WSU MBA Fall 2018 Webinar with Program Director

Webinars

Transcript

Jason Techeira:
Yes, hello. Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for joining us for our fall online MBA webinar with the faculty director and guest speaker. Happy all of you were able to join with us today. Before we get started here, I do just want to go over some housekeeping items. We do have this webinar set to broadcast-only mode just to minimize any background noise. You can hear us. We cannot hear you. If you would like to ask us any questions, I please do encourage you to ask those questions using the Q&A feature to the bottom of the screen and then upon conclusion of this webinar, we will send out a recording to everybody that attended as well.Jason Techeira:
During our webinar today, we’d like to go over just some brief introductions as well as the history of the program, rankings, accreditations. We will go through the MBA program curriculum and overview. We will go through all of the different and various admissions requirements, how we streamline the process for you for admissions, networking opportunities, career resources, and we will have the pleasure of speaking with one of our alumni students and partake on the international field study, as well as the director for that international field study trip as well. Then again, upon conclusion, we’ll have the live Q&A session. Again, feel free to ask questions at any time throughout the presentation, and then correction, our student speaker is a current student in the program.Jason Techeira:
So with us today, myself, I am the senior advisor here with the online MBA and executive MBA programs. We do also have our faculty director Suzanne L’Amoureux here with the Carson College of Business. We have again, our alumni, or I’m sorry, our current student speaker Julie Eggebraaten who did partake on our international trip to Chile. I’ll go ahead and turn it over to Suzanne to go over the history of the program. Suzanne, how are you today?Suzanne L’Amoureux:
I’m doing well, Jason. Thank you. Hello, everyone. We have a gorgeous day in Pullman. Because we’re an online MBA, you may actually never come here until graduation. I hope you come for graduation, but in the event that you ever want to join us here on campus, I am always available and happy to do tours. Like I said, it’s beautiful here today. We have a lot of great stuff on campus including probably my favorite thing, is our dairy. We are a land grant agriculture school, so we have some awesome ice cream on campus.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
We are Washington State University. We’re a land grant university started in 1890 in Pullman. For those of you who don’t know a lot about the land grants program, there were grants given to every state in the union by President Lincoln. Every state that was a state then and they were given as a way for the states to provide agriculture for their citizens. Most of the states took advantage of that and a lot of states where you hear state university, like Washington State. I’m from Illinois, Illinois State, those tend to be the land grant schools. The mission of a land grant is to provide educational opportunities for those in the area who are willing and able to partake in education. It’s a way of evening the playing field and providing education to everyone. We are very proud of that legacy and we continue to do that today.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
We have about 125 years of experience. For those who know Wazoo, we are the Cougars, and there are Cougs everywhere in the world. Recently, Julie and I were actually in Chile and you’ll talk to her soon. There was Twitter challenge put out by Washington State University that asked the most unusual place that anyone had heard anyone yell, “Go Cougs”. Anyone who meets me, knows that I’m hyper-competitive, so since that was a challenge, I decided that we were going to win the challenge. Julie, do you want to jump in for a second and tell everybody what we did?

Julie Eggebraaten:
Sure. We were at a factory where they make many kinds of delicious cookies, and pasta and other food products, called [inaudible 00:04:37] and we stood in front of their sign and yelled, “Go Cougs,” and Suzanne posted it to the Twitter page.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Thanks. I like to think we won. Coach Leach was in Twitter that day. So I’m pretty sure we lost because Coach Leach has more followers. So he won, but I feel like I think we did a great job of it. We just celebrated 60 years of graduate business education here at the Carson College. We are a robust undergraduate school in business and we are also a very large business school. We currently have two online business degrees. We have the online MBA. We call it the OMBA, that’s what we’re talking about today. There is also an executive MBA. We have more than 20 years experience working in online degree programs and as you think about your MBA and as you think about online, take a look at folks that you should absolutely be looking at a lot of people. Take a look at how much experience people have.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Online MBA degrees are very popular right now. I would like to even call them trendy. There used to be 100 accredited AACSB schools that had MBA programs. There are now 410. So it is absolutely one of the things you want to look at is how long people have been doing this and how good have they gotten at doing it. We have a huge network all over the world, other universities, corporate partners. We have students at just about every company or business line that I can think of, whether they’re current students or alumni. Great place to do a lot of networking.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
I want to talk about the accreditation. You will hear as you do your search AACSB accredited. That accrediting body only accredits 1% of business schools in the world at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. Washington State University is one of those schools that’s accredited across the board. A lot of people in looking up online education think about for profit versus non-for profit, absolutely something that you wan to consider if you look. Any state university is going to be a non-for profit. By definition, universities are non-profit. One great distinguishing method however is accreditation and people ask a lot what this means.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
It’s the gold standard in universities and in education. So it gives you a level of insurance of the quality of education that you’re getting of the oversight that you’re getting of the ethics in the program of putting it together and quite frankly for your own career and for employers, there is a different between an AACSB accredited school and not. There is no higher level of accreditation in the business school world. So this is as good as it gets. As you look, you may want to say, “Are you AACSB accredited? What does that mean to me? How will that help me in my career?” Those are things for you to be looking at.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
There are a ton of rankings. That’s another way that people look at their discernment process in choosing a degree. I will tell you that right now it seems like there is a ranking given by everyone quite frankly and it’s hard to sift through the noise. There are websites that will offer, so for example, Jason could. I hope Jason doesn’t, but Jason could start his own website and he could rank programs and he could call it, “Best MBAs in the World,” and that would be a ranking, but that doesn’t really have a lot of weight behind it because it’s just Jason’s opinion.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
So we do not, absolutely do not chase rankings, but the rankings that are commonly known as the most important ones, U.S. News & World Reports is among the top of the rankings mechanisms. We are ranked number 12 in the best online MBA programs, which is amazing. That puts us in the top 5% nationally. CEO Magazine has ranked us highly. One of the best schools for veterans in U.S. News & World Report, also military friendly school. We are very proud of status. We work very hard to make sure that we are military friendly and we are friendly to all of our students.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
We actually just this week announced that we have a new military and veterans coordinator. His name is Matt Verre. He’s not even on this slide because he started on Monday, but we work really hard. If you are working, if you are a current military member or a veteran working hard to understand that you know what your benefits are and can best apply them in your education as well as providing that online education that’s flexible. We have students all over the world. We students who can continue in classes who are deployed. Students who choose not to continue while they’re deployed. Either of those is fine. We want to make sure people are successful as they can possibly be. We do have that 60 years of excellent in business education, which again, kind of amazing when you look at the field.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
I want to talk about the curriculum itself and Jason, please feel free to jump in at any point. One of the biggest differentiators in an online program, we are 100% online. It turns out that in the accrediting bodies, if you say that you are online, you only have to be 75% online to be qualified as an online degree and there are those people who absolutely want to have a residency and that’s a completely fine option. We do not do that. We are 100% online except for the international field study component, which we’re going to talk about, but this means for you and your life and your work schedule and your family schedule, you don’t have to come to Pullman. You don’t have to go to Seattle. You don’t have to go anywhere. You can do everything at home or wherever you do it.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
The degree takes between 22 and 29 months. It will take 22 months if you have a bachelor’s degree in business from an AACSB accredited school or if you can waive all of the foundation courses, which is another way to do that. The foundations are a way to think about basics in business. So foundations could be an intro to stats, we have business law. We have finance. We have operations. We have marketing. If you have taken those classes at another school and gotten a B or better, then it’s possible to waive those courses, which would put you at the 22 month mark.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
We have four concentrations. An MBA is generally seen as a generalist degree. So it is perfectly reasonable and okay for you to go to an MBA anywhere and not have a concentration, which is an equivalent of a major in undergraduate. A lot of people like to have a concentration. So if that is something that you would like to do, absolutely welcome to. Here you do that by choosing one of these four things, marketing, finance, hospitality and business management or international business and what it means is that your three elective course would all fall in that field. If you choose not to do a concentration, then you can choose the electives from whatever is offered.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
So it may be that you decide to go general and this time you’d like to take global marketing and next time you’re going to take the hospitality and business management class. Maybe you’re going to take international business. That’s the elective that brought us to Chile in May. That is completely your choice.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
I would like to point out that we’re one of the few MBAs that has a concentration in hospitality and business management. The Carson College and WSU have a very long history in hospitality and business management. If that’s something that interests you, it’s really cool here and it’s pretty unusual. Our faculty member who went with us to Chile actually teaches in our on-campus program at Tri-Cities, which is an area in Washington and his specialty is the business of wine. So it’s really interesting to be able to learn from somebody in that realm of hospitality. Also of course hospitality sales, hotels, those kinds of things, travel.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Our program has both asynchronous content and live synchronous content. The asynchronous content is the content that you can do anytime, 24/7 wherever you are, whenever you are. It tends to be your action is things like reading cases, remarking on them on Blackboard. You might have to go in and make a certain number of posts for a class. You can have conversations through that online posting system where Julie comes in and makes her comment and then her classmate Todd goes in after her and goes, “Well, Julie makes an interesting point, but what about this?” And that’s one way to have an asynchronous conversation. For every class, we also have live lectures. We have one that is given weekly by the lead faculty and there will also be a session, a live session by your section faculty.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
The lead faculty is the person who designs and guides the class. So they will be covering the concepts of the week, what you are learning and all of the learning goals. You can think of your section faculty as a lab faculty if you had that concept in undergrad, where they’re definitely going to be covering things that week, but they’re going to be supporting the lead faculty and saying, “This is what we covered in this session. How can we explore it further? Here are some exercises. I’m here to answer questions.” So you have access to both of those sessions every week. They are both live and recorded.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
I personally think that you get more out of them if it’s a live session. So when possible, I would suggest that you go to the … I’m making up a time, Monday at 7:00 session so you can interact with the faculty, but if you can’t make it that time, it’s completely fine. You can actually watch those recorded sessions. It’s much like watching actually what we’re doing now. Because you’re in the webcast live, you have the ability to ask questions and I see that there are some questions there, so hopefully Jason’s getting those responded to as we go. It’s the difference between that and watching this later. You’ll get the same information that everybody else gets. You might not be able to ask the question that only you had.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
We have a capstone project in our program. This is also relatively unusual in an MBA. This is a great differentiator. It’s a way for you to combine everything that you’ve learned over your roughly two years. The way that it works is that you will be on a team of five people. You can choose or have that chosen for you and you will come up, your team will come up with a business concept or product and your entire capstone is essentially how to bring that to market. You don’t have to bring it to market. You can if you want. So you will do a feasibility study for your project. You will do the marketing research. All of those things and then actually how would you actualize this, how would it work and your final presentation is the presentation of your product or idea or service that you’re doing.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
You’re not graded on whether or not you actually bring it to market. Let me make that clear, but you are graded on the work that you put into it and the work could say, “This is not feasible.” You could come up with a great idea and then at the end of your capstone say, “This’ll be a great idea in ten years or in five years.” There is also the optional field study, which we are absolutely going to talk about in just a couple of minutes.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
When you talk about the certificates, this is the concentration that I mentioned before and we use this language kind of interchangeably. So I want to make sure everybody understands what it is. If you’re a current student in the MBA program, your certificate is basically the same thing as your concentration. So if you do a concentration in finance, you end up with a certificate in finance when you graduate and nothing has changed.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
That’s exactly how it goes. You don’t have to add any classes. If you’re an alum of Washington State University’s MBA program. So when Julie is done, if she decides she wants to come back and get a certificate in finance, I’m guessing Julie isn’t a finance certificate now, but I could be totally wrong. I’m going to say hospitality because I know she doesn’t work in hospitality. She can come back and just do those three classes for the hospitality and business management certificate. So she would actually have an MBA, perhaps with a concentration and in a year or two years or some period down the road, she could come back and just do those nine credits of those three electives to get a graduate certificate.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
If you are in your shoes, which means you have not yet been admitted to the MBA program and perhaps not yet applied to the MBA program, you might want to apply to just get the certificate. You might say, “Hey, I’d like to try this out. I’m going to do the marketing certificate first, see if that helps me enough in my career and my personal goals,” and if not, then you can come and do the MBA overall.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
We already touched a bit on active duty military and veterans. Just want to reiterate that for all of our students, we are completely here in support of our students and we’ll do the best we can to make sure that everything works out over the course of their career in order for them to graduate. No MBA program should want students to leave. We are only going to admit the people that we think are going to be successful and we’re going to do everything we can to help them be successful in the program. Active duty military will also have an additional benefit if you will, that if someone is deployed during the program, we have some extra support that way so that some of the deadlines do not apply if you’re deployed.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
This is the overview of the MBA itself. Jason, are we okay on questions?
Jason Techeira: Absolutely, Suzanne. I’m getting to as many as we can. We’re going to hold on some of these until the end.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Good.

Jason Techeira:
As many of these questions will be answered during the presentation.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Okay, awesome. I am going to say that the format of the final presentation for the capstone depends somewhat on the faculty, but it is usually something like a recorded PowerPoint presentation or a live PowerPoint presentation.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
In-person class time per week. I’m sorry, Jason. I’m just going to answer some of these. In-person class time per week and by that, I mean the lectures is one hour for the lead faculty and one hour for the section faculty. So that’s two hours of, I don’t like the word lecture, but I’m going to say lecture time. The expected work load outside the class is about ten to 15 hours per week. That will depend greatly on your background and your aptitude or skills.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
There are people that think statistics is really easy and they get it quickly and they do it much more quickly, but they think marketing is hard and the other one definitely applies. Nothing is every Monday at 7:00 AM. That was my example of when a class could be. Our live sessions are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Basically 7:00, 8:00 or 9:00 PM. One note. Every time that I give is Pacific Time. So if you are not in Pacific Time, if you’re in New York City, the same time applies to you. It is 7:00PM Pacific, which is your 10:00 PM New York, et cetera, et cetera.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
The response time for questions over email is 24 to 48 hours, but if anybody has a question for their faculty while they’re in classes, rather than email, a far better thing to do is to post it on Blackboard. First you generally get a faster response, second other people may have the same question or it may bring up other questions. So that when Julie asks a question on Blackboard, not only can they answer Julie, but somebody else might chime in with another question there.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
I’m going to go back to the slide. You see the online MBA’s structure. I’ve already covered some of it. There are no minimum years of experience required. You can apply to the online MBA straight out of undergraduate. You do not have to have any work experience. The typical class size is for a section class and it’s 25 to 30 people and the structure is that you take one class at a time and then you have the capstone. Our classes are seven weeks long for most of our classes. The foundation classes, which are kind of basic classes are five weeks long.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
You have the tuition there. It depends on the 29268 is if you do not need foundations. The higher number is if you need all of the foundations. Like I said, it is possible they need some of the foundations and if you need some, then the number would be in between those two.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Jason, am I having you do admissions requirements? I apologize. I don’t remember.

Jason Techeira:
You can go over it, Suzanne.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Okay, great. So for admissions, you obviously need to fill out an application. You have to have the completed and signed application. By the way, all of these things have to be in place before a decision is made. So you can’t submit part of them and then wait. The documentation, you need official transcripts from every university you have attended. If you took a class at a community college 15 years ago and that’s the only thing you did there, you still need a transcript. We need your current resume. We need three letters of recommendation. I would advise that you have it be a current supervisor, at least one of them, because that will help, but if you have other people who might be better able to speak to your experience, that’s fine.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
One note about those who are working because most of our people are working professionals, if you have not talked to your work people, meaning your supervisor and your coworkers and your life people, meaning whoever that is in your life about your desire to do this, you need to do that. Any MBA that you do is going to take a lot of work and a lot of time and you will be more successful if there are people in your life who are supportive of it. You do not want to get in the situation of thinking, “Oh, I’ll surprise my boss, and she will think I’m awesome when I’m done.” Then you’re right in the middle of a critical class and you can’t get something done at work and then they’re angry with you or the other way around. You decide to get the thing done at work and you can’t get your classwork done. Not a trade you want to make.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
The GPA requirement is a minimum of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. If you went to an international university or a school that doesn’t do that, that can be translated, but we have to have those numbers translated. The GMAT successful candidates typically have a GMAT score of 550 or better. For qualified applicants, it is possible to waive the GMAT, but that is not a definite answer.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
We have a lot of-

Jason Techeira:
[crosstalk 00:23:10]

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Yes, I’m sorry. Go ahead. Yup, go ahead.

Jason Techeira:
Kind of going into the admissions requirements again, we do utilize a sliding scale. So I would encourage you, whatever your achievement scores are, depending on your GPA, do relay that information over to the admissions advisor that is helping you through the enrollment process. Just because your score falls slightly below that 550 does not mean that you will not be admissible to the program. So again, regardless of where your GPA is and what your GMAT scores are, we’re going to look at your entire application portfolio. So we’ll look at your work experience. We’ll look at the strength of your letters of recommendations, your GMAT scores, your GPA to make sure that we’re looking at all aspects of why you should be admitted. So just keep that in mind and communicate with your admissions advisor. That’s it Suzanne.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Thank you. So as I said, you can be successful in the program. There is no point admitting people who will not be successful. It’s not fair to you. It’s not fair to the people who didn’t get in and plus I just think that would be terrible. So I would rather, we’re very strict on the admissions side and the reason we are is we want to make sure people will be successful. We have a ton of support here at WSU. Jason is one of our enrollment advisors. He or your person, sorry, Jason. I didn’t want to give you everybody. Here to support you through the entire enrollment process. We have student support advisors and what they actually will do is that when you’re admitted, you will be introduced by Jason to your student support advisor.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
He’ll say, “Okay, this is Lauren. You should talk to this person,” and they will actually be with you during the entirety of your program to help you basically get through, understand what classes there are, what options there are, when do you register. If you have questions about anything, you can call that person. “I don’t understand international study. What do I do? How does this work?” If there are things that come up in your life where there are issues and you might have to drop a class or you need to be out of town for a week or you’re out of the country and you don’t have access, you go to that person first and they can help you navigate that way.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
We have 24/7 tech support. I will not begin to promise that all technology is fool proof. We know it’s not, but we have some pretty good technology and if it doesn’t work, we have tech support 24/7. Our sections are limited to 30 people. So you will not have more than 30 in your section and that section instructor is really there to be your first line of defense in questions and understanding. They are a fully qualified professor by the way. I don’t want you to think that they couldn’t teach as a lead. They just are the section faculty. I am the OMBA faculty director. So I can pretty much guarantee that you have access because it’s me.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
I do lead town halls once a quarter, which are the times people can log in. We have a webinar much like this and hear updates on the program, ask me questions, check in on things, find out what we’re doing next, but also I strongly encourage people to just talk to me anyway. Email me, call me, questions, checking in, suggestions, complaints, whatever. I don’t care. I want to hear it all. So I am available all the time. I actually just went on the Chile study abroad and I will be going on all of the study abroad in the future. So if anybody ever does decide to do one of those, it’s a great way to spend time with me and spend time with your classmates and get to know each other in a way that wouldn’t happen any other way. Quite honestly, I’ve spent a week with Julie, a week and a half. I know her better than I would have known anybody else in any other way.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
A side note on that, I don’t know if anybody who is logged in lived in Southern California, but I am doing an in-person event tomorrow night in downtown Los Angeles. We’re probably going to meet and greet. That is literally what it is. I will be at a restaurant in downtown LA for Super Nacho Happy Hour, which I didn’t even know was a thing, but I will be there to meet people, answer questions. Current students, perspective students, just talk to folks and get to know what it’s like to be a Coug.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Julie, I know that you’re not there, but you should probably fly to LA tonight.

Julie Eggebraaten:
Man, that sounds really good.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
So spoiler alert, I haven’t announced this yet at all, but I will be doing the same thing in Seattle in August. We actually have, so Washington State University has events overall and there are a lot of alumni events that are not just open to alumni. They’re open to all. So it happens that in Seattle in August, I’m going to say it’s August 18. Julie will actually know the date.

Julie Eggebraaten:
Yes, I believe it is. It’s a Saturday.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
It’s the 18th. That happens to be Coug Day at the Seattle Founder’s Game. For those like me who don’t know the Founders are our professional soccer team in Seattle. It happens that I’m going. It happens further that the Chile study abroad people are having their first reunion, so there are actually students flying in from all over the country to go to a soccer game. That weekend, I will be having another in-person event in Seattle if folks want to meet and greet. I can’t promise nachos, but I can promise it will be something.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Networking and career resources. WSU is huge on networking. There are Cougs everywhere and they all like to talk to each other and be Cougs. There is an event in Seattle called Cougs First. This year they did the first on in Spokane. Called Cougs First Spokane. That is specifically a networking event. The idea behind this event, it was started by Jack Thompson among other people and if you’re a big, big Washington State University fan, Jack Thompson was a quarterback in the 70s. He’s a very prominent alum. He’s a businessman and he and some other folks started this group so that when people are thinking about businesses, whether they’re thinking about hiring people or patronizing a business, they wanted people to think of Cougs first.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
So if you’re going to get car insurance, check out this listing and we’ve got a Coug who sells car insurance. It’s a great way to meet people and network and look into careers that way. The alumni association has a ton of resources, everything from resume review and coaching to interviewing practice to career assessments overall. I am actually because I’m the faculty director, I have to have something that I teach and I am in the school of hospitality and business management and I will be teaching two different courses on career. So we are adding to our career resources. Those particular courses will be credit bearing course, but I am also going to be adding workshops and webinars that are not for credit in the world of career. Our students also have access to Bloomberg Business Week Career. That has more of the general career resources in it.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
International field study. So I keep alluding to this. I will be honest, my interest, my skillset, my love is community of students and faculty and community overall. I am a big fan of global. I studied abroad in high school. I lived abroad after college. I just went to my sixth continent. I’ve been to all 50 states. I like going places. So we annually have an international field study. This year, we just went to Chile. I’m actually going to ask Julie to talk about what we did on the trip in addition to everything else. So I’m going to stop with my part and just say that the international field study is an incredible way to get to know another part of the world, to get to know another way of doing business, a new culture and your classmates.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
If you look at that picture that’s on the left hand side, that is actually the moment that Julie said we did. That’s we yelled, “Go Cougs,” and I posted that video to Twitter and I like to argue that we won. So Julie, if you don’t mind, would you introduce yourself?

Julie Eggebraaten:
Of course.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Who are you? What do you do and we’ll start with why did you want an MBA and why did you want our MBA?

Julie Eggebraaten:
Okay, well, I think I had been throwing around the idea of an MBA for a while, but not super seriously and it actually happened really fast because I had coffee with a friend from high school who actually lives in Pullman since she did her undergrad at Pullman or at WSU 15 years ago, because her husband is doing extended degrees in veterinary science. So she had told me that she was applying for the program and it triggered me to think why haven’t I done this yet? So that was in November of last year and I applied a couple weeks later and started in January. So it all happened very quickly. I think part of what made me want to do it through WSU is just the fact that it was online and that just works better with work. I mean, I commute a decent distance from work to home and so having the flexibility of being able to get my work done on my timeline was pretty important to me.

Julie Eggebraaten:
I also, because I live in Washington State, live in the Seattle area, I’m familiar with the university, my brother used to go there. Like I said, my friend went there and I knew that it was a highly accredited university. So I think those were the biggest factors and then with study abroad, I mean kind of like you, Suzanne, I’m just passionate about travel and meeting new people and learning about what their lives are like in other places. I think-

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Julie, did we just lose you? Jason, can you hear me?

Jason Techeira:
I can hear you just fine, Suzanne. I apologize everybody. It seems like we may be having a slight technical difficulty. If you’ll just hang on for us one second, we’ll get Julie back on the line. I know she wants to tell you about her experience in the program. Just give us one or two minutes.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
So while we’re waiting for Julie, I’m going to go ahead and talk about the program that we did in Chile, what we did while we were gone. We were there for about eight days and we went to, we did tours of cities in Chile. We went to Santiago, [inaudible 00:33:47]. So we had a lot of time where we could see the cities and we could get to experience … Julie, did you just make it back?

Julie Eggebraaten:
Yeah, I’m back. So sorry. I’m not quite sure where I got cut off, but …

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
You were just starting to talk about why you decided to do a study abroad.

Julie Eggebraaten:
Oh, okay.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
So go ahead and let us-

Julie Eggebraaten:
Yeah, so I mean, travel is one of my passions. I’ve always wanted to go to South America and I was saying that I had the opportunity to go to Colombia last year, which was just an incredible experience. So when the opportunity came up to go to Chile, I was like, “Where do I sign up? I want to be first in line.” So I think it was really amazing for a couple of reasons, one just being that getting to go to Chile and learn about Chile because really what I knew about Chile before this was geography and the desert and Patagonia. Not a whole lot past that. So I think getting to actually visit and visit companies and learn about what the industry is like there and what’s important to Chileans I think was just really a great learning experience and something that you couldn’t get if you didn’t go in person, which I think part of our class, for this field study didn’t go to Chile. So I think obviously for them, it’s not quite the same not having had that experience. So I definitely recommend it for that reason.

Julie Eggebraaten:
I think the other side of it was just being in an online program, you don’t really get to meet people or know who your classmates are and commiserate about things. So getting to meet people and some of them were maybe further along in the program than me. Some of them were in the same, because I’ve only been in the program for, this is my third class at this point. So I think it was just a really incredible group of people and we had such a great time getting to know each other and now I have this community that I can chat back and forth with about our classes that we’re in or what are you doing next and things like that. So I think just for those two reasons, it was just an amazing experience.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
So Julie, I had just started to talk about what we did in Chile and I said that we went to those three cities and that we got to see some of the cities. So do you want to talk through what we did, and what was really meaningful to you?

Julie Eggebraaten:
Sure. So I think when we arrived, we arrived on a Saturday morning. So we had the weekend to do some sightseeing if you will. We did a city tour of Santiago on Saturday, which included a tour of the house of Pablo Neruda, who’s a famous Chilean poet. Then Sunday we got to visit the wineries in Casa Blanca, which is about I want to say about 45 minutes outside of Santiago, which was just a great learning experience, as well as we got to taste some wine and it was beautiful. We actually visited one, or the largest organic winery in the world, which was just really beautiful and a great learning experience.

Julie Eggebraaten:
Then during the week, so starting Monday, we had a combination of company visits and lectures at the university. So we would attend a lecture on the Chilean economy or migration in Chile, or language and culture, things like that. So it was a really good incorporation of some lectures and then you would then go to a company after that usually that brought it together. So I think it was fun to be in a classroom again. Maybe I didn’t feel so much that way at the end of the week after being in there all week, but I think it was. I think it was just really a great learning experience and a good combination and in the afternoons and evenings, we could go and explore the city.

Julie Eggebraaten:
Then the final weekend, we visited the coast. So we were in [inaudible 00:37:42] and [inaudible 00:37:43] which are both on the coast, about, I want to say about an hour and a half away from Santiago. So it was really nice to end the trip that way and get to see another city and explore and see some really cool artwork and just have our final few days. A number of people on the trip stayed a little bit extra to travel just because we were all already in Chile. So I was able to travel for another week and a couple other people did as well. So that was the trip. Did I answer the question, Suzanne? Do you have any other?

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
You totally answered the question, but I would like, what was your best thing, if I can ask. You should never ask the question you don’t know the answer to, but I’m going to ask anyway.

Julie Eggebraaten:
Yeah, I mean, I think for the company visits, the cookie factory was amazing because-

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
That was incredible.

Julie Eggebraaten:
For whatever reason, it was very mesmerizing to watch all the factory equipment crank out all those cookies. Plus it smelled amazing. I just thought it was fascinating. It reminded me of the I Love Lucy episode where she’s shoving all the chocolates in her mouth because she can’t keep up with how fast they’re coming. So I just thought that was really cool, but I think all the companies we visited were really cool and really different. So I definitely learned something from all of them. Yeah, and I think obviously the winery visit was one of my top things as well. I just thought it was really interesting, especially to have Professor Marlo there with us.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Awesome. Cool, yeah. I loved the cookie factory. The cookie factory was amazing, but I also really liked-

Julie Eggebraaten:
The cookie factory was amazing. If I could have had a bottle of wine and a chair, I would have just watched the cookies all day.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
I was right there with you. I could totally have done that and just in case people are wondering, all of the rooms were single occupancy. People had their own room. We stayed at really nice hotels. It’s all pretty well run I would say, Julie. If you disagree, let me know.

Julie Eggebraaten:
Yeah, I would agree. I thought the hotels-

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
If you disagree, tell me later.

Julie Eggebraaten:
No, no. I think the hotels were great. It was amazing to have my own room, especially when you’re meeting up with people who you just met. It’s awkward to think about sharing a room with someone, not that we couldn’t have done it, but it was just nice because then some of the people in the group were actually in the middle of their capstone and so they actually needed to go back and do some homework at night. So it was nice for them to have that privacy and quiet.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
And one thing I think is cool and you probably don’t know this yet is three people who were on the trip just emailed me. They’re about to start their capstones. So they decided to form a team together.

Julie Eggebraaten:
Actually, I actually want to talk to you about that too.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Awesome.

Julie Eggebraaten:
Not right now. I’m not starting it, but later.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
So hopefully that gives you an idea of what it was like. Everybody for the student abroad, some opportunities there. I want to open up to questions that can include questions about the study abroad it can be general question for Julie. I see that there’s actually a question for me.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Ooo, so it’s interesting because I get asked this question. The question is what differentiates us from other online programs, and I get asked this a lot because I’m the director and also because it’s my third online program and I think that there are some different things that differentiate us. One certainly is [inaudible 00:41:00] you already asked. “What’s different about that?” We are one of the few 100% online MBA programs. Like I said, you can be 25% offline and still qualify, but we are one of the few that’s 100% online and I think that if that appeals to you, that is absolutely something that you should do. There are people who want an in-person aspect and that’s totally fine, but for those who want the flexibility and the ability to continue to live your own life and have this work around you, that is a huge differentiator.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
We’re one of the few schools that have hospitality and business management and while that might not be what you think you want to major in, it’s a really great idea in your career to look at things that are outside of your comfort zone or your realm or what you do and see how other people are doing things.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
So Julie works in healthcare. I know that, right? But it’s entirely possible that somebody who runs a hotel, has an idea about how to treat customers, that she will learn from that person and say, “Oh my God. I could just apply this to what I do with my clinical trial participants.” So that’s a really great, broad educational experience there. Hopefully that answers that.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Travel expenses are not included in tuition. So if you are going to go on a study abroad, the tuition for the study abroad is tuition and then you would pay program fees to go.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Jason, if you want me to do questions in a different way, please jump in.

Jason Techeira:
Yeah, you know what, I think just so we can make sure that we’re getting to as many questions as possible, I’ll hand off a few questions to you and to Julie and then I want to make sure that I’m answering some of these admissions questions as well. So one of the questions-

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
So are you going to answer the admissions questions in writing, Jason?

Jason Techeira:
I will. There are a few questions that need a little bit more detailed of an answer. So I’ll answer those right now and then-

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Okay, great.

Jason Techeira:
A lot of these, I have been answering as one-offs as well. So continue to ask questions everybody, but if you can go ahead and continue with, they were asking the question about Chile that you were going on about.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Yeah, so I can answer some of these. So I’ll just pull out the ones that I know are my questions. How’s that?

Jason Techeira:
That’s perfect.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
So people asked why Chile? A couple of people have asked that. You know, we try … The broader question is where do we go and how do we choose? So what I look at when I choose a location is does it make business sense? Is this something that I would want to study as an MBA student? I also have an MBA. So hopefully I have experience in that. Does this country do things that I can apply in my own life? Could I do business in this country? Will it be interesting quite frankly and while we’re there, are the companies going to be a broad enough range of companies? We were there for an international business class. So we didn’t want to have just one kind of company.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
So Chile was chosen for South America. We knew we wanted to go to South America and have it be a different kind of trip and Chile, within South America, Chile is super innovative. They’re actually a small country. There are about 70 million people in Chile, but they are working very, very hard on entrepreneurship. So there’s a lot of government funding for entrepreneurship and starting their own businesses. We’re a hospitality and business management school. We have one. We are not a program in that, but we have it. So Chilean wine is a huge export in Chile. They do a lot of exporting of fruits and vegetables. The state of Washington does that as well. So it’s an interesting correlation to Washington.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
They were thrilled to hear about our apples. There was a lot of discussion of apples and how you do that. We have not yet announced where we’re going in 2019. I am hoping that we can announce that by August, but we are not ready yet. So that answers that. Jason already answered this one. Live lectures. The day and time of the live session is the same every week for your class. The only caveat I will say is if there is some sort of emergency, a faculty member might reschedule it very rarely, but they will let everyone know that and hopefully work it out so everyone can attend. I do not think it’s listed in the course description right now, but I am working to make that happen. I already answered this one.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
I can’t answer where we’re going because we’re not ready to answer that.

Jason Techeira:
Alright, if you don’t mind Suzanne, I’ll jump in here and answer a few of these admissions questions.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Go, sure.

Jason Techeira:
So the GMAT requirements. The question was if the GRE and the GMAT are both applicable and yes, you can take the GRE or the GMAT. As far as an expected score, so most successful students will typically score around a 550 on average and then with the GRE, I would tell you that you’d want to score above the 50th percentile on that. Again, sliding scale. So let your advisor know. We can actually go off of your transcripts, your work experience and give you an exact or at least around an exact score that you would need to obtain to be qualified for admissions into the program.

Jason Techeira:
So your admissions advisor is going to be your best point of contact on that. Going on to letters of recommendation. So the question was if you own your own business, who you should reach out to for letters of recommendation. So the main thing that we want to make sure we’re avoiding is friends and family members for letters of recommendations. Anybody that can really speak on behalf of your professionalism, they can really vouch for your ability to perform successfully in graduate level coursework, that’s the type of person we’re looking for, for your letter of recommendation. Whether that is previous employers, managers, academic professors, counselors and all of those individuals would be good points of references, but again, anybody that’s going to be able to vouch for your ability to lead others, to advance into leadership roles and has an understanding of how you function with your current responsibilities. That would be fine.

Jason Techeira:
Scholarships, we do have many resources on our financial aid page. What I can make sure that I do is that your advisor sends you over to our database that we have on our financial aid page with national scholarships that are all listed on there. Tons of scholarships on there as well as Fastweb.com, thousands of scholarships that are available on there. They too tend to be very heavily saturated. So the more that you’re apply to, the better options that you’ll find, but again, make sure that you’re following up with your admissions advisor because they’ll have a lot of resources for you to help with the financing the program.

Jason Techeira:
One other question here that I do want to make sure that I get to and then we’ll try to get Julie answering some of these questions. I know you want not hear from her as well, but the deadlines for the fall. So we have fall semester classes starting August 20th and then I would encourage you to get your application completed with all documents in no later than July 23rd. That is the official deadline. Now typically July 16th, to give you that extra week in case the admissions committee, Suzanne, as she’s going through your files, if there is anything else that we feel can justify admissions to the program that we feel is just missing from your file, that gives enough time to actually get those from you and then provide them to Suzanne and the admissions committee.

Jason Techeira:
So please do have your documents in no later than July 23rd, but I would recommend having them in July 16th. Now continuing on here. A lot of these questions are really geared towards and it looks like we’ve already answered about that Chile trip. I would ask you Julie, if you had to give advice now that you’ve been in the program for a while, if there was any advice that you would give to a new student coming into the program, what would that be?

Julie Eggebraaten:
That’s a good question, Jason. I think for me, I would say in the beginning especially since I’ve been out of school for a while. Obviously it’s been probably about 15 years since I finished my undergrad. I think just being online, like really try to connect with people that you’re placed in groups with and utilize them as resources to talk about assignments and things like that. I just think finding people and you might even find people who live near you. For me, I might have more people around because I live in Washington and there’s a lot of people from Washington in the program, but I think just trying to make those connections with people, even if they might not live in your area, but just to, it just feels a little more supportive and personal if you can connect with your classmates in some way.

Jason Techeira:
Perfect, thank you very much for that. I do have another question here for you actually, Suzanne and Julie. You both can have a different take on this.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Sure, if I could just add one thing to Julie’s comment before. We also, in the effort to build community, if you decide to come here, we actually have in the two weeks before you start the program, we have getting to know your classmates meet and greets. So it’s a great way for you to get to know people in your cohort before you even start. So you have some of those resources, so they’re not just names on a chat board, and yes, Julie, before you yell at me. I realize that’s new. I’m sorry we didn’t have it for you.

Julie Eggebraaten:
Yeah, I was going to say I don’t think I got that invite.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
You didn’t.

Julie Eggebraaten:
It’s okay though. I went to Chile.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
[crosstalk 00:52:04]

Julie Eggebraaten:
I’m all good. I got like 30 people now.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Jason, go ahead.

Jason Techeira:
So the question here is geared around joint work projects in the program, wanting to know how the teamwork activity is conducted online. So Julie, if you could just share your experience with that teamwork aspect in the courses and then, Suzanne, if you can go a little bit more in detail from a faculty perspective of how that is going to impact them in their current career as well.

Julie Eggebraaten:
Sure, no problem. So I think it depends on the class, but for example, my first class was an accounting class and we had several case studies that we would have to do a write-up on and it would usually be four to six pages. Something like that in there would be specific questions. So typically what my team would do is split up the questions. Everyone put their section in and then we would have one person who was in charge of editing for that particular assignment and then we would rotate that.

Julie Eggebraaten:
So it gave everyone a chance to be in control and make sure it got submitted how they would like it to be. I mean, I think group work is always challenging, especially because you’re not face-to-face with people, but I think the discussion board is helpful. I think in my current class, we found that it’s quicker to do. There’s an app called Slack that we’ve been using, which is more realtime texting and you can upload documents. So we use that to put everything together and collaborate. We’ve also had a couple of group phone calls, which maybe not everyone could participate in every single one, but it just helped us generate our ideas and figure out what our plan was for the project.

Julie Eggebraaten:
So I think there’s a lot of ways to collaborate as a group, even though you’re not in the classroom setting, but I think the section instructors and the professors are pretty understand that you’re in this group and everyone contributes their part and you get a group grade, but you also get to evaluate your team members at the end just to make sure that feedback is received. So I think so far, it’s been a good experience.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
I’m glad to hear that. Julie. Overall, I think in any MBA program and in any group work, it’s similar to if you work with a team at work and you’re on a project. You will find a team at some point where somebody does more work than you do and somebody does less work than you do and sometimes you will be the person that’s not holding up their own. Hopefully by forming some relationships with the classmates and your teammates to start with, you can say, “Hey, Julie, I’m really sorry, but this weekend I have my kids.” Blah, blah, blah and they can help you pick up the slack that way.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
I’m glad to hear that you guys are using Slack, Julie. I am a huge, huge fan of people using realtime communication. I’m going to recommend what I always recommend and everybody laughs at me and then they do it and it’s awesome and then they’re like, “Sorry we laughed at you because it was awesome,” but I always recommend that people do something like Skype or FaceTime and you do it as a casual getting to know you thing. You’re going to feel like an idiot when you’re having coffee in FaceTime for the first time or drinks and you’re going to then realize that it is a great way to get to know people early on.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
There is something different about seeing people face-to-face. I firmly believe that you can build relationships virtually. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing, but I’m going to argue that it’s always easier to do it, at least from the beginning if you have a chance to see each other and let people see you and your surroundings and your atmosphere. I have a weekly Skype call with my boss because of this very thing. He actually is on another campus and he knows me better than he would I think otherwise because I do my weekly Skype call from a roof top deck here on campus because I like to sit in the sun. If we didn’t do Skype, he wouldn’t know that. It’s a small thing, but it’s a great thing to get to know people better.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
I’m just going to answer one question-

Julie Eggebraaten:
I think that’s a good idea.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Okay, and Julie, we can totally do that later. You and I can FaceTime later today.

Julie Eggebraaten:
Okay, okay.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
There is a question about whether or not you can visit the campus. Absolutely you can visit the campus. I am super happy to give you a tour anytime that you want. I would love to have people. Actually, if you are admitted to the program, I’m the person that calls you and tells you you’re admitted and I recently admitted someone who’s about to do a motorcycle trip across Montana, which seemed a little random to me, but he is coming to campus on July 5th and I’m super excited to give him a tour.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Jason, do we have any other questions?

Jason Techeira:
Yeah, we have just another minute or two here just for additional questions. Suzanne, this one I think I would love to hear your take on this. How does a 100% online experience help develop a student’s emotional intelligence and allow some practice in human-to-human communication?

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Oh my God. That’s my favorite question ever. I don’t know who asked that, but I love it. So this is what I do. This is what I think about. This is super important to me and if I didn’t think that you could form an excellent community and learn from people and learn EQ online, I would quit my job and go home today. I actually think that a lot of people seem to think that the water cooler is where stuff happens at work, right? Or in school and if you don’t have a water cooler, you can’t get to know anybody and for sure, you get to know people well in person.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
I actually think that one of the reasons that we got to know people so well in Chile is not just that we were in person together. It’s that we were outside of our comfort zones together. If we had done that same course in downtown Seattle, where a lot of the people live, and know already, it wouldn’t have been nearly the in-depth experience. So I think that when you’re doing something online, you actually try harder because you don’t assume that it’s happening without any effort on your own.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
So one of the best things I ever hear somebody describe, I worked for another online program before I came here and one of the students was talking about, actually one of our alumni, that people are concerned that if people hear you graduate from an online course, somehow it doesn’t count, right? Or it’s not a real MBA because it wasn’t in person. Why should I hire you? She has the best argument I’ve ever heard. The way that the world works today is that very, very rarely in your work world are you going to be surrounded by people who are physically next to you only and that are the same kind of person that you are and have the same background that you have.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
So she was actually in her MBA program and we do hear too, you end up working with people in different places, doing different things of different backgrounds and you have to forge these relationships in order to make it work or your teams will fail. That is true, you will maybe not get an F in the capstone, but your team will fail if you don’t put in the effort to get better at it and because it’s online, you put in more effort that way. You have to try a little bit harder, right? You can’t just say, “Hey, let’s get drink,” and assume that they can and that’s how you’ll do it. Maybe you’ll get a drink in FaceTime and that could be a different way to do it.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
I’m not sure if that answered or not. I could go on forever. Whoever that question was, you can also feel free to call me literally and we can take a thousand hours to do this.
Jason Techeira: Thank you so much, Suzanne. To be respectful of everyone’s time, we are at the end of the hour for our presentation. There were a lot of questions that we were able to get to. I will make sure that your advisor or myself, Suzanne, Julie, that we’re able to get to these questions one-on-one. Please do feel free to continue to ask questions. They will still come into the system. Again, please do reach out to your admissions advisor. I just want to remind everyone as we’re wrapping up here, the start date for the Fall Semester is August 20th and then the deadline, official deadline is July 23rd.

Jason Techeira:
Please do have your completed application submitted by July 16th just to ensure that you have enough time. Turnaround time on that decision is typically within a week or two. So again, thank you everybody for joining, Suzanne, Julie, thank you so much for attending this webinar. I appreciate it.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Thank you.

Jason Techeira:
And go Cougs.

Julie Eggebraaten:
Go Cougs.

Suzanne L’Amoureux:
Thanks everyone, great to meet you. Go Cougs.
[End of Audio]