WSU Online MBA and EMBA Summer 2017 Webinar with Student Victoria Burke

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Carlos Harper: All right, good afternoon everyone and thank you, thank you. Sorry about the little short delay. I wanted to make sure that everyone had an opportunity to log on. I know it’s the middle of the day, lunch time, but we’re all set for you, okay? Once again, my name is Carlos Harper, an enrollment advisor here with Washington State University’s online MBA as well as executive MBA programs. And I’ll actually be your moderator today. I’d like to start by thanking you all for joining us for WSU’s MBA, as well as executive MBA online degree program webinar.Before we get started, I’d just like to cover a few housekeeping items. In order to minimize background noise, the presentation is in broadcast only mode. You can ask a question at any time by using the chat or the QA feature to the bottom of your screen. Please keep in mind you are in broadcast mode, so you can hear us, but we cannot hear you. We will actually do our best to answer as many questions as possible during the Q&A session at the end of the webinar. If we are unable to answer all of your questions, I’ll definitely follow up with you after the presentation.

Finally, we are recording this webinar, and it will be emailed to you after the presentation, as well as posted to our website within the next couple of weeks. Your presenters today are actually myself, as well as a student speaker. Her name is Victoria Burke. She’s currently pursuing her EMBA with a planned graduation date of May, 2018. During today’s presentation, she would actually speak to her own experience within the program.

During this webinar, you will actually have a chance to learn more about the rankings, the accreditations of the program, as well as the program overview, admissions requirements, as well as the student experience. All right we will actually begin the presentation now, which should run approximately 30-40 minutes, followed by a live Q&A session at the end of the slide presentation. So, please be sure to stick around.

So, as you can see Washington State University was actually one of the first land grand universities founded in 1890 in Pullman, Washington. Many years of alumni legacy, leaders, difference makers, all across the world. We actually have 20+ years of perfecting online degree programs and one thing that you will actually learn about our online MBA as well as executive MBA programs is that we actually cater to the working adult. We have major corporations in the area. A lot of those students actually look to go back to a reputable university. They’re looking for flexibility. And with us catering to the working adult, we do offer the program to be 100% online with no residency required. We’ll actually talk about that in just a few moments.

One of the major concerns of students today is the accreditation. We are accredited with the AACSB, which you all know is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. We are actually among the one percent of business schools in the world that are accredited at the bachelor, master as well as doctoral levels. And I don’t know about you, but I know that is very important to a lot of employers out there, to a lot of students, things of that nature. And the AACSB is – a lot of people would consider it to be kind of like the gold standard when it comes to business schools.

Along with some of the other accolades, rankings and recognitions, we are currently ranked no. 27 right now with the U.S. News & World Report as one of the best online MBA programs that’s out there for 2017 and we are consistently ranked among the top 15% for actually – considered by the U.S. News & World Report for the last five straight years. We actually recognized as a military friendly school, which actually was recognized in the Military Times list of the best for veterans colleges in 2017.

We actually, in our online MBA program, just talking about the standard online program we have seven foundational classes, such as statistics, economics, marketing, business law, things of that nature; four concentrations, marketing, finance, hospitality business management, as well as international business; elective courses in an asynchronous content, 100% asynchronous. What that actually means is there is no required log on times. We can’t actually ask you to log on every single day at 6:00 p.m. because that may or may not work for you. If that was the case, you might as well go to a brick and mortar right?

We actually have live recorded lectures, capstone project as well as an optional international field study. This year, the class is actually going to China, but it’s actually voted on by the students and the staff annually. And we can always talk about that in the future as well.

We also offer MBA certificates. Upon acceptance, you will actually have the opportunity to concentrate on marketing, finance, international business or hospitality management. And with that, once you actually complete the program, not only would you receive your MBA, but you will also receive a graduate certificate in one of those four areas. We also have a general MBA as well for those individuals that didn’t want to pigeon hole themselves to a particular specialization.

The admission requirements for the online MBA, as well as the executive MBA are very similar, as you can see. You know the online application which is a very basic application question, along with your resume and official transcripts from all of the schools you’ve attended. Three letters of recommendation for both programs. Your standard statement of purpose. Now once it gets into the executive MBA, it’s a little more – a few more documents, such as your organizational support, organizational chart. A statement of foundational support from your employer. With the executive MBA it’s a little bit more – the hierarchy is just a little bit higher and we actually look for the upper echelon, the upper mid-level management and higher and things of that nature and we just wanna see exactly where you are in your current position, in your current company so we can help you get to the next level.

With the online MBA, there’s really no minimum experience needed. You can be 22-years old, just graduating from undergrad and looking to go into your MBA. But with the executive MBA program, we ask for 7+ years of management, senior management or executive business experience. Both programs require a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. And we actually look for GMAT exam score of 550 points or higher or a GMAT waiver. And as a lot of you already know, we also offer a GMAT waiver option as well. Two ways for someone to be considered for a GMAT waiver is either having an advanced degree or 7+ years of management experience.

Now I actually would like to hand it over to executive MBA student speaker, Victoria Burke, to highlight her personal student experience within the program. So, Victoria if you’re ready you can go ahead and take it away.

Victoria Burke: I sure am, can you hear me Carlos okay?

Carlos Harper: Yes, perfect, thank you.

Victoria Burke: Okay, great. Well, hi everybody. My name is Victoria Burke. And as you can see on the slide, I am a current student with the EMBA program here at Washington State University. My expected graduation date is Spring, 2018 and I’m about a third of the way through the program. I’m on my fifth course right now. My position is as an area sales director at Royal Canin which is a pet food company and also a subsidiary of MARS. Everybody knows it’s a candy company, but we’re actually very large in the pet care industry also.

So, just wanted to share my experience with you guys to let you know first of all why I chose this program, tell you a little bit about my experience with the professors and the section leaders and my academic advisor. A little bit about expectations around time management coursework, opportunities for collaboration and the networking opportunities. And at the bottom of the screen, I have also put on my WSU email, as well as my LinkedIn profile. And I’m happy to connect with anybody and answer any questions privately also after the call or days after the call if you have any questions that come up afterwards.

So if I start with why I chose Washington State University, the EMBA program. I had been with my company for 14 years and about two plus years ago I decided that I really wanted to pursue my MBA. My degree is in animal science and pre-veterinary medicine. And I have since obviously gone into a different direction. And I wanted to enhance my business background because I was now a senior leader at my company.

And so when I started looking around about programs, I had to find one that actually fit with my schedule. I do travel quite a bit, so I knew that sitting in a classroom environment was just not gonna be possible for me. So, I started with what can I do as an online program and I came across the executive MBA programs which are more accelerated. So, it’s a shorter window of time. The courses are five-weeks long. But what they do is they help you pull from experience that you’re already doing in your current role.

And so what I’ve reflected upon and seen so far is that every single course that I have taken I have been able to take nuggets of information from the class either during or afterwards and been able to apply them to my current role. And for example I’m at a conference today, I was in a business meeting and a lot of the terminology that was being used in there was very heavy in finance and I’m actually in my finance course right now. So, I felt like I had a deeper understanding even of the conversations that were going on.

But why I chose this course also has to do with something Carlos said around – I wanted personally for myself, I wanted a course that this was not new for the school, but it was something that had a great reputation and that was well regarded. And I spent some time doing research and came across some of the ratings that he showed. And my personal why was it had to fit my schedule, it had to fit what I was looking for, it has a lot of flexibility and a ton of support.

And so I think that leads me to the next bullet point, which surrounds professors, the section leaders and the academic advisor. When I spoke to my admissions advisor, they let me know that this is for the EMBA program it’s almost a very concierge like program in that you’ve got a ton of support along the way and I would fully support that statement. My academic advisor called me and I can schedule a call with her all the time just to ask simple questions or calls to check in on me.

The professors are amazing. Everybody I’ve had has a Ph.D. in whatever topics that they’re leading, as well as extensive background. The professors are usually at WSU, but sometimes they are graduates of WSU from either a doctoral or MBA program and they are now a professor at another university and they work with WSU. So, I feel even more blessed that I’ve had a professor who, even though he’s at WSU now, he also taught at the Wharton School of Business or I had professors at Northeastern, Virginia Commonwealth University. So _______ lots of great education.

The section leaders are also professors and/or professionals that are _________ graduates of WSU. And since we work very hand in hand in small groups, the section leaders, they’re there, they answer questions on discussion boards and emails and even on the phone if you need them. So, they’re kind of like the professional version of a teaching assistant, but with a lot more experience.

So the time management and coursework is – I gotta be honest with you, I got my welcome packet and it did say for an EMBA it’s about 20 hours, give or take, of coursework a week. Now, that being said, two of those hours are actually – you have an hour lecture with your professor and you have an hour lecture with your section leader who goes through a lot of the coursework and there’s a lot of questions. So, that’s two of the hours there.

A lot of the other time is – you’re reading content, you’re watching videos, you’re reading case studies and depending on the class you’re writing a paper or you’re doing homework. And I’ll be honest with you I have some classes that it’s definitely been 20 hours, especially when there’s a project due, and then I’ve had some classes that have definitely not been 20 hours, probably half that. So, I think it depends on how you are with time management. It’s one of those things you sort of chip away at a little bit every day.

The next thing about group work, I will say I love the fact that I’m able to work in the team environment and collaborate on projects a lot with different classmates. And the nice thing is even though you start with a cohort of individuals all at the same time, sometimes when you’re in a class, the people that are on your team, they’re either brand new and you’re a few classes ahead, or, in my case right now I’m on a team where I have some brand new people and I also have some people who are just about to finish the program. So, there’s a wealth of knowledge and I’ve been able to pick their brains and ask them about some upcoming things.

It also gives you some great networking opportunities and then that’s the last bullet point there is I live in Denver and I’ve been on teams with people who are in the Marine’s, in Boeing. I can see some of you guys are working in your profiles that you’ve put up there. Also people in the medical profession. Other people in sales like myself. So, it’s a really rich environment of people to interact with and I think that’s just been really valuable.

So, I would encourage you to definitely look into it. And again, I would happy to answer any questions. I’ve been nothing but absolutely thrilled with the program and what it’s doing for me. So, back to you Carlos.

Carlos Harper: Wonderful, wonderful. Thank you Victoria. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. What I wanted to do was just move right along. As you all can see, we are a yellow ribbon friendly school. We do have active duty military and veterans that attend Washington State University. We definitely are dedicated and have a dedicated military support staff, dedicated services. We actually have a military advisor that helps the military students, as well as the veterans, answer any questions or concerns they may have. He’s actually a liaison between the student as well as the veterans affairs office to let you know exactly what you need to make sure that you have everything all set up for your funding and make sure that you’re certified to receive any benefits or anything that you have coming your way. We definitely take pride in helping our active duty military students as well as veterans and we can definitely continuously thank you for your support of our country.

So moving right along to the online MBA and executive MBA – just laying out the program for you. The length of the online program, it’s between 36-52 credits to receive your MBA, first and foremost. The difference between the 36 and 52 credits is seven classes that I spoke about earlier, which we call the foundational classes. These are the intro to business, classes like statistics, economics, marketing, business law, just to name a few. As you all may now, we have a lot more students in our program that didn’t study business as opposed to the ones that did study business. So with that being said, we just want to provide a foundation for those students that really didn’t receive that background, especially in their undergraduate experience.

The program is 100% online for both programs. There’s no residency required. Like I said previously, no minimum experience required for the online MBA. We’d like to see 7+ years of management experience for the executive MBA. The typical class size in online MBA is between 25-30 students. When it comes to the executive MBA program, it’s actually between 20-25 students.

For both programs you will take only one class at a time. If you have any of the foundational classes, you will take one class at a time for five weeks each. And then once you transition into your core classes, you’ll take one class at a time for seven weeks each. And when it comes to the executive MBA, it’s just your straight one class at a time for five weeks each through that 18-month program.

We do have GMAT waivers available for both programs. There’s two ways for someone to be considered for a GMAT waiver. It’s either have an advanced degree such as a meter’s degree already or higher or 7+ years of management experience. The way that’s actually received is through your updated resume, as well as a GMAT waiver request. Just a small addendum actually requesting having your GMAT waived based on your experience.

We definitely offer major support. With the flexibility of the program, a lot of students are also looking for, a lack of a better term, the tender love and care. The office support from TAs or professors, someone they can speak to real time. So, you have your enrollment advisors, such as myself, your military advisor for those individuals who that applies to, section instructors or teaching assistant, tech support. The tech support is a 24 hour email, as well as your regular business office hours where you can actually speak to someone if you’re actually having technical support.

The student support advisors are – they do a phenomenal job, making sure that your progressing through the program, that we are retaining you through the program and you receive all of the support that you actually need to be successful in the program as well.

Moving right along, we definitely have career resources. A lot of individuals ask about the career services or networking. We have yearly events. Now, even though there’s no residency required for the program, you’re always invited to campus, you’re always encouraged to come to campus. So with that being said, we have yearly events, the international trip that we spoke about earlier, career expos, resume review for those individuals whose looking to get into the next stepping stone of their career, LinkedIn group, Facebook group, all of the above. So, these are some of the major resources that we offer to the students that’s looking to stay abreast of everything that’s going on with the program here at the Carson College of Business.

Some students were already were asking the question about the international field study. Basically, it’s a 10-day trip. It’s an international business class, 10-day trip, that is voted on every year by not only the faculty, but as well as the students. The students have a major, major vote in it. Going to places such as China, Switzerland – this year’s actually China. It’s definitely a once in a lifetime experience. Great networking opportunities. It kind of gives you an opportunity to put a name to a face when you get with your other classmates and actually see who you’ve been working with though some of your classes so far, especially since there’s no residency required for the program.

And as you can see, we have a representative here with John Deere who actually gave his testimonial on how the global perspective he received from the international field study to be very advantageous in his particular program here with the executive MBA program.

I wanted to speak a little bit about the executive MBA conference. This is an optional three-day event that’s exclusive to current students as well as alumni. We had a few guest speakers last year, Stephen Krempl, Bryce Hoffman as well as Debra Benton. It’s actually an opportunity to participate in sessions, network with other EMBA students, as well as alumni. Once again, the key word is optional. You’re always invited to the campus, so we would like you to possibly take advantage of that if your schedule allows that as well.

What I wanted to do, once again, was thank Victoria for sharing her student experience with us. I wanted to take the time to point out our application deadline of April 10 for the summer 1 semester. We actually have a few questions already, but as a reminder, please enter any of your questions in a box located at the bottom hand of your screen and I will actually field some questions and answer as many questions as we can. So, please stick around for that.

All right, so we have a few questions here. So, the first question I see here, is there a course on healthcare management assigned to the EMBA program or something close to it? That’s a really good question. Unfortunately, we don’t have anything in the healthcare field. However, we do have, when it comes to the executive MBA program, nothing necessarily in the healthcare field. It’s just in the executive MBA program, it’s just the straight 44 credits, one class at a time for five weeks each. And the program actually takes 18 months to complete. Now, when it comes to the OMBA, our standard online MBA program, we have the four concentrations: marketing, finance, international business, as well as hospitality management. And we also have a general MBA as well. I’ve actually worked with many people in the healthcare field. Optometrists, dentists, doctors, you name it. And with us not having something necessarily directly in the healthcare field, those students generally tend to go with the general MBA. So, when it comes to the elective classes, they actually have the opportunity and the choice of which classes that they wanted to take in those particular subjects. But thank you, that was a really, really good question.

The next question. If we are close to campus, do we get access to WSU facilities like the gym, etc.? We always encourage students to come out to campus, so you’re always invited. And you will actually have access to those particular things, the gym, the library, things of that nature. So, once you’re working with your student advisor, that’s something that you all can connect with and make sure that you have an opportunity to be able to have access to those facilities. At the end of the day, you are a student and we wanna make sure that you’re treated as such and have the opportunity for those fringe benefits. Thanks a lot, that was a great question as well.

Can you take more than one class at a time if working part-time? that’s a really good question, unfortunately no. The program is actually only one class at a time, either for five weeks each or seven weeks each. This is an accelerated MBA program. It’s not impossible to be successful in the program, but with it being a very reputable program, it’s no walk in the park. So, with it being one class at a time, we definitely want to make sure that you’re set up for success. So, unfortunately, to answer your question, it’s only one class at a time. Really good question as well.

What would be your program recommendation for a doctor who’s a CEO of his private practice for more than 10 years? That’s a really good question. Me, personally, I probably would recommend the executive MBA program. With you running your private practice for more than 10 years, you actually – I would say in my opinion, you would already have the knowledge of running a business – not only running a business, but already have the knowledge of being a manager. X amount of years, 10+ years of management experience under your belt. You’re basically a CEO, you’re a business owner. With the executive MBA, it’s an opportunity for you to rub shoulders and align yourself with other individuals that have similar ideals that you have and I think that will be a really, really good opportunity to hone in your skills and actually gain the strategic approach to the executive MBA program as opposed to the theoretical approach when it comes to the standard online MBA. Really good question.

Where are your students typically located? Do you segregate student groups by location due to time zone differences? What I wanted to do was to actually pass it on over to Victoria. Victoria, can you help us with that question? The question is where are you students typically located and do you segregate student group events by location due to time zone differences?

Victoria Burke: Sure thing. I have fellow students in my class that are located overseas in the military, as well as in every time zone, including when you’re on a team project. You may have people east coast, all the way over to Pacific Time. So, when you’re working on a team project, usually, we communicate via email and coordinate a time that works with everybody to get on a conference call. Other than that, as far as the classes, the professor for each class will say here’s the day of the class and here’s the time that the class is live. And what works well with my schedule too is sometimes I’m not able to attend, but every single class, as well as the presentation, and even the chat that happens during that presentation is all recorded. So, you’re able to get on and watch that hour plus recording. And the only thing that’s missing is the interaction. So, there’s really no issue whether – for what time zone you live in ‘cause you still get all the same content.

Carlos Harper: Thank you Victoria. Thank you for that answer. Really good question, really good answer, thank you for that. The next question. Is there a different content between the two degrees, or is it a difference of resources in pace? That’s a really, really good question. The reason why is because I had the experience of working with students that was qualified for the executive MBA program based on their management experience. And when I’m actually explaining the two, the major difference is not necessarily the curriculum. The major difference is the approach to the curriculum. As I said prior in the presentation, you could be 22 years old just graduating from an undergrad and go straight into your MBA program here. It’s more of a theoretical approach.

When it comes to the executive MBA program, it’s more of a strategic approach. As I was explaining to the individual that asked the question about owning his own medical practice, you are aligning yourselves and rubbing shoulders with people that are business owners, CEOs, vice presidents, regional directors. You actually have that mid- to upper level management experience. So, it’s more of a strategic approach as opposed to your theoretical approach. So, that’s a really good question, thank you for that.

Another good question, do courses have to be taken in sequential, successive 5-7 week periods? If for some reason you need to skip a period, would you be able to pick right back up or would you have to wait for the cycle to come back to where you left off? Really, really good question. We actually run the program off of a course carousel. So, each class isn’t offered every single term. However, it will come to a point in your program, once you get into your core classes, that you can take a break if need be, whether it be – we actually cater to the working adult. So, what that means, people travel for work a lot. People have children, military personnel may have to deploy, life happens.

So, you do have five years to complete the program, even though the program is 18 months for the executive MBA or 2 to 2 ½ years for the standard online MBA program. You do have five years to complete the program. So with that being said, yes if need be, you can definitely take a break for whatever reason. And once you come back, you should be able to just transition back into the program and continue and be successful with that. Thank you, really good question.

What is the estimated cost of the executive MBA program? Actually, I wanted to talk about both programs when it comes to cost. With the standard online MBA program, it’s 36-52 credits. So $750 per credit hour. So, that’s an estimated cost of between 27 to 39K. The difference why it’s a range is because of the seven foundational courses. You may have to take all seven. You may have to take just a few. You may not have to take any. It’s just solely based on what your undergraduate transcripts look like and how many of those foundational classes, if any, that you would have to take. Now, when it comes to the executive MBA program, it’s 18 months as previously stated, 44 credits, $1,137 per credit hour for a total estimated cost of $50,028. Really good question.

Just to answer a few more questions, there are many questions coming in, so we want to try to answer as many as possible, but for the sake of everyone’s time, you can always reach out to us, me in particular or your personal advisor that you have. Is a four-year bachelor’s degree considered for the program? Good question. So a bachelor’s degree is required from a regionally accredited school. If there is a student that has international transcripts, we would actually require a degree evaluation. There are a few companies out there that do the degree evaluations. You would just have to inquire about a course by course evaluation. They will actually take your transcripts or your sheetmarks, evaluate those to U.S. equivalency and tell us exactly what your particular degree would equate to when it comes to the U.S. standards. 3.0, that’s a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university. A 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, a 550 GMAT score or higher or a GMAT waiver.

All right and I wanted to take just one or two more questions. Here’s a really good question I wanted to delegate over to Victoria if you’re still there. Are the exams proctored or non-proctored?

Victoria Burke: Okay, and here I am. So, up until this point I have not had a class that actually requires exams. What they do is when you get the syllabus for the course, right away you can see that there is points assigned, whether it’s to discussion boards, whether the professor will get a topic that you need to perhaps watch a video, read something, an article about, and then they’ll give a prompt, and there may be a point system assigned to that. There will also be team projects that have points assigned to them, papers that you may have to write.

So, in many classes, there aren’t what we would traditionally in the EMBA program think of as tests or quizzes or exams. Now, ‘cause I am in the finance course right now, there are no quizzes or tests along the way. There’s two projects as well as about nine different homework assignments that are all time bound and have due dates. But then there is a final exam in the end and it’s not proctored, but it’s all online, so it’s something that they send a link and there’s a time bound piece to it.

Carlos Harper: Perfect, beautiful, thank you Victoria. One last question, do all MBA programs only allow for May starts? Great question. We have three semesters, spring, summer, fall, for the online MBA, as well as the executive MBA programs. As you can see there on your screen, the current slide, we want to definitely encourage everyone to get the ball rolling for this summer. Classes start May 8. The application deadline is April 10. So, please reach out to myself, please reach out to your respective advisor, if you have one. We definitely wanna put the rubber to the road. Do you have everything in by April 10 for classes starting on May 8?

I wanted to thank you again, Victoria, I wanted ask if you have any final thoughts or anything that you wanted to say before we actually conclude this presentation. Victoria?

Victoria Burke: No. I would just like to say, again, I would strongly encourage you all to take a look at the program. As I said, it’s something that I spent about two years researching in my spare time in looking into. And I feel like this was the best fit for myself personally. And like I said, I’ve been really pleased with the program. And I’m always happy to speak to anybody offline too if any questions weren’t answered. I’ve already checked my LinkedIn and I see a few of you have connected with me, so I’ll definitely reach out to you and private message and answer you guys back. But again, my email is if I can be a resource for any of you.

Carlos Harper: Perfect, thanks again to our presenter Victoria for being here today. Thank you for everyone for taking the time to join us during your busy schedule. We hope you found this webinar to be both useful and informative. As a reminder, we will be sending an email with a link to this webinar within the next week. The application deadline is April 10, which is right around the corner. We have more than enough time. Please reach out to myself directly at or your respective advisor for any additional questions or concerns. Thanks again and have a great rest of the day.

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