This webinar features in-depth explanations of the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University, the Online MBA program, and the impact of earning an Online MBA on the careers of three graduates.
Angela LaGamba: Welcome to Northeastern University’s Online MBA student graduate spotlight webinar. My name is Angela, and I will be your moderator for today. Before we begin, I’d like to go over some logistics for the presentation and address some commonly asked questions. For today’s presentation, you are in listen-only mode. We’re asking that our audience members dial in through their phone or listen through their computer speakers. If you’re dialing in through your phone, just remember to press *6, so that you’re muted. Don’t press the mute button on your phone, since that may cause some background music, and it will be hard to hear our panelists.
The next point is for our questions, feel free to send it through the chat box located on the lower right-hand side of the screen. We’ll be taking questions throughout the session, and we also have a dedicated Q&A at the end. For the recording, we will be recording the session, so you can listen to it again in the future, and you can also share it with your colleagues and friends, as well. Let’s move into our introductions. We have a full panel today, and I’m very excited to introduce them to you. Your panelists today are Dr. Hitomi Ohkawa, we have Stephen Galgay, Brad Roubitchek, Kira Nguyen, and Hayden Jones. Dr. Hitomi Ohkawa has a PhD in computer science bioinformatics and 17 years of experience in research and development in pharmaceutical industry.
She decided to pursue her MBA in healthcare management at Northeastern University in order to further her career and position drug development within the context of overall healthcare in changing pharmaceutical business models. She is currently an independent consultant, specializing in life sciences research and development and healthcare informatics. Stephen is a veteran of the U.S. Navy who has received his Bachelors of Science from Northeastern in 1990 and medical imaging degree from MGH Institute of Healthcare Professions in 2011. He owned two small business with his wife of 16 years, and most recently is on the staff as a radiological technologist for the South Boston Community Health Center.
Brad is currently the vice president and treasurer at Bank, just outside of Chicago. He has ten years of experience in trading interest rates in foreign exchange derivatives on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Brad is currently completing his dual MBA/MSF. Kira and Hayden are enrollment advisors for Northeastern University’s online MBA. Their role today is to help perspective students throughout the applications and admissions process. Let’s get started. I’m going to hand it off to Kira to talk a little about the School of Business. Go ahead, Kira.
Kira Nguyen: Thank you, Angela. Good afternoon, everyone, my name is Kira, and I’d like to thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to join us today. A brief overview about the university and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts. If you’re ever in town for a visit, I highly recommend a trip to our main campus, which lies within Boston’s cultural district and includes neighboring greats, such as the Museum of Fine Arts and Symphony Hall. The D’Amore-McKim School of Business was founded in 1922 and built on Northeastern’s long-standing reputation for experiential-based learning, scholarly research, teaching excellence, and innovative curricula.
We are accredited by the AACSB or Association to Advance College Schools of Business, which is the hallmark of excellence in business education. We take pride in our professors who, first and foremost, are prominent business leaders within their respective fields and are also acclaimed PhD-level scholars and educators who provide students with essential tools for achieving success in today’s ever-evolving business world. Our graduates will gain global access to Northeastern’s alumni network that expands over 200,000 members and a network of 40,000 business school alumni from different disciplines.
There are also active alumni chapters in major cities around the world to provide even more opportunities to network with business professionals, not only in your region, as well as those from around the world. Today’s competitive business world requires leaders not only to have a solid grasp in core functioning areas, such as finance and marketing, but also to have in-depth specialized knowledge in a given area. Our curriculum enables students to select from a wide array of elective courses to graduate with either a general MBA, or an MBA with a single or dual specialization. Selections of specializations include healthcare management, finance, marketing, innovation entrepreneurship, sustainability, supply chain management, high-tech management, and international management.
Students will move through the program by enrolling in one course at a time and still be on track to complete the program within 24 to 27 months. If breaks are required, students may have up to five years to complete the degree. Now, the small group structure consisting of 16 students per cohort promotes effective classroom interaction, as well as enable greater student support by dedicated instructors who are assigned to each cohort. Our instructions all have real-world international business experience and work closely with professors and students to achieve learning objectives. The entire program is delivered online, allowing students maximum flexibility, as they’re able to access the course content at their own time and space.
Students have full control of their schedules and are able to use their time effectively, as they work to accomplish learning objectives and deadlines. While the program can be conducted entirely online, and residencies are not required, students may choose to attend optional residencies that are available yearly, either on campus or overseas, through the international field study program. As mentioned earlier, one of the core strengths of Northeastern’s MBA program is the breadth and scope of our course offerings, which include 13 core courses and an extensive list of elective courses for students to choose from when deciding their specialization tracks.
You may achieve a specialization by taking three courses in a defined subject area. Since there are five elective courses to complete for the program, you may choose a different area for the remaining two courses. There are also many opportunities to achieve a dual specialization, by taking only five elective courses, if one of the elective courses qualifies towards two subject areas. For example, if you’re looking at a dual specialization in marketing and international management, a course that’s common to both of those specializations would be the international marketing. Now, for students currently in the finance industry and those wishing to enter the industry, a dual MBA/MSF degree may be an option to consider.
Online MBA students who are close to completing their studies may be able to take on four to seven additional courses to earn the MSF as a dual degree, provided they maintain good academic standing. The number of additional courses required for the MSF component of the dual MBA/MSF, or the Master of Science in Finance program, is dependent on whether a student elects to specialize in finance within his or her MBA. If that is the case, then only four additional courses are required. If not, up to seven courses would be required. Now back to Angela. I believe you have some poll questionnaires for us.
Angela LaGamba: Yes, I do. Thank you very much, Kira. I would like to get our audience involved in today’s presentation. What we’re asking our audience to fill in is a poll asking what are your concerns about starting an online program? We have a couple of options you can choose from. Is it the unknowns of the online classroom? Perhaps it’s that time balance between school and your other obligations. Maybe it’s having what it takes to succeed, or it might even be around the financial aid. If none of those answers suit your particular situation, feel free to fill in the other category and just provide an explanation. We’ll be providing more of a response during our Q&A session.
I’m going to move into our student graduate roundtable session right now. Feel free to continue filling in the poll located on the lower right-hand side of the screen. I’m going to be bringing in Dr. Hitomi Ohkawa, Stephen Galgay, and Brad Roubitchek onto the line to talk to us about their experience in the program. One of the first questions that we usually get is around the career and educational background of students in the program, usually around if they’re a good candidate, and also what kind of career or educational background they need to fit into the program. I’m going to bring Dr. Hitomi Ohkawa onto the line to talk a little bit about her experience in the program around the career and educational background. Go ahead.
Dr. Hitomi Ohkawa: In my case, I started as a scientist in the pharmaceutical industry. That’s my educational background. But over years at my company, I got into increasingly more and more into management positions. In that sense, I really wanted to expand my background to cover business aspects or management aspect. In that sense, this program, MBA program, seemed to really offer really good additional education, expanding my horizons, and it turned out to be really a good experience for my career interests, and also educational background, in terms of really expanding it and giving really a solid background for management positions. Thank you.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Hitomi. I’m going to hand it over to Stephen now to talk a little bit about his experience in the program and his background. Go ahead, Stephen.
Stephen Galgay: Hi. My educational background is liberal arts. I actually graduated from Northeastern with a history degree way back when, and then have since moved into more of a medical degree background. To answer the first question, who’s a good candidate for this program, I really don’t think you need to pigeonhole yourself with your educational background. I think it depends on the person. The prime candidate for this program is a self-starter, someone who can be given a tremendous amount of leeway to get a project done and get it done. That’s how I look at it. As to the second question, I think because of my background, my work background in management, I’ve been able to really drive myself through this program. That’s about it.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Stephen. I’m going to hand it off to Brad now to talk a little bit about his background, as well. Go ahead, Brad.
Brad Roubitchek: Great. I think a person that would fit really well into this program is really, like Stephen said, anybody that is able to manage workload on their own and motivate themselves. I’ve been in classes – I’ve been fortunate to have a little bit of a business background coming into the program, which has helped me out quite a bit in classes, like finance and accounting, but I’ve had classmates and people within our groups that have had zero background in those types of fields, and they’ve done just as well. The more important, really, feature, is that they’re able to keep up with the coursework and be able to follow through, motivating themselves, not relying on a brick-and-mortar setting to keep them at pace.
I think that going back, looking at my career, what’s put me in a good position is having the ability to maintain relationships through a remote setting. A lot of the positions I’ve been in in the past, we’ve done a lot of remote conferencing and project management, not in person, but really, over the Internet or over phone calls and things like that. A lot of that has been transferrable into the program so far.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Brad. The next section that we have for our panel today is to talk a little bit about the program and the curriculum. A lot of times, we get asked by perspective students what makes this program different from other business programs, and also what makes it stand out when they’re looking to make a decision around their MBA. Another question that we get asked quite frequently for Northeastern University’s online MBA, are the specializations, so what options you have to choose from and how you make that decision. I’m going to hand it off to Stephen to talk a little bit about the program and curriculum and how he experienced that in the classroom. Go ahead.
Stephen Galgay: When I decided to pursue an MBA, I was actually looking, originally, at getting a degree in healthcare administration, but found – I’m from the Boston area, in case you can’t tell by my accent. I found that all the colleges and universities that were offering that degree were all – you had to attend class. That doesn’t work with my lifestyle. I have a wife; I have a children; and I work a tremendously long day. Actually attending class really was not in the cards for me. Then someone suggested that I look at Northeastern – which was kind of funny; I was at a Northeastern hockey game when someone told me this – and it’s all online. That’s what really made me stand out for me because it is self-paced. I can work a long day. I can come home. I can sit in my office and do my coursework. I’m not tied down to attending class at 7:00 at night, like a lot of peers do in Boston.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Stephen. I’m going to hand it off to Hitomi, now, to talk about her experience in the program, as well. Go ahead.
Dr. Hitomi Ohkawa: I think for me, also, online format was basically, practically the only option, due to my busy schedule professionally, and also in a private sort of environment, too. I did look up different online MBA programs. What really set this program at Northeastern apart is that first of all, I knew Northeastern University. I’m based in, actually, East Coast, but I did my graduate school 20 plus years ago in Boston. I knew Northeastern’s really a good university. The other thing that stood out was flexibility compared to other programs, so I could really tailor when I start a program, based on my work schedule. I think, also, specialization that was described earlier.
I’m in pharma biotech industry, so a specialization in healthcare management to really expand understanding around a medication drug development was really very attractive. I think the last thing I just will mention is the residency. I actually participated in an on-campus program for one week last year, which was really, really beneficial for me to just have this face-to-face experience. It was good that it’s not required, but to have that as an option was really great. Thank you.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Hitomi. I’m going to hand it off to Brad to talk about his experience in the program. Go ahead.
Brad Roubitchek: There was a couple of things right off the bat that I tried to meet through the Northeastern program. First of all, I’m living in Chicago. Over the course of the last five years or so, it seemed jobs continued to migrate towards the Coasts. For me, in the Midwest, I just felt that it would be really beneficial to develop some East Coast relationships and get to meet some people outside of my natural region, just in case career would take me in that direction, I’d have some contacts. The actual Northeastern program really stood out from the rest for a couple reasons. One was because while you only take one class at a time, you still are taking three classes per semester.
In the past, when I was looking at other schools, based on family and work commitments, I couldn’t commit to more than, really, one class at a time. In a normal school, that’s going to take five years to finish. Where at Northeastern, while you do one class intensively at a time for five to six weeks, over the course of a semester, you’re finishing three classes, which keeps you on track for a normal, I think, 18 to 24-month graduation time. Then, also, the opportunity to pursue a dual degree, for me, has been really beneficial.
One of the worries going into the program was I going to get the MBA degree and then have to go back, at some point, for my field, and do more of a technical degree, or do a CFA or things like that. The ability to do the MBA, as well as the MS in finance, together, really makes me feel like I’ve taken care of both those requirements, and now I’m in a better position for my career going forward. Thank you.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Brad. Hitomi, you talked a little bit earlier about your decision to specialize in the healthcare area for the online MBA. One of the follow-up questions from our audience was what specializations our other panelists had chosen. Stephen, I was wondering if you could maybe describe a little bit about your process around deciding on the specializations for your program?
Stephen Galgay: I’m also in the healthcare specialization, but I’m pursuing a dual specialization in finance, as well. I’m not sure if I quite understood the question, why I picked it? I picked healthcare because I’m in the healthcare industry now. With all of the changes that are happening inside of the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry is a leg up on the competition to move forward professionally. Thank you.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you. Let’s move on to the next section for our panel today, where we talk a little bit about time commitment. Some of you have sent in questions around the time, what hours it looks like per week when you’re doing the coursework or you’re interacting with the professors. What I’m going to do is start with Brad. Brad, maybe you could talk a little bit about how you found the time commitment in the program and maybe share some tips or recommendations on how you were able to find that balance with your schoolwork, and also other obligations. Go ahead, Brad.
Brad Roubitchek: Sure. When I was comparing the online option and comparing what it would take time wise for me to get in and out of the city to go to school, I was looking at probably an extra four to five hours a week of commute time. Right off the bat, I feel like I’ve picked up that time that I can immediately add to my studies versus traveling back and forth from school. For each class, it’s different as to the time commitment, I’d say, anywhere as little as ten hours per week up to 15 to 16 hours per week has been pretty average to get all of the coursework done. Most classes combine aspects that you can do live with recordings of those.
There could be a scheduled time to have a discussion with the professor or with the teaching assistant; there’s always a live time to do that, but at the same time, if schedule doesn’t allow it, you’re always able to go back and watch those recordings, and then you can always send questions regarding the material at a later point. I’ve been able to balance the time for myself with the other things I have going on because I can start schoolwork whenever I’m ready to do it. I don’t have to be somewhere at a specific time. If I need to wait until the kids are in bed or I’m home from school or whatever else is going on, there’s the flexibility to do that. While it cuts down on your sleep a little bit, the flexibility is something that isn’t necessarily found in other programs.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Brad. I’m going to hand it off to Hitomi now to talk a little bit about the time commitment. Go ahead.
Dr. Hitomi Ohkawa: I was also in sort of the same position, having a family and more than full-time sort of a workload at my company. I also find it’s about 10-15 hours a week to commit to actually studying and really working on the program. It’s true that online format really eliminated a need to commute and really to be able to plan study time around other commitment, which was really helpful. I think it was really helpful, also, for me to be able to get an idea of a workload for upcoming classroom or student advisor ahead of time, so that I could customize a schedule around my work schedule. It did help for me to talk to my family and have some plan for the next course.
I actually tried to come up with a weekly plan for studying after I got to know the schedule. It was really helpful to have one class at a time, in that sense, because I could focus on that and come up with a study plan for the coming week. It is a challenge, but for me, what got me going was really this was really interesting sort of a subject. I really wanted to pick up what’s going on in healthcare management, in particular with all the changes that are coming up. It’s a lot related to drug development, medication management. Actually, that helped me manage a time commitment. Thank you.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Hitomi. I’m going to hand it off to Stephen to talk about his experience managing his time in the program. Go ahead.
Stephen Galgay: Thank you. I think that the time commitment, on average – and Hitomi and Brad have spoken to this – is about 15 hours, give or take. It depends on the class. You will find that some classes come much easier to you, so you’ll spend less time on them. Then you’ll get classes that are much harder. Then you’ll obviously have to spend a considerable – more time preparing yourself for those classes. The flexibility of the program – everybody has spoken about it over and over again – allows you to find those hours at your pace. You’re not tied down to attending a class at a certain time. I do a lot of studying in the morning because I tend to work late morning into the late evenings.
Weekends tend to be devoted – at least one day of the weekend tends to be devoted to schoolwork. Having a family, it is tough because there are multiple pulls on your time. That’s where it gets back to being a self-starter and budgeting I need to spend X amount of time in school, so I can spend a day with your family. I’m in a class now where my wife hasn’t really seen me for the last three weeks because I’ve been buried in – trying to get my footing in this class. But it’s one of those things that you will find on your own. You’ll be able to strike the balance because Northeastern’s program allows you the flexibility to find your own balance. Thank you.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you. We are getting quite a few questions from our audience members. I encourage you to continue sending those in. We almost have 80 people in the audience with us today. We will be addressing those throughout this session, and also the Q&A at the end of the webinar. Moving on, let’s talk a little bit about the online learning environment. I think this is one of the biggest questions that we get around the interaction, the networking with students and faculty, what it’s like to learn online. How do you use that technology to your advantage when you’re in the classroom? What we’ve done here is we’ve grouped these questions together, since they’re around the online learning topic. I’d like to bring Hitomi on the line to get us started, just talking about her experience with the online learning portion. Go ahead, Hitomi.
Dr. Hitomi Ohkawa:Compared to my previous graduate program experience 20 plus years ago that was certainly on campus. It was very different from this face-to-face classroom experience. It is, by definition, passive, but technology certainly helped. There’s a really good tool to actually facilitate learning. Typically, both instructor and professor for each class had weekly virtual office hours. Unfortunately, with other commitments I had, I couldn’t often make it, so I had to listen to the recording. Those office hours cover weekly materials with general topics in the domain of that subject matter.
What I found really helpful was whenever I studied and had a question, I send my questions to email the instructors or professors. I think with all the classes I took, they’re very, very responsive and provided what I needed to know or just had interactions, sort of an email exchange. That really helped with studying. Certainly, it is different from a face-to-face classroom experience. Thank you.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Hitomi. Want to hand it off to Brad to talk about his experience in the online classroom. Go ahead, Brad.
Brad Roubitchek: Sure. The technology platform that Northeastern uses is really phenomenal. It’s gotten better each semester. It seems like they’re upgrading the capability and giving us more tools to use to succeed in this platform. Pretty much each class has got an opportunity to have a live discussion with the professor and with the teaching assistant per week, and then also, there’s multiple discussion chat sessions with students that almost each class required on a weekly basis, as well. One of the things I was worried about going into the program was how it was going to handle – how the front end would handle group projects and group work.
For classes that do have a group component to it, they give each group – you get your own separate chat room, a place to log in, a place to post documents. Then utilizing those tools, along with just setting up conference calls through people’s work, it’s worked out really well. I think somebody mentioned before, the online provides a lot of flexibility, but the one thing that it just it just forces you to stay on task and keep to a schedule. It requires you to be a little bit disciplined, but if you have those capabilities within you, all the tools are there to make it definitely doable.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Brad. I’m going to hand it over to Stephen now to talk about his experience with the online learning platform. Go ahead, Stephen.
Stephen Galgay: I’m just going to reiterate two points that were made because I think they were really great. The platform that Northeastern uses really facilitates the online program. I had an experience with online learning, not out of Northeastern, that was not anywhere near the caliber of what is being offered through Northeastern. The live video feeds for the classes that were done by your lead professor or your TA are phenomenal. You’re able to view the recordings. Brad touched on the part where for group projects, there was a dedicated section for your group, which was a big concern of mine because group projects online, you’re thinking how is this ever going to work with everybody spaced either across the country – in one case, I had multiple team members that were global.
One person was in China, and the other person, I want to say, was in London at the time. The thing that Hitomi touched on, and I think it’s really true, is that all of the faculty that you deal with are very responsive to your questions, either during a live session or in an email. I have not had – I’ve not been given a response to one of my email questions that was more than probably 18 hours old. Professors go out of their way to email you a response, get in touch with you to make sure that you really understand the material. It has made all the difference in the world. Thank you.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Stephen. Let’s move on to the final question for this round table – we do have a dedicated Q&A – around future career goals. How did you find this program – how was it relevant to your career path and goals? Why don’t we start with you, Brad. Go ahead.
Brad Roubitchek: Sure. I’ve recently kind of entered the job market, after getting pretty close to completing the program. It was interesting. People were very interested to know how the program went and how an online program works. It was important to point out how it’s similar, but also the additional skills that you grab from being in this type of atmosphere. I always pointed out that the accreditation is huge. I think if you look at a lot of the online degrees out there, not a lot of them have that AACSB accreditation; whereas, Northeastern does. I think that’s key, and I always point that out as one of the most important things about the program. I’m happy to say that a couple months ago, I actually got a new position. I’m pretty sure that having the degree almost finished definitely helped me out in that search.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Brad. I’m going to hand it off to Stephen now to talk a little bit about his future career goals. Go ahead.
Stephen Galgay: I really think that having the healthcare management finance degree is going to certainly help me moving forward, as I try to move up the ladder in healthcare management. Already, at my work, I’ve been coordinating with other departments about trying to do more, instead of department-specific, health center-specific tasks. I’ve already seen that I’ve been given more and more responsibility because – especially as I get closer to completing my degree. I think that once I do get the degree, it will only help me moving forward. Thank you.
Angela LaGamba:Thanks, Stephen. I’ll hand it off to Hitomi to talk about her career goals, as well. Go ahead.
Dr. Hitomi Ohkawa: In my case, before even I started MBA, I was thinking about a new career path doing more management consulting, after more than 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry. Really, in that regard, doing this MBA program really helped really thinking about options in a much more realistic business sense. Actually, I decided to pursue that independent management consulting career really based on a more solid basis, in terms of thinking of business demand, financial aspect, my ability, planning. It is true when I mentioned a scientific background, as well as MBA from Northeastern, it does get really a lot of attention. It does produce opportunities. I’m really appreciative of that – this opportunity to do this program. Thank you.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Hitomi. I encourage our audience to continue sending in questions. We will be getting to more of those during our Q&A. What I’d like to do at this point is bring Hayden on to the line to talk about the admissions guidelines for the Northeastern University online MBA. Go ahead, Hayden.
Hayden Jones: Thanks, Angela. Hello, everyone. Good afternoon to you. Now that you’ve heard from past and current students in the program, what are the admissions requirements that you must satisfy to become a student in the program? They’re pretty straightforward, pretty simple. We require that you have an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution, with a GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0, minimum. Now, we also require that English be – you be fluent in English. There’s no GMAT requirement, and we also require that you have five years of full-time professional work experience. Looking at the slide, let me just read this definition, and I’ll get back to it in a second.
Five years of demonstrated professional experience in participation and leadership of work teams, financial and/or budgetary responsibilities, and management of staff in a direct reporting relationship. Wow, that’s a mouthful. Professional work experience – there’s work experience, and there’s professional work experience. Having someone report to you – and that can look many different ways. You can train someone. You can have a structure where you actually have – you are a manager, or you have people reporting directly to you. Also, as long as you’re there to motivate other employees, that also counts as professional work experience.
If you have anywhere between four and five years of full-time professional work experience, I encourage you to speak directly with your enrollment advisor. It doesn’t automatically disqualify you if you have less than five years of work experience. Just like the GPA, depending on – and how many years of work experience you have, as well, just because it’s below the 3.0, it doesn’t automatically disqualify you from being admitted into the program. Now, if you have any other questions in regards to the admissions requirements, of course, reach out to your individual enrollment advisor. Angela.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Hayden. What we’re going to do now is get our audience involved again. What we’d like to hear from you is what types of webinars you’d be interested in attending in the future. You can find the poll located on the lower right-hand side of your screen. Feel free to take a few moments to fill that in. While you’re filling in the poll, we are going to move into our question and answer session. I encourage our audience to continue sending in those questions. We will be addressing those now. Starting with our student graduate panel, one of the questions that has come in from our audience is around the dual MBA/MSF programs.
Stephen and Brad, you had mentioned that you’re either currently in the program, or you had completed that dual program. I’m wondering if you can maybe speak a little bit about how you made the decision to pursue that and how you found that experience? Brad, why don’t we start with you?
Brad Roubitchek: I’d mentioned before, my goal in the program was not only getting the MBA to get the management side of business, but also, I wanted to get the more technical math finance master’s degree, as well. That was one of the things that attracted me to Northeastern was the ability to do both of those with a lot of those classes, crossing over between the two. My emphasis in my MBA is in finance, so I did the shorter version that you had discussed earlier. It really only took me four extra classes to get that second degree. Then you still are required to do two other elective courses, and I’ve done those in entrepreneurship, so it still does give you some exposure into one of the other fields, as well.
It’s worked out really well. The finance gets pretty high level, but one of the other good things with this program was the topics in finance that you can go into, there’s quite a few different areas that you can investigate through coursework, I think everything from the healthcare stuff, like we’ve talked about, all the way to you can do a course in investment banking. There’s quite a few things you can look into and get into and really get a feel for a wide range of topics. It’s worked out really well.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Brad. Stephen, how did you find the finance portion of the program, and how did you make the decision to pursue that? Go ahead.
Stephen Galgay: When it was time to pick a specialization, the advisor that you’re given – I think that’s a point that should be driven home to these people. You’re given a person to talk to pretty much on a 24-hour basis with problems in the class. These people will check in on you occasionally to make sure that everything is going well. My advisor who called me had said, “Because you have done well in your prior finance classes, you may want to consider doing a dual specialization with finance.”
It never had even occurred to me, but I thought – when I mulled it over, I thought that it would really broaden the scope in my appeal for employment going forward, and it would also help understanding the nuts and bolts of the healthcare industry because so much of it is driven by finance. As Brad said, the finance classes that you take tend to be very high level. These are the classes that I have really found to be the most challenging because I didn’t have a background in it, so I had to kind of learn it on the fly, but have found them to be amazingly helpful in my career path.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Stephen. The next question that we have is for Kira and Hayden. The question is around financial aid. What type of financial aid is available for prospective students if they are within the United States, but also for international students, as well? Go ahead.
Hayden Jones: Hi, this is Hayden. We have FAFSA, federal financial aid available to the program. That is about the only financial aid that we have, and that’s in the form of student loans. That’s available for residents or citizens of the U.S., nothing for international students. I’ve heard that there are other forms of financial aid out there, not specifically from the institution. We can provide you with a financial aid link. It’s up to the individual to go ahead and use that link to do research and find out if there are any other possible financial aid out there available to them.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Hayden. The next question that we have is for our student panel. One of our audience members wanted to know what it’s like networking online with your fellow peers and how you adjusted from going, perhaps, from a face-to-face type program in your undergraduate degree to that online environment. Hitomi, why don’t we start with you?
Dr. Hitomi Ohkawa: It really depends on the class. I think I have had a really good experience with group projects, group assignments. Somebody mentioned before the technology platform really supports – really provides everything from file sharing to chat on demand within the tool for group projects. I think people in this program I worked with for group project, they’re all motivated and really contributed. I really have to say I haven’t had a problem, actually, with non-participation in that regard. It was very lively interactive discussion to come up with an assignment on time, with a very tight timeline.
I would say I did not really experience a disadvantage of not having a face-to-face with a group project. In general, it is true, you really have to be disciplined, especially since you’re not in a classroom physically, to really keep up with the assignment, keep up with a weekly schedule of a class. Tools are there, professors to help out. I found in all classes I took, classmates are very responsive and interactive in, for example, an online discussion or forum. Thank you.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Hitomi. I’m going to bring Brad onto the line to talk a little bit about his networking experience with his peers. Go ahead.
Brad Roubitchek: Sure. Most of the relationships start out through the course. It’s just important to note everybody that signs up for this program knows what they’re getting into, so everybody is more than willing, from what I’ve seen, to work through an online situation and work through a remote relationship versus actually being face-to-face. I’ve been in a number of groups and one’s worked better than the next. Everything from – maybe some group projects can get done just through email, or others require file collaboration or multiple conference calls or using the tools through the Northeastern front-end program. Everybody that I have worked with has been more than accessible when needed, and it’s worked out really well.
Through the course of however many courses you need to take, you’re going to start to see some of the same people over and over again, just as normally you would in a brick-and-mortar situation. You’ll start to have online conversations with them through groups or through discussions they require through the course, but then you’ll also get in touch with these people. You’ll see them from course to course. It would be almost impossible not to develop some relationships over the course of time. I’ve made contact with a couple people that got – that were working on the dual degree, as well, so we had multiple courses in common. It’s been really interesting, and it’s been helpful, too.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Brad. The next set of questions that we have is for Kira and Hayden. The question is around the tuition for the online MBA and if the tuition differs for the dual MBA/MSF degree. Go ahead, Kira and Hayden.
Kira Nguyen: Thank you, Angela. With regards to tuition, the program itself – now, this is just the MBA program with a specialization – it’s going to comprise 50 credits. There are 18 courses. The current rate per credit hour is $1,385.00, so the total program cost is going to be $69,250.00. Northeastern will bill students on either a course-by-course basis, or if they’re using financial aid, then it will be billed on a term-by-term basis. If you’re going to be using the course-by-course structure, you can expect tuition for the average course to be around $4,155.00. Now, there are no other fees to worry about, except for textbooks, which will range about $150.00 to $200.00, depending on your course.
Nowadays, a lot of publishers will have their textbooks available as e-versions, so you can get textbooks for a lot better price, usually 50 percent at a discount price. But it also depends on your preference if you want to keep your books for future reference. If you would like to have more detailed information regarding tuition and a breakdown, please feel free to reach back to one of your advisors. Thank you.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Kira. The next set of questions that we have is for our student panel. The question is around the coursework, itself. Many of our audience members were asking what types of work you would expect within the courses? Is it group work some of you mentioned? Are they individual assignments? Do you need to do exams at the end of each course, and how does that typically work? I’m going to bring Stephen on the line to explain a little bit about how that’s worked for him in the courses. Go ahead, Stephen.
Stephen Galgay: Thanks, Angela. It depends on the class, pretty much, just like a brick-and-mortar university. Classes are different. Some classes will require group projects; others will not. Some classes will have final exams, and they vary. One class, my final exam, you opened it up online, on the platform. You had four hours. It was a timed exam. Others, it’s open ended. It’s not timed at all, finish it at your leisure. Some people require you to submit papers or spreadsheet projects. I think about half of the classes that I’ve taken have required group work. Like Brad said – and this is the real world, too – some groups work better than others, and that will be reflected in your grade. That’s pretty much – it depends on your class. You can’t really say that every class will be a final exam and a mid-term in one paper. It depends on the class. Thank you.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Stephen. The next question that we have is for Kira and Hayden around the resources available to students in the online classroom around career services, and then after graduation, alumni services. I’m wondering if you could talk a little bit more about that. Go ahead, Kira and Hayden.
Kira Nguyen: With regards to the resources available to students, you will be given your student ID, so while you’re a student, as well as alumni. All of you who are alumni, your alumni cards are available. You just have to get in touch with the registrar’s office to obtain them. You would be able to use your alumni card, your student ID. Whenever you’re in town, all of the resources/facilities are available. You also have access to an online world-class library for your research purposes, or just for your own leisure use. As well, career center services are available to second-year students. If there’s any kind of recruitment opportunities, feel free to make yourself available for that.
If you need to have someone take a look at your resume, they’ll be happy to assist you with that, as well, or interviewing techniques, things like that, they will work with you. But again, it is for second-year students. In terms of alumni network mentioned earlier, we have a very strong alumni network, both globally and within the Boston area and Massachusetts. Overall, very active chapters. You can certainly tap into the alumni network and be in touch with people and just expanding your horizon. It does make for very good social, as well as professional networking.
Male Speaker: can I add one thing to that?
Angela LaGamba: Sure, go ahead.
Male Speaker: I just want to let – for the online recruiting and the ability for people outside of the Boston area, I just received an email yesterday, I think it was, that there’s going to be an online event where it’s kind of like a career fair. It gave students not in the area the opportunity to submit their resume with a cover letter and offer that to get placed in the stack. I think they compile a book of potential candidates for these positions. There is opportunity for people outside of the Boston area to be included in these opportunities, which is great.
Hayden Jones: Along with what Kira mentioned, I would just like to also add that within the program, itself, the demographics of student population, it’s very high caliber. While in the program, we do – any of the panelists can respond to this, as well – you have access to business people, business professionals from all across the country. We highly encourage networking while in the program, as well. Remember, you’re going to be doing group projects, discussions, and buddying up with some of these professionals. You have an opportunity to show who you are, bring something to the table, and who knows what or where it would lead to or it can lead to.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Hayden. The next set of question that we have are for our student panel. Some of the students were very interested when you mentioned the residency, Hitomi, and your experience of going through that on the Boston campus. One of our audience members was wondering if you could just maybe briefly describe that residency requirement. It is optional, for those listening in, but I’m just wondering if you could describe that a bit more and how you made the decision to attend that residency? Go ahead, Hitomi.
Dr. Hitomi Ohkawa: In my case, this was something that I was opportunistically interested in when I started the program, but it really depended on my work schedule. Fortunately, when I was looking at the one residency program and the schedule, I was able to actually have time to have sort of a long week in Boston to attend it. This was – the way the residency program was structured, it basically offered two subjects, really concentrated in this one week. You were able to get a credit in a shorter time if you could attend this residency, which was actually a good factor for me, too. I was able to actually meet students that I interacted online for other classes previously.
This was really great to meet those people I knew online before, as well as the professors. You have a chance to interact with faculty members, be on campus. You have a card. You have a student ID card, so you get to the library, study there, just experience programs on campus. If your schedule happen to work out, this is really a great opportunity. Thank you.
Hayden Jones: I would just like to add something additional. Hayden, here. The residency is available to you after you’ve completed a minimum of three courses in the program. It’s not just restricted to the Boston campus. We do have two other satellite campuses in North Carolina and in Seattle, Washington. That opportunity is available at those two locations, as well.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Hayden. The final question that we have for today’s webinar, before we wrap up, is around graduation. Since this is an online program, many were wondering if they could attend graduation. For our graduates, I was wondering if you could maybe talk a little bit about your decision, if you attended graduation, and how you found that experience? I’m going to start off with Brad. Go ahead.
Brad Roubitchek: I’m graduating in May. I’m finishing up my last class right now. I plan on going to the on-site graduation, looking forward to it. I know classmates of mine in the past have gone, as well, and they’ve enjoyed the opportunity to get to the university and see the campus and enjoy getting away for the weekend.
Angela LaGamba: How about you, Stephen?
Stephen Galgay: I have to go, to be honest. My mother has already told me that if I don’t go, she’s going to whack me upside the head, but I’m from the Boston area, so attending the graduation is not really that big of a deal for me. It will be interesting to walk in a cap and gown because back when I graduated from Northeastern, we graduated from the old Boston Garden, so it’s going to be kind of – it’s going to be different to see how we graduate this time around.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Stephen. How about you, Hitomi?
Dr. Hitomi Ohkawa: I actually graduated last year, in August. Myself and my family came up from New Jersey to attend the graduation. The fantastic thing about it is there’s no separate graduation just for online students. You are attending graduation for MBA program. It was really fantastic experience cap and gown after 20 plus years was really something else, and then have my family with me there. It was really just great feeling, great experience overall. Thank you.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Hitomi. That is all the time that we have for today. We are asking our audience for feedback in the poll. How did you find today’s session? You can give us your feedback. It’s on the lower right-hand side of your screen. I wanted to really thank our panelists today, Brad, Stephen, and Hitomi. Thank you very much for talking about your experience in the program and just giving our audience a lot more to think about as they go through their application process, and also to Kira and Hayden, thank you for sharing what those guidelines are, so it’ll help them through the process.
For those of you that want to listen to this session again, it is being – it has been recorded. It will be available on the website. If you have any follow-up questions, feel free to reach out to your assigned enrollment advisor by phone or email. Again, I wanted to thank you, everyone, for participating in the Northeastern University Online MBA Student Graduate Spotlight webinar. This concludes our session, and have a wonderful day, everyone.
This faculty spotlight begins with a brief background of Professor Bolster and then presents a comprehensive look at financing, the finance courses offered at Northeastern, an expansive look at our Online MBA curriculum, the online platform, and concludes with a valuable Q&A.
Evelyn Liougas: Thank you for joining for us the Northeastern University’s MBA Faculty Spotlight webinar. My name is Evelyn and I will be your moderator for today. Before we begin I would like to go over the logistics of this presentation and address some common questions. To cut down on background noise you are in listen-only mode, so you can hear the presenter but they cannot hear you. If you have any questions during the presentation, just type your questions in the chat box of the right window of your screen and hit enter. Please feel free to ask your questions as you think of them, but note that all answers will be held until the end of the presentation. As well, a question that is commonly asked is if this presentation will be available on line for review. Within the next few weeks you will receive an email letting you know when the recording is available on our website.
The panelists for this webinar will be Paul Bolster, Professor of Finance and Insurance; Tay Doan, Enrollment Advisor, and myself, Evelyn, who will be your moderator. Professor Bolster, I’m sure the attendees of today’s webinar are interested to learn more about your background. Tell us a bit about your educational background.
Paul Bolster: Sure, I’d be glad to. I received an undergrad degree from a little tiny college, Bowdoin College, up in Maine, and that was quite a while ago. And then I went back and got a couple of graduate degrees from Virginia Tech, an MBA and a PhD in Finance, and that sort of set me on the path to be an academic in finance.
Evelyn Liougas: Tell us one thing that you personally like about Northeastern.
Paul Bolster: Gosh, just one. I guess one of the things that I like about the place is that there’s really, from a professor’s point of view, there’s a really nice balance or emphasis between research and teaching, and what that means is that it allows us to have a very practice-oriented curriculum. Our research is really designed to help practitioners make better decisions in finance and elsewhere, and the business community certainly. And also it’s – from a student point of view, from a classroom point of view – there’s a lot of orientation towards practitioner use. So it’s a practical place but it’s rigorous at the same time.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. I would now like to turn over the presentation to Professor Bolster. Professor.
Paul Bolster: Sure. Let me just tell you just a little bit more about myself. As I mentioned, I’ve been at Northeastern for quite a while right now. Most of the faculty, not all, but most of the faculty, particularly those who have been here for a few years like myself have also had some real world experience either before we became academics or one of the things that is not unusual is for us to have opportunities to consult. I just mentioned a couple of major organizations that I’ve consulted for in the past, such as Apple. So you see a lot of faculty who have had these kinds of experiences over the years as well.
We’re also expected to be serious academics and we’re expected to do academic research and to produce publications in top level journals, and these are just a few of the recent publications that I’ve been involved in. I’ll just take a quick peek at that second one. I don’t know if any of you know who Jim Cramer is. He’s sort of this loud brash guy that’s on television every night talking about what’s going on in the market and making recommendations about individual securities. And a colleague and I have done some considerable research on his record as a stock picker.
But as you can see here, I’ve looked at a number of different areas within the area of finance and I think it’s not just me. I think if you were to look at the resume or the vitae of a marketing professor or a supply chain professor or anyone else, (break in audio) disappoint you. We’re pretty active in terms of our publications. And our publications also have some real world relevance.
And in terms of my teaching and research interests, I’m primarily focused in the areas of investments and portfolio management. And I’ve done a little bit of teaching in the past in the international finance area as well. In terms of research, in addition to those four sample publications that I put up there above, I think one sort of broad theme that I can draw around my research is that it does look at how does new information, what is new information, why does some information affect security values more than others and why should we care when new information hits the market? So there’s a variety of ways to slice and dice that big question.
And we’ll move on now to – here’s one course that I teach in the online MBA program and this is an elective course, so by the time you get to my course you will have taken one other course in finance, and you’ll certainly have taken a number of other courses as well. But this is an elective that’s been quite popular among students going through the MBA program.
So probably the big overriding issue that we talk about in this course is risk, and obviously in any finance course it’s going to be a major theme that we’re going to address. So in this class we not only look at risk, but we talk about why is it important, how do we measure it, how do we manage it? How do we know if we’re managing it effectively? So there is a quantitative dimension certainly to the investment analysis classes or most other classes in finance.
And what else? We also talk about how financial markets work. You’re all familiar with the major stock markets. For example, in the United States like the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. You’ve certainly heard these terms before. We talk in this course a little bit more specifically about how these markets work, how they process trades, why this is relevant, how different measures of overall stock market performance, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index, are created and why some of these indices are better indicators of what the market’s doing overall than others.
What else? In this class, one of the things that I have students do is you work in a small group and you construct a portfolio, and you manage this portfolio over the course of the relatively short period of the course itself. But it gives you a little bit of a feel for what it’s like to be exposed to market risk. And, obviously, you don’t get to choose whether the market goes up or down during the period in which you’re managing this portfolio with your colleagues, but you do get to make choices within that portfolio of what the objective is, what kinds of securities you think would be appropriate to hold up that objective, and how you want to trade securities in and out of the portfolio based on criteria that you developed as a group.
We also – another big thing that we do in this course is we build models to value stocks, bonds, and other financial assets. It turns out stocks are kind of hard to value. It doesn’t mean that we can’t try. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try, but a lot of what we do in this class is try to come up with models that seem to be reasonable ways to look at the benefits of a stock or a bond, for that matter, or another financial asset, will provide to the owner, going up in the future, and how we can model those future benefits and then how we can come up with a present value that would represent the price of those future benefits. And things like risk and how financial markets work, so ____ those model construction techniques.
So these are some of the big themes within the class, and certainly there others. I’d be happy to answer any questions that are specific to this class if you wanted more info. But the other thing that I think might be useful for you folks is the pedagogy that you’re going to be exposed to within this course and within courses in general. And one of the nice things I think about the MBA curriculum online is that you’ll see a variety of pedagogy that will vary from class to class. Some are super high-tech, some are moderate high-tech, but mostly use a mix of different pedagogies, such as the ones that I’ve got listed here.
I’ve got a bunch of small video clips introducing lessons on a week-to-week basis. I have notes imbedded in my assignments that will explain topics with some detail and also give you some links to the real world so you can take a look and see what markets actually think about some of the things that we’re talking about within the class. There’s spreadsheet stuff, there’s some animated graphics that we use just to keep things interesting, alive.
There are also practical exercises that I have in my course that students have to do on a weekly basis. There’s a discussion that occurs once a week, and that’s sort of an ongoing thing. It’s a discussion board. For example, one of the discussions I have in my class in one on short selling, which is essentially a way of making money by making a bit of a bet that the price of individual stock is going to go down, not up. And one of the questions is this ethical? Is it appropriate? Do we need this kind of option to make financial markets run properly? So we have discussion around that. That’s one of the weekly discussions. There’s one for each week.
There’s also an online office hour. I held mine between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time last night, in fact. I had a significant portion of my class I’m currently working with attending that office hour. Office hours are held sort of for a fixed time each week and typically there’s not a mandatory attendance requirement. The office hours are also recorded, and it’s a great benefit if you can drop by. If you can’t drop by for everyone, certainly if you can drop by for some of them and engage in discussions and engage in some of the presentations that I’ll make off the cuff, or your professor will make off the cuff during this one office hour per week.
The other thing that’s useful to mention at this point, I think, is that it’s not just that one hour of access that you have per week for the professor, but you’ll also have the opportunity to interact with the professor and other instructors that are associated with the administration of the course on a much more regular basis.
I mentioned there’s a group project in my class where the students will develop a portfolio objective, construct a portfolio around that objective, and manage it throughout the brief period of the course, and then write up a final report on how that portfolio performed. That’s one project. We also have a stock valuation project that’s done as a group. The group picks a stock and does a fairly detailed valuation of that stock and decides whether it’s a stock that’s worth buying, or not worth buying, in a particular point in time. And then, finally, I’ve got a couple of exams in my class. Some classes have exams, some classes do not. They use other ways to evaluate you. This particular class has a couple of exams imbedded in it as well.
So I think overall it’s a rigorous course. There’s a lot to do. There’s a fair number of deliverables. On the other hand, while it’ll keep you busy, while it’ll keep you moving, I think it’s doable. In other words, it’s a grad level class and I think those of you that are sort of tentative trying to decide whether this is something for you or not, there is a fair amount of work involved, not just in my class but in each class that you take in the program. It is pretty intense, but on the other hand, there are hundreds, thousands of students that have gone through this path before you here at Northeastern. It’s tough, it’s rigorous but it’s certainly something that you can achieve if you set your mind to it.
In this list – this gives you a sense as to the kind of career paths, and I’m sure some of you have already embarked on career paths within some of these categories and subcategories. So I won’t go down this list one by one, but this is just to give you a sense of the kind of careers that we feel like we’re training you for here or helping you to move along in this particular point in your personal development program.
The other thing I think a lot of people coming into this program are doing is changing careers. Maybe you’re in finance and you’d rather be in marketing. Or maybe you’re in a management job and you wanted to move into something like supply chain. You want to do something more specific in that phase of business. And certainly this is a great opportunity for someone to sort of cross-train and learn something about these different areas as well, and maybe make that jump from one industry to another or to just further your own interest in a particular industry where you think you want to hang your hat.
A couple of things – here’s just a couple of broad questions that I was asked to speak to. The first one is certainly an important one. What is the future of the industry or profession look like? The simple answer would be it’s going to look a lot more like this online MBA program that it is like a – sort of an on the ground MBA program that represents sort of the past and current status of most grad education right now.
But we are going to need to interact with our colleagues in a very different way. Most, if not all, of you are using social media. You’re on Facebook, you’re using Twitter. You’re certainly using email. If I go back ten years, or certainly 15 years, these kinds of communication modes were nonexistent. What else? Our offices are becoming more and more mobile now. We spend less time in our offices, and that’s a trend that I expect will continue going forward. Our office will presence will be a less important part of our overall job, at least for most of us.
What else? One of the advents of social media, and essentially just living in a vastly more information-rich world, is the information available for business decisions are overwhelming. So part of what we need to learn to do is to figure out what information is important and what’s less important, how to find the information we need, and how to process it effectively. So those are the kinds of things. It’s probably not all that different than business has ever been, but now we have so much access to so much information that it can be very overwhelming. So it’s important to know how to break that down into what we need versus what we don’t need.
Further, I think there’s going to be more focus on advanced training, such as certifications. A number of my students – obviously they’re going for their MBA. Some are going for their MSF degrees as well. But there are certifications programs. In finance there’s the CFA certification is one. I’ve got a number of students that are working on as well. I think that these certifications are going to become more important and more valuable going forward.
And, finally, this is all being driven by technology, the availability of technology, and the advancement of technology. So we’re going to have to manage that more effectively going forward. So we’re all going to be more high-tech. We’re going to all be more mobile going forward. That’s what our industries and professions are going to look like.
Now, how is our curriculum designed to sort of bring us along that pathway? Well, the MBA is very broad-based in the major disciplines. So you’re going to learn – even if finance was the only thing you were really interested in. When you come into the MBA program you’re going to learn a lot about a number of other disciplines as well. That’s important to a degree like the MBA and it’s important to a graduate business degree for someone who wants to remain in an industry or maybe isn’t sure which industry they want to end up in. It’s important to know what the other functional areas are for, how they interact with the functional area that I’m most interested in at a particular point in time. So it’s critical to know what colleagues in other areas how they think, and how they model business decisions and what kind of influences they bring to the table.
Our online format, as I mentioned before, and I talked about my course, it allows for flexibility. We can speed things up, we can slow things down on the fly. I can move sort of boxes of material around from one week to the next if I have to. But generally speaking, it allows us to meet students’ needs on a somewhat flexible basis.
The other thing that’s important is that instructors and professors aren’t going to be that hard and expect – if you have a particular traumatic issue in your life or if you have a project blow up on you in the office, obviously there’s not a lot of time that we can flex with situations like that, but those do come up and we try very hard to work with individual students to keep you productive and to work you around those blips in the road.
So you’re going to have very good interaction with your instructors. Instructors, professors like me, and the instructors you’re working with as well typically do have a practice orientation. They work in industry. They’ve got some experience working as college level or university level instructors as well.
Your peers. You’re going to find that the cool thing about this – and this is something that I think a lot of students don’t really appreciate. You figure you’re in an online program and you don’t expect it to be – you just don’t think about the interaction as being as long-lasting as it might be with an on the ground program where you’re actually sitting in classrooms for hours at a time and have face-to-face contact with your peers.
But what I note is that a lot of students who have come through my class, who have gone through the online MBA program, retain these contacts and I’ve heard anecdotally about students hiring one another or students pointing one another toward career opportunities. So it’s not only a way of helping you to be a more efficient team member, but it also is a way of networking in a way that’s got a long-lasting effect.
As I mentioned earlier, the technology employed varies from course to course. Some courses have more bells and whistles than others, but they all are really pretty tech-rich, I think. I think you’ll find that. The course content is relevant and fresh. I know I’m updating my content every time I teach this course and I’m looking for new materials to segue into the course. It’s a very full box already so I have to decide sometimes whether new improved content or new topics I’d like to squeeze in there can pay the rent, so to speak, because they’d have to bump something else out of the course. But I think that’s typical of most of us that develop these courses over time is we want that content to be relevant and fresh.
And then finally, you get the opportunity to develop a specialization. I think we’ll talk a little bit more about this on the next slide but with a small group of electives you can actually develop a specialization within a particular area, and that will give you sort of an additional leg up when you’re trying to pitch yourself as having expertise in a particular area of interest to you. And there are dual specializations possible as well.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you, Professor. And now we’d like to conduct our first online poll. The first question is what concerns you most about starting an online program? A poll should have popped up on the right side of your screen. Please take a moment to select your answer. I will share the results with you in a few minutes. And now I would like to turn it over to our enrollment advisor, Tay, who will discuss the specifics of the MBA program. Tay.
Tay Doan: Hello. Thank you very much. Hello, everyone attending the webinar. So just to go over the program overview. So we do have eight different areas to specialize in, which you can see here. So you have finance, supply chain management, health care management, high technology management, innovation entrepreneurship, international management, marketing, and sustainability.
So the program is a part-time accelerated program so we only allow you to take one course at a time. If you go through the program without taking any breaks, you should complete the program in as little as 24 months. We do understand, however, sometimes you have family obligations, work obligations, so if you need to take a break you can do so, and in doing so you have up to five years to complete the program.
The program is 100 percent online, so there is no requirement to come to the campus for whatever reason. However, we do offer optional residencies. So we have the international field study and campus residencies, again, optional. Please reach out to your enrollment advisor for more information pertaining to the optional residencies. Now you’re dealing with the instructors, professors that have real-world business experience, so you’re learning directly from them within the program.
Now, we are going to talk about the dual specializations that the Professor mentioned previously. Before we get to the information here, I wanted to explain how the specializations work. So the 50 credit hours will break down to 18 courses. So you have your 13 core courses and your five electives. If you were to choose any five electives from the eight different areas of focus, you will graduate with just the general MBA. If you decide that there’s an area that you would like to specialize in, such as finance, out of the five electives you need to choose three, minimum of three, electives in finance. The other two electives can be within any other area and you’ll graduate with the general MBA and a finance certificate.
The dual specialization allows you to complete an MBA with two areas that you are interested in or two disciplines. So for example, let’s say you’re interested in finance and operations and supply chain management. What you can do is pick up an extra elective so you’re completing six electives total to receive a specialization in both finance and operations and supply chain management. Now what you’ll see here from this list, you’ll see a combination or a pair of specializations which will allow you to receive a dual specialization by only taking the five minimum elective. The way you can do this is some of the elective courses will fall into two categories. So, for example, if you are interested in finance and international management, there is an elective course that falls into both the finance and international management specialization. So this will count towards both so you essentially can receive an MBA with a dual specialization by taking only five electives.
Now we go with the dual degree program. This option should not be confused with the dual specialization. So this is a full MBA as well as a full Master of Science in Finance. So essentially what will happen is you will need to complete an MBA with a specialization in finance. In doing so you are eligible to participate in the dual degree program which allows you to take an additional minimum of four electives up to seven electives to receive a full Master of Science in Finance. So this is in addition to the MBA with a specialization in finance.
Now just to go over some of the history about Northeastern University, the Business School. We have the D’Amore-McKim School of Business which was established in 1922 and is internationally accredited through the AACSB, which stands for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Now this is the hallmark of excellence in business education. The D’Amore-McKim School of Business was able to achieve this because of its scholarly research, excellence in teaching, and innovative curricula. You’ll find that our professors and instructors will have PhDs, Masters and real-world experience in the disciplines they teach. This provides teaching based on industry standards whereby you are able to apply what you learn in the program to what you’re currently doing or industries you would like to move into. Being part of the D’Amore-McKim School of Business students will have the opportunity to network with over 200,000 Northeastern alumni as well as the over 40,000 School of Business alumni.
So in order to qualify for this type of program we typically look for candidates with at least a bachelor’s from an accredited institution and a minimum of 3.0 GPA. Now if you find that your GPA falls just below 3.0, that doesn’t mean that you’re disqualified from applying to the program. The admissions committee will review all applicants on a case-by-case basis. So they’ll take into account when you received your degree, the type of degree you have, and the type of work experience you have. Now we typically look for a minimum of five years of professional work experience as well. Essentially if you have a bachelors and a minimum of five years of experience you do qualify to apply to the online MBA program and your enrollment advisor will work with you in order start building your application portfolio.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you, Tay. Before we proceed to the Q&A session of this webinar, we’d like to conduct one final short online poll. The question is what types of webinars would you be interested attending in the future? Program information, B. Application process, C. Student or alumni spotlights, D. Faculty spotlight, E. A particular industry topic, please specify, or F. Other, please specify. Once again please take a moment to select your answer. I will share the results with you shortly.
I would also like to let everyone know that the D’Amore-McKim School of Business also offers the following online business programs: The Master of Science in Finance, a Master of Science in Taxation, and a graduate certificate in supply chain management.
We would now like to begin the question and answer period. And just a quick reminder, if you have any questions, simply type in your questions in the chat box on the right hand corner of your screen. First question is for Professor Bolster. How many hours per week would you estimate that a student would spend on this course?
Paul Bolster: Okay, that’s certainly a fair question. I guess what I tell students when they ask this question, and I think this generally becomes the expectation, is you need to find a way to budget about an average of two hours per day for this class. And that may sound like a lot and it is. We use that entire block of time, maybe not, but this is generally what I would advise students is to find a way to block out the equivalent what would be 14 hours per week. Again, you may not need all that time. In fact, students in my class report to me that they’re probably closer to between ten and 12 hours a week of work necessary, and remember you’re just taking one course at a time. So again, that’s no small commitment on your part. And certainly maybe my two hours per day won’t be sufficient for some folks or some particular weeks, but my objective is to try and keep the workload at least that reasonable. And students to this point, they scream a little bit once in a while but overall they seem to think that they can handle that work load. And that’s obviously going to vary from course to course.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you, Professor. Next question, again for the Professor, can you describe the profile of students – age, what their backgrounds are in terms of how long they’ve been working, et cetera?
Paul Bolster: Sure, I can tell you what I know. Obviously, I don’t find that out about every student, but the students that I do get to know a little bit better over the course of the course, I would say the typical students in this program is probably somewhere late 20s, early 30s, But I know for example right now I have a student who is – she’s materially older than older and so we do have mature students in the class as well.
But I’d say the bulk of them are probably right around that high 20, low 30 age bracket.
Students in the courses I’m teaching – and I teach both in the MBA program and in the MSF program. So in my finance elective I find a lot of students who are in the finance industry already. So they’re working for State Street Global Advisors, they’re working for Fidelity, they’re working for in some cases maybe Morgan Stanley or Goldman. They’re maybe in some kind of a private wealth management setting where they’re trying to get this credential to make themselves more astute and also more attractive to potential clients. But I think that you’ll see a lot of people who are in a large corporate environment but also those that are in a smaller environmental and they’re trying to credential.
I know the last time I taught the MBA version of my investment analysis course I had – I remember I had a student in Alaska who was working for a non-profit. I had a student in Indonesia who worked for a manufacturing company, and I had students in the Boston area also who were working for financial services firms. So it’s a broad mix and you’ll have the opportunity to know your student peers in significant detail if you choose to make those interactions.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Tay, this next one is for you. How much longer does it take to complete the dual MBA/MSF degree?
Tay Doan: If you’re looking at the minimum four electives, you’re looking at five weeks per course. So I would say if you go through the program without any breaks, 24 to 27 months for the MBA and then add an additional six months for the extra four elective courses.
Evelyn Liougas: Also for Tay, are there any types of scholarships and how are the awards given?
Tay Doan: Okay, so there are no scholarships or grants available for the online program unfortunately. When you mention the awards, what are you referring to, which awards?
Evelyn Liougas: I guess to deal with any scholarships, but I think you answered that when you said that there are no scholarships available, so great. Next question – I think this one’s for the Professor. Would the innovation and entrepreneurship specialization be appropriate for a long-time independent IT consultant to grow his one-person business into a larger operation?
Paul Bolster: I think it would be extremely appropriate. That would give you a lot of flexibility in terms of how you – it covers a lot of the basics about setting up a business plan and how I might execute a business plan, and I would think that coming from a one-person organization and wanting to grow that, that would be a particularly useful place to – way to focus your education.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. The next one’s for Tay. Are all courses recordings or are they live? Or how is the material delivered?
Tay Doan: Most of the material is delivered in text format. You’ll have some PowerPoint presentations. There will be some pre-recorded video which you can view at your leisure, but there’s never a time for you to be required online at a specific time. So therefore we don’t have any live video sessions or live conferences other than the optional live chats that the Professor mentioned earlier as well as the instructors. So that will be twice a week.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Professor, this one’s for you. How similar is this program to the full-time MBA offered on campus?
Paul Bolster: Okay, it’s fairly similar. It’s a different program. It’s different in terms of – the content is edited differently, it’s presented differently. So it’s qualitatively different. But in terms of the contact, in terms of the types of courses you would be taking and the way the curriculum is built – it was a curriculum that was designed to essentially to cover all the bases that we cover in the full-time, on-the-ground MBA program. So, I think that the on-the-ground MBA program actually has a few more credit hours required to complete the program itself. And, obviously, there are some advantages associated with moving through with a cohort and being on campus many hours a day and having those opportunities to contact professors and peers. But there’s also a significant cost associated with that and not many of us can afford those costs anymore in terms of time or money.
So, I think this course really develops the best elements, the best intellectual and, again, practice-oriented elements that we have built into the full-time program, preserves those and delivers them very effectively in an online format that I think is, again, for many people is preferable. For even more people is really the only way to manage both their ongoing career, your other obligations in your life, and to get a degree that’s going to put you that much farther ahead.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Next one is – let’s start with Tay. Can you elaborate more about what’s involved in the international field study?
Tay Doan: With the international field study, this is typically offered in the summer. There is a waiting list so it is important that if you are interested in attending the international field study that you register for that right away. So you have the opportunity to travel to one of four places including India, China, Russia, or South America. You will be there for ten days. You’ll be there with other students, the professor, and you’ll work with certain companies within those areas. So very good opportunity for that face-to-face interaction.
Evelyn Liougas: Can you talk a little bit more, also, about the on campus residencies?
Tay Doan: Okay, with the on campus residency, this is a five-day intensive program. So you’ll come to the campus and they offer it at different times throughout the year. It’s not anything that we have readily available in terms of information, but you will receive emails in regards to upcoming on campus residencies. So, again, five days, once you complete the five days you will be awarded three credit hours, which is equivalent to a five week course. This goes to the same for the international field study. You will be awarded three credit hours, which is essentially equivalent to a five week course.
This is a comprehensive Q&A with graduates covering topics from enrollment decisions, workload and work/life balance, and the interactive nature of the technology platform used to deliver the Online MBA. If you’re still trying to decide if Northeastern University has the right Online MBA for you, watch this webinar.
Evelyn Liougas: Thank you for joining us for Northeastern University’s student spotlight webinar. My name is Evelyn and I will be your moderator for today. Before we begin, I would like to go over the logistics of this presentation. To cut down on background noise, you are in listen only mode. So, you can hear the presenters, but they cannot hear you. If you have any questions during the presentation, just type your question in the chat box in the right window of your screen and hit enter. Please feel free to ask your questions as you think of them, but note that all answers will be held until the end of the presentation. As well, a recording of this session will be available on our website in the next few weeks.
The panelists for this webinar are Michael Barthman. Michael Barthman is the president and founder of MB Technology LLC, a manufacturer’s representative and consulting company focused in the electronics components industry. Prior to founding MB Technology, Mike focused several successful companies such as iparts.com and Eager Labs, Inc. Previously, Mike was director of accounts management in Central Europe for applied materials. From 1988 to 1999 he was European sales manager for chips and technologies. Mike has also held several senior sales positions including director of North American sales for Samsung semi-conductor, national distribution sales manager for Hitachi America and regional manager from Fairchild Semiconductor. Mike holds a BBA in accounting and finance and an MBA from Northeastern with a dual specialization in finance and international business management.
Crystal Jackson. Crystal is a logistics business systems professional with expertise in domestic and international supply chain components, including materials management, production planning and distribution, utilizing SAP R3 system to optimize business processes. Crystal earned a BS degree in chemical engineering from Hampton University in 1992. She then began her career as a production engineer for about seven years. In 1999, she changed careers from engineering to information systems and worked as a system analyst for another nine years. Crystal then moved to London, England with her family in 2007. She began the MBA program at Northeastern in 2010 and finished late in 2012.
Also we have enrollment advisors who work with prospective students for the Northeastern online MBA, the masters in finance, the masters in taxation and the graduate certificate and supply chain management program. The advisors are Tay Doan and Moumita Chakra. In addition to myself, Evelyn, who will be the moderator for the webinar.
Before we move into the student spotlight section, Tay would like to share some information with you about the online MBA and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business.
Tay Doan: Hello everyone. Thank you Evelyn. So, again my name is Tay, I’m the enrollment advisor for the online MBA program. So, we’re just going to jump right into it. In order to complete an MBA through Northeastern’s program, you are required to complete 50 credit hours which essentially breaks down to 13 core courses and five electives. Now, you have eight areas that you can specialize in which include finance, supply chain management, healthcare management, high technology management, innovation entrepreneurship, international management, marketing and sustainability. Now out of your five electives, you need to choose a minimum of three electives in one of these areas, two optional that you can choose, which would allow you to complete an MBA with a specialization in one of these areas.
Okay, so the program, it’s a part-time accelerated program. We only allow you to take one course at a time. IT moves along relatively quick, but you can complete the program is as little as 18 months. Now, we understand you may have career, family, very demanding lifestyle. So, if you need to take breaks, you can do so and in doing so, you have up to five years to complete the program. The program is 100% online. You’re never required to come to the campus. With that being said, the degree that you receive is exactly the same. So, it doesn’t state that it’s an online program. No one, your employers will not know that this is an online program for any company that you may be applying to. There’s no difference whatsoever. So, the professors and the instructor in the program are the same one that teach the on campus program and these are individuals that are, essentially, have real world international business experience.
So, you have an opportunity to dual specialize within this program. Now, this can be approached in two ways. So, essentially with your five electives, as I mentioned previously, you need to choose the minimum of three electives in a certain area. What you can actually do is complete an MBA with a dual specialization by completing six electives. So, let’s say you’re interested in operations in supply chain management as well as sustainability. So, you take three electives in operations in supply chain management and three electives in sustainability, so you’d graduate with a dual specialization which makes you a lot more marketable.
Now, what you’ll find here is that some of the elective courses that we offer do overlap. So, you do have the opportunity to complete an MBA with a dual specialization by taking the minimum five electives. So, you see a list here of the different specializations that you can complete with taking the minimum five electives. For example, you can complete a dual specialization in healthcare and finance by taking the one healthcare finance elective. So, that will meet the requirements for the dual specialization program or the MBA with the dual specialization.
So now we discussed the dual degree program, which is different. Don’t confuse this with a dual specialization. This dual degree program allows you to complete a full MBA as well as a full Master of Science in finance. Now the way this works is a little different. Essentially, you would need to complete an MBA with a focus in finance first. Once you near the end of this program, you will have the eligibility to apply into the dual degree program. This allows you to take an additional minimum four finance electives after your MBA to receive a full Master of Science in finance. So, you have the option to take between four and seven electives beyond your MBA. And then with this Master of Science in finance you can focus on investment finance or corporate finance. So, a lot of individuals in the finance industry will take advantage of this program because you will receive a full MBA with a specialization in finance and a full Master of Science in finance.
So essentially the school that you will be receiving your degree, or the department you’re looking at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. So, just to give you a bit of background information, the school was established in 1922 and it is internationally accredited through the AACSB, which stands for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. This is the hallmark of excellence in business education.
The D’Amore-McKim School of Business was able to achieve this because of its scholarly research, excellence in teaching and innovative curriculum. You find that our professors and instructors will have PhDs, masters and real world experiences in the disciplines they teach. This provides teaching space on industry standards where you are able to apply what you learn in the program to what you are currently doing, or any industries that you’d like to move into. Being a part of the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, students will have the opportunity to network over 200,000 Northeastern alumni, as well as the over 40,000 school of business alumni. Thank you Ev.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you Tay. And now we’d like to conduct our first online poll. The first question is what concerns you most about starting an online program: (a) unknowns about the online classroom environment and technology; (b) finding the time and balancing school with other obligations; (c) if I have what it takes to succeed; (d) whether I can afford it or qualify for financial aid; or (e) other, please specify? A poll should have popped up on the right side of your screen. Please take a moment to select your answer and I will share the results with you in a few minutes.
We will now move into the student spotlight part of the webinar. I would like to direct this first question to Michael. Michael, from your perspective, who is a good candidate for this program, and how has your career and educational background made you a good fit for this program?
Michael Barthman: Well that’s kind of a far reaching question, but the type of person that does best in this environment, in my opinion, is somebody who is accustomed to work as a self-starter, a person who is self-disciplined and somebody who has the focus on the end objective to graduate through the program. The program’s a very intense program. It takes a lot of personal commitment in order to get through it successfully.
And people who have families who have work commitments, who have other outside commitments, have to get a buy in from all of their associates that they’re going to be committed to this program and it’s gonna take a lot of time. I would say that particularly involves people’s spouse. So, if your wife or your husband is not behind you and supports you in this program, it’s doubtful you’ll make it because it takes a tremendous amount of work and focus.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you Michael. The next question is for Crystal. From your point of view, what makes this program different from other business programs and what made this program stand out for you when you were choosing a school to pursue your degree?
Crystal Jackson: Hi, everyone. I really can’t speak to what makes it different to other business programs. What I liked about the Northeastern program was that it was completely online and that I did not have to be online at a certain time, because I actually live outside of the country, I live in London, England. So, it really worked for my environment where even though I missed – I would not be able to do some of the chat sessions. I was able to always go back and review. So, it was the flexibility mostly that really attracted me to the program along with the reputation of the school. I’ve talked with quite a few people in looking for opportunities back in the U.S., and Northeastern stands out as a top business school.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Michael, do you have anything to add to that?
Michael Barthman: No, not really. I think Crystal captured the essence of the school. I live on the West Coast, I live in California, so there’s a lot of opportunities to select different schools out here. There’s Stanford and Berkley and St. Mary’s and all kinds of schools out here that offer online programs, but when I went through my search of different schools, Northeastern was one that really caught my attention because of the quality of the school, the richness of the program and the technology that it uses to deliver the program. I was very impressed and that’s why I made that selection.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you Michael. The next question is for Michael. Michael, tell us about how you were able to balance school with all of your other obligations.
Michael Barthman: Well, I covered a little of that earlier. I think people have to come to grips with the fact that this is going to take at least 20 hours a week of work. Don’t forget these are programs that are normally taught in two and a half to three months in the ground school. And they’re condensed depending on the class in anywhere from five to seven weeks or eight weeks online. And understanding that that’s the case, you have to recognize that there’s a tremendous amount of work that comes at you with a lot of reading, tremendous amount of reading.
So, I think when I discussed this program with Evelyn earlier this webinar, I told her that when I finally graduated I had no idea what I was gonna do with my weekends anymore, because I spent all of them with the reading. So, it’s a lot of commitment, that’s all I can tell you. But it’s so worth it when you go through the program. You learn a lot. You get a lot of tools that you can apply to your business life and just looking back on it, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Crystal, do you have anything more to add to that?
Crystal Jackson: I think he summed it up perfectly. It’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of time that you have to commit to the program. But it’s worth it. I found it to be such an enrichment to my education and I think that – it works. You’re able to find that time, although it sounds like it could be almost too much, you’re able to find the time. Sometimes I would wake up at, I don’t know five in the morning and do some reading before I would go to work or I’m doing schoolwork late in the evening hours after my kids have gone to bed and I kind of just – you just kind of get in a rhythm of getting it done. And so it works, it’s a lot of work, but you can do it.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Next question is – we’ll start with Crystal. Crystal, how does student faculty interaction occur in the online courses, and what was it like to learn online?
Crystal Jackson: Okay, so for the student and faculty interaction, it’s mostly the service that uses the Blackboard to interface with the school and to set up the program. And it was mostly through emails that you would interact with your instructor or the actual professor if needed. And also, there were scheduled chat sessions that were held, usually in the evening hours for people who at that time worked as well.
So for me, when the chat sessions were happening I was actually asleep, but I was able to always go back and review the chat sessions. I think even now, one of the last classes that I took, the chat sessions weren’t just typing, they were actually verbal sessions that the professor was having or the instructor was having with the students. And it’s kind of held where it’s with your cohort, so that you may have 15-20 students in that actual section on the class that you’re taking with the instructor.
And I really like the learning online. As Mike mentioned, it really requires a lot of discipline, but it gives you so much more information. When you’re sitting there listening to lectures, you’re able to sometimes get some information out, but this program, I found it to always challenge me in that you were always required to write discussions and also respond to discussion questions with other classmates.
So, when I think about the brick and mortar, the traditional learning environment at school, I think that this one is a much more challenging environment, because as long as you kind of show up for a class, the instructor may or may not call on you. But you’re there and you’re kind of getting credit for being there. Whereas with this online program, you have to participate. There’s no question about it and your participation is key into your learning. And the participation that the other students are doing also helps to bring about a new learning experience.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. The final question is for Michael. Michael, how relevant is this program to your career path and goals?
Michael Barthman: Well, I’m in the consulting background and when somebody’s in the consulting business, it’s very important to, in your relationship with clients to be able to – first of all, be credentialed at a level that they respect. So, just from that alone, the credential of having the MBA in finance in international management was very helpful for me to gain new clients.
But beyond that, there’s a whole toolkit now of things that I have that I learned in the program that I can use in various assignments. When I consult on business development and I have to do some financial models or I have to look at proforma income statements. I have to look at forward looking analyses and backward looking analyses and make recommendations and so forth, I have a great depth of information to draw on. And of course I have my library of books from taking the course that I can always refer to get the information, most specifically when I need it.
So, I think there’s just – you’re way beyond self-enrichment. There’s the practical aspects and practical value of the program and its application to my business. And I think anybody who goes into finance to gain tremendous amount of benefit from this program, particularly if you’re going to take the MSF, which is the additional courses in finance. I decided to use my electives to take five finance electives. And I gained a tremendous amount out of it.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Crystal, how ‘bout you? How is this relevant? How is the program relevant to your career path and goals?
Crystal Jackson: I would say very similar where I work more on the information system side of business, but what I’ve noticed in my career path is that it’s the one that – it had been the one limiting factor whereas when I’m comparing myself to my other colleagues, a lot of them at that point in my career, had advanced degrees. And so what I see – actually what I’m seeing now in the market is that you kind of have to even have an MBA to enter the game. So, it’s an expectation. It’s not gonna differentiate yourself a lot from the other folks that are there.
But I think one of the things that I liked about this program is that it takes a lot of real life situations so that I know that there were times when I wasn’t employed I found it actually a bit harder to do the program and completing some of the assignments because they really want you to use real life situations, real world scenarios to solving problems and applying some of the methods and tools that they’re giving you using it in real world scenarios. I know I went back and just kind of as information, we did 36 case studies in the whole program. So, it was like you were just reviewing not only the companies you were working with, but tons of other companies as well.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Thank you Michael and Crystal. I would like to now turn it back over to Tay who will talk about the application requirements for the MBA.
Tay Doan: Okay, so in order to qualify for this type of program, we typically look for individuals with a bachelor’s from an accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale and a minimum of five years of professional work experience. So, we’re looking at experience and participation and leadership of work teams, financial and/or budgetary responsibility and management of staff in a direct reporting relationship.
Now, these are just guidelines. If you find that maybe you don’t need these guidelines, if your GPA falls below a 3.0, maybe a 2.7, 2.8. Please don’t let this be a deterrent to you. The admissions committee will review all candidates or applicants on a case by case basis. So, they will look at other factors. So, I invite you to speak with your enrollment advisor to determine whether or not you are an eligible candidate. The application process you’re looking at $100 to apply into the program, three professional letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, updated resume and official transcripts from all institutions attended.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thanks Tay. We will now conduct our second, before we move into our Q&A session, I’d like to conduct one final poll. The question is what types of webinars would you be interested in attending in the future: program information, the application process, student or alumni spotlight, faculty spotlight or a particular industry topic, please specify, or other, please specify.
So the poll should have popped up on the right side of your screen. Please take a minute to select your answer and I will share the results with you in a few minutes. We would also like to let you know that in addition to the MBA, the D’Amore-McKim School of Business also offers the following online programs: a Master of Science in finance, a Master of Science in taxation and most recently a graduate certificate in supply chain management.
We would now like to begin the question and answer period. Just a quick reminder if you have any questions simply type in your question in the chat box on the right hand corner of your screen. So, the first question, I’m gonna direct this one to either Michael or Crystal, how many hours should I invest in coursework per week?
Michael Barthman: I’ll take that one. I mentioned earlier, I think it’s closer to 20. I think the school says it’s between 10 and 20. I think it’s on the higher end. There’s a lot of reading. Keep in mind, this is exactly the same course you get when you go on the ground school. The books are exactly the same and the curriculum is exactly the same. So, you really do have to put in about 20 hours a week. There’s no getting around it.
Evelyn Liougas: Okay. Next one is for – I’m gonna direct this one to Crystal. Are there group projects? If so, how do I communicate to others in my class?
Crystal Jackson: Definitely there are group projects and the group kind of decides how they want to communicate. Some may do it in conference calls, some may do it through emails. And it really depends on what the group project is. Whether or not it requires a conference call. It’s kind of like your real world scenario. If you’re doing something that you’re needing conversation. If you’re doing something where you need face to face or you need to talk then you’re gonna set up a conference call. But if it’s something that you can do by passing emails back and forth, then it works that way as well. It really just dependent on the class and the assignment.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thanks Crystal. The next question is for Tay. Do you need to take any entrance exams for this program?
Tay Doan: There are no entrance exams required as long as you qualify and you’re able to get your application in. Once we present the application to the admissions committee, if you’re accepted, you just start right into the program.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. The next one is for the graduates, Michael or Crystal. Do you find that employers treat the online degree the same as the conventional degree?
Michael Barthman: I’ll let Crystal handle that since I’m in my own business.
Crystal Jackson: Well, there’s really no way to actually distinguish that whether or not you’ve done an online program or a brick and mortar program actually from anything. So, I think it’s actually thought a bit higher. I remember speaking to a guy who’s actually a law professor at the University of Maryland and he was hesitant about the program, about teaching online until he actually did it and he was like wow it’s really intense. And I think as you go through the program you will see that it’s really an intense program and I think employers can actually – well, I mean I think they will respect the fact that you’re doing a program, you’re taking a class that’s normally a 12-week at least, 12-14 week class and you’re condensing it into seven weeks, five weeks sometimes.
So, it’s a lot of work. It’s seven days a week for five weeks where you’re really just pounding in the work. And I think that really requires a lot of discipline. Even as I’m looking at jobs, that type of discipline is the type of discipline that is required of the MBA online program are the same characteristics that they’re looking for when they’re looking for employees for some of the jobs I’m looking at.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Tay, this one’s for you. Will I be able to use my military veteran tuition benefits?
Tay Doan: Yes, you may use that. We actually have the contact information for the on campus VA. So, I recommend that if you are going to apply to the program, reach out to your enrollment advisor. Your advisor will provide you that information to reach out to the on campus VA to determine which benefits you are entitled to.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. This is a great question for both our graduates since they are in different time zones. Did you find issues with coordinating time zones?
Michael Barthman: I’ll give that one to Crystal since she has the most severe difference.
Crystal Jackson: There were definitely some challenges with the different time zones. But we worked around it and it was also – again it fit the real world scenarios where if you’re working in a multi-national corporation you’re gonna have people –. Over here in London I was working at Apple Europe. So, we would have to meet with people in Cuppertino, California and we would have meetings at maybe 6:00 our time so it was 9:00 their time. And that kind of scenario was happening with the classroom assignments as well. So, a lot of times it may be that it would be late my time or it may be very early for someone else. It just really kind of depended on everyone’s schedule, but it was definitely something we worked around.
The one class I took, I think it was an economics class and there was a guy who was in Arizona and I was in London and we would have conference calls at 6:00 in the morning his time so it would be – it was very early for him. But that was an extreme case. It was usually just kind of a late night for me since it was – I was kind of the odd ball out.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Next one’s for Tay. What are the costs associated with the program?
Tay Doan: Well, the current tuition is $1,345 per credit hour. That is going to increase to $1,385 in August. So at 50 credit hours, you’re looking at approximately $72,000 over the two years. And then add onto that about $3-$4,000 for course material.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Another question for you Tay, how many courses do I take at a time?
Tay Doan: You’re only required to take one course at a time. We actually only allow you to take one course at a time, just because the duration of the courses that move along relatively quick. We understand individuals are working 40-60 hours a week, they have family. So, if you’re dedicating about 20 hours a week towards a course, we really want you to do well in this program. So, in doing so, we only allow you to take one course. They will range from 3-5 weeks and you typically have a one week break before you start the next course.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. This is, again, for the graduates. How do you receive course materials? Are they all online or physical books?
Michael Barthman: Both. The professors in the class produced online material that’s delivered through the Blackboard system. It’s largely interactive and it’s self-teaching. So, you get the opportunity to do that. And you get books that you can buy through the Northeastern bookstore or other commercial outlets that sell college books. The case studies come, pretty much from the bookstore, I think. Some of the ones from Harvard Business you can buy that from Harvard Business Review if you have a subscription, but it’s all through conventional sources.
Crystal Jackson: They also have a lot of books online as well.
So, if you’re one of those people who like to do a lot of online reading, you don’t actually have to buy the hard copy as well.
Evelyn Liougas: Perfect, thank you. The next one is for Tay. So, someone here is expressing concern about just doing the program online. Are there any opportunities for some face to face time?
Tay Doan: Face to face in what regard? I don’t quite understand.
Evelyn Liougas: I was thinking maybe you could talk a little bit about the optional residency and the international field study?
Tay Doan: Oh okay. We do offer on campus residencies. These are optional and this allows you to travel to the campus for five days. So, this gives you the opportunity to interact with your peers as well as your professor. So, that’s an option. Once you complete that five day on campus you will be awarded three credit hours, which is equivalent to a five-week course.
We also offer an international residency. This goes toward your international elective where you will travel to one of four locations including India, China, Russia and South America. You’ll be there for 10 days, and again after this you’ll be awarded three credit hours, which is equivalent to a five-week course.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. The next one is for either Crystal or Michael. What are the majority of assignments like? Projects, papers, tests, a mix?
Michael Barthman: Well, I’ll take that. It’s definitely a mix. I would say that probably the bulk of the work is in assignments that are posted to the discussion board. Don’t be fooled by the relaxed sounding name of discussion board because it’s really a place where assignments are posted and comments are made by other students. It’s where Crystal was talking about before as the alternative to general class participation. But it probably takes the most time.
The assignments are usually done in parallel. They are usually very structured in the – most of the classes, the school does like you to use a typical ATA or MLA format, which is sort of the typical accepted academic structure for producing papers. And the papers involve, depending on the course you’re taking, either research or other computational work and stuff like that. And they’re submitted through the dropbox on the Blackboard system and then they are graded and you receive your grades online.
There’s also exams. It’s not the same for every course, depending on the course you’re taking. The online exams are timed and they’re every bit as rigorous as an exam you would take in a ground school. And there’s homework assignments that you have to do independent of just the discussion boards and other things that you submit through the dropbox. It’s a mix of everything.
Evelyn Liougas: Okay, thank you. Tay the next one’s for you. How do students typically finance their education?
Tay Doan: Students will have a few options. There’s always financial aid available. Upon approval, you can receive up to $20,500 per year for the program. The requirement is that you are enrolled in at least six credits a term, which is equivalent to two courses a term and there are three terms in a year. You can also apply for private loans on top of that, grad plus loans. Some students will have employee reimbursement and let’s see we also have monthly payment plans. This is something that I would invite you to contact the student accounts, student billing to determine what options are available to you in terms of financing.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Next one is for Crystal or Michael. How does the program facilitate gathering real world experience?
Michael Barthman: I’m not quite sure I understand the question.
Evelyn Liougas: I think this person’s interested in not just the theory of an MBA, but how they would actually apply it to their workplace or how they would gain real world experience that they can actually apply.
Crystal Jackson: So, I think one of the strong part of the program is how they use the case studies and using current companies or even past companies as well, but current companies and taking those current companies and doing an analysis on those case studies I think is a very strong real world application. In addition, it just depends on the class, but there was a class I took a strategy in innovation class and we had to develop a business strategy plan for the company I was working for. So, at the time I was working for Apple, so I had to actually come up with how to develop a strategy plan for enterprise growth plan for Apple, which was quite difficult considering their marketplace.
So the program definitely looks for opportunities for you, as a student, to apply these things to your real world environment and having permission from your company of course, but using your company as the base for how you evaluate the tools that you’re using in the program.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Crystal or Michael, did you find the alumni network helpful after graduating with your online degree?
Michael Barthman: I’ll throw that one to Crystal.
Crystal Jackson: I’m actually just finding that there was an alumni network even here in this country. So, I did actually have a social tea with them about a week ago. But I’ve not really had the benefits of the alumni program as of yet.
Evelyn Liougas: Okay, thank you. Tay, what is the typical class size?
Tay Doan: The class sizes you’re looking at between 12-15 students, no more than 20. We try to keep the class sizes rather small so there is more time dedicated to the individual student, so we want to ensure that the professor and the instructor can really manage their time accordingly to provide the necessary tools and support for the students within the program.
Evelyn Liougas: Great, this one’s also for you Tay. What is the work experience required before starting the MBA program?
Tay Doan: Minimum five years. Again, that’s just the guideline. It is possible to apply with less than five years, let’s say three, three and a half years depending on the type of work experience. So, if you find that you’ve advanced within your career relatively quick, this is what Northeastern is looking for. We want leaders in the program, individuals that can come into the program and really show their experience and apply to some of the case studies, as well as teach others within the program.
Evelyn Liougas: Perfect, thank you. This is a good one for Michael. What level of mathematics pre-req skills are needed for the program?
Michael Barthman: Well, that depends on the specialization. I think if you’re going to go into finance, you should have a really good basis in statistics and probably some basic level calculus. I think being nimble with math is important, particularly when you’re working in finance, you have to understand the relationship between different numbers and different types of equations.
I don’t wanna minimize the importance of it and a lot of people kind of grimace when you say mathematics, but this is an advanced degree in a very rigorous discipline. And I think if you’re going to master it, you should come with the tools that you need to do it and I think a good basis in statistics and at least minimum of elementary calculus is probably needed.
Evelyn Liougas: Okay great. Next one is for Tay, if I don’t have the required work experience, could I take a test, for example like the GRE or the GMAT to be considered for the program?
Tay Doan: Unfortunately we don’t accept the GRE. The GMAT, we cannot use that to subsidize any type of work experience. If you’ve already taken the GMAT at Northeastern we may take that into consideration, but unfortunately not – they are strict insurance of the type of work experience that they would like a candidate to have, as well as their academic background.
Evelyn Liougas: We have time for a couple more questions. The next one is for Tay. What is the average time that a typical graduate takes to complete the program?
Tay Doan: Students will typically take about – if you consider their lifestyle they will take some breaks. The average student will complete the program between two and a half to three years.
Evelyn Liougas: Perfect, thank you. The next one is for the graduates. Do I ever have to come to campus?
Michael Barthman: No. If you wanna go to the commencement, I would recommend that. I’ve done a lot of things in my life and going to that commencement to get my MBA at my stage in life was – I always tell people it was the coolest thing I ever did, so I would recommend it.
Crystal Jackson: I actually didn’t make it because I was out of the country, but I can imagine it would have been really nice. I’ve never been on Northeastern’s campus.
Evelyn Liougas: Okay great, thanks everyone. So, just some closing remarks before we end this webinar. An enrollment advisor will be following up with you over the next few days to answer any questions we were not able to answer. If you would like to contact an advisor immediately you may reach them by calling the number on your screen. This concludes our webinar. Thank you all for your time.
This webinar offers an in-depth explanation of the options associated with our Online MBA, including possible concentrations and the ability to choose a dual concentration. Then we go into a Q&A session with graduates addressing issues such as faculty/student interaction, the optional campus residency and international immersion, how the Online MBA program maintains the prestige of the campus MBA program, and more.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you for joining us for Northeastern University student spotlight webinar. My name is Rita and I will be your moderator for today. Before we begin, I would like to go over the logistics of this presentation. To cut down on background noise, please stay silent on the line. Also, please do not place yourself on hold as the music will disrupt the webinar. If you have any questions during the presentation, just type your question in the chat box in the right window of your screen and hit enter. Please feel free to ask your questions as you think of them, but note that all answers will be held until the end of the presentation. As well, a recording of the session will be available on our website in the next few weeks.
I’d like to now introduce our panelists. We have Brad Roubitchek. Brad is currently in the last six months of the NEU MBA MSF dual degree program. He began his professional career trading futures and options at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. For over 11 years, Brad traded interest rate derivates and foreign exchange derivates, both in the trading pits and electrically using algorithmic trading models. From here, he transitioned into bank treasury, which draws on both the TRE and sentimentals of trading interest rates on an exchange.
Our other panelist Stephen Galgay was unable to make it but we also have Moumita Chakra. Moumita is an enrollment advisor who answers your questions about the program, the admissions process and assists you in assembling your application package. And in addition, we have myself, Rita, who will be your moderator for this webinar. Before we move into the student spotlight section, Moumita would like to share some information with you about the D’Amore-McKim School of Business and the online MBA.
Moumita Chakra: Thank you Rita, good afternoon everyone. My name is Moumita, I’m the enrollment advisor for the online masters of business administration program. So, I’m gonna tell you a little bit about Northeastern first just to get started. Northeastern University School of Business is located in Boston, Massachusetts and has been around for close to 100 years. This program is an AACSB accredited, which represents the highest standard of business schools worldwide. It is internationally recognized and one of the top institutions. Northeastern was the second AACSB accredited school to launch their graduate program online, so it has been around for a while.
The professors teaching the program are Ph.D. level scholars bringing in years of professional business experience. They’re the same professors teaching on campus as well. This program is 100% online and very flexible, which allows you to earn your degree and continue working full-time.
Northeastern University’s online MBA program is geared strictly towards working professionals. So, the majority of the students coming in are working 50-60+ hours a week and a lot of the time they have other obligations to meet, such as family. There are a total of 18 courses in the full program. You begin the program with your 10 core courses and then you have your five electives, along with your three second year core courses. You’ll be completed each course one at a time and they are an average of five weeks long. If you take your courses back to back, you can complete the program in two years, but you do have up to give years to complete the full program so the flexibility is definitely there.
One of the reasons students come to Northeastern University is because the program is asynchronous, which means that there are no specific time where you’ll need to log on the computer. As soon as you begin your course, you will have the full layout with all your reading materials, assignments with deadlines so that you can coordinate it around your professional schedule.
We also have an optional residency and international residency available for students which you can look into while you’re in the program. There are students coming in from all fields of the world since we offer eight different specializations. The specializations include finance, operations and supply chain management, healthcare management, high technology management, innovation entrepreneurship, international management, marketing and sustainability.
And I’m gonna talk a little bit about the dual specializations because you do have the opportunity to do a dual specialization. Here is a list of specializations you can do without taking any additional elective courses. In order to receive a certificate in the specialization you need to take a minimum of three out of five of your elective courses pertaining toward that specialization. There are courses that are shared. So, for example, if you are looking into a finance and healthcare, you will take two courses in finance, two in healthcare and one course will be a mutual course that is pertaining toward both specialization which will give you a dual specialization. The great thing is that you don’t need to make a decision prior to applying. You can make this decision while you’re in the program and completing your ten first year core courses.
If you’re looking into finance, you also have the opportunity to do the dual degree. So, in order to do the dual degree, students need to take between 4-7 additional courses besides the courses that you will be taking for your MBA. The additional courses will depend on the five electives you take in the MBA program. You can also make this decision once you complete your first year required core courses. Keep in mind that you do have to maintain a 3.0+ GPA. Also, you have the opportunity to choose your optional career track by focusing your electives on either investments or corporate finance. Thank you.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you Moumita. And now we’d like to conduct our first online poll. The first question is what concerns you most about starting an online program: (a) unknowns about the online classroom environment and technology; (b) finding the time, balancing school with other obligations; (c) if I have what it takes to succeed?; (d) whether I can afford it, qualify for financial aid; (e) other, please specify? A poll will pop up on the right side of your screen. Please take a moment to select your answer. I will share the results with you in a few minutes.
Hi everyone, I’ll be shutting down the poll now and I just wanted to remind everybody to cut down on background noise. Please press *6 on your phone. If you do have any questions, I remind you that you can also type them in on the right hand side of your screen. Okay, it looks like everybody’s answered the poll and most of you are –. Okay, and you should be able to see the results of the poll.
We will now move into the student spotlight part of the webinar. And I’d like to direct this question to Brad. Brad, from your perspective, who is a good candidate for this program? How have your career and educational background made you a good fit for this program?
Brad Roubitchek: Sure. I’ll cover the second question first. I think I had a little bit of a leg up because my past experience is both in school and work have been on the business side of things. But that being said, I met some students and some classmates throughout the program that didn’t have that business background and they were still able to excel as well. People have come from a journalism background, a medical profession background, a lot of nurses I’ve met through the program. And they’re able to kind of jump right in and one of the benefits is within each class they do the job of giving you a little bit of a refresher on the topic. So, as an example, in accounting, we do cover a lot of the basic accounting principles and concepts before they get into the more advanced masters level material.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you Brad. Now the next question is about the program and the curriculum. What makes this program different from other business programs? What made this program stand out when choosing a school to pursue your degree?
Brad Roubitchek: Sure, this program stuck out for a couple different reasons. One thing that was a really good benefit was most of the online programs require you to really be in two or three classes at once to still finish within a 2-3 year timeframe. At Northeastern, you get the benefit of taking three classes a semester if you want to, but you’re only in one class at a time, so you’re in that intensive 5-6 week class by itself. So you’re able to focus on one thing at a time. But then again you take three of those classes during the semester, so you get the benefit of still keeping on a track that will get you done in 2-3 years.
Also having the AACSB accreditation is a huge thing. A lot of business schools either have that or don’t and especially online, I’d say more don’t have that. So, basically you’re getting a school that’s completely accredited comparing to all the best schools in the world through the outline practicum, which is great.
Rita Lwanga: Okay, thank you. Moving onto our next question about the time commitment. What is it like to complete the program while working? What is your work/life/school balance like?
Brad Roubitchek: Sure. Mine’s a little on the extreme side, working probably 50-60 hours a week. I also have a family with four young kids. So, I feel like if I can do it, everybody else has got a pretty good shot at it as well. One of the benefits of doing an online program is you immediately cut down on the travel time to and from school. So, for example, I live in Chicago and if I was gonna go to a brick and mortar school in the city it would take, on average, three hours per class per trip into the city for commuting, for parking, for getting to and from school. So, I feel like right off the bat, I already have a three hour benefit built into my school time each week.
And then as I said before, the program really doesn’t require you to log in at any given time, unless you’re meeting with a group or a professor or one of the teaching assistants. So, you can do the work when it’s convenient for you, whether it’s a couple hours a week during lunch at work or whether it’s after your kids or family members are in bed and that helps out a lot.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you. And speaking of online that leads to our next question. How does student and faculty interaction occur in the online courses? What was it like to learn online?
Brad Roubitchek: Sure. It’s actually really gotten a lot better since I started the program a little over two years ago. At first, each class has a chat session each week with both the head professor and with your teaching assistant and that’s where they either go over examples or discuss any questions or some of them even prepare secondary material to go over. And when I started the program those started out as pretty much chat sessions where you either type all your questions and answers and just listen to the professor or teaching assistant talk.
Now, everybody’s got the ability to be not only chat into the headset, they can also do it via video as well, so the technology has gotten a lot better in the last year or so. In addition to each one of those chat sessions, sometimes teachers will also organize a secondary session where you can go before an exam or something and they’ll spend extra time answering the questions. These things are – most of the time they’re not required. You don’t count as points towards the program, but most people that take advantage of them do a lot better than the ones that don’t, because they do answer a lot of questions and they do come up and it just gives you another chance to be in front of the teacher to get their full attention.
And as far as what it’s like to learn online, it’s actually like all the tools are there. It just requires somebody that’s gonna be a little more contentious and take the time to be proactive and take advantage of all those things. Whereas if you were physically required to go to a class, it may just come a little bit easier. But in this case, it’s not a case of you not having anything available to you. It’s just you need to be proactive enough to take advantage of it.
Rita Lwanga: Great, thank you. And moving onto our final question. How relevant is this program to your career path and goals?
Brad Roubitchek: For me being in the finance industry and doing the dual degree program I think it’s extremely relevant. Actually I just switched jobs in the last three months and I can honestly say that having to almost completing this program and putting that on my resume is definitely something that got me in the door for the interview process for this position. I’ve talked to other people in the program and the degree is well received and it’s helped everybody that’s done it. I’ve never heard anybody that had said they got the degree and didn’t use it at some point or another.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you Brad and congratulations on your new position.
I would now like to turn the presentation over to Moumita who will talk about the application requirements for the MBA. Moumita?
Moumita Chakra: Thank you Rita. So, students are required to have a minimum of five-years of professional work experience and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0+. The admissions committee considers students on a case by case basis. So, if you do have a unique background, I’d suggest you to get in touch with your enrollment advisor and discuss it further.
When you’re ready to begin the application, contact your advisor and they will provide you with the login information for the electronic application and they will also work one-on-one with you in the process to make it a smooth transition. The documents needed to apply include your most updated resume, a statement of purpose, a minimum of three professional recommendations, transcripts from all institutions attended for your undergrad and $100 application fee. I highly recommend you to use your advisor’s guidance through this process.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you Moumita. Before we move into our Q&A session, we would like to conduct one final poll. A poll will pop up on the right side of the screen. Please take a moment to select your answer. I will share the results with you in a few minutes. And now back to Moumita.
Moumita Chakra: So besides the online masters of business administration program, you can also consider our online masters of science and finance program, masters of science in taxation program as well as a graduate certificate program in supply chain management. For more information you can check out our website or get in touch with your enrollment advisor and they’ll discuss it with you further and explain to you how the programs work.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you Moumita. We will now move onto the question and answer period. And just a quick reminder, if you have any questions, simply type in your question in the chat box on the right hand corner of your screen. So, the first question is can you provide additional information concerning the optional residency both on campus or internationally? Moumita, are you able to answer this question?
Moumita Chakra: Yeah, absolutely. So, this usually happens when you’re closer to the end of the program. You do have an optional residency available. If you want more information, best thing to do is to discuss it with your student service advisor. They will be working with you from the time you begin to the time you end the program. So, they’ll be able to advise you on what the best option, what are the things that you need to do in order to complete a residency.
And in regards to our optional residency, it’s a great experience. I know last year students got to choose from four different countries. It was Russia, China, Brazil and India. And you basically go there and you experience, I believe it’s between 8-10 days and you get to experience a business industry in a different country. You get to check out a lot of places there. There are a lot of tourist attractions there. You get to meet other business professionals that work in this country. So, it’s a great experience, but yeah when you’re ready for it, the best thing to do is discuss it with your student service advisor and they’ll provide you with all the details and then you can make a decision on if this is an opportunity you would like to take.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you Moumita. Our next question is what is the acceptance rate? And coupled with other questions, what is the policy – well answer that one first maybe. What is the acceptance rate?
Moumita Chakra: The acceptance rate, I’m not 100% sure exactly, the exact percentage. It is a little bit higher than other institutions and the reason for that is because the enrollment advisor does go through a screening process. They only take an applicant that are qualified for the program. Even if they have a unique background, the advisor still tries to make sure that they do meet certain requirements in order to go ahead with the application or they need to add additional documents in their application to make it as competitive as other students coming in. So, it does vary. It is a little bit higher and it’s on a case by case basis. So, unfortunately I can’t tell you the exact percentage.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you. The next question is what is the policy for deferment upon acceptance based on business demands at that point in time?
Moumita Chakra: Well as I mentioned earlier, the flexibility is there. So, if you decide to go through an application process you get accepted and, of course life happens. If anything comes up and you find out that you can’t go ahead with the first course, you can speak with your enrollment advisor and ask them to defer your start date. The maximum amount of time that your acceptance will be available will be one year, but of course you can always discuss it with us and find out the best option.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you. Brad, did you have anything to add to this? Have you had any experiences where you’ve had other demands and had to defer?
Brad Roubitchek: Personally I haven’t, but I do know some classmates where they would take a class or two off if they knew they had a busy season coming up for work or family obligations. And a lot of the main core courses are offered multiple times a year, so it’s easy to kind of jump back and jump out. And it’s also important to note that for most of the classes, there’s not really an order you need to take them in. So, also it provides extra flexibility where you can kind of jump into what’s available and then pick up a class you may have missed due to deferment at a later time.
Moumita Chakra: As I mentioned earlier, you do have up to five years to complete the program, so Brad is absolutely right. You can jump in and out of the program.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you both. The next question is Brad or Moumita, either of you can answer this. When do we need to declare whether or not we would like to do the dual MS in finance with a MBA?
Brad Roubitchek: I can say what I did and Moumita can confirm if that’s actually the rule or not. I think I did it after the first year of classes. They check to see what your GPA is in what you’ve taken so far and that you’re on a path to do that. I don’t think you can do it before then, but that being said, my advisor knew that I was interested in doing that so they kind of kept me in the mindset and had a rough idea of what my schedule would be knowing that that was the path that I was gonna take.
Moumita Chakra: Yeah, and Brad is exactly right. That’s exactly how the procedure works. So, you just need to get in touch with your student service advisor, let them know that you would like the opportunity to do your dual degree. They’re going to make sure that you’re maintaining a good GPA, a 3.0 GPA. They’re gonna take a look at all the courses you have taken so far and then they’re gonna let you know how you can transition and complete your dual degree.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you. The next question is for either you Moumita or Brad. The graduate program at Northeastern is obviously thought of as one with a high degree of prestige. But does the online approach diminish the perception of the master’s degree in any way?
Moumita Chakra: The online MBA program, we view it the same as our on campus program. The main difference is the professor is not right in front of you. The reason we offer this online MBA program is because of working individuals. People that are working 50, 60+ hours a week, they have a family at home and trying to squeeze in an additional 5-10 hours just to commute to a school and then go through a lecture and then going home and then completing your assignment, it’s a burden to them. It becomes very difficult.
So, the reason we came up with our online MBA program is because it’s great for working professionals. The flexibility is there and you still – you’re still getting that same perception. You’re still dealing with the same professors that are teaching on campus as well. And by all means, if you’re ever around the Boston, Massachusetts area, it’s a great city to be in. See if your professors are available, if it’s within their work hours, and see if you can get a chance to go and meet them. So you still have that – you can put a face on the professors that’s been teaching the program. So, I don’t believe so. Nowadays, the majority of the things are happening online and time management is key. So, I believe that it doesn’t ruin the prestige of the program or the school.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you. Brad, did you want to add to that?
Brad Roubitchek: Sure, I agree with all that and I would just say that if you compare the Northeastern name and the accreditation, the AACSB accreditation to some other schools that you may go to physically but don’t have that accreditation, I think that that stands out more than anything else. And as Moumita said, in this day in age, if you look at the list of the top 20 or 30 business schools in the country, I’d say more than half are offering an online option and that number grows by the semester. I think in this day and age it’s more and more accepted. It’s just more important to go to a school that probably has that accreditation.
Rita Lwanga: Okay, thank you. The next question is do online students living in the Boston area have the opportunity to attend any recruiting events with employers?
Moumita Chakra: In regards to that question, I’m not 100% sure. I know student services would have more details in regards to that. Best option would be when you’re in the program if you discuss it with a student service advisor and see if that opportunity is available. Brad, have you experienced something like this?
Brad Roubitchek: I know that there are some opportunities for some more on campus things for people that are local, but because I’m not local I haven’t been able to take advantage of anything like that. But there are some LinkedIn groups that cater to current students and alumni and there are often opportunities posted on those as well that I see. I don’t think they’re only for Northeastern students, but they definitely are groups that kind of cater to those groups.
Moumita Chakra: Well, even if you’re an online student and you’re around the Boston area, please take advantage of the facilities there. You’re still considered as a Northeastern University student. So, you do have access to the facilities there.
Rita Lwanga: Brad, what is the number one recommendation that you would give to a prospective student when applying to Northeastern?
Brad Roubitchek: For the application process or once they’re getting ready to actually attend the classes?
Moumita Chakra: Maybe both if they’re interested in applying.
Brad Roubitchek: Sure, okay we can do one thing for each –
Rita Lwanga: The application process actually, sorry, yeah the application process.
Brad Roubitchek: I would take the correspondence between you and your application advisor very seriously. I had a great experience where they’ll give you all the tips you need and kind of lead you in the right direction and provide all the information you need to go forward. There was no point during the application process to where I felt like I was doing it on my own. If you keep in touch with them and kind of follow what they tell you, you’ll have no problem filling it out to the best of your ability.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you.
Moumita Chakra: They can – sorry, Rita I just wanted to add a little bit to it. Take advantage of it, because the enrollment advisor, majority of them, have been working on the program for several years. So, they understand the program very well. Take advantage of it. Discuss it with them. Allow them to go over your statement of purpose, your resume, your recommendation. They’re going to do that once you submit the application process anyways, but it’s always best to work with them along the way so you can understand where the areas of opportunities are and what additional documents or what additional things you can add to the application to make it just as competitive.
Rita Lwanga: Okay, thank you. The next question is I graduated from NU in 1989, I am 47 years old. What is the average age of students entering the program? Is 47 too late to start?
Moumita Chakra: Absolutely not. We have students that are coming in – on average I would say between the age of 35-40. Because we look for the minimum of five years of professional work experience, on average students are bringing in around 10-12+ years. So, we have students that are around the age of 30-35 and we have students that are well over 50 as well. And I always say it’s never too late to go back to school. It’s never too late to educate yourself. Just because you’re 47 that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road. You have a while to go. Go back in school, educate yourself and it’s never too late.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you Moumita. And the next question is in traditional brick and mortar MBA programs, there is significant benefits in developing relationships with other students and their cohorts. With an online approach, what, if anything, is lost in this regard? So, Brad or Moumita, either of you can answer this, or both.
Brad Roubitchek: Sure, I can take a peek at it first if you want. I don’t think much is lost, except for the face to face contact. In this day and age, with iChat and Skype you can even really do that as well. There is a good amount of group work required for most of the classes. So, you’re forced to interact with your classmates and it goes from just passing material back and forth to answer questions where you need to produce a group answer to where there are some classes where the entire curriculum revolves around a group project where you’re meeting and talking with the groups two or three times a week. And I’ve made contacts with people across the country through these groups and you’ll see a lot of the same names and people throughout the program and then you develop a network of people you can work on classwork with as well, which is good.
Moumita Chakra: Yeah, and because the program is 100% online, you’re not restricted to only people that are coming on campus because students are coming from all over the world and from all different industries because we offer eight different specialization. You can actually learn from each other. The collaboration is definitely available. We have Blackboard collaboration available, so if you want to have – as Brad mentioned, if you wanna Skype with them, if you wanna have a live chat webcam with them. All that opportunity is available online as well.
Rita Lwanga: Okay, thank you. And our next question is about financial aid. How do I get started with the financial aid process?
Moumita Chakra: So in regards – yeah, I’ll discuss that. So, once you start the application process, you should also start the application for financial aid. Your advisor will provide you with a link. Unfortunately, your enrollment advisor won’t be dealing with you in regards to financial aid, but they will provide you the appropriate contact information and who, in regards to you need to speak in regards to financial aid. So, if you are looking into financial aid, the best option is to start the application process while you’re working on the Northeastern’s MBA application as well.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you. The next question is for Brad. Brad, is 15-20 hours study time per week enough time to get through all the materials or do you find you needed more time?
Brad Roubitchek: I think 15-20 is almost always enough time. You’ll find from class to class it fluctuates. Sometimes it’s less than 15. Sometimes it does push that 20. But it also depends on your background in the topic that you’re covering at the time. But I can honestly say that I don’t think that there’s been a class where I’ve have to spend more than 18-20 hours a week working on assignments.
Rita Lwanga: Okay, the next question is given the flexibility of this program with potentially stretching out the length of it for four or five years, would the school consider the student enrolled in this program at least half-time and for current federal loan deferment requirements? Moumita, you might be able to answer this a little bit better.
Moumita Chakra: So, in order to receive financial aid, you need to be enrolled in a minimum of six credits. So, if you decide to stretch it out, you need to plan it accordingly so that you are enrolled in a minimum of six credits and you’re receiving financial aid for the semester. Best option is to discuss it with your financial aid advisor, as well as the student service advisor when you’re in the program and stretch it out accordingly so that if you’re looking into financial aid you can receive it.
Rita Lwanga: Okay, thank you. And did anybody have any other questions? Okay, here’s one. I am looking at the online program. Is this a lock step program as in can I take a class at any time or do I need to do it with the rest of the class? Are two classes required at any given time?
Moumita Chakra: So, you’ll be taking your courses one at a time. Each course is an average of five weeks long, so you don’t have to take two courses at the same time. But there are specific times where the courses are offered. So, you can’t just come in and out any time you want. There are specific times where you can enroll in a course. I mentioned this before, you use the student service advisors. Use them, talk to them, speak with them and find out what your options are. If you decide to drop out of a course and then jump back in when you can jump in again. When you’re in the program, it’ll make a little bit more sense. It’s a lot of information when you’re starting your inquiry. So, the best option is when you’re in the program, take advantage of your student service advisor. Discuss it with them. Find out all the options available if you decide to come in and out of the program.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you. The next question is for Brad, but Moumita, you can also touch on this. What’s involved in the MBA MSF dual degree? How many more courses are there? How much longer is it?
Brad Roubitchek: Sure. It can be different for everybody, but I can kind of tell you how I did it to minimize the amount of classes that I had to take. I went through, basically, the entire MBA program first with all the pre-reqs. And then for my electives, I did all of my electives in finance, except for you are required to do two of those electives in non-finance topics. And then on top of that, I’m pretty sure it was only four extra classes. So, it’s basically – it comes out to almost an extra half year to do the second degree, assuming that you do three classes each semester, including the summer.
Rita Lwanga: Okay, thank you Brad. The next question is, Moumita you can answer this, what is the cost of the program?
Moumita Chakra: That’s an excellent question. It’s $1,385 per credit. There’s a total of 50 credits in the whole program. This includes your specialization as well. You’re looking at approximately $70,000 for the full program. Tuition does slightly increase each year, so that’s why I say approximately. This doesn’t include your textbooks. Textbooks we kind of leave it up to students if they wanna buy straight through Northeastern University or if they wanna find something online. So, we leave textbooks up to students, but the tuition, you’re looking at approximately $70,000.
Brad Roubitchek: I can add one thing about the textbooks also. A lot of the classes, the teachers are pretty conscious of the cost and a lot of the classes do a course pack where the teachers will provide specific materials that are geared towards exactly what they’re gonna be covering and the cost is significantly less. And you buy those through the book store. It’s actually been really nice not to have to buy the full textbook a lot of times for some of the classes.
Rita Lwanga: Thank you Brad, thank you Moumita. Just some closing remarks before we end this webinar. An enrollment advisor will be following up with you over the next few days to answer any questions we were not able to answer. If you would like to contact an advisor immediately, you may reach them by calling the number of the screen. This concludes our webinar. Thank you for your time everyone and enjoy the rest of your day.
This webinar offers a comprehensive look at our Online MBA program and the two optional immersion study programs. Matt Foster, director of the Online MBA program, explains our unique campus residency and international field study courses while sharing pictures and outcomes from past events.
Angela LaGamba: Welcome to Northeastern University’s online MBA optional residences webinar. My name is Angela and I will be your moderator for today. Before we begin, I’d like to go over logistics for this presentation and address some commonly asked questions. All participants today will be in listen only mode. If you have any questions you’re more than welcome to type them into the chat box, which is located on the right hand side of your screen and hit enter. If you’re in full-screen mode, you’ll find the chat box at the very top of your screen, just look for the bubble icon.
We’ll be addressing your questions at the end of the webinar. This event is being recorded so it can be viewed at a future time. All right, let’s introduce you to today’s panelists. We have Matt Foster who is the director of online MBA programs at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Prior to that, he worked for nearly nine years as director of corporate education and marketing at Brandeis. He received his masters of science and virtual team management from Brandeis University.
We also have a student joining us today. She completed her Northeastern University online MBA and recently participated in the international field study program in Russia and is here to share her experience with us and also to address your questions during our dedicated Q&A. We also have our dedicated enrollment advisors, Tay Doan and Rishi Sethi, who are here today to answer any of your questions about the program, the application and admissions process.
All right, with the introductions out of the way, let’s get started. I’m gonna hand it off to Matt Foster, the director of the online MBA program to talk a little bit about Northeastern University and the online MBA. Go ahead Matt.
Matt Foster: Very good. Well good afternoon or evening or morning, depending upon your time zone. Thank you for joining us today. I wanted to tell you a little bit about Northeastern and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, some of which you may have not come across before. Northeastern was founded in 1898 and the college of business administration in 1922. We began offering the MBA in 1963 in fact. So, we have quite a history of delivering that program. And in 2012, we received a $60 million naming donation from two of our alums, which D’Amore and Alan McKim.
In addition to what you can read here, we are also well known for cooperative education, which means a strong institutional culture for practice based education and experience. This culture fortunately extends into our online programs by way of our campus and field study course options. You can see that we’re accredited by AACSB. We are also accredited by NEASC, that’s referred to as the New England Association Schools and Colleges. It’s the same academic integrity body as all the finest schools in New England including Harvard and MIT, so we’re in excellent company.
We’re very fortunate to have an impressive group of faculty. I do encourage you to visit our D’Amore-McKim website and in fact look at some of our faculty profiles, including their list of publications, keynote industry presentations and experience.
So the online MBA consists of 13 core and five elective courses with nine terms per year. You have the opportunity to complete the MBA in as few as two years. You have a maximum of five years to remain within our university policy, but again you have those options and a bit of flexibility depending upon your personal life circumstances.
We offer a lead faculty and a section instructor model to maintain small class sizes of less than 20 students to provide excellent attention for each student. And certainly while the online medium offers significant flexibility, it’s important for students to note, perhaps those who are new onto researching online programs that there are still deliverables due at scheduled times throughout the week. So certainly while you have the flexibility in online programs to do the work when you want, there are still deliverables due several times throughout the week. And certainly today’s primary focus presentation is to discuss our optional residency programs which we’ll expand on in just a few minutes.
Our elective options are actually quite extensive and it’s among our more and I should say most popular features of our particular program and we provide the opportunity for, in fact, a single or dual specialization as part of the MBA. Students pursuing a single specialization in one of the eight topics referenced on the previous slide can do so with a completion of three elective courses in that particular area or a dual specialization which would require five electives, one of which would be what I would describe as a bridge course. One that spans both subject matter of the fields that you’re pursuing.
And you can see we also offer a dual degree. Those interested in earning a dual degree of master of science in finance and MBA can request a transfer after the first year core courses are completed with a 3.0 GPA and B grades in the required finance and accounting courses. It is a single confer degree, but it offers the distinction of a dual program degree.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks Matt. So, what we’re gonna do at this point is dive a little deeper into the optional residencies available with the online MBA program. I’m gonna hand it back to you Matt, go ahead.
Matt Foster: Sure, thanks so much. So, we’ve offered cooperative education for more than a century. Now, this culture of cooperative education, as I mentioned, extends into our online programs with the availability of both domestic and international field study courses. You’re seeing a picture here on this slide. A professor and I took 23 MBA students – and by the way, these are – our international field study courses includes students from all of our MBA program in all of our modes. So, full-time campus students as well as part-time evening attending on our campuses and certainly also including online. And this, in fact, shows a picture of us in Red Square.
So the international field study courses are really a remarkable opportunity. They’re 10 days in length and usually include two company visits per week day. The courses span a weekend providing opportunities for guided visits to significant cultural sites in the select country. You can see the country selected for our most recent courses and these are certainly subject to change in the future.
You know the opportunity that’s really extraordinary and that you have the opportunity to network with and hear presentations from senior level executives describing the business culture and the realities on the ground. During our most recent course in Russia, for example, we revisited IBM, US Commercial Services Group at the US embassy, Jones Lang Lasalle, which is a large commercial real estate firm, McDonald’s, Man Truck & Bus Company, Denon, which is a global food company, Alcatel Lucent, and actually a local brewery called Baltica Brewery.
We also visited the Moscow State University where students, as part of the course requirement worked in groups to provide presentations to their MBA student counterparts and business school faculty in Russia. So, it’s really just a wonderfully unique opportunity. I’ll also say, I referenced networking a moment ago, one of our students actually came up to me after one of our meetings and said that by introducing himself to one of the presenters, in fact a CFO for IBM in the Middle East who had traveled to Russia for this presentation, he was impressed with his conversation and this contact asked him to send him his resume. So, there really is a unique opportunity for networking, in addition to really learning about some realities on the ground in this given country.
So, you can read the requirements on the slide, but essentially you must have completed your first year core courses and be in good standing. This varies a bit with the professor based on how they want to structure, but there will most certainly be meetings and course deliverables prior to and during the course. In addition to our regular tuition, there is a $1,000 administrative fee, plus airfare and any personal expenses required for students who wanna participate. But what you get in return is actually quite worthwhile. The arrangements for company visits, all group transportation including airport transfers, hotel costs and visa assistance and most meals, in fact, are well organized by our education tour provider and are included in the fees that I just mentioned.
So in addition to our international field study, we also offer domestic campus residency courses. And these are a unique opportunity meet and interact with your fellow online students and faculty and to visit one of our three campuses referenced here. The residency courses themselves are very unique and not something that can be otherwise acquired online, in fact or on campus. Faculty create these courses specifically for the one-week intensive format and face to face interactions. Forgive the sound of the siren in the background if you can hear that. It’s busy here in Boston.
It’s a busy week. Certainly the campus based residency and there is work required after class hours to prepare for any deliverables or projects or presentations you might have the following day. But students have commented very favorably, both for the domestic and certainly the international field study courses.
Angela LaGamba: One of the questions that we have from the audience that around the campus based residency is can a student attend more than one residency within the U.S. if they choose to do so in the program?
Matt Foster: You know, that’s something that we evaluate on a case by case basis. Certainly, students are encouraged to take advantage of both the international field study and the campus based residency. So, there isn’t an easy answer as far as whether a student can attend both or I should say two domestic residency courses. For example, we try to schedule three per year and I think that might be a bit excessive for one student to take all three, particularly in the U.S. But, again that is something that we would evaluate on a case by case basis. But in most cases, students will want to attend one and then also try to take advantage, also based on the schedule availability, take advantage of an international field study.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks Matt. Before we move onto our next section, what I’d like to do is open a poll for our audience today. What we’re asking is what optional residency experience are you interested in? Perhaps it’s the campus based or the international field study that Matt had described a few moments ago. Maybe you’re not sure, maybe you’re just not interested. So, feel free to take a few moments to fill in that survey that’s located on the lower right-hand side of your screen. If you’re in full-screen mode, that is at the top of your screen and you can just hover and look for the poll icon.
Okay, so while we keep that poll going, let’s move onto the next section for today’s webinar where we’re gonna talk about the student experience with the optional residencies. So, I’m going to have Tracy and Matt on the line and one of the questions that comes up frequently about the optional residencies is the decision. So, how do you decide which optional residency to participate in, on the location? Do you decide to go on campus or abroad? There’s so many exciting variable to consider. So, I’m gonna invite Tracy onto the line to talk a little bit about how she made that decision to participate in the residency experience. Go ahead Tracy.
Tracy: Thanks Angela. Well, as Angela said, my name is Tracy. So, I am a student at Northeastern University. I’m in their online MBA program. One of the things that prompted me to decide to participate in the international residency was one because really I love to travel. So to be honest, I love to travel and I thought it was a great networking opportunity as well to meet other students in the online program as well as the full-time program. I’m not sure of the students on the call are aware that if you did participate in the international residency, you would be grouped with some of the full-time students at Northeastern.
And I also had the opportunity to participate as well in the domestic residency in Seattle, which I highly encourage that too and you can ask any questions towards the end as it relates to that. The domestic residency, they really just give you a good opportunity to network with other online MBA students. So, I would have to say the top thing that prompted me was that it was a great opportunity to earn free credits in a relatively short timeframe, as well as just network with your other colleagues and professors.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks Tracy. The next common question that we have come up around the residency is how do you prepare for that type of experience? We do have a number of questions, but I thought we would start off with you Tracy around how you – once you had made that decision, what you did to prepare for the coursework, the experience itself or the travel if you’d like to share that. Go ahead Tracy.
Tracy: Okay, yeah. Well, for the travel that part was very easy. Northeastern connected us with World Strides Travel Agency. So, they really were good about handling logistics such as visa requirements, they set our agenda in terms of what activities we’d be – and company visits that would be going on. We also, prior to the trip, three months prior, we would have class meetings. So, if you’re an online student, obviously it would be a virtual meeting where you would connect with your professors and other students in the full-time program and we’d have deliverables due, certain assignments were due that really helped us get acclimated to the Russian culture. I went on the Russia trip. But all in all, I felt that Northeastern really provided the resources just to make sure that we were well prepared for the trip and working with World Strides made it really seamless in terms of getting visa approvals and logistics and flight information.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you Tracy.
Matt Foster: Yeah, thanks so much Tracy, this is Matt and I connect with that as well so I referenced our education services provider specifically for our travel and that is World Strides and they did a great job for us. I see some of the other questions referenced here what are the costs and fees involved and if the residency programs do qualify for financial aid? So, in terms of financial aid, yes the residency programs, both the international field study as well as the domestic campus based residency courses do qualify for financial aid.
In terms of the cost, for the domestic programs it’s just your regular three credit tuition cost, plus travel and expenses for visiting the campus. For the international field study, it’s the $1,000 administrative fee that I mentioned which covers group travel and most of your meals and help from World Strides to put your visa in order and help with travel arrangements and so forth as well as three credit tuition.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks Matt. While we’re talking about the preparation, we have this great photo here. I’m wondering if you can talk a little bit about the setting for this photo, Matt.
Matt Foster: Sure, I’d be happy to. Of course I laugh, Tracy may as well. So, we literally just stepped off the bus beside the river and what you’re seeing in the background are just some classic churches. So for example the right side that we would visit later on. And to the left, those are old style lighthouses that are used on the river. And an interesting little anecdote about St. Petersburg is that every night for several hours between midnight and 4:00 a.m. they raise all the bridges in and around the city for larger ships to come in. So, if someone were not on the right side of the bridge come midnight, they would have to wait until 4:00 in the morning.
So, our local guide provided a comical anecdote where she said, you know sometimes husbands and St. Petersburg use that excuse, which I thought was really comical. But also one thing that reminds me to say, during all of your visits, we will also have a local guide who certainly speaks fluently both languages and just really provides some excellent references and suggestions for the best way to get around and things that students can do in the evening and also just to help with any issues that come up and they really did a good job for us.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks Matt. The next most common question that we get from students is about the experience itself. It can be about the interaction with your fellow students and faculty, some of the highlights, how you deal with homework on the ground. So, for that dedicated time that you’re part of the residency, Tracy what were some of the highlights? What was that experience like?
Tracy: Really the highlight for me was really meeting the other MBA students. We had a great time connecting. A lot of them I’m still talking to this day and networking. So, that was one of the highlights and just being able to go to different corporate sites as Matt had mentioned earlier. We went to Danon Yogurt, McDonald’s, IBM and we really met with some senior level executives. So, some that, we definitely would not have access to if we were here in the U.S. So, just having that networking opportunity is indescribable. So, I would have to say that was a pretty big highlight for me to meet some of the executives that we met.
In terms of the grading and assignments, so as I had mentioned earlier, a lot of the grading and assignments, that was due prior to the trip. So, that was about three months in advance we would have various assignments to get us familiar with Russian culture, how business is done in Russia and things of that nature. So, pretty much I know that will vary according to the professor you have, but for us, pretty much all of our assignments were due prior to the trip.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks Tracy. We have another great photo here from the international field residency in Russia. Matt, I’m wondering if you talk a little bit about this presentation that the group had put together.
Matt Foster: Sure, I sure can. So, one of the deliverables required as part of this course was to have people get into groups they were going to be attending on the trip. And to put together a presentation for how they would propose introducing an American brand into Russia either as a franchise or as a multinational expansion. And so they had to make these presentations in front of students who would be their counterparts at Moscow State University in their MBA program as well as some of the MBA faculty at Moscow State.
And it’s interesting because they were given instructions to ask tough probing questions. To really challenge the students with having to answer some things. For example, one of the professors I see clapping his hands on the left, he’s a real senior faculty member at Moscow State and he would challenge some of the assertions made by some of the team members based on their research contrasting that with his local experience on the ground. So, it’s a really good exercise and how to provide that elevator speech that we’ve all heard about as far as trying to put forward your business plan and to get willing participants to support it. So, it really was, I think, a good experience for our students. And certainly also a bit of cross-cultural exchange with other students and faculty. And so this is one such presentation with Buffalo Wild Wings.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks Matt. The next most common question that we get from students is around the take away from the experience. And also what Tracy can you recommend to students who may wanna consider going through this experience as well? Go ahead Tracy.
Tracy: Well, the cultural takeaway is one that I will always take away with me. Russia was a country that I chose because it probably wasn’t one I would go to on my own, but I was definitely interested in learning more about Russian culture and it was a fantastic phenomenal experience, just learning about the culture, going to St. Petersburg and Moscow and the company visits. So, I’m taking away a lot as well as I made some friends that I’ll have for years to come from this experience.
In terms of tips and recommendations, I personally would recommend that you choose a place that you probably wouldn’t go to on your own because it just makes it that more interesting and you’d be surprised how much you really like the place and just learn about business in that type of environment. So, that would be my first recommendation.
The other is if you plan to get involved in the international field study is that you need to register early because it does fill up very, very quickly. I know that you sometimes have to make a first, second or third choice and you may not always get your first choice. So, it is something that’s popular as well as it’s a requirement to those full-time students. So, it does fill up rather quickly. So, those would be my two biggest recommendations and takeaways.
Tracy: Yeah, thank you Tracy, Matt Foster here. I can absolutely echo that. The feedback, first of all, from students in the online program is universal with regard to how favorable they view their experience in the international field study course. You know, similar to what Tracy mentioned most students choose a location that they may not otherwise prioritize visiting for a vacation for example. So, there’s just really a lot of surprised to have in that experience.
And also, I really can’t stress enough how unique an opportunity it is. I mean when would you have the opportunity to meet with the CFO of the Middle East of IBM? To have access to that person, number one, and have the opportunity of a 30 minute to 60 minute presentation discussing the company, some of the challenges they face with various projects they’ve had. Their individual experience in moving up in the company and things like that. And as I said, even in one case, one student made such a favorable impression that the CFO said, you know what? Send me your resume and let’s talk. That’s absolutely the most wonderful and certainly unexpected but fantastic outcome that one could take if they had that sort of geographic flexibility and being able to pursue a position elsewhere.
But in any case, once again it’s just very unique and very interesting. As Tracy mentioned, the programs do fill up nearly every term. So, if you are interested, there will be a post. We have, by the way, in the online program what we call an online graduate student resource center where we make posts that are pushed out to all enrolled online students where you’re notified of these things and it is very important to enroll as quickly as possible, once again, noting your first and second choice. But honestly regardless of which location you either choose or are able to participate in, you’re not gonna be disappointed as I said. The feedback from students is really quite universal.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks Matt. I wanted to bring up one other photo that we had from the Russia experience and Matt I’m wondering if you can talk a little bit about here everyone seems to be smiling and holding up a beverage of choice for the day.
Matt Foster: I mean that could not be a better short describing the international field study. In fact, I’m so pleased that there were so many smiles. Yeah, so this was really toward the end of a very busy week. And by the way, I will just take a moment to say that make no mistake, this isn’t a vacation. This is very much an academic professional networking opportunity. I mean we would have, as I’ve mentioned, an office visit in the morning, lunch and then a company visit in the afternoon. And sometimes we had scheduled dinner arrangements as well. So, I mean you would get back to the hotel at 7:00 or 8:00 at night having had a very full day.
But in either case, this is all of us toward the end of a long day, many with coffee and having caffeinated tea to press on. But it was really a fascinating presentation from McDonald’s in Russia. Obviously a very well-known multinational brand now, of course and some of their learning about their unique challenges and operating in Russia and yeah this was just really just an excellent picture at the end of a long day.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks Matt. One final question that we have on the panel section is the excitement for 2015. So, Matt do we know what some of the upcoming residency experiences will be?
Matt Foster: You know, so we actually have not finalized those yet for 2015. You know, in the past, in fact this most recent iteration of the international field study course we were in Russia, China, South America and Turkey and Greece. So, those may be adjusted in the future. Some of those may remain the same. Honestly, we just come off our last round in May and June of these courses, so we have yet to actually meet and finalize with the dean where we will be sending students next. So, certainly stay tuned, that will be forthcoming. But what I can guarantee is it will be a very interesting location with unique opportunity to learn about business and learn about culture in that selected country.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, it sounds exciting. I can’t wait to hear what the 2015 locations are. Earlier, we had opened a poll asking what optional residency experience our audience would be interested in. So, those results have come in. And what we wanted to do was to share that with everyone and the top experience was the international field study, followed by the campus based residency. And we do have some audience members that are still pondering what options are available to them.
All right, so moving on what I’d like to do is talk a little bit about the admissions guidelines for the program. So, we have our dedicated enrollment advisors. And I’m going to bring Tay onto the line to talk a little bit about those guidelines. Go ahead Tay.
Tay Doan: Thank you Angela. So, in regards to admissions guidelines, eligible candidates are required to have successfully completed a bachelor’s from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The candidate must also have a minimum of five years of full-time professional work experience. If you do not meet the minimum requirements, it does not necessarily disqualify you from applying. All candidates are reviewed on a case by case basis. The admissions committee will consider other factors as well. We recommend that you speak with an enrollment advisor to determine your eligibility.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks Tay. So, from here we are going to move into our dedicated Q&A session. I’ve noticed our chat box has been filling up with questions. I encourage our audience to continue sending those in. And let’s get started with some of those questions. So, the first question that we have is for you Tracy. Earlier on you had mentioned that you had participated in the domestic residency in Seattle and one of our audience members wanted to know if you could just share a little bit more about that experience?
Tracy: So the Seattle course is quite a different experience, I’d have to say, but a fantastic one. So, that course, basically you would be at the satellite location, Northeastern’s satellite location in Seattle. Or I believe they also have these residencies in North Carolina, is that correct Matt and Boston?
Matt Foster: Yes, that’s correct, this past year.
Tracy: Yes. And so the course that was offered when I took it was entrepreneurship. So, it did have company visits. We did go on company visits similar to the international residency. There was a lot of classroom based work as well and in terms of this residency, it will just be with online MBA students. So, it’s really a great way to connect with those students that you seen their name, but not their faces or been able to talk to them. So, it’s a great way to connect with the online MBA students.
But all in all, it’s a great experience, but it’s a quite different experience I’d have to say. There’s a lot more classroom deliverables. One of the things that we had to develop was a prototype for a business strategy and we would have to present it in front of – there were three different corporate representatives that were present at the end of the course.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks Tracy. The next question that we have is for our enrollment advisors. So, Rishi, this question is for you and it is around the dual degree that’s available to prospective students. One of our audience members wanted to know what the admission requirement is for the dual degree option? Go ahead Rishi.
Rishi Sethi: Yeah, for consideration to the dual degree, it’s actually an application to the MBA program itself. We look for, over and above the standard requirement some experience in finance and some academic training in finance. But again, everything is considered on a case by case basis. You’d make your formal application for the dual specialization at the end of your first year.
Matt Foster: Yep, absolutely, this is Matt here and I can just add onto that a bit. So, as you would make the formal application at the end of your first year and you would have to have a 3.0 GPA and have earned B grades in two accounting courses, accounting 6272 and accounting 6273, as well as FENA 6200. These are just abbreviations of course for our primary core accounting and finance courses.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you both very much. The next question that we have is a follow up to the dual degree. Matt, this might be more for you, but the question is around if someone is accepted into the dual degree program, can they also take the residency option as well, is that open to them? Go ahead Matt?
Matt Foster: Yep, they most certainly can. That’s a quick answer. So, even in the dual degree program you have – in fact a requirement for open electives as well as finance specific electives. So, you can certainly choose to take one or two of the field study courses, whether international or domestic for part of that open elective requirement.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks Matt. The next question that we have is for you Tracy around the pre-trip meetings that you had discussed a little earlier. So, one of our audience members wanted to know how you went about preparing for those group assignments for the trip and how you managed that with your group online and virtually. Go ahead Tracy.
Tracy: So a syllabus was given to us prior to the class meeting and then we were assigned to groups of I believe four or five members. Usually it would be one online MBA student and the other three or four were either full-time or part-time students. So, a lot of the classroom meetings were done virtually if you were an online student through WebEx. And the full-time students they would attend the class at Boston at the Northeastern campus facility. So, it required a lot of emailing and conference calls to deliver our final group project and to coordinate the slides for our presentation that we would present in Russia.
So, it’s kind of similar to the online experience that you’re accustomed to when you’re in the program. It’s just – everything was pretty much done virtually in terms of preparing for assignments and deliverables and emailing your assignment and emailing your final presentation to your professor. Once we were in Russia, there was some time allocated for us to just practice a little bit for the presentation. But other than that, I would have to say most things were done virtually.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks Tracy. The next question that we have is for you Matt. One of our audience members wanted to know if you had to specialize or take a certain specialization to qualify for the residency or if you recommended taking a specialization to benefit the residency experience a bit more? Go ahead Matt.
Matt Foster: The short answer is no. Although interestingly, this past year I advocated for, with the faculty MD and received approval for the residency courses to apply to certain disciplines. So, for example, Tracy mentioned it was an entrepreneurship course in our Seattle campus and that was something that I received approval for students to apply to the entrepreneurship specialization. And similarly with the international field studies, they can be applied to the international management specialization. So, the short answer is yes, but you don’t have to pursue or otherwise be pursuing a specific specialization to participate in the international field study or domestic campus residency courses.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks Matt. The next question that we have is for our enrollment advisor Tay. The question is around start dates and if there are any remaining for 2014. Go ahead Tay.
Tay Doan: Yes, there are remaining start dates for 2014. We actually have a start date, August 25, but the deadline to complete your application is Tuesday, August 5. So, the remaining start dates that we have is October 6 and November 10.
Rishi Sethi: For anyone – it’s Rishi, the other advisor here. For anyone who is interested, if you reach out to your enrollment advisor, they can still help you with an application for fall one, just make sure to reach out to them as soon as possible.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you both. The next question that we have is for you Tracy. Earlier on you had mentioned that you were working on course deliverables for the residency before you went on the trip. So, one of our audience members wanted to know how you were able to balance doing that pre-course working along with your other Northeastern online program course deliverables. Go ahead Tracy.
Tracy: I have to say it actually wasn’t that big of a challenge. You are working with other group members, so we kind of just divide the work up. But a lot of the course deliverables that were due prior to the residency, I mean it wasn’t very extensive. Like one of the course deliverables, for example, was just learn something about Russian culture and present it to the class during our next conference call. Or present on the economic situation in Russia. So a lot of these course deliverables, and it would be short like maybe do a page or summary just to kind of get your feet wet and to know a little bit about, to learn a little bit about Russia in preparation for the trip. A lot of the time also was spent just ironing out some of the logistics of what to expect when we arrive. So, I would say it wasn’t very difficult to manage at all, especially since she had your group members dividing up a lot of the work.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks Tracy. The final question that we have from the audience is around comparing the domestic residency that you had participated in Tracy along with the Russia experience. If you had to choose, it might be difficult, but one of our audience members wanted to know since it seems to be best to have that one residency experience, if you were to choose between the domestic and the international field study, which would be your top choice?
Tracy: I would have to say the international because I think it’s such a unique experience that I personally haven’t heard any other online program offering. It’s really an experience that a lot of full-time MBA students get. So, I would have to say the international experience for me. And I think that’s just a personal choice. One, I love to travel, I love learning about different culture and I just thought this was an exciting way to earn three credits. And it’s an amazing trip that I will always take away with me. So, I would have to give it to international residency, but both are quite good.
Angela LaGamba: I’m going to hand it off to Matt to see if he had any final thoughts for today’s webinar. Go ahead Matt.
Matt Foster: Yeah, thanks Angela I appreciate that. And also Tracy and everyone who joined us today. I don’t have anything else specifically that comes to mind, other than just to encourage you as part of your research for an online MBA program to consider the unique advantages that we can offer you here. We’ve been in the business for quite a while, as I mentioned and we’ve certainly learned some best practices from that. And truly the opportunity to participate in our field study courses is really quite unique and just really an exceptional opportunity that I think you would find very beneficial personally and quite possibly professionally. So, I’ll just leave you with those remaining thoughts and thanks again for joining us today.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks Matt. And that is all the time that we have for today. I do have a couple of closing thoughts. The recording of the session will be available in the upcoming weeks on our program website. At the end of the webinar, what will happen is there will be a survey that appears on your screen, so we encourage you to take a few moments to fill that in and tell us how we did. And if you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact your dedicated enrollment advisor by phone or email. They will be more than happy to answer your questions. So, again thank you to everyone for participating in today’s Northeastern University online MBA optional residencies webinar. This concludes our session and have a fantastic day everyone.
This webinar highlights our Online MBA learning format. If you are at all hesitant about learning online, this video could alleviate those fears and help you move forward in your goal of earning an Online MBA.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you for joining us for today’s Northeastern University online classroom demonstration webinar. My name is Angela, and I will be your moderator for today. Before we begin, I’d like to go over logistics for this presentation and address some commonly asked questions. As an attendee for today’s webinar, you’re currently in listen only mode. We ask that throughout the presentation that you listen through your computer speakers, or if you would like to call in, ensure that your phone is muted, and also please don’t place your phone on hold, as the hold music will interfere with the background noise with our presenters today. Throughout the presentation, you will be hearing from our panelists.
They will be talking about the course demo. If you have questions, we encourage you to send it through the chat box, which is located on the lower right-hand side of your screen. We will be addressing questions throughout the presentation, but we also have a dedicated Q&A that we will have our full panel available for. This session will be recorded, and that recording will be available in the future. Let’s get started. I want to introduce our exciting panel today. You have Christopher Longtin, who has over five years of experience in the area of student support services exclusively with online students. He is currently the associate director of student support services of Northeastern’s online programs and works hard with his team to guide and coach students to academic success.
He enjoys working in an ever-evolving field. We also have our full panel of enrollment advisors who work with prospective students for the Northeastern online MBA, the Master’s in Finance, the Master’s in Taxation, and the graduate certificate in supply management programs. Your advisors today are Michelle Yan, Ashley Bacon, and Rishi Sethi, in addition to myself, Angela. I will be your host and moderator throughout today’s webinar. I am going to hand the presentation over to our enrollment advisor, Michelle Yan, to talk a little bit about the School of Business. Go ahead, Michelle.
Michelle Yan: Thanks, Angela, very much for the introduction. I hope everyone can hear me properly. The D’Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University, was established in 1922 and has a rich history, a strong reputation for scholarly research and teaching excellence. We are accredited by the AACSB international. It’s one of the highest business accreditations worldwide. The main campus is located in Boston, Massachusetts, but we also have satellite campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Seattle, Washington on the West Coast.
Building on high academic achievements, wide-ranging work and consulting experience, rich diversity, and our extensive corporate ties, the D’Amore-McKim School of Business faculty members are leaders in their fields and regularly receive worldwide recognition and awards for their contributions to theory and the practice of management. We do have a global network of over 200,000 Northeastern alumni, spanning more than 15 countries, like China, Canada, India, England, Russia, and even Australia, to name a few. Almost 90 percent of our students pursuing graduate business degrees do have work experience, so our programs are very accommodating and flexible to working professionals.
The D’Amore-McKim School of Business does offer the following programs, amongst others. We do have the online Master of Business Administration. This program is approximately two years, and there are 50 credits. We also do offer the online Master of Science in Finance program, as well as the Master of Science in Taxation. Both these programs are 30 credits, and you can complete them in a span of 16 months. We also do offer the graduate certificate of supply chain management. This is four courses, 12 credits, and it can be completed within about eight months or so.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Michelle. What we’re going to do now is encourage our audience to participate in a poll that we have for today. The question that we’re asking is what concerns you most about starting an online program? Some people are concerned about the unknowns of the online classroom environment and technology. Sometimes it’s finding the time or balancing school with other obligations. Maybe it’s just having what it takes to succeed, or perhaps it’s around affording or qualifying for financial aid. Feel free to fill in that poll. It’s located on the lower right-hand side of the screen.
If there’s other reasons, you can also feel free to submit that, as well. While we’re waiting for your responses to come in – we’ll discuss that in a bit – I’m going to hand it back to Michelle to talk about the benefits of online learning at Northeastern University. Go ahead, Michelle.
Michelle Yan: Thanks, Angela. The benefits of online learning – I know there’s a lot of students who may be a little bit hesitant in terms of jumping back to a program like this. You’ve never done an online program before. But we do have a lot of flexibility. You can access your courses any time during the day or night. Most of the students in our programs are working professionals. They have full-time jobs, family, kids. It does allow you to do your work during the lunch hour and the evenings, or even after you put your kids to bed. We do have small group sizes. Usually, every course, you’re only ranging from anywhere between 12 to 15 students, so it’s a very intimate group.
Your instructors, they give very good feedback. By phone, email, they’re very responsive. Of course, we do have a lot of networking opportunities, as well. We do have working professionals coming from all over the U.S. and outside of the country, as well, with different backgrounds, professions. Many of our students have been in the business for quite some time. It is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate on projects, trade ideas, and also learn from each other. We do have a vast variety of resources available for you to succeed. As I mentioned before, the faculty members within our programs are not only educators, but they’re also practitioners in the field, so they bring in a lot of real-life case studies to help you with your learning.
We also do have optional residencies available. We recently introduced campus-based residencies on all three of our locations in Boston, Charlotte, and Seattle. Of course, we do offer optional international residencies, as well. This past May, we actually had students, they were able to travel to China, India, Russia, and, I believe it’s Brazil, in South America. As I mentioned, like I said, most of the students in our program, like I said, some of them have been out of school for quite some time and not sure about what is available for support. We feel, at Northeastern, that not only is it important to choose a great program, but you also want to know that if you need the support, it is readily available.
For example, we do have very strong levels of support within our programs. Your personal enrollment advisor, they’re the individual that provides you all the information you need to know about the program. They’ll help you compile the application for admissions. We have a fantastic student services department, works with you once you’re in the program, helps to set your schedule, individual schedule. They’ll customize it for you. They’ll help keep you on track. They are available seven days a week. Of course, our tech support team – as we all know, with our computers, sometimes we do get technical difficulty, so they are actually available 24/7 to help you with any type of password.
If you forget a password or login information, they’ll help you reset everything. Of course, with our faculty support, we do get very quick responses. If you have any questions regarding course information, the lectures, you can contact faculty by phone or email. They also do host live chat sessions every week within your courses, so you can communicate to the professor directly.
They’ll use a webcam or a headset. I think Chris will go into a little bit more detail once we get into the online course demo section. They do provide you a lot of information on lectures and answer questions you have in conjunction with the rest of your classmates. Rest assured, with Northeastern, we do help you make this transition into online learning very simple and as easy as possible.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Michelle. I think that’s an excellent segue into our next section. I’m going to bring Chris Longtin onto the line to talk about the online virtual campus. He will actually be doing a live demonstration. Chris, I’ve handed presenter controls over to you. While we’re waiting for that to be set up, what I’d like to do is share some of the poll results that have come in. Of those poll results, you will notice that finding the time to balance obligations seems to be the biggest area that students are looking at or concerned about when starting an online program. Michelle, I was wondering, is that a common concern that you hear from prospective students when you’re talking to them about the program, around balancing obligations?
Michelle Yan: It definitely is a concern with a lot of the students I speak with. Like I mentioned before, most of the students have very busy schedules. They work full time. They’re working professionals. They have family; they have kids. It is sometimes very difficult to say am I ready to make that commitment to be able to jump back into a program after this many years that I’ve been out of school? With our programs now, with Chris – I think he’s about ready – he will give you sort of an outline in terms of how it is possible for you to be able to do online learning, as well as commit to all the other obligations in your life. Because we are a very flexible program, and I think Chris will get into that a little bit more, as well.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you very much, Michelle. I’m going to hand it over to Chris now to give us our live classroom demo. Go ahead, Chris.
Chris Longtin: Thank you, Angela. I’m going to walk you through the learning management software and the way the courses are designed. This here is Blackboard Learn. This would be your main login page. You would enter your user name, your password, and be taken right to your main portal. The main portal has a few key areas. You will notice, on the top here, there is “My Announcements.” Any of your course announcements in the past seven days would be listed there for you to see upon entry. You’ll also notice my courses. Courses where you are enrolled will appear here. Today, we’ll be looking at Marketing 6200, which is also the entry point for the Spring 1 students.
Finally, there’s a “My Organization”. Students in the online MBA MSF and MST would have access to the online graduate business student resource center which, A, provides you an overview and orientation to Blackboard, so you’re not expected to jump right into a class. There are a number of modules that will allow you to try out different aspects of the platform and interact with it. Finally, there’s also a networking feature, so students can connect with other students in their state, for example, or maybe states they’re going to for business, and begin those conversations early through that networking center. Let’s go into the course today. The first thing you’ll notice once we enter the course is the announcements page.
Faculty and instructors are encouraged to always post any of their email correspondence to the announcements page, as well as emailing it, so that there’s a record of it, and it’s easily available to you, so that you don’t miss something in your everyday. In this case, we see two announcements. One is about technical support. The program does offer 24/7 technical support. If you’re like me and maybe you wait until the last minute sometimes, it’s very nice to know that if it’s 11:30 at night and you can’t seem to get your assignment submitted, someone’s there to answer the phone, walk you through how to upload, share screens with you, and make sure that you can get it in on time.
There’s also an announcement about deadlines in this course. In this case, the end-of-day deadline refers to 3:00 Eastern time the following morning, which would be midnight Pacific time. Let’s look at three areas of the course. I wanted to look at course materials, so how and what will I learn, assessments, how and what will I be graded on, and communications, how do I interact with my faculty, with my classmates, with my group, perhaps, and how will that shape my day? Students always have access to a course overview one week before their class begins. If you’re beginning class on January 6th with us, you would have access on December 30th.
One of the concerns was time management, and I think that this is a real benefit for you because you’re able to get a head start on your Week 1 reading, at least, one week in advance, and get a sense of what the course is going to offer you. In this case, you’ll see that the overview provides you a list of the goals, the different resources, what textbooks you may need, as well as a schedule, what’s due and when. We know in Week 1, we have a discussion, a number of readings, and you begin to work on your group assignment, as well as some discussions. That helps you plan your time. If one week is heavier – sometimes in a five-week course, Week 3 might be the heaviest.
You’ll know that a week before the course begins, so you might be able to – a lot of students will take a day of vacation every third week, just so they could buckle down and get their work done – as well as a biography of your instructor. When your course begins, all of your material is housed in the course material section. It is organized by week. If you want to know what’s due in Week 1 or what you need to learn for Week 1, you just click on Week 1. Then we have a series of slides that are presented. In this slide, we have a video of our lead faculty introducing us to the course. There’s also a video transcript that you can download. Maybe you are more of a highlighter when you’re learning.
You can highlight the important parts of the video transcript, so that you can retain that information. Then as you move through the slides, you’re really moving through the lessons. Here, we see Week 1 learning activities. One thing I always encourage people to do is print this page out. You can then cross out everything as you do it. If it’s a five-week course, and you have five outlines of what’s due each week, you’ll know how much of your work you’ve completed just by crossing them off. There’s an introduction to the Week 1 discussion board, which we’ll discuss in a moment, an introductions forum.
One thing that’s really neat is when you see another student in the program from maybe the same city or state as you, and another thing that’s also very neat is when you see someone that’s very far away, so maybe in another country, and the idea that you’re all together in that one classroom, learning the same material, across oceans, really, is a unique experience of the program. There’s information about your sign-up, and then it jumps into the lessons. The lesson is presented in this course as a text-based lesson. For some individuals, that is preferable, and in other cases, your instructor will provide a video lecture. They might provide a voice-over or slideshow presentation.
In other ones, they’ve developed interactive slideshows, so you’ll go through and you’ll have to click and do test-your-understanding activities throughout the slideshow as the material is presented. There is a very diverse means of presenting the information, depending upon the faculty member, but this would be the standard way of presenting it. Having talked about the material, let’s briefly touch on assessments. There are a number of ways that you might be assessed. There might be weekly quizzes. In this case, Week 1 of marketing does have a Week 1 quiz at the end of it. This professor has been kind enough to provide a study quiz in advance of the Week 1 quiz.
In this case, you can just drag your terms to connect them to the definitions, and then you would test your understanding and see how well you’ve done. Another way of being assessed is through discussion forums. If we click on discussions on the left-hand side, we will see a number of discussion boards here. In Week 1, there’s a case discussion. You would simply enter that, case discussion. You’ll be presented with a question, and then you would just reply to the question. One interesting thing here is that because of the diversity of students in the class, you’re going to have all different types of responses.
You might have someone that’s really heavily experienced in operations, and they’re going to maybe answer the question thinking about operations or supply chain; whereas, someone else might come from a marketing background, and their solution might not be to optimize the supply chain. Their solution might be to present or sell the product in a different way. That diversity of experience really leads to a healthy discussion, and you’ll find you’re learning just as much from your peers as you are learning from your lead faculty member. Then the final way of being assessed is assignments. We’ll just leave this page. In this case, I have enabled Week 1, Assignment 1.
There is an assignment due in Week 1. The directions for the assignment were in the course material. In this case, we would just upload our assignment. It doesn’t look to be friendly because the course isn’t active yet, but when you are in the course, it will allow you to upload that, just like you would upload something to Dropbox or your email address. Again, if you ever have any challenges, you are able to contact technical support. Having talked about assessments, let’s briefly move to communication. There are a number of ways that you might communicate. With most people used to an undergraduate or a campus-based environment, they are most concerned about communicating with the lead faculty member.
You are able to email your lead faculty member at any time, but they’re also going to hold a weekly live session. They do that using a platform called Blackboard Collaborate. It’s very similar to the platform we’re using right now for this presentation. It allows audio and video, as well as teleconference, so you can interact in that way. There’s a white board, and instructors have the ability to upload slides, as well. What you might find is your instructor will be talking on the video and the audio and have a slide presentation. They might also share their screen. If you’re doing a heavily quantitative course, like statistics, instead of a white board here, you’ll probably have Excel loaded and the instructor walking you through their spreadsheet, sample demo problems, and how they were able to get there.
There are different ways of using this live session, in order to maximize the learning. In some cases, the instructor will email and say, “I think that this would be best used if I answer the questions that are most important to you, so let me know what you want me to focus on, and that’s how I will present my information.” In other cases, they might have taught the course for a number of years and found that there are a few concepts that students are having challenges with, so they will present a formalized presentation, and then ask for questions at the end. Then finally, in some cases, they have invited guest speakers into the classroom.
We had a case where the lead faculty member knew one of the individuals involved in the case study they were working on, and the individual who had actually written the case study, so they asked them to come in to discuss the case and get a response to how students had responded to the case and solved the case, as well as the bigger picture because there’s sometimes only so much you can say in a case, so they provided a little bit more context. Another item that comes up is how do I communicate with my colleagues? Again, the key way to meet your colleagues is through the discussion. In this case, there’s an introductions forum, which will give you a really good sense of who’s in the class with you.
Just so you’re aware, the maximum section size for a class is 20 students. Should you enter a classroom, the maximum number of people that would be involved in this discussion forum would be 20. We tend to be more around the 15 student mark, but the maximum is 20. If you are in a group, you’ll also have a “My Groups” area. You’ll see it here on the bottom left of the page. In this case, there’s a final project that is a group assignment and a Week 4 assignment that is a group assignment. There’s a group discussion board here if you wanted to discuss on the discussion board. You could also send an email. If I press, “Send email,” it’ll email everyone in my group, and everyone will have it.
There are different collaboration tools. One thing that I think is very useful is that you, as a student, also have access to Blackboard Collaborate. There are open rooms that you can go into at any time. If you need to work on something, you can use all the collaboration tools here. You could share your Word document and go through the paper. You can talk to each other, if you don’t have access to a conference line. If someone’s unable to make it into the room because they don’t have voice over Internet, they can just dial in. You can share the dial-in information with them to use the telephone for conference audio. You can really make use of this tool to almost be right there with another.
One last means of communication I wanted to touch on before wrapping up was Blackboard Instant Messenger. All students who have a Blackboard account also have a Blackboard Instant Messenger account. It’s a separate platform that you would download onto your computer, and it allows you to interact with everyone else in the course or the school who has downloaded Blackboard Instant Messenger. You’ll see here, I have my team on my quick contact list. If I go to the classmates tab, all of the courses I’ve ever been enrolled in are available here, and I can expand them and see who’s in the class, how I can contact them, and add them to my quick contact list.
There’s also the school tab. That allows me to get in touch with my student services group. The individual that mans the desk is on lunch right now, so not available, but you would be able to go directly to this, if you wanted to, and ask a question, or your advisor would share, perhaps, their user name, so you could message them right through here. Same with your colleagues. Again, you can use voice, so you can call them for voice over Internet and engage in a collaboration call, a Blackboard Collaborate session, straight from Blackboard Instant Messenger, and have that collaboration in real time. You could do a group chat.
If you wanted to add individuals and have a running commentary, you can also do that. That’s really nice, especially if you’re conscious of what you’re working on and you need a quick answer right away, there’s always someone to message there during business hours. There’s a link here. That’s how you would download it, just straight through the course space. You’d download it from here, then you would have it for the length of the program. That summarizes my presentation. I wanted to go over course material, which we did, course assessments, which we also reviewed, and communication.
It was a high-level overview, so if you do have any questions, I would encourage you to enter them into the chat box, and we will be able to review them as part of the question and answer portion. I’m going to now transfer this back to Angela.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Chris. Thank you for walking us through the live classroom demo. I think in my mind, as well, I’m able to visualize that experience as an incoming student, and it gives me a better understanding of what to expect in the program. What I’m going to do now is we do have another poll for our audience today. We want to hear from you to know what kind of webinars you’d be interested in attending in the future. Maybe you’d like more program information or application process, maybe a spotlight with our student alumni or faculty. We’d love to hear your ideas. We’ve also left an “other” section, so go ahead and take a few minutes to fill that in.
While you’re doing that, we’re going to move directly into our question and answer session. I can see, through the chat box, that we have quite a few questions from our audience. I encourage you to continue sending those in, and our panelists will be more than happy to answer that. The first question that we have is for our admissions team. The question is what is the average age of the students currently studying in the online graduate programs? Go ahead.
Ashley Bacon: Hi, Angela, thank you. It’s Ashley, here. The average age is between 35 and 45. Although we only require five years of full-time professional work experience, we find that most of the students that come into the online MBA program do have around the ten-year mark.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Ashley. The next question that we have is for Chris. The question is when are assignments typically due in an online course?
Chris Longtin: One of the nice things about the online course is that you’re provided with almost all of your materials right up front, so you have access to what’s due when right from Day 1. Your assignments will vary, depending on the course. In some cases, you will likely see your initial discussion post due maybe on a Thursday, and then a response to a colleague due on a Sunday, so there’s that back and forth. Then your assignments and exams are most often completed by end of Day 7, which would be end of day on Sunday, but that does vary course by course, depending on what the learning objectives of the lead faculty are.
In some cases, the lead faculty will think if I make a highly structured course – if I have clear deadlines for all of my assignments, I am helping the student out because I am telling them, “You don’t have to manage your time; you just have to meet these deadlines.” That will sort of push them along and keep them on track. Whereas, other faculty members might take an approach that the student knows best, so I am going to make all of the deadlines on Sunday, and I trust that he or she will be able to manage their time and not push those deadlines right to the last minute. It varies, but it is spread out throughout the week, with a heavy emphasis on the end of the week.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Chris. The next question that we have is for our admissions team. Earlier on in the presentation, we talked a little bit about the optional residencies. One of our audience members wanted to know more about the optional residency or the international field study. I’m wondering if you could just talk a bit more about how that works?
Ashley Bacon: Absolutely, this is Ashley again. For the MBA, some of the optional residencies are on campus; however, the international residency is an eight to ten-day period overseas, depending on the location that you decide to go. It does work towards your credit hours at three credit hours. It also works towards an international business specialization. In regards to the campus-based residencies, they are a week long on campus, as well as working towards your credit hours at three credit hours. Just to reiterate, these are optional residencies and will not hinder your degree if you cannot afford the time to do them. They are just available for individuals who would like to be a little bit more part of the community base on campus.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Ashley. The next question that we have is for Chris. Chris, the question is in general, what is the average amount of time, so hours per week, that is customary for a student to study to be successful in the program? Go ahead, Chris.
Chris Longtin: This will depend upon your background. If you have a strong finance background, you’re not going to spend as much time in the finance course as someone who might be new to finance. It is another one of those questions that’s really difficult to give an actual amount. I would ensure that you have 15 to 20 hours a week that you can dedicate to your studies. Again, that’s something that will fluctuate through all five weeks. You might find Week 1 is a little bit lighter, and Week 2 goes up. The content, again, might change that. If I was considering a program, I would look at my schedule and say, “Do I have 15 to 20 hours a week that I could dedicate towards this, and how can I fit that in?”
It seems a little bit overwhelming, but there are ways to do it. We have students that have said, “I didn’t know how to do it, but what I ended up doing was ensuring that I take my lunches alone and doing all of my readings on lunch, so I have five hours of reading that I get done on my lunch every week that I otherwise would have spent socializing in the lunchroom.” We have other students that when their son or daughter sits down at the kitchen table to do their homework, they take advantage of that time and sit down and do that, as well. There’s a large number of students that have changed their commute.
They’ve moved from being the driver to being the passenger, so that they can do work on the road, or commuting through transit, so they can get that reading done. There are other students who, they’ll wake up an hour earlier or stay up an hour later, in order to work it in. It’s an MBA program. It’s not easy. There will likely be a few sacrifices over the two-year period, but we’ve found that students have been creative and have been able to find that time.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Chris. The next question from our audience is for the admissions team. They would like to know how long the graduate programs are from start to finish, and if the courses are done in a continuous block or if breaks are available throughout? Go ahead.
Rishi Sethi: The MBA program is about two years in length, and the MSF and MST programs are about 14 to 16 months, in total, depending on when you start. It’s important to note that you’re only taking one class at a time. Most of the classes are about five weeks, and there are a few shorter ones. There is a lot of flexibility. They are 100 percent online, as we’ve explained. I just missed the second part of the question, there.
Angela LaGamba: Sure, the question was – for the first part, it was how long are the courses, typically, from beginning to end. Then the second part from our audience member was are the courses usually offered in one continuous block, or do you usually get breaks in between courses?
Rishi Sethi: That’s right. The courses are, like I said, one class at a time, and then you typically get a one-week break in between. You can do the MBA, for example, in two years, but if you need additional time, you can spread it out over a little bit longer period of time. You do have up to five years to complete the degree. The same goes for MSF and MST.
Michelle Yan: I do want to speak regarding some of the students that are considering the MS Tax program. I know that there are a lot of students who go through different busy seasons throughout the year. We certainly do accommodate for that because, like I said, we do understand students, their busy seasons and so forth. If students do need breaks, perhaps, during the tax season, we can certainly accommodate for that, as well.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you both, Michelle and Rishi. The next question that we have is for Chris. Chris, you’re getting quite a few questions from our audience, and they’re very good. I encourage our audience to continue sending those in. Chris, the question is for the Blackboard system, does that run on a tablet, for example, an iPad or an Android system?
Chris Longtin: Blackboard does have a mobile app, which you can download, and the Blackboard Collaborate also has a mobile app, which you can download. I actually argue that I like the Blackboard Collaborate app on the iPad better than the desktop version. I feel like it’s simpler. It uses a little bit less bandwidth. It’s not as feature heavy, so everything just seems to move faster. If I have a weak Internet connection, I find a better experience. So yes, you are able to access the platform from your mobile device. That does not mean that you can get away with not having a computer. You will need a computer in order to upload your assignments and draft them, and it’s always recommended that when you are completing a test or an exam that you do so from an actual computer, just to ensure your best setup for success.
One other thing to note is that a large portion of the course materials, so your textbooks, are available on digital providers, so you can download them and take them with you, as well as course packs, which are a collection of articles, are available for download – are all electronic, all course packs, so you would have access to those from your – whether you download the course pack app or just download the PDF file and open it on your device. So your reading, you can take almost all – a large amount of your reading you can take with you. There are some courses that do use hard copy books, but the majority are offering both options.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Chris. The next question that we have is for the admissions team. It’s specifically around the online MBA. The question is there a distinction on the diploma that says that you’ve completed the online MBA versus the traditional on-campus MBA? Go ahead.
Ashley Bacon: There’s no distinction. The degree, itself, is 100 percent the same that you’d obtain on campus. So upon completion, you’re actual degree does not state online MBA. We actually encourage our online students, if possible in their schedules, to come and walk with our graduating class.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Ashley. The next question is a follow up for our admissions team. The question is around all three online graduate programs. The question is what is the tuition and other costs for the program? Go ahead.
Rishi Sethi: Tuition is currently $1,385.00 per credit. As I said, the MBA program requires 50 credits, MS Finance and MST require 30 credits each. That’s it.
Angela LaGamba: The next question that we have for Chris from our audience is are the Blackboard platforms Mac compatible? We talked a little bit about tablets, but is Blackboard compatible with a Mac laptop or a Mac desktop? Go ahead, Chris.
Chris Longtin: Blackboard is a web-based system, so you are able to access it from your browser, whether you’re on Windows or a Mac. One thing to note is that different browsers play with Blackboard differently, so we do encourage students to have a variety of browsers. Firefox is usually the most Blackboard friendly, but I would encourage you, if you are using a Mac, to have both Firefox and Chrome, just because some pages do render differently.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Chris. The next question that we have is around the ranking, specifically for the online MBA program. Ashley or Rishi, this question would be for you. Can you tell me a bit more about how the program is ranked, and also how it’s accredited? Go ahead.
Angela LaGamba: What I’ve also done, as well, through the chat box, is I’ve shared a link with our current rankings and accreditation for the online MBA, so go ahead and click on that link if you would like a detailed listing with both of that information. We do have a follow-up question for our admissions team. The question is does the five-week course program, or does the online graduate business programs, do they qualify as full-time for financial aid? Go ahead.
Chris Longtin: This is Chris. The program is – students need to complete six credits per semester in order to qualify for financial aid. If your schedule is such that you have six credits each semester, and that is the way the program is designed, if you are on the two-year track, you will have the required credit amounts in order to qualify for financial aid.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Chris. The next question is for our admissions team. The question is when does the graduate certificate in supply chain management, so what are the start dates, and what are the entry requirements? Go ahead.
Rishi Sethi: The next start for supply chain management is, I believe, March 24th. If you interested in that, it is kind of a unique offering that we just launched recently online. I would definitely encourage you to speak with your advisor for more information on that. It’s really a great offering, and we’re just excited to launch it this past year. We’re getting a lot of positive feedback on it. I’d be happy to speak with anyone directly or speak with your respective advisor on it.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you. The next question that we have is for Chris. That’s around a group project. One of our audience members wanted to know how do you participate in group projects in the online classroom? Go ahead, Chris.
Chris Longtin: I think that group projects are one of the most exciting elements. One of the ways that I work and learn is best in collaboration, so the ability to meet someone and work with them on a project often fosters a better relationship between me and them than just reading their discussion board posts. The most often, what you’ll see for group work is there will usually always be someone that is very motivated and sort of Day 1, Day 2, will reach out and say, “Hi, let’s arrange a call and go over the project requirements and figure out how we’re going to split it up.” Then depending on the project, different people split it up different ways. If it is a two-part project, one person might do the first part, and the second person review it, and then for the second part, someone else would take the lead on the first draft, and then the partner might do the review.
In other cases, if you’re doing a marketing plan, for example, the marketing plan might have multiple parts, so you would divide that up and say Person A will take Part 1, 2, 3, Person B, 3, 4, 5, and then Person C would take whatever was remaining, depending on the length of the project. The smallest group is a partnering of two people, and your largest group would probably be around five people. Then depending on class sizes and the particularities of the class, the average is usually around a group of four. They’re not so large that you can’t coordinate with one another, but they’re not so small that it’s a one-man show. It’s a good opportunity to meet people. As long as you’re organized, you should be all set.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Chris. We do have a follow-up question for you. During your demo, you were showing our audience today what assessments and quizzes look like. One of our audience members wanted to know how are those quizzes or tests administered?
Chris Longtin: The way it works – because we’re in a live course, I couldn’t actually launch the quiz for you have a little bit of extra insight into the Spring 1, Quiz 1, but it would, in most cases, appear on your screen, and you would complete it similar to a survey that you might do online. There will be some multiple choice questions, where you select the one that you think is the right answer. There might be some short answer questions, where the quiz will ask you to input in a text box, and then some of your quantitative courses, you might download a problem set, and then upload your Excel file afterwards, within the time period, and you would be marked or reviewed on that.
One thing to note is that the online graduate student resource center has a really good section on quizzes and assessments that takes you through that, so you would be very familiar with what to expect before Day 1 of your course, if you complete the recommended orientation.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Chris. The next question that we have is for Ashley. The question is when, for the online MBA, is the next start date after January? Go ahead.
Ashley Bacon: After January is February 17th, which is Spring 2. Because of the holiday season, we do strongly encourage that students that are looking for any of the start dates in spring submit their documents as soon as possible, especially your transcripts. But certainly, if you are looking to begin the process, we have a start date, as mentioned earlier, it’s Spring 1, January 6th, and then the following one is February 17th.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Ashley. The next question that we have is for Michelle around the Masters of Science in Taxation program. The question is how long does the process usually take for this program for admissions? Go ahead, Michelle.
Michelle Yan: The admissions process – like I said, with the MS Tax program, we usually have six start dates throughout the year, so very flexible starts. Again, just like Ashley had mentioned, a lot of times, when you do begin the application process, we do – especially coming up in the January start, with the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the Christmas holidays coming up in December, we always do encourage students to submit their documents early, and then the earlier you submit your documents, hopefully you’ll hear back from the admissions committee as well. Usually, we give students – a good time frame to work with is about a month or so.
But like I said, I’ve had students come to me within a week and a half and had their documents, transcripts, recommendations within a week and a half. It can be done if you’re motivated. Like I said, usually, we do give students about a month’s time to put everything together. Again, you do want to make sure you get your documents in early, so that they can be reviewed quickly, as well.
Rishi Sethi: That’s for all programs. It’s not just the MST, just to clarify. A reasonable turnaround time to expect to get your application done would be about a month, but we do have students, from time to time, who’ve come in kind of last minute, and they do – they are able to complete their application in a week. It’s really a pretty straightforward process. There’s five requirements. The application form, it’s an online application form. You create an account, and you’d fill out all your personal, academic, and professional information. You’ll also provide a current resume, a statement of purpose, which is 500 words outlining what you’re doing now, where you’re headed, and why you’re looking to do the degree with Northeastern.
We will need a transcript from every school you’ve gone to after high school. Even if you had transfer credits, we would need those, as well. Then lastly, your recommendations, we need three of them, and they must be professional. Even the recommendations are submitted directly online. In your application account, you just fill out each reference’s information, and they get an automated email with instructions to submit. It is a really straightforward and simple process. We are taking – we’re actually taking applications now, so do feel free to reach out and start the process, if you haven’t already done so.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, both. The next question we have is for Chris, and the question is are all course materials available online, so electronically, or do students need to purchase hard copy textbooks and materials?
Chris Longtin: Different courses engage different materials. All of the course packs are 100 percent electronic, but the textbooks, there are some textbooks, the Statistics course, in particular, has a custom textbook that students find very useful. It’s not in print. It’s only available as a hard copy. The lead faculty member will select the materials that are best suited to achieving the course objectives, and in some cases, they are only available via hard copy, but the majority do have an electronic counterpart.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Chris. The next question that we have is for Ashley. Ashley, the question is for the online MBA, is there a requirement to have a business background to enroll in the program? Go ahead.
Ashley Bacon: Not from your undergraduate degree. If there is some concern from some of the attendees about what they studied in their undergraduate, that is not necessarily important. I would employ that – if you are concerned whether it is with your undergraduate, as well as your professional background, that is a more individual topic with your advisor. I would definitely get in touch with them. But if you did study something outside of business, that’s absolutely fine. In regards to your professional background, there should be some level of leadership that has taken place within the minimum of five years that is required.
Whether that leadership is a team lead, a supervisor, or managerial experience, it is important to display that throughout your application. But again, if you have some concern regarding your professional background or your undergraduate degree, it is best to have a one-on-one conversation with your enrollment advisor.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Ashley. Rishi, a follow-up question from our audience is are the courses within the online MBA different from the on-campus program? Go ahead.
Rishi Sethi: With all these programs, they’re rooted in the curriculum from the on-campus programs, so it’s the same professors that have worked with course development for the online program to modify their classes to make them deliverable in this format. Fundamentally, yes, we’re communicating the same things. It’s just the mode of delivery that differs.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Rishi. The next question is for Chris. The question is does the online MBA program work with a specific cohort for group projects throughout the two years?
Chris Longtin: There are a number of ways to complete it. If you being the program and work with a group that you would like to remain with, you can make that request of your student advisor, and they will work with you to identify how you could remain with that cohort. Because of the way the program’s set up where you complete core courses, and then move into electives, you’ll likely find that a lot of – you’ll see a lot of familiar faces in your first few classes, but as people diversify and move into their areas of specialization, you might lose track of some individuals, and then you’ll all come together closer to the end of the program, when you finish off your core courses.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Chris. We do have a follow-up question for you, Chris. You mentioned earlier about live sessions that are offered for some of the courses. How is that handled, given that some students are in different time zones, they have different work schedules? How does that typically work? Go ahead, Chris.
Chris Longtin: That’s an excellent question. All of your live sessions are recorded. If you are unable to attend a session at any time, you’re able to watch the recording of the next day. The sessions are not required. There’s no new material introduced in them. If you’re unable to make it, or it doesn’t meet with your timeline, you’re able to watch the recording the next day.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Chris. The next question that we have is for our admissions team. The question is when was the online MBA program introduced online? Go ahead.
Rishi Sethi: This is actually one of the first accredited programs online. We’ve been around for about seven years now on the marketplace. We have a pretty strong track record and a good reputation for an online business program. Of course, the school, itself, has been around over 100 years. Northeastern’s definitely been around a long time, and we’re certainly not going anywhere any time soon.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Rishi. The next question that we have is for Ashley. The question is what about the GMAT and the GRE examination? Is that a requirement for the online MBA? Go ahead, Ashley.
Ashley Bacon: The GRE is not accepted with Northeastern University. However, you can use a GMAT if your GPA score was a bit low. It does not fill the gap if you do not meet the minimum professional work experience requirement. However, if you do want to take a GMAT, the admissions committee will accept scores of 590 plus. If you’re worried about, again, either your professional or educational background, I would implore you to talk to your enrollment advisor before taking a GMAT to see what options are available, but it is not a requirement.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Ashley. The final question that we have for today’s webinar is around the deadline to apply for the January 6, 2014 start date. I’m wondering if you’d like to talk a little bit about the deadlines for each of the online graduate business programs? Go ahead.
Rishi Sethi: We have the same expectation with regards to deadlines for all the programs. We’ve got a start coming up of January 6th. To be realistic, a lot of universities are – they’re reducing staff because of the holidays. If you want to be considered for the Spring 1 start, regardless of program, I highly recommend getting going on your application and submitting it no later than December 1st. The difficulty you come up with sometimes is it’s not so much the application form or your resume or your essay. Those are simple. You can do those in a matter of a few hours.
It’s ordering your transcripts – sometimes people order transcripts and they don’t come in on time, or they don’t come in at all, so they need to request them again. It’s important to give us a little bit of a margin to allow for those kind of things, to make sure that your application gets submitted in time for a review for that start. Of course, recommendations, people are leaving for holidays. Giving people a reasonable amount of time to get those in, as well, is also very important and considerate of them. I would say December 1st latest submission date.
Angela LaGamba: That is all the time that we have for today’s webinar. I do have a couple of closing thoughts before we conclude this session. An enrollment advisor will be following up with you over the next few days to answer any additional questions that you may have about the course demo that was shown today or about any of the online graduate business programs. If you would like to contact an advisor immediately, you can reach them by calling the number on the screen for any of the programs that we’ve talked about today. We’ve also recorded today’s session, and we will be sharing that shortly. If you have any additional feedback on today’s session, you could send it through the chat box on the lower right-hand side of the screen.
But again, I wanted to thank our panel, Christopher Longtin, Michelle Yan, Ashley Bacon, and Rishi Sethi. Thank you for taking the time to walk us through the course demo, and also to talk about the programs, very informative, and also to our audience for being very engaged in sending through all of those questions. This concludes our session, and have a great day, everyone.
This webinar covers developments in healthcare and how you can benefit by earning your Online MBA in Healthcare Management. Professor Nelson discusses his extensive background in healthcare and provides insight into the Healthcare Management concentration.
Angela LaGamba: Welcome to Northeastern University’s Online MBA Healthcare Management concentration webinar on the topic the next 20 years in healthcare. My name is Angela, and I will be your moderator for today. Before we begin, I’d like to go over logistics for this presentation and address some commonly asked questions. All participants are in listen only mode. If you have any questions, we encourage you to ask them in the chat box located either on the right-hand side of your screen, or if you’re in full-screen mode, you’ll just need to hover your mouse close to the top of your screen and click on the chat icon. We’ll be addressing your questions throughout your presentation, but also during our dedicated Q&A at the end of the session.
The event is being recorded, so it can also be viewed again at a future time. Your panelists today are Professor Carl Nelson, Enrollment Advisor Hayden Jones, and myself, Angela LaGamba, your host and moderator. Carl Nelson is the associate professor of international business and strategy at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business. He currently teaches in the area of operations management, healthcare management, and corporate social responsibility. In 1987, he was cited as a distinguished professor by California State University for his contributions to the field of operations management in healthcare services.
He has served as a visiting associate professor of health systems at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and is a visiting associate professor in the Health Policy and Management Department of Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. Also, Professor Nelson will be talking a little bit more about his background, as well, and you’re more than welcome to ask questions through the chat box. We also have Hayden Jones. He’s the lead enrollment advisor for Northeastern University’s online MBA. His role is to help prospective students through the application and admissions process. What can you expect in today’s session?
We’re going to be talking very briefly about Northeastern University and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business online MBA. I know many of you have questions about that and the admissions requirements. We also have Professor Nelson, who’s going to be talking about the next 20 years in healthcare. Like we mentioned earlier, we do have a Q&A session, so feel free to use the chat box, and we will be answering your questions in real time. With that being said, I’m going to hand it over to Hayden Jones, our enrollment advisor, to talk a little bit about Northeastern University.
Hayden Jones: As Angela mentioned, my name is Hayden Jason Jones, the lead enrollment advisor for the online MBA program. For those of you that don’t know who we are, Northeastern University was founded in 1898, and we are very proud of our history, reputation, and our heritage. As part of the heritage, we have a reputation of scholarly research, teaching excellence, and innovative curricula, and this is supported by our acclaimed PhD-level scholars and educators who are leaders in their field. The D’Amore-McKim School of Business was founded in 1922, which the online MBA program is part of, and we’re located in the heart of Boston.
We also have an alumni association of over 200,000 people, of which 40,000 are from the School of Business. We also have chapters all across the world, which provides a great opportunity for networking. To further support our reputation for teaching excellence, we are happy to report that we boast the AACSB accreditation, which is the hallmark of business education. Last year, our online MBA program was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. by Financial Times, and today, our MBA program is ranked No. 36 by U.S. News and World Report. You may be asking why choose our online MBA program?
Some of the reasons are listed here, on this slide, but I’ll just highlight a couple.
You have an opportunity to tailor your degree by choosing from eight in-demand specializations, and I’ll speak more about that later. We have cutting-edge online content that includes interactive multimedia, and leverage our focus on professional work experience and, therefore, don’t ask for the GMAT or GRE as part of our admissions requirement. This program is designed for the more mature business professional. The online program can be completed in as little as 24 months, and you can choose a general MBA, or we have eight different disciplines from which to specialize in. As you can see from the side, healthcare is one of those specializations.
The way the program is structured, you can obtain a specialization if you take three of your five electives in a defined subject area. There is also an opportunity for a dual specialization, so if you take two courses from one discipline and two from another, and then take a course that is shared between those two disciplines, you actually end up with a dual specialization. If you’re confused by what I just said, please reach out to your enrollment advisor, and I’m sure they’ll be happy to clarify this for you. What I’d like to do is just pass it back over to Angela.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Hayden. For our audience, what we would like to do is ask you a question around what area you currently work in. Are you currently working in the healthcare field, yes or no? There is a chat box that will appear on your screen, either on the lower right-hand side, or if you hover – if you’re in full-screen mode, if you hover at the very top and just hit the polling icon, you’ll be able to vote, as well. We see a couple of responses coming in. Hayden and Professor Nelson, it looks like 25 percent of our audience works in the healthcare industry. With that information – thank you to everyone for participating – I’m going to hand it over to Professor Nelson to talk about the next 20 years in healthcare. Go ahead, Professor.
Professor Nelson: One of the virtues of a virtual classroom like this is you’re getting to speak to people all over the country, and sometimes all over the world. I’ve been involved in healthcare for about 3½ decades as an educator, as a consultant. It is an exciting field, and it has been throughout my career. If you’re new to it or considering it, I hope you learn something from this. I’m going to be looking a little bit back at how we’ve come to where we are, and then trying to look forward. It’s a little bit dangerous to make predictions, but I’m confident in some of these that you’ll see before you, so you can certainly ask questions related to anything that comes up.
I have a few slides, and I’d like to go through them with you. This just somewhat repeats what Angela said in her very kind introduction. When I began teaching in the online MBA program, frankly, as a traditional educator, I was a little concerned about the outcomes and the control. I found it a really terrific platform, not necessarily for everyone, but for working professionals who are really able to contribute and learn from each other and work diligently on the material in a short period of time to accomplish many of their career goals. If you’re, again, new to the field, some of this jargon may be challenging, but what I’d like to do is look at where we are and where we have been and speak about some new rules.
Certainly, the dimensions have changed in my career. The progress is accelerating rapidly. Our current approach – and this is really from the Institute of Medicine, their guidelines and some of their recommendations – we have a direction here and a trend, where the patient is going to be more in control of their healthcare, where things are not delivered in silos, on an episodic base, to patients, where the focus really is on shared decision making. Many of the skills that are necessary to accomplish this, both change in clinical attitudes and organizational structures, organizational design, process redesign have been taking place for some period of time.
They’re just greatly accelerating. Certainly with 17 percent of our gross domestic product devoted to healthcare, one of the goals is cost containment and quality improvement that you’ll see throughout this. These are themes that are part of, really, any MBA training. We directly incorporate these through case analyses and project work in our online MBA program here. It’s about cooperation. It’s about re-organization. We have moved greatly, in the field of management, from management based on intuition, certainly, over a long period of time, to management based on evidence, evidence-based management. The same thing is happening, and has been happening, in the field of medicine, so called evidence-based medicine.
These simple rules – just looking at these slides. By the way, the entire webinar, too, will be recorded and will be available, so these slides, if you would like to look at them again or ask me any further questions, even when we’re offline, I’d be happy to respond to them. Let’s just move on here. We speak about paradigm shifts. If that word is new, forgive me. Paradigm is considered to be a current way in philosophy and approach to thinking. In healthcare, we’re really moving to think differently about how we will do our work differently in the future, either as clinicians or as researchers, educators, and administrators.
The focus, moving from individuals to population-based health, from the need to move away from individual providers, a lot more team-based approaches, from so-called episodic to continuous care, from electronic medical records. Many, I think, probably, now, even in this group, have access to their own records through EPIC or other systems, but on an institutional level, sharing this information across different platforms, financial information, clinical information, the use of big data into operable health information technology, some of you may, in fact, be directly involved in that. Then the entire change and shift over time from fee-for-service payment to bundled payments, comprehensive payments, pay-for-performance methods that reward quality, as well as volume.
Population health management, we threw this out, term, earlier. It is what the term suggests. This is for one healthcare organization here in the Boston area, been exceptionally fortunate over the last three or four decades to be working in this field in Boston, certainly one of the medical meccas of the world. This is one large hospital and hospital system looking at how they can bring down costs, focus more effectively on high-risk patients, and what it will take to manage these high-risk patients, particularly patients, as this formerly was a hospital dedicated to the most acute care patients to patients that have, perhaps, acute conditions, but comorbidities and chronic care conditions.
They are building up their expertise in this area and, actually, directly involved with many more primary care physicians than before. We’ll speak about that in a minute. I just wanted to give you an example of something that is relatively local. We spoke, too, about patient centeredness. These are good terms, but this is really one of the dimensions of bringing value into healthcare, scientific expertise, this evidence-based management and evidence-based medicine, but also the caregiving, the service-oriented portion of this, where personal knowledge is particularly important. People regularly consult the Internet, WebMD. They’re confused.
They’re looking, really, for a healthcare system that can guide them through these extremely troubling circumstances and times, both the clinical health dimension and the mental health dimension have to be addressed. Choosing the right care option and understanding that choice and managing expectations is part of the clinician’s and the health system’s job. This is a slide that comes from the work of Michael Porter, our Business School colleague here in Boston and really, I think, represents the way in which many healthcare systems have been trying to change, to develop a closer focus to gain market share, as well. Michael Porter and others have worked with organizations like the Cleveland Clinic, where this driving element of increasing efficiency, accumulating experience, getting better data, it’s termed the virtuous circle of value.
You can sort of see the virtue of this to both patients, the healthcare system, in general, and to the providing organization. So it’s about innovation. It’s about IT. It’s about reputation. Even the smaller healthcare systems, too, are healthcare systems that are evolving, some of which are consolidating, take all of this to heart in strategic decision making. Healthcare strategy is one of the specific courses, too, that is part of the training in our online MBA program, that capstone course that is typically part of any MBA program, but here, we specialize it for the healthcare field.
This is a picture of the jubilant group in Washington, D.C., after the Supreme Court came down with its most recent decision on the Affordable Care Act, the King v. Burwell decision that really, if it had gone one way, it might have severely threatened the nation’s ability to provide healthcare for millions. Our moderator, Angela, and Hayden are in Canada. They have a different system than ours. Understanding regulations is particularly important. Understanding the laws in this area, particularly important how reimbursement has changed, and certainly access to healthcare has greatly increased as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
It does bring many challenges, but with those challenges, too, comes an increase in demand and an increase in business for healthcare providers and for insurers and for suppliers in the industry take that to heart. These strategies that are often cited as important for succeeding in the future, for organizations to succeed in the future, one needs to, as an individual considering working in this field or to the study in this field, if you’re a clinician – I can say something to the fact that we have many different students in our courses.
Typically – and I don’t really have direct numbers on this, but since it’s something you may be interested in, typically, in a course, there may be one, two, or three physicians out of a group of, say, 20, folks from the pharmaceutical industry, researchers, insurance people, nurses, nurse practitioners, a variety of students exposed to many of these ideas in a direct and engaging way. Through case analysis and projects and lecturing online and collaborate sessions, where you get to speak directly to the lead faculty instructor – the structure of these courses is that we have a lead faculty person, say myself, developing the course and course material.
Then the sections are actually managed – and I’ve been extremely lucky throughout my contact with this online program to have either retired or working professionals as folks who are our section instructors. They can provide specific information to questions, too, on an ongoing basis. There’s also face-to-face contact that is available with them through the so-called collaborate feature that we use, so online conferences face-to-face, if you wish. These strategies, partnering, finance, strategic management, information systems, again, specifically apply to the healthcare field. Oh, there we have a funny slide. We’re trying to avoid this in all our organizations, buried by paperwork, information technology, though I think I do feel, myself, occasionally buried by the information technology.
Papers are still being generated someplace, but that has been a slow process, I think, finally getting to the level where the effort involved is well worth the potential rewards. In the Boston area alone, in the last year or so, many of our major healthcare providers have invested – say Partners Healthcare investing over $1.3 billion in the EPIC information system, Boston Medical Center is somewhat less, Leahy somewhat less. Information technology, coupled with healthcare, might be a good field to – and I think will continue to be a good field if you look at the employment projections and continuing needs in that area getting a lot more sophisticated.
This is a general direction. Volume-driven healthcare, providers looking to maximize their revenue, shortening the amount of time they spend with each individual patient, rewarded based on volume, and now to be increasingly rewarded either as individual providers, as providers in a system or department, to so-called value-driven healthcare, where this is a metric, and not completely scientific, we’d have to say, but conceptually of value this so-called value equation, where we try to measure. Administrators do get involved directly in this, increasingly involved in this, as clinicians are involved in measuring quality that’s determined by the structure of services, the processes carried out, and most importantly, increasingly now, measured by outcomes.
Looking at value in a numerator quality, what you get, plus the service, your perceptions of that service, the direct care that is given on a human level, all divided by cost. Some metrics now, and measures, increasingly coming in to play through contracting that move us in that direction. A couple more slides, and then we’ll get to my predictions. These are some directions. Many organizations have been moving in this area, what will be a high-performing healthcare system. Many of the things we’ve spoken about in terms of costs, have spoken about in terms of population health, just earlier here, importance of regulation, and clinical guidelines, care maps, process re-engineering to eliminate waste and inefficiency, these are all tools, too, that we go over in our challenging courses here.
I will speak about what is a challenging course. How many hours a week do I have to spend on this? These are questions that should be in your mind. When we are called upon to design any of these courses, given the time frame and the credits, our expectation is – and Hayden, maybe later, can expand on this if he’d like – but our expectation is that we’re designing a course that requires somewhat on the order of 15 hours of outside work and reading each week. That has to fit into your schedule. Some students new to the field or challenged by the material or wanting to do their best spend considerably more time. Each course, we do ask students, at the end of the course, to estimate the amount of time that they’ve spent.
Looking back at some of mine, I do see variation, but 15 hours a week is a good guideline. We focus on cost a lot in this class. We investigate in this cases – in this program, that is, we investigate cases where we’re looking at provider substitution, treatment substitution, different settings for care, how that is changing, moving from in-patient care to ambulatory care and re-designing the system, itself. My own initial focus on healthcare really began as an operations research, systems analysis person. I’ve been involved with many different studies of this type over the years. Focus on cost and quality improvement, both of which can and should go hand in hand. My predictions. How much time do we have left, Angela?
Angela LaGamba: You have some time left. Go ahead.
Professor Nelson: Good. Okay, terrific. My predictions for 2035, when I’ll be retired on a lake in New Hampshire, so you can’t come after me if any of these are wrong. I think they’re built on evidence and directions we’ve seen and things I’ve just spoken about here this morning. Only the sickest patients will receive in-patient care. The hospitals of yesterday will not be the hospital of the future. It will be, indeed, more greatly focused. It will have options for care outside of the facility. There will be a greater emphasis on continuity of care. You’re discharged from the hospital. What will be the follow up, in terms of meeting? In clinics and outpatient settings, what will be the follow up, in terms of monitoring, let’s say, through telemedicine?
What will be the follow up in terms of virtual care? We are seeing increased payments for primary care to foster population health. It’s not proceeding as rapidly as some would say with the huge debt that medical school students face in getting their degrees and what they owe. Many have, in the past, been encouraged to seek out careers with a better payback, quality of life, and work life that is in their best interests. But now, there have been, and I think we will increasingly see increased payments for primary care loan forgiveness for physicians graduating from this area, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, as well. We’ve all read about the third bullet point here, so-called personalized medicine.
This is coming faster than some people thought it would come and slower and on a more complicated basis than others have also predicted, but the direction really – using genomic information for diagnostic purposes, even for prevention, for targeting drugs, has increased in cancer care and, I think, will further develop. One of the challenges of working in this field is understanding the clinical side and the clinical dimensions, the management directions, the regulatory constraints here, the economics. It’s made it really fascinating, at least for Carl Nelson, in looking at this. I learn so much on a regular basis every day. I think that keeps me going. Hyperconnectivity through telemedicine is what we’re seeing more of. Some of you, perhaps, already have experienced this.
Why go to the doctor’s office? Telemedicine coming in for diagnostic purposes, initially, mostly for people who couldn’t travel that easily. They were in a rural setting. But we will see, I think, a good deal more of telemedicine connecting patients with providers and institutions and specialists across the country and across the globe. Affiliations and arrangements with, say, Dartmouth Hitchcock in Hanover, New Hampshire, and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota using telemedicine, second opinions, radiological interpretations, telemedicine for radiology, where specialists are reading radiographic images in places like Nepal and getting information back here to the United States and working overnight.
On time, driven by cost given these capabilities. Finally, telemedicine is not a new term at all, but it is something, I think, to think about incurring with increased emphasis in the future. Then we have the big data movement and data analytics, not only providing appropriate diagnoses, but also guiding us all maybe in a big brother way, and certainly there are ethical dimensions of all of that, which we’ve been speaking about here this morning. Big data does have its challenges, in terms of confidentiality and things that you would be worried about, but using that appropriately to guide decision making to make judgments. Finally, the robot will see you now.
That’s scary to some of my young physician friends or physicians in training. You’ve heard of IBM’s Watson on Jeopardy. You probably know that in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic, IBM’s Watson’s built-in diagnostic capabilities, they’ve outperformed in some tests now with the information and data available to it and decision-making capabilities incorporated in it. They’ve actually outperformed some cancer specialists in diagnostic purposes, so will the robot see you now, or will a virtual doctor see you now? Twenty years, yeah, I think we’ll be a little bit more confident . Generally, robots are used to assist in surgeries.
Outcomes are somewhat varied there, but for more standardized procedures. One can really learn, I think, as part of this program, any direct study of the healthcare industry, learn, I think, quite a bit from one’s own professional career, but also for one’s own wellbeing. One of the neat things about healthcare is we’re all engaged. We’re engaged in it as children, as adults, as parents, as caregivers for our older parents and, ultimately, as professionals. We’d all like to improve on these faults, eliminate waste and inefficiency wherever possible to achieve better outcomes. With better outcomes, with achieving an institution’s mission, we’re also looking at increasing that institution’s margin.
Without a margin, there’s no mission; without a mission, there’s no possibility of a margin, using that term loosely because many of the organizations here we’re dealing with are non-profit institutions, but they, too, of course, have to look at their bottom line. Just quickly in my last slide, these are our current healthcare specialization offerings, healthcare finance, an overview of the healthcare industry, strategic decision-making course I’ve spoken about before, and health informatics course that is also on the books and quite challenging. All of these taught by people like myself, people directly participating in the industry with, really, a wealth of experience.
Do I have another slide here, Angela, or am I ready to turn that back to you? Okay, Angela, I think you can take over now. Thank you. I hope I didn’t go over too much. These professors drone on and on and on.
Angela LaGamba: No, you’re actually quite all right, Professor, and you’ve been getting a quite a few questions. To our audience, I encourage you to continue to send in those questions. We’ll be getting to our Q&A session in a few minutes. Professor, you’ve actually given us quite a bit to think about. What I’m going to do now is bring Hayden Jones, our enrollment advisor, online to talk a little bit about the admissions requirements. Go ahead, Hayden.
Hayden Jones: Thank you, Angela. I won’t take too much longer. What I’m going to do is just go over the admissions requirement. They’re fairly simple. We require that you have a minimum of five years of full-time professional work experience, an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or above on a scale of a 4.0. Now, if you don’t meet the above requirements, it doesn’t automatically disqualify you from being accepted into the program. I would ask that you reach out to your enrollment advisors for some counseling. The application requirements, again, very straightforward, very simple.
On average, it takes about two weeks, depending on how disciplined and focused the applicant is, but we require an updated resume, statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, actually professional letters of recommendation. We do accept academic references, as well. We require all U.S. post-secondary transcripts or equivalent for international students, and there is a $100.00 non-refundable application fee. Northeastern is committed to supporting our veterans. The online program has recently become a part of the Yellow Ribbon program. If you fall under this program, then it means that most, if not all of your tuition will be covered by the government and Northeastern.
For more information, I recommend that you visit the website, as listed on the slide there. Lastly, as part of our commitment to our alumni, beginning fall of this year, the D’Amore-McKim School of Business will now offer the Double Husky scholarship to all Northeastern alums who have completed a degree at one of our colleges. In addition, the $100.00 application fee would be waived. Again, I encourage you to visit our website for more detailed information about the Double Husky scholarship. That’s the end of my part. I would just like to pass it back over to Angela.
Angela LaGamba: Great. Thank you so much, Hayden. What I’d like to do now is get our audience involved. We do have for you. Why are you interested in healthcare? We have a couple of options here around the growth industry. Perhaps there’s a desire to impact someone’s life, or maybe there’s some competitive earning potential, or perhaps you recognize the need to change how the industry functions. If there’s another reason, as well, we will leave this poll open throughout the Q&A, so you’re more than welcome to fill in those responses, and then we will share the aggregated poll results with everyone. While you’re filling that in, let’s move into our question and answer session.
Many of you have sent in questions, and I encourage you to continue to do so. The first question that we have come in is for you, Professor. That question is around the program, itself. One of our students wants to know do aspects of the program focus on specific current events, such as the shift in public health programs, Medicaid, to private managed care companies, and also how will that affect the private sector healthcare companies? Go ahead, Professor.
Professor Nelson: There have been, in the minds of many, a cutback in – and maybe too significant a cutback in public programs and charity hospitals and programs that meet the needs both culturally – whoops, what am I – okay, here we go. Sorry, I just saw a new slide pop up and wondered what was happening there, but this is the question and answer session, so here we go. Yes, cultural competencies, particularly important. There are many opportunities, weight loss, dietary programs, things that institutions maybe – traditional institutions can’t directly deliver upon in an effective manner, mental health, substance abuse. Do those types of programs need to be in more traditional institutions, or can they be shifted over?
I would say it would be discussed, in terms of current events. In some of these classes, there may be a case or two in development. But also, if you have a particular expertise or interest in that area, as we’re talking about changes within the industry, as your weekly typical structure might be to write and deliver some short papers answering some questions, but also, through these discussion boards that are set up, that would provide a great opportunity for you to push your class and your individual instructor to more specifically address those questions. I don’t have any specific projections in that area for you, but to say that where there is a need, that need should be addressed, but more specifically, in our economic system surrounding healthcare, it is really based on an ability to pay and shifting regulations and payment schemes.
So different segments of the industry have been affected this way, outpatient radiographic services, say, for example, through changing regulations and payment schemes. As we consolidate our insurers, as they get more powerful, as that industry consolidates, who’s paying is important, as the federal government’s role increases in this area. That will greatly shape reimbursement and the responses of – and the entrepreneurial opportunities, which we really haven’t spoken of. Maybe that’s the direction you’re interested in taking. That was the origin of your question.
There are courses, too, within the general MBA program, where entrepreneurship – online MBA program where entrepreneurship and opportunities for business plan development will be encouraged, but currently, not specifically in any of the electives that I’ve identified. Is there another question? I hope that helps.
Angela LaGamba: It does. To our audience, if you have a follow-up question for the professor, feel free to send that through. Hayden, the next question is for you. The question is can you talk a bit more about the healthcare specialization and the course offerings that are provided through the MBA program? Go ahead, Hayden.
Hayden Jones: the professor. As mentioned, let me go through the structure of the MBA program. A total of 18 courses, 13 of them are core MBA classes, so you get to understand business, overall, and then you have your five electives. The professor, I guess, on a slide there, had the number of – oh, there it is – the healthcare courses that you have to choose from. Perhaps he may want to go into more detail about those courses. It wasn’t specific enough. I know he did touch on them.
Professor Nelson: One of the nice features, too – these are generic subject areas, in many ways, but we do regularly try to update, too, these courses and the cases and the case materials, too, to reflect changes or interesting developments. I am a proponent – and this maybe also ties back to the question about discussing current events – of having our students directly look at current events on a regular basis, working with healthcare professionals, as well.
For example, in the healthcare finance class, one of the requirements is for students to both join the Healthcare Financial Management Association themselves, as student members, that provides a wealth of information and material, but also we have students reach out to – and we’ve been really successful in this endeavor – to Health Finance Management Association leaders within the field to engage in dialogues with them, questions on changes within the industry, and on reimbursement. It’s not just stale textbook learning through case studies, through actual project work, through monitoring and scanning health industry related news, and developing that habit.
I call it a habit. Maybe for me it’s a habit. One can at least feel more confident, both at the personal level or for one’s organization, that you’re up on current trends and current thinking and understanding current problems and the impact of technical changes or regulatory changes or different models that are out there, benchmarking your own organization against other organizations some of the leaders in the field, some of the directions that they’re taking. Many of our courses are oriented around cases that not only published at the Harvard Business School, but cases that our own lead faculty instructors have developed themselves and may teach, too, on different platforms.
I know our health information course is taught by a leading physician here in the Boston area, at Boston Medical Center. These folks, too, are not just teaching MBAs, but they’re teaching our physicians in training. I, too, have a joint appointment at Tufts Medical School, too, in their M.D. MBA program. So just speaking around that, but I just want to say that these courses do provide a framework. My advice is to take that strategy course at the end of the sequence because it does have elements that will in finance and understanding of the industry and health informatics and technology change.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Professor.
Professor Nelson: Too long an answer? Too long an answer.
Angela LaGamba: No, not at all. I think you actually have a follow-up questions from one of our students around the courses. One of our audience members was wondering are students required to participate in internships as part of any of these healthcare management specialization courses?
Professor Nelson: No, they’re not. Currently, it doesn’t involve any sponsored internships, no.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Professor. The next question that we have is for you, Hayden. Hayden, one of our audience members wanted to know how the application deadlines work for 2015. Go ahead, Hayden.
Hayden Jones: Typically, the application deadline is a month before classes actually start. That’s the typical deadline. We encourage all applicants to get your application in as soon as possible, complete it as soon as possible, get a decision, because that’s the most important piece of this whole puzzle. Now, the next start date, August 24th, I believe, the application deadline is – that’s the completed – the deadline to submit your completed application portfolio is August 3rd. The next start date after that would be October 12th, and I guess September 12th would be the deadline to submit your completed application portfolio. We have another start date in November, and that would be the last one for the year, but we do have three more start dates in the fall.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Hayden. The next question that we have is for you, Professor. One of our audience members wanted to know if you consider the U.S. to have a high-performing healthcare system, and if not, what we can do to modify this? Go ahead, Professor.
Professor Nelson: We do very well in some areas, and very poorly in some others if you look at comparative statistics. Where would I rather raise my family, in terms of healthcare? Difficult question. I think if they’ve had – if they had clinical problems or developmental problems or problems dealing with complicated cases, I would still prefer the United States, high performing in terms of clinical excellence. However, this is really a complex subject on many levels. Personally, I believe that healthcare should be delivered on the basis of need, rather than demand. Single pair systems do have significant advantages.
It’s well documented, the waste and inefficiency in our healthcare system is, I think, well documented, duplication, medical arms races, these things that are out there that we have to live, but I think that are increasingly coming under control. I am more optimistic, as the years go by, that we’re going to get things better for more people. Many of our incentives just have been historically skewed the wrong way. I think that will be changing. I don’t know what your own – if you want to have a follow-up question for that dialogue. I think I wouldn’t – we’d love to have, with anyone, in any course, over a period of time. That’s my opinion.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Professor. To our audience members, if you do have a follow up to that, feel free to send a note through the chat box. Professor and Hayden, we do have a couple of more questions coming in through the chat box. I wanted to check in with both of you to see if you had another five or ten minutes to do a couple of follow-up questions from the audience, if that works for you?
Professor Nelson: Sure. Absolutely, yeah.
Angela LaGamba: Let’s keep on going through the questions. We did have a follow up for you, Professor. One of our audience members wanted to know can you please describe the field of health informatics and healthcare – sorry, health information systems, and if there’s any job growth potential in that area, in your opinion? Go ahead, Professor.
Professor Nelson: Sure. With the commitment of many major healthcare systems to electronic medical records, with the funding under the High Tech Act – in the United States, some years ago, the
$34 billion committed to upgrading health information technology in physicians’ offices and in hospitals, there’s certainly been a growth in employment. One of my current – just to make things local here, one of my current Tufts M.D. MBA students, a young woman, just entered medical school and getting her MBA, as well, just came from implementing the EPIC system at Partners Healthcare here in Boston, a two-year stint. There are, I think, many levels of this, both in terms of development of these systems and implementing them.
I refer you to some of the predictions, the Health Information Management System Society is a good place to go. I mentioned Health Financial Management Association with respect to finance. As a key industry group in that area, they have, I think, looked very directly at this. I don’t believe it’s going to go away. Implementation is an issue. These systems are going to be upgraded. We’re going to have a lot more interoperability. Individuals in their homes are going to be involved in telemedicine a lot more. That’s going to tie in our personal – our iPhones are having more applications in this area. There have been many startups, as well, into developing these medical applications for both patients and providers. It’s a good bet. It’s a good bet, to answer your question.
Angela LaGamba: Thanks, Professor. The next question that we have from our audience was around electronic medical records. One of our audience members was curious to see how you think this would work in the future and if security would be a concern that would be resolved by 2035? Go ahead, Professor.
Professor Nelson: The more we learn about this, the more we see challenges, whether it’s retail, whether it’s target, healthcare has not been immune from this. The level of sensitive information is just overwhelmingly valuable, perhaps, to individual parties. I think as we get – we will have some major stumbling blocks along the way. There will be some huge data breaches that are going to cause people to re-evaluate the information that they include in medical records. There are unintended consequences of electronic medical records and their implementation that have come forth in recent years. Certainly, one of the unintended consequences is that loss of confidentiality and the potential for hacking.
It’s something we may have to just live with. The benefits may outweigh these costs. The penalties, the ability to track individuals who are hell bent on gaining access to our medical records, will probably need to increase. Of course, they’re more interested in selling our financial information, getting access to our bank accounts and credit cards than our medical records, at least when it comes to some of the global spying. That trend to focus more on EMRs and interoperability, I think, will continue and should continue cautiously, as it has been.
But I don’t see anything really crashing in the future that would deter me, maybe even create more opportunities for health information technology specialists to delve deeper into why these faults or challenges do come up and to develop better systems. I think that’s what we’re looking for. So yeah, a lot of challenges out there. I hope that answers that question as best as I can.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Professor. Then the final question that we have from our audience today is how can healthcare professionals help their organizations innovate as they head towards 2035? Go ahead, Professor.
Professor Nelson: That’s terrific. Become a champion. Find out who the champions are for development for ideas. Look outside your own organization. Benchmark against others within your geographic area nationally, internationally. Innovation can come in small steps, I think, in big steps. I think it’s important to be at a place where it’s encouraged. I believe a good understanding of the industry and developments in the industry and confidence in the terminology and the concepts and the background you’d gain from further study should give that individual an edge up in becoming an innovator. We’re all interested in breakthrough technologies.
Sometimes they can be awfully simple. Innovation has its risks and rewards and understanding of those risks and rewards. Doing that earlier in one’s career, rather than later in one’s career, is probably going to be beneficial. I think the entrepreneur in you, if you’ve asked that question, will lead you in the right direction, with the help of others in seeking out people not only internally, but externally, who are interested in this, whether it’s, say, reducing a medical cost ratio for a large healthcare system – we’re at 1.03 and how do we get it below – through innovation, through safety, through information technology, through reduction in re-admissions, schemes that are out there, schemes that need to be developed through careful analysis and data and consultation and teamwork, I think, in the end, will prove to be the best way to forward. It’s a general response to a broad question, but it’s a great question. I’m glad you asked it.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you, Professor. That is all the time that we have for today. I wanted to thank both Hayden Jones and Professor Nelson for taking the time to talk to us about the healthcare specialization in the online MBA at Northeastern University. If you do have any additional questions, you can find Hayden’s contact information on screen, and you can also send us a note through the chat box, and we’ll be sure to get back to you. We would also love to hear your feedback on what you thought of today’s webinar. We do have a poll, if you click on the polling icon. We do take feedback and implement that in future webinars. Again, thank you to everyone for participating in today’s webinar on the topic of the next 20 years in healthcare. This concludes our session, and have a wonderful day!
Take an in-depth look at our Information Resource Management course with course creator and lead instructor Professor Richard Kesner. Information Resource Management is part of the Online MBA curriculum covering a variety of ways information management plays a critical role in modern business.
Angela LaGamba: Welcome to Northeastern University’s Online MBA webinar. My name is Angela and I’ll be your host and moderator for today. Before we begin, I’d like to go over logistics for this presentation and address some commonly asked questions.
All participants today are in listen only mode. If you have any questions throughout the presentation please use the chat box located on the lower right hand side of your screen, or if you’re in full-screen mode, click on the chat icon located at the top of your screen. Questions will be addressed at the end of the presentation during our dedicated Q&A. This event is being recorded so it can be viewed at a future time.
We’re very excited with the panelists that we have with us today. We have Dr. Richard Kesner and Hayden Jones and myself Angela LaGamba, your host and moderator. Dr. Richard Kesner serves Northeastern University as an executive professor of MIS in the department of supply chain and information management within the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. He was named a center for practice oriented education fellow in 2006 and 7.
Prior to his Northeastern appointment, Richard served as the president and chief operating officer at CELT Corporation and has also served as a senior IT executive for Northeastern University MetLife, Babson College, Multibank, now a part of Bank of America and the Faxon Company. Because of his leadership in online learning, Dr. Kesner was recently named to a special committee assessing the next generation of online learning and learning management systems for Northeastern.
We also have Hayden Jones, the lead enrollment advisor for Northeastern University’s online MBA. His role is to help prospective students through the application and admissions process. All right, let’s get started. What we wanted to do was quickly review the agenda for today. We’re gonna be talking to you a little bit about Northeastern University and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. We’re also going to be explaining a bit more about the online MBA program. And we also are going to have Professor Richard Kesner walk through the managing information resources course.
And Hayden will be covering the admissions requirements for the program. Throughout the session, If you have any questions, please feel free to send those in through the chat box and we will be addressing those during the dedicated Q&A. All right, let’s get started. I’m gonna be handing it over to Hayden to tell us a little bit more about the D’Amore-McKim School of Business and the online MBA. Go ahead Hayden.
Hayden Jones: Angela, thank you. As Angela mentioned, my name is Hayden Jason Jones, the lead enrollment advisor for the D’Amore-McKim School of Business online program. So, let me first begin by telling you a bit about Northeastern University. Northeastern University was founded in 1898 and the college of business in 1922. We began offering the MBA in 1963 and in 2012 we received a generous naming donations for the two alums, Richard D’Amore and Alan McKim in the amount of $60 million, hence the name D’Amore-McKim School of Business. The D’Amore-McKim School of Business has a distinguished history and a reputation in excellence in teaching, learning and research, one which we are very proud of.
Now I’d like to discuss our rankings and accreditation. We are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, otherwise known as the AACSB, and by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Both represent the most highly regarded accreditation in the United States. We are very proud of our rankings and most recently Northeastern University’s online MBA program is ranked no. 17 in the U.S. and this is by U.S. News & World Report. And the Financial Times ranks us no. 2 in the U.S. for online MBA programs.
So why choose Northeastern’s online master of business administration program? In 2006, we were the second fully accredited AACSB accredited MBA program in the U.S. We were delighted to have been one of the pioneers in this area. Since then, there have been many entrances into market and I’m sure many of you can attest to this fact, they’ve done your research of online MBA programs.
Now as you continue to do research, I do encourage you to focus on what differentiates a school program. What differentiates the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, you can tailor your degree by choosing eight in demand concentrations with completion of the program in as little as 24 months. You can leverage a focus on experience and learn from some of the best business minds in the U.S.
Our program is designed for business professionals and can equip you with graduate level knowledge and mandatory foundation needed to unlock new opportunities for growth in your company and in your career. So, in a survey conducted in July, 2013 with our online MBA graduates, it’s important to note that 56% of our respondents received a salary increase, 48% received more managerial responsibilities and 46% received a new job title after enrolling in the program. We are very pleased with the accolades received about our program from our graduates.
So, let’s take a look at the online MBA in more detail. Students within the program appreciate the opportunity to specialize one of our eight areas of concentration. We offer nine compressed classes per year that are on average five weeks in duration, and the degree can be completed in as little as two years as previously mentioned. But on average, the students do take three years to complete the degree.
We offer a faculty and instructor model with maximum class size of 20 students and on average though classes average 14-15 students. Instructors have graduate degrees and world business experience in the specific discipline they teach and our lead faculty all have PhDs in world business experience in the specific discipline they are also teaching in.
Our students can earn a single or dual concentration, as long as three or more of the five electives are taken in a specific area, the students will earn a single concentration. The opportunity exists to complete two concentrations. If two classes are taken from one area and two are taken from another and a fifth class is shared by the two disciplines, the student will have earned two concentrations. Now, if I have confused you, I apologize. Please reach out to your enrollment advisor to discuss further.
Now, students who successfully completed a core first year MBA curriculum have the option of applying to extend their program by four courses to earn a dual MBA MSF degree. And now I’d like to just pass it back over to Angela to conduct a survey.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much Hayden. We’re very excited to have you on board today and thank you Hayden for walking us through Northeastern’s online MBA. What we’d like to do now is invite you to take a poll with us. What appeals to you the most about Northeastern’s online MBA now that Hayden has given you a bit of a brief overview? Is it the fact that it’s online? Perhaps that’s what the GMAT/GRE is not required. Maybe it’s the optional residency that’s available. We also have that the fact that the degree can be completed in as few as two years. It’s also AACSB accredited and it’s a reputable school of business. So, feel free to fill in that poll. It is found on the lower right hand side of your screen. Or if you’re in full-screen mode, it’s at the very top of your screen and just click on the polling icon. Also, if you have any other responses, we’ve provided a section for you to fill that in as well. We’ll give everyone a few moments to share their thoughts with us.
All right, so while you’re filling that in, what I’d like to do now is introduce executive professor Richard M. Kesner. He’s gonna be talking to us a little bit about managing information resources, which is a Northeastern online MBA course and the course code is MGSC6204. So, I’m gonna hand it over to Professor Kesner to get started. Go ahead professor.
Richard Kesner: Thank you. So, just a couple of general observations to follow up on what Hayden was saying. Most of us who teach here at Northeastern come from practitioner backgrounds because business is actually something one learns by doing. And of course Northeastern’s hallmark distinctiveness is its focus on experiential learning. And this permeates our courses. It’s why many of us do not rely on textbooks. We all use original materials drawn from our own work in the field. I’m probably typical of the faculty in that I have a number of years, I have actually 30 years in the industry before coming to higher education. And most of our faculty either have been in that situation or are ongoing practitioners as consultants and so forth while they teach.
The other thing to say is the course I’m going to talk about, although it’s a very small part of the total program is representative in that it was an online course starting with the program in 2006 and I am what is called the lead instructor. So, I have created the course and I interact with the students as do all the lead instructors who have created each course in the program.
We have instructors who are folks that are handpicked. All of my instructors, for example, are current CIOs, chief information officers, in companies. Some of them might even be in your company. The point of the instructor is to grade individual student papers. They have sections of 15 students at the most and both they and I interact with the student in the course. Of course there could be several hundred students in a particular carousel of the course. So, my interaction is at the high level. I do a chat session each week while the course is running. And, in fact, my course starts next Monday, my most recent iteration of the course. And then my instructors get involved later in the week with the students as well. So, there’s a lot of interaction, a lot of contact with your actual faculty. And for most of us the material is pretty new.
Can I have next slide please?
This particular course focuses in on the role of information within the enterprise. Information is used to transact, to manage and control and to innovate. No enterprise, no matter how small or how isolated can survive without mastery of its own information and its ability to share that information across its organization in a timely manner.
This is not a course in technology. We have other very fine graduate schools for those kinds of topics. Our focus throughout is the enterprise and how it operates and why it is needs information and how to take advantage or leverage that information to make everything from transacting to competitive performance more effective. And in this day in age, mastery of information is absolutely essential no matter what industry you’re in or where you’re working.
And in fact, many companies in the United States, at least, are focused in on information based products and services. If you think about, for example, Google and Facebook, I mean what are their products? Their products are information. And most of the information – financial services, I come from financial services myself. I was a CIO in banking and insurance over my career. As I tease my CEO at the bank, we’re not in the money business, we’re in the information business because no one is changing hands money, it’s all data that’s being transferred. So, this is a pretty important topic like all the topics in the MBA program and it’s meant to enable you to be more effective in your job and understanding the importance of information. Next slide please.
Every course in the program has underlying themes. Globalization is one that permeates all of our courses because no matter, again, how isolated and small your company may be, you need to connect with customers and partners and suppliers and again most companies are multi-locational if not literally global. And so we take that into account in our choice of case studies and our drilling on the disciplines. And that is certainly true of my course.
Here are some of the key learning objectives listed for you, figuring out how information helps enable the business and keep it competitive. Understanding how IT investments can enable the enterprise and how to make good choices. And of course critical success factors in the actual deployment of those technologies. Next slide please.
This model may not be familiar to you. It used to be a common staple in business education. It may be, besides my course, the only time you may get exposed to it now because it has aged, but it’s aged very well. Michael Porter was a professor at Harvard University and he coined the term the value chain model. And this is what it represents. If you think about the metaphor, the chain is a series of links and the old saying is that the chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
But what Michael Porter was trying to convey here and I think very effectively is that an organization is built upon a series of core processes. But those processes don’t stand in isolation. They are intimately interconnected with one another. And it’s those interconnections that make company work effectively or not. And he uses the manufacturing metaphor here of inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, marketing sales and customer support. But this could apply to any organization.
For the University, for example, it’s admissions are in bound logistics, our operations are teaching, our research our outbound logistics are graduating credentialed students. Marketing sales is what you’re experiencing now and of course we have all kinds of student services. And then you see also there are these other elements that are infrastructure to the organization. Procurement, technology department which refers to IT and information management. People management and the financial infrastructure and the organizational infrastructure of the firm, which are the supporting elements.
But the reason why I bring this up is because in developing our courses in information management for the MBA and for the undergraduate program, we need to convey this interconnectedness. If you think about the core processes, if you’re doing logistics, procurement of raw materials, you need to know what’s in the sales pipeline so you bring in the raw materials. You also need to know what scheduled next to go on the factory floor so those materials are front and center for operations and so on and so forth. The data among these is not linear, it’s shifting around. Next slide please.
So, in thinking about the Porter model and another model that was coined by Tracy Mercer in the 1990s about the excellence of market leaders, those two thought elements caused us to coin this fairly original model, which is the framework for all information management course learning at Northeastern. We call it our integrated framework and it reads from left to right. We focus on the business. Businesses think of themselves focus in operational excellence like Wal-Mart and UPS. Customer intimacy like a medical doctor or a financial planner, product leadership, like a consulting firm, a university, an entertainment company and of course a product company like Apple.
So whatever your focus, that drives your choices of information that you need to transact, to manage and control and to innovate. And that, in turn drives what kinds of processes you implement, what kinds of technology you purchase and what kinds of people you hire. Those processes, technology and people enable the information collection, which enables the business. So, that loop, if you will, is the framework that we consider as we go through looking at different businesses.
And throughout the curriculum, we use tools like this to better help our students understand the complexity business problems and get them to focus on what’s important. As you know, you’re all working people. There’s a lot of noise and a lot of things going on. But the point here is to distill out what is really essential and focus on it so you can ensure that the most important things get done and get done properly. And when these elements here of the business focus, the information and the technology are in alignment, you have a well-run company. And when they’re not in alignment, you have a dysfunctional company, as, again, we demonstrate in our courses. Next slide please.
This is a little more elaboration, but also a reduction. So, business requirements drive information requirements, which drives that choice of technology. What information do you need and how will it be created and used are the things we talk about. This is not a challenge really with MBAs because you already understand coming from business, being very experienced what the really important things are within an organization. So we can drive home the model as we use it in our teaching.
When I teach undergraduates it’s hard – they’re always focused in on the right hand box. What technologies do we buy? They’re not asking themselves what does our business need and that sophistication is part of the experience we bring to them in the undergraduate program. For you folks, you understand these relationships in general and we’re fine-tuning your skills to help you better exercise them in the context of your business. Next slide please.
Okay, so this course that I run is three-weeks long. You probably know if you’ve studied the program that typically a student takes one course at a time and goes through a year-long cycle. And once they’ve finished all the courses in a one year cycle, they jump up to the second year to complete those. And you can join the program at various times of the year and then you basically start out with the first course that’s offered in the carousel at that point in time.
So we have three weeks, which isn’t a lot of time and we have to be realistic, because besides your MBA, you have your work responsibilities and probably family responsibilities. And also you need to sleep and eat and have some fun. So, we try to keep it balanced. Not that it’s easy. I admire anyone who’s doing an MBA online and part-time while you’re doing everything else in your life. But, we try to be reasonable about it. So for a course, you should look for anywhere between 10-15 hours a week of work associated with the course. And my course is sort of aiming somewhere in the middle there, 12-13 hours a week.
Each week is a different theme. The first theme which sort of organizes the material is alignment. And the alignment gets us back to that framework. So here, we’re talking about what are the information needs of the company and what technologies are procured to satisfy those needs? As having worked in the industry for over 30 years before coming to Northeastern, I can tell you that not all companies make the right decisions.
And, of course, some of these mistakes are very costly. Not only in terms of the actual software and hardware costs involved, but of course all the time and opportunity costs lost because of the year or years spent implementing the system that wasn’t right for the company. So we spend time and alignment and we look at a company very much like Nike, it’s called KL Enterprises, global manufacturing sports goods company. And to look to see how their alignment works.
Next week, week two, we look at business analytics as a big topic. Increasingly today, data has become an asset that is being leveraged for the sake of the enterprise. And that data comes from all kinds of sources, internal information systems, social networking data, search engine data, lots and lots of sources. We’ve come into the era of what is referred to as big data and business analytics.
So in week two we look at both big data as a phenomenon and social networking data as a phenomenon and how this impacts decision making at all levels within an enterprise. And for that we focused in on partner’s healthcare, which is a large healthcare services provider in the state of Massachusetts and also one of the largest research entities in the United States for healthcare. Healthcare, after all, consumes 20% of the gross national product in the United States. It’s a big industry and there’s lots of business opportunities out there if you can plug in.
And we look at how they use data both to transact, to manage and to innovate in their company and all the different sources of data and so forth. And we broaden that out to look at social networking as well.
Lastly, all the press when they talk about my field at all they’re usually focusing in on cloud computing, which is another hot term. Actually cloud computing has been around since the beginning. I was using the cloud as a high school student. I don’t wanna tell you how long ago it was but I think McKinley was president. At any rate, sourcing refers to your choice of how you obtain your information management capabilities. And today, thanks to the web, there are a wide range of new offerings and agile offerings that are a great advantage to the enterprise.
Small companies, they wanna get started right away, can avoid initial capital costs and use cloud providers. Large companies are preferring to outsource some of their capacity, IT capacity, simply because they wanna focus on the core business. And also they wanna get IT assets off their books by expensing their sourcing rather than maintaining capital costs on their books. Lots of different issues here.
So in the third week we look at how sourcing is managed and what choices you have and why you make those choices. And here we look at Allergin, which is a generic drug company and how it has used a mixed portfolio of sourcing strategies to keep itself agile in a very competitive marketplace. Next slide please.
This is I believe my last slide. So, how do we do this? The big topics, one week each. Well the first thing we do is we give you some very brief foundational readings, an article or two, to read. And this provides, if you will, a theoretical framework and some examples. And, in fact, in the sourcing one and also in the big data one I use annotated PowerPoint slide decks that I’ve developed as well as little case study vignettes to give you a feel for the diversity of topic in these areas.
Then we move to a case, which is a very robust – and you’ve done business cases or maybe you haven’t actually if you’ve not been in business school before. But these are usually 10-12 page studies of a particular company and we have cases that are tailored as I’ve always mentioned, TAL, Partners and Allergin, three different companies. One case that deals with each thing.
And lastly what we do in my class is we have each student do a field study. And this is where they take the topic and the concepts that we’ve already discussed in the reading and the case study and apply it to their own company. I do this for two reasons. First of all, it gives you an opportunity to look at your company in a different way and most students really enjoy that because they rarely get that opportunity. And secondly, it really helps in your learning because now you’re applying what you’ve learned in my course to an area that’s very meaningful to you, that is your current job. And lastly, and probably the most valuable part of the learning experience here are the small group, the 15 student group which are called sections are your discussions which are gonna be week-long discussions on each topic facilitated by your instructor and this is where you get to learn from your peers.
So, that’s how the course works and what it covers. And it may seem daunting, but once you get in the groove, it’s pretty interesting. I get to interact with you weekly as do your instructors as do your peers in the chat sessions. All right, I think that’s it for me. I’m gonna hand it back to Angela.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much Professor Kesner for walking us through your course. What I’d like to do now is to hand it over to Hayden to tell us a little bit about admissions requirements. But I also wanted to encourage our audience to continue to send in your questions through the chat box and we’ll be addressing those shortly during the Q&A. Go ahead Hayden.
Hayden Jones: Thanks again Angela. So, I’d like to just go over briefly with you the admissions requirements and they’re fairly simple. We require that qualified candidates have a minimum of five years full-time professional work experience and an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or above on a scale of 4.0. Now if you do not meet all the above requirements, it does not automatically disqualify you from being accepted into the program. I would ask that you reach out to your enrollment advisor for some counseling.
Now the application process is also fairly simple. And on average it takes two weeks to complete depending on how disciplined and focused the applicant is. We require an updated resume, statement of purpose, two professional letters of recommendation, all U.S. post-secondary transcripts or equivalent for international students and $100 non-refundable application fee.
So, last chance to apply for 2015. For those of you who have employer tuition reimbursement available to you, this is the last chance to apply to our program and take advantage of this benefit. The deadline to submit your completed application portfolio is October 26 and the class begins November 16. The class is human resources and it’s a good class to start the program with.
Tuition and fees. I’m sure you’re wondering what that is like or what the cost of the program is. Currently, our tuition is $1,476 per credit hour with a total of 50 credits which equal $73,800 for the two years. Now please note that tuition is subject to change each year.
Northeastern University is committed to supporting our veterans and the online program has recently become part of the yellow ribbon program. If you fall under this program, then it means that most, if not all of your tuition will be covered by the government and Northeastern. For more information please visit the website listed on the slide.
And as part of our commitment to our alumni, beginning in the fall of this year, the D’Amore-McKim School of Business now offers the double husky scholarship to all Northeastern alum who have completed a degree at one of our colleges. In addition, the $100 application fee is waived for all applicants. For more information, please visit our website listed or the website listed on the slide. And now, I’d like to hand it back over to Angela to conduct another poll and introduce the question and answer section.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thanks very much Hayden. What I’d like to do now is to encourage our audience to fill in another poll and here we’re just asking what you thought of today’s session and if you have any thoughts or feedback on what you’d like to see on future webinars. So, again the poll could be found on the lower right hand side of your screen or if you’re in full-screen mode, you can find it at the very top of the screen and just click on the polling icon. We’re gonna leave the poll open during the Q&A session.
All right, with that let’s jump into our question and answer session and I encourage you to continue to send in those questions. Let’s see the first question that we have is for you professor. One of our audience members was wondering can students use their current company for their assignments in the course? Go ahead professor.
Richard Kesner: Absolutely. The field studies are all focused on your own company. That’s the whole point because you have knowledge of it and if you don’t have sufficient knowledge, you’re gonna learn more about your company. So, definitely. And the questions for the discussion, I’m always asking you to apply what you know and what you’ve done in your past work to the topic, because this makes for rich discussions in the forums and in the chat sessions. And again, it’s a way of reinforcing that learning.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you very much professor. The next question that we had is for you Hayden. One of our audience members was wondering if you could talk a little bit about the optional residency, who qualifies and how that works with the program? Go ahead Hayden.
Hayden Jones: Well, there are two optional residences, one within the U.S. and that can be done, usually a way on campus in Boston, Seattle or Charlotte, North Carolina. One week as opposed to five weeks online. The intention behind that is also a networking opportunity. Outside of that, there is also an international field study trip, again optional. Eight to 12 days abroad. This year the choices were Hong Kong in China, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, actually Peru and Greece and Turkey. Again, this would count as one of your general electives and it’s a great opportunity.
I’m actually in the program and I did go on the international field study trip to China. Wonderful, wonderful experience where we got to meet with key executives from multi-national companies, people that you wouldn’t ordinarily have access to, we ask them questions, to share their secrets or best practices, how they become successful and why they have chosen to be with the organization and why they’re doing business abroad. So, really, really good opportunity. Aside from that we had to do some work prior to going on the trip, collaborate with some of the other students, complete a project and do a presentation while in China.
So, if you’re interested in that, I highly recommend that to option to take the international field study trip or the on campus residency.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you very much Hayden. What I’d like to do now is to go onto the next question and this one is for your professor. One of our audience members was wondering how do you think big data, the trend, impacts business analytics and how that’s taught in your course and if those kind of trends are also discussed in the course itself? Go ahead professor.
Richard Kesner: Yes. In the introductory material to this particular week, I probably – I have sort of general observations about the phenomenon of big data and I also have, which is just a jargon-y term, but it really talks about data that’s complex, that’s voluminous and that’s constantly changing. Think of, for example, the searches in Google. That’s a source of the kind of big data we’re talking about. It’s unstructured, but it’s very rich. If you can analyze all of the search that’s done over time in Google, think about that, you can predict interest in entertainment, in products, you name it, based on the searches of people.
So, what we’ve done in the materials is we’ve analyzed and sort of presented an overview of all of that. And then we go into specific case studies and these are very small. We’re talking about a slide size case study of different companies and how they’re looking at the data. And, of course, we will explore that further. I do my chat sessions every Monday, so Monday I sort of set up the topic Monday night. And if you can’t attend the chat sessions because those are optional, unlike anything else in the course, the activities, the forms, the readings, the assignments are all asynchronous in that you can do it at your leisure. The chat sessions are fixed in time and that may not make sense for people on the other side of the world who may be sleeping or otherwise engaged while I’m doing my chat. So, they are recorded so you don’t lose out entirely on that. But in this way, we’re able to give you sort of the general picture, but with lots of illustrations.
And then I have a series of vignettes of where I talk about specific companies and how they’re using data to really transform the way they do business. Example, IBM Global Services where they’re using a social networking tool inside the organization to facilitate informal collaboration among consulting experts. I don’t know if that sufficiently answers the question, but I’ll stop at that point.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much professor. And to our audience members, if you do have any follow up questions, feel free to send that through the chat box. The next question that we have is for you Hayden. One of our audience members was wondering if you could talk a little bit more about the dual degree option and how that works. Go ahead Hayden.
Hayden Jones: Okay, so dual degree, having completed the first year of core MBA classes, halfway through the second year, you’re given the option to apply for the dual degree. And again, option to take an additional four classes and this would be in finance, the MBA MS in finance for additional classes. So, approximately a year and a half and you would have two degrees. Now, the application, short form application just asking for permission to do the two degrees and basically having maintained a GPA average of 3.0, especially in the finance courses you should be fine.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you very much Hayden. The next question that we have is for you professor. One of our audience members was wondering if you could talk a little bit about the connection between information resources, IT and how project management would fit into the course and just the importance of that?
Richard Kesner: Well, in three weeks we have very limited time and it’s the only information management course offered in the entire MBA. So to be honest with you, I don’t spend much time on project management per say. It’s referenced in the case studies. For example in the partner’s case study – I’ve written all the case studies, so they are very familiar to me and they also represent my thinking so everything is integrated that way in terms of the content. But the partner case study, one of the reasons why it was so impactful on the company was the way it was implemented. And I go into that. And having worked with the CIO, chief information officer, for partners on the case. He showed me his methodology and that’s embedded in the narrative.
When we get into sourcing, there one of the critical things about sourcing and for each option we have the pros and cons, a lot of it has to do with management of the sourcing arrangement. It’s not strictly speaking project management because sometimes it starts out as project management, but then it becomes relationship management and ongoing account management because once you set up the sourcing arrangement, it’s ongoing. And in all of those areas, I do document best practices so you have that to reflect on. And there are questions in the form where some students, at least, will get into it. But unfortunately, if we had a full course of six-weeks, we would probably have a session that’s more project management oriented. But it is alluded to in some respects in each of the session.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you professor. The next question that we have is for you Hayden. One of our audience members was thinking of starting their application for the fall three start, but they weren’t sure if they would have enough time to complete the process. I’m wondering if you had any feedback for them?
Hayden Jones: Sure. As mentioned, deadlines to submit the completed application for the fall three start November 16, it’s October 26 now. On average our students take about two weeks to complete the application process. And it really isn’t as daunting a task as it may seem. Two letters of recommendation, professional letters of recommendation, that’s done online. We do have an online application system.
Typically, the letters of recommendation and the transcripts take the longest to get to it, however a lot of educational institutions now have electronic transcripts so we can order them and have them sent directly to us or emailed to us. And that can be done within a couple of hours. Letters of recommendation, again it’s done online.
So the bulk of the application would be writing your statement of purpose and updating your resume. And again taking a couple of days to do that. So, I’ve seen applications completed in as little as four days and I won’t go into the maximum, but on average about two weeks, again, depending on how committed you are to the process.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much Hayden. And professor, I’d like to hand it over to you for any final thoughts that you’d like to share with our audience.
Richard Kesner: Well, I can speak with some sort of history about the program here. The program at Northeastern was one of the first – in fact, it was the very first to have a purely online focus among the credited business schools. This goes back to 2006. And now we’re seasoned veterans in this area and though a lot of other schools now offer online programs, I’d like to think that our program is highly competitive. And where it distinguishes itself is in our experiential focus, which I think gives a much stronger content and learning experience to the student.
And of course I have pride of authorship there, so I’m not unprejudiced here but still I think that it’s an extraordinary experience for anyone who is interested. It’s been designed for students who are on the go, are mobile and need the flexibility of an online program. It is demanding, but that demanding nature is reflected in the quality of the learning experience, which again in this competitive marketplace you want the best because you’ve gotta compete and be recognized as the best yourself. So, that’s where I would leave it.
Angela LaGamba: I wanted to thank you professor and also Hayden for taking the time to talk to us about Northeastern’s online MBA. And to our audience if you have any additional questions, feel free to take the time and reach out to one of our dedicated advisors. We also provided Hayden’s phone number as well and also a link if you’d like to schedule an appointment based on your schedule. Again, thank you to everyone for participating in today’s webinar and have a wonderful day.
In this webinar, Wennie shares her professional and personal journey of earning an Online MBA with a concentration in Finance from Northeastern. She discusses her decision to choose Northeastern for her Online MBA, how she incorporated her studies into her busy life, the online learning environment, and more.
Before we begin, I’d like to go through some logistics from the program so you know what to expect on today’s webinar. So, all participants today are in listen only mode. If you have any questions, feel free to type them into the chat box and then hit submit. The box for questions and chat is called Q&A. I will be addressing those questions at the end of the webinar session. The event itself will be recorded, so you can also view it at a future time.
We’re very excited to have Wennie Lee, Hayden Jones and Nrupal Joshi. Winnie is currently a student in Northeastern University’s online MBA program with a concentration in finance. She is currently the director basil LFO at the American Express companies. And she also mentioned to us that her ideal vacation is traveling with her family to places that offer architectural beauty and peace. And she’s also going to be talking about her experience.
We also had Hayden and Nrupal. Hayden is the lead enrollment advisor and the Nrupal is the enrollment advisor for Northeastern University’s online MBA. And their role is to help prospective students through the application and admissions process.
Hayden Jones: My name is Hayden Jason Jones, the lead enrollment advisor for the D’Amore-McKim School of Business online graduate programs. Let me first begin by telling you a bit about Northeastern University. Northeastern University was founded in 1898 and the college of business in 1922. We began offering the MBA in 1963 and in 2012, we received a generous naming donation from two alums: Rich D’Amore and Alan McKim in the amount of $60 million, hence the name the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. The D’Amore-McKim School of Business has a distinguished history and a reputation for excellence in teaching, learning and research, one which we are very proud of.
So, let’s take a look at our ranking and accreditation. We are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, otherwise known as the AACBSB, and by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Both represent the most highly regarded accreditation in the United States. We are proud, very proud of our rankings and most recently Northeastern University’s online graduate programs was ranked no. 18 in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report and the Financial Times ranked us no. 4 in the U.S. for online MBA programs. We are also very proud to be celebrating our 10th anniversary of offering the online MBA program. A milestone not too many other can boast about.
So why choose Northeastern University’s online Master of Business Admission program? In 2006, we were the second fully online AACSB accredited MBA program in the U.S. We are very delighted to have been one of the pioneers in this area. Since then, and there have been many entrance into this market and I’m sure many of you can asset to this fact based on your research of online MBA programs. As you continue to do your research, I do encourage you to truly focus on what differentiates a school program.
What differentiates the D’Amore-McKim School of Business? Well, you can tailor your degree by choosing from eight in-demand concentrations with completion in as little as 24 months. You can leverage a focus on experience and learn from some of the best business minds in the U.S. Our programs are designed for business professionals and can equip you with graduate level knowledge and management foundation needed to unlock new opportunities for growth in your company and in your career.
So, let’s take a look at the numbers behind the graduates. In a survey conducted in July, 2013 with our online MBA graduate, they identified our AACSB accreditation, flexibility and our reputation as the three most important factors that contributed to them choosing Northeastern University.
It is also important to note that 56% of our respondents received a salary increase; 48% received more managerial responsibilities; and 46% received a new job title after enrolling in the program. We are very pleased with our accolades received by our program from our graduates.
Now, students within the program appreciate the opportunity to specialize in one of eight areas of concentration. We offer nine compressed classes per year that are, on average, five weeks in duration and the degree can be completed in as little as two years, but on average students complete it in three years. We offer a faculty and instructor based model with minimum class size of 20 students, but most class sizes average 14-15 students. Our instructors have graduate degrees and world business experience in the specific discipline in which they teach and our professors all have Ph.Ds and extensive work experience and discipline in which they also teach.
So our students can earn a single or dual concentration. Now, as long as three or more of the five electives are taken in the specific areas, the student will receive or earn a single concentration. Now, the opportunity does exist to complete two concentrations. If two classes are taken from one area and two are taken from another, and the fifth class is shared by the two disciplines. If I’ve confused you, I apologize. Just please reach out to your enrollment advisor to discuss further.
Now the students who successfully complete the core first year MBA curriculum have the option of applying to extend their program by four courses to earn a dual MBA MSF degree. If you want to broaden your management perspective and career flexibility, this may be a good fit for you.
Now there are a couple of exciting optional residencies about the students in the program. First, there is a domestic residency which may take place in Seattle, Washington, Charlotte, North Carolina and Boston, Massachusetts. These residencies are designed to provide networking opportunities and count as one of your general electives. Most recently, there was a domestic residency in Seattle and I heard nothing but great things about the trip.
Then, there’s the international residency which takes place in the second year of the program. Now, as long as you successfully completed 23 credits while maintaining a GPA of 3.0 by spring of 2017, you can apply to take part in this fantastic opportunity. Again, this would be counted as one of your general electives. Last year, the destinations were Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Greece and Turkey, and Columbia and Peru. Now, I was actually part of the Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing trip and it was an absolutely wonderful experience.
Now that’s it for me. What I’d like to do now is just pass it back over to Angela and she will take you through the remainder of the presentation. Angela?
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much Hayden for walking us through Northeastern’s online MBA and the exciting opportunities that are available to students in the program. What I’d like to do now is introduce Wennie Lee. Wennie is currently a director at the American Express global treasury. She is in the online MBA program completing the concentration in finance.
Wennie Lee: Good morning, good afternoon and good evening, depending on where you are in the world. I wanted to thank the advisory team for this opportunity to participate in this webinar and share my experiences. So, you’ve got a couple of key bullets about me as a person and as an MBA online student. So, first Angela mentioned a couple of times, I’m a director at American Express working in treasury and the function that I’m responsible for is essentially the lead financial officer for a fairly large regulatory program.
So I actually did not major in finance as an undergrad. We’ll talk about that in the later slide. So, this particular program was very important for me and my personal and professional career as a key milestone for me to enter and progress through the. In fact, I have one more class and I am super excited, can’t wait to finish it in the next two months.
One more important factor that I like to mention is about my family. I’ve got three children, one of which is a teenager, Jonathan. He is entering high school next year. I also have two two-year old twin boys. So, that’s a lot from the home front. I used to love to travel. I will continue to love to travel as soon as I finish my program. But right now, it’s a period of time where I’m very focused to complete my MBA. It’s a challenging program, but that’s three years, or maybe shorter hopefully for some of you, out of your lives and that you are going to gain so much value out of. So, I am very focused to finish that in the next couple of months.
So I did mention one thing here which is the very last bullet, the online MBA key success factor. So, I think self-discipline is not a surprise to anyone, especially for an online program, between self-discipline and care management, those are the two critical things that you’re going to need to ensure success in the program.
So, Angela, let’s move onto the next topic. I think there are five key topics or public topics that University has asked us to comment on, so let’s begin with career and educational background. As I mentioned a little bit about what I do, I did touch slightly on my undergrad. I actually majored in international marketing when I started in college. I was very gung ho to make it big in the advertising industry. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out that way. And by practice, I have always kind of moved into this budget forecast financial aspect of work. I’ve done budgets for the last 10+ years now and when I move into my earlier role within American Express, it became apparent that I need something of a graduate advanced degree. So, my undergrad was not sufficient to be able to complete along with the rest of the talented people here at American Express.
So I decided – it was not easy, it was a tough decision given I have many kids at home to pursue this educational advanced degree. So, a couple of things while I chose Northeastern. So, I did not have the caliber or the bandwidth to go through the GMAT and the GRE process. So, this was actually an important aspect for me when I was selecting schools to apply for. So, the couple I applied for were Hofstra, Northeastern, Thunderbird and Cornell. Cornell has a non-business curriculum that focuses in finances, so GRE and GMAT was waived.
I was accepted in Hofstra, Thunderbird, Cornell and Northeastern. I have decided to go with Northeastern because I was looking for the rigor and the reputation that Hayden mentioned earlier. And I was looking for something that did not require a residency program. I decided to go with Northeastern and that was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made.
The other thing that was attractive for me at Northeastern with the flexibility of the dual concentration aspect of the degree – so, I actually was originally going after the finance and international business dual concentration. One of the classes I wanted to take to achieve that dual concentration was not available. So, I ended up going just with the finance degree, which was fine, but there is that flexibility if you wanted to concentrate on two degrees, two concentrations within a very short amount of time. So, it’s very flexible within that respect.
The next topic we have here is time commitment. So, I think this is pursuing an online MBA is probably time management at its best. So, I mentioned a little bit about self-discipline. And I can’t stress how important that is to balance your day job, my second job as a mom, my third job as a student. No offense, being a student is my third job and we’re all adults, but I think there’s a lot of balancing, commitment, self-discipline required to be successful in such an online MBA setting.
So, on a weekly basis, I spent about 20-25 hours a week, just going through the week. In my experience, I’ve sort of felt that the first week for any class was probably the toughest for me actually. Partly is because you’ve got a new team of professor instructors, so you’re getting kind of familiar and acquainted with how their style of teaching are, what they’re focused on, how they’re communicate. So, the first week is a little bit tough to get up to speed, get everything done in time and then get used to the many activities, assignments, discussion boards that are due within the week.
So, I read on the train, I sometimes stay an hour late at work just to get some things done ‘because when I get home at night and on weekends, it’s very tough for me and I like to spend some time with my kids and my family. So, I try to squeeze seven days of work into five days. So, I put in a little bit more time during the week, so I do have that extra time that I can spend with my family and my children on the weekends.
And I’ve given up a nice habit with my teenage son, so we do spend about half an hour – we study together. So, he’s on his topic, I’m on my topic. So, we bond, that’s sort of our bonding time. Very little, but at least that’s something, right? So, I do want to also mention, I think this is a nice segue into our next topic a little bit about online learning. How does student and faculty interaction occur in the online courses?
So, first let me say the blackboard system, which is your online learning tool, the platform that you would use is very interactive and user friendly. I have no problem – I am not tech savvy, but I’m not tech savvy. I’m kind of mediocre. But, the blackboard system is very, very easy to use. You should be able to grasp what you need within a couple of tries. I did it in two tries and that was it. It took a little time to set up, but once you’re set up, then you’re on a breeze. You are off to the learning modules.
So, I think what is important in this particular section is managing expectations right? I mention that the first week is a hard start. So, during this time frame, you’re going to have to figure out what is expected of you for the next five weeks, sometimes shorter, 3-4 weeks depending on the classes you take. So, what’s nice about the modules is they’re actually available for you to take a sneak peek a week before class starts. So, I use that time and do a lot of preparation work in that advanced week. I get all the reading materials purchased and I print them when I can, great work environment I can actually print them fairly easily.
And then you start to plan on your calendar along with your rest of work meetings, what are things that are required, when things are due, when you need to actually carve out some time, perhaps, on a Friday afternoon at work to work on a paper. So, I try to do all of that, planning out my next five weeks before that week, the class starts. So, that really helps me a lot to get through all of this and stay focused and just not lose track during that five weeks.
One more thing I wanna mention on this topic is the quality of students. You will be required to interact quite actively with your classmates. So, I have just the most – there’s nothing bad to say about the quality of the cohort that’s within the Northeastern MBA program. Everyone is very professional. I think everyone is eager to learn. I think everyone has challenges to balance home, work and schooling. So, I just have the best experience with the quality of students.
A lot of students are – I wanna say 90%, maybe even higher, have full-time jobs. So, everybody has the same issue with, kind of working full-time and trying to get home and be a parent, be parenting, and trying to get the school thing done within a reasonable time period. So, the quality of students is awesome. Everybody’s very understandable. If you need to miss a class, we kind of cover for each other, don’t let the teacher know, but so far, just great, great interaction and teamwork across the different classes I’ve taken so far.
All right, so onto our last topic, professional career. So, I did, yeah I started at American Express about four years ago and when I started here I was in a manager role. I did manage to get promoted and move into a director role after I started the program. So, a lot of things I’ve learned, particularly within the finance stream, on valuation, on the financial statements from the basic accounting stuff. In fact, it helped me to become more technical, particularly within the treasury function.
So I am hoping that when I graduate, I will be ready and will be more competitive to approach some kind of V.P. role in the next 18 months. So, the MBA program in online capacity is definitely a key milestone that I’m hoping to reach in the next couple of months.
Angela LaGamba: Great, well thank you very much Wennie for talking us through your experience in the program and for our audience that’s listening today, like Wennie mentioned, we do have the Q&A session at the end, it’s coming up very shortly. Continue to send in those questions and Wennie will also be able to answer those live.
All right, we’re going to be talking now about our admissions requirements to the program. So, I’d like to bring in Nrupal, our enrollment advisor, to tell us a bit more about what’s required in the program. Go ahead Nrupal.
Nrupal Joshi: That’s Angela, thanks Wennie, your experience and feedback you’ve shared is very valuable, so thank you for taking the time to do that. And hello everyone. Thank you all for taking the time out of your busy schedule to participate in this webinar. Now, in terms of admissions requirements, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum of 3.0 GPA on a scale of 4.0.
Now for those whose undergraduate instruction was not conducted in English, meaning if your degree is outside of U.S. but the instruction in which you did your undergrad was not in English, you may be required to submit either TOFEL, IELTS or PTE force. But in any case, I do recommend you to speak with your enrollment advisor to discuss your specific backgrounds and/or situation.
Coming to the next slide, what do you need to apply? So, you will need to request official transcripts from all the universities or colleges attended, including transfer credit transcripts. International transcripts must be evaluated contacting agencies with as WES or CCI. Now here, your advisor can assist you with the list of these agencies and what service you need to pick based on what they offer. We will also need a current detailed resume, two professional reference letters. Now, these letters must not come from friends or family, we need professional letters. So, one must come from immediate manager or supervisor, and the second can be a coworker, an academic reference or even volunteering reference.
We will also need application essay describing why you’re interested in this MBA program. How do you think this degree will help achieve your goals? And there is also an application fee of $100, non-refundable. This you pay when you submit your online application.
Now, the next few slides explains tuition and scholarships available. I’m sure most of you must be waiting to know what the current tuition is. So, currently the tuition per credit hour is $1,476 per credit. This program consists of a total of 18 courses, but 50 credits. So your overall tuition you’re looking at is $73,800 and additional $100 application fee. This total tuition does not include the cost of textbooks. So, you may maybe want to have another maybe $100-$250 per course aside for textbooks.
Talking about different scholarships available from Northeastern University – first of all for the yellow ribbon program, I’m proud to say that Northeastern University ranked among the top 10 private non-profit research universities for enrolling post-9/11 G.I. Bill recipient. Northeastern University is committed to helping post-9/11 veterans earn degrees through yellow ribbon program by matching funds provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs. So, if you are a qualified veteran, you may be eligible to receive grant aid that covers most to all of the tuition and fee charges if you are accepted into this program. You may note down the below links to learn more about it or contact your advisor if you have any questions.
Double Husky Scholarship. So, this is a great benefit for Northeastern alums. If you are a Northeastern graduate enrolled in a second degree program, you may be eligible to apply for a Double Husky Scholarship in which you can receive up to 25% tuition and scholarship.
Angela LaGamba: One of the questions that have come in is how many assignments are due on average per class?
Hayden Jones: It varies, depending on the class that as far as the assignment go, it’s structured just the same as you would have on campus. So, if you have a quantitative class, you’d expect that you have more tests, exams if you have a qualitative class or you’re taking a qualitative class, then you would have more readings and papers due. But on average, it’s a combination of test exams, assignments, individual assignments, group assignments, discussion questions, discussion post throughout the week. And yeah, so it’s usually a combination of all, all of those things. On average, I would say I’ve had maybe one discussion group a week and maybe two assignments and that’s averaging eight hours.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much Hayden. The next question that we have is for you Wennie. One of our audience members was wondering if you could talk a little bit further about your experience with the finance concentration. What were the courses like in the finance concentration? Go ahead Wennie.
Wennie Lee: Thanks for your question. So, I think there are two sets of finance classes, one of which are basic. So, these are fundamental classes I think everybody takes. Things like basic accounting, looking at the financial statements, valuing through valuation so that becomes a little bit more advanced. And to achieve my finance concentration, I have so far taken merger and acquisition. I took another advanced valuation class. I actually loved that class. It’s a tough class, it’s building models, financial models to value certain companies out there.
The other class I took is investment analysis, another tough class. So, I think you will see sort of the level of difficulty increase as you get into your concentration class. I can’t speak for other concentrations, but certainly for finance, right? Once you complete your foundational classes before finance concentration class, I took work quite challenging. But I also got the most out of it because at treasury, a lot of valuation – I’m actually use it. You always say you never use what you learn in school, but I’m actually using some of the models I’ve learned in these advanced classes.
It’s a lot of work, but what’s good about it, it becomes practical hands on. A lot of key studies to add to Hayden’s earlier point right? I think these are business and real business settings and we look at real companies. We look at both private and public companies and different settings. So, I took classes, I did get to take away a lot of valuable information. So, I have finished my finance concentration, the two classes I left are softer when I call it softer qualitative classes on innovation and management.
Angela LaGamba: Wennie, thank you very much for sharing that with us. We do have a couple other questions that have come in so Nrupal, this next question is for you. The question is most of the applicants already in middle management? Go ahead Nrupal.
Nrupal Joshi: Thanks Angela. So, yes I would say an average year of experience one brings to this program is 10+ and average age is 36. So, majority of the professionals in the program, entering in the program, are coming in the program. They do tend to be in the middle to high level management position.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much Nrupal. The next question that we have is for you Wennie. One of our audience members was wondering how often do you log into your courses throughout the week. Go ahead?
Wennie Lee: Well, I log in every day, especially when you have softer classes, things like HR, things like management. You are required to post and interact actively on these posting or discussion questions, so I do log in every day. I try to log in once in the morning just to check on grades and any updates from the instructors and professors. And I try to log in one more time after work. Sometimes I don’t have time and when my day’s packed, I don’t have the time to respond to certain posts, I print them and I read them on the train and I think about it and I do log in one more time at night to put in my posts after the kids go to sleep, so I log in frequently. And it’s very, very easy. I’ve also tried to log in – I traveled one time and I put a post in stuck at the airport. So, I managed to respond to a post via my iPhone, so super interactive. Very easy to use.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much Wennie. The next question that we have is for you Hayden. The question is can you discuss the MBA program along with the combination of the innovation concentration? I would like to start soon, but I’ve been told that you would need to wait for the fall semester for that option. Hayden, go ahead.
Hayden Jones: Thanks Angela. Now, this question is a little off to me. I’m not sure where this information came from, but you can start with any time throughout the year. We do have nine start dates. The next one will be June 13 is the actual start date. And the way the program is structured, you start off the first year by doing nine of the core classes. So, nine foundational courses. There are a total of 13 of them and five electives. The first year nine courses, the core foundation courses. It gives you an opportunity to take a look at what the courses are like, the innovation, management, HR, statistics, etc. So, you then get a feel for the actual courses and then in the second year, you decide on the actual area of concentration. So, if it is innovation, then you go ahead and start with your innovation courses. If you wanted a combination of innovation and say international management, then you schedule it accordingly, but there is the option to do the double or dual concentration, but that does not actually begin until the second year of the program.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much Hayden. The next question that we have is for you Nrupal. One of our audience members wanted to know how long does it take students to normally complete the program and does it take more time if you’re completing a dual concentration or the dual degree? Go ahead Nrupal.
Nrupal Joshi: It can take anywhere from 24-27 months, depending on the electives you choose, because we do not offer all the different 20, 30 courses every single start, and that’s why depending on the electives you choose, anywhere from 24-27 months. Now, this is the minimum time it will take for you to finish on an average as Hayden mentioned earlier, average we have seen students take roughly three years to finish, but you have a maximum of five years, 60 months, from the time you begin to complete this MBA program.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much Nrupal. The next question that we have is for you Hayden. One of our audience members was asking how do students with heavy work travel schedules handle the coursework? Go ahead Hayden.
Hayden Jones: Thanks Angela. Very good question. Now, it depends on the type of travel you do. We have a number of students in the program that travel quite frequently. Myself, I completed the program in January and I was just looking at my travel schedule for last year. Now, within the last year, so 2015, I went to 23 different cities and six different countries all while enrolled in the program. So, when you travel, again depending on if it’s domestic or international, you can use your time wisely. So, on planes, trains, busses, however you travel, you can read, complete assignments while you’re actually at the specific location if you have down time in your schedule. So, if you’re in a hotel room, you can complete assignments and it’s very conducive to actually completing the assignments without interruption. A number of our students travel, we do have a lot of executives in our program and they do travel and they use this effectively to complete assignments.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much Hayden. The next question that we have is for you Wennie. One of our audience members was asking what is it like to adjust to online learning for the first few classes that you took in the program? Go ahead Wennie.
Wennie Lee: So, my trick was that I started with the easier classes. So, I started with the softer classes. I think one of the beauty of – I have a level of flexibility at work where I can log in and check stuff on time. So, I think kind of getting into a habit of logging in frequently and then just again plan ahead. I think by the – so the very basic course outline is out the week before the classes actually start. S, I started just putting – just carving out time on my calendar when things are due for the next five weeks or four weeks if you’re taking a lesser credit class. So, I kind of visualized what I needed to do for the next couple of weeks before the class started. But once the class started, I got all of that mechanics out of the way and just focused on content.
I have to say, I think starting of the program wasn’t as tough for me. I kind of expected a mountain of work. What was tough for me was coming back from maternity leave. That was a little bit tough given the addition to our family. That took a little time to adjust, but that was probably one class out of the way, but managed to get that out of the way, all while back on track now.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much Wennie. The last question that we have for today is for Nrupal. Nrupal, the question is can you talk a little bit about when students can start and apply for the program in 2016? Go ahead Nrupal.
Nrupal Joshi: Thanks Angela. Yeah, so we have quite a few start dates remaining. Currently, we are focusing on summer semester. There are three summer start dates and then three fall semester start dates. So you can see on this slide Summer 1 begins May 2 and the deadline to apply is April 11. Then we have Summer 2 which begins June 13 for which the deadline is May 22. And Summer 3 begins July 25 for which the deadline is July 4.
One thing I would like to reiterate, what Wennie mentioned as well is if you are applying for Stafford loans, which a majority of the students do, I’d definitely think about starting Summer 1 or Summer 2 so that you can utilize the full funding available for this calendar year because, again, from Fall you will apply for another fast perform for calendar year 2016, 2017. So, that’s some advantage that you can take if time is there available to you to start the program sooner, then definitely consider either Summer 1 or Summer 2.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much Nrupal. And also thank you to Wennie and to Hayden for taking the time today to talk about the program and Wennie especially thank you for you for describing your experience in the program. To our audience as well, if you have any other questions, we put some contact information on the slides. You’re more than welcome to reach out if you think of anything else after you walk away from today’s webinar. That is all the time that we have for today. Thank you again for participating in today’s Northeastern University’s online MBA hear from a student webinar and have a wonderful day everyone.
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Hayley and Walter discuss a variety of topics surrounding the curriculum, faculty, the reputation of Northeastern, and the Online MBA. They both agree the online learning environment is intuitive, and interactive. Watch the webinar to learn more.
All participants are in listen only mode. You can listen to the audio through your computer speakers for today’s session. If you have any questions, you’re more than welcome to type them into the Q&A box and then hit submit. We’ll be addressing those questions at the end of the webinar session. This event is being recorded so it can be viewed at a future time.
We’re excited to have Hayley Sapp, Walter Clark, Hayden Jones and Richard Smith joining us today. Hayley is an Online MBA student at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business. She is currently completing her finance concentration and will be finishing the program in October of this year. Haley also has an accounting background, so she’s an accounting analyst at Starbucks Coffee Company and has a strong professional background in law with a focus in corporate finance and securities.
Walter is the Online MBA student at Northeastern University. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and is currently a business development director with over a decade of experience in financial sales and consulting roles.
We also have Hayden Jones who is the Lead Enrollment Advisor and Richard Smith, our Enrollment Advisor for Northeastern University’s Online MBA. Their role is to help prospective students through the application and admissions process.
In today’s session, we are going to be talking about Northeastern University and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. We’re also going to be going more in depth on the online MBA program. We also have Hayley and Walter who I mentioned earlier who will be sharing their experience as students in the program. We’ll then have one of our Enrollment Advisors walk through the admissions requirements, a little bit about the tuition and scholarship and we also have the dedicated Q&A session. If you have questions, feel free to send those through that Q&A box and we’ll be addressing them live at the end of the webinar.
Let’s get started.
Hayden Jones: My name is Hayden Jason Jones, the lead enrollment advisor for the D’Amore-McKim School of Business online graduate programs. Let’s first begin by telling you a bit about Northeastern University. Northeastern University was founded in 1898 and the college of business in 1922. We began offering the MBA in 1963 and in 2012, we received a generous naming donations from two alums: Rich D’Amore and Alan McKim in the amount of $60 million, hence the name the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. The D’Amore-McKim School of Business has a distinguished history and a reputation for excellence in teaching, learning and research, one which we are very proud of.
My name is Hayden Jason Jones, the lead enrollment advisor for the D’Amore-McKim School of Business online graduate programs. Let’s first begin by telling you a bit about Northeastern University. Northeastern University was founded in 1898 and the college of business in 1922. We began offering the MBA in 1963 and in 2012, we received a generous naming donations from two alums: Rich D’Amore and Alan McKim in the amount of $60 million, hence the name the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. The D’Amore-McKim School of Business has a distinguished history and a reputation for excellence in teaching, learning and research, one which we are very proud of.
So why choose Northeastern University’s online Master of Business Admission? In 2006, we were the second fully online AACSB accredited MBA program in the U.S. We are very delighted to have been one of the pioneers in this area. Since then, there have been many entrance into this market and I’m sure many of you can asset to this fact based on your research of online MBA programs. As you continue to do your research, I strongly encourage you to truly focus on what differentiates a school program.
So what differentiates the D’Amore-McKim School of Business? Well, you can tailor your degree by choosing from eight in-demand concentrations with completion in as little as 24 months. You can leverage our focus on experience and learn from some of the best business minds in the U.S. And our programs are designed for business professionals and can equip you with graduate level knowledge and management foundation needed to unlock new opportunities for growth in your company and in your career.
In a survey conducted in July, 2013 with our online MBA graduate, they identified our AACSB accreditation, flexibility and our reputation as the three most important factors that contributed to them choosing Northeastern. It is also important to note that 56% of our respondents received a salary increase; 48% received more managerial responsibilities; and 46% received a new job title after enrolling in the program. We are very pleased with our accolades received by our program from our graduates.
Now, students within the program appreciate the opportunity to specialize in one of eight areas of concentration. We offer nine compressed classes per year that are, on average, five weeks in duration and the degree can be completed in as little as two years, but on average students complete it in three years. We offer a faculty and instructor based model with maximum class size of 20 students, but most class sizes average 14-15 students. Our instructors all have graduate degrees and world business experience in the specific discipline in which they teach and our professors all have Ph.Ds and extensive work experience and discipline in which they teach.
Now, our students can earn a single or dual concentration. As long as three or more of the five electives are taken in the specific areas, the student will receive or earn a single concentration. The opportunity does exist to complete two concentrations if two classes are taken from one area and two are taken from another, and the fifth class is shared by the two disciplines. If I’ve confused you, I apologize, please reach out to your enrollment advisor to discuss further.
Now the students who successfully complete the core first year MBA curriculum have the option of applying to extend their program by four courses to earn a dual MBA MSF degree. If you want to broaden your management perspective and career flexibility, this may be a good fit for you.
Now there are a couple of exciting optional residencies about the students in the program. First, there is a domestic residency which may take place in Seattle, Washington, Charlotte, North Carolina and Boston, Massachusetts. These residencies are designed to provide networking opportunities and count as one of your general electives. Most recently, there was a domestic residency in Seattle and I heard nothing but good things about the trip.
Second, there’s the international residency which takes place in the second year of the program. So, as long as you successfully completed 23 credits while maintaining a GPA of 3.0 by spring of 2017, you can apply to take part in this fantastic opportunity. Again, this would be counted as one of your general electives.
Now, last year, the destinations were Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Greece and Turkey, and Columbia and Peru. And Hayley, who you’ll hear from shortly, she and I had the opportunity to take part in the Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing trip. It was an absolutely wonderful experience. Now what I’d like to do is just pass it back over to Angela to continue with the rest of today’s presentation.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much Hayden for walking us through the D’Amore-McKim and the online MBA program. I’d like to introduce Hayley Sapp and Walter Clark. How has your career and educational background made you a good fit for the program?
Hayley Sapp: My name is Hayley Sapp. I’m going to be finishing my MBA in October, I’m very excited. I think what helped me the most in my career and educational background to make me a good fit was I completed by bachelor’s at UC Berkeley in California. And I really had to be a self-starter at that school, it’s a very large school, and you really have to be very independent and structured with yourself.
And also in my career, it was kind of the same experience. I had to also be a self-starter and really learn quickly and as I go. So, I also have a background in corporate finance and the legal field and that helped with several of my classes, just from a corporate governance and financial transactional perspective.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much Hayley. And we’re also going to bring Walter Clark onto the line to share his career and educational background as well.
Walter Clark: I think one of the biggest things is, like Hayley as well, my college experience was a huge help. I was a marketing major and really being exposed to the foundation of business, core business foundations, all of those various things, that helped in preparing me for an MBA. But most importantly, I have to attribute a lot of this to my career. You know, there’s a lot of people that come from many different backgrounds that I work with in these online programs, but career experience I feel is the most valuable thing. I’ve been heavily involved within financial sales jobs, as well as consulting roles. And really being exposed to core areas of finance, economics and just seeing firsthand what it means to be a manager and an effective leader within today’s challenging corporate environments. That’s really what I feel has made me a good fit for this program and it helps me really bring in a lot of direct experience and knowledge into these online classrooms.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much Walter. The next question that we had for Hayley and Walter is around the program and curriculum. The question we had is what made this program standout when choosing a school to pursue your degrees?
Walter Clark: When I was looking at various MBA programs, first and foremost, I knew I wanted to go into the online format. But what really makes Northeastern standout is, I mean it has great brand recognition. It’s a very well-known business school. It’s known for its programs and it’s really known for its excellence.
You know when you look at the rankings, I know some people have varying opinions on rankings so to say, but it really swayed my decision. It’s important to see that, especially in looking at U.S. News, looking at Financial Times, looking at these prestigious publications that are ranking Northeastern as a top school to go to for business.
And one of the biggest things too what was mentioned before, just the sheer breadth of concentrations that are available. I thought that that was incredibly helpful and it really made my choice of pursuing a degree in both marketing and international management from this school a very easy choice. This was my top pick and I was definitely excited when I got in.
Hayley Sapp: I also agree with Walter. I think this program really is a quality program. I think it seems like the best fit for me. I liked that it was an accelerated program. It offered some constructive work outside of work as well. I also liked the concentration in finance and the dual degree that they offer with the MSF. I was very interested in that dual degree, so that was another appealing aspect of the program for me.
Angela LaGamba: One question that we have is why do you decide to get an MBA? Was it part of the job requirement or personal fulfillment? So, what was some of the motivations behind why you chose to pursue a degree? So, Walter, why don’t we start with you?
Walter Clark: One of my main motivations, of course, it was highly personal, I’ve always wanted to continue my education. And then coming in more of a business background, I felt that an MBA would really just help to enhance my career. By no means was it a requirement, but in some of the environments that I work, including the environment I work in right now, having an MBA is essential. And not only is it just – it’s an incredible experience and incredible sort of personal thing to achieve, but it’s also very, very valuable within the workplace and having one really shows your commitment to not only business, but your commitment to overall leadership and excellence within a corporate environment.
Hayley Sapp: I had a little bit of a different path. I majored in political science at Berkeley and then made the jump into the legal field straight out of college. And after experience corporate finance and securities work from a legal perspective, I felt like I was drawn in the finance and accounting direction. I really enjoy working with numbers and data and I decided to pursue the MBA in connection with making a career change. And I’ve been very fortunate in that at Starbucks I’ve been able to make that leap. I have done a couple of time limited assignments in finance and accounting and I’m looking for my next permanent role. But that is what lead me to my MBA program.
Angela LaGamba: The next question that we have is around time commitment. This is a very common question that we get. So, how do you complete the program while working or balancing other obligations in life? So, why don’t we start with you Hayley? How are you able to find that balance with the time and are there any tips and recommendations that you would like to share with our students today?
Hayley Sapp: Although it’s very challenging, I personally enjoy having something constructive to do outside of work. I like having the structure. I think for me just some tips. I have discovered that I have a hard time working at home. So, I often go to a café or some other location to focus better. I also spend most of my weekends doing the school work for the courses. I do as much as I can during the week, but my weekends are really primarily dedicated to school.
Walter Clark: First and foremost, I completely agree with Hayley. I definitely like the structure of it. It definitely gives me a lot to do and learn outside of just my pure working environment. But I think what it really comes down to, it’s surely just time management. And that’s really essentially the biggest thing. It’s just managing your time just for a few examples. I live in Connecticut, I commute into New York, so those 45 minutes I have on the train going to work and coming back and valuable to me. Constantly doing homework, while I’m doing that, I also spend most of my weekends, just like Hayley, trying to complete the assignments, writing reports, all those various things. So, I mean there’s always time to do this. And during the program to sort of balance that life and school commitment, I mean I got married, I went on a honeymoon. I did a lot of various things while I was still in school. So, if you’re good at managing your time, it just makes it that much easier. It’s still a challenge, so to say, but it gets easier as you progress further within the program.
Angela LaGamba: How does the student and faculty interaction work for the online courses that you’ve taken and what is it like to learn online in your experience? So Walter, why don’t we start with you?
Walter Clark: Yeah, sure. This is truly an important question too and my experience at Northeastern for the online learning, I mean just the environment in general has been absolutely stellar. In terms of communicating with the faculty, I mean there’s live sessions where it’s basically a simulated classroom twice a week where you’re directly interacting with all the professors, the various students that are in your section. I mean there’s video chat, you’re doing all sorts of conference calls, email. So, it really simulates that actual in person environment.
And interacting with the faculty, like I said, I mean they always say towards the beginning of the class when you ask them a question it takes them about 24 hours for them to get back to you. In my case, it’s always been within a few hours and they even leave their direct cell phone numbers, all of those various things. So, I’ve very often have called a lot of the professors to work on problems, work on homework assignments. So, in my opinion, the online learning environment has been absolutely just fantastic. People are more than willing to communicate with you and to really help you along during the program.
Angela LaGamba: What has that online experience been like and how is the interaction worked with you with your fellow students and faculty? Go ahead Hayley.
Hayley Sapp: Sure. I think it’s been a really great experience. The professors and instructors both usually offer an online lecture, meeting each week where you can interact with them with the blackboard collaborate tool, which is a really great tool to use. Of course, you can also reach out to them at any point in email, which is really great, you can ask specific questions, they’re always available.
And as far as communicating with other students, there’s always discussions usually each week, at least one. So, you’re able to interact on the discussion board, as well as when they’re team projects, you often have to organize conference calls, share the work together through the conference calls and through online connections. I think the interaction has been really great in this program.
Angela LaGamba: One of the questions that we have is around the concentrations in the program. So, I’m wondering if you can both elaborate on if you chose to take any concentrations and your decision behind that? So Walter, why don’t we start with you?
Walter Clark: I do a double concentration within both marketing and international management. Personally for me, I mean that’s one of the things that attracted me to the school was just the breadth of the actual concentrations that were offered. I have more of a marketing, sales and business development background, so of course the marketing concentration was what originally attracted me to the program, but also too I felt that it’s important to have more of a global mindset, especially with globalization today. And Northeastern’s well recognized for its concentrations being international business as well as international management. So, sort of pairing the two made sense to me and it’s a pretty seamless process. There’s always this one course that links both the concentrations and I felt that it’s a great experience and it’s really helping me hone in on my overall skills in terms of learning advanced concepts and managerial concepts within marketing and international management.
Angela LaGamba: Tell us a little bit about your thought process around the concentrations, which ones you chose, if any, and how you’ve been finding them so far?
Hayley Sapp: I have chosen the finance concentration. As I mentioned, I wanted to make the transition into finance and accounting in my career and I thought that the D’Amore-McKim program was a great program and I liked that they offered the finance concentration. I just started my finance electives two classes ago and I’m enjoying them very much. They’ve been really great courses, I’m learning a ton. And that was my motivation for pursuing that, concentration was the career change.
Angela LaGamba Our last question for this section is around professional career and the question is how has the program helped you in your professional career? And what are, perhaps, some of your aspirations once you completed the program?
Hayley Sapp: I have already transitioned into finance and accounting at Starbucks. It’s definitely been a really great move for me to pursue my MBA. I think that management has seen it as really dedication to the company and to my career growth and Starbucks is all about partner development and employee development. So, I think it’s been a really great move for me and I think in the long run it’s going to be extremely beneficial and it’s allowed me to make that transition pretty seamlessly.
Walter Clark: The program is well recognized within the firm I work for. I’m based in New York, but even still Northeastern’s name has that reach into sort of the financial hub of New York City. And when my managers and when various leaders in the firm learn I was pursuing my MBA, I’ve noticed that I’ve had a lot more responsibility. I’ve already been promoted once from a manager level to the director level, which was a huge accomplishment. And a lot of that I really have to credit to Northeastern.
I mean one of the biggest things with the D’Amore-McKim School of Business in terms of what you learn are just pure practical skills to apply when you’re on the job. And sounding just a lot more educated when talking about business, knowing what some of those current issues are has greatly helped. And even after my MBA, I still plan on pursuing more leadership roles within my company and hopefully moving on to becoming partner one of these as well too. But it’s been truly an invaluable experience and it’s just helped my career so much.
Richard Smith: I’m going to cover the admissions requirements. So, the basics is we do require a 3.0 GPA from your undergraduate degree, which of course needs to be regionally accredited. We also require a minimum of five years of professional work experience, as well as any candidates who are international and ended up doing their education not in English would require a TOFEL score as well. Those are the basics for the admissions requirements.
The application requirements on top of that would be, of course, official transcripts from every school that you have attended after high school. Again, if it’s international, we will require your transcripts evaluated by the World Education Services or CED, either one is acceptable. We require a current copy of your resume, two professional letters of recommendations, preferably one from a manager or a supervisor. There is an application essay or statement of purpose essay, a 500-1,000 word essay on why D’Amore-McKim, why Northeastern University and what you would like to accomplish with the degree, as well as a $100 application fee.
We will move onto the tuition and some of our scholarships that we do offer within the program. As you can see, the tuition is $1,476 per credit for a total of 50 credits. So, bringing the total to just under $74,000. Now, other than the $100 application fee, there is no technology fees like you might find with other programs, so it’s just the straight tuition. And of course, that, unfortunately, does not include books and materials.
Some of the scholarships that we are, such as the Yellow Ribbon program. We are committed to helping post 9/11 veterans earn their degree. And as you can see, we will match your funding provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. If you do qualify or would like to learn more about the program, you can certainly do so through our website, northeastern.edu/military.
Angela LaGamba: One of the questions that has come in from our audience is how long did it take or will it take each of you to complete the program?
Hayden Jones: The minimum time to complete the degree is 24 months, maximum time to do so, or to complete the degree is five years. Now, I personally did it in two years and that was the minimum time and I enjoyed and went through the program directly without stopping out. I think there’s a risk if you stopped out that you lose motivation and you won’t continue or it will take longer and the longer it takes the more likely you are to lose that motivation. But Hayley and Walter perhaps you can go ahead and just speak to how long you’re taking or you’re going to take through the program?
Hayley Sapp: I am going to be doing the program in just a little over two years and I agree with Hayden that I think it’s, at least for me, the best strategy to just go straight through the program. You maintain your motivation, you keep up the knowledge that you’ve been gaining over the two years and you can continue to use it from class to class. As the only reason actually it’s taken me a little over two years is the core classes are only offered in October, my last core class. So, it would be two years, but I have to take that one last class. So, yeah that’s my thought behind that.
Walter Clark: I’ll be done in August of this year and I started in August of 2014. So, it will have taken me exactly 24 months and like I said I agree with both Hayley and Hayden that if you take a lot longer than those 24 months you sort of – or at least in my opinion, it almost feels like you lose the moment that you had behind it and the longer you take, there always is that risk that you may not complete the program. So, really just sort of going through the classes, getting into the groove of being in that online learning environment and doing it within the 24 months or a little bit over those 24 months seems like the absolute best option.
Angela LaGamba: The next question that we have from our audience is around the optional residency. So Hayley, you mentioned earlier that you had participated in the residency program, I’m wondering if you can talk a little bit more about that experience? Our audience is interested in finding out how that works and how you also get course credit for the residency itself. Go ahead Hayley.
Hayley Sapp: I actually did the international program with Hayden that he mentioned in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing last May. It was a really great experience. The course started maybe a month and a half before we left. And we started working in groups to prepare for the report and presentation we had to do while we were in Hong Kong and China. I thought it was an eye opening experience. I think Hayden would probably agree. It was a lot of fun to meet other students in person. I thought that was really probably my favorite part of the international program was being able to interact with the other students and our professor in person. I thought that was really a valuable experience.
Hayden Jones: I had a wonderful time. I also wanted to highlight the fact that we were – it was also about going to different organizations, multi-national corporations, being exposed to key executives that we wouldn’t ordinarily have access to. So, we were able to meet with them, ask questions, and take business cards. So, really networking opportunities were available there as well. It was also, I’d like to reiterate the fact that it was a great experience meeting some of the on campus students. So, the executive, full-time, part-time students. It was amazing to just meet them in person, get different perspectives, different disciplines and come together as a group. And, in fact, we still communicate, we do have a Facebook group so we keep in touch with each other. And again, potential networking opportunities that way as well.
Angela LaGamba: The next question that we have is for Richard and the question is there any group work that occurs within the program and the courses?
Richard Smith: There are group work and group projects and group assignments, but I’m sure that Hayley, Walter and Hayden would definitely be able to speak to in greater detail on how that is actually accomplished in different classes.
Walter Clark: Yeah, sure I can definitely field that one first. There is group work in a number of the classes that you would partake in. A lot of the group work can easily be done through various video chat that’s set up directly in the blackboard application. Of course, there’s the use of conference calls, a lot of emails back and forth. All those various tools are directly at your disposal within the blackboard application. And it makes it for a very interactive and conducive environment towards group projects. But there are definitely a lot of different group projects in some of the classes and it really just helps facilitate the interaction between the various students, but it also helps in learning some of the other high level concepts when you really have a chance to apply it with various people that work in different backgrounds and come from various segments within the country or even internationally.
Angela LaGamba: The next question we have is around networking within the program. So, it is an online program, but perhaps Hayley and Walter you can talk a little bit about how networking occurs and how you interact with your fellow students. You’ve already described discussion boards and email. So Hayley, why don’t we start with you? How does networking work for you in the online program?
Hayley Sapp: The most important part of networking is really the group work and the interactions and the discussion board. I think that exposure to the other students and the connections that you make is really important. It’s a very important aspect of the program. I think the best experience I had been with networking with other students was, again, my international program that I did. As Hayden said, I think that was a really great part of the program and especially the interaction in person. I think that was really important to really make those connections and do some networking while we were traveling abroad.
Angela LaGamba: Did you want to add to that as well? How was your networking within the program itself?
Walter Clark: I completely agree with Hayley, even though I didn’t participate in the sort of international program. I wish I had, but one of the bigger things there is the discussions and group work that you do, like we were talking about before. You see a lot of familiar faces in some of the various classrooms and some of the various classes that you enroll in. So, you start to develop that sort of rapport with people and you usually discover that you have a few that live close by to you. So, the network opportunities are there and through the discussion posts and all the various teamwork and assignments that you do, the networking opportunities are just endless and they happen pretty seamlessly.
Hayden Jones: Within the program itself, we encourage the networking. We do have a number of executives in our program from all different disciplines and again different – from all across the country and some international. We also connect that way. Also, we have the alumni association which you have access to in your second year. And become a part of that, we have over 200,000+ alums, 40,000 from the school of business so you can make connections that way, as well.
Angela LaGamba: The next question that we have is for you Richard. One of our audience members was wondering, what happens through the application process and what can a student expect once they’ve finished the application package? How long does it usually take to hear back from the admissions committee?
Richard Smith: Well, what they can expect is, of course full service from us any time they have any questions or issues, we are here to help anybody apply into the program and other problems. The first step is that of course after we have our initial discussion, we start working on the app process. We get in those transcripts. We get in the documents, the letters of recommendations, resume, BSA, submit the online application.
Now what to expect after that is hopefully everything goes well and you get accepted into the program. The whole application process itself of getting documents should take anywhere between two, maybe three weeks to get the app done. And then usually within 48-72 hours we should hopefully hear a response back from the application.
Now to accept your acceptance, there will be a $1,000 tuition deposit. Now that non-refundable deposit will actually be applied to your first tuition invoice. So, it’s not vanishing into thin air. It is actually being applied to your tuition. It is just a commitment that you’re going to start the program. Once that happens, you will then have what we call a welcome webinar. It’s kind of your orientation into Northeastern University. And that should take approximately 45 minutes. Once that is accomplished, we will schedule a one-on-one call with your student service advisor. Now, your student service advisor is there from that point on all the way through to graduation. So, if you have any questions, any issues with whatever you’re need, when you’re not sure where to go, you can always give them a call and they’re there to help you out with anything that you might be struggling with.
Angela LaGamba: The next question that we have is for you Hayden. One of our audience members was asking are the costs for international or domestic residencies additional or included in the program?
Hayden Jones: The international field study is $1,000 and that takes care of room and board and quite frankly I don’t know how it’s accomplished, but the hotels and the meals, everything was provided to us and to travel as well between Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing and that was all included in the $1,000 and of course your airfare to the destination wherever you are meeting is additional as well. So, you pay your normal tuition and then any travel is additional. Likewise for the domestic residencies, room and board and travel would be up to you to fund yourself. But the cost of the program as usual we just pay that up front.
Angela LaGamba: The last question that we have for today is around start dates. So, are there any application deadlines that students need to be aware of for the upcoming months?
Richard Smith: The next available start date is June 12. Now, that is our second class of our summer semester. So, if you’re unaware, the breakdown is one class at a time and the classes typically run up to five weeks. You have class, they’ll be a short break, a second class, another break, and a then a third break and that’ll make up your full semester.
The June 12 is the second class of our summer semester and the deadline to apply for that is May 22. Which means everything has to be completed. You have to have all your documents, your application has to be submitted by that date. And that date is also eligible for any FASA funding, student loan funding. One of their major requirements was that students must be registered and complete six credit hours per semester. So, you’ll be able to do that. If you are self-funding, you can start on July 25, that is the third class of our summer semester and the deadline to apply will be July 4. And then of course our fall semester will start on September 5. The deadline to apply for that will be August 15 and again you will be eligible to use student loan through FASA.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much Richard. That is all the time that we have for today. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to your dedicated advisor by phone or email. We’ve got some contact information on the slide today. I wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to participate in Northeastern University’s online MBA hear from students webinar, especially to Hayley and Walter and Hayden and Richard for taking the time to walk us through the program and answering our questions. This concludes our session, have a wonderful day everyone.
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This webinar features Robert Picariello, financial aid advisor for all of the graduate programs at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, discussing the basics of graduate financial aid, the types of financial aid available, the monthly payment plan offered by Northeastern, and tuition reimbursement that may be available through your employer.
Angela LaGamba: Welcome to Northeastern University’s financial aid webinar for online business programs. My name is Angela and I’ll be your moderator for today. Your webinar presenter is Robert Picariello. He’s the financial aid counselor for the D’Amore-McKim School of Business Graduate Programs at Northeastern University. I’m now going to hand it over to Robert to tell us more about financial aid. Go ahead, Robert.
Robert Picariello: Thanks, Angela. Like Angela said my name is Robert Picariello. I’m the financial aid advisor for all of the graduate programs here at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University and today during the webinar we’re going to go over a handful of topics including basics of graduate financial aid, the types of financial aid that is available, the monthly payment plan that the university offers, tuition reimbursement that you may have available through your employer, and we’re going to finish off with the student financial services department contact information.
So starting with basics of graduate financial aid I do like to go through some of the basic steps because sometimes students aren’t familiar with the federal financial aid process. The first thing that you need to do is file what’s called a FAFSA and the website is here, it’s very easy, www.fafsa.gov. It would also be the first thing that you could Google if you were to Google FAFSA. That stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and on that application you do need to list Northeastern University’s school code, which we have listed here as 002199. You can also search for us by city and state, so you would be using our main office, which is in Boston, Massachusetts and just looking for Northeastern University. But the quickest way to find us would be by our school code listed here.
All graduate students are considered independent and one of the important factors here is that students who may have had to fill out financial aid at the undergraduate level, they’re considered dependent students, but once you become a graduate student regardless of what your age is, you are considered an independent student and again, that doesn’t matter if you’re a younger graduate student or you’re coming back to school after a period of time in the workforce. You’re always considered an independent student when you’re in a graduate program. What this means is that you’re not required to provide any parental income information or signatures. The only information that we need is you as the student and you have the option to put your spouse’s information on there if you qualify in that scenario.
There are no federal grants available to graduate students. The majority, if not all, financial aid availability for graduate students do come in loan programs, which we’ll talk about in a few minutes. And there are a couple of rules of thumb for federal financial aid for graduate students that we’re going to go over.
Students must always be enrolled in at least six credits in a given term to be eligible for federal financial aid. In the online business programs here at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, each full semester is broken up into three smaller modules. So you’ll have, for example, in the Fall you’ll have Fall 1, Fall 2, and Fall 3. Over the course of those three modules that consist of the full fall semester, you must enroll in at least that six credit minimum throughout the course of that entire semester. So a lot of students sometimes will take classes in all three sessions, but for the most part you would have to get to at least six credits in either two of the three sessions or across all three depending on which classes you’re taking.
And then one of the important factors I like to list at the end is all communication regarding billing and financial aid is completed through your Northeastern email address, which you will be provided with once you enter the program. And this is important because sometimes students are managing multiple email addresses at the same time, whether it’s personal or for work, but we are – obviously you’re going to be a graduate student here at Northeastern, so we do all of the communication through that email. It is very easy to forward this email to something you regularly use if you need to.
So we’re going to talk about the types of aid that is available for graduate students first. The main source of financial aid through the FAFSA program is the federal unsubsidized Stafford loan. This loan is – the maximum is $20,500 per academic year, and most graduate students in the online business programs here will qualify for that amount. This loan comes with a fixed interest rate and the loan origination fee that is taken off the top of the loan by the Department of Education. So what this means is that the Department of Ed does charge a small fee to use their loans. So while the gross amount that you receive might be $20,500, the net amount does come in a little lower than that. This loan does accrue interest while you’re in school, however, there is no credit check required to apply. The only requirements for this loan are you need to be a US citizen or permanent resident, and you need to be enrolled in that six credit minimum like we talked about on the last line.
In addition to this loan, there’s another federal student loan program that graduate students can access and that’s the federal graduate PLUS loan program. This loan can be used to borrow up to you total cost of attendance less your other aid. What that means is if your $20,500 loan does not cover everything that you are looking to have covered, and that was the maximum that you received through the FAFSA, you can apply for this graduate PLUS loan which can help with the costs that go above and beyond that over the course of the academic year. This also has a fixed interest rate and a loan origination fee that is taken off the top by the Department of Ed, similar to the Stafford loan. Interest accrues while you’re in school.
However, there is a credit check required for this loan. This is not the same as applying for a mortgage or applying for a car loan, but the Department of Education is running a credit check to make sure that the student may not have previous federal loans that are in a delinquent status or something of that effect and just making sure that you do not have any larger credit issues. I mean if it’s something where you’re a little unsure about your credit score or something like that, I would still encourage you to apply for the graduate PLUS loan if it’s something that you’re planning on using to finance your education.
This does require a separate application which is available through the MYNEU student portal. We offer the PDF on our financial aid website as well, and the easiest way to get this done, though, is through MYNEU student portal, it’s a link and it’s done completely electronically and it’s only two pages and very easy to complete.
The current federal interest rates and fees can be found at studentaid.ed.gov. These are rates and fees that adjust once per year. The interest rate is fixed from July 1st through the following June 30th, and the loan origination fee is fixed from October 1st through September 30th the following year. So, those occurring fees can be found on the studentaid.ed.gov website right there.
In addition to federal loans, there are also private student loan lenders that do offer student loans to graduate students as well. There are multiple lenders who all have different terms and fees and these can vary depending on the lender that you decide to use. These terms and fees are becoming more and more comparable with the federal rates, so I would definitely urge you to take a look at the financing options that we provide on the Northeastern website with the link available here. So, on the Northeastern website if you were to just go to our financing screen, we do have a list of commonly used lenders that students at Northeastern will generally use. And a lot of these may line up with some accounts that you may have in other aspects of your life like a car loan or a mortgage or a credit card. So if you already have a relationship with a private lender and this is the route you are looking to go, this might make sense to take a look at prior to figuring out what type of loan you’re going to use to finance your education.
We do also offer the Double Husky Scholarship. The Double Husky Scholarship is a 25 percent tuition discount for students who have a degree from Northeastern already. So if you are a Northeastern alum and you’re looking to come back and do your graduate work at Northeastern as well, and you’re looking at the online business school programs, whether it’s the MBA, the MS in Taxation, or the MS in Finance, you do have the ability to access this Double Husky Scholarship which will allow you to get a 25 percent tuition discount. More information can be found on the Double Husky website of Northeastern, but the gist is if – the thing to remember is the 25 percent discount off of tuition only.
We also offer the monthly payment plan. So the monthly payment plan is something that is administered by a third party called Higher One. The company Higher One administers monthly payment plans for multiple universities as a third party vendor, and this plan is completely separate from using a student loan program. So this isn’t a loan, this is a way for you to break up the payments for the semester over the course of a period of time.
Enrollment in the monthly payment plan can be set up via a checking or savings account. Unfortunately, Higher One does not accept credit cards as a form of payment for the monthly payment plan. These plans come interest free. However, a $35 fee is charged per semester upon enrollment. And some information and deadlines can be found on the Higher One tuition pay website.
One of the things to keep in mind is that this is not a long-term payment plan, so these payment plans offer assistance to break up the costs of an individual semester. So, for example, if you were looking to break up the fall payments, you would have the ability to break up your fall payments over the course of a fall semester which generally runs from September through December. So it is a way to break up a few payments, especially if you’re only going to be taking one class at a time. It could be an avenue that students may want to take a look at or use in conjunction with another form of payment.
Lastly, for forms of payment and financing, I’d like to mention tuition reimbursement because this can be a big perk depending on your employer’s rules and regulations and what they offer. So there are a couple of different ways that we generally see tuition reimbursement used by a student. The student if they’re getting paid – if the employer is going to be paying Northeastern directly, which is the more rare case, the student must provide Student Financial Services with a written statement of intent to pay by their employer no later than the end of the first week of classes. This is a standard sheet that we can provide to your employer where they fill it out promising to pay regardless of the grade or anything else that the student may have to reach. In the next bullet it does say if there are stipulations associated with the payment agreement, such as a minimum grade requirement, then the student must pay the university first and then they would be using their reimbursement funds to do exactly that, to reimburse themselves.
The other way, the more common, is the tuition reimbursement that’s paid directly to the student. So the student would still be responsible for paying their bill prior to the billing due date. Tuition unfortunately cannot be left unpaid pending a reimbursement at the end of the semester. A lot of the times employers will require the student provide a grade and a certain grade would then trigger the reimbursement and at that point at the end of the semester the student’s bill would definitely have been due at that point. So, again, can’t leave the bill unpaid towards the end of the semester.
But we do have a plan for students who have 100 percent tuition reimbursement with or without a grade requirement and I would recommend reaching out to me for further instructions on that because the students with 100 percent tuition reimbursement we do understand they’re kind of stuck depending on whether it’s a grade or not. We want to make sure they can access that funding source and we do try to help them out. So if you happen to be in a situation where your employer will cover the entire cost of your tuition, but they won’t do it until the end of the semester, reach out to me here in the financial aid office and we can take a look at your individual circumstance.
Speaking of reaching out to me, here is the Student Financial Services contact information. Like I mentioned earlier, our main office is located in Boston, Massachusetts. So if you’re not a local student, obviously the main office may not be as helpful, but if you need to send anything to us or fax, mail, anything like that, our main office is found here on the Northeastern website you can also look up all of our hours and things like that, but we’re going to go over that as well.
The graduate financial aid office has its own phone number, so if you’re looking to reach out to me or anybody else in the graduate financial aid office, we’re located at 617-373-5899. And you can also send a general email at any time to our email address here, it’s email@example.com.
If you’re looking for just billing information or have a question about billing and payment and you’re not someone who may be looking at financial aid, but you’re just looking for questions about your bill, we do have a dedicated line for that as well. That is 617-373-2270 and our billing office can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our office hours here in Boston are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., so we can be reached via phone or in person if you’re local during those hours. Again, my name is Robert Picariello. I’m the financial aid counselor for all of the graduate programs in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business including all of the online programs. My email address is fairly simple. It’s my first initial dot last name so it’s email@example.com. I can also be reached at the phone number 617-373-5899 here in the grad financial aid office. If I happen to not be the one answering the phones at that time, just feel free to talk to one of our staff or they can get you in touch with me directly. And I thank you for your time.
If you have any questions regarding any of the topics that we went over today, I would encourage you to shoot me an email or give me a call. I’m happy to answer anything, even if you’re not a live student at this time, if you’re still in the application process, or if you are still making personal decisions on what’s the school you’re attending or what kind of financing you’re looking for, I’m happy to answer any questions whether you’re a deposited student or not. So feel free to give me a call, and again, thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
In this webinar, Professor Bolster explains the difference between active and passive investors, the role of short selling in financial investing, short sale regulation, and more. Professor Bolster’s presentation is followed by an interesting Q&A session.
Angela LaGamba: Welcome to Northeastern University’s online MBA webinar with Professor Paul Bolster. The topic for today’s webinar is the role of short selling in the financial markets. My name is Angela and I’ll be your moderator for today. Before we begin, I’d like to go through some logistics for this presentation and address some commonly asked questions.
All participants are in listen only mode. You can listen through the audio that is streaming through your computer speakers. If you have any questions throughout the session, please type them into the question and answer box and hit submit and we will be addressing questions throughout the session and also during our dedicated Q&A at the end of the webinar. This event is being recorded so you can view it at a future time.
So we’re very excited with our panelists for today. We have Professor Paul Bolster, Khurshid Iqbal, Ryan and myself Angela. Paul Bolster is the faculty director and professor of finance at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business. He holds a Ph.D., MBA and a charter financial analyst designation. Professor Bolster also serves as the director for several investment funds managed by Gartmore Investment Management in London.
Khurshid and Ryan are enrollment advisors for Northeastern University’s online MBA and their role is to help prospective students through the application and admissions process. So, you might be wondering, what will we be covering in today’s webinar. There is a number of exciting items that we will be sharing with you, including giving you more information around Northeastern University and our school of business. Khurshid will also be talking a little bit about the online MBA program. And Professor Bolster will be talking about the role of short selling in the financial markets and giving you a course overview for the investment analysis course. And then Ryan will be talking a little bit about the admissions requirements and tuition and scholarship aspects of the program.
Again, we do encourage you to send in your questions using the Q&A box and we will be addressing that throughout the session and during the dedicated Q&A session at the end of the webinar. Without further ado, I’d like to hand it over to Khurshid, our enrollment advisor, to tell us a little bit more about Northeastern University, and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Go ahead Khurshid.
Khurshid Iqbal: Thank you Angela and welcome everybody. Let me begin by telling you a bit about Northeastern University and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Northeastern University was founded back in 1898 and the college of business in 1922. We began offering the MBA in 1963 and in 2012, we received a generous naming donation from the two alums, which is Rich D’Amore and Ellen McKim in the amount of $16 million. And is the name D’Amore-McKim School of Business.
Next, I would also like to discuss our rankings and accreditation. We are AACSB accredited and also accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Both represent most highly regarded accreditation in the United States. We are very proud of our accolades and rankings. Northeastern’s online MBA program is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Our online MBA is ranked no. 4 in the United States by the Financial Times in 2016. U.S. News & World Report ranks Northeastern University’s online MBA no. 36 in the United States in 2016.
Let us know take a look at the various programs offered through the online environment that we have to offer you and why choose Northeastern University’s online MBA. In 2006, we became one of the first online AACSB accredited MBA programs in the United States. Since then, there have been many entrance to this market and I’m sure many of you can attest to this fact as well, based on the research of the online MBA program that you guys have been doing. As we also continue to do your research, I encourage you to fully focus on what differentiates our school program as well.
Now, at Northeastern D’Amore-McKim School of Business, you can tailor your degree by choosing from the eight in demand concentration areas and complete a program in as little was 24 months. You can also leverage our focus on experience and learn from some of the best business minds in the United States. Our program is designed for busy working professionals and can equip you with the graduate level knowledge and management foundation needed to unlock the opportunity of growth in your organization and in your career.
Now speaking about the online MBA program in depth, students within the program appreciate the opportunity to specialize in one of our eight areas of concentration. We offer eight classes per year that are on average five weeks in duration. We offer a faculty and instructor model with maximum class size of about 20 students. But most of our classes average around 14-15 students. Our instructors have graduate degrees and business experiences in specific disciplines that they’re teaching and our professors all have achieved extensive work experience in the discipline in which the teacher’s work.
Our students also have the option to customize their MBA and either on a single or a dual concentration. As long as three or more of those five electives are taken in a specific area, the single concentration, the opportunity exists to complete two concentrations as well, with two classes taken from one area and two are taken from another and the fifth class is shared by the two disciplines, you can earn a dual specialization. You can also work towards earning a dual degree. The students are successfully complete the core first you have the option of applying to extended program by four extra courses to earn a dual MBA Masters of Science in finance degree.
If you want to broaden your perspective and career flexibility, this may be a good trip for you. Also, coming to the residences, we also offer residencies. These are quite exciting opportunities that our students can take advantage of. Here, you can have optional domestic residency as well as international appeal that we have. A domestic residency which may take place in either Seattle, Washington, Charlotte and Boston. These residencies are designed to provide networking opportunities and count as one of the general electives. Most recently, there was a domestic residency in Seattle by one of your colleagues who actually attended and we heard great things about the trip from them.
Then there is also international residencies which take place in the second year of the program as long as you have successfully completed 23 credits. By Spring of 2017, you can apply to take part in this fantastic opportunity. Again, this will count as one of the general electives. Last year for international fieldtrips, we had China, Dubai, Greece, Turkey, Columbia and Peru. Thank you.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you very much Khurshid for walking us through Northeastern and the online MBA program and all the opportunities that are available. What I’d like to do now is hand it over to Professor Paul Bolster to talk a little bit about the role of short selling in the financial markets.
Paul Bolster: I’d like to do in the next few minutes is introduce you or maybe reintroduce you to an interesting and sometimes controversial topic in investment finance, which is the area that I do most of my work in. And that is the idea of short selling. That is the idea of – is it important for investors, whether they’re individual or institutional investors to have the opportunity to profit from declines in the value of assets, to profit, if you will, to put it most bluntly off the misfortunes of others.
So, let me try to give you the lay of the land here and explain what the role of short selling actually is in financial markets. So, let’s think about this, think about this mostly from a stock market point of view. We can extrapolate this to other markets as well, but maybe it’s easiest just to think of this in terms of stock market. So what moves stock prices? Well, we as investors, we as individuals or the folks that run mutual funds and hedge funds and all these institutional funds, we estimate the benefits we’re going to get from holding a particular group of stock shares. And we evaluate what we think is going to happen in the future from holding those shares. We forecast dividends, we forecast increases or perhaps in some cases decreases in the value of the securities. And as a result, we make an estimate of what we would call the intrinsic value and the intrinsic value we compare it to the current market price. And if our value is higher, then we might buy. If our value is lower, then we might not buy and we’ll get to that opportunity momentarily.
So what moves prices? Well, prices move when new and relevant information hits the market. So, when Apple announces that second quarter sales of iPhones exceeded their expectations by 10%, something like that, that’s new and relevant information. That would cause many investors to perhaps bump up their sales growth estimates for Apple and that will translate into a higher market price for Apple.
The same could occur on the other side. Maybe Apple says that iPhone sales were below expectations and as a result many investors will reduce their expectations of future growth and the price will move down. Plus investors are gonna disagree on the impact of new information. So, there’s noise out there too. So think there’s a signal in there, investors are looking for new information, but there’s also noise out there.
Okay, also think of us as investors as falling into one of two categories. Most of us, me, for example, are passive investors. And what that means is that we don’t try to identify mispriced assets. We don’t try to identify hot assets. We try to perform a portfolio that meets our needs and we essentially sit on that portfolio of assets. Most of the decisions that we make, we’re long term investors. Most of the decisions that we, as passive investors make, assume that prices are reasonably accurate over time and we focus more on how to allocate our portfolio assets between asset classes, stocks, bonds, cash, real estate, for example.
On the other hand there’s another group of investors and you know maybe some of you dabble in this. Maybe you evaluate stocks and you pick securities from time to time that you think are good bets or good investments for sure or long-term purposes. You’re an active investor if you’re in that category. So, if you evaluate a stock, for example, and you say hey, this stock price is much lower than it should be based on my assessment.
Well, if you have enough conviction in your assessment, then you should buy and wait for the market to come along to your point of view. And by that point in time, the market value should have risen up to your intrinsic value and you’re gonna make a profit. This is active investing. So, you’re trying to find mispriced assets, and trying to exploit that price differential. It’s really hard to be a successful active investor.
But we as passive investors, we need active investors because active investors are really kind of shaking the tree and making sure that all of the value propositions that corporations are saying they provide for us, really aren’t placing, really are solid. So, as passive investors, even though we don’t trade very much, even though we have a long-term perspective, we really worry more about – we really – I shouldn’t say – we allow active investors to do a lot of the worrying for us. So, they’re the ones that actually evaluate securities on a day-to-day basis.
Now, quick example, here is how you make money in the market. This is back in February of this year, early in the morning the market is just about to open and on Barron’s blog a brief piece comes out and it suggests that hey maybe Tesla’s shares are substantially undervalued. Now, Tesla was expected to report bad earnings later that same day, but what these writers were suggesting is you can see I’ve highlighted it in red, I won’t go through this whole thing is that, you know, there’s not a lot of substantial change in the fundamentals behind Tesla’s future sales and future profits. We’re already expecting bad earnings and the value for shares, according to these particular writers, seem to be substantially undervalued at this point in time. They see some potential for growth but it seems to be underrepresented in the car market price. So, they’re saying Tesla’s shares are undervalued.
Now, if we jumped on this information, if we go way back to the end of December, 2015, Tesla was at $240 a share. They traded that way, Tesla traded at about $144 a share, down 40% from the beginning of 2016 and why was that? Well, the market expected a bad earnings report on that particular day, February 10 and they got it. So, the market closed on the 10th of February, Tesla reported a bad quarter, a sequence of bad quarters, but they also reported a stronger sales forecast and expectations of positive cash flow within a few months. So, there was a little bit of a silver lining in there.
Okay, so if we follow these bloggers suggestion that hey, maybe Tesla was undervalued and we bought it at that price of 144 approximately, one month later the price was up 40% up to about $202 per share. So, what does this tell me? It tells me that the news regarding the poor earnings back in February was already baked into the price and the optimism regarding sales and cash flows encouraged the investors to increase their valuation.
So this is one way you make money on Wall Street as an active investor, you buy low, you sell high later on. This assumes that you are an optimist, right? In other words, you think that investors are too pessimistic and if you look at this more objectively, you can buy securities that really are cheap in the marketplace today and ride them up to a more reasonable value, a more profitable value at a later point in time.
But what if investors are too optimistic? In other words, what if you see the market price is being too high? How do you exploit that? Well, this is where short selling comes into play. In other words, we also need a mechanism so that we can evaluate and profit from stocks where our information suggests the stocks are too expensive in the market today. So, the idea here is we’re going to sell these shares at a high price now and we’re gonna buy them back and replace them at a low price later on.
So, short sellers, nobody likes short sellers. We think of them as vultures. We think of them as contributing to volatility. There are a variety of reasons why short sellers are sort of looked down upon in the food chain of investors, both by individual and by institutional investors. On the other hand, they provide discipline to markets. They provide a reality check on forecasts provided by insiders. Now insiders meaning people with the corporation itself. They, perhaps have – an invested interest in being slightly more optimistic from the rest of us. So, short sellers having something to say, have something to do in terms of balancing out the way markets do, indeed, work.
Now, maybe some of you have seen this movie, the Big Short that was in theatres not too long ago. And it’s actually – if you haven’t seen it, go take a look at it. Yeah, it’s a finance movie and I know the folks I’m talking to right now, maybe just a few of you are really finance oriented. The rest of you are in marketing, supply chain, entrepreneurship, you name it. But nonetheless, if you haven’t seen this movie, it’s pretty good. It really kind of shows the sort of laboratory of events leading up to the financial crisis, the housing crisis that hit in 2007 is when it really hit big time and then it rolled into 2008 when it became more of a financial crisis in more general terms.
But it talks about how these people who looked at the housing market being vastly overvalued, how would they take a short position, how would they generate a profit based on their own conviction that housing values were severely overpriced at this particular point in time. And this movie goes into that in material detail. And some of the techniques that they use here are quite sophisticated are quite complex, but the movie does a pretty good job explaining these complex techniques.
Now, we’re gonna talk about a more basic technique now in terms of short selling. Here’s how it basically works in the stock market. I see a stock, say it’s Apple, as being overvalued at a particular point in time. So, I borrow shares from my broker and I sell them. Okay, so now basically I owe, say 100 shares of Apple. I’ve sold them for whatever they’re worth so I have cash in my brokerage account and I have a liability. My liability is 100 shares of Apple. So, the value of my liability is gonna go up and down as Apple’s value goes up and down.
Now, I’m already onto step three here. At some point in time ideally if I was right about Apple being overvalued, the price of these 100 shares is going to fall as the price of Apple shares fall. I can buy the shares back in the open market and repay my loan which is denominated in shares, not in dollars. So, if I sold at $100 per share and I bought back at say $85 per share, then I’m making 15 per share on that transaction. Of course there’s fees and stuff, but basically that’s the idea here is I sell at a high price initially and then I buy and cover, is the technical word for it, at a later point in time at a lower price and I collect the profit from the decline in the value of the shares in this respect.
Now, short selling is regulated. It’s regulated roughly the same way that long buying is regulated. It’s pretty much the same. First of all, there’s margin requirements. So, when I borrow those 100 shares of Apple, that’s a loan and I have to put up some collateral. And the collateral the federal reserve requires me to put up is a minimum of 50% of the value of the transaction of that short trade. So, I can’t just say, tell me broker borrow 100 shares and sell them on my behalf. I have to put some of my own capital up to make this transaction go.
There’s something else called the uptick rule. That’s no longer in place in the United States, but it was for a long-time. The idea was that you could only short if the last trade was an uptick, was a move up in price. That’s the only time you could insert a short sale into the trade flow. So, that was taken off the books in 2008. One of the reasons for that is the size of a tick went from about 12 ½ cents, 1/8th of a dollar, if you will, down to a penny a little before that. And the uptick rule was considered less relevant. It turns out that the retraction of the uptick rule didn’t have a material effect on short selling. However, in the financial crisis, short selling of financial stocks was prohibited for a few weeks in late 2008. During that period of time, as you can see here, trading in financial stocks declined by 45% ex-post after the fact as we look at the results that this short selling ban had, there really was no evidence that protected the value of these stocks.
Okay, let me walk you through a couple of examples here. First one, Lumber Liquidators. Back in the end of February, 2015, they were up at about $52 per share. Suppose you look at this and you say, gosh this is overpriced. I’ve done the due diligence and I can’t come up with a value nearly that high. So you submit a market order to short sell 100 shares at that particular price, $51.86. Those shares are sold on your behalf for 100 times $51.86, $5,186. So, you know how 100 shares of Lumber Liquidators. You also have to put up 50% of that amount as collateral for the loan, to secure the loan, if you will. So, that’s another $2,593. So, you’ve got an account right now with your broker and the asset in that account is cash. So, you’ve got the cash from the sales, you’ve also got the cash that you deposited as collateral.
Now what happens? Well, today’s Lumber Liquidators price is $12.99. Actually I made these slides up about a week or so ago. Lumber Liquidators is actually at about $15.82 as of about a half an hour ago. So, it’s not quite as bad as this, but let’s use this price to make this example go. So, Lumber Liquidators has fallen significantly and again this is bad news for stockholders in Lumber Liquidators, it’s bad news for employees of the company probably. The expansion opportunities. Opportunities for raises for them has probably been diminished somewhat.
So, this is not a good scene for Lumber Liquidators having its price fall to about 25% of its previous value. But if you short the shares, now you’re gonna buy back those 100 shares because you owe 100 shares at $12.99 a share. So, the total value is $1,299. You use the cash in your account to do that. So, your original cash balance of $7,779 is down to $6,480. Your profit is $3,887, which is exactly equal to the decline of the value of the shares. So, you’re making a substantial profit on the decline in the value of Lumber Liquidators shares.
So this is how short selling works when it works effectively. But, you gotta be careful. Why do you have to be careful? This slide may look a little bit small, but what you’re looking at is the end of your income statement, a summary income statement that you’ll see momentarily that essentially if you go from the right hand column at the end of 2013 to 2014 to 2015. And if we were to get the interim statements in 2016, they would follow the same trend. Here’s a company that was marginally profitable a couple of years ago, became marginally unprofitable a year after that and by the end of 2015 was wildly unprofitable and it’s continue to be unprofitable into 2016.
So suppose I look at this and I say gosh why is this company selling for over $100 a share? I’m just looking at this and seeing that it’s just hemorrhaging cash, it’s hemorrhaging profits. I don’t see a quick enough turnaround, this company is overvalued. Well the company is LinkedIn. So, here’s an example of how you can mess it up as a short seller. So, suppose I shorted 100 shares of LinkedIn on Friday June 10 just a couple weeks ago at $132 a share. So, again I borrow and sell shares $132 x 100 = $13,200 in cash goes into my account. I add another $6,600 as collateral.
The following Monday guess what happens? Microsoft says, hey we want LinkedIn, we’re gonna buy it for $26.2 Billion. LinkedIn pops big time, it goes up $60 by the end of the trading day on Monday. So, you’ve essentially lost $60 per share on this transaction in a heartbeat. So, basically that $19,800 you’ve got in cash in your account, you’re gonna get something called a margin call at the end of the day. And basically what that means is you don’t have enough collateral to keep this short position open. So, you have to do one of two things, you have to provide more cash to keep this position open. Or you have to buy back the shares and cover your position.
In this example, I’m saying okay suppose you buy back the shares at $192 apiece, you’re going to end up with only $600 in cash and your account and your rate of return will essentially be -91% here, so you’ve lost almost all that entire original collateral that you’ve put up. So, this is an example of why you have to be careful. You can really get whip sod in a short selling position. But again the idea here is that perhaps we can find a way to exploit inappropriately placed optimism in the stock market. And this is an example of where the short seller got it wrong.
So, just to summarize here. Think of short selling as a way to profit from a forecast of a decline in asset value. And while short sellers are unloved, they are critical. They provide an impetus to evaluate information objectively, to get rid of inappropriate optimism. To really look for negative information, perhaps, negative information that is also objective and make sure that that’s baked into market prices.
Short selling, the regulation of short selling is not materially different from other types of trades. Short selling is difficult and risky. If you think of this on average over long periods of time most stocks go up in value. That means short sellers are really – they’re betting against the rising tide all of the time. But in the end, most economists and market participants believe short sellers play a very positive role in financial markets.
So, that’s just my quick summary, my quick discussion/explanation of short selling, the role of short selling in financial markets. And if we have a couple of minutes here, if there are any quick questions that anyone would like to ask about this particular topic before we move on, it’d be happy to take a couple of questions now. If not now, we can pop them to the end of the presentation, the entire presentation.
Angela LaGamba: Great. Thank you very much professor. We actually do have a question from one of our audience members and they wanna know what is your perspective on the market? Is it efficient or not?
Paul Bolster: That’s a great question. I guess if I were gonna answer that in the most brief number of words, I would say yes the market is efficient. In other words, the market is always – if you think of the market as a creature, if you will, the market is always trying to move prices toward the right place. In other words, you could come up with counter examples for me, well wait a minute, what about this example and that example where the market did not appear to be efficient for a particular security, for a particular period of time.
But generally speaking, the market’s pretty darn efficient. And so it’s hard, it’s hard to be an active investor. S&P puts out a survey twice a year and they basically evaluate active manager’s performance versus passive indices. And essentially they show that over – just about every period of time they can show about 60% of active managers underperform the index that they’re benchmarked to. Suggesting that only 40% and it’s a different 40% every six months actually are able to outperform their benchmarks on a risk adjusted basis. It’s tough.
That doesn’t mean that, again I don’t wanna go overboard and saying markets are totally perfect, they’re efficient all the time, there are examples we can point to here and there were markets did not perform efficiently, where they were manipulated or where they were just sort of out of whack where noise took over the signal for a period of time. But generally speaking, markets are highly efficient on a day to day basis.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you professor. One of our other audience members wanted to know your thoughts on the movie Big Short and how you would rank it on a scale of 1-5, five being a must see movie of the year.
Paul Bolster: I guess I would give it a four. I mean from a dramatics point of view, there are probably other movies that from an arts point of view there are other movies I probably would recommend higher. But the interesting thing about it was that they were actually able to take kind of a boring topic and make it exciting. I mean I guess when there are billions and tens of hundreds of billions of dollars in play because the economy is on the brink of going into a series recession, I guess you could make a drama out of that and they did a pretty good job of that. But I’d give it a four, sure. I would highly recommend it. It’s worth about – it’s only about an hour and a half, it’s a short movie. But it really will give you a sense as to what was going on during this period of time and how crazy things did get.
And if you wanted an example of sort of market inefficiency, this would be the counter example right here, The Big Short. Here’s where market prices were just going to crazy places and there really wasn’t a sufficient check and balance on it until – partially because these guys in the movie were able to see this unbridled optimism and figure out a plan to exploit it.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you professor. We have time for one more question from our audience, so the question is what do you think about the flash market and how brokerage houses get their information? Do you think that it was an issue for some time?
Paul Bolster: It was an issue for some time and although quite honestly I don’t think it’s a big issue. When you’re talking about the flash market, you’re talking about traders that were able to make, essentially trades in nanoseconds and tiny, tiny slices of a second. And some trading firms actually do pay the New York Stock Exchange to get their servers closer to the service of the New York Stock Exchange because that proximity actually gives them a couple of nanoseconds of advantage and they actually think that they can exploit that.
Flash trading is not the greatest thing. I think there is more noise than created by flash trading than signal. And while I’m not convinced that it’s extremely detrimental to markets, there are again you can point to some examples where things have gone wrong in flash trading platforms that are driven down the prices of assets to crazy low or in some cases crazy high levels simply because of an incorrect computer instruction or something like that. So, flash trading is something that we should keep an eye on. Regulators are really focused on this right now.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much professor and to our audience we do have a dedicated question and answer session at the end of webinar, so please continue to send in your questions and we will answer it then. And for now, I will hand it back over to our professor to talk a little bit about the investment analysis course. Go ahead professor.
Paul Bolster: Sure thank you. Now, this course I’m about to describe is a course that I design and teach and it is a course that is an elective for you if you come into the MBA program. So, again I know that I’m talking to a group of people, maybe some of whom are sort of finance oriented, but many of whom are not finance oriented. So, again what I’m trying to get across here is – I’m not pitching my course and saying this is the greatest thing you all have to take it when you get in there, although I hope you do. I wanna just give you a sense as to here’s what a course looks like. Here’s what a course looks and feels like.
Now, my course, just starting at the top. There are major topics and these are topics you would expect in a course like investment analysis. Investment objectives, measuring and managing risk and return, financial market functions, portfolio management, stock valuation and so on. So, here are the basic topics. Now, here’s where things get interesting and this was mentioned very briefly in the earlier part of the presentation that the courses are generally designed around a five-week schema. So, five weeks is just enough time to really to develop and to deliver and to learn in a very intensive online environment.
And so, this is just basically how my course flows. I start out by talking about the basics, investment objectives, risk and return markets. That’s week one. Week two we go into the portfolio perspective. Week three, equity. So, this is like a big theme for every week. And then each week is broken down into lessons. And most of us use between two and three lessons per week. So that gives you sort of somewhat bite size chucks that you can focus on. So, when you dial this course up, when you begin starting up in this course, you’re gonna say, okay I’m in week one, what do I do now? Well, let’s focus on lesson one. Let’s see if I can get mastery of that and then I can move onto week two.
Generally what you see is that there will be deliverables, different kinds in different classes. I’ll talk about my deliverables momentarily, but they will be generally toward the end of the week in my classes, but I also have some discussion boards we’ll talk about – well there are gonna be notes, examples and exercises in each week and each lesson. So, in other words, I’ve developed materials and the lead faculty for each and every course that we have in the MBA program is developed these materials and organize them so that they should be effective learning tools as a package.
What do they look like? Well beyond the notes, examples and exercises that we’ve actually created and we have up on our Blackboard platform, they’re typically our textbook assigned readings on a weekly basis. There’s a weekly chat that I have. I had mine on Tuesday night from 7-8 with students in an investment analysis course that’s currently running for me. We also have an instructor that I work with that also works with students and the instructor also has a weekly online chat session. During that session, I present a little bit of material. I often will go through some of the material similar to the way I went through the short selling material with you folks today. And then it’s a little bit more interactive. We’re on a platform where students can ask questions, students can appear. It’s live video, so I have a video feed and students can respond with a video feed as well or they can just type in a chat box. But students report this is a very effective and very helpful one hour that they have with us.
The deliverables in my course, this is sort of a quantitative course. Gain some of the courses you’re taking will not be as quantitative as this. So you may be doing case analyses, you may be doing simulations and other group exercises. In mine, you’re working on problem sets. There are discussion boards on a week to week basis. There is a stock analysis project that you actually work with a small group of students and there are a couple of exams.
So, here is just an example of an example I guess. It’s one of the slides from my portfolio – week two of my investment course. And what you’re just looking at is just a graphic of monthly returns for a couple of stocks over a 24-month period, the point showing essentially that they vary over time. And this is just motivates some of the quantitative dimensions of a portfolio risk that we talk about in that particular week. But again, this is just to give you an example of what a slide might look like.
There are examples as well. So, here’s an example of how we might come up with a required rate of return or an expected rate of return for Google, now known as Alphabet. I also have a couple of multimedia simulation exercises built into the class. This one, it appears in week one and week five. You are a financial advisor to Robert & Julia Peterson who are kind of a grouchy 65 year old married couple. Don’t really agree on what their investment objective should be and you sort of have to guide them, you have to help them. And sometimes you have to make some difficult decisions and they may or may not agree with you as time moves on. And so this is just an exercise again to give you a sense as to how one would come up with – how you develop and investment objective and how you’d operationalize it.
I mentioned discussion boards and look at this, short selling. Our week two discussion in this particular run of my course is, indeed about short selling. So, as a participant in the course, you would – by the end of day four, which let’s see Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – Thursday would be day four, that’s today. So, students are expected to make their initial post no later than the end of day four, the end of today. And then we expect them to respond to the post of others. And some of the posts are quite sophisticated, some of the conversations that go on are really insightful. And so this is a good way of developing interaction. Getting to know your colleagues in the course.
So to sum up, there’s a lot we do in just five weeks. But, just jumping to the last bullet on the slide, the workload is manageable. So, just keep that in mind. You’re taking a grad-level course and you’re taking it in a five-week period of time. That’s the tough part about it. The good part about it is you’re focusing on one course at a time. So, this course is your only course for this particular five-week period of time. My course is fairly quantitative. Again, some other courses will be less quantitative. They’ll be more – how can I describe it – maybe analytics still, but not as numbers oriented in nature.
My courses, the discussions change generally each time the course is offered to reflect new developments in the subject areas. We all massage our materials. I like to update my materials periodically. Every time I teach this course there is a revision process that goes on, same for other courses as well. And again, once again, even though this is compressed into five weeks and there’s a lot to do, it’s doable. And I just wanted to make sure that that’s the last point that I end with. Thank you.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much professor for walking us through both the short selling and the financial markets and the investment analysis course overview. To our audience, continue to send in those questions, we’ll be getting to those momentarily. But for now, I’d like to hand it over to our dedicated enrollment advisor, Ryan who will be walking us through the admissions requirements for the program. Go ahead Ryan.
Ryan Sukhraj: Thank you Angela. All right, so admissions for the online MBA program here at Northeastern. So, all prospective students must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a GPA score of 3.0 or higher on a scale of 4.0. They must be currently employed with at least five years’ worth of professional working experience. And for students whose undergraduate instruction was not conducted in English need to submit an official TOEFL, IELTS or PTE academic score.
In terms of the requirements for applications, all official transcripts must be provided. You must also upload your resume onto the online application, provide two letters of professional recommendations, complete an application assay or a statement of purpose. And there’s also a $100 fee for the application as well.
So, onto tuition and scholarships. We have the tuition here, like I mentioned before, the application fee of $100. You are looking at completing 18 courses which compose of 50 credits altogether. And the cost per credit currently sits at $1,513. So the total tuition you are looking at it costing you roughly $75,650. So, one scholarship that we have in place is the yellow ribbon program. Next we have the double Husky scholarship. And we also have the lifetime learning membership available to all that qualify.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much Ryan for walking us through the tuition and admissions. So, I’m gonna hand it over to our professor for any final thoughts. Go ahead professor.
Paul Bolster: Well, again if you are in the position of shopping around for an MBA program right now is obviously why you’re here. And I appreciate – we all appreciate that you’ve taken the time today to take a look at Northeastern’s program. Early on in the presentation today, some of the benefits that we think Northeastern can provide were delineated. And Northeastern’s online program has been around since 2008. It’s a mature program. It’s well designed. I think our curriculum is state of the art and I really strongly encourage you to – if you’ve started this process keep it going.
And I know that you’re looking at other options too, I would expect, but my advice to you is to keep it going. Don’t just do a one look and decide, well maybe I’ll revisit this again in six months. Now that you’re sort of down that path, keep it rolling and finish it up. Do your research. If any of us on the team here can help you, myself included obviously, contact us directly and we can give you the information you need or can find it for you. So, keep up the good work and keep your search going and I wish you all the best in finding the MBA program that’s most appropriate for your needs and I hope it’s Northeastern.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you everyone. This concludes our session for today.
This webinar features Professor André explaining the importance of Sustainability in Leadership. While explaining the nature of this course, Professor André also makes a strong case for the advancement of sustainability in all business practices. This webinar concludes with a Q&A session.
Angela LaGamba: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Northeastern University’s Online MBA webinar with Professor Rae Andre on this topic of Sustainability and Leadership. My name is Angela and I’ll be your moderator for today.
We’re very excited to go through the agenda with you today. We’re going to be talking a little bit more about Northeastern University and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business and the online MBA program. Our professor is going to be covering sustainability and leadership and then we’ll have Khurshid tell you a bit more about the admissions requirements and then tuition and scholarship. As I mentioned earlier you’re more than welcome to send in questions through the Q&A box and we will be addressing those during our Q&A session at the end of the webinar. So without further ado, I’d like to hand it over to Khurshid, our enrollment advisor, to tell us a bit more about Northeastern University. Go ahead, Khurshid.
Khurshid Iqbal: Let me begin by telling you a bit about Northeastern University and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Northeastern University was founded in 1898 and the College of Business in 1922. We began offering the MBA in 1963. In 2012 we received a generous naming donation from two alums, which are Rich D’Amore and Alan McKim, in the amount of $60 million; hence the name D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Today the D’Amore-McKim School of Business has a distinguished history and a reputation for excellence in teaching, learning, and research; one which we are all very proud of.
Next I would like to discuss our rankings and accreditations with you. We are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate School of Business, otherwise known the AACSB, and also by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Both represent the most highly regarded accreditation in the United States. At the same time we are also very proud of our accolades and rankings. Northeastern’s online MBA program is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Our online MBA is ranked number four in the United States by the Financial Times in 2016. US New and World Report ranks Northeastern University’s online MBA program as number 36 in the United States in 2016.
Let us now take a look at the rich programs offered through the online learning environment. In 2006 we became one of the first online AACSB accredited MBA programs in the United States. While you’re in the program you can further your degree by choosing from eight in-demand concentrations with completion of them in as little as 24 months. At the same time you can also leverage our focus on experience and learn from some of the best business minds in the United States. Our program is also designed for busy professionals and can equip you with the graduate level knowledge and management foundation needed to unlock new opportunities for growth within your company and also in your career.
We recently conducted a survey and we learned that our online MBA graduates identify our AACSB-accredited education, our flexibility of the program, and our reputation as the three most important factors that contributed to them choosing Northeastern University. It is also important to know that 56 percent of our respondents received a salary increase, 48 percent received more managerial responsibilities, and 46 percent received a new job title after enrolling into the program.
Now students within the program also appreciate opportunities to specialize in one of our eight areas of concentration. We offer nine classes per year that are on average five weeks in duration and they typically can be completed in as little as two years. We offer a faculty and instructor model with maximum class sizes of 20 students, but most classes average about 14 to 15 students a class. Our instructors have graduate degrees in business, experience in specific disciplines that they are teaching, and our professors all have PhDs and extensive work experience in their discipline in which they teach.
Now students can also earn a single or a dual concentration. As long as three or more of the five electives are taken in a specific area, the student will earn a single concentration. Now the opportunity exists to complete two concentrations as well. If two classes are taken from one area, and two are taken from another, and the fifth class is shared by the two disciplines, you can earn two concentrations. So students who successfully complete the core curriculum have the option of also applying to extend the program by four courses to earn a dual MBA/MSF degree. If you want to broaden your management perspective and career flexibilities, then a dual degree will definitely be a good fit for you.
We also have exciting options of residencies available to our students who are in the program; our domestic residency, which may take place in Seattle, Washington; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Boston, Massachusetts. These residencies are designed to provide networking opportunities and count as one of your general electives. Then there’s also the international residency which takes place in the second year of the program which you can participate in as well. And last year the destinations included China, Dubai, Greece, Turkey, Colombia, and Peru. Back to you, Angela.
Angela LaGamba: Okay, thank you very much, Khurshid. And now we’d like to move on to our next section on sustainability and leadership and I’d like to hand it over to our professor to get us started. Go ahead, Professor.
Rae Andre: Thank you, Angela. Hi, folks. Welcome to this introduction to my course which is Management 6225, Sustainability and Leadership. I’ve been teaching this course for five years in the online MBA program. I also teach it on campus at both the MBA level and the undergraduate level, and I give executive programs in this area.
As you can imagine, when we’re talking about sustainability, which includes things like climate change and energy, the material is always evolving. So I work very hard to keep it up-to-date for you and to point out to you the strategic and operational relevance of the material. By taking this course you can get one step into your sustainability certificate if that’s one of the certificates that interests you.
So sustainability and leadership is in general – I’m not going to read through this slide for you, but you can take a look at it – in general, it is about making the planet safe for all life. That means you and me and everything else on this beautiful earth of ours, and how can we all take leadership roles whatever our status in the corporation, our role in the corporation – how can we all take leadership roles in our organizations and our communities to help us to maintain sustainability?
The course learning objectives are first of all, we focus on climate change and energy. These are two sides of the same coin, and one of my first goals for you is so that you can begin to understand how to read basic science. I know that’s going to sound very challenging, but we help you through the major stages of an article and help you to glean what you can, and when you can’t get it, outsource it to someone else. And we talk you through all of that so that you can really feel comfortable at some level with the science of climate change and energy. We also work with stakeholders beyond the science who cares, who are the people, the communities, the governments, and most importantly, the companies that are interested in working with sustainability and what are they doing?
We then move on in terms of goals to performing research. We ask you to perform two research papers and we’ll get to that in a moment. And in order to do that what I ask you to do is identify high-quality databases, and I teach you how to do that, and to write what is essentially a credible white paper. So if you were asked by someone in your company to make a recommendation on, for example, where to put a new plant for your company, some of what would be needed for that would be a sustainability research, and you would be able to write a credible white paper after learning to do the research as we teach you in this course. And then of course, how can you lead – how can you use these things to lead your company to being more sustainable?
Those are our course learning objectives. My students tell me – I’ve had many students tell me that they wish they could take this course early on in your curriculum, and I believe you can, and the first reason they tell me is that the research skills you will gain in this course are very useful for you to move into other courses. I’m going to help you to learn how to find peer reviewed articles in excellent databases, and how to really milk our library online for all it’s worth for this course and other courses. We practice an APA format, which is a particular format that the university uses and most journals use, and most technical writing uses.
The second reason to take the course early on is because climate change and energy are themes in almost every course today, certainly in every company. And so it’s just a good basic set of knowledge to have. And finally, you can get a specialty in sustainability at Northeastern.
For March 2017, which is the next time that the course is offered, I’m going to deliver the course in three parts. The course is being updated currently, so I’m working hard to make everything fall in place very accurately and thoroughly. You can see the major topics here, I’ll let you read those, and I’ll point out that there are two graded projects. The first one is to identify a scientific project of interest to you that you can research. And the second one is to find the stakeholders who are involved with a scientific project that is of interest to you.
For example, let’s say you live in Florida and you’re in the hospitality industry. You’re going to be interested in sea level rise in Florida and then you’ll probably do your first paper on that and your second paper on who are the companies that will be affected, who are the government agencies that are being affected and how are they interacting?
This may seem hypothetical to you at this point if you haven’t really thought about climate change and business, but I’m located here in Boston, and as you may have heard, General Electric is now moving their headquarters here, and one of the first things they did when they bought property in the seaport area, which is a very low-lying area, was to plan to put five inches of silt on that property so that they could raise it because that is about how much they think they need to raise their building to protect themselves from sea level rise over X number of years.
If you’re in accounting or finance, this stuff is all relevant to you because you’re going to be helping your company to assess cost and risk. You may already know that the SEC has reporting requirements for companies with respect to climate change impacts, and you need to be able to asses that stuff.
So in class we have all this real serious stuff, but we also have a lot of fun. And one of the ways I’ve tried to inject – and have injected – I think injected some interest in the class is to do some self-quizzes. So I thought I might engage you today with Angela’s help in answering a few preliminary questions.
So what we’d like you to do is answer this question. Throughout history the earth’s atmosphere contains 270 parts per million of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas. Scientists believe that the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is how many parts per million?
The right answer is 350 parts per million, and you guys weren’t too far off from that. Let’s see what the next slide tells us.
One of the things I love about teaching this course is it’s very interdisciplinary and I think that’s a huge amount of fun, and there’s a lot of fascinating graphs and animations. We can’t show them to you today, it’s a little too complicated to do that, but for example, here’s a graph that shows you what we were just talking about, and the highest historical level CO2 – way back to 400,000 years before today. And you can see how it goes up and down and so the current – this isn’t even up-to-date – it should be 400 ways up here somewhere. So this is really interesting results that paleo climatologists can give us, believe it or not; very important information for us to have today.
Scientists believe that 350 parts per million is the limit, but we are already at 400 parts per million. We just hit that amazing amount just this last year. And here’s a graph done by something called the Keeling Graph. Keeling was at the Mauna Loa summit – the big island of Hawaii, many of you have been there perhaps – and he began just sort of idly collecting data on CO2 levels way back in 1958. And as you can see, up they go, and they’re still going up. Okay, so question two.
You will find that in general the answers to what, in fact, is a ten-item quiz are all over the place. I think most people – I haven’t done a calculation but I think the average is probably about four. The correct answer is at the poles.
Now, I knew you’d want to know why it is at the polls and I researched that on the NASA website just yesterday, and the answer is they’re not quite sure. Some of it has to do with things like the albedo effect, the fact that as more water is revealed as opposed to snow, there is less reflected, less heat reflected back to the atmosphere. Another reason is just simply climate – large climate changes may also be affecting that, and it’s multi-variant. So question three: Burning fossil fuels is a major contributor to CO2 in the atmosphere. That’s not questionable. How many barrels of fossil fuel that we call oil were burned on a daily basis worldwide in 2015? This may seem hard now but at the end of our – three days into the course it’ll seem easy.
The correct answer is 96.
We currently burn about 96 million per day. The US is about 20 percent of that. And let me just read this, “According to the US Energy Information Administration, world demand is expected to climb 17 percent in the next 20 years.” So far from reducing greenhouse gasses – oil burning and greenhouse gases, it’s going to go up unless we do something.
I threw in the third paragraph here just to remind me to tell you that there are all kind of animations that we are going to use and tapes of scientists talking about their research that are easy to understand. And so the course is heavily interactive in that sense.
Why is a number like – who care about a number like 96 million? One of the things I’d like you to take away from my class and you can take away from this seminar today is the following. Let’s just round that number up to say 100 million barrels per day. You need to keep that in your mind. If you’re reading a news article – like last week there was a news article on CNN, and it was all over the place, that a “massive oil discovery was made in West Texas.” Three billion barrels of oil were found in West Texas. The naïve reader and listener to that piece of information is going, “Wow, three billion. That’s going to last forever.” In fact, if you start dividing three billion by 100,000, you get about a month’s worth of world usage. So three billion barrels lasts just one month.
And the fact of the matter is we’re running out of oil and in the class we will talk a great deal about that. So consumption’s going up, the amount of oil existing is going down. What’s happening is we’re tapping into dirtier resources, more expensive resources, which also contribute to climate change.
So, how are we going to get out of this mess? We’re desperate for leaders. We need leaders in all disciplines. We need the Elon Musks of the world and we need scientists and we need media people, we need politicians, and one of the things we talked about in the class is who’s going to do this and how can you do it? So the first thing – in terms of practical application, the first thing that’s on your mind is what can
I do in my organization and will my organization value that? That’s a very good question. Not all organizations will value this, you have to be careful. But in general we have executive leadership, if you’re leading your company, how can you manage meaning get people to understand what’s going on and establish strategy. Most of you are going to be working at an operational level. Understand your organizational culture around these issues and work with that culture, and then manage organizational change to implement the most effective policies for your company.
And then the very last section of our course is how do we get this done in terms of the world? What sector is going to dominate here? What sector is going to contribute the most? Is it going to be business? Is it going to be government? Is it going to be other sectors of the economy that are really going to help in this effort, and where should you put your energy and your commitment? We have some really wonderful discussions about those issues.
So I’d like to thank you for listening. I hope I’ll see you in Management 6225 in 2017. If not then, later on in your career in the NU online program. Thank you very much.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much, Professor for walking us through sustainability and leadership. And I do have quite a few questions that are coming in from our audience, and I encourage you to continue sending in those questions. We’ll be getting to our Q&A in a couple of minutes. But for now I’m going to hand it over to our enrollment advisor, Khurshid. He’s going to walk us through the admissions requirements for the online MBA. Go ahead, Khurshid.
Khurshid Iqbal: Thank you, Angela. Now let’s take a look at the admission requirements. In order to qualify to apply for the program you are required to meet our general guidelines which require that you have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning with a GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale. You must be currently employed and have a minimum of five years of demonstrated professional experience.
Now as far as the application requirements are concerned, you are required to support the application with official transcripts from every institution that you might have attended in the past, most recent and updated resume of yours, two professional recommendation letters will be required, a statement of intent essay, together with a completed application and non-refundable $100 application fee.
Speaking about the tuition, you need to complete 18 classes which is 50 credits in total. Each credit will cost you $1,513. The entire program will end up costing about $75,650. We also participate in the Yellow Ribbon program. Kindly visit www.northeastern.edu/military for more information.
We also encourage our returning alums by supporting them with a Double Husky Scholarship of up to 25 percent tuition waiver. Please visit www.northeastern.edu/graduate.doublehusky/overview for more information. We also advocate Lifetime Learning membership for currently enrolled full-time students family as well as providing them with up to 25 percent tuition waiver. For more information on that category, kindly visit www.northeastern.edu/graduate/lifetimelearning/overview . Thank you, Angela.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much, Khurshid, for walking us through the admissions and tuition. And we are now moving on to the next section of our webinar where we have our dedicated Q&A. If you have any questions feel free to continue sending them in through the Q&A box located on the left hand side of your screen. All right. Let’s get started. We have a question for you, Khurshid. One of our audience members wanted to know how many credits are in each course?
Khurshid Iqbal: That is definitely a great question. Now all in all you are expected to complete 50 credits in total. Not every class is going to be equally – especially when it comes to the credit allotment. A majority of the classes are three credits each. There are also a few classes that are a credit and a half, and two and a quarter credits. Thank you, Angela.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much, Khurshid. And Professor, the next question is for you. The question is from a health and nutrition perspective, can you please speak to how the class will be able to address these issues? Go ahead, Professor.
Rae Andre: I’m not quite sure I understand what that means – health and nutrition perspective, but let’s assume that it means something about agriculture and how agriculture is going to be affected. For example, North Dakota is going to be one of the states in this country most affected by climate change because it’s going to be warmer and it’s going to have water issues and so on. My inability to answer that question directly puts it right back in the student’s lap which is I’m teaching you a whole bunch of skills that you can use and I want you to tailor it to your interests. So you would talk with our instructor and work with that thought and that topic to make a paper – a couple of papers and some explorations that interest you. So that would be an ongoing conversation and then your selection of your topic that we would help you then to research.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much, Professor. And to our audience member that asked that question, feel free to send in a followup if you want to provide some additional clarity. Our next question is for you, Professor. Our audience member wanted to know if you could speak a little bit more about the concentration in sustainability and the courses that are offered and how that would apply to an MBA program for a student. Go ahead, Professor.
Rae Andre: You know, Angela, I’m going to give that back to you because those courses change so often enough that I’m not on top of that. So maybe we can – either you can answer it now or we can answer that student later?
Angela LaGamba: Sure, so from the student that asked, you’re more than welcome to reach out to our enrollment advisor and we can get you more information. But just to provide you with some high level context, we do have eight concentrations that are available within the online MBA program. Sustainability is one of those concentrations, and each of those courses is listed so we can share that with you so you can see what they are. And within the online MBA program you would be taking five electives and those sustainability courses would be part of your electives in the second year of your program.
So that’s higher level but I would encourage you to follow up. We do have some information on the screen here and if you reach out by email or phone, we can also provide you with some additional more specific information on those courses.
The next question that we have is for you, Khurshid. One of our audience members wanted to know can a student – can one take courses prior to applying or matriculating that will later be credited towards the MBA degree?
Khurshid Iqbal: All right, thanks, Angela. Once again a good question. You can take courses but not without applying. You would need to register and do a certificate program, and the classes that you would complete in that certificate program would transfer into the MBA degree eventually.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much, Khurshid. Professor, our next question is where do you see the future of sustainability going? Do you think that there would be any impact on the economy in the next 20 to 30 years? One of our audience members wanted to know. Go ahead, Professor.
Rae Andre: Well, there’s a big debate on that right now. And your question is an excellent one and it’s one that we would at the end of our course, sections five, talk about. It depends on whether you think that sustainability itself can be organized to create jobs. Most people that I chat with and study believe that creating – moving towards solar and wind – a huge diversity of energy sources is going to create a lot of jobs – can and should create a lot of jobs, but it needs to be nurtured. Other people think that we need to just forge ahead with the gross economy based on fossil fuels, and I’m hoping we don’t go there because I do believe myself that if we continue on that path we are going to fry the planet, and we’re going to fry it sooner rather than later.
It used to be that 50 years ago or even 30, 25 years ago people thought that maybe climate change and global warming would happen over a period of thousands of years. As you can read and if you read decent sources of news, I refer to the Economist, the Financial Times, the New York Times and then basic science, which is a whole other area to read, we’re finding that climate change is happening faster than we thought it was going to happen. And so we all have to be on top of that as best we can and keep working and keep leading. Thanks.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much, Professor. Our audience member who had asked the health and nutrition perspective question wanted to follow up and say for clarity that the health and nutrition question she had meant in terms of agricultural raw materials such as procurement, sourcing supply chain and manufacturing, for example, and the entire value chain. I don’t know if you want to add to that as well, Professor.
Rae Andre: You know, I believe that we have a course in the program that will look at values in the supply chain. That’s not my course but there are other courses that will specialize in that. That’s a super important question. How long should your supply chain be versus are we moving to local agriculture. We’re a very large interconnected world. We’re probably not moving to local agriculture if we don’t have to. So what’s the alternative? Creative young people interested in this will be solving that problem. Thanks.
Angela LaGamba: For our audience, if you have any additional questions I encourage you to send those in. But in the meantime, Professor, I just wanted to see if you had any final thoughts before we begin to wrap up our webinar.
Rae Andre: Sure, you know, Northeastern’s a very practical degree. We like to get things done. In my course I want to give you the tools to help you get things done in your companies. Please keep that in mind as you think about whether to enroll or not in our program, and I hope you do. Thank you.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much, Professor. And to our audience we’d like to thank you as well for taking the time to join us today to learn a little bit more about the sustainability and leadership and also review the online MBA. We have put on screen information about how to contact us. So you can reach out by phone, by email, or you can also schedule an appointment if you find that’s more convenient for you. We’ve provided a link to our scheduling calendar. And I’m going to hand it over to Know how briefly to maybe talk a little bit about the upcoming start dates for this program.
Khurshid Iqbal: The very next upcoming start is going to be Fall start term with the classes starting on November 14th and the application deadline being October 24th. And then the Spring 1 start term which would be January 9th, 2017, and the deadline for that particular start is going to be December 19th, 2016. The start next would be Spring 2, which would be February 13th and the application deadline for that particular start would be January 23rd. Thank you, Angela.
Angela LaGamba: That is all the time that we have for today. Thanks to everyone for participating in our sustainability and leadership webinar. We will have a recording available on our website soon, but if not, have a great day. Take care everyone.
In this webinar, Professor Lane discusses the role of culture in international business. Understanding the culture of a region where you wish to engage in business can make or break your effort. Watch to learn more.
Angela LaGamba: Welcome to Northeastern University’s Online MBA with Professor Harry Lane. My name is Angela and I’ll be your moderator for today. Before we begin I’d like to go over logistics for this presentation and commonly asked questions. All participants are in listen only mode. You can listen to the audio through your computer speakers. To ask questions, type your questions into the Q&A and hit submit. We’ll address your questions at the end of the webinar sessions. This event is being recorded so it can also be viewed at a future time.
All right, you may be wondering who your presenters are for today, so we have Professor Harry Lane, Hayden Jones, Steve Shakes and myself, Angela LaGamba. Professor Harry Lane is a professor of international business at Northeastern University’s D’Amore McKim School of Business. He holds a DBA in organizational behavior and an MBA. Professor Lane’s research falls on the areas of executing global strategy, organizational learning, managing change, cross-cultural management, and managing diversity.
Hayden Jones is the Assistant Recruitment Manager and Steve Shakes is the Enrollment Advisor for Northeastern University’s online MBA. Their role is to help perspective students through the application and admissions process.
All right, let’s get started. In the webinar today we’re going to be telling you a little bit more about Northeastern and the D’Amore McKim School of Business, and also a bit more about the online MBA program. Professor Harry Lane is going to be talking about executing global strategy, cultural aspects of international business and then we’ll discuss a little bit about the admissions requirements, tuition and scholarship, and throughout the session please feel free to send in your questions during the different sections that we have in the Q&A box and hit enter, and then from there we’ll be addressing your questions throughout the session.
Without further ado, I’d like to hand it over to Hayden Jones who’s going to be talking about Northeastern University and the D’Amore McKim School of Business. Go ahead, Hayden.
Hayden Jason Jones: Thank you, Angela. As Angela mentioned, my name is Hayden Jason Jones, the Assistant Recruitment Manager for the D’Amore McKim School of Business online graduate program. Let me first begin by telling you a bit about Northeastern University. Northeastern University was founded in 1898 and the College of Business in 1922. We began offering the MBA in 1963 and in 2012 received a generous naming donation from two alum, Rich D’Amore and Alan McKim, in the amount of $60 million, hence the name the D’Amore McKim School of Business. The D’Amore McKim School of Business has a distinguished history and a reputation of excellence in teaching, learning and research; one we are very proud of.
Now I’d like to discuss our rankings and accreditations. We are accredited by the Association of Advanced Collegiate School of Business, otherwise known as the AACSB, and by the New England Association of School and Colleges. Both represent the mostly highly regarded accreditation in the United States. We are very proud of our ranking and most recently Northeastern University’s online graduate program was ranked number 18 in the US, that’s in 2016 by US New and World Report and the Financial Times ranked us number four in the US for online MBA programs. We’re also very proud to be celebrating our tenth anniversary of offering the online MBA program; a milestone not too many others can boast about.
So now let’s take an in depth look at the online MBA programs. So why choose Northeastern University’s online Master of Business Administration program? Well, in 2006 we were the second online AACSB accredited MBA program in the US. We are very delighted to have been one of the pioneers in this area. Since then (break in audio) equip you with the graduate level knowledge and management foundation needed to unlock new opportunities for growth in your company and in your career.
So in a survey conducted in July 2013 with our online MBA graduates, they identified our AACSB accreditation, flexibility, and our reputation as the three most important factors that contributed to them choosing Northeastern University. It is also important to note that 56 percent of our respondents received a salary increase, while 48 percent received more managerial responsibilities and 46 percent received a new job title after enrollment in the program. We’re very pleased with these accolades received by our program from our grad work.
Okay, now students within the program appreciate the opportunity to specialize in one of eight areas of concentration. We offer nine compressed classes per year that are on average five weeks in duration, and the degree can be completed in as little as two years, but on average students complete it in three years. We offer a faculty and instructor model with maximum class sizes of 20 students, but most class sizes average 14 to 15 students. Our instructors have graduate degrees and work business experience in the specific discipline in which they teach, and our professors all have PhDs and extensive work experience in the discipline in which they teach.
Our students can earn a single or dual concentration. As long as you complete three or more of your five electives in a specific area, you can have a single concentration. The opportunity does exist to complete two concentrations. If you take two classes from one area and two from another, and the fifth class is shared by the two previous disciplines, then you have two concentrations. If I’ve confused you a little bit please refer to or get back to your enrollment advisor.
Now students who have successfully completed the core – the first year core MBA curriculum – have the option of applying to extend courses to earn a dual MBA/MSF degree. If you want to broaden your management perspective and career, possibly this may be a good fit for you.
Now there are a couple of exciting optional residencies available to students in the program; a domestic residency, which may take place in Seattle, Washington; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Boston, Massachusetts. These residencies are designed to provide networking opportunities and count as one of your general electives. Most recently, though, the domestic residency in Charlotte – excuse me, in Seattle and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the trip.
Then there’s the international residency, which takes place in the second year of the program. As long as you have successfully completed 23 credits while maintaining a GPA of 3.0 by Spring of 2017 – in this case, if you’re applying now you’re looking at Spring of 2018, you can apply to take part in this fantastic opportunity. And, again, this will count as one of your general electives.
In 2015 the destinations were Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing, that was one. Abu Dhabi and Dubai another, recent Turkey another, and lastly, we have Colombia and Peru. Now I actually took part in the Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing trip, and it was an absolutely wonderful experience from a professional, personal, and academic perspective. I’ll touch a little bit more on that later on in the presentation. Now what I’d like to do is just pass it back over to Angela.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you very much, Hayden, for walking us through Northeastern University’s online MBA program. What I’d like to do now is to pass it over to Professor Harry Lane, who’s going to be discussing the cultural aspects of international business. Go ahead, Professor.
Harry Lane: Thanks, Angela; thanks, Hayden. I guess I have to organize my talking along with the slides here. The first slide that you see here, and I’m not going to talk about most of it, but those are the courses that you can take for the international management concentration: finance, sustainable competitive advantage, marketing, global supply chain, entrepreneurship, and then my course that I’ll be talking about is the cultural aspects of international business.
What we really focus on and what my interest is, is that doing business internationally is not just cognitive information. Not just information about market size, economics, legal aspects, et cetera that are important, but that’s not all there is to understand. There’s also implementation. And as soon as you get into implementation, that means putting people on the ground. The problem that most companies have, I think, is that the problem’s when they have difficulties, it’s not that their strategy is wrong, it’s that they weren’t able to execute it or implement it properly. And that’s true domestically but probably even more so internationally because there’s sort of this thing, if you want to think of it as a veil of culture.
What I’m trying to do with this course is to identify this pervasive but hidden influence of culture on how it affects people’s lives, how they work, and how they manage. And in particular what we’re interested in the course is how culture affects our management.
One of the things that I tell people is that any management courses you may have already had, whether it’s an undergraduate work or an executive education program, most of it is based on middle-class North American values, and it may not work as intended in other cultures.
So what we’re trying to do in this course is to help people develop or improve the abilities to function in situations of cultural diversity, and in places like Canada or the United States, where we have very diverse populations, it works there as well. So you don’t have to use the material that you get in this course only if you’re going to Dubai or Hong Kong or one of those other locations. You can use it domestically in situations of cultural diversity as well.
The way we approach it is by developing and giving you practice in what I call analytic tools and maybe only an academic would think about frameworks as a tool. But these are ways of understanding situations that you are in, and so we have two or three tools, I’ll talk about them specifically at the end of the presentation. But it helps you see the situation that you may not normally see if you haven’t developed this insight.
The one thing I want to say, the course title is called “Cultural Aspects of International Business” and that’s what the course has always been called and even before I came to Northeastern. We never changed the title, but I really think about it in terms of strategy execution and the management of global operations. What is it you need to know if you are assigned to work in another country or culture, to implement a project or a strategy, or if you’re responsible for people who are working in the culture doing that very same thing?
So it’s very much a course in business, but it does have a behavioral or people orientation to it and an intercultural orientation. And by intercultural I mean it’s interactions, it’s not comparative. We don’t talk about this as the way we do it in the United States and this is the way the Germans do it, and this is the way the French do it, et cetera. What we’re really interested in is the interaction of people from different cultures. So that’s where the problems can occur. It’s the American working in France or the Canadian working in Germany, when we’re trying to function out of what we have learned in our own culture, it may not be sufficient.
So the way the course is organized, as Hayden said, it’s essentially five weeks own. The first week the concept and content of culture. This is kind of what culture is, how it works. The second week we talk about culture as a management issue. And I think it is a management issue. It’s not just – this is what people – this is how they dress differently, this is what they eat, this is the way the country is, things like that. When you have to make decisions and working with people from another country, people may see things differently.
So we look at culture specifically as a management issue. In that week we do two cases, one in Charles Foster, which is an American working in a global organization headquartered in France, who runs into trouble with people in France and your issue is – or your problem in the case is how are you going to respond to the situation. The other one we look at is Arla Foods. I don’t know if you remember the cartoon crisis, the cartoons of Mohammed that created riots all over the world, and there what we look at is how culture affects a company and their bottom line, even though they had nothing to do with it. So we’re looking at the cultural environment of business.
Then weeks three and four, we move up to the organizational level. Most people when they think about culture or courses like this they think about, oh, boy, I’m going to learn about those other people, the Mexicans, the French, the Germans, whoever. You’ll probably learn a lot about yourself, too, because one of the things that we’re doing is bringing into relief, if you will, your own beliefs and values and how they may be different from people in other countries.
Weeks three and four we move up to the organizational level, and people don’t often think about culture affecting the organization but your strategy, your structure, your systems, all generally have some sort of cultural component to them, and they’re based on some sort of beliefs about the way management should happen, which may not be shared by people around the world or other cultures. So we move from the micro-level in weeks one and two into the macro-level of organization, strategy, structure and systems weeks three and four. And then we hit some unique exercises and let’s just say – and cases, too, that I’ll speak more to at the end of the session.
Then week five we talk about sustainability. Some people might refer to this at corporate social responsibility. I have become a believer that sustainability is the right way to talk about it, and sustainability means a focus on people, planet, and profit. I think too many people think of sustainability as only green, being the environment. That’s one aspect of it and it’s an important aspect of it, but it’s also creating sustainable organizations because you can’t take care of the planet if you can’t stay in business. But it’s also a focus to paying attention to the communities in which your company is working.
So we look at that on two levels. One is sort of the personal level, which is ethics. And then the second, again, is the more macro-level at the organization and that’s sustainability. And what I’m really trying to do in this course is to get you to see the world differently. There are more academic definitions of the global mindset. I happen to like the one by the French writer Marcel Proust who said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Being able to see the world differently, being able to get outside of your own frame of reference. This is what you need to do if you want to be successful internationally.
So globalization, I’ll tell you, is probably one of the biggest buzz words in business today. Everybody has to be global. You have to be a global learning organization, and it’s easier to talk about then it really is to do. The landscape is littered with companies that have gone global, so to speak, and haven’t succeeded. So if you’re a company who’s operating in multiple locations, that’s not necessarily globalization.
I will ask people sometimes to – dealing with executives from my company, I say, “Tell me what your board of directors or your senior executives have for passports.” And if they’re all American passports, well, maybe you’re just an American company operating globally. And just to go back, I mentioned the Arla Foods case in week two, the woman who’s the protagonist in that case told me that she thought that they were a global company but then what she realized after the cartoon crisis was that they were really just a Danish company operating in many different countries of the world. So operating in multiple locations is not globalization, and you don’t globalize companies unless you globalize people.
So what we’re interested in is being effective in other countries in other cultures. It’s the ability to live and work effectively in the cultural setting of your assignment, wherever that happens to be. Effectiveness is the function of how well you can do your job, your professional expertise, can you adapt to the country or the culture in which you’re functioning? Can you interact with the locals? And what is your situational readiness? And by situational readiness people talk about – if you have elderly parents that need to be looked after, you may not be ready to move to another country. If you have children with special needs, you may not be able to take on an international assignment.
So, in the text when I was writing it I created the equation E is a function of pays and I was really pleased because pays in Spanish means country. It’s an easy way to remember it. So effectiveness is a function of your professional expertise, your ability to adapt to the culture, your ability to interact with the locals, and your situational readiness.
So the issue becomes if you can’t adapt and interact, or you have reasons that you need to be worried about what’s going on at home, you can never use your professional expertise. So situations like that people fail or return home early. To be effective we need to have an understanding of culture which is both ours and theirs. And very often people think it’s only those other folks that have cultures that we have to pay attention to. And what we really don’t realize is that we have a culture also. I think maybe I said this, but people who take the course very often find out that they learn as much or more about themselves and their own culture as they do about other cultures of the world.
Now very often when people start thinking about cross-cultural management or working in another country, they think, well, you have to adapt. You know, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. That’s a limited view and it’s not correct. Remember you’re there to do business, you’re there to be effective, you’re there to accomplish something. So it means we have to get the job done. So it’s not always adapting to the other culture.
So part of being effective is knowing when to fit in and knowing when to stand out. A colleague of mine here at Northeastern, a professor, Paula Caligiuri, has written a book, Cultural Agility, that was the title of it, and here’s her definition of cultural agility. “It’s essentially a behavioral repertoire. One of the things you can do is you learn to change behaviors, or some people call it code-switching, you know when to adapt. You adapt your behavior to the norms of the other culture’s way of doing things. However, there may be times when you don’t do that,” and she refers to that as cultural minimization, which is your own culture or company’s norms need to be maintained and will soon precede those of the context.
So, for example, your company may have very strong beliefs in policies about bribery, government interactions, things like that that you need to follow in another country and they may not be similar in that other country. So there are times when your own company’s norms need to be maintained. You may have operating policies that are critical for your success that need to be maintained.
Then finally there’s cultural integration, which is finding a third way. Maybe there’s a better way to do it, not just our way, not just their way, but a third way. And so that’s one of the things that I think you need to learn to be successful in another country.
Now that’s sort of the overview of the course, my philosophy, my orientation, what I’m trying to do. Let me give you some examples of what you have to be doing in the course. I have to tell you that I think – and Hayden has taken the course and he can comment on this – but I think most people like the course but they also find it to be a pretty intense course. It’s a graduate program and we expect graduate level behavior.
Here’s some of the things that you would be required to do, for example. So we have discussions. Your assignments for the week might be for one day you have to read a chapter or read a case and prepare some questions, and then we have discussions online. So here’s a sample discussion from week number one. Week number one is a lot about, as I said, understanding what culture is and how it affects you. So this is also a week where people can talk about your experiences. And what I find is that people who take this course have had a fair bit of international experience. I’ve been very impressed with the quality of the participants and the experience they bring to it. And given this experience, they learn a lot from each other, which is one of the things we always say we hope for in these types of courses.
So here’s discussion one. Globalization, how has it impacted your industry, or has it? If not, do you expect it to change in the future? And what I find out of 15 people in a section, maybe two or three may not be in an industry or hasn’t been affected by globalization, but I’d say the clear majority has been. And then what are your international responsibilities?
As part of the first week we also use an instrument, which I’ll give you an example of in a minute. GlobeSmart, this is a website, it’s a learning tool, it’s a learning portal that Northeastern licensed from a company called Aperion Global. It allows you to answer some questions and get a sort of a reading on what your values are. Then you can compare it to the 60 different countries and there’s also information about how you should function in those countries in the website. It’s a terrific learning tool. So what you have to do is take the instrument and then compare your GlobeSmart profile with a comparison company. Well some country that you have experience with. Maybe it’s a place that you’re working now.
This last class that ended a couple weeks ago had people that had a lot of experience in Germany and in India, and so they compared it to those countries. And what did you learn? So what you’re seeing now is this is me on the GlobeSmart in comparison to Mexico. I chose Mexico because I worked there a lot, I’ve learned Spanish, and what you see is probably different than Mexicans, which isn’t very surprising. But what it allows me to do is to anticipate where I am likely to run into some difficulties. Differences between how I might want to behave and how Mexicans on average want to behave.
So we then talk about this and it’s also a tool you can use as we discuss the various cases. What I like about this is not that if you look at it, someone might say, “Harry, you shouldn’t work in Mexico,” but what it means is knowing this I can manage myself. My behavioral repertoire is greater than if I didn’t understand this. So I can modify my behavior to meet the situation when I’m in Mexico. And I have had people tell me, they said, “Boy, Harry, you’re really a different person when you’re in Mexico,” or Kenya or wherever it happens to be that I am, and I guess that’s probably true. It’s not that I’m a different person it’s just that I can code-switch. I can function more like a local.
So here’s a sample assignment based on a case. So you’ll have a case to read and questions to answer, and then the discussion is based on those questions. So this happens to be the email case Charles Foster, the person who was having trouble with people in France.
One of the issues we talked about is using email there’s a cultural aspect to it also. So what was the intention behind it? How was it interpreted in the other country, and what cultural assumptions underlie the email? What was Charles thinking? What were his assumptions when he sent the email, and why did Ahmed, who was the president of a joint venture manufacturing organization in France, why did he react the way he did? And then you get a response from Ahmed, and then we talk about how you responded and how well it went.
Now this is the first case, and I’ll say more about this in a minute or two, we use a lot of – five now, I think – interactive multi-media cases. By that I mean you are put into the situation online where you’re dealing with Ahmed. You send the email and then you get a phone call from Ahmed. The case is a case that I wrote based on my working with a company, though I knew Charles Foster. He was a student in one of my executive education classes for a company that I was working with, and the case exists, you have it online. But rather than just have people read cases online, I don’t think that’s very high quality. What we try to do is create interactive multi-media cases that are more fit and more appropriate for the medium you’ll be using, which is online education. So this is the first case like that that you will encounter.
What we do is we ask you to go back to GlobeSmart and see what cultural assumptions or how the dimensions of GlobeSmart might help you in understanding the case. So Ahmed came from the Middle East but he spent most of his adult life in France, so you can pick a Middle Eastern country and France and compare yourself to it, and see if you can understand some of the cultural dimensions that may have triggered the response.
So I mentioned interactive multi-media cases. This is the latest one that we have implemented, The Cushy Armchair case. This is a case that’s an Ivy business school case. The two-page case is online. You would have it available to you. But again, what I’m trying to do is we’ve taken a linear case, two-page linear case, and we have transformed it into this online interactive multi-media case in which you essentially become the person who is assigned as the new CEO of Cushy Armchair in Hong Kong. You get all the information that’s in the case, but it’s putting you into the situation as opposed to simply reading the case. Then we discuss this online and we also understand what some of the barriers are to you trying to implement – this is essentially a case about strategy implementation that doesn’t go very well. So the first part is to understand why it doesn’t go very well using the framework that I’m going to talk about, I think in the next slide, and then figuring out what it is you’re going to do about it or how you could have performed better. How you could have implemented this change better.
So, as I said, I think there are five of these interactive multi-media cases in the course rather than just having you read cases that are just put online. So I’ve talked about frameworks and tools and the skills that we’re trying to get you to develop. First in the first week or two weeks of the course, which tends to be the more micro, the personal, the team level, we use the MBI framework: Map, Bridge, Integrate.
So the first thing you have to do is understand the differences that may exist. That’s where GlobeSmart comes in. Then you have to learn about communicating across the differences, and then managing the differences.
If you can do that, you probably will value the differences, and the differences can create value and you will get performance.
As we move into the third and fourth week, this is where we bump it up to the organizational level. We use the organizational alignment or strategic alignment framework that’s shown there, where we have to understand what’s going on in the world outside of the organization. What our strategy is that links us to our customers and to other parts of the environment, and then how our structure and the work systems and the people fit or don’t fit to implement that strategy.
That’s where we start looking at the various systems of organizations, such as selection, development, evaluation, reward systems, budgets. These things all tend to have a cultural underpinning or background to them. If you think about how you reward people. Do you reward people as individuals or as teams? We tend to have a very individualistic orientation to reward systems, that may not work in other cultures.
Then finally, the last week of the course, week five, this is where we bump it up to ethics and corporate sustainability. When I wrote – the title of the text is International Management Behavior. And the first couple of editions really didn’t deal with ethics or sustainability. But the more I spent time in other countries and I found myself getting into situations or talking to people that were in situations where ethics started to rear its head, and I was trying to answer the questions for myself. If I was in that situation, how would I respond? So that’s why we added the sections on ethics and corporate sustainability. So the individual personal level, that’s ethical behavior. What we’re trying to do is understand your own beliefs and then understand other people’s beliefs about ethical behavior. Then you have a choice to make which is what are you going to do? So that’s your belief and commitment to a set of ethical principles.
I must say that I mentioned earlier that very often people say that when you’re in another country, do as the Romans do. I have changed that. It’s not do as the Romans do, but do as the better Romans do because not all Romans are equally good or ethical. You can tell that from our own country also. Look at the Enron’s, et cetera. Should people behave like the leaders of Enron? I probably would say no. So when in Roman, do as the better Romans do.
Then we look at it again at the organizational level, which is understand your organization’s approach to sustainability, which is, again, people, planet, and profit. Hopefully you develop your own understanding and belief and commitment to approach and corporate sustainability. So I think that brings me to the end of my slides. So is this where you want to take questions or you have questions or do we keep going?
Angela LaGamba: Sure. So we’re going to keep on going. There are – to our audience, I encourage you to continue to send in those questions and then we’ll address those during Q&A.
Harry Lane: You know what? I forgot, there were two other things I was going to mention. You saw two assignments. In week four, one of the issues that we talk about in the course is working in virtual teams, so not everybody is going to be assigned to another country. But what I’m finding is probably out of say 15 people in a section, a good ten people work in virtual teams. This last class that we had, we had a person who had a team of five, six, eight people in the area and across the United States. I’m finding that the people that take the online MBA in my course have a fair bit of experience working in virtual teams.
So we have a case – that week essentially, you’ll analyze a case of virtual team and problems they were having. Then we put you into virtual teams in your class spread across the world or the United States, and you have to read a case and make some individual decisions, and then work as a team to do a team ranking, and to choose a candidate for an international assignment. So what we’re trying to do here is not only teach you something about best practices, if you will, in virtual teams, but also let you experience it.
Then the final thing I will say is I don’t believe in exams. I think particularly in a course like this having an exam is a waste of time. So what I have you do is a reflection paper. And the reason I do this – I want you to organize your learning and your reactions to the course to include experiences from outside the course. Some of the better papers that I’ve read people talk about how they apply the material that they’ve learned in the course.
The reason I do this is I know you’re busy, and it’s my way of making you stop and think about what you’ve been learning in trying to take the time to make a note of it, to write it down, the important parts, not all the detailed pieces that we talk about. But I tell people you can think of this as a report to your boss who has asked for a complete but concise summary of the important lessons you have learned from the course that he or she could use in his or her new international assignment. So it’s kind of a summary. It’s my way of making you stop and think.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you Professor, for walking us through the course and also sharing the background and the philosophy that goes into the course. And to our audience, I encourage you to continue to send in those questions. What I’m going to do now is I’m going to hand it over to our enrollment advisor, Steve Shakes, and he’s going to walk us through the admission requirements for the online MBA program. Go ahead, Steve.
Steve Shakes: Thank you, Angela. So the admission requirements for the online MBA program are as such. We’re looking for an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning, GPA of 3.0 or better out of a 4.0 system, and a minimum of five years work experience. Now for students whose undergraduate work is not conducted in English, then you will have to submit other results, such as TOFL, IDLPS or PP academic scores, minimum score being 100. And of course we only accept the internet based tests.
Now the students that are approaching the five year mark, but not there just yet, you can still apply. You can produce other things such as professional designations or certificates, and that will help to strengthen your portfolio, so keep that in mind as well.
And we’ll move on to the application requirements. Now for the document that you need to submit, we’re looking for transcripts from prior undergraduate or graduate work reflecting degree preferred. For international students there has to be an extra step where you have to get your transcripts evaluated and details pertaining to that process can be accessed through myself or one of the other enrollment advisors. Looking for a current updated resume, two letters of recommendation. One of the letters of recommendation has to be from a current supervisor or manager. The other, of course, can be from a colleague or co-worker, as long as they’re not from family or friends.
Now, the application essay – we’re looking at a statement of intent or letter of interest, something that the student needs to illustrate in 500 to 1,000 words why you’re interested in this program. And of course there is a $100 non-refundable application fee.
Now we’re going to talk about the tuition and scholarships that are available. For the tuition, it is a 50 credit hour program. The per credit hour cost is $1,513 and that equals $75,650 for the total tuition. Now that price does not include the books and we can go into details later on if you do contact an enrollment advisor about the average cost of books that we can work into that cost as well. But also there is $1,000 deposit that is needed or required upon students signing up when they are accepted in the program. And that would be applied to the tuition for the first cost of the class that you will be taking.
Now Northeastern is proud to be a part of the military financial assistance program such as post-911 program. Veterans can apply for these programs but first that requires you to approach your VA office and fill out what’s called a certificate of eligibility. That is the VA form 221990. That will start you on the process of applying for your military benefits. And, of course, additional assistance can be acquired if you do call into an advisor like myself or any of the other enrollment advisors that are available.
Now the final point that I will go over, or the second to the last, is the scholarships that are available to students, and that is what’s called Northeastern alums. And the final program that we want to talk about is Learning U. Northeastern has started what’s called the Lifetime Learning Membership Program, and that is essentially Northeastern’s lifetime learning membership is available to currently enrolled full-time student families. And of course we might be a little bit short on time, but of course if you would like further details you can definitely call into an advisor like myself and we can go into further details about that program that is available to you.
So there you have it, all the points you need to be aware of when you are thinking about applying to Northeastern and I’ll pass it back over to Angela.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much, Steve, for walking us through the tuition and the scholarships for the program. What I’d like to do now is open the floor up to our audience for questions. I encourage you to continue to send in those questions. The first one that I have is for you, Professor Lane. And the question is around the assignments. Can you talk a little bit more about the assignments that students would be able to expect around CSR and also people, profit, and planets that you had discussed in your section? Go ahead, Professor.
Harry Lane: Well, we have two cases in the last week. First of all, there’s two chapters, chapter eight on essentially ethics, chapter nine on corporate sustainability. So your assignment is to for the first couple of days to read chapter eight and we do a case. At the moment the case is Asis about a person in a company who is a controller who finds some missing money or money that’s not accounted for properly and he tells his boss and his boss tells him to mind his own business, don’t worry about it, and the question is what are you going to do? You’re suspecting that there’s something wrong going on. So we’ll talk about what would you do and we have a video that goes with it.
And then in the corporate sustainability, it may not sound like something on corporate sustainability, but it’s a piracy case. You’re the chief operating officer of a shipping company. Your ship has been hijacked by pirates and then what do you do? And then what I’m trying to do is to get people to understand – as I said, sustainability is about people, planet, and profit, and this is more about the people, your employees, and what is your duty of care policies? How do you protect your people? How are you going to respond in this situation, and also to get you to think about the short, medium, and the long-term solutions to the problem. Long-term being how do you – or what is your responsibility to failed states like Somalia? And then the students will talk about their corporation’s sustainability policies.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you very much, Professor, for walking us through those two assignments. The next question that I had is for Hayden and Steve, and the question is around start dates. I’m wondering if you could walk us through what the application deadlines and start dates look like for the online MBA program.
Steve Shakes: The most imminent start date would be January 9th, and the application deadline for that is December the 19th. So just before the holidays begin. We do have two other start dates preceding that which is February the 13th, deadline would be January the 23rd. And March the 20th, which that deadline is our Spring three semester and that’s February 27th is the deadline for that.
Hayden Jason Jones: Okay, I would just like to add to that. So these are the deadlines posted. You can see them on the slide there. However, in looking at applying to the program, keep in mind that the institution will be closed over the holidays. We do have Thanksgiving coming up and of course Christmas holidays. So I encourage anybody who’s looking at applying for the January 9th start date to apply sooner rather than later, and complete an application portfolio as soon as possible because really that’s the most important thing getting a decision to get into the program and you don’t want to delay too long in getting started come January.
So, again, I encourage you to apply as soon as possible. Contact your enrollment advisor if you are indeed looking to apply to the program for the Spring or any future start date.
Angela LaGamba: Great, thank you very much, Hayden and Steve. The next question we have is for you, Professor. The question is around groups. Earlier you had mentioned groups you had worked with and the amount of virtual teamwork involved or experience that they had. The question that we have is how are groups assigned within this course?
Harry Lane: Well, for the most part we don’t use groups; if you want to work with a group that’s your choice. The only time that we use the groups is in that work four virtual team assignment and you will be assigned to the teams. And because it is an exercise in team decision making and experiencing working in a virtual team, you are assigned to a team that will be as geographically dispersed as possible. So that you have to use electronic media or telephone or however you want to do it, but what we’re trying to do is simulate the actual virtual team situation.
Angela LaGamba: Thank you very much, Professor. That’s all the time we have for today. Take care everyone.
Tay: Hello everyone, welcome to Northeastern University’s online webinar on the topic of How to Prepare for an Online Program. My name is Tay and I will be your moderator for today and will also participate in the Q&A session. Before we begin, I’d like to go over logistics for this presentation and address some commonly asked questions. All participants are in listen only mode, you can listen to the audio through your computer speakers. To ask questions, type your questions in the Q&A and hit “submit”. We will address some of your questions at the end of the webinar session. This event is being recorded so it can be viewed at a future date.
So your panelist for today; Steve Shakes is the Enrollment Advisor for the Northeastern University’s Online MBA Program. His role is to help perspective students through the application and admissions process. Here are the areas we will be covering today; first, Steve will go over Northeastern University and the D’Amore McKim School of Business, details on the online MBA and then we’ll move into our main focus which will be how to prepare for an online program and then tips for success. From there we will end off with information on tuition and scholarships, admissions requirements and lastly questions and answers. And now I will pass it over to Steve.
Steve: Thank you Tay. Just going through a brief history of Northeastern University. It was established in 1898 and the School of Business was established in 1922. Northeastern University is a global experiential research university and has a reputation for scholarly research, teaching excellence and innovative curricula. The faculty are acclaimed PhD level scholars, educators and leaders in their fields. There is a global network of over 200,000 Northeastern alumni and the School of Business have 40,000 alumni.
The accreditation and ranking of Northeastern is something that we’re very proud of. As of 2016, we were ranked number four for online MBA in the U.S according to The Financial Times. The U.S News and World Report ranks Northeastern University Online MBA at number 42 which is tied in the U.S in the Best Online MBA Programs category for 2017. Now that the D’Amore-McKim School of Business is internationally accredited by the Association to Advanced Collegiate Schools of Business, otherwise known as AACSB and is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Now, we’ll get into the Online MBA Program itself. You can study at a renowned AACSB-accredited business school, tailor your degree by choosing eight in demand concentrations and even graduate in as few as two years and participate in optional domestic and international residency courses and there is no GMAT or GRE required for admission. The Online MBA has a flexibility of offering you eight concentrations that you can choose from; there is finance, healthcare management, high technology management, innovation entrepreneurship, international management, marketing, supply chain management and sustainability. And we offer the flexibility of choosing a general MBA or [earn] a single or dual concentration from our program. Now, the program offers a variety of benefits for students; you can complete the program in as few as 24 months or as many as 60 months which equals five years, learn with instructors who have real world business experience and enjoy a flexible program that is 100% online. The program consists of 18 courses which are 50 credits and 13 core courses 5 elective courses.
Now, how to prepare for an online program such as ours, we are going to address top concerns that students have. We’re going to start with personal obligations. Now, one of the concerns that students have is “I have too many family obligations, such as a newborn or a child starting school.” This is very important because we want students to not underestimate the time that it takes to dedicate to be successful in a program such as ours. You should identify study time and ensure your family and friends understand the time commitment that’s involved in a program such as ours. Create realistic schedules which includes time dedicated to personal obligations.
Another personal obligation of concern that students have is “I have a future personal engagement.” That can be in the form of a wedding in the future or a family vacation planned. That’s also something that, you can consider when in this program, the flexibility of completing the program for any prolonged break you have a total of five years to complete the program. The other benefits you can undertake is review your course schedule and modify your schedule accordingly. So you can plan appropriately for future personal engagements such as these.
Now, professional obligations can be, let’s say “work is too busy, I work long hours.” That can also be a challenge and it’s important to try and communicate with your employer. Ask for employer cooperation and support. It could be an example of study time, maybe dedicating a board room for extra study time if needed or perhaps an extended lunch break may be needed from your employer. These are all important items that can be addressed but if there’s no employer support then prepare tasks in advance to take advantage of breaks and travel time.
Now, one of the other challenges students do face is the mental preparation. What if students have never taken an online course before? “I’m not ready.” Well, there are certain advantages that you can take advantage of in our program which represent the success that you can have by taking advantage of the student services. Student services is there for you from the first day that you’re admitted in the program to graduation. They are your advocate while you’re in the program and they offer an unlimited amount of resource. Also, you have the benefit of meeting with your instructors and professors at least once a week in each five week course. Also, time management is very important. You should follow weekly activity calendar and guidelines and prioritize your daily activities.
Now, we’ll start with the admission requirements. For admission requirements, we’re looking for an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning. A GPA of 3.0 or higher and also a minimum work experience of five years full time experience that we’re looking for. Candidates whose undergraduate instruction was not conducted in English, we would need you to contact an Enrollment Advisor like myself to find out if TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE academic scores are needed. Now, the application requirements, we require all official transcripts or prior undergraduate and graduate work reflecting degree confirmed by an accredited institution. International transcripts must be translated and include a WES or CED evaluation. You also need an updated resume, two letters of recommendations, one of the letters of recommendation should be from your current supervisor or manager, and the second can be from a co-worker or colleague. We also need a statement of intent which is the essay component. You should illustrate in at least 500 to 1,000 words why you’re interested in this degree at this particular time in your career. And there’s also a non refundable $100 application fee.
Now, the tuition and scholarships, Northeastern is very proud to have a program that offers you a total of 50 credit hours, the course tuition is $1,513 per credit hour and the total tuition is $75,650. We participate in all military programs such as post 9/11, Yellow Ribbon Program, Montgomery GI Bill and Northeastern Alumni can also participate and are eligible for Double Husky Scholarships. We’re also proud of the Lifetime Learning Membership available to currently enrolled fulltime students and families. Now, we are opening up the session for questions and answers.
Tay: Thank you Steve. Please feel free to type in your questions in the Q&A box to your left if you haven’t already. Okay, so we have our first question here, Steve, maybe you can answer this question; what if my GPA is below 3.0?
Steve: Good question. If the GPA is below 3.0, we understand that – we understand that students bring certain criterias to the program, so first off we have other criterias that we would look at to evaluate your application. So certain criterias such as your work experience, also your progressions through your work such as leadership positions, also if you have taken additional graduate level courses that would also add to your application and can boost your application to The Admissions Committee.
Tay: Thank you. We have another question here; is there a link to the scholarships available on your website or somewhere else? Just to answer that question; yes, there is links to different scholarship opportunities, financial aid as well, and if you are unable to find it on Northeastern’s website, please feel free to reach out to one of our dedicated advisors and they can send that link to you. One question we have; what if I have not held a formal managerial role? So to answer that question, we do understand that it is – it would be beneficial if you are in a managerial role to strengthen your application portfolio should you decide to move forward, however, it is not a requirement. So if you have any type of fulltime professional work experience and a strong undergraduate degree, then you are at least eligible to apply into the program and your Enrollment Advisor will work with you to ensure you put together a strong application portfolio.
Another question; what is the degree name and school name that will appear on the diploma? Does it differ from the fulltime Northeastern program? Steve, would you like to answer that question?
Steve: That’s a good question. The name will not defer from the on-campus, it will say “Northeastern University and D’Amore-McKim School of Business”.
Tay: And just to add to that as well, as an online student, there is no difference from the on-ground student, so when you receive your degree we do recommend that you join us on campus for the ceremony. Question; how long does the application process take? Steve, could you assist with that question please?
Steve: The application process can take – it really depends on how soon students can submit their documents. It can take as little as two to three weeks or maybe a bit longer. Of course, if students have to have evaluations, that might also prolong the application process. So the sooner that you send in your documents, the sooner you can find out if you are accepted to the program.
Tay: Thank you Steve. Okay, here we have another one; I am starting in the summer this year, is it possible to see classes available not only for my first semester but for future sessions? So yes, the answer is you can, you should receive a course outline from your student service advisor which will plan, essentially at least your first year core courses and then give you an idea of what to expect in your second year when it comes to elective courses. So just feel free to reach out to your student service advisor and ask that individual for your course schedule for the fall term and possibly the spring of 2018. Okay, let’s see here … okay, so we have another question; if I have taken my GMAT, should I submit my score anyways? For this program, even though a GMAT score is not required, if you have taken the GMAT feel free to include that score as part of your application but I would recommend that you speak with an enrollment advisor to determine whether or not providing the GMAT score will strengthen your application portfolio. Steve, I have a question for you; to complete the course work in two years, how many courses is this per term? What are the term timelines?
Steve: To complete the course in two years, you’re looking at 18 courses in total for the two years. You’re taking 9 courses per year. We have a tri semester system and each semester has three courses that you are taking per semester.
Tay: Okay, so there’s a question here; I understand you mentioned scholarships for certain groups of candidates, but are there other ways of receiving scholarships, perhaps based on GPA, work experience or GMAT for those who have taken it? Unfortunately, there are no scholarships or grants available. The only types of scholarships per se would be if you are part of a corporate partnership where you may be entitled to a certain percentage of your overall tuition, but typically the only scholarships available would be the ones that were mentioned in the previous slides. How long after I apply will I receive a decision letter? Upon successful completion of your application portfolio, once it is presented to the admissions committee you will typically have an answer between one to three weeks.
So just give me one moment while I go through some more questions here … okay, what do you consider professional experience? I was a dining manager for four years but have now moved into a different position at a different company. Steve, would you like to answer this question?
Steve: Sure. We consider professional experience – it would definitely vary depending on the occupation but fulltime experience is essentially not including either summer work, internships, part time employment. It generally has to be essentially 9-5 working, the position – if you’re a manager for four years it doesn’t depend on the position per se, it does help in terms of boosting your application, but it cannot include part time work, seasonal or internships or any type of intermittent occupation.
Tay: Thank you Steve. Another question we have is in regards to financial aid. So essentially, is financial aid available? Yes, financial aid is available for this program, upon approval you can receive up to $20,500 per fiscal year. Now, just a side note, we are currently accepting applicants for the summer 1 term which is essentially the first course in the last term for the 2016/2017 fiscal year, so I would recommend that if you are planning on applying and utilizing financial aid, to start the summer term to maximize your financial aid. So then the 2017/2018 fiscal year starts in September. Okay, so this is all the time we have for today. If you have any additional questions please contact your dedicated enrollment advisor. You can call, email or schedule an appointment. This information will be noted on your screen. You will be able to access this webinar if you don’t have an opportunity to copy down this information and then here are the upcoming start dates along with the deadlines. Thank you everyone for participating in today’s Northeastern University Online MBA Webinar. This concludes our session. Have a great day.