30 second interview: The W.P. Carey Online MBA

30 second interview: The W.P. Carey Online MBA main image

Stacey Whitecotton, associate dean for MBA programs at the W. P. Carey School of Business, on the future of distance/online MBA programs

In 5 words, describe your online/distance MBA program

•    Highly ranked, convenient, flexible, team-oriented

How would employers of your online/distance MBA program describe your graduates?

•    Employers are impressed by the depth of knowledge and soft skills -- such as leadership -- that our online students demonstrate, whether they are leveraging their degrees in their current roles or pursuing new career opportunities. Students in our online MBA program have a range of professional goals, and the quality of the W. P. Carey MBA curriculum brings immediate impact to the workplace.

What 3 questions should candidates ask themselves when deciding whether your b-school’s program is right for them? Why these questions?

•    Is this the right time, and am I ready to make the commitment to my MBA?  While this question should be one you ask yourself regardless of the program you apply to, it’s important to us because your dedication to the program and our community are essential to success. Although our two-year online MBA program is flexible and allows you to focus on one course at a time, not all online programs are created equal. Your classmates and faculty expect you to dedicate an average of 20 hours per week to the coursework and to be an active contributor in discussions and projects. We have an engaging and thriving online community that depends on you. It is vital that you make the necessary commitment to invest in yourself and your future.

•    How do I intend to leverage my MBA, and does this program give me the option to customize my degree?  Areas of emphasis and international opportunities are great ways to add a competitive advantage to your degree. If you are interested in a certain field, look for a school with a strong reputation in that field. If cross-track networking and international programs are important to you, then look for online programs that offer these opportunities, as well.  W. P. Carey online MBA students can pursue an emphasis from our highly ranked international business, supply chain management, marketing and finance programs, and they can increase their professional networks byparticipating in our international programs open to all MBA students.

•     How important are career services and an alumni network to me?  Dedicated, lifetime career services, such as those that come from the W. P. Carey School’s Graduate Career Management Center, and a strong alumni network can be invaluable to your future. When choosing a school, you should consider the quality of support services and the strength of the alumni community. For example, the W. P. Carey School has one of the highest MBA placement rates in the nation for its full-time MBA program, and the school’s alumni network is 80,000 strong.

What is the most common reason for candidates choosing your b-school’s traditional MBA program over your online/distance program?

•    Candidates choosing to immerse themselves in our full-time MBA program generally have less work experience and are usually seeking a career change. Because a deeper level of knowledge is required for a career change, internship and other opportunities available in the full-time program will help to prepare them to secure a position in the new industry. Our professional program (online/evening/weekend) candidates, on the other hand, are usually looking to advance in their current fields or companies. The convenience of the online program makes it easier for working professionals to participate.

If there is one distinctive feature about your b-school’s online/distance MBA program which puts it among some of the best in the world, what is it?

•    Very high quality -- The W. P. Carey School of Business’ online MBA program offers the same MBA degree, and is taught by the same stellar faculty members, as our full-time and evening MBA programs, both ranked Top 30 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The online MBA program was also recently named to U.S. News & World Report’s first-ever “Honor Roll” for online graduate business programs. In addition, the quality of the networking opportunities is very high. Students in the two-year program work in small, personalized teams with peers from other industries, focusing on just one course at a time.

Where do you see the future of online/distance MBA programs?

•    Online/distance MBA programs will continue to grow and provide impact through opportunities to educate more students in international business knowledge and the ability to utilize technology for communication and infrastructure. With the continued merging of global organizations, students will require an understanding of how to communicate, supervise and direct global trends, often while at a distant location. Schools, such as the W. P. Carey School of Business, seek opportunities to prepare students. We identify and provide ways to use the latest developments, while building a strong business foundation for future needs.

Are there new trends in online learning which you’d incorporate into your program in the near future? If so, what are they?

•    Trends require careful analysis both for inclusion and to measure the benefit to the student. One expansion is the use of mobile technology that allows students to access and exchange information from any location, providing continuous access and global peer-to-peer learning through the W. P. Carey online MBA program. Other future potential trends include utilizing technology to: 1.) provide students with a way to measure learning and expand their learning communities through social media, 2.) provide digital repositories that allow students long-term access to materials and knowledge resources for their career span, and 3.) utilize cloud-based resources for students to learn more about operational-specific technologies used in their graduate program and the corporate workplace.

What is the next stage in the evolution for your online/distance MBA program?

•    The W. P. Carey School of Business wants to provide access and accessibility to students well beyond the graduate program. We plan to offer a continuous knowledge atmosphere and a learning network for social and experiential-based learning. As technology continues to evolve and individuals have greater access to tools, the ability to provide continued support to graduates will become a legacy of learning.

What is your position on MOOCs? What effect (if any) do you believe this will have on your b-school’s online/distance MBA program?

•    MOOCs are a great opportunity for individuals to learn more about a specified subject. For those seeking credentials, however, MOOCs are currently limited in recognition by employers and universities. The W. P. Carey School of Business understands the benefit of knowledge-sharing and wants to ensure that students have educational programs that are recognized and lead to successful employment and opportunities for advancement throughout their career spans. As MOOCs progress, the global and national business communities will continue to assess and influence the impact of knowledge-based preparation, and the W. P. Carey School will continue to identify the best ways to provide those opportunities to students and alumni.

Written by QS Blogger
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