Interview with MBA student Sydney Winnenberg

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Learn more about Ohio University’s Online MBA program.

Transcript

Kimberly Moy:
Good afternoon everyone and thank you so much for joining us today. My name is Kimberly and I am an Online MBA program specialist here at Ohio University, and I am so glad that you’re able to join us. We have a great conversation scheduled for today. We have a current student with us in the Online MBA program, that’s Sydney Winnenberg, and then we’re also joined by our program director, Dr. William Young.

Kimberly Moy:
So, just some housekeeping reminders, if you have any questions, we’ll be taking those at the end or even throughout the program, so use that question and answer box that’s located at the bottom of your screen. We also have a chat as well. If you want to jump in there, we can ask questions in that box as well. Thank you so much for attending and let us get started.

Kimberly Moy:
I’d like to introduce you all to Sydney. Hi Sydney, how are you today?

Sydney Winnenberg:
I’m great, Kim. How are you?

Kimberly Moy:
I’m doing well. So here on the screen we have your bio, but tell us a little bit about yourself in your own words. Where are you from? What do you do professionally?

Sydney Winnenberg:
My name is Sydney. I am 28 years old right now. I’ll be turning 29 next month. I am originally from Springfield, Ohio, but I’ve chosen the military career lifestyle, so I’ve moved about 10 times in the past 10 years. Right now I’m living in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri but in January I have the pleasure of being stationed in Hawaii. So that’ll be a big trip. As of professionally, like I said, I’m in the military. Specifically I am an engineering officer in the Army. I put on captain about three months ago, so yeah, that’s my career field.

Kimberly Moy:
Wow, that’s amazing, and I can’t wait to hear more about how you were able to balance of this. And Hawaii, wow. What a great opportunity for you. So, I’ll come back to you in a second but I also wanted to take a moment to have Dr. Young, if you don’t mind introducing yourself real quick.

Dr. Bill Young:
Sure thing, Kim. Thank you very much. First of all, I just wanted to thank everybody for attending live with us today or watching the recording that we’ll put out and send you later. So we appreciate your time. I know this is usually during … if you’re attending live, during a lunch hour or you’re trying to squeeze it in later in the evening by watching the recording, so we certainly appreciate your time. Very excited about our program. I also wanted to thank Sydney for joining us today. It’s always nice to have current students in our program join us and talk about our program from a student perspective, because I’ll be talking about our program from an academic, curriculum, some of the details that often get asked, so I just wanted to thank her.

Dr. Bill Young:
I also wanted to put a plug in for Sydney. She’s actually one of our award recipients for the Business Leader of Tomorrow Award that she was nominated for and won this year, so I just wanted to say congratulations on that. A little bit about myself, I’m kind of a local yokel, if you will. I’ve given you a hometown spin on who I am. I grew up in a town … actually it’s technically a village if you believe that or not, because the population is so low, it’s not officially designated as a town. But anyway, I started OU. I later became a three-time Bobcat alum, so my background’s in engineering. More specifically, electrical engineering through my PhDs in mechanical and systems engineering.

Dr. Bill Young:
And then after my schooling was over, I actually landed the position at the College of Business and was able to develop and launch several of our analytics programs, so as you can imagine, my teaching, research and most of my service is in the area of business analytics. So once again, thank you for watching the recording or attending live with us today.

Kimberly Moy:
Okay, thanks so much, Dr. Young. Can’t wait to hear about the program. So now we’re back to Sydney. I think one of the main questions that I always get asked when I speak to potential students is, “Why should I pursue an MBA?” So, in your own words, Sydney, could you tell us why you decided to pursue an MBA given your career path and trajectory?

Sydney Winnenberg:
Sure. I plan on riding the military train for the whole 20 years. My undergrad is in exercise science from Wright State University and the Army or the military in a whole constantly … they constantly encourage furthering your education and I was on the fence between continuing some kind of kinesiology or nutrition or something like that, a master’s program or an MBA, and not knowing exactly what the future holds, I felt like an MBA would kind of be more well rounded for what I’m trying to go into, especially in the higher level ranks of the military you’re looking at more managerial roles, operations-based roles. So I thought that the operations and supply chain management MBA focus that OU offers would be a great way to continue my education and prepare me for those future roles that I’ll be serving in.

Kimberly Moy:
That’s awesome. Did you know that online was right for you? I know that you’re working full-time. You’re stationed all throughout the United States. Was that really the driving factor between going online versus something on grounds?

Sydney Winnenberg:
Yeah, absolutely. So when I started the MBA program, I was actually stationed at Fort Polk down in Louisiana. And I looked at the colleges that were around the town like LSU or Shreveport or some of those, but knowing that I wouldn’t be able to continue an in person class was really the driving factor, like you said, for the choice of the MBA or at least beyond the degree itself, because I knew I would never be in one place for more than two years max, and that’s how long this program is. So I wasn’t willing to risk having to jump from school to school. So online really was my main choice for pursuing a graduate degree.

Kimberly Moy:
I like that. At Ohio University, we take one class at a time in seven week increments, so that really allows you to focus on the coursework at hand while also allowing you to balance on your work, your personal life. I think, for me, that is the only way that I would be able to go through a program. So, tell me, what is a typical workweek like for you? Because you [inaudible 00:07:20] working and you’re doing a lot of other great things as well, moving everywhere. What is that like in terms of focusing on the classwork?

Sydney Winnenberg:
The seven week courses, only having to focus on the one course at a time is amazing. I know a lot of my peers and friends, they’re also in master’s programs offered different places. Some of them even in person courses here in Missouri that are in two and three classes at a time and their workload is just … it seems a little unmanageable. They’re constantly, “Oh, I can’t do this because I’m in school, blah, blah, blah.” So having the one course every seven weeks has been a blessing, for sure. A typical workweek normally … So when I started the program, I was a company executive officer. My typical workweek would be go in for physical fitness at 5:30 in the morning and then continue the workday until about 4:00 in the afternoon, where I wouldn’t touch my homework unless I had a PDF reading article or one of the Harvard Business Review coursepack articles on my phone that I could read during my downtime.

Sydney Winnenberg:
So normally I wouldn’t touch my schoolwork and then when I got home is when I would dedicate a couple hours or an hour here, an hour there to schoolwork but if I didn’t have the time on a weekday then unfortunately I’d be cramming on the weekends, which is not optimal. And then these past six months, I’ve been in Captains Career Course which is another school that requires … They’re 40 weeks that require a lot of additional studying and project work and stuff like that. So, time management was crucial to balance both of the schools, but I made it work.

Kimberly Moy:
Nice. Because you’re amazing. That’s all. So, a lot of our courses, I know, rely on Blackboard which is the platform that the courses are on so that you can connect with your faculty, you can connect with your fellow students. What is that like? Is it easy to use? Do you use it every day?

Sydney Winnenberg:
Oh yeah, oh yeah. I log into Blackboard three to four times a day probably. A nice thing that I didn’t realize until maybe my second or third class is that Blackboard has an app for iPhones and Androids. So you can’t do a lot on the Blackboard app. Like you can’t create Excel sheets and stuff like that, but you can participate in discussion boards, which is nice, because if an idea pops into your head that you would like to talk to your peers about, then you can just rattle it off on your phone really quick.

Sydney Winnenberg:
But Blackboard has been great. It’s very easy to use, very user friendly, and it did just go through an update, but I think the update is just as good as the previous one. It didn’t change too much stuff, so it wasn’t confusing. But one specific thing I like a lot about Blackboard is that they email you when you submit your assignments, so you don’t have that worry, some feeling like, “Did it work? Did my internet crash? Did this happen?” But when you receive that email, you’re like, “Oh, okay. I’m good to go. It worked.”

Kimberly Moy:
It’s so funny you mentioned that. I also have Blackboard on my phone from my graduate program and I remember just standing in a hallway sometimes just getting that discussion board response out on my phone and then posting it, just like you said, making sure that I got it posted and then moving on with my day. So I like that it’s flexible and can travel with you, but also, same time, you’re like, “Time management is key, absolutely.”

Kimberly Moy:
So, we talked about being able to juggle all this. What has been some of your favorite parts about the program so far?

Sydney Winnenberg:
I like the, like you said, the seven week per class kind of format. It makes stress a lot less, but I’ve also really enjoyed the faculty here. I know I had Dr. Young as one of the professors in one of my first beginning classes, and then I’ve had some really outstanding professors. I know that my managerial finance, I had Dr. [Sinon Kakaya 00:11:54], I think that’s how you say his name. He was phenomenal. If I had to give five stars to any professor, it would definitely be him, and I’m not a math whiz or a money maniac or anything like that, but he made the course really enjoyable and make it make sense to me, because I didn’t … like I said, my background’s in exercise science, so I think I had a couple math classes, but going into managerial finance with an outstanding professor was awesome.

Sydney Winnenberg:
So, hats off to all of the faculty at OU and the length of the courses and the ability for the professors to apply it to anybody going through the course with whatever background they had.

Kimberly Moy:
Did you ever feel like because it was an online program, you didn’t get to connect with them? Or were they always just available to you because of the apps and the email?

Sydney Winnenberg:
I felt like they were always available. I think I’ve had to reach out to a handful just for further questions that I had or something that I wasn’t quite understanding, and I think the longest response time ever was maybe 24 hours, but I don’t even think it took that long.

Kimberly Moy:
Oh wow.

Sydney Winnenberg:
It was really quick. Yeah, they provide their emails. Some of them provide phone numbers. I always use the email method, but yeah, they had very, very quick response times, which made me kind of feel like I was right down the hall, so it was nice.

Kimberly Moy:
That’s awesome, that’s awesome. So, given this, certainly something must be challenging, so what would you say is one challenging aspect of being in a grad program?

Sydney Winnenberg:
I think it’s for sure the time management. Most of the people in the program are working professionals, so they work 40 plus hours a week. I do not have kids right now. I have a couple dogs, but those individuals in the class that have families, have spouses and children and pets and maybe their parent’s living with them or whatever it is, the time management to tackle all of those tasks is challenging, for sure. Sometimes some of the courses require several hours a day or several hours a week to complete all of the information and read all of the content that you need.

Sydney Winnenberg:
I think time management was my biggest challenge, but after the first couple courses, you get back into the rhythm of being a student and studying and doing homework and just juggling daily life. But once you get a schedule and you get your rhythm down, then it gets a little easier, but I kind of like the challenge, at least for the two years.

Kimberly Moy:
Yeah, me too. It’s good to know that, like we mentioned earlier, it’s only seven weeks and then you just start to get into that rhythm. It’s like you get your syllabus early, you know when everything is due, you can plan around that. But yes, challenge certainly is balancing all of that. I am a huge planner person so I have to have everything planned out, or else chaos, but it sounds like you are also someone who is very, very-

Sydney Winnenberg:
Absolutely.

Kimberly Moy:
… good at time management. So, as Dr. Young mentioned, you are one of our business leaders of tomorrow and that is an amazing recognition only given to two students from Ohio University’s online MBA program. What was it like for you when you got recognized for all your hard work?

Sydney Winnenberg:
When my advisor, her name is also Kim, when she emailed me about the nomination, I didn’t even know that there were awards like this or that we could possibly be working towards an award. So getting that email, it kind of sank in a little afterwards. Somebody, ending up being Dr. Young, saw the hard work and saw the potential in me and what I was doing in order to nominate me for this award and then when it came out that I was one of the two winners for the award, it was a good feeling and I think the best part about it, at least for me, is that the hard work is being recognized. It’s being seen and it’s kind of motivating for the future because I didn’t really see my complete future, being the typical business woman because of my background and because of the military and stuff like that.

Sydney Winnenberg:
But knowing that other people see my potential, I think, is the greatest part of earning the award.

Kimberly Moy:
That’s amazing, and it’s true, and I hope your passion comes through our phone here because I can tell that you’re an amazing person, so thank you for-

Sydney Winnenberg:
Thank you.

Kimberly Moy:
… not only your service but for speaking about our program today. So, I know that you’re almost done with the program. You’re graduating in spring-ish of 2021. Have you been to our leadership development program? And for those who don’t know, our leadership development program, anybody who’s in an online graduate program through the college of business at Ohio University comes to our campus for three days and attends these workshops. Now, this past one we had over the summer was virtual because of COVID-19, but I hope that we’ll be able to bring that back in the spring. So, have you been yet? Have you been to the LDP?

Sydney Winnenberg:
I attended the virtual one that you spoke about. I remember one was supposed to be this spring that I was unable to attend because I was in field training that unfortunately I couldn’t get out of. But the online version I felt was just as beneficial as what I could have expected to be in class. We got to hear from the faculty. We got to hear from guest speakers whether they be at OU or we had a speaker that was in California that motivated all of us and showed us what to expect when get out further into the working world, and some of their experiences, some of their advice or tips for success in the future.

Sydney Winnenberg:
I thought OU handled the whole COVID crisis very well and was able to provide us that leadership development that we need and continuously need and able to provide us resources. I have been to OU a couple times, so I think it would have been nice to go and take that break and hang out with the peers that I’m in class with for the two year cohort, but yeah, I think that LDP that you guys put on is outstanding.

Kimberly Moy:
That’s great. Nothing compared to military training, but still [crosstalk 00:19:07]-

Sydney Winnenberg:
Oh boy.

Kimberly Moy:
So I know we talked about this a little bit earlier but you mentioned your finance course. Did you have any favorite courses? And it’s okay to say if it’s not one of Dr. Young’s courses.

Sydney Winnenberg:
So I think my favorite course has been the managerial finance and I think it was because I was able to connect with the faculty. Some other courses, like the organizational behavior, that was a great course looking into how you can motivate your employees and how you can better drive I guess processes that you’re having your employees go through. Some other challenging ones to me were probably the math based ones like accounting. I think my first class was kind of an intro to Excel. I don’t remember the exact name of it. I think that’s the one Dr. Young was in. That one was awesome because I went into the course thinking that I had a good basis of Excel and then I learned handfuls and handfuls of new tools and tricks that you could do on Excel that have really carried forward throughout the course so I thought that was outstanding.

Sydney Winnenberg:
But going further, because of my career and because of the challenges that I’m going to face ahead, the project management and operations management classes have both been awesome and have widened my perspective to what I can see and how I can touch different things to make different processes work better. Finally I’m in the Lean Six Sigma class right now that I’m really, really looking forward to. I’m only in module one so I have six more, but I think this is going to be an awesome class.

Kimberly Moy:
That’s awesome. I’m glad. I’m glad that you get to experience … you have that perspective of both completing the business core and going through a bunch of the concentration courses as well. That is great. So, one final question, unless you have questions from the audience, so be sure to pop those into the question and answer box then, but if you were talking to Sydney now or back in the day when you were kind of contemplating a master’s degree, what would you say to yourself if you were back now?

Sydney Winnenberg:
So looking at the master’s program and knowing that you’re a professional full-time employee for whoever working the 40 plus hours, it’s pretty intimidating to add another huge course load onto your already daily rhythm. I know a couple times through the program I questioned to myself, “Do I need to take a break? Is this a little too much right now? Should I take one course break? Two course break?” But then if I could say anything to myself, I would just say keep your head down. You chose this. You know that it’s going to benefit your future and the best way to do it is to just do it, I guess.

Sydney Winnenberg:
So, head down. Know why you started, and you can definitely do it. You just need to challenge yourself, and once you’re done, you’ll thank yourself especially for if you don’t take the breaks, if you just charge through and do what you sought out to do.

Kimberly Moy:
Awesome, thank you for that. And your perspective is so valuable to us, so thank you. Thank you so much. So, if you don’t mind just hanging on the line in case we have any questions. I’m going to now pass this over to Dr. Young who will explain to us a little bit more in detail about the master of business administration here. Dr. Young, hello.

Dr. Bill Young:
All right, thanks Kim. So I think there’s several layers which really I need to talk about to highlight our program. I think it starts perhaps with the faculty. 80% of our faculty teaching in our programs hold terminal degrees and the reason I say that is because when you shop around for different programs that you might be considering, you really want to look at who’s actually teaching the course, because you want a really good return on investment and you really want the best faculty in those situations teaching the class, and you want to have a direct communication to them.

Dr. Bill Young:
That’s something we really are known for. I have to credit our leadership that allows program directors like me to pick the best of the best that we have available and I’m happy to say we have an awful lot of faculty that are really passionate about teaching. So, that might be different than other schools that you might be looking at in terms of maybe a graduate assistant teaching that might have just completed the course last semester who’s running the course now.

Dr. Bill Young:
We don’t do that. We want to put our best and brightest amongst you and have you be able to contact them synchronously or perhaps asynchronously through our course design and our program design and things of that nature. So, we have very passionate faculty who are really excited to teach in our graduate program, so I think that’s one thing to note.

Dr. Bill Young:
The next thing is our staff. We have an amazing group of staff members. Anywhere from our enrollment advisors who give you the information that you need or answer the questions that you might have about the application process or which concentration might be most apt for you and things of that nature. We have a tremendous team. In terms of when you’re an active student, we have student support giving you the information that you need, so everything is running flawlessly in terms of getting the information you need to register for the classes, the books perhaps that you might need, or something of that nature. Just the schedules in general, or any kind of process that might occur or any kind of question that you might have along the way of, “How do I change concentrations?” Or, “I have a financial aid question.”

Dr. Bill Young:
They can be a multitude of questions that you might have along the way because we’re dealing with adult learners and certain situations always occur. You might have a promotion that might cause you to step out of our program which is totally fine. We’ll have the student support members guide you through a process of getting you back in once you settle down after perhaps transitioning from a different job or role within your organization or something of that nature.

Dr. Bill Young:
Our students also have a diverse background. We have students from just every walk of life, so we really try to build a community in our program, and that’s one of the reasons why we have the leadership development program, I might add, but we also try to build community and encourage students to collaborate. I’ll talk a little bit about that because that’s always a concern about how much collaboration is actually required, because we’re working adults, professionals, who might not have a lot of time in the evenings. But I’ll talk about that in a little bit.

Dr. Bill Young:
In terms of our curriculum, I think that’s also a strength. As Sydney and Kim mentioned, our courses are designed over a seven week period of time so you’ll take two courses in a given semester and you’ll take them separately. So you’ll take one course at the first seven weeks of the semester and then one additional course at the last seven weeks of a semester. We really wanted to do this because we didn’t want students to sort of compete for time, or maybe have faculty compete for the students’ time. We didn’t want a student who’s working 40 or more hours a week that has several responsibilities saying, “Oh my gosh, I have one assignment due this weekend in one class and I also have one exam in another class in the same weekend,” where you might actually have a lot of time to dedicate yourself that week to your curriculum.

Dr. Bill Young:
So we didn’t want that at all, so the seven week program design has been a tremendous success. I’ll just say that we’ve been noted for our flexibility from a lot of different media outlets and a lot of our exit surveys in terms of our alumni, and this design works. I mentioned our faculty and Sydney also mentioned it as well. Our faculty really have been noted for their availability, and a lot of our faculty, including myself, we give out our cell phone numbers, and I’m not saying everybody does but when there’s an emergency that inevitably happens, you have ways to reach out to us but we’re always on our phone, looking at our email, and we understand that this is a seven week class and we understand that you need attention right now.

Dr. Bill Young:
So anyway, we are very proactive in our communication and we have the best that we have available here at the college and honestly a Ohio University is known for a balance of teaching and research, if you will, but I would honestly say they’re more focused on providing the teaching support and putting the best faculty that we possibly can in those classes.

Dr. Bill Young:
So we do provide an option of asynchronous and synchronous learning opportunities. So what does that mean? It means that in a seven week course, you’ll have two times, at least two times a week that you can reach out to your faculty members in an environment like Teams, like Zoom. We happen to use Adobe Connect but we’re evolving with our technology, so it could very well be teams next semester. But anyway, you have a chance that you can communicate to them directly. If a telephone call doesn’t work, if email doesn’t work, you can always log in and ask those faculty their questions, and usually they have prepared material for you that supplements all the asynchronous material that you might be asked to watch before coming to a virtual classroom setting. So that’s one of our designs that makes for something special about our program.

Dr. Bill Young:
We also have eight different concentrations, which is certainly evolving. When I started becoming the program director in 2013, we had just three concentrations, and we’ve looked at the market and we’ve looked at where the jobs and the skills are at right now and what’s demanded from sort of our role and responsibility of training professionals to achieve their professional goals. We’ve evolved our portfolio quite a bit. I’ll talk a little bit about this later but we definitely have a core set of fundamental skills that every MBA student should be exposed to and then we have an option where you can develop a specialization, so that’s good.

Dr. Bill Young:
The other thing is we’ve actually been doing online education for quite some time. So I do want to mention that. We really haven’t been disrupted other than maybe an LDP or certain behind the scenes things that we do from an administrative perspective during the COVID crisis. So, we’ve had our classes online for an awful long time and we pride ourselves on continuously improving those courses and our faculty to deliver the best environment that we possibly can, so we’ve got the experience.

Dr. Bill Young:
So if we transition perhaps to the next slide, I’ll continue talking about our highlights. We have been recognized by a lot of different media outlets and I’ll just talk about two which are probably the most notable. US News and World Reports consistently ranks our program as having an incredibly high value. If I talk about value, that could mean a lot of different things but I’ll just focus on the most important, because again you’re kind of shopping around for different programs. I think these are the things that you need to understand when you’re choosing a program, and obviously we hope you choose us because we’re certainly proud of our program.

Dr. Bill Young:
But being an AACSB accredited school and program is incredibly important. Actually less than around 5% of the schools worldwide have accreditation in both their graduate and undergraduate programs from a business school. So AACSB is the highest accreditation body that you can receive your accreditation from. So if you think of the Harvards of the world, they’re AACSB accreditation so they have the same standards that we have in terms of meeting their accreditation. So we’re extremely proud of our faculty and we go through a continuous improvement cycle of collecting data, ensuring that we have rigor in the classroom, but ensuring that there’s a direct link to the application and the return on investment that you’re looking for.

Dr. Bill Young:
So when I think about return on investment, when I think about value, I think of our program as offering both short and long term return on investment. I teach a descriptive analytics class that Sydney was talking about, and really, I’ve designed that course that as soon as you take it, you can start taking those skills back to your office, if you will, and directly applying those. So you can get immediate return on investment of some of those course topics that we teach, or the skills that you’re developing, or that strategy.

Dr. Bill Young:
As soon as we start talking about strategy, we start talking about the long term return on investment. So when I think of our curriculum in terms of maybe … I want to say OBHR but organizational behavior and human resource class or you’re talking about change management or ethics or strategic use of information systems, or just something along those lines, you’re more or less talking about preparing yourself for your future. You’re preparing yourself for the future in terms of when you go through the progression in terms of your position at your organization, you have to be aware of a strategic vision, and you implement those because those companies are putting you in a situation where you can really make a great impact, and you have to have those longer term initiatives and mindset to really make yourself stand out.

Dr. Bill Young:
Which kind of relates to the last item I want to talk about on this particular slide, which is our LDP. We’ve talked about it briefly and I’ll continue to talk about it, but our leadership development program is another highlight. If I had to be perfectly candid, in 2012 when I was asked to apply to this position of becoming the director, I thought, “An online program that features an on campus residential experience, I don’t know if students want that.” I’m happy to say, I’m really happy to say, that I was wrong. Our LDP is really, in my mind, amazing. I’ve gone to several leadership development training, whether it be webinars or programs or … I’ve actually heard from several of our military students. I go through a lot of leadership training as well, and I’d tell you they’re on par, if not better, than the environments I’ve been in for the very least.

Dr. Bill Young:
Anyway, we have, and I’ll talk about this later, we have really great speakers. We have a lot of timely presentations about current events and really just current in terms of your progression through your professional goals. So I’ll talk about a little bit of that later. If we talk about our curriculum at this point, I would say that our program is centered around a generalist MBA. So if we move to the next slide, you’ll see a list of our courses.

Dr. Bill Young:
This is our core, and our core is what somebody referred to me back in 2000 … jeez, ’12, ’13, that we have a generalist perspective. I thought, “I’m coming from an engineering background, that I like to develop a specialization in an area.” So to be honest, this concept of being broad in terms of your T-shaped skills, if you will was a little bit foreign to me, and I thought, “Okay, well obviously I’ve bought into that kind of concept,” but we offer a wide variety of generalist MBA skills, theories, concepts, whatever you want to call them in our program but we’ve also given you a way that you can develop those specialization areas.

Dr. Bill Young:
So for example in our core curriculum we have a little bit of analytics. We have a little bit about what I would group under executive management. We also have a little bit of accounting, finance, in other areas like operations management or marketing or something of that nature. So it’s a broad view of the spectrum, and really, you’ve got to ask yourself, why are you getting an MBA?

Dr. Bill Young:
I kind of look at some of the principles used in operations management about leadership and what some organizations do as far as their leadership teams. They actually want their leadership members to actually have experience at different functional levels within the organization so when they’re making decisions about how it impacts their operations or their strategy, they know how each function.

Dr. Bill Young:
So that’s kind of what we’re doing here. You might not basically ever go down a certain path where you’re using a deep set of skills and analytics or maybe finance or accounting, but having that awareness in the background of those areas is definitely going to make you a better leader, a better manager, if you will. Like I said, we offer a concentration where if you want to develop a deeper skillset or knowledge or understanding of the particular area, we do that.

Dr. Bill Young:
There’s several we can talk about. They’re listed previously on a slide. We offer eight different concentrations and those concentrations are consumed of three different courses. The great thing is you will choose, if you choose to apply with us, you’ll choose a concentration but you actually have some time to sit back and think about which concentration makes the most sense for you. So it’s not uncommon that a student will take the first four courses on this slide in descriptive analytics, OBHR, accounting and managerial finance, and kind of realize maybe they’ve made a wrong decision, maybe they have some understanding now that they didn’t when they entered the program and they have a different strategic vision for themselves.

Dr. Bill Young:
So, I’m trying to say, you’ll have some courses that, along the way, it might change your mind or you might stay with the one you originally planned for, which is totally fine. We offer that flexibility. So I think that’s at least worth mentioning, because several of our students are really undecided in terms of what concentration. But I’m here to say that you can take a couple classes. Maybe you didn’t select the analytics concentration, for example, at the beginning but you take a descriptive analytics course and then realize, “Yeah, I really enjoyed that and I want to pursue that area.” Or maybe you chose analytics and you realized you might want a different path like executive management. So you have that flexibility, so I just wanted to mention that.

Dr. Bill Young:
So if we move on and I’ll talk a little bit more about the LDP, I know that’s resonated through a lot of the slideshow, if you will, today, but the LDP is a two day workshop and we have a full day of activities, speakers and events throughout that day, and then usually we have a half day. We realize that most of our students come from the surrounding states of Ohio and Ohio itself, but really, a growing number of students … We have students almost in every state in the United States. So we have students on the West Coast, East Coast. We even have students that are stationed abroad because they’re military.

Dr. Bill Young:
So we really try to be flexible and we understand that it might be difficult for you to come into the leadership development program and we try to make it as friendly as possible coming in and out of Athens, but in our history and my history, I can certainly say I was initially skeptical of the LDP itself and I am a firm believer in it now. It’s a great way to come on campus engaged with a program. We have a lot of our students being alumni of an OU program and so you might have never experienced the campus before, but we certainly have a large number of students that were not OU alum. So it’s a way to engage with a program and the campus for the first time, and I think that’s important.

Dr. Bill Young:
It’s also a great way to engage with our faculty and our stuff of the program. So you finally get to talk face-to-face, hopefully. We mentioned we had a virtual one that went, I think, extremely well earlier this year, but it’s a great way to connect, even to the students and fellow colleagues that you’re taking classes with because we do try to have our students engage with one another when it’s appropriate, whether they want to talk together about assignments or maybe there’s an occasional assignment that students have to collaborate, and it’s not necessarily … I don’t want to say this as sort of an intimidating fact, because it’s not. We design our programs for the adult learner. We understand you’re working. We understand you have multiple responsibilities with your career, with your spouse, with perhaps your other parts of your family and everything else.

Dr. Bill Young:
So we have a lot of work that’s completed individually. We have some work that’s completed in a collaborative environment that’s spaced out well enough, you have time to do that. And then we have the LDP where you get together for a day and a half and we actually only require you to come to one of those. I do think that’s important to mention, but you can come up to three if you’d like. We have a growing number of students that come to all three.

Dr. Bill Young:
In terms of the topics at the LDP, we’re looking at bringing in faculty around campus, especially from our college and our centers of excellence, that you may or probably might not have had in some of your courses in the MBA. We leverage our centers by bringing in world class speakers from big companies out there. I’m thinking of some of our last ones. We’ve had people from Walmart, we’ve had people from General Electric, we’ve had people from Whirlpool, just to name a few, come in and talk. Usually these people are obviously connected with a university but they’re also very passionate about sharing their experience about their career trajectory and what are the things you need to just be aware about now to help shape your progression through your career.

Dr. Bill Young:
So it’s a great way to understand your leadership style and how to lead others, and we also help you with other things like career transitions and things of that nature. So, again, I would just say it’s a great way to engage, and engagement could be sort of self-engagement, understanding who you are, why you’re completing an MBA. What are the steps you need to take now? It’s a change of mindset. It’s also a great way to engage with your colleagues and faculty and staff as well.

Kimberly Moy:
Thanks so much, Dr. Young. I just wanted to also note that hotel accommodations and most of the meals are included with tuition, so if anyone has any worries, like you said, about getting there and staying there, a lot of that is already taken care of. And your student support specialist can help direct you to reminding you to book your flights and book your hotel room. So, all good there.

Kimberly Moy:
Also, as Dr. Young mentioned, Ohio University’s College of Business is AACSB accredited and that is the gold standard for business schools throughout the United States. We not only hold that business accreditation but we also have the supplemental accounting accreditation. So you can rest assured that there is certainly quality here at Ohio University, and then our other accreditations are also on the slide as well, whether it’s HLC or the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. So, all good things there.

Kimberly Moy:
If you haven’t realized this already, we are military friendly institution here. We offer scholarships for not only Ohio University alumni, our corporate partners, but our student veterans and members of the active or retired military as well. So, thank you for that. And one more slide here. Some quick admissions information. We offer three starts per year. Spring is our upcoming term. The classes start in January, so we hope that you’ll join us for that. But we also offer a start in the summer and the fall.

Kimberly Moy:
So, three starts allow you to take your time, but I think the sooner you start, the sooner you finish, so get on it if you’re thinking about it. And just because you’re joining us today, or you’re listening, we are offering an application fee waiver for those of you who are thinking about starting in the spring of 2021. I just need you to reach out to your enrollment advisor or check out our group chat going on here. I’ll pop in the application fee waiver code and you’ll save yourself $50.

Kimberly Moy:
And then, some technical things here. We do request that you have a 3.0 GPA or higher from your undergraduate institution, but we are willing to look at your full body of work, if that is something that you didn’t quite have. So, again, reach out to your enrollment advisor. You’re going to need to provide transcripts for all colleges attended, your current resume, so our admissions committee, including Dr. Young, can take a look at where you’re going and where you have been, as well as your personal statement.

Kimberly Moy:
This is really where you can get personal and explain to the admissions committee what your goals are, why our program would be good for you, what you want to take away from the program. I would say that admissions decisions are based very highly on the personal statement. And then two letters of recommendation, preferably with someone that you have worked with. It can be an old professor, it could be your boss, it could be a variety of different people as long as they can speak about your work ethic from a standpoint of a like a non-biased standpoint.

Kimberly Moy:
So, I’m going to do last call here for any questions about the program or the student experience for Dr. Young or Sydney. Feel free to pop those into the box. I don’t see anything but, Dr. Young or Sydney, do you have any final comments for the group before we sign off today?

Sydney Winnenberg:
I will piggyback on your military experience real quick. I’ve had to work through the Veterans Affairs Office a few times for tuition assistance or the different things that normal military members receive as a benefit, and they have been also outstanding, just like the professors and the faculty that works at OU. I’ve had no problems. I’ve been able to complete things in a quick manner that make my life less stressful. So that’s an awesome part.

Kimberly Moy:
That is great. I love the crew over there too. They’re so personable and they are so knowledgeable about everything military that it’s almost a flawless experience. So, thank you for giving them a shout-out. Dr. Young, any final thoughts for our group here before we sign off?

Dr. Bill Young:
Sure. I know there’s been a lot of information discussed during this webinar. So I would just encourage you to reach out to our team and just ask questions. They’ll definitely help you alleviate any kind of concern that you have about the process. I would say in terms of admissions, I am a part of that team and, what can I say? One of the questions I get is, “What’s some advice that you might have when I apply?” I do want to piggyback off of what you said, Kim, about looking at your entire package in terms of … We don’t just make decisions off of GPA. I mean, honestly we would like a GPA of 3.0 or higher but it’s about your package. It’s about your collective vision and it’s about your collective experience and why you want to pursue this MBA.

Dr. Bill Young:
So, be very explicit about your progression through your career experience so far and tell us why this MBA is important to you. So, some things, if you have a little bit of maybe a weaker area in your GPA, that’s not going to automatically disqualify you. So, I would talk about your experiences and talk about maybe why that GPA wasn’t as high as you would like it to be. We understand that going through undergraduate is certainly a time in your life that is difficult and things of that nature, and a lot of things happen and a lot of times people go on to careers and have a well documented success. So, I don’t want to dwell on that GPA kind of requirement for too long, but anyway, just make it clear of what you’ve done and why you want the MBA, and that’s … The cover letters and the personal statement is really important, so make sure you discuss that.

Dr. Bill Young:
And any time you have a letter of recommendation from some sort of superior, that’s going to weigh heavily in our decision, so make sure you have that. With that being said, again, just reach out to our enrollment team, our recruiters that we have on our staff in terms of answering your questions. They are wonderful, and I think the support you have, the quality that we ensure that we give our students is second to none, quite frankly, and I’m really proud of our faculty. I’m proud of our students that graduate through our program and everybody else that’s involved.

Dr. Bill Young:
So, with that I just want to say thank you once again for attending or watching the recording and we hope to hear from you soon.

Kimberly Moy:
Thank you so much, Dr. Young and Sydney. If anything that you’ve taken away from this [inaudible 00:50:55] now is the time. It is absolutely doable for you in your career. It is absolutely doable to balance your work, your life, whatever else you’ve got going on and do your master’s degree, that way you can take the next step in your career. So, we are here for you here at Ohio University. Our contact information is on the screen here. You can give us a call during any normal business hours or email us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Kimberly Moy:
So, thank you again for your time this afternoon and we’re going to give you 10 minutes back. So, thank you everyone. Bye.