WSU Executive MBA Spring 2019 Info Session with Program Director

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Jason Techeira: All right. Good afternoon everybody. Thank you for joining us today for our Executive MBA Info Session. I do want to thank everybody for joining us. Before we get started here, I do just want to go over a few housekeeping items. In order to minimize background noise this presentation is in broadcast only mode. Basically, you can hear us, we cannot hear you. I do ask that you use the Q&A feature at the bottom if you do have any questions. We will have a Q&A session at the end of the presentation, but feel free to ask questions throughout the entire presentation. I will be able to answer some questions through the chat feature, as well.

Jason Techeira: Also, a recording of this session is going to be emailed out to everyone after the webinar, so please do feel free if you have to cut out early, you can do that but, again, the Q&A session will be at the end of, so please hang around for that. On today’s presentation, we will go over some introductions for everybody that’s joining us today. The history, as well as, rankings and accreditations of our program. We’ll introduce you to the faculty director, a overview of the program. We do have some guests with us today, as well.

Jason Techeira: We’ll cover all of the admissions requirements, some networking and career resources that we have available, as well as, our international field study trip that takes place once per year, and then we’ll have, again, that live Q&A question at the end. So, today, my name is Jason Techeira. I will be your moderator today. I’m the senior enrollment advisor here on our Online Executive MBA Program. With us we also have Matthew Beer, military and veteran affairs with our Carson College of Business. And then, also, Velle Kolde, your executive MBA faculty director with us.

Jason Techeira: I want to introduce you to Velle and he’s going to go ahead and take it over from here.

Velle Kolde: Good afternoon, everyone. First off, I’ll start off just with a little history about Washington State University, a land grant university founded in 1890. We’ve been contouring degrees for over 125 years. We did our first MBA in 1957, so we’ve been doing graduate business education for over 60 years and actually, now we’re getting close to over 20 plus years in online degree programs but we’ve actually been in distance learning for over 30 years. Even before the internet we were offering distance learning degree programs. We’re also affiliated with a number of corporations and academic institutions around the globe.

Velle Kolde: We are accredited by the AACSB and if you’re not familiar with the accreditations AACSB is the gold standard of business school accreditations. One bit of advice I give to anybody looking at an MBA program, whether you’re looking at ours or you’re looking at other programs, be sure to go to a program that’s AACSB accredited. If you don’t, there are employers at the big companies, like the Starbucks, and Microsofts and Amazons of the world, when they’re looking at people’s business degrees, they’re looking for degrees that are AACSB certified and if you are not, that just going to work against you.

Velle Kolde: Given the amount of time and effort you’re going to be putting into this, you might as well get the full value out of it by going to an AACSB accredited program. There’s also a lot of rankings and recognitions out there and here are some of the ones that we’ve gotten. Although, we don’t actually chase rankings at WSU, they actually some of the ranks and criterias a little bit interesting, to say the least, but we actually tend to focus on delivering a high value, relevant business education to our students and to employers that hire our students and that’s really where we spend most of our time, but I guess it is nice to be recognized by News and World Report, and CEO Magazine and others.

Velle Kolde: Some of the Executive MBA programs here at Washington State University, I use three main pillars, quality, convenience and relevance. Let me just roll into that a little bit. Quality, as I mentioned before, we’re AACSB accredited. That’s the highest accreditation available to any business school. And in fact, of all the AACSB accredited schools, Washington state is among only 2% of those schools that is accredited at the undergraduate, graduate and PhD levels. We are a tier 1 research university. We did 371 million dollars in research last year.

Velle Kolde: We are an esteemed institution with world class faculty and curriculum. We do have a relatively small class size. Our sections are no more than 20 students. And one thing that’s really formal about executive MBA programs, and ours in particular, is that you’re going to have some extraordinary colleagues in the program, your classmates, because to be in this program, these are all successful mid-career professionals. They average 18 years of experience, 14 years of management experience and they bring a lot to the class discussions.

Velle Kolde: I often say that you’ll learn as much, if not more, from your classmates as you will from your professors, just because of the outstanding caliber of people in the program. We give you a lot to provide an interesting and engaging learning experience. We do group projects, UW stimulations and we also discuss current events and we will have many opportunities for networking interaction with your peers. Relevance, this focuses on providing you with information that you can take and apply right away.

Velle Kolde: Whether we’re teaching you theories or we’re teaching you best practices from the private sector, these are going to be tools, techniques, frameworks, concepts that you can learn on Wednesday night and go apply at work on Thursday. And we have lots of feedback of students that have done just that. Many students, as soon as they start the program, they are immediately applying what they’re learning into their workplace and into their organization and they continue to do that throughout the program.

Velle Kolde: So, it’s not that you’re waiting until 18 months from now when you graduate that you’re able to put together a comprehensive plan for how to apply what you’ve learned. You’re going to be able to be applying it as we go, very much focused on practical relevance. Convenience, this is around how we’ve designed the program. We’ve designed it specifically for adult learners. We’ve designed it for working professionals. We know that you’ve got a demanding career. Many of you have family obligations, as well. Some of you are even taking care of elder parents. It’s a pretty busy time in your life.

Velle Kolde: Think about taking on an extra 20 hours of work, getting an executive MBA is quite an undertaking, but that’s typical of the highly motivated, Type A, successful people that are in this program. Now, some of the things that they do, we are a full online program. We are asynchronous learning platform, meaning you can schedule your time around your professional and personal commitments. For example, we try and make most of the assignments due at the end of the week and that facilitates you to schedule your time during the week. Whether you’re going to prep to study before you go to work in the morning. Do you study during the day, do you study at night after you put your kids together?

Velle Kolde: It give you a lot of flexibility to schedule the time that you’re going to need to complete the assignments. All the online lectures or what we refer to as the collaborate sessions, when you’re online with the instructors, all of those are recorded, so, if for any reason you’re unable to attend one of the sessions you can always watch the recording. It’s also nice to be able to rewatch the recordings sometimes to review the content and verify your understanding of the information.

Velle Kolde: Also, we provide a lot of support for you. During the admissions process your enrollment advisor is your guide through the entire admissions process. And then, once you are in the program you’ll have a student services advisor to help you address any issues you may have with the program, classes, scheduling, et cetera. Of course, for the coursework itself, the faculty is there for you. Our faculty is highly rated for being very … The slides are changing but I don’t know what’s going on. Let me get back to here. Okay.

Velle Kolde: The faculty is very accessible. I give everybody in the program my cell phone number and they are encouraged to call, or text me, or email me any time, evenings, weekends are fine, if there is anything that they want to discuss or any questions they have and most of the faculty are that way, as well. Also, there’s 24/7 technical support for our learning management system, that brand name is Blackboard, and that’s where you’ll be entering into the courses and viewing assignments and content and submitting assignments. We have 24/7 support available through Blackboard.

Velle Kolde: I’ve already talked about the fact that we are 100% online. Our program is 18 months long. It is a carousel model, so we’ll run the courses on an 18 month calender and whenever you enter the program, you will jump onto the carousel at whatever course is being offered at that time. When you start and take your first course there’s going to be people in that course that have been in the program for four, for eight months, for 12 months, for 16 months, will be in the course with you. And this is a great benefit because they can also provide support and answer questions for you in addition to the assistance that you get from faculty.

Velle Kolde: They will have been around. They know how to use Blackboard, et cetera. We also provide a lot of networking opportunities, both within the context of the class in the form of group discussions and group assignments, but also outside of that, we do special events, outside events, that facilitate networking, and also continuing education in business. We do, do a final Capstone project instead of a final exam. We’ll talk more about that later.

Velle Kolde: We do offer international field trips, so that is a course that’s offered every April. This year we will be going to China, so those of you, if you are going to start the program in January, you may think about whether you want to do the trip to China because that will be coming up. You’ll need to be able to decide that. Let’s see, we’ve got slides on the international trip and the leadership conference that I’ll cover later. Now, to talk about active duty and military, I’d like to turn it over to my colleague, Matt Beer, he is with our military and veterans affairs group and he’ll talk about that.

Matt Beer: Hi, my name is Matt Beer. As Velle said, I am the military and veteran affairs manager here at Carson College of Business. I’m a retired Air Force guy, spent most of my career flying C-130s and now here trying to do some good work for Carson College and also for our military and veteran students. We’ve got about 15% of the cohort is veterans at any given time, so they’re there. Take advantage of them and I would challenge the veteran students to take advantage of your fellow students, as well.

Matt Beer: We try real hard, at Carson College, to make this a military and veteran friendly program, enrollment and admissions all the way through graduation, so if you have any questions about that or you want to talk to maybe a veteran who’s gone through the program, feel free to reach out to myself. My information is on the website, our website, but I think that’s probably the best way to do it and we are building some programs in addition to just our policies and procedures for our veteran and military students, to help them leverage their military experience and this EMBA as they transition into a civilian or a corporate environment.

Matt Beer: They’re real pleased to be working with the program and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask those at the end of the presentation. Thanks, Velle.

Velle Kolde: All right. Thanks, Matt. I’ll go ahead and head on. We do have quite a number of active duty military and veterans in the program. It varies, but anywhere between 10 to 20% and it’s been a very valuable program for those that are transitioning from a military career to a civilian career and, of course, as you may know, there’s tremendous benefits for veterans and active duty military, tremendous educational benefits for them. Just talking a little bit more about the program, it’s an 18 month program. It’s 100% online. We don’t require you to come to campus at all, so there’s no residency requirement.

Velle Kolde: And one thing to be aware of when you are looking at programs, the definition for an online program can vary depending on who you’re talking to. For example, US News and World Reports considers any program with 25% or less residency, they consider that an online program. So, that means that you will have to travel to campus on a regular basis to attend classes and do other things. At WSU, we are a purely online course. Our section size, the slide says 20 to 25, in the Executive MBA Program, we’re limited to 20, so it will be a 1 to 20 ratio between you and the session instructor in the course.

Velle Kolde: The model that we use is you take one class at a time and these are five week courses that are quite intensive, so during the 18 months timeframe you’ll be taking one five week class, when you complete that you’ll take the next five week class, and so you’re focused intensely on one subject at a time. Thereafter, when you are halfway through the program, you’ll also begin your Capstone classes, so this will be in addition to your regular five week class. You will be working, for the last nine months in the program, on your Capstone project and you’ll be working as a team in that.

Velle Kolde: During the second half, you’ll have your five week courses plus the Capstone courses. Virtually, anyone that qualifies for this program also qualifies for a GMAT waiver because you have sufficient business experience to qualify for the waiver, so GMAT is technically a requirement for admission to the grad school. Virtually everybody qualifies for a waiver for the GMAT that is looking at the Executive MBA program. The cost here is $1233 per credit for 44 credits. If you do the math on that it comes out to about $52,000 a year for tuition and probably figure in about another $2,500, or so, for books and supplies, case studies, et cetera.

Velle Kolde: As far as the documents that you need. We look for a minimum of 10 years business experience and seven years of management experience. In regard to once you’re in the program, I talked somewhat already, that we give you a lot of support when you’re going through admissions process the enrollment advisors will take you through that, make sure that your application is complete let me know if there’s anything more that is needed and make sure that everything is in good order there. Once you start the program, you get the support through the student support system, and then we have 24/7 tech support.

Velle Kolde: The international trip, this is part of one of the five week courses. This year we’ll be traveling to China. Actually, most years we travel to China because China is become such an important country and economy to business and it seems like, regardless of what business you’re in you are either going to be partnering with the Chinese or wanting to sell your product into the Chinese market or competing against the Chinese, so having a good understanding of what’s going on there, how to do business in China and in Asia is very valuable for just about everyone.

Velle Kolde: It is a great once in a lifetime experience because not only do we visit businesses when we’re there, we visit Boeing, Nike, we visit large Chinese companies, Dongfang, which is one of the big energy producing companies and Alibaba, we also learn about Chinese culture and history, so we do cultural events, as well. We’ll visit the forbidden city. We’ll go to the Great Wall. And we’ll also eat some really fantastic Chinese food. We have wonderful guides that, first off, speak very good English, so that you can understand them and they also know how to order authentic Chinese cuisine that Westerners like and they keep us away from some of the more sketchy things, unless of course you want to eat some tripe, they’ll be happy to order some for you.

Velle Kolde: The field study this trip, as I said, will be in the second week of April this year, so it will be part of the International Business Course that begins in early April. We also annually do an Executive MBA Leadership Conference. We do these at a boutique hotel in Seattle and we bring in some really exciting and dynamic speakers. In the past we’ve had Pete Carroll’s Win Forever consulting group come in and talk with us. We’ve had executive coaches. We’ve had social media coaches. So, we tend to focus a lot on bringing in speakers to talk about some of the soft skills and the EQ skills that aren’t really covered that well, perhaps, in traditional MBA curriculum, but are very important to your personal success in your career.

Velle Kolde: And so, we will bring in executive coaches and people that will help you build your brand and become a more effective and more visible leader. Because one of the big challenges you have, especially as you get higher up in an organization, is it becomes harder and harder to distinguish yourself because at the lower levels you were able to stand out because you were a high performer, you delivered outstanding results. But as you move higher up in the organization you get up to the Director level, the Senior Director level, the VP level, everybody at that level is a high performer that knows how to deliver exceptional results.

Velle Kolde: And so, how do you make yourself stand out there? How do you make yourself attractive and look like the right candidate to move to the even higher levels. That’s the focus of the leadership conference. There’s also a great, fun social event where you get to meet face-to-face with your colleagues and socialize with them, network with them, get to meet the faculty and socialize with them face-to-face. I always attend, as do several of the other professors. And then, we also do it in Seattle, in September, which is a beautiful time of year to go to Seattle.

Velle Kolde: We do it at a nice boutique hotel in Downtown and we’re walking distance to Seattle sites like Pioneer Square and Pike Place Market, so it’s great to add a couple days on it and beautiful time to visit Seattle. And we do that, as I said, every September. So, now I’ve told you about the program and, of course, you’re looking, “Well, of course, you’re a faculty member. You’re a Director of the program, so, of course, you think your program is great and wonderful, but, to give you the actual student’s perspective I’ve invited one of our recent graduates, Rob Younger, to come here and share his experiences in the program.

Velle Kolde: And also, this is a great opportunity for you to ask Rob any questions you have as how he went through the program and the challenges, the opportunities, the techniques that he used to be successful in the program. And with that, I’ll turn it over to Rob.

Rob Younger: Thanks, Velle. In talking about the program and experience today, three specific topics here that were listed, and so I’ll touch on each of these but I would encourage the folks that are here, ask questions if they have them. I’m more than happy to answer as best I can anything that gets asked. I think, one of the things that really attracted me to the Washington State program, versus, other alternatives as I looked around was I travel a lot for work. I fly about 150,000 miles a year. That means that some of the more traditional programs just don’t work for me. I can’t attend a full-time program. I can’t really do a weekends or evenings program because of my travel schedule, and so the flexibility that the WSU program has built in was really a key item for me.

Rob Younger: And I did try to, and in fact, attended almost every session-wise and that was regardless of whether I was in my home based in Seattle or I was traveling somewhere back east, I watched a class on my phone from a parade in New Orleans. I had classes that I took at breakfast time in Seoul, Korea and, of course, I did the international study abroad China trip, so I got to attend that in person, at least, without some sort of crazy time zone logistics. The program is a great opportunity for your personal and professional development. You get to make lots of contacts and friends and there are numerous people that are part of the program that were on the same start and finish track with me, but also folks that I was only in maybe one or two classes with that I keep up with regularly.

Rob Younger: And so, not only did I get to engage with some of those folks in person in China and at the Leadership Conference here last month, but I email and text with people on a regular basis. And there are a few of the students that I made such tremendously good contact with and have a lot of commonality with that, from a professional standpoint, I share things that I’m working on and they share things that they’re working on in their professional life. It’s a great opportunity to take advantage of a lot of smart people that you’re going to be surrounded by.

Rob Younger: The professors are engaging, as well. When Velle says he passes out his phone number and he’s willing to chat with you about things, he means that and that’s something that I’ve taken advantage of in having conversations with him and with other members of the faculty about items that I’m working on outside of the program even. Lots of positives. The Leadership Conference that we just completed in Seattle was really tremendous and even if you didn’t take anything, professionally, away from the conference, which is not the case, I did, I felt like the sessions were really valid in things that people could put to work in their career right away.

Rob Younger: Just the ability to interact with the other students and to have a chance to spend face time with them really makes it all worthwhile and there’s no substitute for spending time with people that are smart, and charismatic and engaging in life, and so I really enjoyed that but , at the same time, nice to learn some techniques about how to better negotiate and also to do some real business strategy planning with individuals in a live environment. Lots of positives. The one thing that I’ll say that maybe I’m not supposed to is that, of course, there’s some negatives with being a part of a MBA program and that is that it takes time. It’s a real commitment and you have to put in the time and effort to actually complete the assignments and to get things done.

Rob Younger: I think everybody that looks at a program like this knows that, but obviously that’s the one part that you end up sacrificing is a lot of your time. But in the end 18 months goes by really quickly and it felt like I literally just started despite the fact that I just graduated and I really enjoyed every bit of it. Velle, any other things that you think I should touch on?

Velle Kolde: One of the students asked how’s the program helped you since you graduated. Maybe you could address that.

Rob Younger: Well, what I would say to that question is, I’m not sure that there is a defining item that I would say that the program has helped me with since I’ve graduated, in particular, but there are numerous things that have popped out all along the way that I’ve applied in my daily work. Maybe one of those things is that I’ve always been good at business strategy but I wasn’t necessarily the most polished at writing a true business case, and so having a course where we focused on that tremendously I was able to take a project that was relevant at the time, here at Capital One, and incorporate that directly into my classwork, and then take the classwork deliverable and incorporate it back into my professional world as an actual professional deliverable to get a project funded and off the ground and road mapped.

Rob Younger: And so, that applicability to the work that we’re doing in the program was something that I found invaluable. In terms of finishing the program and takeaways I will say that people that are on LinkedIn and other areas where you’re exposed in the public view will start to reach out to you about opportunities that maybe you didn’t even know existed. So, I’ve been approached already about three or four different things, despite the fact that I’m not even necessarily looking for something. People saying, “Hey, I see you have your MBA Degree now. Let me talk to you about these things that we’re doing.”

Rob Younger: So, it definitely opens some doors for you in that regard and I can see that, that will be the case, ongoing.

Velle Kolde: Awesome. Thank you so much there, Rob. [crosstalk 00:31:53]. Jason, you want to?

Jason Techeira: Yeah. Thank you, Velle. At this point I’d like to just open up the floor for some questions. I see that we have had quite a few questions coming in. I want to thank Velle, Rob, and Matt for speaking and giving us some feedback, as far as, the overview of the program, the military perspective, and then obviously having a actual student perspective of what the Executive MBA Program looks like from a day-to-day basis is a great dimension to apply to this presentation. So, again, going on to some of these questions that we have here, and I think that this one, I’d like to hear your take on this, as well, Rob, and then we’ll probably get a faculty perspective from Velle, as well.

Jason Techeira: But one of the students asked here, what is the average experience of students in the executive MBA online program? And so, I’m thinking that, that question is probably referring to a time commitment on a day-to-day basis? You already touched on some of the networking opportunities that you’ve had. So, if you could just really let us know time-wise what you were facing in the program, that’d be great, Rob.

Rob Younger: Sure. I would say that the answer to that question is that it varies. It depends on the class that you’re in at that particular point in time and what your level of comfort with the subject matter is in that particular area. But, overall, as would be the case with any Master’s level curriculum, there is a pretty extensive amount of reading that’s required for the coursework. Some of the reading is a little bit more technical, which means that you can go through it quite a bit faster and as you start to encounter the work or the deliverables you may have to go back and reexamine some of those pieces.

Rob Younger: Other courses required more extensive reading, and so from a work standpoint, during the week, most weeks I would say that depending on the course it would be anywhere between three to eight hours of my time, during weekdays, that I dedicated to reading material or working on items. And then, for me, I tended to put most of my efforts in on the weekend when I had a bit more flexibility and free time. And so, in that case, I would say that on the short side, maybe three or four hours on a Saturday and a couple follow-up hours on a Sunday to work on the majority of deliverables that I would have for the following week.

Rob Younger:    On the extreme side, if there were something that was major due for a course and it was at the end of the process, sometimes that might have equaled five to seven hours on a given Saturday and maybe even some follow-up time on a Sunday. Now, that being said, I tend to be a little bit of perfectionist in the way that I approach things, and so I want every piece of material that I put out there, whether it’s personally or professionally, to be at the highest level. And it was, for me, important to get the most that I could out of the program, so I wasn’t really trying to just get a passing grade. I was trying to learn as much as I possibly could, so that I could take that and apply it into my professional life.

Jason Techeira: Thank you, Rob. And Velle, for a faculty perspective, would you be able to share, as far as, if there are any requirements or any recommendation that you have, as far as, time commitments into the program? Because I know that you teach a few courses, as well as, the Capstone.

Velle Kolde: Yeah. Well, what we guide is that you should allow probably about 20 hours a week for your schoolwork. It may vary a little bit depending on how familiar you are with the subject matter. If you’re a finance person you may spend less time on the finance and accounting courses. However, if you don’t do a lot with numbers, you might spend a little bit more time on it, but that’s what we target for. And then, during the second half of your degree, you’ll also be working on your Capstone project, which will probably be about an additional eight hours a week, on average. But in the Capstone, you are working on a team, you are developing a new product idea and writing a business plan for it, and you’re working as a team, so the team dynamics actually allow some load balancing so it’s not just eight hours every week.

Velle Kolde: Some weeks you may do more for your team, if it’s areas that are in your subject matter expertise, others may be less.

Jason Techeira: Awesome. Thank you so much, Velle. So, another question we had here … And I do just want to really quick say that these questions are not in any particular order, so if we don’t get to all of the questions through the presentation we will make sure to follow-up up with you at the end of this, either by email or your admissions advisor will give you a call directly. But, this next question here for Velle, I believe, would be the best, is class participation part of the grade?

Velle Kolde: Well, that varies instructor to instructor. In the courses I teach, I don’t actually have any requirement that you attend. I view it as it’s my responsibility to make the sessions informative, and engaging, and interesting enough for you to want to attend. However, I also understand as a practical matter, that’s not always possible. People have business obligations, personal obligations, travel, et cetera, so we do, as I said, make the recordings available, but I don’t want to say that, make a blanket statement about that because it might be possible that the other professors might have some type of participation requirement. But, we do strive to keep this program 100% online and asynchronous.

Jason Techeira: Perfect, thank you. The next question here I have, it’s an admissions question. I think I can answer this but, Velle, I’ll ask for your feedback on it, as well. The question is, do students need 10 years of business experience and seven plus years of management experience or one or the other? As a general rule of thumb, we typically look for those minimum benchmarks, 10 years of business experience and seven years of progressive management experience. We’re going to look at an overall applicant’s portfolio. So, we’ll look at the overall scope of your decision making responsibilities, the trajectory that you have in your career.

Jason Techeira: I would encourage you to reach out to your admissions advisor, send your resume, let’s have your resume evaluated. But, again, as a general rule of thumb, that is the basic requirement that we look for. Did you have anything else to add on that, Velle?

Velle Kolde: All I’d say is that if you think you’re in that gray area between the Online MBA and the Executive MBA, consult with an enrollment advisor, like Jason or one of his colleagues, and they’ll be able to help you determine which is the right program for you. They also may even send your resume to me to have me take a look at it to figure out which program is the best fit for you. It’s not an absolute hard requirement but that is the guideline. And as I mentioned, the averages are almost double those minimum requirements for the average student. We are taking people with less under certain circumstances.

Jason Techeira: Perfect, Velle. Thank you. Next question I have here, Rob, I think this would be best for you. What’s the most challenging aspect working as a group in an online setting?

Rob Younger: It’s probably not a fair question for me to answer from a perspective standpoint compared to others, potentially, because with Capital One being a company of 55,000 employees, I already, before coming into the program, managed teams of people that were disbursed across the United States, and so we do virtual meetings on a regular basis, ongoing. We work with cross-functional teams, as well as, direct reporting lines. Just like in the real world it can be difficult to get people to pull their weight, to be on the same page, to be timely in terms of coming to meetings. All the same logistical challenges that exist in remote work in the real world also exist in the classroom setting.

Rob Younger: That being said, what I will say is that, in general, the level of professionalism among the students within the program was exceptionally high and the students, I found, compared to in a professional world, were actually substantially more reliable and delivered work that was always at a high level, which, unfortunately, over the course of my professional working career I can’t say has always been the case.

Jason Techeira: Thank you so much for that perspective, Rob. And one thing that I’ll just add on that, if you’re concerned about a online program, as far as, taking courses in an online setting, to Rob’s point, the higher up you get into most positions, many positions, and Velle can speak on this, too, a lot of the business atmosphere and the settings are going to be online communication. I can’t say how often I find myself communicating in an online setting, whether that’s instant messaging, emails, or working on various cross-functional projects completely through global channels. So, it’s something you’re going to be doing and most of you have already been doing at this setting. Now you’re just putting that into the classroom atmosphere, as well.

Jason Techeira: And, I do have another question here on whether the Executive MBA Program applies well to the job of a city planner or someone involved in city government? Velle, I don’t know if you have any insight to this. I know that we have had students in the program that have been in city planning and involved in city government. Do you have any insight on this question?

Velle Kolde: Yeah, I do. I can’t say specifically as a city planner because I’m not sure that we’ve had a city planner and I’m not an expert on the requirements for a city planner, but we teach here, you’ll notice that in the Executive MBA Program there is no specializations. You don’t specialize in international on a business or in marketing or in information systems because at the true executive level you need to have a strong understanding of all aspects of business and how they’re interrelated and be able to develop strategies and lead organizations that have all these diverse disciplines in them.

Velle Kolde: We have had people work with public utilities and in city governments in the program. I think they got quite a bit out of it, but what I can do is look at it and see if I can identify some of the graduates from the program that … I know people have been working for port commissions, and so on, and maybe I can put you in contact directly with some of those and they might be able to address it more specifically. But I would say, in general, yes, if you are planning to move up into the higher level of the organization, what happens at the higher level of the organization, it doesn’t matter whether you’re at Hong Kong Shanghai Bank or you’re at Starbucks, or you’re somewhere else, high levels of organization, you need to know how everything works, how everything fits together and how to operate, and plan strategies and lead the organization at that level.

Velle Kolde: Okay, thank you, Velle. Another question we have here, Matt, if you could please let us know at what point a student will actually have connection with you throughout their classroom process.

Matt Beer: Okay, sure. Any administrative or any admissions process or even now, you can feel free to reach out to me just with any questions you might have. But, formally, once you’ve been admitted to the program, I’ll receive your name, and I’ll reach out to you and make contact that way in terms of benefits and any other programs you might have going on, invite you to connect with our Carson veterans. And then, I usually check in from time to time with our students throughout the program, as well.

Matt Beer: So, that’s how that usually works but if you have specific questions prior to entering the program, please feel free to reach out or you can talk to your enrollment advisor and they’ll connect you with me or even with another student, as well. Does that answer the question, whoever asked it?

Jason Techeira: Yes, perfect, Rob. Thank you very much. Another question we have here is, how long are the field study options? Velle, if you could let us know how long that breakdown of what that field study looks like in a little bit more detail? Thank you.

Velle Kolde: Sure. The actual trip itself is you’re traveling for 11 days but it takes actually a full day to get to China. So, you’ll leave on Saturday and you arrive Sunday night, and then we start Monday morning. And then, we’re there for a week, well, 10 more days. It’s a total of 11 days and I can actually tell you the dates on that, too. If you’re in the Seattle area or on the West Coast, you would be departing on Saturday the 13th, and be returning on Wednesday the 24th of April 2019. And that is during a five week course. During this five week period, this is the course that you would be taking. There’s a little bit of pre-work before we go on the trip and a little bit of post-work after we return from the trip, and it is a regular three credit class.

Jason Techeira: Thank you so much for that, Velle. Just for follow-up on that, how are the locations chosen for that field study?

Velle Kolde: Well, I choose the locations. I’m the professor that teaches the course. This year we’ll be going to Beijing, Dalian, and Hangzhou. Hangzhou is right outside of Shanghai. And this would give you a really good view of China. Beijing is the capital. It’s also where all the state owned enterprises are located and headquartered. In China, any business that’s considered strategic to the country, such as aerospace or energy, is owned by the state, so they’re state owned enterprises, so those companies all have their headquarters in and around the capital of Beijing.

Velle Kolde: Dalian is actually to the east of Beijing and it is a big trade center. Of course, China’s huge. They have so many cities that are over a million people, but it is a very big trade city. It also has a bit of the Russian influence because it is in Northern China, so it’s good to see here’s the Russian influence in China. Hangzhou is outside of Shanghai. This is where Alibaba is headquartered and that’s one of the reasons that we’ll go there, is we’ll visit Alibaba. And Shanghai was where the Western trade was really centralized during the late 1800s, when the Germans, the Americans, the French, the other European nations were doing a lot of trade with China.

Velle Kolde: That was primarily both in the Hong Kong area in the Pearl River Delta and in Shanghai. That’s very Western, much more capitalistic center of China. That’s the short version to why we picked those three cities for this year’s trip.

Jason Techeira: Perfect. Thank you very much, Velle. Another question here. I think I should be able to answer this. How long do you have to complete the program? The program itself, if you went straight through the program, which again, very flexible pace, one course at a time, you’ll wind up completing the program in about 18 months. At that pace there are several breaks in the program, as well. Month of December, you have just about that entire month off from courses, and then periodically there’s a week break thrown in between classes, as well. That standard pace is about 18 months, however, we do give you up to five years to complete the program.

Jason Techeira: A lot of students will utilize that to maximize any tuition reimbursement options and whether life happens or time gets tight, we give you that flexibility. And then, even after that you can always write for a extension on the program, as well. You can submit a letter to request that. But, typically, that is the requirement would be 18 months at the standard pace or if you need breaks you have up to five years to complete the program. Another question we have here, and this one we partially covered a minute ago when we were talking about class participation, but this one worded a little bit differently. Are there any penalties if you only watch the recorded videos?

Jason Techeira: Velle, I know that in your course … You can speak to your courses specifically. Do you mind touching on that?

Velle Kolde: Yeah. All the lectures are videotaped, are recorded, so you can watch them at any time. But is the question about the requirements or is it the availability?

Jason Techeira: Specifically, the requirements. So, any penalties if you only watch the recorded videos? My interpretation is if they are only able to watch those recorded videos and they’re not able to attend the live lectures, if there will be any penalty associated to them.

Velle Kolde: So, here again, without looking at the specific syllabi of all the courses, I don’t believe so, but I can’t say for certain. There’s many different ways that you can participate in the class, so most of the participation, some of it can be online during the session, but there’s also a lot of class discussions, group discussions, forums that are done so there can be participation that way. So, I don’t believe that you will get penalized if you miss them but I can’t say for certain because I haven’t looked at that granularity for all the courses. I don’t know. Maybe Rob might have some perspective on his experience with that.

Rob Younger: Velle, in the most recent 18 months, at least, there were participation requirements for courses but none of them required persons to be physically present for particular lectures or events. So, participation was more around the discussion board or other items. Or, sometimes if it’s an either/or you can participate live in-session by offering the discussion or if you were unable to do that and you watched the recorded, then you would make some sort of commentary in the discussion board area.

Jason Techeira: Fantastic. Thank you so much Rob and Velle. Next question here, more again about the live lectures. Are the video lectures closed captioned, how is overall accessibility and are the live lectures at a consistent date and time for each session? A three part question here. Video lectures, you have multiple channels of accessing them. The online portal that we use for our classroom is Blackboard, and so there is a mobile application for Blackboard. You are able to connect on your mobile device, as well as, tablet, online and you are able to access those lectures via those devices, as well.

Jason Techeira: Now, like Velle and Rob mentioned, they are all recorded and archived. So, you can access these any time of day, as often as you’d like, as many times as you like, so you can rewatch those lectures, as well. As far as the consistent date and time for each session, each professor will typically have their lectures set to a specific schedule. You’ll typically have maybe one or two live lectures each week. Usually around 6:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time and you might have one of those on a Monday or Tuesday and Wednesday or Thursday.

Jason Techeira: And so, again, what we really hope that you’re able to do is maximize the flexibility that the program has to offer you. If those dates and times don’t work for you, connect with your professor, let them know that you’re typically not available and that you will be accessing those recordings and they’ll be more than happy to work with you in the program and connect you with a group for any projects that you have that are all going to be able to communicate around the same time of day. Any additional insight from Velle or Rob on that at all?

Rob Younger: This is Rob. One thing I’ll say is that a recorded class structure is great for one other reason and that is, of course, for each class you’ll have a professor that does a main lecture, and then you’ll have a section instructor that does a secondary lecture that you can attend or you can watch recorded, but if you want to, you can watch the sessions from other section instructors, as well. And sometimes just hearing something explained slightly different, as is the case when any human beings start explaining anything that’s highly technical, you might pick up something that allows you to better understand that particular week’s lesson by listening to an alternate session.

Rob Younger: And you can fast forward through them, so you can get to the section of relevance. In general, people are using the same slides or similar. If you’ve already seen one, you can easily go and get to a specific topic.

Jason Techeira: Perfect. Thank you very much for that, Rob. At this time it looks like our hour for the presentation is just about up. We have time for one last question here. And again, any questions that we did not get to we’ll make sure to email you directly or your admissions advisor will give you a call directly to answer those questions. One last question here, we’ll all get a kick out of it. As a Husky football fan, do I now have to be a Cougar football fan? And I think we’re all going to answer, absolutely. Velle, Rob, Matt, did any of you want to answer that?

Velle Kolde: Well, okay. I’ll just mention that my wife is a Husky. I did my undergraduate and graduate degree at Washington State University. My older brother did an undergraduate at WSU and did his grad degree at UW. And my younger brother was an undergrad at UW, so there’s a lot of co-mingling there. Now, as a Seattle native, I always root for the Huskies, except when they play the Cougars, so that’s how I’ve reconciled it. Of course, you can imagine there’s a lot of tension in my house during the Apple Cup, in a good-natured way.

Jason Techeira: Awesome. Yeah, I think we’re all a family but on the football field, Go Cougs. Thank you everybody for joining us. Again, Velle, Rob, Matt, everybody who attended, I just want to thank you for taking the time out of your day. I know it’s our lunch hour so you had to cut that short. Hopefully, you’re still able to squeeze in a meal here but thank you everybody for joining. Any last thoughts, anybody? All right, then. Go Cougs. All right.