and the executive MBA program.
Courtney O’Hehir: Great, thank you. The next question is for either enrollment advisor. A potential student would like to know what documentation will be expected to be provided when enrolling into the program. Are there any specific documents that foreign nationals might need to provide?
A.J. Ferretti: The application process for all of our international students are gonna be very similar to any student within or out of the state. Basically, we’d be looking for the online application. The only time that you’re going to have any differences with your transcripts. Transcripts from outside of the U.S. typically will need to be evaluated and we will actually take any NASIS approved evaluation service to evaluate those transcripts.
If your transcripts are already in English and they don’t need to be translated, then you can feel free to send those directly to Washington State University and we can have our international department evaluate them. Beyond that, there aren’t any necessary documents that you would typically need to provide, unless you were looking to have any type of TOEFL or English proficiency exam waived, which would be more on a one-off conversation. So, if you did have more questions about that again, I’m more than happy to answer then and speak to you on a more personal level. So, feel free to give me a call or any of the advisors here at WSU and we can go over that in more detail.
Courtney O’Hehir: Thanks J.T. The next question is is it too late to apply and get enrolled in the program?
Jason Techiera: For the August 22 deadline, I know our website says that the application deadline is on July 11. That is for the priority application deadline to get initial review. The final deadline for that would be up to the 22nd. So, it is not too late in order to definitely evaluate as far as to speak with your enrollment advisor, talk with them about the admissions requirements, see what we’re gonna need and definitely go from there. I mean it’s not too late to apply for the August 22nd, we can get you in. Gut it would just be essential that definitely either give a call or give an email over to one of your enrollment advisors.
Courtney O’Hehir: Great, thank you. The next question is to Kevin. Kevin, if you weren’t working full-time and balancing your family life, do you think you could manage two classes at a time?
Kevin Nix: So, the easy answer to that one is it totally depends on the person that’s asking. Me personally, I probably could have managed double load if I didn’t have all the other commitments. But there are some very challenging sections in there, especially this Capstone B. You’re already sharing time with another class the whole time and it’s actually a 16-week course. And so the difficult courses are 7-weeks. So, you have two courses you have to complete during the Capstone B. And I would not think somebody would wanna try to take a third on top of those two. So, again, it totally depends on how much time you actually have to dedicate and the type of person you are.
Jason Rhoades: Thanks Kevin. One other thing that I’d like to add is that throughout the entire program, we’ve structured this program to be as flexible as possible. And so you actually only take one course at a time until you go into that Capstone. The Capstone is the only point where you would actually be taking multiple courses at once. But each Capstone segment is stretched out over an entire semester, rather than having it stretched out over just that seven week course. This way, we can still keep it as flexible as possible. So, to kind of answer that question about the two courses, it’s not an option right now, but you will wind up doing two courses just during that Capstone project. Thanks again, Kevin.
Courtney O’Hehir: The next question is for A.J. Are the OMBA and EMBA international field trips combined?
Jason Techiera: They are not. They are two separate trips for two different programs, the MBA versus the EMBA. Both trips obviously take place in the summer, they’re just different dates basically. I think usually they’re about a week apart from each other. Sometimes the same staff members go, sometimes different. But no, it’s two different trips as they are two different programs.
Courtney O’Hehir: Thank you. The next question is for Penny. Penny, how much time would you say you spent on your Capstone project?
Penny Kiraly: Well, it depends on if you’re referring Capstone A, B or the combination. I would say on average between emails, the phone calls a good 10-20 hours just dedicated per week to Capstone A, B as well as C. So, it was definitely quite intensive. So, there needs to be a lot of focus.
Courtney O’Hehir: Great, thank you. The next question is for any of the enrollment advisors. The WSU MBA brochure states that successful candidates typically submit a GMAT score of 550 or better. Does this mean if an applicant does not achieve at least a 550, the applicant is disqualified?
Jason Rhoades: Actually no. So, what we do with our review of the GMAT and the GPA is we’ll use an overall index score. So, somebody with a higher GPA could absolutely outweigh a lower GMAT score and vice versa, if you had a lower GPA that can – a higher GMAT can offset that as well.
Another thing that I would add on that is the work experience that you have, as well as the overall portfolio that you present your letters of recommendations, all of that’s going to be taken into consideration when we’re reviewing anybody. So, the best advice I could give you is to reach out to your enrollment advisor with those specific details and we can see if the program’s gonna be a good fit.
Courtney O’Hehir: Thanks Jason. The next question is for either enrollment advisor. What are the typical or majority of the industries from where the students come from?
A.J. Ferretti: As far as there being a majority industry that students generally come from, it really tends to vary with the MBA because, really any industry that you’re in the business, and having those business knowledge and those concepts are gonna be something that’s gonna be valuable. The business concepts behind the industries tend to be, although have their different nuances, they will have – tend to be kind of standard with that.
So, as far as industry specific, we really do get everyone from all ranges of life as far as industry, as well as experience wise from younger students to students that are on the verge of retiring. There’s really no set demographic for the online MBA. So, if you’re looking to further your education, wanna get that business knowledge, that would be a good fit for ya.
Jason Rhoades: Thanks Jason. The next question’s for A.J., what is the MBA certificate and can a student use the certificate program as a short-term goal on the way to the full MBA degree?
Jason Techiera: I just wanna clarify that the MBA degree and then the concentration certificate are two different things. Students going through the program ultimately get your MBA degree and then in addition to the MBA degree, you can also get a concentration certificate. You would earn the concentration certificate by taking three electives in the same concentration field. Again, the fields were finance, international business, hospitality and business management and marketing.
There are three times in the program where you will take an elective course. If you choose to take three electives all within one concentration and earn grades of B or better in those classes, you would come out at the end with a concentration certificate in addition to your MBA diploma.
Courtney O’Hehir: Thank you. The next question is again for our advisors. Once a student applies, how long before they hear back from you?
Jason Rhoades: Good question. We actually work with all of the students throughout the entire application process. So, once the moment that you request any information, we’re actually gonna be assisting you in putting together a portfolio to present to the admissions committee. So, once your online application’s submitted, we’ll follow up and help with transcripts, reviewing your resume, statement of purpose, giving you all the steps on how to apply and all the requirements that we need. And we’ll put together our own recommendation for you and submit that all to the admissions committee. And then typically we get a decision back on your acceptance within about 2-3 weeks. So, we’ll be with you throughout the entire process and then student support would assist you throughout your entire education process as well.
Courtney O’Hehir: Great, thank you. The next question is for A.J. If a student has to start or stop, can they pick up with the next group?
Jason Techiera: That’s an awesome question, and yes generally students go through the program all at once, although life happens and 22-29 months is a pretty long time. So, if anything does come up and you need to take a leave of absence, miss a course, we can allow for that. We have an application, a leave of absence application you’d complete.
Because our program works on a carousel model, sometimes if you’re missing a course it might be a little while before that course comes around the carousel again and you’re able to take it. Generally taking a leave of absence within the program means you’re gonna be pushing our your graduation date. Depending on what the course is, if it’s one of these core classes that doesn’t come around as often as say an elective course it might stretch your completion date out quite a bit.
But that’s part of what we help you with in student support. If you know something’s coming up and you just wanna see the possible outcomes, if you were to take a leave of absence how would that affect your completion date? We can play out those scenarios and make sure that it’s something that you’re happy with and that you kind of wanna do. So yeah, that’s one of those conversations you’d have with students support, we’d be able to help you facilitate that.
Courtney O’Hehir: Great, thanks A.J. The next question is for either enrollment advisor. How much time after a student takes the GMAT can they enroll in the program?
A.J. Ferretti: The great thing about both MBA program is the GMAT is not something that you have to take prior to applying to the program. You can actually start filling out your application right away and in that application you can actually list the score that you’d be looking to receive as well as the date that you plan on taking the GMAT. Or if a GMAT waiver is something you’re shooting for, you can list that in there as well. So, we’d be more than happy to sit down and go through your background and determine what the best plan of action would be for you. Maybe it is going for a different term, but we’d be able to absolutely help set that up for you.
Courtney O’Hehir: Great, thanks. The next question for Jason Rhoades. Given the one class at a time schedule, is it possible to finish the MBA program faster if some of the courses are waived based on experience and previous coursework? And the second part of the question is can they find out what courses can be waived before enrolling in the program?
Jason Rhoades: To answer that question, I mean you can get the program done faster if we can waive the foundation of business courses. Whether or not they would be required, it’s gonna be something that I would definitely recommend speaking with your enrollment advisor about. There is an option for those foundation courses to be transferred in, if you’ve taken those courses in the past or if you feel like you have the knowledge, there’s an option for a club test for that. And there is the potential to do graduate level transfer credits if you go to another AACSB accredited business program that did not complete that degree.
So, there are option to maybe complete the program a little bit quicker than the 22-29 month timeframe, but I would definitely recommend speaking with your enrollment advisors, sending over them an email and send over unofficial transcripts. We are happy to do at least a preliminary evaluation on the transcripts, what we think will come in and what we’re lookin’ at. But the official evaluation is done once we do have all the application items in and we submitted to the admissions committee for review. So, that should answer both of those.
Courtney O’Hehir: Thanks Jason. The next question is for either advisor. How does a student get an advisor assigned?
A.J. Ferretti: Good question. The number that we have listed on the screen for you is for our admissions office. Feel free to call
that number. Anybody that you get in contact with should be able to help you out with both programs, the MBA or the executive MBA program. And we’ll be more than happy to take over your information.
Courtney O’Hehir: Great, thank you. The next question is does it say online on the diploma?
A.J. Ferretti: Good question. The MBA degree, neither one of the programs, the executive or the traditional MBA are gonna say online. Our programs have the same professors that teach in the ground campus, it’s the same curriculum. The only difference is the delivery method, one being offered online versus campus. So, you will receive an MBA from Washington State University’s Carson College of Business. There’s no online differentiation.
Courtney O’Hehir: Great, thank you. The next question is typically how big are the class sizes?
Jason Techiera: That’s a good question. Yeah, I can speak to that. So, we try and keep the class sizes relatively small. In the EMBA course, the course limit is typically 20 students. And the OMBA the course limit is typically 30 students. You’ll see with the core classes, you’ll have a lot of students in there, but it’s broken down, you’ll usually have a lead instructor and then a section instructor, almost like a TA. And the section instructor’s sections will be limited to the 30-course limit for the students. The section instructor sort of acts as a liaison between the students and their cohort and the lead instructor. So, it’s sort of just giving you more resources, more people to reach out to. But the discussion boards and everything like that are limited just to the students within your little class size and the section instructor.
Courtney O’Hehir: Great, thanks A.J. The next question is is a student able to change concentrations if they need to?
Jason Rhoades: Oh great question. So, I wouldn’t advise it if you’ve already taken one of your elective courses. That could possibly extend the program. The concentration is just built up of three elective courses. So, you can always come back into the program later on and get those certificates even after you finish your MBA. But if you’re trying to keep your program within a specific amount of time, that’s when I wouldn’t recommend trying to change the elective – your concentration. But again, to answer that question, you can always change your concentration at any point in time.
Courtney O’Hehir: Okay, the next question is a general question and I think I’ll direct this to Penny and Kevin. Why would a potential student choose an online program over an on campus program? Can you speak to the convenience of the online program?
Kevin Nix: I can jump in on this one first if you don’t mind Penny. I could not have done an MBA with a typical on campus program. There’s no possible way I could have done it. For one, you have to travel to class, so that’s one thing and you’re on that schedule. And then you have to sit through a lecture on that schedule and it’s already established, you don’t have any freedom. Deadlines are deadlines, you’re gonna have those no matter what you do, but being able to listen to lectures on my lunch hour or late at night or whenever time I wanna dedicate it, helped me immensely. And then knowing, of course, the study time, you dedicate that on your own no matter what program you’re in.
But I had a lot more freedom. I remember plenty of times where we’re on a family vacation and I’m listening to lectures or I’m taking a test online while we’re out camping. It was really interesting how I had to mix in my personal time with my school time. But having the online opportunity, it was a matter of either finishing or not finishing a program. That’s the bottom line. And I was able to stay with my cohort. I finished in the prescribed schedule, 29 months. And again there’s no way I could have done that with an on campus – just the amount of time you have to dedicate on their schedule would have been too much for me.
Courtney O’Hehir: Thanks Kevin. Penny, did you have anything to add?
Penny Kiraly: Thanks Courtney. Kevin really hit the nail on the head. You know, you get to the point where you’re actually utilizing every hour that you’re given with the other 24 hours, you can stay up until two in the morning or wake up at five or four in the morning to listen to a lecture or complete your assignment or do some reading. So, there’s no real comparison with what the online environment really affords you versus the brick and mortar. So yeah online all the way.
Courtney O’Hehir: Thanks Penny. We’re gonna take one more question and then we will reach out to each person individually if your question did not get answered. So, last question is does the program only begin in the fall?
Jason Rhoades: There are actually six start dates a year that you can apply to the program. So, we have two for summer, two for spring, two for fall. That is for the online MBA. The executive MBA is a little bit more traditional where they have one for fall, one for summer and one for spring. So, the fall session is not the only start date that we have and that we’re recruiting for. So, if you’re interested in either this upcoming session or in the next couple ones, I would strongly recommend definitely touching base with an enrollment advisor and taking those first steps towards your MBA.
Courtney O’Hehir: Great, thank you. Again, we’re gonna close out the webinar and I’d like to say thank you everyone for taking the time to join us. We hope you found this webinar both useful and inspiring. And if your question was not answered, we will try an reach out to you individually. Thank
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