[Webinar] Why Choose the Smith Online MBA?

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There are many online MBA programs out there, so what makes the online MBA program at Maryland Smith different?

In this webinar, we will answer the following questions:

  • What sets Smith’s learning approach apart?
  • What skills will I learn in the online MBA program that other MBA programs may not offer?
  • How are real-world, experiential learning opportunities incorporated into the curriculum?
  • How can this program help me achieve my professional goals?

The Smith Online MBA is modeled after the school’s top-ranked and highly successful campus-based MBA programs.  Designed for working professionals, our online MBA allows more students across the nation and around the world to get a Smith education, with the flexibility of “attending class” virtually at times that work best for them.

Presenters:

  • Judy Frels, Assistant Dean of Online Programs
  • Shelbi Brookshire, Senior Director, EMBA Recruiting & Alumni Engagement
  • Jacques Avery, Senior Enrollment Advisor

Originally recorded on May 8, 2019.

Transcript

– [Jacques] Hello and welcome to the University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business Online MBA information session. I’m Jacques Avery and I’ll be your host today. I’d like to thank you for joining us and taking time out of your busy schedule. Before we begin, I’d like to review a few housekeeping items about our session today. At the bottom of your audience console, at the bottom of your audience console are multiple application widgets you can use. If you have any technical difficulties, the help widget provides answers to common technical issues. If you have questions during the webcast, you may submit your question using the Q and A widget. We will answer as many questions as time allows at the end of the session. An on-demand version of this session will be available tomorrow. A link to the recording will also be sent to you via email.

Now I’d like to introduce our panelists. Judy Frels is a Clinical Professor of Marketing at University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and also Assistant Dean of the online programs. In addition to her duties as Assistant Dean, she teaches the closing residency course in the online program. She also teaches in Smith’s full-time, part-time, and Executive MBA programs at many of its campuses including Beijing and continues to publish in top academic journals.

Shelbi Brookshire is the Senior Director of Executive MBA Recruiting and Alumni Engagement at Smith. She began recruiting with Smith’s MBA programs in 2002 and has traveled the world representing the full-time MBA, assisted with the part-time MBA recruitment, liaised with Career Services teams and spent two years doing logistical implementation for the Executive MBA and executive education programs. In 2013, she joined the 13th cohort of the top-ranked UMD Smith Executive MBA program, graduating in 2014.

And again, my name is Jacques Avery. I am an enrollment advisor with the online MBA program and have spoken with some of you, some of the participants in today’s session before, but look forward to shedding a little light into the depths of what you can expect from the Smith School’s online MBA program today.

Now we’ll cover the agenda for today’s session. We’ll give you an overview of the program, including some detail about what to expect from an MBA program in general, why the Smith MBA program may be a fit for you, and also include more detail about learning outcomes from the MBA, the program’s design, how it may compare to other programs, and also talk a bit about application requirements and important deadlines. We’ll conclude our session today with your questions and answers to those questions. As we progress through our presentation today, we’ll also have a few poll questions for you. Our first question will relate to your motivation for pursuing an MBA.

– [Moderator] Go ahead and start. I’m also assisting Jacques on the session today, so go ahead and enter your responses here. We’ll give you just about 30 seconds to do so and then we will move forward. Just a couple more seconds here.

– [Jacques] Have about half of the participants submitted. A few more votes. All right. As you can see with the results of the poll, primarily our participants today are looking for advancement opportunity within their current employer. But certainly making transitions professionally and developing leadership skills is not far behind in terms of the outcomes that our participants today are looking for with the MBA. Look forward to diving into a couple of these aspects as we do progress through the session today.

In surveying that we’ve done with the MBA students here within the online MBA program, here were some of their outcomes. And as you can see, the primary drivers for pursuing the online MBA here at Smith were opportunities for advancement and promotion, increase in earnings, and developing new skills and knowledge to become more effective leaders. So, fairly in line with the responses that we got from the poll with today’s participants. In progressing through our webinar, I’ll be turning it over to Shelbi to talk a little bit more about what to expect from the MBA program.

– [Shelbi] Good morning everyone. Thank you, or good afternoon I should say. Thank you for joining us. Are we, progressing to the next slide please. I’m sorta having some technical difficulty here.

– [Moderator] Okay, we’re showing what is an MBA on our side.

– [Shelbi] Okay, so apologies, it’s not catching up with my screen. So, the first MBA was actually delivered by Harvard in 1908 and since then has become a globally recognized degree that allows individuals to be very vested in the fundamentals of business. So, across the board, businesses have building blocks of functionalities that are extremely important to the success of the organization as a whole. Good things like accounting, finance, marketing, leadership, and human capital. What the MBA has done is it’s taken a scientific approach to these types of topics and imbues in the individuals who do the MBA, the opportunity to learn from cases of successes and sometimes some things that they could have done differently and moved forward with problem solving. So it’s globally recognized across industries including government and non-profit. I don’t know what slide we’re on folks, I’m sorry, it’s not showing on mine.

– [Judy] So, Shelbi if you like, we can move on to talk about why Smith is unique or we can continue to talk about the MBA in general, and I’ll make sure we get the right slides up.

– [Shelbi] Great, thank you, yes. Let’s go move on to the Smith School.

– [Judy] Great, so–

– [Shelbi] Go ahead.

– [Judy] No, go ahead.

– [Shelbi] Something that’s interesting about the Smith School of Business is that we are both a teaching and a research school. Most, many of the top 20 schools cannot allocate resources in that way. What that means to you as a student is that you have access to the cutting-edge research that’s being developed by the individuals who are developing it. So they bring that into the classroom to frame the conversation so that you’re learning about other functionalities from the perspective of an expert who allows the students to then discuss applicable ways to utilize those frameworks. Something else that the Smith School Online Program is extremely proud about is the community that we’re able to build. So we build the opportunity to come in person, both in the opening and closing residencies, as well as teamwork threaded throughout the program. So, and Judy if you could take a look at the slides since I can’t see it.

– [Judy] Sure. So I’ll talk about one of the second points we put up, which is our track record for excellence. So I think Jacques mentioned in his introduction to Shelbi that she was a member of our Executive MBA cohort program. That program was ranked very highly. But as the Director of the online MBA program, I’m happy to say that that is one of the highest ranked programs at Smith. So we’ve been ranked number eight in the U.S. overall, and we have a very high ranking for student engagement, and best program for veterans. So we are very happy to be able to say that we stick with our online students very closely and we do great with providing service for active duty and veterans.

We also at Smith have a focus on experiential, reality-based learning. And so what that means is in addition to the cases that Shelbi talked about in the previous slide, we also wanna make sure that you guys have the opportunity to put your hands on your own problems inside the structure of a classroom. So we have something called the Action Learning Project, which we’ll talk more about in a moment, that we do in year two. Shelbi, I’d like to invite you now to just talk a little bit about the career coaching that we provide.

– [Shelbi] Absolutely. So we provide the same fleet of career resources to our online students as we do to our part-time students and we provide it in both a brick and mortar approach as well as online, so the coaches will customize to the needs of the online student. And it’s everything from some of the most fundamental, and very important, basics of a resume review, up to a career assessment to determine where you can transition your skills, to networking, and even mock interviews. So something that many of our online students have leveraged and have had a great deal of success. We have some wonderful stories of individuals transitioning from a role such as a teacher to actually working at Facebook. So something that you’ll hear as a thread throughout this webinar is that skills are transferrable across industries, and that’s what our career coaches focus on quite a bit.

– [Judy] And I’ll go ahead and let you finish out the slide and then I’ll take over when we move forward.

– [Shelbi] All right, something I’m very proud of here at the Smith School of Business in my 17 years is our can-do attitude, which we look at as both entrepreneurial and innovative. We have a very diverse group of individuals from our faculty to our staff and our students. And it’s that diversity that drives the innovation in our program. We’re looking for both incremental and radical innovation. We’re looking to ensure that we imbibe in our students a spirit of impact and community so that they can make a difference in their organization. Dr. Rudy Lamone who was a Dean for 20 years built a number of resources for our students who are interested in the granularity of entrepreneurship and actually launching their own company, however we also believe it’s extremely important in the current world that we live in with a lot of volatility and uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, that we ensure that our students are looking with an innovative lens.

And finally I did mention the commitment to community. It’s something that we’re very proud of that we’re able to instill in all of our programs, including our online, allowing our students to come to build those relationships both in person and online.

– [Judy] Great–

– [Shelbi] Now we’ll transition to Judy.

– [Judy] Thank you. I’m just gonna stay on this slide one second because one of things we’re really proud about with our online MBA are the weekly live sessions that we have. So students, if you’re a student in our program, you attend a live session for 90 minutes twice a week, one for each class, and I know sometimes students who look to study online might view this as a constraint, but I assure you we’ve had people often do this while on travel, that’s a big appeal to the way you can attend class. So people do it when they’re traveling, people have done it from a, we’ve had faculty even do it on travel. We’ve had people take a live class from a cruise ship while they’re on vacation. It’s a 90 minute check-in where you get the opportunity to see all of your classmates on the screen. There’ll be 25 of you at most in a group. You’ll see your faculty member. So you see each other, you see the faculty, they see you. And I guarantee you when you walk into your closing residency, your last class, there will be people that you’ve only met once, or possibly never met, and you will walk up and hug them like a long-lost friend because these live sessions really give you the opportunity to get to know each other. And they also give you the opportunity to apply your learning by thinking on your feet. So we like to use that as sort of that, you know, get ready to present to the CEO sort of reaction time. Kinda honing those skills. So we think it’s a huge plus in our program.

So what I’m, in addition to all the lovely things that Jacques had to say, I would also like to say I’m the Academic Director of this program. So I get to work closely with the other academic directors at Smith and our Dean’s Office to make sure that we are delivering cutting-edge curriculum that will prepare you to lead fearlessly, in a world that’s increasingly data-driven and characterized by rapid innovation. What does that mean? It means that, and all of you know this, the world today, is everyone is collecting so much data on customers and on things. We have a whole phrase, the internet of things. That means there’s a ton of data about what’s going on out there and that is transforming how businesses do their business. Notice I said the word transforming. That transformation doesn’t happen once every five years anymore. It’s happening constantly.

And so what I did here was I looked at a sampling of some of the coursework that sort of hits these three key points, which we think make up a better program, one of the best MBA programs that we have and B, gives you the greatest skill set and opportunity to achieve the goals that you’ve come in with. So we are going to help you hone your leadership skills through a leadership class. There’s a organizational change class where you learn how, once you’ve come up with a great strategy, you’ve gotta infuse that through the organization. If you’ve worked for a while you know that saying something doesn’t make it so. Organizational change tells you how to work through that.

What do we mean by data-driven? What tools are we going to give you? We’re gonna give you a course on, several courses on data analysis and decision modeling, we have a course in supply chain and operations, our marketing course has some data elements to it, and of course, the standard corporate finance and accounting courses. And then how do we get you accustomed to a world of rapid innovation? Everybody takes an entrepreneurship class. Even though you may not wanna be an entrepreneur, you might want to be, you might wanna be intrapreneur. You probably will create more value for your organization if you’re constantly thinking about how your organization can innovate and change how they do things. That’s in addition to a negotiations class, a strategic management course. All these courses build toward two required integrative learning experiences, but one that’s optional.

So let me talk about the optional one. No one’s required to go on our global business course, but you have the opportunity to do that. And you will do that with students from our other programs, our full-time program, our part-time program, and our executive program. And what that course is, is we give you a framework in the fall, leading up to your second January in the course, and then you choose the location to travel with a faculty and probably about a total of 30 students to countries such as Brazil or regions such as Southeast Asia to talk about how you’re actually going to apply your MBA skills in an international context.

That is optional course, so I wanna make sure people understand that because sometimes people with young children, or extremely demanding work environments can’t be away for that length of time. And we understand that. So we have a substitute course on international business that takes care of that learning for people who need to stay here in the States.

We also, but we require two other ones. One is an action learning project, where you bring in a project. You and your classmates sort of choose about one project for every four or five people and then you pick your teams across the 150, 200 people who are taking the course at that time. You figure out what skill sets you need to solve your organization’s problems. And then your team comes up with the solutions. So the great thing about that course is you have the opportunity to really show off the skills that you’re building to your organization. And we’ve seen people get promotions because of this. We’ve seen jobs get created in an organization to take advantage of the learning here, and we’ve had online MBA students hire one another as a result of this process.

Your final class in the program will be the integrative business simulation. And that’s the course I teach here at College Park. We just finished one this weekend. And again, we bring you here. We do a, it’s a three day intensive course and you will apply all the skills you’ve learned in operations, supply chain, marketing, HR, finance, accounting, many, many skills are brought together to kind of give you that, kinda put that one last final polish on that. We want to focus in our program on transferrable skills that you can apply across industries. And I’ll give you a couple examples in a moment.

But these are some of the skills. How could you drive change through your organization? Using strategy frameworks to analyze problems. So those are some of the leadership skills and our tagline is sort of lead fearlessly. We are the turtle, and fear the turtle was a huge, our basketball battle cry for a few years, so we’ve turned that around and said lead fearlessly.

These are some of the data analysis skills that we will help you achieve. So tools such as Tableau, we have R use in a few classes. So those are some of the skills, we also make sure you come out with a very solid ground in finance and accounting. Those are essential courses for any MBA. And then finally, we wanna make sure, again that you are prepared with innovation driving and coping skills.

So I’ll talk a bit about the specializations for a few moments. So again, we want to help you develop functional, specific knowledge that’s applicable across any industry. So if you choose, for instance, to study in finance, you’ll have, everyone will take two core finance courses, but you’ll have three potential finance selectives, and if you choose to study finance, these will be the five finance courses you would take. The middle column, ISBA, that stands for Information Systems and Business Analytics. And so everyone in the program takes the two business analytics courses that are listed here, but then if you choose to specialize in this, you can take managing digital businesses, social media, and data mining.

What I’d like to do rather than read this slide to you, is give you an example of what some students choose to do, which is come up with a customized selection of these selectives. And we just call that the general track because you are not obligated to take three in one area. Many people say, look I know what kind of job I’m going after. So let me give you an example. If you were maybe going to focus on the financial services industry, then I could actually imagine someone taking, if you go to the accounting column, the very first course there. Fraud examination, detection, and deterrence. You might start with that course and then come back over the finance column and take commercial bank management and you might finish that up with data mining and predictive analytics. And that’s sort of a custom combination of courses that would be unique to you but would allow you to pursue a job that you particularly want.

And Shelbi’s gonna talk in a minute about our Career Services, which are fantastic. Let me give you one other example. Suppose you’ve decided that you really wanna work at Facebook, and that’s your target and that’s where you’re headed. Or maybe you wanna work at LinkedIn or Twitter. A path that I could see for someone like that might be to start off with managing digital businesses and platforms, take social media and web analytics, but then flip over to the marketing track and take consumer behavior. And those three together create a powerful combination and really prepare you to work in that sort of industry.

I can imagine another path that might be good for any of the subscription-type companies like Netflix or Spotify. That might be a path, I’ll go through it quickly, like co-creating customer experiences, customer equity management, and then data mining and predictive analytics. So you can see there’s a lot of ways to mix these courses. The supply chain track I didn’t even touch on, but that’s a phenomenal track and our faculty there are very experienced. They have a lot of practical working business knowledge about the supply chain industry. So these are our specializations. Jacques is gonna speak a little bit later, give you a more full overview of the curriculum, but I just wanted to touch on them. Now, I’m gonna turn it back over to Shelbi so she can talk a bit about the career outcomes.

– [Shelbi] Thank you so much. First thing I wanna point out about this slide is that this information was provided to us by the students who graduated in 2018 across the board. So this will show you, again going back to the diversity of our community. So this allows our students to network among a number of companies as well as a number of functional individuals that they can either make a transition in their career or they can make a pennant. So we have one of the strongest reputations with business from a data analytics perspective, from an innovation perspective, and from a diversity perspective. So there’ll be a webinar later on that will dive deeper into the career resources, but we treat all of our communities with again, similar ability to utilize and leverage the resources from our Career Services. At this point, we’re moving on to any questions. There’s a poll question, correct?

– [Jacques] Yes, we’re going to touch on a poll question to really ask the attendees for today about the steps that they’re taking in their search. We wanna know what steps that you’re taking in terms of identifying programs that are gonna be the right fit for you, so at this time, we’re going to make available to you a polling question that asks about the number of programs that you’re looking into along with the program here at Smith. We’ll give you a few moments to be able to submit your answers and then we’ll discuss some of the outcomes from our poll. A few seconds more, we have about 60% answered.

And no shame that Smith isn’t the only program that you’re looking into, we won’t kick you off of the webinar session here today. We appreciate your answers. And in answering this question, what it really helps to, helps us to do with you and helps you to do for yourself, more importantly, is to make an apples to apples comparison about the kind of MBA program that may be the right match for you as you do take this step with continuing your education with an MBA. Here are results, all anonymous. And of course, with being able to consider multiple programs, you need to be able to identify what sort of outcomes that you may have from different types of programs.

So here we have a little bit of a side by side to be able to indicate to the suite of skills that are delivered through the Smith MBA program and what you may see with other MBA programs within their required courses. Again, these are the required courses through the Smith program, and the required courses through other online MBA programs that may also be AASCB accredited, may also be ranked in the top 10, and then also some programs that you may have commonly seen as you’ve done your program searches. And that way you can identify what is present, what isn’t present, and make that side by side comparison.

Again, this is to illustrate the, the, how thorough and robust the curriculum is with the Smith MBA program. And don’t forget, these are the required courses. In addition to these courses are also the specialization courses that Judy described previously and also keep in mind that there is some customization with that general track in the program that you may have with the skills that you’re able to focus on in the specialization portion of the program.

At this point, we’ll also talk about the admission requirements with the online MBA program. With getting involved in the online MBA, the portion of the program, or excuse me, applying to the program is done through an online application. In order to complete the application, you will provide a copy of your official transcripts. You do need a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and you will also provide the official transcripts from institutions that you may have transferred credits from in progress to that Bachelor’s degree that was conferred. You will also provide a copy of your resume. You may provide GMAT or GRE scores. There are waivers available for qualified candidates. You can connect with your, your assigned enrollment advisor for feedback about your ability to be able to acquire GMAT waiver.

You will need one letter of recommendation, which is electronic. You will also provide an MBA goals essay. A personal statement. Also, with submitting the application, there is an application fee of $75, which is non-refundable. For applicants who have completed their education outside of the U.S., you may need to provide TOEFL or ILS scores, and also, there may be an interview at the discretion of our Admissions Committee.

At the moment, applicants are primarily focused on the Fall 2019 entry point, which will begin on August 26th. The application deadline will be June 24th, and as Judy described earlier when breaking down the curriculum, there are two weekends that you should physically come to the campus. The opening residency for the Fall 2019 term will be August 15th through the 17th. As you can also see, there’s a toll-free number at the bottom of the slide that you can use to connect with your enrollment advisor, and they can certainly provide you with specific feedback about your admissions packet and your ability to join the Fall 2019 entry point in the online MBA program.

At this time, we’ll take a few questions from our attendees and see what sort of things are on your mind about your ability to become involved in the online MBA program here at Smith. First question that we have here is how does the online version compare to the in class, full-time version of the MBA program? And that question has actually already been answered directly by Shelbi, but for those that may be wondering about that comparison, Shelbi would you mind iterating what are some of the differences that a student may have with the online program and the full-time MBA program? First really talk about the type of student that you may have from the executive program, the full-time MBA program or the online MBA?

– [Shelbi] Sure, happy to help. So the full-time student is traditionally has a little bit less work experience. They’re usually about six and a half to seven, whereas our online has about nine to 10, and our executive is typically 15 plus. The executive program is a very different approach as the fundamental paradigm, so I’ll keep that offline unless somebody wants to specifically discuss that. I did address that in a previous question. But as far as the full-time and the online, the majority of the difference is the delivery mechanism. The same top quality faculty teach in both. You have access to the similar types of resources, but understandably in an online environment, your number one resource is time. So a full-time student comes here, this is their full-time job. Taking classes during the week, they join clubs, they do summer internships. So fundamentally at the experience level is the difference between delivery and what your number one resource is. There are some minor tweaks in the curriculum which I’ll let Judy address specifically. There’s, for instance, the ALP is not mandatory in the full-time program, whereas it’s built into the online. Judy, do you have other, are there other differences between full-time and online curriculum?

– [Judy] I’d say the biggest difference is not huge, no. I would say that the, I think the biggest difference is what you said. That the full-time students tend to be a little less advanced in their career and typically tend to be more career shifters. But the curriculum itself is not that different.

– [Jacques] Thank you for that answer. We also have a question, particularly about veterans. Can you elaborate on why you’re ranked number five for veterans?

– [Judy] Sure, and I think Shelbi can speak to this as well. We have a veteran liaison who actually is not only a veteran himself, but he has, he’s a Smith alum, and he works in our office daily, and works, gets really involved early on in the process of, before students have even committed to come to Smith, he gets involved in helping them think through what are the benefits they’re entitled to and how they can best use those benefits to not only achieve their MBA but possibly even to maintain some of the benefits for use later in case they wanna go after another degree. Shelbi, I know you work with Frank quite a bit, would you like to, this gentleman’s name is Frank Goertner, would you wanna add anything?

– [Shelbi] Sure, absolutely. So he’s dedicated to this population. So both as a veteran and an alum of the Smith School of Business with his Executive MBA. He looks at, as Judy said, how can you utilize your resources the best, as far as your G.I. funding. He also looks at how can he continue to build community both within current students and alumni. So, we are very advantageously situated in the D.C. metro. Veterans are very well sought after in the market here as far as workforce, and so he’s got quite a network to help individuals both transition from their military background, as well as leverage the resources that are available. And it’s nice to have somebody helping navigate through the red tape of all of that as well.

– [Judy] Absolutely.

– [Jacques] Thank you. Next question that we have here, Judy, is regarding live sessions within the online courses. Those 90 minute live sessions that you described earlier in the session. The questions asks what time will those sessions be?

– [Judy] So those sessions are scheduled at 7 PM Eastern time and 8:45 PM Eastern time. And so, and they go for 90 minutes. So 8:45, tend to be more popular with folks either on the West Coast or even people in other time zones who might have small children, so they get their kids fed and put in bed and then at 8:45 they jump online and do a class with their classmates. Those run Monday through Thursday and if you’re taking a full course load, you’ll be in two courses at a time. So most people arrange to have a course on Monday and Wednesday, one course on Monday, one course on Wednesday, but you can also do one course on Tuesday, one course on Wednesday. So people have a bit of flexibility about that.

– [Jacques] Great. And you can certainly hear how you can fit those live sessions into your professional and personal obligations. The next question that we have I’ll actually answer. It’s about the need to take GRE for the online MBA. You can actually apply to the program with results from the GMAT or the GRE. Again, there are some applicants who may qualify for waiver for GMAT. And I would encourage you to connect with your enrollment advisor regarding your fitness for acquiring GMAT waiver. GMAT, GRE waiver.

There is also a question regarding the application as well. With application fee waiver eligibility for alumni specifically. And for returning alum applying to the online MBA program, yes, you may acquire an application fee waiver. Do connect with your enrollment advisor regarding confirmation that an application fee waiver has been added to your packet if you are a University of Maryland-College Park alum.

– [Judy] Someone, I’d like to answer this question, Jacques. Somebody, I see Shelbi answered it to the exact person, but I’d like to actually just read it aloud. Someone asked about why we are 54 credits rather than other programs that might be 36 to 39? When Smith created their MBA, they wanted to make sure that it was a robust degree and that we could feel confident that it created value for everybody that might come into it. And so a typical MS is about 30 credits, for instance. Like a MS in finance or an MS in marketing. But most MBAs, and most high-end, I would say a very robust MBA would, approaches it a bit differently. We think everybody needs to have those foundational skills in business, even if you had an undergraduate in business. I would argue that the way you study from 18 to 21 is gonna be quite different than the way you study from 28 to 31. And so we really think that revisiting those topics, given the business experience people have had, is a fantastic experience to take that knowledge. It’s almost like a completely different experience and then we wanna give you that second year to add on additional leadership skills, additional strategic thinking skills, and still have the chance to get some functional, specific knowledge that you might be seeking, or going through some of the more kind of job-oriented combinations that I talked to earlier. So that is why our program, and many other of the top-ranked programs are gonna be more credit heavy than some of the other programs you might see out there.

– [Jacques] Great. And again in regard to live sessions, we have a question here, Judy, that, for the live sessions, is there an expectation of attendance? And if you miss one, one or two live sessions, could that count against you?

– [Judy] There is an expectation for attendance. Now there is some flexibility. So for instance, if you’re gonna be on a plane at the time that your live session would happen or it’s your kid’s graduation, most faculty will help you work around that, because we offer six to eight sections of most of our core courses, almost all of the courses, and almost every course has multiple sections. So faculty will work with you on that. If you miss one, it’s probably okay. When you start to miss two out of the seven that might, a course might have over the seven weeks that the course would run, that starts to be a challenge. But again, it’s not impossible. You just work with the faculty. Because the faculty understand you’re working professionals, many people are raising a family, and they do make accommodations. But just to be clear, these aren’t like recommended chat sessions or problem-working sessions. These are to me some of the most valuable part of the program, so you wanna make sure that you’re able to attend most of them. But life happens. We understand that.

– [Jacques] I suppose that’s why the majority of the attendees today are looking into an online program. To have that flexibility when life does happen. Our final two questions that we’ll address here are first, regarding the application requirements. Does the letter of recommendation have to be from industry or can it be academic? Actually, I’ll–

– [Shelbi] I’d be happy to take that one. Since this is a business degree, and the preference is that it would actually come from a professional recommender. If an academic recommendation is what you’d like to submit, it will certainly be reviewed. However, the better individual to give is a professional recommender.

– [Jacques] Great. And our final question will be regarding cost of the MBA program and also serve as a lead in to one of our later webinars where we’ll tackle this subject specifically. What is the full cost of the MBA? With the online MBA program, the cost per credit is 1617 per credit. One thousand, six hundred seventeen per credit. And with the 54 credits of the program, the total tuition is $87,318. In our later webinars, we’ll actually cover how students do typically fund the program and what funding options are available for students. I encourage you to participate in that live session as well, but if you are unable to, as you are able to with this session, you’re able to access the archived recording of the webinar the next day. For those of you that have had some technical difficulties as we’ve gone through our session here today, you’re also able to access the recording of today’s session to be able to recover any information that you may have missed if you’ve needed to refresh your browser, if you’ve had any difficulty hearing the presentation or seeing any of the slides. I’d like to thank all of the attendees and of course our panelists for their involvement in the session today. We appreciate your answers with the polling questions. I do again encourage you all to connect one-on-one with your enrollment advisors to follow up with questions that you may have about becoming involved in the program. Thank you again to all of our participants. Again, you’ll be able to access the recorded session as soon as tomorrow through the same link. And thank you again and have a good day.

– [Judy] Yes, thank you everyone.

– [Shelbi] Thank you, have a wonderful day.

– [Judy] Goodbye.