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Info Session Q&A: September 2019

Online MBA Information Session Q&A: September 2019

Moderated by:

  • Terri Ignoffo, Enrollment Counselor, Online MBA
  • Daniel Truesdale, Enrollment Counselor, Online MBA
  • Tom Sabey, Enrollment Counselor, Online MBA

Presented by:

  • Miriam Burgos, Associate Professor of Clinical Marketing / Academic Director of the Online MBA program
  • Philip Griego, Assistant Dean, Online Learning / Program Director, Online MBA
  • Brittany Hawkins, Assistant Director, Online and Specialized Master’s Programs


September 2019 Info Session Questions and Answers:

Are there any industry specific elective courses in this program?

The program itself does not include electives, our curriculum consists strictly of the six courses which are delivered across five semesters that we reviewed earlier in the presentation. But having said that, you do have an opportunity as a Marshall student to enroll in electives after you’ve completed the required curriculum, the required 51 units in our program. if you do enroll in an elective after you have completed the program, you do of course pay the additional tuition for that elective. Typically, our electives are either one-and-a-half units or 3 units, so that is where you would be able to take advantage of electives. If you are not in the LA area, then you are of course limited by the online electives that are offered at Marshall, but if you are in the LA area and wish to take an elective on-campus, you do have that opportunity after you have completed the curriculum for our program. Our electives are resident electives do include the topics that were part of that question that I believe was from Lucia, so I hope that helped.


What happens if I have to miss a class for some one-off reason what would happen then?

Of course classes are required, your presence and classes are required. We approach our online class sessions just as you would approach a class session that happens in a residential program, but having said that, you are of course all working professionals, many of our students are parents and they are juggling many different sets of responsibilities, so we understand that there will be the occasional night when you cannot make class, so for that reason we do offer recorded versions of every single one of our live classes, so within 24 to 48 hours of when the class wraps up, you will see a recording of the live class session uploaded to our learning management system, you’ll be able to access on our website the recorded version of the class if you have to miss it. Again, that would be as a one-off as Daniel said, but that is our solution to that to the fact that yes, you know and understand and greatly respect the fact that all of our students are busy working professionals.


Could someone on the panel go into detail about the demographics of the cohort based off of gender, nationality, things of that nature?

So let’s see, we’ll start with female, we have about 35 percent that’s in the cohort that just began, let’s see GMAT is about a 630, GRE is about 305, underrepresented minorities is about 18%, the majority of the students do come from California, but we do have representation and about I believe 20 different states, so it’s definitely diverse. What other stats can I help with?


What is the age of the cohort as well, kind of the range of the age of students?

Definitely, average age is about it’s about thirty four years old and we do have students though as young as about twenty-eight, and we have students as old as I believe the early 50s, yeah early 50s. As I mentioned work experiences on average is about eight years, but we do have students that have significantly more than that, naturally we have students in their 50s so I’d say the range of work experience is probably more closer to about maybe six, all the way up to I’d say probably 20 plus years of experience, so it’s definitely a diverse group. Miriam and another professor, they do a great job of kind of pairing students together in their first team, so that we don’t have a bunch of seasoned professionals trying to go against people that are a little bit younger. We try to make definitely make a balance to that, so does that kind of help answer?


What’s the average GMAT for the program

The average GMAT is a 630 and we do take the GRE as well, so the GRE is also accepted into the program.


What if I have to take a long break, off for a semester for let’s say work or family emergency, is that allowed? Am I allowed to take up to a semester off?

Yes, not totally, we want if you have to take a break, we don’t want you to kill yourself trying to get through the program, so yes you can definitely take a break. There are a couple caveats we ask that you complete GSBA 505 which is the first course, and to have an approved leave of absence. You should have at least a 3.0, now if you have under 3.0, you can still take a leave, it just takes a couple extra steps to when you want to come back. We definitely have students that I’ve taken a leave and come back, and you can either rejoin your cohort or you can actually join the cohort after you or two cohorts after you, depending on what course you want to pick up and take.


Can students take the executive assessment in lieu of the GMAT or GRE?

Yes, we do accept the executive assessment, however it’s designed for people that have a lot of years’ work experience, so the majority of our students that are going to be probably taking executive assessment will have probably well over ten eleven twelve years work experience, but we do offer that to students. You go in and register for executive assessment and after you complete it, you can submit your scores directly to us, if you have additional questions about that, feel free reach out to us, we’ll be happy to kind of walk you through that process.


Outside of the residential intensive week, do students still get together outside of class time to meet up?

Depending on where you’re located, we try to get together as much as we can, we actually have to look forward to the Stanford USC game, we’re trying to go here, to come back for homecoming, depending on where you’re located, but we try to get together as much as we can and that’s just one of the beauty is that, I think Brittany said how many live a lot from California, getting together is awesome, so yes.


Is a GMAT waiver a possibility?

To be considered for a GMAT waiver, it’s best that you take the executive assessment, and then from there you can work with an enrollment counselor and submit the waiver form, but you definitely should take an executive assessment if you are looking to be granted that waiver, because that’s essentially one of the ways that we would grant it.


Will you go in a little bit more detail about the residential intensive week?

I can kick it off and then if Michelle wants to chime in, because she actually lived through the residential week and to chime in, feel free but yes you’re there all day, from eight to five. We give you breakfast and lunch, sometimes snack, definitely snacks and sometimes there’s like a mixer or another type of team building activity that we do, but that class is from eight to five. You’ll learn about communication and strategy and yes, it’s pretty much. You got to take off work once you get out of class as you guys are working on projects and just getting to know your teammates and the rest of people in your cohort, so we definitely recommend that even if you’re in the LA area, stay in the hotel and definitely, definitely, definitely take off work because it’s hard to still try to work remote, and still participate. Michelle I know you could probably give it even better synapsis of it.

I feel like the first week was kind of like adult camp for the week, I don’t know, I thought it was so much fun, because you had to stay in the hotel together, they could wake up together you have breakfast, you go to class in between classes, you’re chit-chatting, afterwards like Britney said knowing you’re going to have a project and competition for that Friday and I think we only had one person every night who was in LA, literally faraway go back and forth, but you really want to stay at the hotel because they put you up at the hotel, that’s included right in the in the cost of your tuition. Take full advantage of it, because you are going to get together after class, there are a couple of nights real, we went to happy hour, then we kind of went to dinner, and it’s the one week you’re going to have together, so really take advantage of it if you can.


What is required for the capstone project?

With regards to the capstone project, this is a project that we actually implemented in or curriculum starting with the cohort that came right after Michelle, so she actually didn’t experience it in its full format, but she did experience the original version of the capstone project which is incorporated into the last semester long course in our program. Basically, the project covers macroeconomics and corporate strategy, those are the central themes of the project, but it’s a project that asks you to explore a problem that is related to the international expansion of an American firm, and within that context, you can really add your own flavor to the project, to what you submit for the project.

You conduct research as a team, with your teammates in the class in order to complete the project, it’s just part of our curriculum and the only requirement is of course that you submit all the deliverables as they are described, and as per the instructions that are provided by the faculty members. That’s really the gist of the project you’re exploring the challenges around international expansion of an American firm, and you’re doing it through the lens of macroeconomics and corporate strategy primarily but incorporating knowledge from the different courses that you’ve taken in our program. The way the project has evolved, since Michelle was part of that course of GSBA 539, which is the last course in our program.

The way the capstone has evolved is that now, we actually have students read the case when they begin the program, as of day one in the program, they start reading the case and thinking about it and completing very small assignments, very small assignments that pertain to each subject strand that you’re studying as you go through our curriculum, so that is how the project has evolved over time. What that has done is, it has a lot allowed the delivery of an interpretive and even more integrated curriculum but it has also sparked increased communication behind-the-scenes among faculty, so that we’re delivering an experience that again truly mirrors what happened in the boardroom when you’re making decisions as business leaders.


When it comes to career services, what’s the difference between the online programs as opposed to maybe a full-time on-campus program?

We in the online MBA program, we offer the services of two career consultants who are exclusively dedicated to our student population, to the online MBA student population. The two career consultants who work with our program have extensive experience working with mid-career professionals, who are looking to move onward and upward in their careers, and so they will offer services that include polishing your resume, polishing your LinkedIn profile, writing the perfect cover letter for a position that you may be applying for within your industry, they offer support with salary negotiations internally within your companies or externally if you’re looking for a new position or a new opportunity. These are just a few of the services that are offered by our career consultants, and our students also have access to many of the services that the Career Center offers to our full-time residential students, with one exception, it is important to note that there is this one exception, as an online MBA student you will not have access to the recruiting round, where employers where potential employers come and sit down with MBA students to recruit for positions within their companies.

The main reasons for that recruiters who come to campus are looking for the students who are at a starting point in their careers they are hiring for entry-level positions that are available immediately after the MBA degree or somebody who only has a couple of years of work experience before they enrolled in the MBA program, and so it’s a very different population than the students who enroll in our program. Typically, in our program average work experience in a cohort can range anywhere between 8 and 11 years of work experience and so it’s just not the right audience and not the right fit when recruiters come to campus to hire students.

So that is the one area where there is a difference in terms of the type of access that you have but having said that our career consultants are very experienced in helping mid-career professionals be successful if they’re trying to pivot industries if they’re trying to move up within their existing company, and we hear success story after success story as a result of the work that our career consultants do with our online MBA students. If Michelle or Brittney have anything that that you would like to add to that please by all means feel free.

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