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Ohio University Student/Alumni Panel Webinar

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Brittany: Good evening, everyone and welcome to Ohio University Student and Alumni Panel Webinar. Go, Bobcats. We are happy that you all could join us today on this unique webinar presentation. I’m sure by now you all have had the opportunity to reach out to your enrollment advisors for information about the program. However, today you will have the opportunity to hear from current students in the program and alumni regarding their experience thus far. So you’re definitely in for a treat.

For today’s agenda we will cover first some webinar support tools that you could utilize throughout today’s presentation. Then I will go ahead and introduce our enrollment advisors and let our student and alumni panel guests introduce themselves and tell us a little bit about themselves as well. We will go through a series of questions that our panelists will answer. These were gathered from interest in the program. Also we’ll go through our admission requirements and tuition information. And last we will have a Q&A session to answer any questions you have about the program. So, just a couple of webinar support tools: you’ll see in the top left hand corner click links. Feel free to click on the links, uh, after the presentation to schedule an appointment with your enrollment advisor, uh, also addressing any questions or next steps if you’re interested in applying. Below that you’ll see the Q&A box. Feel free to utilize that box throughout the presentation as well as when we get to that section for any questions. Any questions that we’re not able to get to, please reach out to your enrollment advisors for the answers.

Now, towards the right top corner you’ll see a link to fill in and e-mail a friend a copy of this presentation. Please feel free to do so to anyone whom you know would benefit from the information as well as reach out to your enrollment advisors with their information; referrals are always welcome. And then towards the bottom you’ll see our Facebook page. Feel free to like and share that as well and then Technical Help as well. Awesome. So here are our online enrollment advisors, myself, Brittany Smith. I just want to say I’m very excited for you all today and glad you can join us. I hope that you’re able to find value in the information shared today. I’m also joined by my colleague, Sharon Diaz, Brittany Kraft and Michael Johnson.

Now for our student and alumni panelist. I’ll start from left to right of the slide. Please give a brief introduction and welcome. Prakash, welcome and please introduce and tell us a little bit about yourself.

Prakash: Sure, uh, thank you and good evening all. Good afternoon, wherever you are. My name is Prakash Samaga. I work as a director in AML anti-money laundering space at the Key Bank and I have about 15 years of experience in the banking industry. I worked in Oracle and Ernst & Young and now with KeyBank.

Brittany: Thank you. Welcome, Jennifer. Please introduce and tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jennifer: Hello, thank you. My name is Jennifer Karn. I’m currently a training manager at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. Uh, prior to that I was a training manager at Kaiser Permanente in Ohio and based out of Burbank, California as well. I’ve been in the Health Care industry probably going on 15 years and prior to that I was an elementary school teacher.

Brittany: Thank you. Norma, welcome and please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Norma: Yes, good evening, everyone. My name is Norma Ladevaia. I’m the Executive Director of Auditing Services for Pepperdine University. I have been with the university for six years and I’m a current graduate student in the Executive Management concentration at Ohio University.

Brittany: Thank you. Welcome, Jeremy. Please introduce yourself to our audience today.

Jeremy: Hi, all. This is Jeremy Harrington. Uh, for about the last 20 or so years, between the military and the private sector, I’ve been in IT and Information Security, currently in the online MBA program and, uh, I’m due to graduate, uh, in December, so happy to be with you tonight.

Brittany: Awesome. Thank you. And welcome, Julie. Please introduce yourself.

Julie: Hi, I’m Julie Bromagen. I’m Data Manager with the Therma-Tru corporation. I’ve been in manufacturing for about 20 years. I am a wife and a Mom and I, let’s see, I’m one year in, I’ve got one year to go into my MBA program.

Brittany: Awe – awesome, thank you. Now, ladies and gentlemen, let’s get down to business. Actually speaking with some prospective students for the program we have been able to, as enrollment advisors, gather specific questions geared towards the student experience in the program so what better way to answer the questions than to hear from our current students and alumni, right? So let’s go ahead and get started. We’ll start off with career goals. Jennifer, as a training manager, why did you select Ohio University and the MBA program and how so far has pursuing the degree contributed to your career goals.

Jennifer: Yeah, so I actually spent about a year researching graduate programs across the United States to find the perfect fit for me and I settled on Ohio University because, uh, multiple reasons. First and foremost it’s because its AACSB accredited and my end-all career goal is to teach at the college level. And in order to do that I really needed to get my degree at an AACSB accredited university; otherwise it would be very difficult to reach that goal. So that was a huge driving factor for me. The other thing was the way the program was put together. I loved how Ohio University’s executive MBA program you only have to take one class at a time. And I also like that the classes are seven weeks where there’s a lot of programs out there where the classes are only five so seven weeks is pretty condensed as it is and I felt that five would be really condensed. Um, and also too, uh, it’s only a couple of hours away from home and I really wanted to be able to walk the stage when I graduate next year so, um, I thought that would be great, although I was willing to fly wherever I ended up deciding on but it was nice that it was in my home state. Um, as far as how it’s contributed to my career goals so far, uh, it’s – the company that I work for, they place a lot of emphasis on education and it’s very difficult to advance within the organization if you don’t have the proper educational background. So in order for me to – if I ever want to, you know, switch departments or move up the ladder, maybe become a director or something like that, it would really be important for me to have an MBA in order to achieve that.

Brittany: Thank you, Jennifer. Jeremy, I will pose the same question to you. So why did you select Ohio University and the MBA program and how has the program contributed to your career goals.

Jeremy: Uh, so, you know, I want to, uh, you know, kind of use Jennifer’s, uh, answers, kind of as the basis to mine. Um, a lot of the same things. I think, uh, a differ – a difference in my experience, uh, you know, the education, uh, especially the graduate education is important, uh, in my career field, uh, to advance as well. Um, you know, I feel personally that although I had, uh, you know, leadership experience, uh, in the past between the military and in private industry, um, I didn’t have some of the, uh, concepts, foundational concepts, uh, that I felt the MBA program would really give me, so that was one of the reasons why I decided on an MBA program. As far as Ohio University, uh, again, the accreditation was a big thing, uh, ratings – online ratings, uh, other things that I found online, uh, and then, of course, you know, talking with the advisors in a setting like this where I was able to talk to, uh, other students and alums, uh, really swayed me in a positive direction and then for me personally, uh, the ability to, uh, move outside of Ohio and stay with the online program, uh, and the positive financial aspects of that as far as the requirements of, you know, it’s really a big thing for me in choosing OU.

Brittany: Awesome. Thank you, Jeremy. Um, now last Prakash, uh, same question for you. However please elaborate for the audience, because you are a graduate of the program, how the MBA program has been of great benefit for you as well as how it has impacted your professional life.

Prakash: Absolutely. I’m somewhat similar to Jennifer and to Jeremy as described a couple of minutes ago. What I wanted to get from my MBA program was kind of that well rounded experience and I did similar research for about a year and looked at different options in the market but finally narrowed down to Ohio University primarily because of the accreditation and also the convenience of the course, uh, because I mean if you look at different universities they offer semesters with three or four subjects whereas Ohio offers one subject at a time, seven weeks – expanding across seven weeks. And what the beauty of this program is it goes super, super deep into each of those subjects so you are really going deep into the subject and trying to understand as much as possible within those seven weeks. But not trying to spread out over a period of four months but focusing extremely close to each of those subjects.

The second thing is I talked about this well rounded experience, right? I mean I have a major in Computer Science but if you take any major, go to any university that teaches you one specific subject but MBA is probably the only platform in the world that kind of gives you that well rounded experience. I mean especially with Ohio University, if you look at the course pattern and the curriculum out there it kind of gives you that very well rounded experience whether it is investments, whether it is business analysis or financial market or in my area, management information system, data analysis, organizational behavior, it teaches you pretty much everything in order for you to be successful and probably look for something in the top 1% of your company or in the corporate world. My biggest career goal here is I’ve been in the industry for about 17 years, uh, worked in a variety of projects and large scale programs for top 10 or 15 global financial institutions. I’ve traveled extensively across the globe and so this – and I’ve been in the last 10 years also I’ve been in the risk and the compliance space so this program definitely positions me very well to achieve something like Chief Credit Officer or Chief Risk Officer or Chief Compliance Officer. So one of the persons sitting in the seats with probably about 3-5 years – that’s basically my career aspirations and I just graduated from this university, I’m very happy with the way everything went on and I would highly, highly recommend why this kind of course is beneficial to advancement.

Brittany: Awesome. Thank you, everyone. Now moving on to the online program. Norma, I’ll start off with you on this question: How did you interact with the program advisor, faculty or staff in the program and can you give me specific examples from the live lectures and/or group assignments?

Norma: Yes, of course. Uh, so what I like about the program is that it is online and so it seems like everybody is really available to you. So I’ve had opportunities to actually call my advisors or, uh, e-mail them for any questions that I may have as I’m going through the program. So the availability has been great. And it also works out well because I’m on the West Coast and they’re on the East Coast and we’ve been actually able to really schedule, you know, meetings in advance and calls in advance so it’s actually been working out fantastic for me.

Uh, as far as the work groups and the, uh, online lectures, everything is provided in advance. You get a schedule of the courses so – which is really helpful because as you are working you can basically look to see what is coming ahead and they give you all of the information for your courses, uh, in advance, so you can kind of see exactly where your tests are going to be, when you assignments are due and that is so helpful when you’re, you know, working and in management and have staff and you’re trying to kind of, you know, address everything. So I found that that – the scheduling and working everything out that way has been really helpful to me. Uh, and as far as any questions that I may have, I can actually e-mail the faculty and staff directly and, and they will – they’re very good about immediately responding to and addressing any of the questions.

Brittany: Excellent. Thank you. Uh, Julie, along those same lines could you tell us about your experience with the cohort model and the interaction between peers in completing the group assignments and what that looks like for you currently?
Julie: Sure. I found everybody at Ohio University to be incredibly responsive. Uh, as far as the cohort groups, you know, you have everybody’s e-mail when you’re in classes and you’re working together on group projects, there are group chat rooms that you can go into to get discussions, to share files and the same with the instructors – I mean everyone has been so great about sharing time, sharing information, uh, a lot of the online videos you can download so you don’t necessarily even have to be, uh, on the internet to – to watch them. They’ve done everything they can to make us work together as a group that feels okay with working alone and being very supportive in that.

Brittany: Thank you. And Prakash, anything you want to add about your experience in the program with the faculty as well as the group assignments or live lectures?

Prakash: Absolutely. Uh, the faculty, everyone single one that I worked with in the last couple of years have been extremely, extremely helpful. I mean e-mail is the best way to reach out to anyone and you are guaranteed to get a response within 24 hours and 24 hours is just normal – it’s just a guideline but most of them I get a response right away. And my classmates, whether it’s a group project or group assignments or something, uh, I always had a very nice experience working with most of my classmates the last couple of years. And one of the best part about this program is the recorded, uh, uh, virtual office hours, virtual office hours. So for some reasons, whether it’s personal or business or whatever reasons, we are traveling, you cannot attend the classroom, uh, so you don’t have to worry about it because every single session is recorded and its available for you to, uh, go through that whenever you have time. So that’s a great, great value add for a person like me who travels quite a bit and, uh, have a very busy life with the work and the family and everything else. So recorded virtual office hours and e-mail and any questions that you have – Blackboard is a great platform for you to exchange ideas and ask questions, etc. So I mean overall the flexibility of this program offers support you get from your, your program advisors and the professors have been absolutely phenomenal.

Brittany: Awesome. Thank you, everyone. So now let’s talk about concentrations in the program and why you chose your specific concentration. For this degree we offer four different concentrations so it looks like from our panelists on today’s presentation we have a mixture of those concentrations. I’ll start off with, uh, our graduate of the program, Prakash. Please tell us why you chose your specific concentration for the program and how it relates to your experience with your career.

Prakash: Sure. Uh, I chose Finance as my concentration. I mean there are – I mean it has both personal and the professional reasons. At a professional level, I mean, like I said, five years from now I want to be one of the persons sitting in the sweet seat or five years or whatever time period, but that’s my career aspiration, right? So if I want to be a successful person, sitting in a large corporation, I need to know more about the corporation, not just my field of expertise, my area of specialization alone. So I need to understand, uh, the 10K report and the annual corporate report, quarterly reports and how the company is doing, some of the buying, some of the pricing options and how to basically manage some of those finances, projects and all of those things. So from a professional standpoint I want to get a better understanding of, uh, what a financial institution does and how different, uh, the financial institution functions and, uh, so that’s from a professional perspective. I wanted to get that kind of understanding and knowledge from, uh, this course, which I definitely gained quite a bit. And also at a personal level, obviously we all work in a different capacity at different places and we make money and one of the challenges that we all have is making money is one part and how do you multiply that money, right? So, and we are not, uh, the experts sitting with a lot of those financial understanding of what do you do with that money. So this course – I mean some of the finance subjects that I took definitely helped me in understanding what and simple things like, uh, what’s a stock dividend and different types of stock dividends, reverse splits, uh, and things like beta stock – what if – what if the beta is below one, at level one. So at a personal level what are the different types of investments that I can make? What’s a dilutional for stock price? So earnings per share. I mean a bunch of different things that I personally learned and which – it has definitely helped me. I mean with the market is on the right in the past one year or so and the knowledge that I have gained – now I have a much better understanding and making educated decisions, making educated planning on my financial planning. I mean simple things like we all invest in 401K, we just don’t even know what it would be like to 20 years from now, when you would retire at 65 or whatever, so you don’t even know what would be the value of that one. So you actually in one of the classes we build that 401K that we entered into the calculator we built by ourselves so it was a great learning experience on a personal level. So between personal and professional, I thought the finance major was the best thing I wanted to take and I did that and definitely I’m happy with the work – my decision.

Brittany: Thank you. So along those same lines, Julie, please tell us why you chose your concentration as well as the impact it has made to your experience in the program.

Julie: So I’m in the Business Analytics concentration and the reason I chose it is I love to solve the problems. I love to dig down deep, why did this happen, what’s going on, what do we do in the future, if we make this decision, how does it impact that decision? Uh, interesting things like the recent hurricanes – how is that going to impact our business because we supply doors to Texas and to Louisiana and to Florida and in hurricane areas, we actually have hurricane-rated doors – so it’s those kinds of things. I – I like to solve those puzzles. I know it’s kind of weird but I really enjoy data, I was excited to see that Ohio University had a Business Analytics concentration but at the same time, to expand on what Prakash said, Finance – I’ve never taken a finance class in my life. Now I know more about Finance, um, the same with Accounting. I’ve been taking Accounting classes since high school so having those pieces helps me at work to just say: “Okay, I understand how this – how this piece impacts that piece.”

The other thing I really love is Dr. Young, who is head of the Business Analytics concentration, one of the things I was really concerned about was when I come out of this am I going to be prepared to use what I have learned? And he is absolutely passionate that when we are done with this program that we can go out and apply what we’ve learned and we’re not panicking going: “I don’t know what I’m doing, did I get enough information, did I have a business education?” I absolutely feel that that is not going to be an issue whatsoever and I know that when I am finished – you know, my boss has plans for me that include my MBA and it’s going to be an absolutely wonderful investment.

Brittany: Thank you. And Jennifer, any other thoughts you might want to add on the concentration you chose for the program for our audience today?

Jennifer: Sure. I’m in the Executive Management concentration. I’m a year in, uh, I will finish next August and I chose the Executive Management concentration because I wanted something that kind of gave me a broad understanding of business. My undergraduate degree is in Education but I’ve worked in Business for the last, uh, 15 years. So I didn’t want to be limited to one area, uh, for future job prospects or things that I might want to try or do down the road. I didn’t pick Health Care because I’ve been working in Health Care for 15 years so I felt that, um, I had some pretty good experience there and so I just really wanted something that would give me that kind of managerial, uh, all – well-rounded type of experience. So in the Executive Management program, you know, I’m taking Finance classes, I’m taking Analytics classes, um, so I’m kind of – I’m getting the core plus I’m, I’m getting a little bit more. So for me the concentration offering at the university was really important and I again didn’t want to get tied down – I wanted to be able to have that option to be a little bit more general.

Brittany: Excellent. Thank you. So now we’re going to move on to studying online and what that looks like in our online MBA program. So, Jennifer, how did you handle the school/life work balance in the program and how did you handle your priorities as a current Training Manager?

Jennifer: So, uh, I’m actually glad that I’m answering this question because (laughs) um, I work a lot of hours so I have four children. They are all grown but they are in their early 20’s and three of them still live with me. I have a four year old granddaughter and a five month old grandson and I see my grandchildren about three evenings a week. And I usually work somewhere between 10 and 15 hours a day. So I have a pretty busy lifestyle, I work a lot of hours, I’m very active with my grandkids and my children and things so I have to, uh, really manager my time well and I thought about – one of the things that scared me the most when I was trying to decide to go back to school and what I wanted to go for and where was the work/life balance. And one of the reasons why I chose an online program is because I can manage my time my way. So, uh, some of the online management programs that I was looking at required you to be online on certain days or times or so many hours a week or things like that and I knew that I needed to be able to manage my time my way because of the hours that I work. So, um, I’ve been able to do that. I make sure I stay very organized, you know, I write lists, I’m always aware on my calendar what assignments are due and when, when I have to take a test and things like that. But, uh, you know, it’s a good time commitment. There’s some classes where you have to spend a good 20 hours a week doing homework and assignments and there’s other classes that require a lot less time but I’ve been able to management – manage it with no problem, even with all the hours that I work. And I contribute that really to the fact that I can manage my time my way. Uh, the instructors, you know, they give you deadlines and due dates, of course, for when things are due but, you know, they’re not closely managing your time whereas other programs that I’ve seen are like they’re set up that way where you have to, like I said, log-on on certain days, times and things like that. We do have virtual office hours but if we miss it because of work or another commitment or something, they’re always recorded and you can watch them on your own time. So it just gives you a lot of flexibility.

Brittany: Awesome. Thanks. Norma, as an Executive Director, how did you also handle the work/life balance and manage your priorities and time commitment?

Norma: Oh, well, I have to echo a lot of what was already said as far as organization. I think that is really key, is really making sure that you have everything organized and prioritized. I think a lot of things, too, is I have, you know, my boss knows that I’m in the program and I think that’s also very helpful because they can provide some support and also can, uh – it’s good for them to be aware so that they can, um, also assist in any way they can and my boss has been very, very supportive. Uh, one of the things that I also try to do as far as my work is I try to, uh, not only organize but also delegate some things that maybe I don’t actually have to take care of immediately or I can delegate it to my staff and that’s been, uh, been helpful as well. Uh, I think a lot of it too has to do with really understanding kind of the – the requirements of the, uh, courses and a lot of it really is related to flexibility and I think I can’t, uh, you know, stress that enough that the program is so stress – it’s not stressful because of the fact that it’s so scheduled and it’s flexible. And because of that I can really arrange my schedule around the – work schedule around the program. Uh, because I’m on the West Coast a lot of the, uh, the virtual lectures are actually in the evening which actually is beneficial to me because I can go ahead and actually arrange my time to be, uh, be part of that, uh, and then also attend some of the live lectures as well. So I think organization and actually having the support from your managers and staff I think has been really critical.

Brittany: Excellent, thank you. Jeremy, anything you would like to add to that as far as amount of hours you currently put in the program as well as maintaining your full time status as an Information Security Manager?

Jeremy: Yeah, so, uh, you know, on my part I think it’s like you said, just really just adding, uh, to what my fellow, uh, OU alumni have, have already stated. And I think, you know, obviously the online format is definitely helpful, uh, the fact that the schedules, uh, are, uh, you know, published ahead of time, uh, and it’s solidified, it’s something that you can definitely refer to, uh, that’s not going to change and you’re confident in that. You also have the opportunity in a lot of cases, from my experience, um, if you can’t make it to, uh, an office hours or the live discussion for whatever reason, uh, you have the ability to, uh, take advantage of that in a recorded, uh, format. Uh, so, you know, everything is just, you know, for me, uh, and I’m almost finished, everything has just been, uh, really agreeable to may schedule, uh, obviously, you know, having a family that’s also invested in your success definitely helps, uh, but, you know, again, just to reiterate everything that’s already been said, it’s been a great experience.

Brittany: Awesome. Thank you. Uh, awesome responses, everyone, and thank you again for your participation. I hope everyone in the audience today can find value in the information shared from our students perspective in the program. Uh, ladies and gentlemen, I will now, uh, turn the presentation over to my colleague, Michael Johnson. He is also an enrollment advisor in the program. He is going to cover with you admissions and application requirements needed to become a future Bobcat. Michael?

Michael: Thank you, Brittany. Now that we’ve heard all this great information about the program, now it’s like what is going to be required for admission. So, as you can see, a regionally accredited Bachelor’s degree. Uh, it doesn’t have to be in Business because the curriculum is on a carousel format so it does build upon itself so they don’t just necessarily throw you right in with the managerial, finance or accounting course. Actually a lot of individuals in the program don’t have their undergrad in Business. Also you’ll need a minimum of 2-5 years of professional work experience, uh, the committee puts a lot of emphasis on your work experience and career progression. They feel that’s a better indicator of your skills than how well you score on a standardized test. So the GMAT or GRE will not be required.

Also GPA: 3.0 is preferred but not required so it’s the totality of your application so if you feel, you know, that your GPA is below the 3, don’t necessarily discourage yourself from applying because it’s the whole application, all the items together. So they look at everything, not just going to be just the academics. You’ll need a resume that’s going to validate those 2-5 years of professional work experience and you want to be as detailed as possible, don’t worry about consolidating all that into one page, it can – typically you, us as advisors see 2-3 pages. I would say on average the student population now work experience is probably around 9-10 years.

Now, next you’ll need three letters of recommendation. One is going to be from a supervisor, the other two can be professional references. You just want to remember to select individuals that are going to speak highly in depth towards your character and work ethic. Next you’ll need a goal statement. This is basically an essay, two page, single space essay talking about why you’re looking to pursue your MBA, why, how the MBA program – make sure to bring up specific course work or curriculum on skills you’re trying to develop, whether it’s going to help you hit that, that promotion or just improve your skill sets. You want to speak to that and being detailed as possible. And your advisor can assist with you in regards to give you feedback on that as well.

Next you’re going to need transcripts from every institution. If you took a summer course and you transferred in or even didn’t transfer in, it shows up on there, the committee wants to see your full academic history. So that means if you went to three schools you need all three transcripts and they can be unofficial with the school seal but it can’t be a DARS report that itemizes that you get online. So as long as it has the school seal on that, we can use that through the evaluation process. There’s going to be a $50 application fee to apply and, as I mentioned, the GMAT or GRE is not going to be required and the program curriculum is very specific so we don’t allow transfer credits.

Now, one of the things that I did want to point out, sometimes students have taken the GMAT and scored above a 550 and want to provide that as additional supporting material to bolster their chances for admissibility, by all means you can provide that in conjunction with if you’re taking a Master course or two and you did well and you want to provide that to show proof that you can handle graduate-level course work. Us as advisors encourage you to do that as well. Next, you kind of look at the tuition. The total program tuition breaks down for Ohio residents as $35,140 and the non-Ohio resident is going to be $35,805. And that kind of breaks down per credit hour is the Ohio resident is $1,004 per credit hour and the non-Ohio resident is $1,023. And the program is a total of 35 credit hours and it’s going to be 24 months, 2 years. And now I’m going to pass this.

Brittany: Thank you, Michael, for sharing that insightful information on how you can become a Bobcat as well. Uh, we’ve come to the Q&A portion of our presentation. Please utilize the Q&A box to the left of the slide to type in your questions. We will try to get through as many questions as time permits. I’ll turn it over to my colleague, Sharon Diaz, another enrollment advisor, to go through the questions from the audience. Sharon?

Sharon: Thank you, Brittany. For those of you who have, uh, posted a question or two, um, I wanted to say thank you not only for attending to today’s webinar but also participating with your questions. As Brittany said for time’s sake we might not be able to, uh, uh, read all of these questions. However we will definitely make sure that your enrollment advisor reaches out to you between today and tomorrow to address your questions. The first question that I wanted to read out loud and Parkash, if you would be so kind to address this one, it’s: Are there any campus – on-campus requirements and if so, what is the purpose of the visit? Would you mind addressing this question, Parkash?

Parkash: Uh, sure. Uh, there is one mandatory campus program is there for all students so you have to attend a Ohio University campus three programs during the course but one is mandatory – I mean you can attend the other two as well but one is minimum requirement and I think it is a two-day program. I attended a couple of years ago, I don’t remember exactly if it is two days or three days, uh, but it gives you an opportunity to network with, uh, your fellow students and, uh, your professors and also ask a lot of questions about your courses and a bunch of other stuff that you have in your mind. So it kind of – it kind of gives a good opportunity for you to interact and network with others.

And also there are some cool classes or sessions scheduled during the program, it’s not just networking opportunity but it also talks on Ohio school university has some cool kind of subjects or sessions planned for that event as well. I very well remember some of those sessions were specifically targeted towards customer values and the marketing and those type of sales and advertisement and those type of things. So if you want to build some skills on those areas, obviously it gives you tremendous opportunity for you to learn some of those, uh, concepts, because MBA isn’t a – the reason for anyone to acquire an MBA degree is to kind of move up in your professional life and be an all-around experience, get that all-around experience and be a leader in your space. So it gives a great opportunity for you to get the kind of experience that this online campus event.

Sharon: Thank you so much, Prakash. And another question that came through says: How do you juggle your course work with the rest of your responsibilities at work or at home, this being a Mom and a wife? And I think, Julie, you did mention earlier during the call that you were a wife and a Mom and I think Jennifer also, would you guys be able to kind of describe what it has looked for you guys being enrolled in the program and how do you juggle all the rest of your responsibilities as you progress through the MBA? Julie, perhaps if you can go first.

Julie: Sure. So when I approached my husband about going back to school because I have, I have very adamantly for a very long time said I’m not going for my MBA, I’m not going to do it. And it, my career path was, we had taken – it just hit a point where it was like: “Okay, you need to go back and do this.” And I sat down with my husband and my daughter and I just told them, I said: “Look, it’s gonna be my name on this degree but we’re all gonna earn it and I’m gonna need your help.” And they’ve been incredibly supportive, my manager has been incredibly supportive. She, you know, is aware that I am in the program, work is helping to pay for it and my family just knows. So we’ve got some ground rules. When I’m at the desk and I have my headphones on and I say: “I’ve got class tonight” means I have class tonight and unless someone’s bleeding out, you need to leave me alone. If I’m sitting on the couch just sort of reading through something, yeah, you can bug me. So we set some ground rules, um, as far as what – as how to manage this. We set the expectations and it’s worked very well. The other thing is, like everyone else said, organize your time. That’s, that’s – it’s just a lot of organization and everybody understanding what the commitment is but it’s very doable and it’s absolutely worth it.

Sharon: Absolutely. Thank you so much for sharing, Julie. Um, and Jennifer, do you want to chime in on that one as well?

Julie: Sure. I would say the biggest thing for me was setting expectations up front, uh, and I mean like almost on a weekly basis. So I’ll let my family know: “Hey, this is what I’ve got going on this week, this is when I’m going to be tied up for school. If you need something from me, let me know now or let me know before then.” Or, you know, things like that. I’ve even had some classes where I have to take a 3 ½ hour exam online and I choose to do it on a Saturday morning and I printed out a sign that I hang on my bedroom door and it just says, you know: “I’m taking a 3 ½ hour exam, you know. Please don’t interrupt unless it’s an emergency.” And they’ve all been very respectful of that so when they see the sign on the door (laughs) they know I’m taking a test or I’m studying or whatever and they leave me be. But I think the biggest thing is just communicating: “Hey, I’ve got this test on Saturday morning. It’s 3 ½ hours. I’m not going to be available.” And then they know.

Sharon: Yeah. Thank you so much for sharing, Jennifer, and I think I would like to, uh, have one more question addressed to you, now that I kind of have you on the line. Uh, Jennifer, someone asked: How did you know that a business degree would be beneficial to you? I know that we spoke about that earlier but, uh, I think that you’re in the health care field and I would like it if you could address that question from one of our attendees, please?

Jennifer: Sure. So, again my background was in education. I have an Early Childhood degree for my undergraduate and after the left the educational, you know, industry or world and I went into the business world I realized that it would really be helpful for me to have a degree in business to again further my career and just learn more and understand the business more even though I’ve been working in the business for about, you know, going on 15 years now. It still is definitely a huge benefit for me. Um, again, I just – I really felt that, you know, a business degree is very versatile. There are so many areas in business that you can work in and there are so many job opportunities in business. There are always going to be businesses so there’s always going to be jobs out there for that. Uh, I really particularly enjoy working with the people aspect of business so, um, probably the teacher in me, but I’m very interested in, you know, how to be a good manager, how to communicate with people, you know, how to work with, you know, different people, how to adjust my style to fit other peoples’ needs and things like that. Uh, but there are so many aspects of business, you know, there’s finance, there’s marketing, you know, there’s just so many areas, there’s analytics and the list goes on and on. So it’s just very versatile and there are a lot of jobs out there – job availability for the business industry.

Sharon: Absolutely. Thank you, Jennifer. And Jeremy, uh, would you like to chime in? I have you in the IT industry and I think it would be great if you can give us some insights as to, you know, how did you kind of see that a business degree would be beneficial to you, let’s say as opposed to a Masters in Science, for example?

Jeremy: Uh, well, you know, I would like to start out by saying that, uh, you know, the family aspect is so critically important and, you know, as my female colleagues have so eloquently stated, uh, you know, it’s really important and I have a wife who is a busy professional herself, uh, and, uh, you know, she’s been great through this whole experience. I definitely appreciate that. As far as, you know, the, uh, you know, the technical side, uh, I think as a technical professional, um, it’s even more important for me to understand the details of business and the aspects of business, the concepts, uh, you know, the formal education. Uh, just through my experience there have been some folks who, you know, reach, uh, as Prakash would say, you know, the seat sweet, primarily through their technical expertise but, you know, it’s evident that they lack the business acumen and, uh, you know, having those aspirations as well, I didn’t want to be, uh, that person with those challenges so I felt it would be great for me to, you know, kind of challenge myself with the Executive concentration, also get those general skills and, uh, you know, so far its been rewarding, you know, personally, and, uh, although I haven’t seen those rewards yet professionally, uh, I’m sure that they will, they will definitely come and I’m sure, you know, Prakash and, you know, some of my other fellow alums would definitely, uh, you know, solidify, you know, that opinion.

Sharon: Perfect. Thank you so much. And Norma, I do not want to leave you out of this. Last but not least I have one question for you and, um, it seems like Norma is, out of all the panelists, the only one on the West Coast and Pacific Standard Time. At what time do you go to bed, turning in assignments or, you know, uh, how does it look like for you being, uh, let’s say so far out compared to the East Coast. What does it look like for you?

Norma: Actually I think it’s been working out well because I think that the time that the virtual hours are taking place, those are usually sometimes around, you know, the evening, 7 or 8:00 Eastern Time, it’s only 5:00 or 4:00 Pacific Standard Time so I think it’s actually been working out pretty well. And I find that I’m, as long as I’m organized and know exactly what’s coming up, I can make sure that everything is submitted on time, that I can, uh, if I can’t make the virtual hours because I do have a meeting during the day, then I have the opportunity to actually go back and listen to the recording which is always really helpful. I think that’s what I love about the online program is that flexibility that if you can’t make it in person, you can at least go back and listen to the recordings or reach out to your professors or your advisors and everyone’s always been very available. So, you know, hopefully that helps anyone who’s thinking about, uh, you know, any hours or something but so far it hasn’t really been impactful to me so it’s been working out pretty good.

Sharon: Uh, thank you so much and this wraps up the Q&A section of this webinar. I would like to take it back to, uh, Brittany, and we’re going to be wrapping up in the next few minutes.

Brittany: Thank you, everyone, for your questions. Again, if your question was not able to get answered, please reach out to your enrollment advisor, uh, for more information. So I want to give each one of our panelists the opportunity to give any final advice to our audience. Prakash, any final advice?

Prakash: Uh, sure. The only regret I would give it is definitely a worthy investment and don’t even think about it. It’s definitely, you know, it’s going to teach you quite a few things, uh, right from your – I mean how to handle a team and how to deal with the conflicts in your team and the data analysis, accounting, just a slew of information you will get in the couple of years that you’ll be going through this. It teaches us so many things, it is up to you how you absorb all those things and apply in your professional life and your personal life sometimes, too, right? So it’s a great learning program and I would highly recommend you take this program and you’ll – you’ll definitely be happy with your decision.

Brittany: Awesome. Thank you. Jennifer, any final advice, final thoughts?

Jennifer: You won’t regret it. Two years goes by fast. OU is an awesome school. They have an amazing online MBA program and, uh, you’ll be glad you did it.

Brittany: Thank you. Norma, any final thoughts and advice?

Norma: Um, I think the advice is just making sure that, you know, you have the support there for you, as everyone else has talked about. I think that’s so important, especially as we’re all very busy, we all have family and, and so I think having that support and really discussing with everyone, uh, I think is going to be very helpful as you go and decide to do the program and as you go through the program.

Brittany: Thank you. Jeremy, how about your final thoughts and advice on the program?

Jeremy: You know, almost being to the finish line myself, uh, I just want to say through experience, uh, the format and the curriculum, uh, to me is definitely, uh, is definitely proven to me anyways and, uh, if you ever, you know, need to reach out, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the faculty and even your fellow students, um, I’ve been in that position several times and, uh, it’s never disappointed. I could always rely on them.

Brittany: Thank you, Jeremy. And Julie, any final advice and thoughts on the program?

Julie: Uh, just a quote from my favorite author, Rita Mae Brown: “Put your money in her head. That way no one can take it away from you.” Totally a wonderful program and absolutely worth your time, effort, energy and investment.

Brittany: Awesome. Thank you. Uh, so excellent. I want to take the time to thank our entire panelists. Thank you for taking time out of your evening and busy schedule to give us this valuable information from your perspective about the program. Also thank you to those who attended as well. Again, I hope the information shared was valuable for you. Please feel free to share today’s presentation with a friend or colleague whom you think would benefit as well as pass their information along to one of our enrollment advisors. Referrals are always welcome. Just so you know, we are currently accepting applications for upcoming semester. If you’re interested in applying, please reach out to your enrollment advisor for information and next step. Thank you, everyone, and have a wonderful evening. Go Bobcats. Go Wildcats.

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