WSU Online MBA Summer 2020 Info Session with Director of Admissions and Student Services
Jake Moscinski: Okay, hello everyone. Welcome to the Washington State University webcast, for our Online MBA program. We’re excited to have you all and hope you guys are having a great day. Thank you for joining us, on what’s most likely your lunch break. We are excited to tell you a little bit about our program, and see if this could be a good option for you. I want to start off with some of the logistics of the webinar today. In order to minimize background noise, we have set this presentation into broadcast-only mode. What this means is that, you can hear us but we can’t hear you. If you do have any questions that you want to ask, you want to be covered today, you can see the Q&A feature on the right side of your screen. Additionally, a few other things that you have access to is a contact us section, where if you have any specific questions you’d like to be answered, that are directly related to you, we can answer that way. Then you’ll also have some other resources in there.
Jake Moscinski: We have a military webinar that you can register, if you’re coming from a military background and want to attend that. That’ll be a cool opportunity. We’ll talk about that a little bit later in the podcast or in the webinar. Then finally, we also have a recording of this session, that will be emailed to you after the webinar. You can either re-watch it, if you had to step out for a second or if you got to leave early, you’ll have access to that within a few days here. Then I want to cover the agenda of the webinar today. We’re going to do a few different things. We’re going to start off with some introductions, so you know who is on the line here, who’s given you information. From there, we’ll go into the history of Washington State and the MBA program, dive into some rankings and accreditation for Washington State along with the Carson College of Business. After that, we’ll be going over an Online MBA program overview, to give you a good feel for what to expect out of here, out of Washington State University, with our program. We’ll also cover the admissions requirements. What it will take to put together a successful application packet. Then from there, we’re going to go into a day in the life of a student.
Jake Moscinski: I’ll give you a nice overview of sort of what our students experience, when they are an online student of the MBA program. We also have a guest speaker here, a graduate of the MBA program, who can expand during that section. We’ll cover our optional international field study, really cool opportunity that we’ll have our director be expanding on, along with the student. Then finally, wrapping up with that live Q&A section at the end. I want to start off with some introductions. Mitch, you want to go ahead and introduce yourself?
Mitch Swanger: Absolutely. Thanks, Jake. Thanks everybody for joining us today. My name is Mitch Swanger. I am the Director of Admissions and Student Services for Undergrad and Online Programs of Business here, in the Carson College of Business. I have been with WSU for about nine and a half years now.
Jake Moscinski: Awesome. Thanks, Mitch. Matt, you want to go ahead and introduce yourself?
Matt Beer: Sure, welcome everyone. My name is Matt Beer. I’m the Military and Veterans Affairs Manager here at the Carson College of Business, and I work with the military-affiliated students. That’s active duty, guard reserves, spouses and other folks that are affiliated with our veteran community. Glad to be here.
Jake Moscinski: Thanks, Mitch. Thanks, Matt. We’re excited to have you both on the webinar today. Then I am Jake Moscinski. I’m an Enrollment Advisor here with the MBA and executive MBA program. Really, my job is to work with students at researching our program, and help you see if this is going to be a good choice for you. Then if you did determine it to be a good choice, I also work with you throughout the application process. I will help guide you through that. I’ll help you put together the strongest packet possible. Then we also have Todd on the line. Todd, you want to go ahead and introduce yourself?
Todd Henkel: Yeah, hey everyone. Hopefully you can hear me. My name is Todd Henkel. I started my MBA at Washington State in February 2017. I finished and I graduated in August last year, 2019. I worked for the DOD at the US Air Force, but I’m happy to be here and talk to you guys. Looking forward to it.
Jake Moscinski: Awesome. Todd, we’re really excited to have you on the line. I think it’s important to have prospective students get to hear from you, get to learn what it actually looks like to be in the program. Again, thank you so much for joining us here today.
Todd Henkel: Welcome.
Jake Moscinski: Then, Mitch, you want to go ahead and give us a little overview of Washington State? I think you’ve been here the longest.
Mitch Swanger: Yeah, absolutely. I’m just going to spend a few minutes on this slide, so that we can make sure we really get into the nuts and bolts of the program. Just a little… I would say background out of WSU, and then the demographics if you’re not familiar and the geographics.
Mitch Swanger: WSU was founded in 1890, in Pullman, Washington. For those of you who are not familiar with maybe the state, Pullman is right on the Idaho border. We’re actually six miles away from the University of Idaho, on the Eastern side of Washington State. In comparison, if you know where Seattle is, we’re about a four and a half hour drive or so from Seattle. Then if you know where Spokane is, we’re about 80 miles South of Spokane. WSU is Washington State’s land-grant institution. 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 did start in 1890, it started mostly as an agricultural institution. If you’re familiar with our area, there’s just wheat fields galore all around us. It makes sense that agriculture was our main focus. Up-to-date, we have over 125 years of alumni legacy, and currently have one of the biggest alumni associations.
Mitch Swanger: Once you become a Coug, it’s almost code, like 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 literally happens anywhere and everywhere, and I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s definitely a strong alumni base there. We’ll go into it a little bit later, but we highly encourage you, if you do become students, we encourage you to consider joining the alumni association. There’s a lot of benefits to that.
Mitch Swanger: 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, it was interesting. It was actually set up where, the lectures would be recorded and sent to students via VHS. They would watch it, and then send the tapes back. They would get rerecorded, sent back. We’ve definitely come a long way from the VHS days. Our Online MBA as we’re currently have it now, started in 2007.
Mitch Swanger: The goal was to work around the busy working professional, which we will get into in more depth moving forward. Then the last thing I want to mention, is that we do have an international network of corporate and academic alliances, which allows our students more corporate and learning opportunities. If you go on the international [inaudible 00:07:47], you’ll be able to see some of these opportunities. We will be discussing the international trip here in a minute, so I will save the rest of that for when we continue on.
Jake Moscinski: Awesome. Thanks, Mitch. I think for online students, the big ones there is going to be the 20 years of perfecting online degrees. We’ve had a lot of time to work things out here, and come a long way and be pretty successful for our students. Then also, that international network that comes into play with that international trip coming down, that we’ll be expanding on. At this point, I’m going to dive into some things specific to Washington State, and the Carson College of Business and the MBA here. That’s going to be the accreditations and rankings. Starting off at the top half, you’re going to see the AACSB accreditation. That’s typically thought of as the gold standard for business accrediting bodies. What that does, is it makes sure that the curriculum is going to be relevant and updated. It’s also going to speak to the validity of your professors, just making sure that they are experts in that area, teaching this relevant curriculum. It’s important for companies to make sure that they know what they’re getting out of graduates of programs.
Jake Moscinski: I was speaking with one of our faculty members in the MBA program, and he was previously working at Microsoft. He had mentioned that they have filtering systems. For the candidate pools that are applying to their positions, if they have an MBA, they can be filtering degrees that aren’t coming from AACSBs. That’s one way that that manifests in the job search, and in applying to new positions. Below the AACSB section, you’ll see the NWCCU. That’s a regional accrediting body. There is a variety of different regional accreditations. Basically, you want to make sure that your university as a whole, so Washington State University, holds that regional accreditation. Typically, you have the either regional or national. Regional is going to be the one that most people seek out. That covers accreditation. Then moving towards the bottom of that slide, you have the different rankings. Washington State and our MBA program in particular, has been pretty well received by a lot of different ranking bodies.
Jake Moscinski: You’ll see US News and World Report ranks us number 18, as best Online MBA programs for 2020. That’s in the top 5%. We’ve consistently been in that top 5% for quite some time now. We also got a new ranking this past year, we’re now number 16 from Poets & Quants. Really good resource for looking into different programs. Pretty cool to be recognized there. Then we’re number 19 from CEO Magazine. Then with vets, we’re currently number 13. Again, that’s coming from US News and World Report, that we’re a veteran-friendly school. One that does a lot to support our veterans in the program, and active duty military. We’re also recognized as a military-friendly school on Military Times. Matt Beer will be diving more into that military friendliness that we have, in this upcoming slide. You want to go ahead and tell a little bit more about that support that we have, Matt?
Matt Beer: Yeah, sure. Thanks, I appreciate it. Again, my name is Matt Beer. I’m retired from the Air Force, 22 years, and happy to be back here at my alma mater, Washington State University. About 15% of our students, give or take, are actually affiliated with the military in some fame or fashion. We felt it was our responsibility to make sure that our policies and procedures are aligned, to make it an easy process for those folks. Also, to add some return on investment. A lot of that takes place with community building, getting those folks involved in networking. It also takes the shape of some professional development. We build out some programs for those folks. I would encourage those of you who have a tie to that group, to attend the military webinar. We’ll talk in a lot more depth about that.
Matt Beer: Or feel free to contact me or ask your EA about that, and we can talk in more detail. It’s a great place for veterans to be. We’ve got a lot of folks all around the world, doing all kinds of missions and managing to get their MBA at the same time. Then they also bring a lot to the classroom too. They’ve got a lot of leadership experience, real world life experience. I think if you do become part of the program, you’ll find that they’re great folks to have with you as you go through this program.
Jake Moscinski: Awesome, Matt. I appreciate you expanding on that. Now, we’re going to move towards the Online MBA curriculum, sort of an overview of that. It is 100% online program. This program can be completed in as few as 22 to 29 months. The reason for that range and the length of time, is going to be due to our foundation courses. These are seven classes that we’ve designed for students who aren’t coming from a business educational background, are really used to sort of bring you up to speed. Set that foundation of knowledge, so that you can build upon it in the graduate level courses. If you are coming in with a business background, we can be requesting waivers for these seven classes. In that case, we got all of them waived. You’re looking at right around 22 months to complete, so under that two-year mark. If you needed all of the foundation courses, now you’re looking at around 29 months. Those are typically going to be the students who aren’t coming in with a business undergraduate degree.
Jake Moscinski: One thing that we’ll do as advisors, as my role here, would be to help you request those waivers. If you have questions on it, let us know, reach out and we can help you there. We also have four concentrations in our MBA program, along with a general option. If you’re looking to specifically target your career, or continue your career growth in a specific path, we have marketing, we have finance, we have hospitality business management, along with international business.
Jake Moscinski: Basically the concentrations are going to be made up of the three elective courses that you have. If none of them specifically jumped out to you, or maybe you wanted a bit more of a holistic approach, you can choose the general option. In that case, you pick and pull your three elective courses from any of those. Maybe a marketing class paired with a finance class, alongside an international business class.
Jake Moscinski: Then our MBA is an asynchronous program. What that means for you guys, is there’s no mandatory times that you need to be logging in. It is entirely sort of up to you, to be giving out your time and spreading that throughout the week. At the same time, we want to give you an opportunity to be connecting with classmates, to be connecting with our really good faculty here. We do have live sessions that you can join each week. These are typically, after-work hours, usually around 6:00 PM Pacific Time. You sit down with your classmates through about a 45-minute webinar, where you’ll be really discussing the content, learning the content, asking questions. If you ever can’t make these sessions, they are recorded for you. You get a copy. You’re able to watch it on your own time, fit it into your schedule. We also have a cool capstone project. That’s really the final deliverable for our program. We have you build out a full business plan from start to finish. We found it to be a much more effective way, at evaluating and helping you solidify the content you learned throughout the program. To put it into this cohesive project, to build this business plan that incorporates the marketing, the finances, the analytics, all of these pieces.
Jake Moscinski: Rather than have you take a big exam or write a thesis paper. Then finally, we also have that international field study. It’s a really cool opportunity. It is optional, so you don’t need to attend it. In fact, you don’t need to travel at all for the program, if you want to complete this from whatever state or area you are. We do have those opportunities baked in, to travel if you’d like to. Then this slide is going to be tied to those concentrations that we have.
Jake Moscinski: We call them certificates. If you chose a specific concentration, let’s say you chose a marketing concentration, you would end up graduating with both your MBA degree, alongside a graduate level certificate in marketing. We offer the certificates as standalone. If you wanted to just get a certificate as opposed to a full MBA, you only wanted to learn the marketing or the finance, you can take those three classes alone and now you have the graduate level certificate.
Jake Moscinski: Then also, if you went through the MBA program, with a marketing concentration to start with, you could come back and build upon your credentials by getting a second certificate. You can get all the certificates if you want. We’ve seen that a lot of students do that, to continue adding credentials to their resume, continue adding knowledge to grow in their careers. Then this slide, it’s really just a few of the highlights that I think are pretty relevant for our students.
Jake Moscinski: The length of the program again, recap, it’s 22 to 29 months, depending on foundational courses. It is 100% online. We don’t have a residency required. A lot of online programs out there will have a mandatory residency, sometimes multiple residencies where you need to travel for a weekend or a week or a day. We really didn’t want to sacrifice flexibility, so that’s not going to be a requirement for us. Those travel options are going to be optional, like that international field study. We also want to keep our class sizes small. You’ll see about 25 to 30 students per class. This allows our faculty to be with their responses, so when you do have a question, they’re not having to feel the 100 different students at the same time. They can give you more time a day, be able to make sure that you’re well supported.
Jake Moscinski: Then another very useful thing, I think a very important thing is our course structure. We have a one class at a time approach. Throughout the program, you’re taking shorter classes. Most of your classes are seven-weeks long. You take a class for the first half of the semester, solely focusing on that concept. You finish that class, now you move into the next one, another seven weeks. That gives you I think a lot more efficiency with your time. When you’re in school mode, you know exactly what to be doing, where to be spending your time. As opposed to having this large priority list like other graduate programs have, where you’re taking two or three classes at the same time. We prevent you from spinning your wheels there. Only exception to that rule, is going to be at the very end. We have that capstone project that I mentioned earlier, that will be taken alongside your regular classes. Typically, at that point, you’ve got some good systems built in.
Jake Moscinski: You have more efficiency for taking that capstone alongside the regular class. Then finally, at the bottom of the screen you’ll see the tuition. Our program is $834 per credit hour. You see the range there on the low end, it’s $30,024. That is, if you didn’t have any foundational courses needed, you got those seven classes waived. Then on the high end, it’s $43,368. That’s assuming you need all foundation courses. Now, I can move towards those admissions requirements for our program. Fairly streamlined admissions process. Again, we have the enrollment advisors that will help you tackle all of these items. From the top there, we’ll have the application. A completed and signed online application. Within that, you’re going to have official transcripts that we’ll order. That’s going to be coming from all universities that you attended. We’re going to get a current resume. This is a way for us to evaluate your work experience, see what you’ve been doing, see what your sort of trajectory looks like.
Jake Moscinski: We’ll get one letter of recommendation. Ideally, we want this coming from an immediate manager or supervisor. Then we’re going to write an essay called The Statement of Purpose. A pretty quick document, detailing your background, detailing your career plans. Explaining why you are a strong fit for the program, and why the program is a strong fit for you. We also don’t have any work experience requirement. Some programs out there will have a mandatory requirement. We don’t have that.
Jake Moscinski: We do see a handful of students going straight from undergraduate into an MBA program, to really accelerate their career trajectory. That’s absolutely an option for you, with our MBA. Then the GPA, we’re targeting students with a 3.0 or higher and a 4.0 scale. There are exceptions to be made to that rule. If you don’t have a 3.0, you don’t have to say, “This program is not going to work.” What I would recommend you to do, is reach out to an enrollment advisor. See sort of how we can bolster your profile, and make up for a lower than 3.0 GPA. Then finally, at the bottom of the screen you got the GMAT waiver. There are GMAT waivers available for qualified applicants. A lot of students are requesting these, and then having some success on them. Then if you did need the exam or you were planning to take the GMAT exam, we recommend right around a 550, assuming you have a 3.0 GPA. If you’re a little lower than a 3.0, you want to have higher than a 550. We can recommend scores based off of your individual profile. That’s sort of the full admissions requirements for our MBA program.
Jake Moscinski: Diving deeper into the GMAT waiver options, it’s usually a pretty important question. A lot of students seeking to bypass that admission’s requirement. We have five different options that we’ve built out. Five different ways that we’ve determined there’s enough evidence to admit a student without the GMAT. The first one is going to be, previously having earned a graduate or a professional degree. If you are applying and you already have a master’s degree, maybe in a different field, or perhaps you have a PhD, we can use that as evidence to request a waiver. The next one’s going to be a very common one, that I’ve worked with a lot of my students with. That’s going to be, having five or more years of progressive work experience and having a 3.0 GPA or higher. Basically in this one, we’re going to be evaluating your resume, doing a deep dive into what you’ve done throughout your career. Seeing if we have a good argument to be made for a GMAT waiver off of that work experience, assuming you meet the 3.0 GPA.
Jake Moscinski: Another very common one is having a STEM degree. That’s the third GMAT waiver listed here. A STEM degree would be Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics, along with a 3.0 GPA or higher. If you graduated in a program that’s going to be heavy on that quantitative or science-based coursework, that’s going to be likely enough evidence for us to admit you. Again, assuming you have that 3.0 GPA or higher. The fourth option we have, is already having a business degree from an AACSB-accredited institution, with a 3.0 GPA or higher. This is another very common one. A lot of our students are coming in with a business background. If your program had that accreditation and you have the 3.0, again, good evidence for us to use to request a GMAT waiver. Then the last one ties to students who have below a 3.0 GPA. If you have 10 years or more of progressive work experience, along with a 2.79 GPA or higher, we can again do that deep dive into your resume, see if there is enough evidence for us to admit you. This is another thing that I’ll work with you guys on, or any of my team members will work with you on. Reach out to an enrollment advisor, and we can really see what your odds of getting a GMAT waiver would look like, given the current credentials that you’re at.
Jake Moscinski: Then I also want to talk about student support. I think that’s incredibly important for online students in particular. We don’t want you to be unsupported here. We want to give you multiple lines of communication, to handle any issue that’s thrown your way. Starting right off, you have my role, the enrollment advisor. I help you learn the program. I help you through that admissions process, and sort of get you started with courses. Or I would work with you, all the way up until day one of classes. Right from the get go, you have somebody to be your dedicated advisor. Then once you’re in the program, now you have a student support advisor. This is going to be your go-to contacts, throughout the duration of the program. They help you with schedules, they help you find books and get the required course materials. They help you really navigate any situation that’s thrown your way, and point you in the right direction and keep you supported throughout that.
Jake Moscinski: You also have tech support, 24/7 tech support for the systems that we use. We use Blackboard. That’s our learning management system. That’s how you’ll be accessing your classes. If you’re ever having any tech issues with Blackboard, you’ll have a line to reach out to and get that handled right away.
Jake Moscinski: I also mentioned earlier, the smaller class sizes, right around that 25 to 30 mark. Another way for us to support you, is by having less students per faculty member, to give you the content support that you need. Finally, we have section instructors. You’ll have your lead faculty member, they’re in charge of really developing that curriculum, of laying out what the requirements are for the course. Then we break it up into smaller sections, where you have your section instructor to help you with all things content related. Really a go-to content matter expert for homework questions, for content questions.
Jake Moscinski: I think another relevant thing to bring up on this slide, is going to be our graduation rate, because of the support alongside the flexibility and the high quality students that we have, we’re seeing 80% of our MBA students who start the program do graduate, so very high graduation rate. Most of the people who come in here are very successful throughout the program, because of the support, the flexibility and all that. Now, international field study. Mitch, I want you to expand a little bit on this. Can you tell us about where we’re coming up here, going to in July 2020?
Mitch Swanger: Absolutely. Thanks, Jake. Like Jake said, this is not something that is required as part of your program, however, it is encouraged to go for a variety of reasons. This year in July, the students are going to Prague. Last year they went to Chile. It typically happens every July. From a planning standpoint, you can expect that it’ll be early to mid-July. The trip is usually 10 to 11 days. That includes your travel, depending on where the location is. We’re already working on the 2021 trip logistics, and have a variety of countries that we’re trying to decide, what will be the best place to visit? This year, decided to go to Prague. It is a once in a lifetime experience. Aside from company visits and some of the touristy things that you will do, one of the nice things about this trip, is the opportunity to network face to face. Not only with a few of the faculty members, but also your peers.
Mitch Swanger: It’s 100% online, and your group work and your coursework and everything is happening maybe via Skype or Zoom or whatever, and you’re not meeting face to face. There is a lot of times where this trip ends up being the very first time that you meet some of your classmates face to face. I think the networking piece of it is really important. Logistics regarding this year’s international field study, like I said, it is in Prague. It is about 10 days.
Mitch Swanger: Some of the companies that were chosen this year for Prague were, Nike corporate in Prague, McDonald’s corporate in the Czech Republic, Steiner & Kovarik, which is a… they make luxury chocolates. Some of the feedback was to go more of the restaurants, retail, for this trip specifically. However, with enough notice, some of it can be tailored. If we do have people… with enough advance, who have an area of interest, we might be able to tailor some of that. For example, one of the previous trips to China, we had a few of the students work for Boeing in the aerospace field, and so that we’re able to coordinate with Boeing R&D center in Beijing. With enough notice, we can’t promise anything, but we can tailor it a little bit. Other stops for Prague this year are Tlusty’s Leather Works, a blockchain hub and then a bitcoin bank. Then outside of the company visits, will also be some of the touristy attractions as well. The goal of these business visits, is just to see what the business climate is like for doing business in Prague. Or what it’s like to be doing business with the Prague partners, or possibly selling into the Prague market.
Mitch Swanger: I do want to stop here though and pass on to Todd, who actually went on the Chile trip last year with the MBA group. I was hoping Todd, you would speak about your experience on that trip and then some takeaways.
Todd Henkel: Yeah, so as a student, actually I wanted to amplify a lot of the things you just said. Honestly, going to Chile was one of the best experiences of my life. I was really happy that the program was able to offer those opportunities. We were there for nine days I think technically. That included, five week days where we were in class, but also touring companies, talking to the people that run those companies. It was a great experience, both personally and professionally. I will say that I met some lifelong friends through that trip.
Todd Henkel: As you were saying, in the online experience, you tend to only interact with a lot of people online. Being able to actually put faces to those names, meet some really close friends, it was quite the experience. Yeah, so there’s lots of networking opportunities. We also had a local guide. We toured a couple of wineries on the weekend. It was an amazing experience. I’m happy to answer any other questions that people have about the trip. You pretty much nailed it on everything you said.
Jake Moscinski: That’s awesome, Todd. Thank you for telling us about that. I heard a ton of good stuff about the Chile trip, and a lot of the trips that we’ve been on. We’ve been to Chile, we’ve been to Finland and Northern Europe. Again, reiterating what Mitch said, we’re going to Prague this upcoming term. Then looking through a variety of different options for 2021 and ahead. Todd, one thing I heard from the Chile trip, was a lot of the people that went on that, ended up meeting up face-to-face multiple times after the trip. Were you a part of that group as well?
Todd Henkel: Yeah, I was. We have a group chat that’s still going on, it continues on to this day. A few of the people that were in that group, that were not graduating yet, [inaudible 00:32:20] in July of this past year. I hadn’t quite finished classes. A couple of the people that went on that trip with me, a couple of my friends came to support a few of us that were walking in July, even though they hadn’t finished the program yet. Then we returned the favor this past December when they walked. We’ve been meeting up and getting together outside of strictly Washington State’ events, in order to hang out together again, support each other, that sort of thing. Yeah, you meet some lifelong friends going on a trip like this honestly.
Jake Moscinski: That’s awesome. I appreciate you sharing that. I hope one day I get to join one of these international trips, because it does seem just like an awesome experience. To not only learn, but get connected with your classmates and the faculty and a new culture. Experience that sort of through this cool structure that we’ve set up, leveraging the partnerships that we have. Now moving forward, I do want to talk a little bit about sort of what a day in the life looks like for a student. What to expect week in, week out while you’re in the program.
Jake Moscinski: Starting off, class weeks, they begin on Monday and they end on Sunday. Again, you’ll be in that one class at a time. You get laid out what the content looks like for the week on Monday. You divvy up your time from Monday to Sunday. You meet your deadlines, typically going to be Sunday night, 11:59 Pacific Time. Those live sessions that you have, a reminder, they are optional if you can’t make them. They are generally Monday through Thursday. They are typically going to start around 6:00 to 7:00 PM Pacific Time, but within the window of 6:00 to 9:00 PM Pacific Time. On average, we’re expecting about 10 to 15 hours per week, including those live sessions, either live or recorded.
Jake Moscinski: Then there’ll be a variety of group work that you’ll have. We encourage doing different remote teamwork. We have a variety of different tools that you can use, ways that you can be connecting within your groups and making sure you handle those effectively.
Jake Moscinski: Todd, can you tell me a little bit about your experience? Were you attending these live sessions? Did you feel you are more watching the recorded copies? What did that look like for you?
Todd Henkel: Yeah, so my experience was that they were very easy to use. I actually… because of my work schedule, wasn’t able to attend a lot of the live sessions. I was watching a lot of the recorded ones. Usually the main professor would host a live video, but then post it later on, the recorded version, on Monday. Then section instructors with the smaller groups, would host their own sessions later in the week, either Tuesday through Thursday. I would find them all very helpful. It’s kind of self-paced. Having them recorded makes it very easy to work with your work schedule, for all the people that are prospective students. I mean, you can basically watch those when you need to, throughout the week. As you were saying, classes begin on Monday and end on Sunday. You’ll usually have live session or a recorded session in there, plus reading, plus some homework and occasionally an exam.
Todd Henkel: I think that the expectation for hours per week is very accurate. Again, it’s kind of self-paced, in the sense that if you don’t need to watch the whole recorded or live session, then that’s up to you. It depends on how fast you read, and your comprehension of the material. I mean, with the technology available to us right now, it’s very easy to teamwork remotely. I mean, depending on the class, would kind of depend on what teamwork route we would go. We would either do a video conference, or sometimes we would just divvy up an assignment and people would create one Google document for example.
Todd Henkel: Everyone would just contribute to it online. I mean, you can see people typing real time as they’re filling out their section. I would say the technology made it very easy. The setup that Washington State has provided to the students, makes it very easy in terms of finding those recordings, watching the lectures and then collaborating. Yeah, so I don’t know if there is any other questions you had for me, but that’s I think [crosstalk 00:36:49].
Jake Moscinski: No. Yeah, I think that nailed it. I think that gave exactly what I was looking for and wanted to share with the students. Is just sort of the combination of that flexibility with the options to attend live. I appreciate your expanding on that.
Todd Henkel: Yeah.
Jake Moscinski: Perfect, and then the other thing I wanted to mention on this slide, at the beginning of the program, we’ve added a new class. Todd, I don’t think you were able to be a part of this one, but we added a class called BA 599. It’s an introduction to the MBA program. Really, the goal of this one is to get you familiarized with the systems that we use, and recommend different tools to tackle these group work projects. We’re definitely going to bring you up speed, to make sure that you’re confident going into the full curriculum of the program. Then similarly, we added a new class to end the program, called BA 600. It’s really around how to leverage your MBA effectively once you do graduate. How to speak to it, how to use it to your career growth path that you’ve built out here.
Jake Moscinski: Perfect. Now, I know we’ve talked a decent amount of… about networking, specifically within that international trip. Mitch, you want to tell us some other opportunities that students have to connect with classmates, and the Washington State University in general?
Mitch Swanger: Absolutely, so I will go through this list. Then I will actually… at the end of it, I will defer to Matt, regarding the military events that he does specifically. Yeah, happy to speak on this.
Mitch Swanger: Over the last year, we decided that we really needed to make a priority, of allowing more networking opportunities for MBA students. I know one of the draws of WSU’s MBA program, is that it’s 100% online. There is no residency requirement. Of course, we always welcome people to campus, but you’re not required to. That being said, we do still have just as many students who, although it is online and they appreciate the flexibility, they are looking for some opportunities to meet face to face, like the international field study.
Mitch Swanger: Within this last year, we’ve kind of done some deep diving into how we can best do that. One of the things that we’ve added, is an Online MBA meet & greet/happy hour events. Right now we’re having those around other events, either that the college is putting on or that WSU is putting on. For example, in the fall, we will always hold an Online MBA meet & greet to fall, during a week where we have our power breakfast event and some other events. That happens in Seattle. A huge bulk of our students are in or around the greater Seattle area. That’s why we hold that one there. It’s pretty informal. This last fall, we did it at Flatstick Pub in Seattle, for those who are familiar with that. That is Coug-owned. We try to support Cougs where we can. We held it at Flatstick Pub. It was from 4:00 to 7:00, and it was just really informal. We had appetizers, and really just wanted to create an environment where students could speak with other students. We had alumni there, we had a few faculty members there. We had some staff members there.
Mitch Swanger: In fact, if you’re looking at the slide in front of you, that picture on the bottom right, with the group of people, that was taken at our meet & greet in Seattle last fall. We already talked about the international field of study, but again, that is a great way to network as Todd said. We do hold the Carson College Power Breakfast. That picture on the left, that picture was taken from the power breakfast in Seattle. That’s actually our dean, Dr. Chip Hunter speaking there. What that is… that’s an invite to all Cougs as well. It’s over breakfast obviously. What it is, is we’ll have either a speaker or a few speakers talking about a specific topic. This last year, they actually did a panel which you can see in the picture, discussing various business trends. That’s also an option.
Mitch Swanger: We do have the CougsFirst Shows, those happen a few times a year as well. Also, they happen in Seattle, but they also happen in Spokane. In fact, the next one in Seattle is… well, it’s technically Bellevue, but it’s March 11th. Then the next one in Spokane is April 22nd, I believe. That’s open to anybody and everybody. It is a free event. What it is, it’s a huge… essentially, there is a lot of activities that go into it. There is like a trade show format, where you go in and there’s all of these Coug-owned businesses. It’s literally just Cougs networking with other Cougs. We represent the MBA there. We have various faculty and staff there as well. We definitely encourage people who are interested in WSU’s MBA program, current students, alumni to join as just another opportunity to network.
Mitch Swanger: The alumni association has various events. Like I said, it is one of the largest alumni associations in the world. If you go to their page and type in where you’re located, you will see the various alumni association groups in or around your area. Then on there, they’ll keep you up to date with various activities that are going on. For example, during the football season, you’ll typically see all sorts of these watch parties. They’ll announce like, “Hey, anybody in and around…?” Again, let’s say the Seattle area. “Here is a list of all the places that the alumni association may be… that might be viewing the game.” We encourage our students and alumni to attend those as well.
Mitch Swanger: Then the last thing I was going to talk about was, commencement and the Carson College reception. Every fall and every spring, so December and May, we do have commencement on campus. If you can, we really encourage you to come out. It’s really cool. One, just because we’re celebrating the fact that you’re graduating. Second, a lot of the times, this is the first trip to campus for a lot of the students. We really encourage it, so that our students are able to see WSU here in Pullman and what it has to offer. Some of the sites we do hold, and all college reception the night before graduation. That includes all undergrads, that also includes our PhD students. We have toasts, our dean speaks. That’s a cool event. One thing we are doing new for spring this year though, is we are also adding a separate commencement party/reception for just the MBA students. We will have the Carson all College reception, Friday, the night before.
Mitch Swanger: Then before commencement on Saturday, we are actually doing just kind of a get together with students who are choosing to walk. It’s just another opportunity to network with some of the staff and your peers. Other things we’re planning, is to help our students with regalia. Then on the way to commencement, we will show you some of the hotspots on campus. Martin Stadium and some of the other cool places on campus. Those are just a few of the networking opportunities we have. I do want to point out that… I obviously mentioned Seattle quite a bit. Like I said, that is where a bulk of our students are. However, we are looking within this next year, to look at some hotspots around the country, to see where we might have other students and then plan Online MBA meet & greets around the country as well. Those are still forthcoming, but don’t be discouraged if you’re not around the Seattle area. We are looking at other places. Then I’m going to turn the lesson over to Matt, regarding the military events.
Matt Beer: Thanks, Mitch. In a little bit of contrast to what the rest of the group is doing, about 40% of our military-affiliated students are here in the Pacific Northwest. The other 60% are all over the world. I really focus my efforts on ways to reach out, and try and connect those students. We have a Carson Veterans LinkedIn that we do. We have an MBA veterans conference. It’s actually a national event that we do in Chicago. We take some students out there. I know that the students have their own social media network, so they get it. They find each other, which is great.
Matt Beer: The other piece that we do for our military-affiliated students is an alumni night. We invite alumni back in to talk about their experiences. The last thing I think I encourage all students to take part in, and if you join the program, I would encourage you as well. You’re only going to get as much out of the networking, as you put into it. Connecting with those students in your classrooms is going to be vital. I’ve seen some really powerful relationships become established, not just personal, but also professional.
Matt Beer: People hiring other people, or people turning people on to other opportunities after they either leave the military, or pivot from one career to the next. It really is something we’re trying to embed in our program. It’s also something that can be really powerful organically too, so good opportunities. Thanks.
Jake Moscinski: Awesome. Thanks, Mitch. Thanks, Matt. I really appreciate that. I think networking is something that we’re constantly expanding on. Really trying to get you guys connected, and give you as much opportunity to leverage as possible. It’s something that’s exciting, that you’ll keep seeing growth in. At this point, I do want to move into that Q&A section, to be mindful of people’s time. I want to thank everyone who’s had the chance to join us. If you can’t stick around for the Q&A section, I do want to remind you that the summer start date is coming up here on May 11th. If you’re interested, we have plenty of time to apply. The hard deadline won’t be until April 13th. Reach out to us. Let us know if we can help with an enrollment advisor to you, to talk through your scenario, talk through the admissions process and get you started here if that’s something you want to do. We’ve got about 13 minutes till the top of the hour, till our session ends. I want to use this time, to start answering those questions that have been building up. I have one of my colleagues here, who’s been going through a lot of them and answering them via chat. A few good ones I wanted to highlight for everyone.
Jake Moscinski: First one is going to be, “Can you speak more to the waiver of foundation classes?” I want to sort of go over what that process looks like. There’s the seven classes. Within those foundation classes, you have an econ class, a foundations in finance. A data analysis for managers, which is sort of a statistics course. We have a marketing class, an accounting class, a business law class, as well as one that I’m forgetting. I can’t think of it off the top of my head. With those classes, if you took equivalent coursework, we’re going to fill out a waiver form. There is list, hour, class. For instance, business law, and then we’ll put in your class that you took. I’ll go through transcripts with you, or another advisor will. We’ll fill out the class that you took. We’ll pull the course description from your university’s catalog. Then Mitch, you’re going to be the one who actually makes that review, and sees if that content does cover the course. A lot of the students that get these waived, a lot of students, not with a business background that get a couple of waved. Statistics is a common one. Economics is another common one, that I see a lot of non-business students getting waived. Yeah, reach out to us if you are interested in that.
Jake Moscinski: Then Todd, I have a good question here for you, regarding the international business trip, so want to know what the additional cost is for the field study. Then from there, I also want to know a little bit about how the travel and the accommodations are handled. Todd, can you start off with that cost? Do you recall sort of what the additional cost was for the field study?
Todd Henkel: At ballpark, I think it was a couple thousands, but that included your accommodations for the week. You have your normal course fees that you would normally pay for every course you take. Then this was an additional couple of thousands, but I would say it’s 100% worth it. I mean, if you’re spending 10 days abroad in a foreign country, it includes your hotel and transportation. Not necessarily the airfare to get there, but the transportation in and around. The bus trips and all that stuff. Plus I think there were a couple of meals that were covered as well, like group meals. That should get you going on that one.
Jake Moscinski: Perfect. Thanks, Todd. Another question that I got here, are there other costs on top of the tuition? Yeah, there is a few other costs. Really, not too many. A lot of programs have a variety of fees that are associated with their program, outside of the cost of tuition. The big ones that we have, you’re going to see an additional cost for textbooks. We anticipate roughly $150 per course. The amount of classes that you’d have would range. We do give you the option to navigate books, how you see it best fit. Your student support advisor will be able to walk through some of those options. Of course, you can buy it through our bookstore. That’s one way. We also have a lot of students getting eBooks instead. A lot of students who are renting copies of books, to bring that cost down. That $150 can change, depending on how you would like to proceed with the cost of books.
Jake Moscinski: Other fees that I can think of, there’s an application fee of $75. You actually all are going to be getting a waiver fee code. We’ll send you out an email with how to apply this code to the application, if you want to apply and be able to save those $75 there. Then there is a graduation fee I believe. Mitch, do you know what the graduation fee is off the top of your head?
Mitch Swanger: I think it’s $60 now.
Jake Moscinski: Got it, [crosstalk 00:51:27].
Mitch Swanger: Yeah, to apply. That goes into I think the printing and logistics of the diplomas and whatnot, but I believe it’s 60 to apply.
Jake Moscinski: [inaudible 00:51:37] Thank you very much for expanding on that. I didn’t know that one off the top of my head. As you can see, not too many additional fees. You’ve got the books, application fee, which is going to be waived for all of you. Then the cost of graduation.
Jake Moscinski: Another good question here that I’m going to ask you, Todd. What percentage of the coursework is completed as a team? That’s obviously going to be changed from class to class. Some of them are probably more individually based, while others will have a higher emphasis on group work. Todd, if you were going to say what percentage you spent working within a team, do you have a ballpark estimate there?
Todd Henkel: Yeah, you’re right. It’s a little bit tough to estimate. I think the foundation courses, there’s not as much group work. It’s mostly individual. As you get further into the program and the more advanced courses, they start to become more focused on group work. In fact, there were several classes towards the end, that there weren’t really any exams. It was mostly just focused on group projects. I mean, total for the program, 30 to 40% group work maybe.
Jake Moscinski: Awesome, thank you for expanding on that. Again, that group work’s important for us. That gets you connected with classmates, allows you to work within a team and get to know your fellow MBA students.
Jake Moscinski: Now, I have another good question here. Is a degree earned from a foreign country accepted for the MBA program?
Jake Moscinski: The answer is, yes, likely it is. Basically what we’ll end up doing, we have an international team that’s going to evaluate your international degree. If you send us over transcripts, along with your diploma or the degree that you received, we’ll have our team see if that’s equivalent to a US degree. Oftentimes it is, I’d say most of the time it is. From there, we can know exactly what steps would be taken in the admissions process.
Jake Moscinski: Now, another question here. Somebody wants to know what the admission rate is for the program, and how many international students right now are in our program?
Jake Moscinski: I’d say the admission rate is pretty high here, and that’s going to be because of the enrollment advisors. What we’re going to do is work with you. If we evaluate your scenario, we can recommend you to apply. Mitch, do you have a ballpark estimate of how many applicants that really go through the full process are getting admitted? I would be guessing around 80%, but that’s a guess. Tell me what your thoughts are.
Mitch Swanger: I don’t have the exact figure off the top of my head, Jake, but I would say that’s probably pretty close. Again, I would attribute it to exactly what you did. That’s with the enrollment advisors, because we’re a land-grant institution, education is available to anybody who is willing and able to do the work. Yeah, I know there are peer institutions who really open up their funnel wide, knowing that they’re going to deny a bunch of these applications. We just simply don’t do that. By the time a file makes it to me for review, it’s most likely going to get admitted. I mean, unless I see any red flags or anything kind of off the wall. Mostly at that point, they are getting admitted. Jake, I think that’s definitely a good guest.
Jake Moscinski: Awesome. Thanks, Mitch. Thanks for adding some detail there, some more context. Now another good question, is the GMAT waiver an automatic process during the application process? Yeah, I think it is. It’s not automatic that it’ll be granted, but that will be an automatic piece of the application. Within the application, you’ll specifically be requesting… let’s say you have a STEM degree, you’ll say is, “I’m requesting the GMAT to be waived, due to my 3 point whatever GPA within a STEM degree.” From there, when Mitch gets the file and begins that review, he’ll be able to either grant or recommend the GMAT to be taken. That’s what we’re looking at there within the context of the GMAT.
Jake Moscinski: Another question that we have here, if you submit the application, but you can’t get GMAT scores in time or potentially need to retake the GMAT exam, would we need to resubmit the application for the term we’re interested in or would it roll over?
Jake Moscinski: Yeah, it’s sort of a multifaceted question. If you can’t take the GMAT exam, then we’re not going to fully submit your application until that test is completed. That’s going to be a part of the admissions document, that Mitch and the rest of the admissions committed team needs for evidence to admit you. Now if you took the exam, we submit your file with the scores that you have. If it comes back that you need to… maybe we want to shoot for a higher score, in that case, we can keep all application documents on file and roll it over into the next term. Worst case scenario, we would need to have you submit sort of a bare bones application a second time, just to get your student file activated. It is a quick process that we would work with you through.
Jake Moscinski: Perfect. Now let me filter through here, looking for another question that we have. Ooh, here is a good one. Are there financial assistance available?
Jake Moscinski: Yes, there is a variety of different ways to help fund an MBA degree. We’ll work with you, and point you in the right direction for a variety of those options. Super common ones that we see being used, financial aid that’s available to those who apply and qualify. In that case, we’d have you reach out to the actual government entity, who can be guiding you through that process, helping to answer questions, helping you apply to it. Then also, we have our own financial aid department here, who can… once you’ve submitted that application, can help keep you updated, make sure that you’re in the right spot for receiving financial funds. That would be in the form of student loans, but that definitely can be a good way of minimizing the out-of-pocket cost. Then paying it on the back end once you complete the degree. Other options that I see pretty common, tuition reimbursement through the employer.
Jake Moscinski: I always recommend reaching out, or doing some research into the policies that your company may or may not have. That’s something that can definitely be helpful. Then scholarships, they are available. I’ll say at the graduate level, they’re pretty competitive. Within Washington State, most of our funds go to the undergraduate population at the time. There’s also a lot of third-party scholarships. I see students using a variety of websites. All of the enrollment advisors can recommend you a few different databases. Typically, not a primary source of funding scholarships, but can definitely help take some of that cost off.
Jake Moscinski: Then here is another good one. Are we able to stagger classes longer than 29 months? Mitch, do you want to chime in on this one? Do students have the opportunity to sort of extend the program out or take breaks?
Mitch Swanger: Yeah, I’d be happy to talk about that for a second. Technically, the answer is yes, you could. However, we try to discourage it as best as we can, because the courses are on what we call a course carousel system. For example, everybody who let’s say is starting May 11th for our summer term, and they’re starting in the core. Let’s say the class is accounting 533, everybody is starting with accounting 533. Everybody who starts is in that, and everybody who’s been in the program is also taking that at the same time. There is a chance that course may not come around again for a while. If you do have to stop out, there is a chance you might be waiting about a year or so for that course to come around again. Yes, it’s possible, but we try to discourage it if we can, so-
Jake Moscinski: Awesome. Thanks, Mitch. Perfect. Well, for the sake of time, we’re at about an hour here, so we’re going to wrap this up. Any questions that weren’t answered, we’ll be sending out an email, trying to answer these individually. An enrollment advisor will reach out to you.
Jake Moscinski: Again, I really want to thank all of you for joining us. I hope you had a good time. Hope you got to learn about Washington State. If this is something you want to dive deeper into or apply to, give us a call, shoot us an email. We’d be happy to help out. Mitch, thank you so much for joining. Matt, thank you so much for joining. Todd especially, thank you for chiming in and giving us your student experience.
Todd Henkel: You’re welcome.