We recently had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Howard Stern, Director of the MBA program at Carlow University about Carlow University's impressive online MBA program offerings, including the notable "Executive-in-Residence" program and the importance of a values-driving MBA to Carlow.
What type of student typically enrolls in your online MBA program?
The typical MBA student at Carlow University is well-balanced. They understand that there are many things that affect a business’ bottom line. Analyzing data and implementing strategies are important, and Carlow MBA students learn how to do that, but they also learn about ethics, values, and creating a workplace where respect for employees will pay big dividends. Carlow students also demand flexibility with their course offerings. That is why we offer most MBA courses both online and in-person.
Are students required to spend time on campus at Carlow?
Students at Carlow can take classes totally online, totally in-person, or take a combination of online and in-person. It’s really up to what format best fits a student’s life.
Do students work as a cohort or in another way?
Yes. They work in cohorts, and, in general, they move through the program with their cohort. Given the time demands of some students, however, we can accommodate their schedules and remaining in a cohort is not always necessary.
Given Carlow’s values-driven MBA, what can prospective students expect to learn as opposed to a traditional MBA?
In addition to the usual skills surrounding strategy and data analysis, Carlow students experience a values-driven program, with emphasis on collaboration, communication, ethics, and team building.
Carlow’s EIR (Executive-in-residence) program is a unique asset and opportunity for MBA students to learn. How can the online MBA students have an opportunity to interact with the EIR?
Carlow’s Executive-in-Residence program is a unique asset of our program, and I’m happy that you picked up on that. We take great care in choosing Executives-in-Residence who will be accessible and want to interact with our students. We always have the executive give a lecture that can be accessed both in-person or online, as well as providing opportunities for meetings inside and outside of class.
Carlow’s MBA programs include your Fraud and Forensics Concentration. What type of student are drawn to that program?
White collar crime and cyber crime is becoming more and more sophisticated. It’s important to understand how easily such crime can happen, and what steps every organization can take to protect itself. Nothing is foolproof, but it’s important to take steps to make fraud harder to get away with. That’s what we hope to impart to our students.
Your tagline is “Carlow’s Values-Driven MBA. Meaningfully Different”—how might that be a benefit to prospective graduate students? To graduates from your program?
Succeeding in business is not just about making the numbers fit. It’s also about making a good fit for people: for employees, for customers, for business partners from other organizations. That’s what we try to get across to our students.
How do students in the online MBA program interact with faculty?
There are live class sessions that students can access online. These sessions are archived so students can catch up if they must miss the live class due to other obligations. Faculty make themselves available through email, phone, or other types of messaging. Faculty have a goal to respond to every student within 24 hours of receiving that message. Most respond much sooner than 24 hours.
What is unique about the structure of your online MBA program?
I’m not sure the structure makes us unique. It’s more about the dedication of the faculty and the approach we take as a values-driven program. Even though a student may live hundreds of miles away, the Carlow faculty make a point to interact and communicate with the students on a regular basis. Given our level of interaction, many students don’t notice a difference between the in-person and online experience.
Tell us about the career services and professional resources available to online MBA degree candidates?
The office of Career Services at Carlow is responsive to students’ needs. The services in the first group are available to online students through individual online appointments. The second group contains additional services that realistically are more practical for students coming to campus for in-person classes. However, an online student who would travel to campus (or another location) for one of the Carlow-sponsored events would be welcome to participate.
Carlow University’s Office of Career Development offers the following services for students and graduates through individual appointments, workshops and class presentations:
· Resume and CV writing
· Cover letter writing
· Interviewing skills
· Informational interviewing
· Creating an individualized career path
· Job and internship search skills
· Using HANDSHAKE (career services management database)
· Review of online resources
· Researching organizations and companies
· Researching graduate programs
· Writing letters of intent for graduate admission
· Procuring references
· Negotiating job offers
· Creating a portfolio
· LinkedIn and networking
· Career interest assessments
· Identifying the right academic major
· Identifying the right career
· Creating a plan to get the job you want
· Mock interviewing and feedback
We sponsor and host both on and off campus career events including:
· Internship, service, job and graduate school fairs
· Workplace site visits
· Networking events
· Employer visits and presentations
· Career events by field of interest
· Networking with alumni
What advice would you give a prospective candidate for your online MBA program?
Honestly evaluate your strengths. What do you do well and what don’t you do well? Some people respond better to being in class on a regular basis. Others respond better to online programs that can provide more flexibility for when the work gets done. There is no single answer that is right for everyone. You have to determine the answer or the program that is right for you.
Thanks to Dr. Howard Stern for participating. For more interviews, check out our Online MBA Report Interview Series.