WSU Online MBA Fall 2020 Information Session

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Find out if the Washington State University Online MBA is for you. This session covers:

  • An overview of WSU and the Carson College of Business
  • An in-depth look of the Online MBA program
  • Admission requirements and support available to students
  • The international field study and other networking opportunities
  • An overview of what to expect as a student


Jake M.: Hello everyone and welcome to Washington State University and the online MBA program. We’re doing a webcast here for the fall session of 2020. Talking through some information about the MBA as well as the admissions process. So, we’re excited to have you. Thanks for joining us. It’s probably your lunch. I’m assuming most people are going to be working from home here. So thanks for hopping onto the call.

Jake M.: But I want to start off with some logistics. In order to minimize background noise we have set this presentation to broadcast only mode. So, that means that you guys can hear us. Unfortunately, we will not be able to hear your guys’ voice. So, if you have any questions or anything that you want answered, you can use the Q&A feature that you guys see on your screen. So, if you just type the question in there we will get that in our list and we can address those towards the end of the presentation.

Jake M.: And then, additionally, a recording of this session will be sent out to everyone who’s registered for this once the webinar concludes. So, if you hop off early, if anything is getting in the way, you will get a recording to watch on your own time.

Jake M.: And then, want to go over the agenda as well. So, here’s sort of what we’re going to cover on this webinar. We’re going to start off with the introductions, just sort of introducing everybody who is on the call, everybody who’s going to be chiming in here. We’ll be going over the history, the rankings and the accreditations of Washington State and the Carson College of Business that our MBA’s housed out of. Also, give you a nice program overview for the MBA so you know what to expect if you are to move forward with this route. And then, we’ll be diving into the admissions requirements, really going over all the steps needed to put together a successful application.

Jake M.: From there, we’ll dive into a day in the life, sort of what to expect as a student if you are to move forward. What the actual classes look like, what you can expect on a weekly basis here. Finally, we’ll move into the international field study, where we’ll talk about some pretty cool opportunity that you have as a student in the MBA program and wrap up with that live Q&A section where we answer questions that you have and make sure everybody has all the information that they are looking for.

Jake M.: To start off, want to go over some introductions. I’m at the top there. My name is Jake Moscinski. I’m an Enrollment Advisor here with the MBA program. So, really my job as enrollment advisor, I’m on a team of about 10 people and we’re here to help students learn about the program when they’re researching their different options. Then, if it seems like a strong fit and you are looking to apply, our second function is to help you through the admissions process, help you really put together the easiest and the strongest applications possible.

Jake M.: We also have Erin on the line. Erin, you want to introduce yourself?

Erin A.: Certainly, thank you Jake. So, thank you everybody for joining us today. My name is Erin Abbott. I’m the Admissions Coordinator for graduate and online programs for business here in the Carson College of Business. So, I work on the backend with admissions and I have been with WSU for about two years now. So, Matt, would you like to go ahead and introduce yourself?

Matt B.: Yeah, you bet. Hey everyone, Matt Beer. Military and Veteran Affairs Manager here at the Carson College of Business. Thank you for being with us. I hope you’re staying safe and staying well, and looking forward to hopefully providing you some useful information today.

Jake M.: Awesome, thanks Erin and Matt. And normally we try to get a student on the line as well. We have one who is planning to join, but unfortunately, some scheduling conflicts arose last minute. So, we don’t have a student speaker on this webinar. We will still be able to address all your questions and can follow up more in depth if need be. But thanks Erin, thanks Matt. Excited to have you two both on the line as well.

Jake M.: Perfect, Erin, take it away. Tell us a little bit about Washington State University and the history of our program.

Erin A.: Yeah, definitely. So, I’m going to spend a few minutes on this slide, so that way we can really have the ability to get to the nuts and bolts of this program. But I’m going to go over a little bit just about the background of WSU, and also the geographical location of it.

Erin A.: So, WSU was founded in 1890 in Pullman, Washington. For those of you who are not familiar with the state, Pullman is right on the Idaho boarder and we’re actually just six miles away from the University of Idaho on the eastern side of Washington. In comparison, if you know where Seattle is, we’re about a four and a half hour drive or so to Seattle. Then, if you know where Spokane is, we’re about 80 miles south of Spokane.

Erin A.: WSU was launched as a land grant institution, and what that means is the university was founded on the mission of providing affordable education to anybody who was willing and able to pursue it. When the university started in 1890, it was mostly started as an agricultural institution. If you’re familiar with our area, there’s just wheat fields galore all around us. So, it totally makes sense that the agriculture was the main focus.

Erin A.: As to date, we have over 125 years of alumni legacy, and currently have one of the largest alumni associations. Once you become a Coug, it’s almost cool how many people around the world will see you wearing some type of Coug gear or see the WSU logo and shout, “Go Cougs”. It [inaudible 00:05:36] happens anywhere and everywhere and I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s definitely a strong alumni base here.

Erin A.: We’ll go into that a little bit later, but we highly encourage you, if you do become students, that you consider the alumni association. There really is a lot of benefits to it. So, regarding the Carson College of Business, we have over 60 years of graduate business education. I believe we awarded our first MBA in 1957. Then we have over 20 years of online degree experience. 20 years ago is really interesting actually. It started up where the lectures were recorded and sent to students via VHS. They would then watch them, rerecord them and send them back. We’ve definitely come a long way from the VHS days.

Erin A.: Our online MBA program, as we currently have it now, started in 2007. And the goal of our program was to work around the busy working professional. And we’ll get into that in more depth a little bit later. The last thing I want to mention is we do have an international network of corporate and academic alliances. And this allows us to use more corporate and learning opportunities. If you go on the international field study you’ll be able to see some of those opportunities. We’ll be discussing the international trip here in a bit. So, I will get into the rest of that as we continue on.

Jake M.: Perfect, thank you so much Erin. We appreciate you sharing a little bit about Washington State. It’s an awesome university. And our Carson College of Business is great as well. But I do want to now move more towards the accreditation and the rankings of the program.

Jake M.: Definitely an important part of a decision when choosing a master’s degree or an MBA is to ensure that the credentials match up and the brand recognition is there so that you get the most value out of the program. So, I think accreditation and ranking is really the best way to evaluate those. So, starting off with accreditation, there’s really two main accrediting things that you want to look for. One is going to be programmatic accreditation. So, these are bodies that accredit specific programs. So, for us we’re looking at the business school, the Carson College of Business. We have the AACSD accreditation for all business degrees within Washington State University.

Jake M.: AACSB is typically going to be thought of as the gold standard, really the top tier accrediting body that a school can get. There’s other ones out there. There’s ACBSP, there’s a few other business accrediting ones. But most schools are going to try to seek out the AACSB because it holds the most weight and it’s the most renowned accrediting body for business degrees.

Jake M.: But really what that accreditation does, it ensures that the curriculum is going to be relevant and current. So, the skills you’ll learn from the program will actually help in your career as you progress, as you look to move into managerial roles and leadership. It makes sure that our faculty members are also very renowned and that they are creating research in the business world. So, you’re going to see in some of the classes that you take the professors are actually incorporating different research that they’ve been using into the classroom. Again, helping make sure that it’s relevant, helping make sure that it’s cutting edge and gong to be useful for you as you look to apply it to your professional roles.

Jake M.: So, that’s the business accreditation, that AACSB. The other accreditation that you want to look for as you find a school is going to be a regional accrediting body. So, there’s, I believe, seven regional accrediting bodies. We hold the NWCCU. And that’s a body that really accredits the school as a whole. So, the entirety of Washington State University is regional accredited by the NWCCU. Whereas just the Carson College of Business is accredited by the AACSB.

Jake M.: So, that is sort of my overview of accreditation. Again, you want to look for AACSB. You want to look for regional accreditation. But then, moving into rankings. I think rankings are… They’re useful for looking at how the school is perceived in the public. So, when you’re seeking out schools you want something that has a good brand recognition and I think we have a great one. You see at the bottom there, ranked number 18 from US News and World Report as best online MBA programs for 2020.

Jake M.: That is in the top 5% nationally. We’ve been consistently sort of in that top 5% for quite a while now, probably five or more years running. And that just shows sort of our consistency and our continued brand recognition being seen there from US News. Another good source that a lot of students use when they’re looking into different options is [inaudible 00:10:39]. Recently we were ranked number 16, as best online MBA programs. So, another pretty profound body has ranked us highly there. [inaudible 00:10:52] Magazine, we’re number 28 for online MBA’s. Specifically when we’re looking at veterans, US News and World Report ranked us number 13 as the best online MBA specifically for veterans, which we love to see, as well as that military friendly… Recognized as a military friendly school for 2020.

Jake M.: But Matt, do you want to tell us a little bit more when we’re looking at the military side of things? Just expand a bit on the support that we have and sort of what your role is here.

Matt B.: Sure, yeah, absolutely. I’ll touch on that briefly and just let everybody know that later in the week we’re going to be holding a veteran specific webinar. So, this is [inaudible 00:11:34] and that may be a little more in depth. But overall, yeah, introduction of myself, Lieutenant Colonel retired from the US Air Force. Been back here at Washington State for two and a half years.

Matt B.: And my job, and our commitment here is to serve our students who have served in the military. Whether it’s activity duty, whether they’re veteran or maybe spouses of both of the above. And what that means and what that looks like to the entire group is about 15% of the whole cohort going to the program, and about 40% of those students are actually leaving the military and starting something new. So, this is a perfect way for them to kind of reset, recalibrate and take advantage of the Coug network and also the veterans network.

Matt B.: There are some benefits involved. I don’t want to get too far into those, but they include some tuition breaks, the elimination of some fees and some other things there to make their life easy as they’re out doing the mission that we can help them so they can stay focused on studies. The three main things we focus on here for Carson and the veterans are the experience, community and development.

Matt B.: Experience, like I said before, we really just want to make it as easy as possible for them to get in and do the work. In terms of community, as was mentioned before, the Cougar community is really powerful. So, our goal here is to connect the student veterans with that community, so they can really energize their network. And then, the last part is professional development. In addition to the course work, there’s a lot of other things that students going through this program can benefit from in terms of looking at resumes, looking at LinkedIn profiles and things like that. So, we really work hard to make sure these students are equipped to compete on a level playing with their peers. So, I look forward to answering any questions you may have about this group. And again, welcome you all to the webinar.

Jake M.: Perfect. Thanks Matt. Yeah, Matt will be available for any questions, specifically related to the military. We’ll be able to cover those today. But then, also if you’re looking for more information there, we do have a specific military info session coming up here. It should be Thursday at the same time, so at 12:00 PM Pacific. And if you look on the right side of your screen, there’s that resource list. There is a link to register for that session if you’re looking to dive a bit deeper and chat with Matt and another advisor there.

Jake M.: Perfect. Appreciate that Matt. Moving on though, let’s start to really dive into what our MBA looks like, sort of what we’ve structured it as. So, we are 100% online. So, it is a program that doesn’t require any travel. It is online in the truest of senses. Some programs out there will have different residencies that are mandatory, or travel that is required. Our program has optional events that we’re going to expand upon. But at its heart it is online. So, you can complete this from wherever without coming to Pullman or the campus.

Jake M.: Additionally, the program can be completed in as few as 22 to 29 months. The reason for that range, it’s going to be based off of the foundational courses that we’ve added in. These foundation courses are really designed. It’s going to be seven classes designed for students without a business academic background. So, maybe in your undergraduate you had a non business degree, we’re going to have you take these seven courses in order to really bring you up to speed, build that foundation of knowledge and set you up for success in the core curriculum.

Jake M.: So, back to the length, 22 months is assuming you don’t need any. Maybe you’re coming in with a business degree, we can request waivers for those seven classes. 29 months is assuming you need them all. Maybe you have a non business background so now you need to take those seven courses. And then, move into the core curriculum.

Jake M.: And now, moving down, we do have different concentrations in our MBA. So, ways to really tailor your learning a little bit more focused through the elective courses that you’ll take. So, within the MBA you’ll end up taking three different electives and the concentrations that make up these electives are going to be marketing, finance, hospitality business management and finally, international business. So, when you’re looking at the marketing concentration you would take three specific marketing classes. And actually when you graduate you graduate with your MBA degree, you would also graduate with a graduate level certificate in marketing. So, two credentials, doesn’t make it any more expensive, doesn’t make it any longer. Just ways to further identify what you’ve learned in our program and hopefully, set you up in a more competitive stance when you apply to new role and look to move into new positions.

Jake M.: Now, if none of these, the marketing, the finance, the hospitality or international business, if none of those jump out to you immediately, you do have a general option as well. Really, what that does is it allows you to sort of mix and match classes from any of those. So, maybe a marketing class paired with a finance one, alongside an international business course. Sort of get some more freedom in that path than if you chose a specific concentration.

Jake M.: Now, the MBA, it is an asynchronous program. So, there’s no mandatory times that you need to be logging in. Really, we want to be as flexible as possible and allow you to complete this on your own time and fit into your schedule as opposed to you fitting into our schedule. So, asynchronous is going to be a core pillar that we have here. At the same time though, we do want that engagement. We want you to connect with your classmates and the faculty here. Got a great group of students and some excellent professors to learn from. So, you do have two different live sessions that you can join each week, times to be learning directly from your professor through a webinar, times to be jumping into different discussion groups with your classmates. But also, if you can’t make them, we’re not going to hold you to it. We’re not going to penalize you. You’ll get the recorded copy of that lecture for you to watch on your own time and absolutely no penalty to missing the live component.

Jake M.: And when we’re looking at the sort of final deliverable, we have opted to do a Cap Stone project. Some programs do a thesis paper, some do a final comprehensive exam throughout the program. What we’ve opted to do is a Cap Stone project where you work with a team, a group of typically four people, so you plus three others. And you’re going to be developing a business plan from start to finish. So, from identifying a multitude of different business opportunities to running them through some fees ability studies, looking at the marketplace. And then, positioning yourself, building a business plan to position yourself in the market and ultimately, be able to pitch that idea to the Carson College of Business faculty members who essentially act as investors. We’ve found this to be an excellent way to be able to evaluate your skills from all the different content that we’re teaching you throughout the program. And we’ve actually also had students use these projects in a practical sense, where they’re actually starting companies. They’re taking these to the next level. The Cap Stone is your project. You own the material there, so you can act on it if need be or if you want to.

Jake M.: Then, the last bullet point there, you’ll see we have the international field study and that is optional. So, we’re going to expand upon this in a bit, but a brief overview, every year we have an optional field study where we travel to a different location every time. Really cool opportunity to leverage our corporate partners and academic partners abroad. And get you guys to see and learn some cool new things. So, I’ll talk about that in a bit but for now, let’s move on to the MBA certificates that we have.

Jake M.: So, I had mentioned earlier to you guys we had the different concentrations. These concentrations, the three electives that make up a concentration, they can be taken stand alone. So, if you maybe didn’t want a full MBA right now. Or maybe you already have an MBA and we’re just looking for an additional credential, you can take the three electives within a concentration and get a graduate level certificate instead of a full degree. So, you can do the marketing certificate, the finance, the international business, or the hospitality business management as a stand alone cert without doing the full MBA.

Jake M.: And then, additionally, if you went through the MBA the first time, let’s say maybe it shows a marketing certificate concentration when you went through the MBA. You can come back and complete the remainder classes for a different one. So, maybe you also wanted a finance certificate because that was relevant for your position. Now, you can take that after and now, you have your MBA, you have your first concentration of marketing and your second certificate of finance where you can continue to build upon and learn new skills and add more credentials to the resume and to your portfolio.

Jake M.: Now, I do want to go over some of the main highlights that we have. Some of this will be repeat information to reinforce that. Other will be new information. But recapping the length, you’re looking at the 22 to 29 months. That will be based off of those foundation courses that I have mentioned. We are 100% online. We don’t have any residency or mandatory travel. And our primary term of travel would be that international field study that is optional as well.

Jake M.: Our typical class size, we try to keep it small, between 25 to 30 student mark. This allows us to answer your questions faster, to give you the support that you need to be successful and also allow you to get to know your classmates on a more intimate level in these smaller groups where you can interact more organically.

Jake M.: And then, I think a big one that we haven’t touched on yet is going to be this course structure section. We have opted, in order to really maximize flexibility and maximize student success for students who are working full time, we’ve opted to do a one class at a time program. So, a traditional semester will look like two classes. You’ll take two classes but you would take one for the first half. So, you’d take a class for the first seven weeks of the semester. That class concludes. Typically you’d have about a week break after a class. And then, you’d jump into your second course of the second half of the semester. So, we’ve found that just to be a lot more manageable as a student. With you already balancing work, and school and family and any other obligations that you have, it’s a lot easier to be efficient with your time when you’re in school mode you know where to spend it. You’re not spinning your wheels trying to flip between assignments, flip between subjects. You’re able to really focus here, learn the material and apply it right away.

Jake M.: Now, finally, I do want to touch on tuition. Obviously a big factor when making a decision for a school is going to be does this fit within the budget? So, when we look at tuition we are $834 per credit hour, not including the cost of books. And there’s that range of tuition. You’ll see the $30,024 on the low end. $43,368 on the high end. And the reason for that range is going to be due to those foundation of courses. Similar to why the length is 22 to 29 months. The cost is $30,000 to $43,000, depending on which foundations you may need.

Jake M.: So, if you’re coming in with a business degree, you’re looking at 36 credits. That would make the overall tuition $30,024. If you needed all of the foundation courses because you haven’t completed any business course work, the overall tuition would be $43,368 in that case.

Jake M.: And reach out to us. You can schedule an appointment with an advisor. If you want a more clear picture on what your tuition would be, we’re happy to look over your transcripts. We’re happy to see which foundation courses may or may not be needed in order to give you some clarity there around projected costs.

Jake M.: But now, moving into the admissions requirements of the program. I want to be able to give you guys some clarity around what it takes to be admitted, what the actual process looks like, and how to go about that. You will have the online application. So, this is really going to be the portal that you submit all your documents through. Normally there’s a $75 fee. You guys will be receiving a code. So, if you are planning to apply we can waive that $75 fee. Just let your advisor know that you attended a webinar.

Jake M.: But you’ll have the online application. Within that application we’re going to get official transcripts. This is going to be coming from all universities attended. We will also need a current resume. So, we want to see your work experience, we want to see what you’ve done so far. And also, want to keep that within about two pages in length.

Jake M.: Then, we have one letter of recommendation as a requirement. We want to see typically I would recommend getting these from somebody who is either currently managing you or supervising you or a former manager or supervisor. Main thing you want to shy away from is friends or family. Preferably we want to see a professional. We also can accept academic as well if you would prefer to use a professor that you have.

Jake M.: And then, finally we have the statement of purpose, which is going to be an essay that you write. And really this essay, it’s just communicating your background. It’s also communicating what you see your career goals, what you’re moving toward in your career. And ultimately explaining why you’re a good fit for the program and why the program is a good fit for you.

Jake M.: We don’t have a work experience requirement. The more work experience you have is more evidence for us to look over. But there’s no mandatory experience. So, we have some students who are making a pretty quick transition from undergrad into the master’s degree. We also have students who have 20 plus years of work experience coming in. But there’s, key factor there, no mandatory work experience is required.

Jake M.: We do have a required GPA. We want to see a 3.0 on your transcripts. If you are below that 3.0 we do make exceptions to the rule. So, there’s still routes to take to be admitted into the program. If you’re in the 2.0 something range, I would suggest reaching out to an enrollment advisor, like myself, or any of the my team members. And we can help see sort of what your path could look like, what options we have available given your GPA, if it’s under that 3.0.

Jake M.: And then, the last thing, the last big requirement is going to be the GMAT exam. Our next slide will be diving into different GMAT waivers that we have available. But if you need to take the GMAT or you’re going to take the GMAT, typically we’re shooting for a 550 or higher on that test. So, we want to see if you have a 3.0, we’d like to see a 550. If maybe you’re a little below that 3.0, one way that you can bolster your profile would be through a higher GMAT score.

Jake M.: But moving on to the different waivers we have. This is usually a pretty important thing that a lot of students want to know about is, can I waive the GMAT exam? Is that going to be a requirement for me? So, we have five different main waiver options for you.

Jake M.: The first one is going to be if you already have a master’s degree or a professional degree, maybe a doctorate or a JD. In that case, we want to see a 3.0, but that is one way to request a waiver. Another one, a very common one is going to be having five or more years of progressive work experience paired with a 3.0 GPA or higher. So, I’d say this is probably the most common one I work with. In this case, we look at your transcripts. We want to see that you have good grades, usually specifically in quantitative areas. And then, we look at your work experience. We want to see what you’ve been doing, what that progression has looked like, and what your responsibilities have been.

Jake M.: Another very common one is the STEM degree waiver, which is the third one on that list. So, if you come into the program with some sort of STEM degree, a science, technology, engineering or math degree alongside a 3.0 or higher GPA, we can use that as evidence to bypass the GMAT as well. So, if you have an engineering degree, if you have a biology degree, if you have something that you think could be argued as STEM, let us know. We would love to see if that would work to waive the exam.

Jake M.: Then, the last two, we’ve got the fourth one down, you’ve the business degree from an AACSB accredited institution, along with a 3.0 or higher. So, in that case, we want to see your school. We’ll look through the accreditation, see if their business degree is a 3.0. If it is, now we have a good case for a waiver.

Jake M.: Then, the last one is going to be having 10 or more years of work experience along with a 2.79 GPA or higher. So, now this is another one that we’ve created for students who have been working longer, they have a great amount of work experience, and maybe their GPA wasn’t as high as they wanted. It was under that 3.0 mark, but still fairly high around the 2.79 mark or higher. That is another one that we can look in to.

Jake M.: So, if you want a better evaluation of this, I would recommend connecting with an advisor here. Main things that we typically need are going to be a resume and a transcript. And that’ll allow us to see and recommend if you’d be a good fit for any GMAT waivers.

Jake M.: Now, moving on to student support. One huge thing with online degrees is going to be the level of support that you have. It’s one of the main ways that we can predict successes. The more resources you have, the better you’re going to do. So, we’ve really tried to put multiple layers of support into the program. So, starting off, right away, you have access to enrollment advisors, that would be myself and my teammates included. We are here to be able to help you learn about the program, help answer questions. And if it seems like the right one for you, we’d be able to guide you through that application and really sort of take you along every part of the way.

Jake M.: From there, as soon as you’re admitted into the program and you’re starting classes, you have access to a student support advisor. Their main role is to help you with all things administrative and help you navigate the entirety of the program. So, they’re there to help you register for classes. They’re there to build out your schedule. They’re there to help you secure books and really just point you in the right direction for any scenario that you’re facing. So, at any point, they’re going to be the first person to go to with questions non class related, non content related.

Jake M.: You will have tech support as well. We got 24/7 tech support, both within Washington State, we have our Crimson Help Desk that’s there to help through any WSU issues. And then, third party support for any applications that we use, black board is a common one that we use. So, if you have any questions up there, we can get you squared away on support on the technology side.

Jake M.: I also mentioned earlier, we keep the classes sizes small. This increases the opportunity that your professors have your section instructors have to support you through the program.

Jake M.: Now, I want to talk about the international field study. Erin, do you want to chime in on this one a little bit? Tell us what you know about the field study and sort of what that looks like?

Erin A.: Yeah, certainly. So, this international field study, as it was mentioned before, it’s not required participation. However, we do encourage that any student that can attend it that they do for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 the international field study did have to be canceled this year. But the students were going to go to Prague. Last year they went to Chili. So, typically it’s somewhere different each year.

Erin A.: And it typically happens every July. So, from a planning standpoint you can expect it to happen around early to mid July every year. And it usually last between 10 to 11 days. This length also includes your travel and depending on where the location is. We’re working on the 2021 trip logistics. And should have more information on that for anyone who’s interested here shortly.

Erin A.: The field study is a once in a lifetime experience. Aside from the company visits, and some of the touristy things you’ll get to do, one of the nice things about the trip is you’ll actually get the opportunity to network face to face. Not only with a few of the faculty members that go along, but also with your peers. This program is 100% online and so, your group work and course work is probably happening via Skype or Zoom or something similar. So, you’re not getting the ability to meet face to face.

Erin A.: There’s a lot of times where this trip actually ends up being the first time that some of you get to meet your classmates. So, the networking piece of this, I think, is really important. Like I said, the trip to Prague unfortunately had to be canceled. But to kind of give you an idea of some of the companies that were on the schedule to be visited. Those included Nike Corporate in Prague, McDonald’s Corporate in the Czech Republic and Sinare and Covark, and if you’re not familiar with them, they make luxury chocolates.

Erin A.: Some of the feedback that we got from students from past trips is that for Prague in particular they wanted to see and visit more restaurants and retail businesses. With some notice, we can actually kind of tailor the program to the areas of interest that the students may have. So, for example, one of the previous trips was to China. We had a few of the students who worked for Boeing in the aerospace field. And because of that we were able to coordinate and have a visit to Boeing RND Center in Beijing.

Erin A.: We can’t promise anything, but we can certainly do our best to tailor the trip a little bit. Other stops for Prague that were supposed to happen included [inaudible 00:34:53] Leather Work, a block chain hub and then, a BitCoin bank. Outside of the company visits, there will also be some touristy attractions that you get to visit as well.

Erin A.: The goal of these business visits is just to see what the business climate is like for doing business in different areas of the world. So, again this does require your participation but we do highly encourage that, if you can, that you do participate in this opportunity as it has a lot of great benefits.

Jake M.: Yeah, I think the international field study, it’s an awesome option. A lot of our students go on it, it’s been a really cool addition to the program. We’ve been to places like Chili, we’ve been to… or we were planning to go to Prague. But if you can make it, it’s awesome. If you can’t, it’s not going to be any penalty. So, I think that’s worth pointing out as well.

Jake M.: Now, I do want to dive into sort of a day in the life of the program, of a student in the program. So, I had mentioned earlier that the program is one class at a time. Your class weeks began on Monday and they end on Sunday. So, really, Monday start looking at your schedule, start looking at your deliverables, see what reading needs to be done, see when your webinar is. And then, make that plan. Start to divvy out the time that you have and look at what time you’re available to work on the program and read through your material.

Jake M.: We usually expect around 10 to 15 hours per week of work. That’s really going to be all things added in. So, reading, attending those sessions or watching the recorded copy, and then knocking out your assignments. I will say towards the end of the program, when you’re doing that Cap Stone project I had mentioned, it can climb a little higher than 15. Sometimes more around 20 hours per week. So, keep that in mind as well.

Jake M.: At the bottom there, you see the bullet, get ready to adapt to remote team work. We do have a fair amount of group projects within the MBA. One main thing that we want to do is get you guys connected. And a great way we can do that is through a group and team activities and projects that you’ll work on. So, we do start off the program with sort of a strategic planning type of a class where we show you different resources you can use, different systems and technology that you can use. And what we’ve seen really be successful within that group component. We want to make sure you guys are all well equipped to tackle the group assignments and network as best as possible.

Jake M.: And then, one thing I didn’t mention, those live session, usually they’re going to be between Monday and Thursday. They can be anywhere in there. The earliest we host them is 6:00 PM Pacific time. So, we try to make them after working hours. They go, it’s usually about an hour session and it can start anytime between 6:00 and 9:00 PM Pacific. And again, if you can’t make it, you get the recorded copy the next morning where you can watch it on your own time.

Jake M.: But Erin, let’s go over some of those networking opportunities, ways that we’ve added in some more layers of networking into the MBA.

Erin A.: Yeah, definitely. So, I will just kind of go through this list and then, at the end of it I’ll actually defer it to Matt, so he can have an opportunity to talk a little bit about the military events that he does specifically.

Erin A.: So, over the last year we’ve really decided that we need to make a priority of allowing more networking opportunities for our MBA students. I know one of the draws of WSU’s MBA program is that it is 100% online. And there is no residency requirement. Of course, we always welcome students to our campus, but you’re not required. So, that being said, we do have just as many students though, even though it’s online and appreciate the flexibility, are looking for those opportunities to meet face to face, such as the international field study offers.

Erin A.: So, within the last year we’ve kind of done some deep diving into how best we can do this. One of the things that we added is our online MBA meet and greet/happy hour event. Right now, we have those around other events that either the college puts on or that WSU is hosting. For example, in the fall we always hold an online MBA meet and greet to fall during the week where we have our power breakfast event and some other similar events. This typically happens in Seattle. A huge bulk of our students are in or around the greater Seattle area. So, that’s why we hold that one there.

Erin A.: It’s a pretty informal event. This last fall we did it at Spot Six Hub in Seattle. So, for those of you who are familiar with that, it’s a Coug owned pub. We try to support our Cougs where we can. It was from 4:00 to 7:00 PM and we had appetizers and just really wanted to create an environment where our students could speak to other students. We had alumni there, we had a few faculty members there, and then, we also had some staff members there as well. In fact, if you’re actually looking at the slide in front of you, the picture on the bottom right of the slide where you see a group of people, that was taken at our meet and greet event in Seattle last fall.

Erin A.: So, we already talked about the international field study, but again, this a great way to network as well. We do hold the Carson College power breakfast. And the picture on the bottom left that you see was taken at the power breakfast event in Seattle. That’s actually our Dean, Dr. Chip Hunter speaking there. This is an invite to all students. It’s over a breakfast where you either have a speaker or a few speakers talking about a specific topic. To give you a little context, this last year they actually did a panel where you can see in the picture and they were discussing various business trends.

Erin A.: This is also [inaudible 00:40:51] for you to participate in. We do have Coug First Shows. And these happen a couple of times a year. They also happen in the Seattle area but are hosted in Spokane as well. This is open to anybody and everybody who wants to participate. It is a free event, and it is a huge event that a lot of activities go into. It has a trade like show format to it where you can go in and there’s a lot of Coug owned businesses.

Erin A.: It’s really just Cougs being able to network with Cougs and we represent the MBA there. We have various faculty and staff there as well. And we definitely encourage students who are interested in WSU’s MBA program, current students, as well as alumni to join in on this opportunity.

Erin A.: The alumni association, as I kind of mentioned before, is quite large and has various events. If you go the alumni association page and type in where you’re located, it will pull up various events that the alumni association puts on for your area. For example, during the football season if you type in, say, around the Seattle area once again, it will let you know if there are any watch parties for the football games happening. We encourage our students and alumni to attend these as much as possible or as you wish.

Erin A.: Then, the last thing I was going to talk about was commencement, and the Carson College reception. So, every fall and spring… So to put this into perspective, it’s December and May, we have a commencement on campus. Unfortunately, do to COVID-19 this year the commencement ceremony had to look a little different and it was a virtual ceremony. However, WSU is planning an in person ceremony for August but firm details on that are still yet to come.

Erin A.: If you can, we highly encourage you to come out for commencement. It is really just a cool experience. One, because you’re celebrating and the fact that you’re graduating. Second, a lot of times this is the first trip that a lot of students make to campus. We really encourage it so that students are able to see WSU here in Pullman and what it really has to offer. We do have an all college reception the night before graduation and this includes all graduates, undergrads, as well as our PhD students.

Erin A.: We have toasts, our Dean speaks, and it’s just a really fun event. Then, before commencement on Saturday we are actually doing a get together with students who are choosing to walk. It’s another opportunity that you get to network with some of the staff and your peers.

Erin A.: Other things we’re planning is to help our students with [inaudible 00:43:30] and then, on the way to commencement we’ll show you some of the cool hotspots on campus. This includes some places like Martin Stadium, the Cubs, different areas like that. Those are just some of the few networking opportunities that our program offers. And I do want to mention that even though I mentioned the Seattle area quite a bit, we do understand that we do have students in obviously different areas around our country and the world. So, we’re actually looking at offering our events in different areas around the country. So, please don’t be discouraged if you don’t live in the Seattle area. We are looking at planning our events, like I said, around different parts of the country, as well as the world. So, those are still forthcoming.

Erin A.: So, now I’m going to turn this over to Matt so he can talk to you a little bit about the military events that he puts on.

Matt B.: Sure. I’d like to address that. That’s one of the big keys for our… Not only just our military students but for all of our students. But I did see one of the questions in the Q&A was what does Washington State pride itself on beyond the classroom in terms of professional development? And I think this is one area where we’re really growing. And I would put that as a mark of pride for us, especially for me because that’s one thing I focus on for our students.

Matt B.: And the way we do that, there’s a number of ways. Some of them are in person. The meet and greets are great. I held a military all call over in Tacoma last year. And actually managed to run into an alumni association that was having an event the same night. That was great. But we also do a lot of virtual events because our students are all around the world and all around the country.

Matt B.: So, we do industry nights where we invite alumni back in to talk about their work. We do also something called Coop Conversations, which is essentially a recommended book by one of our faculty and staff. And we’ll talk about that. Those usually tend to be professional development subjects, whether they’re leadership, culture. I think the next one we’re going to be doing is Designing Your Life, the book. Just kind of reviewing that. So there’s a lot of opportunities like that. And if you just look in the attendee list, you’ll see that we have students from all kinds of backgrounds. And really, if you take advantage of that network, the people that are going through the class with you, I think it could be a pretty powerful thing.

Jake M.: Yeah, I totally agree with you Matt. This is Jake here. I think that is, and has been, our focus. Just continuing adding different networking events, ways to get you guys all connected. You’re going to see it organically through the program, with those group projects, with the discussions that you have and those webinars that you have. But that is something that we’re constantly adding. Year over year I feel like it keeps growing, the opportunities that you guys have. So, if you can make it, excellent. If you can’t, we got a lot of virtual opportunities as well.

Jake M.: But thank you Erin, thank you Matt. We’re going to move towards the end of the presentation. At this point we’re going to hop into the Q&A section. For anybody that’s time sensitive and has to head out, I want to point out a few different information here. We do have the fall term starting up here in August. It’ll be August 24th of 2020. Our application deadline for that isn’t until July 27th. So, we have plenty of time to knock out the application if it’s something that you’re looking into.

Jake M.: I wouldn’t recommend waiting until July. I would try to get it in before then so that you have more time for planning and getting everything done. But at this point, let’s move into that Q&A section. I’ve got a lot of great questions coming in here. So, want to make sure we spend the last 10 or so minutes addressing those. The first one that I see, I’m enrolled in an MBA program at another university. Can my credits transfer?

Jake M.: So, that’s a yes and a no type of an answer. We have really two different ways that you can bring credits in from another MBA. First one is going to be for those foundational courses. So, if you took something equivalent to some of the foundation courses that we have, for instance, we have an economics class. So, if you took an managerial economics class in your MBA we can use that to request a waiver for our foundation course, where that would not be a requirement for you.

Jake M.: The second way you could do it would be through a traditional transfer credit. We can bring in up to six credits from an AACSB accredited MBA program and bring them in as electives. So, if your current program that you’re doing is AACSB accredited, we can potentially use six credits, typically two classes as elective course work. Reach out to us, to the advisors. We would need to work with you through your transcripts and get some course descriptions there to make that decision.

Jake M.: Another question here, will you accept GRE scores in leu of GMAT scores? Answer to that is yes. Essentially what we do, most students take the GMAT, but if you’ve already prepped for the GRE or you prefer to take that for one reason or another that is definitely an option. Basically what we do is convert your GRE scores into GMAT scores. There’s a tool that we use through the GRE testing company and we would just look at what the equivalent GMAT score would be trying to hit that 550 mark.

Jake M.: Perfect. Another one that I’m seeing, are there breaks between terms? If so, how long? We do have breaks between terms. We try to spread things out a little bit, so it’s not the most rigorous program going 24/7. So oftentimes between a class you’re going to have about a week break. If we look at this fall semester, you would have a class going from August 24th through October 11th. So, that’d be your first seven week long class. As soon as that class concludes, your next course actually wouldn’t start up until October 19th. So, you’ve got about eight days there between classes where you can have a little bit of a breather.

Jake M.: Another big break though that you’ll see in the program is sort of that transition from fall to spring. So, the fall semester overall will end December 13th of 2020. The spring semester doesn’t start until January 11th of 2021 giving you about a month off to celebrate the holidays, to spend time with your family and recuperate a little bit after knocking out a handful of courses.

Jake M.: Perfect. Another question that’s coming in here, is the program rolling admissions or are there cohorts? So, technically we’re a rolling admission program. So, since we’re on that one class at a time approach you can be starting multiple times a semester. There’s actually three different start dates each semester. So, you’ve got a one, two, and three start in the fall. A one, two, three in the spring and a one, two, three in the summer. At the same time though, it does sort of have a cohort feel because we’re on a class structure where only certain classes are offered at certain times. So, you’re in the same classes alongside your other MBA students and you’re going to be seeing familiar faces throughout. You can register for the specific sections with classmates if you start to develop those relationships, want to continue working with some people that you work really well with, go ahead and start to build your own mini cohort and register together. That happens quite frequently in our program.

Jake M.: Awesome. Just going into the Q&A section here. Are foundation courses required for the certificate program? That’s an excellent question. They are required. So, the certificate programs have the same admission’s criteria as the regular MBA. So, if you wanted just the marketing certificate, so not the full MBA, you just wanted the marketing graduate level certificate, the foundational courses would be needed to be completed before moving into those concentration courses. So, if you have a business degree you wouldn’t likely need to worry about them if they got waived. If you don’t have a business degree, some or all of those foundation courses would be a requirement for the program.

Jake M.: Perfect. All right. Going back into the Q&A section, just trying to find some. What is the typical cost of books throughout the program? Really good question, really relevant one. So, your main costs in the program are going to be cost of tuition, which we’ve covered, that $834 per credit hour ranging from roughly $30K to roughly $43K, depending on foundation courses need. So, that’s your main cost. Then you have the cost of books. That’s sort of the only other main one you need to be looking at.

Jake M.: We really anticipate about $150 per course for the cost of books. If you didn’t need any foundations, you’re looking at 14 classes. So, let me do some quick math here. So, that’d be 14 classes, that’d be roughly $2100 for cost of books without foundations. If you needed all the foundations you’d have about 21 classes. So, cost of books would be just over $3000 in that case. So, definitely something you want to factor in in that decision process. Make sure that you are squared away there.

Jake M.: All right, I see another good one here from Amy. Is there a required summer session for the MBA as well or is the MBA during the fall and spring only? So, our program, the stock schedule will be a fall, spring and summer semester. So, you’ll have courses year round. You do have the option of building a custom schedule, where if you needed a break you could take that. We don’t necessarily encourage breaks. It can cause some schedule issues where you’re extending the program out longer than we would want, since we’re only at certain classes are offered at certain times. So, in that case, if you took a break in the summer, at the end of your program you might be waiting a bit without any classes that are available and just waiting for the new one. So, ideal route is to go through it from start to finish, but if you had something that’s getting in the way, if life happened and you needed a break, you can absolutely space it out as need be.

Jake M.: And for that, you would work with your student support advisor. So, they would talk you through the pros and the cons. They would help you come to the conclusion of what would work the best and build that schedule with you.

Jake M.: Perfect. Okay. Collin says, are books online I assume? So, books are… We can go a variety of different ways to be getting them. We have our own bookstore. It’s called The Bookie. So, you can be purchasing books from Washington State. Typically you get an option. You can buy a hard copy. You can rent a book where you keep it for a small amount of time and then, send it back. Or you can buy an E-book. So, if you want everything to be digital, you absolutely can find the E-copies, oftentimes those are less expensive since you’re not paying for the actual print. So, that’s an option for you. But really, we want to sort of leave you with the option of picking how you want to get your books, while also showing you the different resources. So, that’s, again, something that your student support advising team will be able to help with, help you navigate getting your books.

Jake M.: Okay. Oh, here’s a great one. Bobby asks, do you need to complete the program in the 22 to 29 months or can you extend it over a longer period of time? So, I briefly touched on that earlier. You can extend it over a longer period of time. You have up to six years to complete the degree. So you just need to be knocking out your credit amount within those six years. That being said, the ideal path is to go through it from start to finish and then, use that flexibility, use those six years when something gets in the way that’s more important. Let’s say maybe half way through the program you got a new position, needed to settle into that. Definitely takes some time to do that and hop back in the MBA when you’re ready. But ideal scenario, we’d like to see it going through from start to finish. Good question Bobby.

Jake M.: Okay. So, David asks, are the MBA courses more self guided? Looking to gauge how invested the professors are in our learning, how early can we establish our concentrations and can we dabble in more than one if desired? So, this is sort of a three pronged question. Let’s begin with looking at how engaged professors are in your learning. So, I had mentioned earlier you have those live sessions. So, you’ve got two different live sessions each week. So, these are times where your professors are teaching you directly. They’re engaging with you directly. These are not traditional lecture based where they’re just reading off their spill. It is going to be very discussion oriented. So, during this portion you’re going to be asking them questions, they’re going to be addressing those. They’re going to be asking you questions and wanting your feedback. And also creating different activities there. So, they will be playing the role of a traditional professor and actively engaging with you guys. They’ll also be giving you feedback on your assignments and they’re also there for…

Jake M.: They actually have virtual office hours for our students. So, if you needed some extra help, maybe you’re not familiar with accounting and you’re in one of your accounting courses, definitely set up some time with your professor and let them guide you through the content. Let them support you and set you up for learning these skills and being successful in the program. I’d say that’s the answer I have for how engaged and invested the professors are.

Jake M.: You’re also looking to learn how early we can establish our concentration? So, really the concentrations are going to be established as you pick the elective courses that you have. So, if you needed foundation courses, you’re not going to take an elective for at least six, maybe seven months to have some time to figure that out. If you didn’t need foundation courses, typically it would be usually the second class you’d take in the program would be an elective. So, in that case, you need to establish it fairly early, start narrowing down which of the concentrations you’d want to do. And I’m here to talk through different concentrations, see which one might be aligned with your plans. The student support team is there as well to talk through sort of what those classes look like logistically and see what would make the most sense.

Jake M.: Another one, can we dabble in more concentrations if we desire? So, I think I had briefly touched on that earlier. You can. So, you can go through the program the first time with one concentration. Let’s say you chose a finance one to begin with. You can do that. And then, if you weren’t able to… Or if you wanted to come back and finish a marketing concentration you can definitely do that, where you would come back and finish the three marketing courses to get that. But we’ve still got a ton of questions here.

Jake M.: We are coming to the end. So, what we’re going to do is make sure we follow up with any remaining questions via email. I thank you all for attending. I think this was a lot of fun. I appreciate the good questions that we got here. I hope it was informative for you all. But yeah, reach out to us. We’d love to see if this is the right program for you. So just feel free to schedule an appointment or give us a call here. Everybody have a great day, and hopefully we see you joining the program this fall.