Master of Business Administration Virtual Open House


Video Transcript

MISTY SALAZAR: Welcome, everyone, to the Masters of Business Administration virtual open house. My name is Misty, and I'm a senior program manager for the University of Saint Mary's online Master of Business Administration program

We're excited that you have joined us this evening. The virtual open house is a terrific opportunity to learn more about the Master of Business Administration program and to have us address any questions that you might have

Joining me tonight is another program manager, Kelly Curtis. Kelly will give you additional insight into the benefits and details of Master of Business Administration program

At the end of the presentation, we will open up the floor for your individual questions for the two of us to answer. Throughout the entirety of the presentation, please type your questions in the text box, and we will address them during the Q&A session

So let's get started. The University of Saint Mary has a strong academic history in liberal arts education dating back to 1923, when we were founded by the Sisters of Charity. Located in Leavenworth, Kansas, USM is a private Catholic university currently offering both undergraduate and graduate programs at our campus locations and online

Over the last 11 years, USM has been recognized as one of the best Midwestern colleges and best college value by the Princeton Review. USM is also regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the MBA holds programmatic accreditation

The University of Saint Mary is a not-for-profit organization. As a result, your tuition dollars are funneled back into the programs you're studying, the courses, the faculty, library services, and support staff for you as a student

MBA students will gain the critical analytical skills that will in turn influence their organizational bottom line. Students develop these skills through faculty classes that offer the knowledge that will position you and give you the ability to make high-level decisions in upper management on a daily basis

The MBA program follows and applied theory approach and dedicates its resources to relevant faculty, Harvard case studies, and up-to-date business information. Relating this directly to your career and organization is a key factor of success at USM. The business tools USM offers will give you, the student, a meaningful and successful transition into your workplace, from evaluating the stock market and making financial decisions to studying employment law and how your decisions may affect all the functions of your organization

Now, Kelly is going to speak on the benefits and details of the MBA program.

KELLY CURTIS: Thanks, Misty. As Misty stated, we have an implied theory approach to the program that will allow you to immediately take what you [INAUDIBLE] to places of work. But to maintain that curriculum structure, we have a specific accreditation to do so. USM's MBA is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, which is an accrediting body who recognizes institutions whose programs are driven by instructing and quality outcomes. Many of our students are working professionals, so a flexible platform where they can apply the skills they learn in their career is extremely beneficial

The MBA program does provide flexibility, but it is still a personal commitment that should be all-inclusive with your family. USM's MBA is built for the adult learner, so it is deadline-driven with no mandatory login times

What this means for our students is they can format their own schedules for schoolwork and still maintain their commitment to family, children, and long work hours. Although there are no specific times you need to be logged onto your computer, students taking one class at a time should spend 10 to 15 hours a week on homework

The program is not only flexible with time commitment, but also in our concentration areas. There are seven concentration areas with three classes within each concentration. The general concentration allows you the flexibility to choose classes within all areas of any concentration. These concentrations give our students a unique benefit to focus in one field, rather than getting a general MBA

To recap and address the breakdown of the program, the MBA program consists of 36 credit hours, including 9 as electives. The timing of completing an MBA depends on you. You can take one class per term, completing in two years, or two per term, completing in one year. Very few students take two classes per term if they are working full-time because it is a rigorous program with high expectations and demands accordingly

Misty and I look for the best students for the program, which involves more than just looking at standardized testing. We look for work experience and motivation to complete the program. A GRE is not required, but a 2.75 GPA is required to be accepted into the program. We have worked with students with lower GPAs if an explanation is written

We work with many different types of MBA students, but there are some frequently asked questions that many of our candidates have. I have a few commonly asked questions on students' minds. So Misty, in your opinion, what are the three biggest benefits of the MBA program?

MISTY SALAZAR: Thanks, Kelly. I would say, first, our continual commitment to our mission core values and ethics. Our instructors are really passionate about what they teach, and they are practitioners in their industry. So I would say that would be our second. And then finally, becoming participants of a class with other students and faculty online, where you will experience and apply what you learn to your day-to-day work life.

KELLY CURTIS: What does an applied theory program mean to the student?

MISTY SALAZAR: Some examples would be that the instructors actually share with you what goes on in their organizations and ask you how you would solve specific issues that they had that day

In addition, they will share current events that reflect the day's lesson. I have instructors who do not use a text because they bring you live links that show you what they are teaching. Our instructors are creative and will supply you with what is current and what is going on today.

KELLY CURTIS: What does the capstone project entail?

MISTY SALAZAR: The final class is MGT 795, Business Policy and Ethics, where students will analyze cases and evaluate strategies to determine the company's effectiveness

In addition, students are required to select a Fortune 500 company and break down the strategies in each of the five core areas of the nine required classes

So for example, let's say you select Starbucks and choose human resources as one of your core areas. You will evaluate their current strategy within HR, which is employee satisfaction equates to customer satisfaction. Starbucks believes that, by ensuring employees are happy, their customers will, in turn, be happy

Employees of Starbucks are offered excellent benefits to include benefits for part-time and flexible schedules. Starbucks is able to retain their employees, therefore retain their customers. As a student, you will evaluate this strategy and make a recommendation accordingly. Each core area selected is evaluated within the company of your choosing once it is approved by the instructor.

KELLY CURTIS: What is the process for international candidates?

MISTY SALAZAR: If you're seeking a Master's degree in the United States or here at USM, there are a few steps you must go through. First, if English is not a first language, you must sit for the TOEFL exam. This is an English equivalency test

The next step would be having your international transcripts evaluated by World Education Services. To find out specific details on applying to USM as an international student, please reach out directly to a program manager for guidance

Now, I'd like to go through what the virtual online classroom looks like and how to navigate it

Our online learning platform is called Engage; similar to Blackboard if you've ever used that. As you can see, each week is broken down week one, week two, week three, et cetera. And within each week, you're going to see an overview, weekly content, such as what your learning objectives are, what your reading materials are-- and your weekly assignments

On the right, you will see a calendar where you can update where your assignments are. Your instructor's information will be at the top right, where you can email them directly. Any important announcements will pop up. And in each and every class, there will be important links and 24/7 help, should you need it

Now that you know the details of the program and what the classroom will look like for you, I would like to address, both Kelly and I, any unanswered questions our MBA students have for us

So if you could, please type your questions in the text box to the right for us to address. I will read the questions that were submitted during the presentation so that either Kelly or I can answer them for you. In the event that we cannot answer all of your questions within the allotted time limit this evening, one of our program managers is happy to chat with you after the open house. You can call the number listed there

So it looks like our first question for the evening is from Jamie. And Kelly, Jamie would like to know if there is any type of campus residency for our online MBA students.

KELLY CURTIS: That's a great question. There is no campus residency. The program is completely online, so there is no requirement to go to campus.

MISTY SALAZAR: Great. Thanks, Kelly. Next, Tyler would like to know if you can take a term off here and there, or if you have to go nonstop.

KELLY CURTIS: We are flexible in a number of different ways. We have mentioned that there is no set login times. We're also flexible in that you do not have to go term after term. So you can fit this into your family's needs, tuition reimbursement. We actually give students up to five years to graduate. It is there if you need it.

MISTY SALAZAR: Wonderful. All right, and it looks like John has another question. And Kelly, I'll go ahead and take this one

John would like to know what kinds of steps are required to get started here at USM. John, that's a wonderful question. We're happy to go over all of those details. You can also see here there's a link to complete the online application

In addition to the application, we're going to ask for a professional resume. We're also going to ask for a couple letters of recommendation, your transcripts, and an academic honesty agreement

In order to obtain those documents, you can reach out to us, and we can go over that information with you at the number listed there. It looks as if all of our questions have been addressed. For those of you who have any additional questions after our presentation, please contact the program manager directly at 877-307-4915. Or you can email us, at

We appreciate you joining us this evening. Kelly, do you have anything you'd like to add?

KELLY CURTIS: No, we look forward to working with any interested students.

MISTY SALAZAR: Wonderful. Everyone have a great night.