Online MBA Report recently spoke to Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Online MBA with Melissa T. Terrio, Director of Recruiting and Admissions. Worcester Polytechnic Institute focuses MBA on students with a STEM background and/or an intent to enter the STEM field.
What type of student typically enrolls in your online MBA program?
Students enrolling in the Blended MBA program at WPI are typically looking for a flexible MBA program that allows them to balance their busy professional and personal lives with a flexible and supportive MBA program. The attractiveness of the WPI MBA over other online programs is its blended format. Students get the flexibility of an online program with face to face instruction and student interaction every seven weeks on-campus.
WPI’s Foisie Business School offers a STEM MBA that focuses on project-based learning—do students work in a cohort?
While there is flexibility to complete the MBA outside of the cohort model we encourage students to work inside their cohort. The cohort model allows students to build strong connections and networks within their student community and those relationships last a lifetime. Our project based learning within the structure of the cohort model helps students to develop strong project management skills as well as excellent communication skills with classmates. It mirrors a real world project that you could realistically work on within your company or organization with colleagues and managers.
How do students in the online MBA program interact with faculty?
Our program is a blended format meaning that students do the majority of their program online with face to face teaching and interaction happening every seven weeks. This format allows students to not only have one on one and face to face interaction with their classmates but also with their professors.
The MBA is a blend of online and two required in-person classes each semester. What are the advantages of your blended approach?
The advantage of this delivery format is that it provides the flexibility of an online program with the essential benefits of face to face interaction with faculty, staff and students. The flexibility is paramount for our students juggling busy personal and professional lives but the seven week intervals of on campus interaction allows for lifelong connections, networking and relationship building.
What is unique about the structure of your online MBA program?
The blended format of our program, online classes with face to face instruction in seven week intervals, allows for flexibility for our students while still providing them with essential in person networking opportunities.
Tell us about the career services and professional resources that are offered to online MBA degree candidates?
Our Career Services Office is incredibly supportive of our MBA students providing them with guidance, networking opportunities and support should they be looking to change jobs or careers. Additionally, MBA students can expect a lot of career support from their faculty as well as from their student peers and alumni.
What companies typically recruit MBA’s from your program?
As our program is a part-time blended format our students are almost always employed at the time of enrollment and are not always seeking alternative employment. For more information on our Career Development Office and companies that have worked with our MBA students please visit the CDC office - https://www.wpi.edu/student-experience/career-development/majors/career-outlook/business-administration-mba
What advice would you give a prospective candidate for your online MBA program?
There is a misconception that online or blended master’s programs are “easier” than their on the ground counterparts. While it is true that you do not have the same obligation to get yourself to a physical location each week the academic expectations are the same and you will be committing a significant amount of time to your courses through class time, assignments, group work, and projects. The program will require strong time management skills.
Why should a prospective MBA candidate choose Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Foisie Business School?
The MBA at WPI is designed for STEM professionals. What this means is that we have built our MBA for students with either a STEM academic background or a STEM professional background. Additionally, our program is a perfect fit for anyone wishing to enter a STEM profession or a STEM based company or organization. We see students enter with strong academic STEM backgrounds such as engineering or technology but also excellent students who have other academic backgrounds but a strong desire to work for a STEM focused company. Either way, you will find the WPI STEM MBA to be a good fit for you and an excellent way to take that next step in your career.
The MBA at WPI offers fall admission only. If you wish to start the program earlier please contact the admissions office about enrolling in courses for spring as a non-matriculated student.
For information on GMAT/GRE test waivers please see the following link - https://www.wpi.edu/academics/business/graduate/getting-admitted
Thanks to Melissa T. Terrio for participating. For more interviews, check out our Online MBA Report Interview Series