WSU Executive MBA Online Summer 2020 Info Session with Director of Admissions and Student Services
Jake Moscinski: Hello everyone and welcome to the Executive MBA Online Information Session, for our upcoming summer start date for the 2020 term. We’re excited to have you all here, excited to share some information about the Executive MBA program and hopefully give you guys some good info to see if this is the right fit for you. To get started though, I do want to go over some logistics. In order minimize background noise, we had set this presentation into broadcast only mode. What this means is you guys can hear us, but we won’t be able hear you. So, if you do have any questions or comments that you want to be address, you can use the QA feature. That’ll be on the right side of your screen and then, additionally a recording of this session will be emailed out to you after the webinar. So if you can’t stay for the whole thing, got to hop off early, you’ll get this copy in your email within a few hours once this concludes.
Jake Moscinski: The key agenda, what we’re going to be covering today. We’re going to start off with some introductions, get you guys to know who’s on the line, who sharing information with you and then we’re going to move into the history, the ranking and the accreditation of Washington State University and in particular the Carson College of Business that houses the Executive MBA. From there, we’ll give you a nice overview for the EMBA program, let you know what to expect and what we’re looking to do with this program. Then we’ll dive into the admissions requirements. So, all the things that it takes, that we look for out an Executive MBA candidate and what that application process really entails. We also have a student speaker on the line, later in the webinar he’ll introduce himself, and just really give you a good feel for what to expect day in, day out of the program, and also be expanding upon the international field study that we have, which is a pretty cool opportunity for you guys to attend. Then finally, at the end, we will be ending with a live Q&A session. So as you guys have questions, as topics you want to be covered pop up, just go ahead and use that QA feature and all those questions will be addressed at the end. Any questions that don’t get answered live on the webinar today, we will be following up with you via email or phone call to get those questions sorted out.
Jake Moscinski: But now I want to start with some introductions. Mitch want to go ahead and introduce yourself?
Mitch Swanger: Absolutely. Thanks, Jake and welcome everybody. Thanks for being here today. My name is Mitch Swanger and I am the Director of Admissions and Student Services for graduate and online programs, here in the Carson College of Business. I’ve been with the college for about nine and a half years now, and my team oversees everything from recruitment through graduation regarding the operations for the students. So, thanks again for being here.
Jake Moscinski: Awesome, thanks Mitch. We’re excited to have you on the line, to [inaudible 00:03:02] more perspective especially around the admissions for the program. Matt, you want to go ahead and introduce yourself?
Matt Beer: Sure, welcome everyone. My name’s Matt Beer, I’m Military and Veterans Affairs Manager for the Carson College of Business online programs. Again, working primarily with our military affiliated students, that’s active duty, guard, reserve and spouses. So, look forward to talking with you a little bit later in the program and glad we have you here.
Jake Moscinski: Awesome, thanks Matt, excited to have you here as well. And then, I am Jake Moscinski. It’s nice to have all of you on the line here. I’m an enrollment advisor. So my job is to work with students who are interested in our MBA and the Executive MBA, really help you through that research process, give you any information that you’re looking for and then, if you felt it was a good fit and you were looking to apply, I would be your guide throughout that process. We have a handful of other enrollment advisors here, so we would be the ones to help you through the admissions process. Really all the up until the start of classes here. Then we also have a student on the line, Chad, thank you for joining us. Want to tell us a little bit about your background?
Chad Heese: Sure. I’m chad Heese, I’m currently the Chief Lending and Strategy Officer for Rogue Credit Union, down in Southern Oregon. We’re about a 1.7 billion dollar financial institution. I’ve been in financial services for a little over 20, maybe yeah, a little over 20 years. I’ve sat in a variety of different executive roles from being the Chief Information Officer, Chief Operations Officer and in my current role as the Chief Lending Officer. I’ve also been CEO of what are called credit union services organizations, which are for profit entities. So I’ve been the CEO of some for profit entities as well. I graduated from WSUs EMBA program in 2019, at the very end. So I’m about three months out now, or no I guess I’m close to about five months out. I graduated in October time period, but finished everything in September.
Jake Moscinski: Well congratulations on that. We’re excited to have you on the line, and nice work getting through the program. Then, we’ll obviously be asking you some more questions down the line about your experience and what your experience has been throughout the Executive MBA. But Mitch, tell us a little bit about the Washington State University history.
Mitch Swanger: Yeah, absolutely. So, I just want to take a minute or so just to give you all just a brief history and then talk about our geographic location. WSU was founded in 1890 in Pullman, Washington. So those that may not be familiar with the state, we are on the eastern side of the state. We’re right on the Idaho border. In fact, six miles away from us is the University of Idaho. So, for those who might be familiar with where Seattle is in the state, we’re about four and a half hours from there, about an hour, hour and a half south from Spokane. We are a Washington State land grand institution and what that means is the university was founded on the mission of providing affordable education to anybody who is willing and able to pursue it. So, when the university was started, it was started surrounding agriculture and has grown into what it is today and if you’re familiar with Pullman, or the area, we are completely surrounded by wheat fields. So it made perfect sense that it stated with agriculture.
Mitch Swanger: We do have over 125 years of alumni legacy and currently have one of the largest alumni associations. So, we’ll talk a little bit more about that later on in this webinar. But one thing I do want to highlight is part of being an alumni is the “Go Cougs” culture and mentality. It’s really, it’s almost cult-like. It doesn’t matter where you’re at in the world, if you have something WSU on, you are likely going to get somebody that says, “Go Cougs” to you. I’ve truly never seen anything like it. But it’s a pretty cool thing to be a part of. Regarding the graduate business education, we have over 60 years of graduate business education. I believe we awarded our first MBA degree in 1957. We have over 20 years of online degree programs and when we first started this it was at a time where live lectures would be recorded and then VHS would be mailed to the students. They would watch the lectures, send them back, the VHS tapes would then be re-recorded over and sent again. So we’ve definitely come a long way even from there.
Mitch Swanger: As our program exists today, our EMBA program began in the spring of 2011 with the goal to work around busy, working professions and people with jobs and families. So, and then lastly, we do have an international network of corporate and academic alliances, which allows our students to include more corporate learning opportunities and I will go into that a little bit more when we speak about the international field study.
Jake Moscinski: Awesome, thank you Mitch. I appreciate that. I think the big one for everybody here, is going to be those last two bullet points. The 20 years of perfecting online degrees. It’s given us a lot of time to really nail this home and be able to provide that flexibility and quality for our students, and then that international component, having a lot of different partnerships with different companies and academic alliances definitely plays into the content that you guys are going to be learning, if you do decide to move forward with the executive program.
Jake Moscinski: But at this point, I do want to talk a little bit about the accreditations and rankings of Washington State and in particular, the Carson College of Business here. One thing that’s pretty important for your guy’s research as you look into different programs is going to be the business accreditation that a program may or may not have. We hold the AACSB accreditation, so this is typically thought of as the gold standard for accrediting bodies. In fact, less than 2% of business schools worldwide hold this accreditation at both the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral levels. So we’re proud to have that. It really comes into play in terms of the quality of the content that you’re learning, the expertise of the faculty members that are teaching that and then also just the relevance. We make sure that the curriculum and the content that you guys are being taught is going to be relevant for you and not outdated. Then additionally, under that AACSB accreditation, you’ll see the NWCCU. So this is the regional accreditation that Washington State University as a whole has. Typically, you want to look for schools that are regionally accredited as opposed to nationally accredited. That’s more well respected by employers and other academic bodies.
Jake Moscinski: So that covers the accreditation portion. Another thing that’s oftentimes important for our students is going to be the rankings. I think rankings do a good job at signifying the brand recognition that a school has. We’re happy to be pretty well ranked. We’re number 18 currently from US News and World Report for best online programs for 2020. That’s in the top 5% and we’ve consistently been in the top 5% of rankings for quite some time now. We got a new ranking this year, coming from Poets and Quants, which is a great academic research website and organization that a lot of our students use. So we’re currently number 16 there for best online MBA programs. And then CEO Magazine, another big body of rankings has us at number 13 for online MBAs and also more specific for you guys, as a Tier 1 Executive MBA program, which is definitely important. We also have some recognition for being a veteran friendly school. Number 13 from US News and World Report, for friendly online MBA programs for veterans, and then Military Times also recognized us as a military friendly school. Matt Beer will be diving into that actually in this next slide. Matt, want to tell us what we’ve done to be a military friendly school?
Matt Beer: Sure, happy to. So, as I mentioned before, I’m the Military and Veteran’s Affairs Manager. I’m a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Air Force, and an alumni of Washington State myself. In our EMBA program, about 10%, maybe 10 or 11% are either active duty military or veteran. So they bring that experience with them to the program. We try and focus on three things for those students. Number one being the experience, so we want to make sure that our policies, procedures are aligned for them so they have a pretty smooth transition using those benefits. The second piece is that the professional community, because unlike maybe some of you, they haven’t spent a lot of time in corporate America. So building those connections if really important for them. And then the last piece is professional development. This is a piece that we try and do in conjunction with some of our non-military affiliated students as well, which is resume reviews, speakers and workshops designed to, again, get a bigger return on investment in the program.
Matt Beer: So, I would also add for those of you that do decide to join the program and you have these students in your courses, to take advantage of their experience. They’ve had a different experience maybe than you. A lot of heavy leadership, heavy organizational, behavioral development and teamwork. So, I think they’ll be good classmates. So, if any of you are in this category, have any more questions, feel free to reach out to me, or your enrollment advisor can put you in contact with me and I look forward to talking to you. Thanks.
Jake Moscinski: Awesome, thank you so much Matt. Appreciate that. But moving on, I do want to give you that overview for the Executive MBA. Really in particular, I want to cover the four pillars that we’ve designed this program around and that’s going to be quality, convenience, relevance and support. So starting off with that quality piece, similar to the last slide I was speaking on. We are a Tier 1, fully accredited MBA program. That speaks to the quality not only for you but also for prospective employers or companies that are looking to hire you. We have world class faculty here and the curriculum to pair nicely with those faculty members. You get access to them, because we keep the class sizes small and especially in the Executive MBA we try to keep them even smaller than our traditional programs, allowing you for more hands on time with your professors and quicker response times when you do have questions about content or navigating a particular scenario. Alongside that, a big piece of quality is going to be the classmates that you guys are surrounded by. It’s not particularly easy to get into this program, and we are looking for students that are at a certain level of their career, where they’re moving toward executive roles or currently in executive roles. So, you’re going to be learning just as much from your classmates as you are from the professors. And finally, really a good way that we get you tapped into the learning with your classmates, is going to be a lot of group projects, where you work side by side with them, tackling different business problems. Going to really try to incorporate current event discussions. So when a particular change happens in the business world, we’re going to tie that into the content that you’re learning and also give you a lot of opportunity to network both virtually and in person to connect even further with your classmates and with the Carson College of Business faculty here.
Jake Moscinski: Then moving onto the top right of the screen, I want to talk about the convenience, because like Mitch had said earlier, we’ve really designed this program around somebody who’s working full time. A vast majority of our students are working 40 plus hours, and most of them are going to be at a point in their life where they have, oftentimes have a family and other commitments. So we have made this 100% online, with no travel required. You’re going to be doing this as you can fit it in as long as you’re meeting our weekly deadlines here. It’s also going to be completely asynchronous. So, no mandatory times where you need to log in. Certain programs will have … Certain other schools might have you travel out to their campus for mandatory orientation or have you log in to mandatory sessions each week. We’re not going to have that. We want this to fit into your schedule as opposed to you fitting into ours. But at the same time, we do want to get your guys connected with other classmates, get you connected with the professors of your classes. So we do have live sessions that you’ll be able to join. We encourage you guys to join, really good way to ask questions, really good way to discuss your background and learn your other classmates backgrounds. But if you ever can’t make these live sessions, they’re recorded so you get a copy to either re-watch to solidify the materials that you’ve learned, or of course, to watch it for the first time because your schedule didn’t align with the live session. Then of course, we do give you easy access to assignments, test scores and resources to make sure that you are successful in the program. We use a pretty common, pretty popular learning management system. It’s called Blackboard. So, that will be your portal to your Executive MBA, into the classes that you’re enrolled in.
Jake Moscinski: And then another pillar of our Executive MBA is going to be the relevance. We’ve designed this program for students who have leadership under their belt, who are looking to move into or function higher at those highest levels of leadership. So, we’ve really tried to tailor the content, tailor the curriculum around that, that type of student. So we’ll have you formulate actionable business strategies. You’ll learn the theory and then apply that framework to different scenarios, focus on data driven analysis, where you’re going to be able to identify trends, use different quantitative methods and more importantly make decisions from that. We also want to help you identify and evaluate global, ethical and societal implications of operating a business. Obviously, we want you to be a successful leader, but we also want the students coming out of this program to lead ethical organizations and really take in the greater community into their decision making process. Finally, we’ll help you analyze business situations and correctly apply the proper theories and practices given the set of circumstances that are thrown your way. That’s a way that you’ll have access to this. It’s going to be a lot of different case studies. So you’ll learn the theory, we show you a case study or a business scenario and now we’ll have you apply the theory, how you see best fit and go from there. And then, really the last pillar of importance that we’ve designed this program around is going to be support. It wouldn’t be … the quality, the convenience, the relevance wouldn’t be entirely helpful if we didn’t have the appropriate layers of support for you to navigate and be successful in this program.
Jake Moscinski: So starting day one, starting right now, you have access to an enrollment advisor. That would be myself or my team members. We are here to help you research the program, help you see if it’s the right fit and then guide you through the application process. As soon as my job concludes, and you were to start the Executive MBA program, now you have access to a student services advisor. So, their entire job is to be your go-to person. They help you with any scenario that’s thrown your way. They offload a lot of the administrative work by helping register for classes, building out schedules, guiding you in the right direction, helping you acquire books and materials. Really just trying to streamline the process for you. You have access to faculty members both your lead professor as well as we break our classes into even smaller sections, with your section instructor. So you get two of content for … Or two points of contact for all things content related where you can get quick responses and effective responses. They also have virtual office hours. So if you want to connect face to face with your professor, you can schedule a time for a virtual session, connect either through the phone or through a webinar and be able to ask your questions in that medium. Then finally, of course, you have 24/7 technical support. Given the nature of online programs, you’re using a lot of technology. Technology tends to have issues from time to time, so when those do arise, you’re going to have the proper support for that.
Jake Moscinski: Now I do want to move towards the program structure, which is on the left side of the screen and then the admissions process on the right. So, starting with the structure. Our Executive MBA program, it’s a pretty quick program. You’re in and out of this in a year and a half. So, 18 months from start to finish. Then the content of the programs is going to be broken up into your core classes. That’ll be 11 classes, 33 credits. You’ll have one elective course, that’ll be three credits. And then your capstone project, that’ll be diving deeper in a little bit at the end of the program, which will be eight credits. So it adds up to a total of 44 credits, 15 classes. We’ve structured the program pretty uniquely, where the course duration is five weeks long. So, for most of the program, you’ll be taking one class at a time. They’ll be five weeks long, so in a standard semester you’ll have three classes. One class for the first five weeks. That wraps up. Then you jump into the next class, the next five weeks and the final class of that semester the final five weeks. We’ve chosen this because it allows you to be more efficient with your time. When you’re in school mode, you know exactly what to be spending your time on. You’re not going to be spinning your wheels as much as some other graduate programs, which might have you taking two or three classes at the same time.
Jake Moscinski: Then, I mentioned earlier, class size. We keep them pretty small here. 20 students per section and then we end the program with, instead of a final exam or a thesis paper, we’ve actually chosen to do a capstone project. So this is going to be really developing a business plan from start to finish. So group project, work with typically groups of four. You guys will be identifying an opportunity, from there you’ll be doing a feasibility study and ultimately building the full business plan from start to finish. I think it’s a very strong way for us to incorporate all the skills and content that you’ve learned throughout the program, put it into one cohesive final deliverable and one that can actually be relevant to our job or towards maybe a company that you would be interested in starting down the line.
Jake Moscinski: So that’s the overview of the program structure. I do want to cover the admissions process as well. So what we’ve done, we are looking for candidates with work experience under their belt, specifically management experience. So we need a minimum of five years of professional experience and then in particular, we’re really looking for five years of management or leadership experience. On average, we see our students coming into the program with about 18 years of work experience. Usually around seven to 10 of those in management, but that five year mark is sort of a sweet spot in terms of admissions purposes.
Jake Moscinski: We do have a variety of different GMAT waivers that are available for our Executive MBA students. I’d say most of our Executive MBA candidates do get the GMAT waived. We have five different ones. That one that typically applies to our EMBA candidates is going to be having a 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate degree, paired with five or more years of work experience. So, reach out if you do have questions, if you want to see if you’re qualified for a GMAT waiver, give us a call. Reach out to an enrollment advisor, we would be happy to help out there. We do look for candidates with that undergraduate GPA of a 3.0. That is the ideal scenario, but we do make exceptions to that rule if you’re under a 3.0. So, just because you might have a little bit less than a 3.0, doesn’t mean you are disqualified from the program, there just might be some other ways that we want to bolster your profile, potentially with a GMAT exam, potentially by doing a deeper dive into your transcripts. So again, that’s another thing that your enrollment advisor will be able to help out with, given your particular background.
Jake Moscinski: Another part of the admissions process, we’re going to have three letters of recommendation that we look for. We want one of those to be coming from an immediate manager or supervisor. So, try to keep one as somebody who’s overseen your work and can speak to that. Then from there, we’re also going to be having you draft up what’s called the Statement of Purpose. So this is an essay that you’re going to write. Pretty much the goal of this is to detail your background, detail what your goals are and really communicate why the program is a good fit given the background that you have and given the goal plan that you have as well. Another important part of the application is going to be your resume. This is where we can really evaluate that management experience, really look into does he or she have those five years of leadership that we’re looking for? And if you have questions on how to be communicating that, we can always review your resume and see what our thoughts are. And we’re going to have you get an employer/organizational support form. So essentially, this document is similar to a letter of recommendation, usually going to be coming from somebody on your leadership team within your organization. And then, since we are trying to really get a good feel of where you’re at in your career, where you fit into the hierarchy of your organization, we do want to get an organizational chart as well as a summary of what your role is and what your company is. Then we wrap up the application with official transcripts. We’ll need those from all universities attended to come into the program. So that pretty much does it for the admissions process. Your enrollment advisor will break that up chunk by chunk, really streamline this as easy as possible. And we have multiple start dates that you can be attending, so you can be hopping in for our January, our May or our August start dates, spring, summer and fall options for you.
Jake Moscinski: Obviously, cost is always a big factor as students are looking into the program so our tuition is $1,264 per credit hour. You’ve got 44 credits, so the cost of tuition would be $55,616 here. Other things to account for, primarily is going to be cost of books. And then, you’ll have a graduation fee and an application fee. So that totals, usually roughly around $3,000 in additional fees. Then you have that optional field study we’re going to be expanding upon in just a bit. We usually see that around $5,000 to $7,000 depending on the year, depending on the location. So in total, if you’re not doing the international trip, we usually anticipate around $5,800. If you are planning to go on that trip, probably expect roughly 65, $66,000 for the program.
Jake Moscinski: Now, a few, at the bottom of the screen you’ll see a few common funding options that we see. First thing I always recommend, obviously look into tuition reimbursement or assistance programs through your employer. We also encourage you to apply for scholarships. We have scholarships here within Washington State University that we can have you fill out. There’s also a lot of third party ones. You’ll see that Fastweb.com. That’s a third party database of scholarships that you can be seeking out and finding potential opportunity there. Then, down the line, you also have financial aid. That’s available to those who apply and qualify. I have a lot of students use financial aid within the Executive MBA to help offset some of that initial out of pocket cost and then pay it off in the form of students loans on the back end. Then for any of our military students, we are a program that can accept the GI bill and the post-9/11 GI bill. That’s something Matt commonly works with and can help out with a little bit. Then we have a military info session. So if you want more understanding of how to use the GI bill or post-9/11 GI bill, and what that looks like within our programs, do check out that info session tomorrow. You’ll see a link to log in there in the resources section. It should be on the right side of your screen.
Jake Moscinski: But now I want to go into a day in the life. Chad, this is going to be a good slide to have you on. I’ll give a brief intro and then I want to ask you a few questions. [inaudible 00:28:49] Class weeks, they begin on Monday and they end on Sunday and it is up to you guys to be completing those assignments that you have by Sunday night deadlines. That’s typically when your assignments will be due, is 11:59 Pacific time. Within the week, you have two different live sessions that you can be joining in. They always are occurring after work hours, usually between six PM and nine PM Pacific. Then on average, we see about 20 hours per week going into work, including those live sessions if you can attend them, or watching them recorded copy. But Chad, tell me, were you a student that would attend a lot of those, did you watch the recordings primarily? What was your use of those sessions that we have, the live sessions?
Chad Heese: Yeah, so I primarily attended live sessions if I could, and mostly because if you have questions, they tend to strike you in the moment and you don’t want to sit and correspond via email. You can just virtually raise your hand and get an answer in the moment and sometimes that would spur additional conversation. It felt more like a classroom environment to be able to do that as well, to be able to interact with the teachers that way.
Jake Moscinski: Absolutely, no that’s awesome. I think that’s an important distinction to make. A lot of students might think these are very traditional lecture, where it’s just going to be the professor talking to you for X amount of time. But they are very discussion oriented and we want to give you guys the opportunity to ask those questions and have those discussions with your other classmates. Then the last bullet point there, get ready to adapt to remote teamwork. Tell me a little bit about your experience because there is a handful of group assignments that you’re going to be doing throughout the program. What types of tools did you guys use when you were in different group projects?
Chad Heese: Sure. So, we … Two things come to mind on that. Number one, through the school we were able to get access to Office365, and so there’s collaboration tools that exist within Microsoft Word and Excel and those kinds of things. And so we did a lot of collaboration work, working on the documents at the same time. I had the most surreal experience with my capstone group. The four of us could get into the same document at the same time, and literally there were times where we were working on the same paragraph and we found such synergy doing that, that the document almost grew on it’s own and we would create output that worked really well. I joke that my capstone group at WSU was probably the most functional team I’ve ever worked on, and although we came from different areas, I would choose them to work on a team with probably over anyone else if I had some major project to work on and needed cross functional skills, because that’s just … It was just such a good group. Part of what made that so easy for us was those online tools. We used that, and then we used Google docs as well, and Google docs was pretty handy because it was a little more real time than Microsoft Office, and so we used Google. And we also used it in our capstone class for some of the original research that we had to do. We used some survey tools that Google makes freely available and those came in pretty handy as well.
Chad Heese: Then, through my office we have a platform called Blue Jeans, which is a lot like a Webex or just a conferencing platform and so we were able to use that to get on conference calls and talk. What I found is usually in group assignments, someone had access to some sort of a free platform, or something that they were already paying for through work that wasn’t costing any additional money to use for school. So we were able to use conferencing platforms like that and it made life very easy on us. So, the adapting to the remote work, the big pro tip I can give on, in addition to video conferencing is reaching out to groups early so that you can establish the right times to meet because you’re going to be interacting with people from all over the country and so the time zone difference might come into play where you’re an evening person and on the west coast and you’re dealing with someone who is a not so much of an evening person and now you’re talking to them about wanting to meet at midnight their time, and that can be a bit of a challenge.
Jake Moscinski: Yeah, absolutely, and we do have students all across the country, actually all across the globe. So, being proactive with your group and laying out how you guys want to connect, when you have anchor meetings. I think that’s definitely important. But you did mention the capstone project. Do you mind sharing a little bit about what you and your team ended up doing for your topic?
Chad Heese: Sure. So what we put together was a platform to disrupt the pay day lending industry and so we were trying to build out an automated platform that would automate the application and funding process for short term loans that people may need, as well a repayment structure to dramatically reduce the costs of pay day lending and reduce some of the predatory aspects of existing pay day lenders out there and the exploitation of low income persons. So that was the nature of our project. We had, so there was myself with some lending experience, a fair amount, and then I had another person on the team that was a financial services person, and then we actually had one guy that was a robotics engineer and somebody else who was an Amazon employee that had nothing to do with finance. So, that was kind of the makeup of our group.
Jake Moscinski: That’s awesome. Did you proactive … Did you choose your capstone group? Did you guys sound like you had a decent amount of people with a lot of synergy there, finance and automation backgrounds.
Chad Heese: Yeah, we initially, my very first class was international business and I got linked up with the majority. So two of the others, so the three of us had worked together in the past. Then the fourth person we didn’t know, or I didn’t know going into the capstone, but I had the relationship with the others. So when it came time to go into capstone, I know the instructor had done some different types of assessment, used some different assessment tools to try and link people up and we approached our instructor and said, “Hey we really want to be on a group together. We’ve worked together. We know we work well together.” And the instructor said, “Yeah, if you know then, I’ll give you a shot.” And so we did it and it worked out really well for us.
Jake Moscinski: That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing that Chad. [crosstalk 00:35:58] Then really the last question I had for you within this slide is going to be that expected amount of hours per week. Tell me what your experience was. We usually anticipate 15 to 20 hours. Does that seem to be pretty well aligned with what you were spending on the program?
Chad Heese: Yeah, it’s like any average, right? There’s an average of 15 to 20 hours per week and then there’s outliers in either direction. So, I had a handful of classes that did not require this kind of time, and then I had a handful of classes that really did and exceeded that 20 hours per week. Mostly though, it was about the 15 to 20 hours a week. You’ll find that the classes are going to be, for me they were after work, so they tend to be in that five, six o’clock hour on the west coast. So, I would generally come home from work, eat oftentimes while class was happening and try to engage and then, to keep up on some level of reading or discussion postings. I might schedule out an hour after work or a short period of time after work every day and then for me mostly Saturdays and Sundays were my catch up days. Really burned a lot of Saturdays in particular but I have two kids and so, I was trying to balance that with their schedules and when they had big stuff going on, then I tried to front load my week and make sure that I was staying on top of things early in the week.
Chad Heese: So, at a minimum if you’re going to be successful in this program and not completely ignore your family, you’ve got to be on top of making sure you really study that syllabus at the beginning of the class and understand what type of expectation there is for you and then know too what your skills already lend themselves to. So for example, as a lender, I’m already pretty familiar with accounting and so I knew that accounting was not going to be a difficult class for me, or finance was not going to be a difficult class. But if something falls outside of your wheelhouse, then you may need to figure on investing more time.
Jake Moscinski: That’s perfect. Thank you so much. We’re definitely going to be looping you in on this next slide as well. But Mitch, can you introduce the optional international field study for us, and then from there, we’ll hear from Chad?
Mitch Swanger: Yes, absolutely. So, like we mentioned before this is not a requirement of the program, but we highly encourage you take advantage of the study abroad trip. It does happen every year, typically happens in April. So for those who would be joining the program this summer, you would have the option to travel next April, 2021. The trip is typically in China, and is between 10 and 11 days and that factors in travel. But the trip is nice. It’s a nice mix of company visits as well as leisure activities. But a third huge component in my opinion, is the networking face to face opportunities. Because for a lot of you, this may be the first time that you meet face to face and so that is definitely a valuable piece of this. But some of the multi-national companies in China include places like John Deere, or Boeing. There’s also in the past been Chinese companies that are EMBA students have visited like Alibaba. China’s a nice place to go because obviously it’s one of the largest economies in the world and so, the company visits explore what the business environment is like and what business climate is for doing business in China or doing business with Chinese partners.
Mitch Swanger: The trip can be somewhat tailored to the interest of the students. We can’t make any promises but if there’s enough lead time, we can work on trying to find some of those accommodations. I know last year’s trip there were a few students from Boeing and the aerospace field, so one of the company visits ended up being the Boeing R&D center in Beijing. Then some of the tourist activities has included things like the Forbidden City, the Great Wall. If you go to Shanghai, you’ll visit the Yu Garden. So you’ll get a great appreciation for the history and culture of China. Chad, I believe you have gone on this trip before, so do you mind telling everybody about some of your experiences and takeaways, if you wouldn’t mind.
Chad Heese: Sure, yeah. So, I am the guy on the left in that top picture with the UNLV shirt on, because that’s where I got my undergrad. But so I went on the international field study trip and I couldn’t recommend it enough honestly. Two of my capstone team members were there as well and although I wouldn’t think this is an expectation for most, we were able to get a ton of work done while on trains and doing other things and working on our capstone while were on the trip, which was pretty neat. But the overall experience was fantastic. Not only did I walk away with a different appreciation for life in China and the businesses in China, but I just had a fantastic and met some really great people and walked away with some great relationships. In fact, we still interact on WhatsApp. We use WhatsApp today to talk back and forth and exchange ideas or just to catch up. So, we forged some really solid bonds while we were there.
Chad Heese: The businesses we interacted with were great hosts. There was some really intriguing information from, like you say, things on aeronautics to talking with Chinese attorneys on how land laws work in China. We had a pretty good mix of recreational time as well and I know everybody had a ball with that. The accommodations were first class throughout. It really was a once in a lifetime experience. I have told my wife about it, and my family about it. Everybody was jealous of the experience, again, I couldn’t recommend it enough and if you get into a capstone group and you can talk them into going as well, then you’ll find when you’re sitting on a train for three hours you can sit and just plink away at your assignments that are due while you’re there.
Jake Moscinski: That’s excellent. No, I think the capstone or the international field study is one of the coolest things that we’ve incorporated into it. We’re always looking for new places. Historically, we’ve mostly spent it in China. But definitely looking to add some different countries for the Executive MBA. So yeah, no, really appreciate you sharing more on that, Chad.
Chad Heese: Sure.
Jake Moscinski: Now, Mitch, I know we have the Executive MBA Leadership Conference, another pretty cool opportunity for our students in the program. Want to tell a little bit about that?
Mitch Swanger: Yeah, absolutely. So, every year in the fall, we hold in Seattle what we call the Executive MBA Leadership Conference. As you can see, we actually have the dates already for 2020. So those who would be joining the program would be encouraged to attend this conference. Held every September in Seattle, typically held in a boutique hotel, although this year we are changing it up a little bit. I just got confirmation that … Excuse me. It will be held in the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle. So this will be the first year we are holding it there and I’m pretty excited about that.
Mitch Swanger: The event itself is exclusive for current EMBA students and alumni. And it is two full days of sessions where we bring in executive coaches and leaders to talk about their work and conduct workshops. In the past, we’ve had entrepreneurs come in, we’ve had authors come in. This last September the three main topics were group stereotypes and biases in the workplace, emotional intelligence and how it’s a differentiator, and then skills and techniques to stand out as a global executive. We are currently working on our speakers for this next September and we’ll be locking those down hopefully soon. Another big piece of this event, I can’t stress enough how important I think the networking piece of this is. One of the draws to our programs I think is that it is 100% online and that we don’t have any residency requirement. However, we get just as many students I think still wanting that face to face interaction if we can do that. So, this is another opportunity where students will have the opportunity to meet, network with other students, with other alumni. We have staff there. We have faculty there. At one of the receptions, we’ll have the dean there. We actually call it the Dean’s Reception. So it’s a nice opportunity to mix and mingle with your peers and with the staff and faculty. So, if that works in your schedule, we highly encourage you take advantage of it. And Chad, I actually believe you have also attended the EMBA Leadership Conference. Am I right?
Chad Heese: Yeah, I’ve attended twice and actually a colleague of mine here at work did the WSU program as well. She was a little behind me in the program and she went this last year too. This is one of those conferences that I sort of went to the first time because a few people had said to me … Actually it was one person that I had in an organizational design class, was saying, “Hey, you really should check this thing out. It’s a great program, or a great conference and it’s a cool perk to being alumni.” And I thought, “Okay, I’ll give it a shot.” And I flew up. I was actually pretty surprised. I was surprised because generally, like most people are, you get into your industry and you kind of stick to the industry conferences that you have. So, I kept thinking, “Well, what are they going to have that’s going to be applicable to me in the world of finance that’s also going to work for someone who’s a robotics engineer, for example?” When I got up there, I was very pleasantly surprised that the topics are very applicable and not just the group stereotypes and biases. In the prior year we talked about strategic differentiators and how you can differentiate the organization that you’re within and we did some exercises there. There was a fantastic section on negotiation.
Chad Heese: So, the topics seemed to be very applicable across industries. The networking as you mentioned is on point. I mean, you sit at these tables with various people. You get a chance to have lunch with people and then catch up with some of the alumni. I know I spent some time talking with my old finance professor and sharing with her some of the challenges I was having with some things, and we talked through some of those things. Just a really solid conference that I was pleasantly surprised to have been a part of and will definitely make sure I’m a part of in the future. And that colleague that went this past year, that was her first time, walked away with the same thing and said she wants to make this part of her regular rotation as well. We found a lot of value, both of us found a lot of value in this Leadership Conference.
Mitch Swanger: Awesome, thank you for that feedback.
Jake Moscinski: Yeah, and Mitch thank you for telling a little bit more. Of course, Chad, thank you so much for expanding on that. Now, what I’m going to do here, moving into our Q&A section. I’m going to ask, or I’m going to answer some of the frequently asked questions that we have and then I’ll start addressing some of the specific questions that are coming in. But, want to use this time as a reminder, if you do anything you want covered, throw it in the Q&A section. But yeah, interactive sessions with faculty. We have those, two per week, usually Monday through Friday at six PM Pacific time or later. If you can’t make them, they are recorded. You get the copy to watch, typically within the next, within 12 hours they’re posted into Blackboard.
Jake Moscinski: Average time commitment, roughly 20 hours. Chad expanded on the ebb and flow of the program. Sometimes it’ll be a little less, especially if it’s some content you have some familiarity with. Sometimes it’s a little more, depending on the assignments that are given. International field study, happens every year, typically to China, but multiple locations that we are looking into right now, and then that capstone project to replace the final exam or thesis of the program. Now, if you do want to dive into the actual curriculum, if you want to look at the specific classes that are being taught, go ahead and type that MBA.WSU.edu link in and you can review those, and then also, enrollment advisors are here to help. We can send out the pdf version of the curriculum, let you look into the abstracts of all your courses.
Jake Moscinski: But now, we’ll be going into that Q&A session. For those of you who can’t stay, I want to thank everybody for joining. A quick reminder, we do have an upcoming start here, May 11th and there’s still plenty of time to apply. Application deadline will be April 13th. Now, I don’t recommend waiting until April to get your application in. It’s doable if you do, but I’d say it’s a lot easier if you get it in sooner. So go ahead and reach out to our team here of enrollment advisors if this is something you want to consider applying to. But got about 10 minutes left until the top of the hour. Want to start addressing some of those questions that are coming through and we’ll start going into it. So, one of the questions that I see here, “What if your organizational chart contain proprietary content?” So it looks like this person’s asking about the admissions process, one of those documents is the org chart. If there’s sensitive information on there, if you’re worried about sharing team members names, you can simply put their title. If there’s further circumstances that you can’t really share, we can work around it. I’ve had that happen in the past. We can do a deeper dive into your organizational summary and your specific role.
Jake Moscinski: Mitch, what would you recommend for a student who can’t really share that org chart, it’s not really an option. Is there a workaround for us?
Mitch Swanger: Yeah, we can only do what we can do. I agree with you, if we can just do titles of the positions that definitely works great. But in the end, if it is super secretive, we can only do what we can do. So, if we can’t obtain that information then it’s really not the end of the world. Those documents are important for our membership in the EMBA council. They’re not used for the admissions purposes. So, I’m not making admissions decisions based on that org chart. So …
Jake Moscinski: Got you. Thank you for clarifying that. And then I have another good one here for Chad. Chad, do you remain in contact with your capstone team or any other students from your time with the program?
Chad Heese: Yeah, I maintain quite a bit of contact with them. Like I said, we use WhatsApp to talk on a regular basis and then the last two years at the Leadership Conference I’ve been able to touch bases and spend some time with them, and one member of my capstone group, I was able to link up for some executive level of employment, some other people that I knew from within the industry. And then, as lender I was able to actually sell a pool of loans to another member of my team. So, I joked with my employer, because they picked the … My employer paid for the program for me and I told him with the money I saved on being able to skip some brokers on some stuff, that the program paid for itself just in the networking connections I made.
Jake Moscinski: That’s perfect. So if you’re looking to use reimbursement, pitch the potential sales that will come from the network you add. Got it.
Chad Heese: Yeah, exactly.
Jake Moscinski: Perfect. Thanks Chad, I appreciate that.
Chad Heese: Sure.
Jake Moscinski: Now, another question that came in here. How much of the group work, or how much of the course work is group based versus individual based? Chad, if you’re throw out a rough percentage of how much time you were working within a team versus working on individual assignments, what do you say … What would you think it would be?
Chad Heese: I want to say that pretty much every class some level of group work and depending on the class, it was probably about a 60-40 split with it being 60% teamwork. Yeah, that’s kind of a tough question. Probably 60%, 65% of it was group work, which again is why I would recommend for anybody to reach out to the groups early. I found it really convenient to just, as soon as you knew you were going to be in a group, send an email with contact information and “Hey, text me at this number.” Or something early on and just put it right out there so you can touch bases. Because you’ve got to have that communication with teams early.
Jake Moscinski: That’s perfect. Now, I know that’s a tricky question because it does change from class to class. But there is that pretty big emphasis on group work and being proactive with you team is definitely a key to success here.
Chad Heese: Yeah.
Jake Moscinski: Now, I’ve got a good one coming here as well, another one for you Chad. Any regrets or anything that you would do over in the program? Has there been any particular maybe class that you would like to re-go through or any part of the program that you’d like to revisit?
Chad Heese: Boy, any regrets on the program. That’s an interesting question. I guess one regret, I went to Spain. My son was doing a semester abroad in Spain and I went to Spain to go visit him and I had just started a class and hadn’t had really a chance to digest what was going to be required in that class. I probably spent 40 hours on that vacation during my time in Spain, doing homework. So, I don’t know that that’s a regret for the program itself. But more of a regret for trying to schedule some recreational time early on in the new class and then finding out that it was going to be a relatively time intensive class. That was one of two extremely time intensive classes and so, I guess that would be my regret, was scheduling an international vacation during that time period.
Jake Moscinski: Awesome, I appreciate you answering that one. Yeah, that was a tricky question. I wasn’t … I was just curious to see what your experience would be. But, no, absolutely, I think it’s important to try to schedule your classes and your personal life, try to take each into account. So, definitely a good lesson learned there.
Chad Heese: Yeah.
Jake Moscinski: Well that’s about it for the questions that have come through. Anything that wasn’t answered, or any new questions that come in, we will be following up with you guys via email. Mitch, I really want to thank you for hopping on. Matt, you as well, and Chad, special thanks to you for hopping into this call. You gave us some great information here.
Jake Moscinski: If anybody has any questions, wants to dive deeper into the program, do reach out to an enrollment advisor. And we’d love to help you out, love to see if this is a part of your plans moving forward. But looking forward to connecting with you all, and thanks everyone for joining us on this webcast.