We recently spoke to Tracy Gojdics, MBA, Executive Director at University of Washington's Foster School of Business about their Hybrid MBA & Technology Management MBA Programs. The program is 95% online, and 5% on-campus, and offers a Cohort program.
What type of student typically enrolls in your online MBA program? Are many of them from the aerospace industry?
Students attracted to the Foster Hybrid MBA Program include working professionals seeking an MBA from a top-ranked school and University. Students come from a wide variety of industries (including aerospace, software, healthcare, retail, etc.) and professional backgrounds and have on average 10 years of work experience. Strong time management, proactive approach to learning, and the ability to collaborate and learn in an online environment are also typical – and required of our students.
Please describe how Foster MBA students work together: in a cohort or group projects?
The students in the Foster Hybrid MBA Program move through the program as a cohort for all business classes. Each student is assigned a study team at the start of the program and work with this assigned study team to complete various group projects, including case analyses, presentations, papers, and discussions. In the second year the students have the ability to take elective courses designed for the Hybrid MBA Program. The elective courses are mostly individual contribution, but may include times when students must work in assigned pairs to complete projects.
How do students in the Hybrid MBA Program interact with faculty? Faculty interaction is an important component of all MBA Programs at Foster.
Students in the Hybrid MBA Program have the benefit of having one-to-two in-person classes with each faculty member at the start of every quarter during their Immersions (4-5 consecutive days on campus). Additionally, students have Foster Live, our remote synchronous sessions via Zoom, every Tuesday at 6:00PM PST for 1-2 hours. Faculty is available for meetings outside of these times and many also hold office hours via Zoom. Lastly, they are available via email, Canvas and phone as needed.
Are the Hybrid MBA students required to spend time on campus each quarter? If so, what do these in-person experiences offer students?
The Hybrid MBA Program does include time on campus: each quarter students come to campus for 4-5 consecutive days for their Immersion. The in-person engagement is an important part of being a Foster MBA and having these in-person experiences is part of the Foster academic and student culture and important to building a network for life. During the Immersions students have 15-18 hours of course work, and networking and social activities, guest speakers, company visits and career management workshops.
What is unique about the structure of University of Washington Foster School of Business’s Hybrid (mostly online) MBA Program?
Our program is 95% online and 5% in-person, which makes our program structure unique. The “in-person” includes the quarterly Immersions (4-5 consecutive days on UW Seattle campus), and weekly synchronous Foster Live sessions with faculty members via zoom. These in-person and synchronous sessions create engagement with faculty, Foster and students that are so important to the learning, the network and the connections to the business community. While much of the program is delivered online, there are several extra-curricular speaker sessions, career management workshops and 1:1 coaching that takes place using technology.
Tell us about the career services and professional resources that are offered to online MBA degree candidates?
The Hybrid MBA Program students have access to 1:1 career coaching, workshops (in-person and via zoom), and access to in-person and virtual career fairs. We have two dedicated full-time career advisors on the program staff.
Can you share a short example or highlight of faculty achievement in the program?
The Hybrid MBA Program is fortunate to have several world-class faculty as part of its teaching roster. The faculty roster includes 13 tenured faculty, and five senior lecturers. A critical component of the MBA curriculum is leadership, and we are very fortunate to have one of the world’s pre-eminent leadership researchers, Bruce Avolio, teaching in the Hybrid MBA Program. Bruce teaches Leadership Development MGMT 501 in the Hybrid MBA Program.
Faculty Bio: Bruce J. Avolio, Ph.D.
Mark Pigott Chair in Business Strategic Leadership
Executive Director, Center for Leadership & Strategic Thinking
Michael G. Foster School of Business, University of Washington
Bruce was has published 12 books and over 150 articles on leadership and related areas. In 2017, Bruce was recognized as being among the top 70 most highly cited researchers in the United States in Economics and Business, and among the top 3,000 across all sciences around the globe (Thompson Reuters). He was listed this past year at the #18th spot on the all-time most highly cited industrial and organizational psychology researchers over the last 100 years.
Dr. Avolio has consulted with hundreds of organizations around the globe in Asia, Africa, South America, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, in the design and delivery of transformative leadership development systems. His current work focuses on how to design and implement what are called gamulations (part game and simulation) to foster and accelerate leadership and team development, as well as organizational transformation.
What companies typically recruit MBA’s from University of Washington Foster School of Business?
The Hybrid MBA Program does not have placement services, and we do not offer on-campus recruiting with employers; however we offer connections to hiring managers and alumni that can help navigate positions within companies. Our network of alumni and business connections is vast – in Seattle and beyond. Connections are also made during our in-person and virtual career fairs, which introduces employers to all MBA students.
What advice would you give a prospective candidate for your online MBA program?
I always tell prospective candidates to be sure that they can devote 20-25 hours a week to their learning. The program is intense with three classes (10 credits) per quarter.
Why should a prospective MBA candidate choose University of Washington Foster School of Business?
A prospective candidate should choose the UW Foster School of Business Hybrid MBA Program for several reasons:
1. The Foster School is a highly-ranked institution that is consistently in the top 10 for Public Universities in all major rankings publications.
2. Courses are led by world-renowned and award-winning faculty.
3. Connections to the vibrant Seattle business and entrepreneurial community.
4. Access to personalized career management resources, coaching, and workshops.
Thanks to Tracy Gojdics for participating. For more interviews, check out our Online MBA Report Interview Series.