WSU Summer MBA 2018 Webinar with assistant Dean and OMBA Faculty Director
Hello everyone, welcome to Washington State Universities webcast for the Online MBA Program. For those that are just joining us, welcome to the webcast, we hope you’re having a great day and look forward to presenting the Online MBA for and glad you were able to take some time out of your lunch breaks to join us.Before we get started I’d like to cover a few housekeeping items. In order to minimize background noise, the presentation is in broadcast only mode. This means you can hear us but we can not hear you. You may ask questions at any time by using the Q&A feature to the bottom right of your screen. We will do our best to answer as many questions as possible during the Q&A session at the end of the presentation. However, if we are unable to answer all of your questions today, one of our Enrollment Advisors will definitely follow up with you shortly.
Finally, we are recording this webinar and it will be emailed to you after the presentation, as well as posted to our website in the next couple of weeks.
As far as the agenda for today’s webinar, we will be … consists of the History and Rankings, the Accreditations of the Program in the Carson College of Business, an overview of our Online MBA Program as well, followed by a formal introduction and an opportunity to hear from our new Online Faculty Director. We will then go into Program Admissions Requirements, the Networking Opportunities and Career Resources, as well as provide information regarding the International Field Study. Finally, we’ll wrap up the program with the Q&A session at the end of the presentation.
Joining us for today’s webcast we have our Assistant Dean for the Online Graduate Program, Cheryl Oliver. We have Suzanne L’Amoureux, the new Online MBA Faculty Director, and finally myself, my name is Jason Rhoades, I’m Enrollment Advisor with the Online MBA and Executive MBA Programs. I will now pass the presentation over to Cheryl at this time so she can get us started. Cheryl.
Welcome everyone, my name is Cheryl Oliver, I’m the Assistant Dean for Online and Graduate Programs in the Carson College of Business. We’re very proud of our Online MBA and Executive MBA Program, our Undergraduate Online Programs, and our campus programs in Pullman, Vancouver, Tri-Cities, and Everett, Washington, as well as the Spokane Campus.
Today what I’d like to do is make some introductions for you and then talk you through our Land Grant Mission, the University, talk about our accreditation, our rankings and then what you can expect in our programs. And with that, I will start with the introduction of Suzanne L’Amoureux who has joined us the as the Faculty Director of the Online MBA Program. This is a new position for us and we’re excited about Suzannes presence as someone who can serve as the face of the program and help us with program growth, scaling, program innovations, and professional development for our students. Suzanne.
Hi everyone, I am Suzanne L’Amoureux. As Cheryl said, I’m the new Online MBA Director and I am thrilled to be here in Pullman. It’s actually about my fifth day here in Washington, so I’m super excited, we have a gorgeous day for those of you who are not near us. I came here from the University of North Carolina, where I worked for the Online MBA Program and prior to that I actually worked for the University of Maryland, which is where I got my MBA as well. So I did a dual degree of an MBA and a Masters in Public Policy and Energy and Environmental Policy. So I have a special place in my heart for all things sustainability, energy, environment, hunger, all of those kinds of issues. Like I said, I’m new here, I’m very excited about working with everyone here at WSU to continue to grow the program and innovate and make this the best Online MBA we can have. So I will hand it back to Cheryl.
Thank you Suzanne. So Washington State University is a Land-grant Institution and for those of you who aren’t familiar with what that means. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, which gave each state land to be able to provide education to those people in that state in that region. At that time, 92% of peoples livelihood came from agricultural pursuits and at that time those families were starting to see some prosperity due to innovations due to the technological revolution, and so they started looking for opportunities to trade and to educate their children.
Today, only 2% of peoples livelihood is directly tied to agricultural pursuits, and so what was an agricultural school background has had to adapt and become more of a business, engineering, communications, medical, vet med, and so on type of an institution to provide economic prosperity in that region. It’s also where you will find extension offices, so we do have representation in every country across the state of Washington, with a variety of programs offered specific to those geographic locations.
One of the things that makes us a little bit different is that we’ve had a long history of starting with correspondence courses, offering education through those extension units and then into an online environment. In addition to offering campus based programs, we’ve been online for a very long time with 125 years of business education at the graduate level and 60 years of excellence … or excuse me, 125 years of education, 60 years of graduate education as of last year and over 20 years of perfecting online degree programs. We also have an international network of corporate and academic alliances on multiple continents in support of business education and our programs.
So Washington State University is accredited regionally by the NWCCU. If you are shopping for a program, you’re probably looking at what financial aid accepts and where you want to apply that financial aid, so of course, regional accreditation’s very important. But in addition to that, the Business School’s Accredited by the premier crediting body, the AACSB. This is a body of our peers and aspirant schools looking at our curriculum, our faculty, our students, letting us know where we stand in the market and giving us some assurance that we are meeting that demand and also providing a quality product. As you’re pursuing this opportunity, I do encourage you to look for schools that bear that mark and that’s how you do know that you’re going to get that peer reviewed institutional credibility. I think that’s the best word there.
In terms of Rankings and Recognitions, there are myriad rankings on the market and all of them use different methodology to decide what program is best. We do not chase the rankings, we watch the market, we listen to employers, we listen to students, and ground all of that feedback in the economic theory and the … our business theory that our faculty study and promote, to make sure that we’re providing a product that’s meaningful to our students and their employers and their communities.
That said, when we’re recognized for that work by a ranking outlet, it’s important to us to promote that information so that you can be a conscientious consumer. U.S. News & World Report does rank us as the 12th program amongst those programs entirely online. CEO Magazine has ranked us for our recognition in that space. We are number eight in service to veterans by U.S. News & World Report and also recognized by … on Military Times and Victory Media as well. We’re also proud of our 60 years of excellence in business education. Again, we don’t chase the rankings, but when they do recognize our good work we do want to promote that recognition.
Speaking a little bit to the curriculum, you will find that we are 100% online. It is not important that you come to campus so we would love to have you here. We do encourage students to come to campus for graduation, it’s a really nice way to find some closure to the degree and also meet some of the colleagues with whom you’ve been interacting online over that period of time.
The program can be completed in as little as 22 to 29 months, depending on whether or not you have a business undergraduate degree. We do provide foundation courses for those people that don’t have the business degree. I have seen that some schools will say there’s a long series of pre-requisite courses for a person that doesn’t have a business undergraduate. We have condensed those courses to make sure you’re not going back for your … to am undergraduate of undergraduate work, into a seven month series that prepares you for the core, electives, and capstone of the program.
You don’t have to concentrate, but it is a good idea to concentrate in the program if you’re looking to get into specific niche. We do offer concentrations in Marketing, Finance, Hospitality, Business Management, and International Business. Hospitality might seem like something that people wouldn’t want to concentrate in if they’re not in restaurants or hotel, but that area also looks at Service Management, of which we know, 80% of US business happens to be. So Services Management is another way of looking at that Hospitality, Business Management concentration. So that is one that I would encourage people to consider even if they’re not in that industry.
Those elective courses are required at the minimum of three elective courses, which do feed into the four concentrations. Again, you can choose from any of them as you go through your program.
The content is asynchronous, meaning that in a session, which is embedded in a semester, you have time to work on those deliverables yourself. That said, there are deadlines, there are timelines, and there are bounds on those terms. It’s not self-study or self-guided study. There is faculty interaction on a regular basis, week over week, and expected interactions with your peers and classmates as you go through the program. We do have live and recorded features so our faculty are available to you live. At the lead faculty level one time a week, and at the section instructor level, one to two times per week and then of course, their answer and communication to you on a 24 hour basis with grading coming back to you within 48 to 72 hours, depending on the complexity of the assignment. So you’re in a constant feedback cycle, again, though it’s asynchronous, you’re not in a self-study mode and you’re not required to go to the live sessions, it can be really difficult, especially geographically located across the world, to make time for those live sessions, but they are recorded and available to you if you’re not able to attend.
Then we do offer an international field study. This summer, our students will be going to Chile. There will be an emersion experience, primarily in wine country, if that’s interesting and appealing to you. We’re very excited to take our first trip into South America.
With regards to the MBA Certificates. Those concentrations we talked about earlier can also be applied to a certificate. You can apply at the time of graduation to earn your MBA diploma and also get a certificate baring those three classes indicating you’ve specialized in that area. If you haven’t quite bought into the idea of getting an MBA yet, you can use those foundation, or those elective courses towards a certificate and earn a certificate in advance of the MBA. If you’re in the MBA, you can earn it as part of the degree and then if you’ve graduated and you say, “I got the Marketing Certificate, or I went with a general MBA but now I’d really like to concentrate,” we would always welcome you back to take the additional courses to finalize the certificate and get that on your diploma.
We’re really proud of the level of support we have here and for the introduction of Suzanne. Glad to have an additional person here in support of this program and to really take our strategy to the next level and also support the learner experience. Through the enrollment advising process, there are Enrollment Advisors there to help you every step of the way from application completion to making the choice about which MBA program is right for you and deciding when to start based on your life commitments.
One you’re accepted into the program, we have Student Support Advisors, who will be reminding you every step of the way of when to enroll, when semesters start, when breaks occur, what classes are next in your program of study, helping support you as you learn the LMS and in general, providing that menu of resources available to you through the university and our college. Then there’s 24/7 tech support, there are small class sizes with section instructors that support you in addition to the lead instructors. We now have Suzanne here as well, really overseeing that whole picture so that we know you have a great curricular and extra-curricular experience. And then we’ve got some leadership in the Deans office as well, myself, our Associate Dean for Curriculum, and our Dean, all of us supporting these programs with a lot of staff that aren’t even frontline, back of the house, making sure that this program is working well for you.
Some of the communication you’ll receive come directly from your Student Service Advisors or Enrollment Advisors, some come from Suzanne, and then you’ll also see that there are quarterly town halls where you can learn from Suzanne about what’s going on with the Program level, the College level, and the University level that’s important to you as an online learner. We try not to inundate you with communication about live on-campus events that aren’t meaningful to you and where it’s appropriate to include you in live streams of those to be sure to communicate that out in advance so you can plan for those things. But we’ve tried very hard to make sure that the communication you do receive is meaningful to you based on your location and your time in the program.
For Active Duty Military and Veterans, we are very, very proud of the work we’ve done in this space. We are right now finalizing a search for a dedicated support staff for our MBA and Executive MBA students. We do have a veterans’ coordinator on campus. Many of the students that have been in the military or are veterans have let us know that that coordinator’s been invaluable in helping them understand the benefits through the VA or their tuition assistance program, or just navigating the application and completion of their application process.
That said, we also know that those people that are MBA and OMBA program who are checking boxes to move up in rank or who are preparing to transition out of the military to do some additional services beyond what the VA provides, or transition into positions that are commensurate with their experience and their expertise. As we bring this new person onboard, we’re very excited about their capacity to mentor and serve both through additional relationships and through that one to one service. So, very excited about that. We’ve also got some private funding, we’ve got a donor who’s very excited about this effort, provided that support to us as well.
We are certified to receive the GI Bill, Post 9/11 GI Bill, Forever GI Bill. We are participants in the Yellow Ribbon Program. We are members of the Service Opportunity College and the DANTES catalog, and we also have discounted tuition rates for the OMBA program or those people that quality. Best to ask your Enrollment Advisor if you’re in that decision phase or the application phase about how to be considered for those opportunities, we’ll be sure to connect you there.
At this time what I’d like to do is transition over to our curriculum and I will send that over to Jason. Jason, would you like to go ahead and start talking about the MBA Online and the EMBA?
Yeah, great, thank you Cheryl. When we’re looking at the Online MBA Program, the length of the program is gonna be anywhere from 22 to 29 months. That would be determined based off of a students background and then also whether or not a student has had undergraduate business courses. There is a GMAT waiver that is available for qualified applicants. We do encourage you to speak to you Enrollment Advisor to see if you would qualify for that.
The highlights of the program is that it is 100% online. There’s absolutely zero residency required and there is an optional International Field Study available to students, which we will cover later in the presentation.
As far as with the professional experience with the Online MBA Program. There is no minimum for experience that is gonna be required. We do have the Online Executive MBA Program that does require seven years of management experience, but for the Online MBA, there is none. The typical class sizes in the program, we do like to keep the program a little bit smaller, so, as far as what the class sizes, so it is about 25 to 30 students per class. That gives you an opportunity to get a nice interaction with a good group and still get a good chance to work well in the program.
The online class with the course structure is one class at a time. You do that throughout the actual program. Typically, you’ll do a class for five to seven weeks and you can do up to three courses in a 15 week term.
Jason: The tuition cost for the program is anywhere from $27,891 to $40,287, depending on the foundation courses.
Now we’re looking at Admissions Requirements. As far as with that, the application is gonna be required. We do require official transcripts from all university that you have attended and were applied towards you Bachelors Degree, as well as any graduate coursework that you may have completed. Three letters of recommendation. You may use former managers, current managers, for these recommendation letters. We just do not want to use personal, it has to be more professional in reference. Current resume as well as a Statement of Purpose.
There is no minimum experience needed for this program. Typically, when we’re looking at students, the minimum GPA is on a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. There is options if your GPA may fall a little bit below that to still potentially qualify for the program. We definitely encourage you to reach out to an advisor to see what opportunities are there for you.
Regarding the GMAT test itself. Typically, we do look for at least a 550 or better. If a student does have a 3.0 GPA the GMAT is typically required for admissions, however, we can look at potential waivers for the well qualified applicant.
Washington State University has a few opportunities. The very first one that I encourage students to participate in is student membership in the Alumni Association. It’s $20 a year, it gives you absolute access to the entire university alumni network, which is one of the largest fund membership in the country. Through that you also have opportunities to reach in through Handshake, to be able to see all of the different positions that employers are posting at Washington State University and to participate in alumni career fairs. So where some of our campus based workers are really focused on the 18 to 22 year old and new talent acquisition on the part of the employers, these virtual networking and career fair activities occur for those people that have graduated and are looking for the next opportunity.
It also provides you with Chapter Membership in your locale. For example, in the Greater Phoenix area, or the Seattle area, or even in Taipei, Taiwan, you could find alumni who do activities together. Maybe it’s a pub crawl, maybe it’s a Cougar watching party, maybe it is a speed networking event, whatever it is that they’re doing you’ll have access to that information and be able to connect with those Cougs, and if there’s anything I’m proud of as a lifetime platinum member, it’s that anywhere I go I’m always welcome by Cougs whether I know then or not because we share that thing … that Cougar Nation Membership in common.
There are yearly events. There are career expos virtually, and then throughout the program there are also opportunities for you to receive a resume review for you to get some feedback on a mock interview or cover letter if you need that. We also have some really great tools through Bloomberg Business Week. That’s a subscription that we provide to you, you’ll get the weekly print and you’ll also get access to all of the data sources that they have online, which are very robust and interactive and can help you with your academic work. They also have a really neat self-guided study where you can decide where you are in career transition, go in and take some of the self-assessments independently, look at some of the roadmaps that they create and then use those tools for either development within your own organization or movement out of that organization or within that organization to another field. With the arrival of Suzanne, we’re really gonna be honing in on where we can provide additional value in that space.
Doing your group work, you’re going to find that your network expands and some classes have more group work than others. Our focus is to make sure this isn’t like your undergraduate days where there’s a typist, a drill sergeant, and maybe one person who doesn’t participate, and somebody else who does the minimum listing required. We really do focus on effective teams, effective use of teams, and getting the most out of those teams as you move through the program so that you can use that network.
Our MBA students, at the inception of this program, started a Facebook group independent of administration. Administration is part of it, but they invited us after establishing it themselves. And what I’ve been most proud of about this program is that those students worked together to support one and other. So at the time of the Capstone project, they support one and other in their feasibility studies, as students are graduating, saying, “Hey, I’m trying to get in at Amazon,” for example, another student will say, “Hey, I work there, what area are you trying to get into? How can I support you in that or give you advice?” What I really enjoyed seeing over the years is that ongoing support of current students, future students, and alumni in that space, even though it’s a virtual network.
I’ll talk a little bit about the International Field Study. This is not just a vacation, but it’s also not just business. We do integrate the course material with the visits to the companies and the cultural experiences. So if we get you into a locale, it’s important to us that you’re able to visit those things that would be historical sites, they might be cultural experiences that a tourist might go and see. We also make sure to take you into companies that are important to the group based on the learnings in the course to give you that exposure.
If your business travel is like my business travel, you often times find yourself getting on a plane, getting in just in time to land at the hotel, get to the location of your business meeting, get back to the hotel and then get back on the plane so you can get back to your family or your other obligations. And you may not have the opportunity to see companies that are different than yours. You may not have opportunities to go see some of the cultural sites. Again, we do try to make sure that there’s a well-rounded experience here for immersion and spending time getting to know your faculty and your classmates and ensuring that when you’re in those locations, those companies that you do visit are of interest to you because of your profession or your interest in a future profession.
We tend to ask students going on the trip where they’d like to visit before making the final plans so that you do have a voice in that. Of course, we can’t accommodate all needs, and if there’s a competition between your company and another company we may have some barriers. But a lot of times they’re really friendly and warm about inviting us in for educational experience. So I do encourage you to plan now for the opportunity to study abroad during your program. It is ten days, start to finish, and we try to keep the costs of those programs below $7,000 between airfare and accommodations and visiting all the sites, companies, etc. Not your average vacation price again, but we do have a high quality experience with your fellow students and your faculty.
At this time I’d like to turn it back over to Jason for Q&A. Jason, go ahead and take it away.
Thank you Cheryl. And thank you Suzanne. At this time I would like to thank everyone for attending and asking some great questions. Just a reminder, the summer start date is gonna be on May 7th and there is still time to apply. We do have a little bit of time here until the session is scheduled to end so we can answer questions til then. Just a reminder, if we do not get your questions at this time or if they’re very specific in nature, advisors will be reaching out to everyone individually to answer questions.
The first question, since we are looking at speaking to the summer start date is asking about the summer registration deadlines, which, as far as with the registration deadline, we do want to have all application items in, submitted by April 6th at the very latest. However, we do have our Deans review the files regularly, so we do encourage students to get all of your admission items in well before then. With that, you do want to definitely make sure, as far as to be in touch with your Enrollment Advisor. If you have not spoken with one, please do give one a call and we can definitely help you out with that.
Is there any … is there any course work … Is the course work group based or individual? As far with that, there is a benefit given … when we’re looking at the actual course work individually, the course work may vary as far as on a weekly basis. However, there is definitely beneficial opportunity there to work with other very experienced and very qualified professionals. Given the fact that we do operate in a global economy today, it does benefit you for ultimately longterm career perspectives to be able to get used to working with remote teams. The amount of course work per class, as far as group work, may vary, however, we would want to … it is definitely a component of the program, and a very rewarding piece.
Is there a GMAT waiver available? There is a GMAT waivers are available. A lot of that is more pending on either your education or your management experience. With that, that can be sent over to your Enrollment Advisor as management, leadership, and past education experience may vary on student particular basis. However, your Enrollment Advisor will be able to help direct you to the … whether or not that would be an option for you and what specifically we would need in order to help our admissions committee to give the best view of your profile.
Looking through some other questions. How many times do I have to visit campus throughout the year if I’m an online student? Cheryl, did you want to take that one?
Sure, thank you Jason. We are a 100% online program and so students are not required to come to campus and we do encourage visitation at campus at the time of graduation for that really nice bit of closure and the opportunity to see your faculty and your classmates face to face. But again, there’s no requirement for you to attend campus.
Thank you Cheryl.
What if I need to take a term or semester off? Am I allowed to do so? You are able to do that. You do have up to six years to complete the MBA Program. We do, however, encourage students if possible, to go through the MBA interrupted as it’s not a cohort where you will see a lot of the same students and a lot of the same courses, where you build those actual relationships there. So taking a lot of breaks can break up the flow of that. Though you can take breaks if needed and you do have up to six years to complete the degree, but, if possible, we encourage students to go through uninterrupted.
Right. There will be a lot of support … Jason, thank you for saying that. There will be a lot of support for you to stay in the program because we only require you to be in one class at a time for seven weeks at a time. We try to provide opportunity for you to concentrate on one piece of topic before you end up going into the second piece of your program. That way, you’re not trying to work triage between multiple courses and if you do need a break, maybe seven weeks is better than four months, which is a traditional semester, and then your advisor will be working with you through that. But again, with that seven week course, we’re really asking you to spend about 15 to 20 hours a week on the course material, depending on who you are and how you learn. Some people spend more, some people spend less. To ensure that you’re successful and don’t have to drag the program out very long. We want you to be able to complete on time to meet your other life objectives.
Thank you Cheryl. We do have another question about regarding the International Field Study. Cheryl, would you be able to speak to that.
There’s a questions regarding asking to hear more about the International Field Study.
Right. So typically the International Field Study is part of one of the elective courses and so, in that seven week elective course, students would be learning about the country that we would be visiting as well as international business management in general. Typically, students are asked in that course to start doing research on the country, the way business may be influenced by government in that country or regulation, and then how that country and the United States work together in trade agreements or don’t. Then, during the time of the field study, students fly in from their respective locations, so you buy your own plane ticket and then meet us, or meet our faculty at that specific rendezvous point and then from there we have a schedule of events. So, included in the field study is the hotel, most of the meals, the cultural excursions, etc.
Then of course we have some free time for people, as well, and those things that you choose to do then are on your own and with your own finances. We try and keep the program at an affordable level so that students are paying for the three credits of the course as well as their plan travel and then their accommodations. So we would bill you for that and then make an arrangement through a provider for all of that once we’re in-country.
In the case of Chile, the students will meet at a rendezvous point, typically the hotel where everyone’s lodging, check in, and then meet with the faculty member to go over the agenda for the 10 days of travel. Then during those 10 days you could expect to visit a variety of companies, perhaps spend time in the conference space, meeting with your faculty and fellow students to talk through some things, although that’s the minimum. You won’t be attending a lot of course sessions on site. Frequently it will be just get to know you meetings and then perhaps a wrap-up meeting.
Then throughout those 10 days, visiting a variety of companies and going to cultural activities, seeing sites, seeing historical sites, seeing political sites, and in this trip I think, because of the expertise of the faculty member this summer who’s taking students on the program, it will have a heavy wine and viticulture focus, so there will be quite a bit around the business of wine internationally and about wine in Chile.
Does that answer the questions?
Yes, it looks like it.
We do have a question as far as how many weeks should we talk about as far as setting aside for the course? We kind of answered that a little bit earlier with … speaking to the different amounts of times as far as different students who learn at different programs, but definitely on average we’re looking at about 20 hours. Again, as Cheryl mentioned, people do learn at different rates, but the average budget that we tell students to set aside. Now, the nice thing about the Online MBA Program, it’s entirely online so you’re not spending additional hours sitting in traffic and the lectures are also optional live lectures that are also recorded, so if you can not participate in one it’s not something you’ll lose points on. However, you do get an opportunity to watch that recording so you don’t miss different things that would be covered in that lecture. It is nice because you do get that chance to just focus your time and energy on classes rather than commuting or having to sit in a classroom.
Jason, I’d like to-
Oh, go ahead.
Can I butt in here a little? I’m looking at the question board seeing quite a bit about employment, so I’d like to address that if that’s alright with you?
Yes, go ahead, thank you.
A number of students … we’ve got a wide swath of students in the program. People who have very little experience, two people with quite a bit of experience, and everybody’s motivation is slightly different for joining the program. Most of the people that are in the MBA Online are currently employed and looking to get an education to help them with the next opportunity at their own employer or with another company. Different than an undergraduate experience where you’ll have career fairs and people coming to recruit students. Right now, the way that the program is structured, is to enable someone who is working, whether that’s at an entry level, mid-level, or executive position, to be able to get the tools that they need for the next opportunity and to add the most value in their current position.
When we survey our students about placement, almost all of our students write us back and tell us that they were not or are not seeking employment, that their employers already suggested that if they get this degree there’s another opportunity in store for them. On this question board about employment statistics, do we provide internships or have recruiters coming for summer internships? That cycle is quite different at the MBA level than at the undergraduate level. We do see a little bit more coming from our students right now asking for transition services, again, that’s where we’re starting to explore what those opportunities will be for career transition or promotion. But right now, most of our students are employed and looking to add value in their current organization or make a shift that they already know will come as a result of getting their MBA.
Alright, thank you Cheryl.
As far as with that, I know there are still a couple of questions that are available right now, but a lot of them do look to be individual in nature. The list of questions will be sent to your Enrollment Advisors and we will definitely be following up with you within 24 to 48 hours regarding those questions to make sure that we can answer. We do also encourage you, there is the contact information below if you did want to call into our general line, an Enrollment Advisor can assist you or schedule an appointment on our general calender as well.
Thank you again for everyone for attending. We will now be concluding the webinar and you have a great day.
Thanks everyone, have a nice day.
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