Online MBA

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Professor Paul Bolster

Professor Paul Bolster is the faculty director of the Online MBA program at Northeastern. In this video he discusses the Dual Finance/MBA degree and why it can benefit your career and overall professional value.


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My name is Paul Bolster and I’m a Professor at Northeastern. I’ve been here for almost 30 years at this point in time. With respect to the online program, I am the faculty director of the MBA program and also oversee the other online programs as well. I teach two courses, one in the MBA program, it’s called investment analysis, which essentially is a central finance course. It’s an elective for students in the MBA program. Many students take it as it is a popular one course.

For the MBA course, investment analysis is an elective. If you wanted to specialize in something that was more finance oriented, then investment analysis would be an excellent course for you to use to anchor that specialization. In the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program, it’s a required course. So, there are three starting points in the MSF program and one of them is this investment course. So, if you’re just coming into the program, this could be the very first course you take, but it will be no later than the third course you take in that carousel.
One of the things that I tell all my students is that there’s a lot of work to do. The courses are rigorous and fast paced. But as long as you maintain a steady – how can I describe this? – just a steady pace of consistent work. In other words, you can’t let things go until the end of the week. You have to think about what’s due this week, what do I need to accomplish this week and you need to think of that on day one of the week and you need to do something on day one. And if you adopt that mindset, then a lot of the rest of the work for the course will fall into place.

It is rigorous. Some courses you’ll find harder than others. Some folks find the quantitative courses easier, some find them harder, some find them more qualitative or case oriented courses easier, some find them harder. But in every case, the way you can do yourself the best favor is to make sure that you do some preparation very early in the week so that you’re not just sprinting for the finish line.

The MBA in a generalist degree and you can tilt that toward finance, you can tilt that toward marketing, toward supply chain, toward a number of other areas. And certainly folks do that all the time. In the end, no matter what area you pick within your MBA program, it might be useful for you to get a little bit more of a background in finance and this can be done very seamlessly just by sticking around in the program for a little bit longer and you’ll get a Dual Degree, one that combines your MBA with the Master of Science in Finance degree.

This makes you a very powerful corporate citizen or makes you a very powerful individual in the marketplace for ideas and for jobs going forward because you’ve really got perhaps one skill that you’ve honed incredibly well throughout the dual degree program or maybe a couple of skill areas that really complement one another, make you a very powerful asset to a potential employer.

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