Program Overview and Course Demo on Human Capabilities versus Dynamic Capabilities
Why should you choose GW for your healthcare MBA? What’s in the curriculum?
Hear from our panel on top questions about the program. Also get a sense of how one of our core courses: Foundational Management Topics in Healthcare is like.
Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy
Associate Teaching Professor in Management
Executive Director of International Council of Small Business (ICSB)
Senior Associate Director, Graduate Admissions
Assistant Director, Academic Advising and Administration
And we also have Jason Garner who is the Senior Associate Director of Graduate Admissions. He is an important member of the Admissions Review Committee and also oversees many aspects of the admission process.
Now last but not least I want to welcome Jeffery Peden, the Assistant Director of Academic Advising, he looks after the academic aspect of on campus and also online MBA programs, including the Online MBA Healthcare Program. So with today’s panel we will be able to share insights from different aspects of the program, and also address any questions you might have.
So just to go over the agenda for today. Jason will be going over the typifying questions, like I said the why GW. And then also Jeff will go over the curriculum structure, electives and also the certificate options as an overview. And then Dr. Tarabishy will take us into the course demo. And then Jason will then wrap up with admission process requirements, and some tips and insights. We will then also open up for any questions and – questions.
So now as I pass the presentation over, I welcome all the speakers to introduce yourself further so that our presentation – our participants can get to know you a little bit better before you begin your section. So maybe we will start with – we will be starting with Jason. Jason, I will pass it over to you.
Jason: Thanks so much. Hi everyone, thanks for joining today. This is Jason Garner in admissions as Annie mentioned. So I’ve worked at GW for about seven years now and I’ve worked on the Healthcare MBA Program the entire time that I’ve been here. So I’m one of the folks who is reviewing the applications that you submit and also chairing the committee that makes the decisions of who’s a good fit for the program.
So I’ll talk a little bit about what sets GW’s program apart, and then I’ll come back toward the end and talk a little bit about the admissions process. So if you’re interested in our program you can learn a little bit about what it is to apply and what we’re looking for in successful candidates.
So as you see here the School of Business here at GW we’re located right in downtown Washington DC, just a few blocks from the White House, the State Department, the IMF and the Word Bank, the World Health Organization. We’re just a few Metro stops away from the National Institute of Health. So we’re very much located in the Washington DC that you’re probably familiar with seeing.
So even in an online program we very much leverage all of the resources that we have around us on campus. DC is a very, very educated city, it seems like everyone one here has four more degrees than everybody else. So we very much take advantage of both the academic and the business culture that’s happening here, the cross-sections of business and policy, of non-profit, of private and of public spaces as well.
So you’ll see all of that mixed together within our School of business, within our curriculum and within our programs which I think makes us a really unique place to earn a Master of Business Administration.
We also have a very strong international and global focus. We recruit students from all around the world. We have faculty and staff from all around the world as well, and DC itself is a very, very international city along with that. So here you see there’s quite a few opportunities for students to get some international experience during the program. This is open to all students in all programs.
We have some short term abroad that typically are one to two weeks. They usually happen over winter break, spring break or at the beginning of the summer. So you don’t have to miss a class that you’re currently taking or try to juggle your online class on top of this international trip. So it’s a chance for students to get some face to face interaction and to also get some global experience.
Some of them are GW courses taught by GW faculty just in international locations, some of them are exchange partnerships we have with various top business schools around the world, and some of them are client based. So some students will do some consulting based initiatives and some client visits to actually get some international experience as well. The topics will vary, but some of them have definitely been and will continue to be healthcare industry focused.
I myself did the part time program here and graduated a few years ago. In the study abroad program that I did, I spent a week in Mexico City. We were at IPADE, which is the Mexican business school there in the capital city, and there were students from all over different MBA programs and a few of our Master of Science programs as well. So we had part time and full time, we had executive and online, we had healthcare and we had a few from our MS programs which really was a great experience to have some interaction and some classes with students that I wouldn’t typically see within the classroom.
It was also exciting to be in an international location and to learn more about how business was conducted in that market and how it’s very different from anything that we’ve experienced here in the U.S. before. So without further ado, I’m going to turn it over to Professor Tarabishy.
Annie: But before that actually, we’re going to have Jeff for the curriculum just so then we can go into the –
Jason: Sorry about that.
Annie: No worries. And Jeff, over to you.
Jeffery: Alright. Thank you everybody. So hi, my name is Jeff Peden. I, as kind of stated earlier, I work with the academic advising. So I’ve been with GW for six years, I’ve been at the School of Business for the last two. I kind of supervise a team of myself and three academic advisors, one of which started two weeks ago, or I guess last week, so very new. And I will be going over the Healthcare MBA curriculum.
So as you’ll see on the slide, overall the MBA is 65.5 credits. It’s divided into sort of three large areas. Kind of as an overview the curriculum is very much sort of focused on the kind of core of business administration, and then it offers healthcare sort of focused electives and kind of broader general electives to allow you to further tailor the courses that you’re taking towards your interest, your career goals etc.
Looking at the requirements in specific, so that kind of first section is the core course requirements. It ranges from – I mean it’s basically covering the sort of standard, the common core curricula that you have in an MBA. For business administration it’s looking at finance, accounting, marketing etc.
Moving down. So the healthcare focused electives, this is a section that really sort of tailors this towards healthcare. So what we’ve done is we’ve partnered with the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and we have a wide variety of courses that focus in on the healthcare electives. It allows you to take the core that you are using, where you’re getting the sort of business administration core and then you’re also getting healthcare focused courses where you can start using that core business administration content towards a healthcare focus.
Then moving down the final section are the general electives, and so here actually is quite broad. These general electives can be more of those healthcare focused courses from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, they can be additional business focused courses from here in the School of Business, additional courses from say accountancy, from management, from marketing and even courses from outside of the School of Business. So for example they could potentially be courses from the School of Law, from the Elliott School of International Affairs, the Milken School of Public Health.
Now with these courses, so in addition to just the core curriculum we also have our – a number of certificates that you can complete that are healthcare focused. So before I kind of move to that list, I want to point out so these healthcare focused electives what you can do is those courses from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences correspond with the number of certificates they offer.
So when you’re taking those courses you can focus them in on the same courses that complete the certificates and they will actually – they will sort of double count for the two. So you’re not taking additional credits to complete a certificate, you are using those healthcare focused electives that will also complete a certificate. So let’s look at those certificates.
Alright, so here are the certificate options that are offered through the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. They start with clinical research administration, which is basically kind of running – the sort of administrative end of running research. Research practice, which is the practice of doing research. Looking at clinical and transitional research, so it’s basically for those looking to broaden their interest in transitional research capabilities.
The next one is healthcare quality, so it was developed in essence to meet sort of demand of like with the quality and patient safety, areas like that, competence and sort of growing and sustaining continuous improvement in the healthcare quality that you’re delivering. And then finally regulatory affairs, which is of course – well I mean it’s actually pretty straightforward, so it’s looking very focused at the regulatory affairs.
And so with that as a broad overview of both the MBA curriculum and then the healthcare certificates that can accompany the MBA curriculum, I will shift over to Dr. Tarabishy. He is going to, if I recall correctly, he’s going to sort of give a sort of basic presentation or basic overview of what one of these courses might look like.
Dr. Tarabishy: Great, thank you. Thank you everybody, thank you Jeff and thank you. So let’s start. Let me just continue to the next slide to see where we are right here. Alright, so my name is Professor Ayman El Tarabishy and I teach in the online and the Healthcare MBA Program here. So you’ll have me on both programs here. And I’m delighted to be here and actually this is a fun topic that I wanted to share with you. And I know I have about 30 minutes to speak on it so maybe then we can open up for some questions as well.
So here is kind of a sample session that we might be going over in our classrooms. So what will happen is we’ll be sending you an email saying here’s your next synchronized session, so you put into your calendars and then get your coffee or tea or water and kind of sit, and then we’ll meet together online and then we’ll have these slides up in our blackboard format. And then we’ll basically spend the next 45 minutes to an hour discussing these topics and theories, and get a conversation going.
So let me go to the next slide here. So the title of the session today is Human Capabilities versus Dynamic Capabilities, an Analysis of Various Strategic Models. And what I’d like to do here is take you through both and kind of explain to you how both tie to you personally and also how they tie to your learning and your educational journey.
So human capabilities. It’s an interesting two word combination here, taking the human side and saying what are your human capabilities in achieving the following tasks or duties or responsibilities, and we can list them. You know some of you might be excellent in mathematics, some in science, some in written skills, some in sports, some in strategy games.
Whatever it is you can basically sit down and jot what you’re good at and what you’re not good at and say to yourself, “Well that’s great, this is why I joined a sports team when I was young or I joined a debate team because these are the capabilities that I kind of born with”. But some also you developed.
But what about dynamic capabilities, what about from an organizational perspective, right. Can they actually build and create dynamic capabilities, are they always relate it to human capabilities or are they two separate things?
So an overview of this and a discussion of all of this, we look at it from a resource based view. And what I mean by a resource based view is kind of like an economics viewpoint and saying well what resources do we have available, you know what do you have now in front of you or the organization it has in front of you or you personally. You know do you have enough money, do you have enough skills, do you have enough experience, do you have enough knowledge.
And you say to yourself, “What are the resources that I have now that will differentiate me or make me better or not, or less from other people”. So we’re looking at it from a resource perspective right, and what we’re talking about here is also in consideration of kind of like factors for production, you know what are the resources or the outputs available for production.
So from the start in a classroom or an educational standpoint, we will take a theory like this and say, “Okay, they’re talking about human capabilities and dynamic capabilities, we have no idea what this all means so what is the professor trying to explain here”.
The first part I’m saying, well you know there are human capabilities, everybody has them. Look around you in your office, look around you at home, around with your family and you can sit down and say what each person is good at and what each person is not good at. But then look at the company itself, the organization itself, your family, yourself and ask yourself this question, what are we good at as a family, what are we good at as a company and is there differences and what are these differences.
So then you say to yourself well let’s look at the resources, let’s see what we have first of all available to us, right. So and we go through this in a different format here. We look at it from a couple of ways here right, is what are resources? We throw this word out saying, “What are resources”, so let’s explain exactly what we mean by resources.
Well resources have kind of three different aspects to it, right. There’s special production inputs. So you take resources and you’re going to put them through a machine or a process and you get outputs of them. So in companies, resources become a very distinctive capability. That means that depending on the resources they have, they differ from other companies. Think of them as Legos, the best analogy I can give you here.
You know there’s a lot of Legos laying around but the way you combine them together you can start creating different outputs, right. You can create different spaceships, you can create different monsters, whatever it is, think of your kids, right. It depends on how you put the Legos together and the colour and the combination and the strategy, then you start creating things here.
So resources may be conceived as a tangible or intangible asset, right. So first one is tangible. You can touch it, feel it, manipulate it, that’s a resource that you can actually manoeuver. The intangible gets a little bit complicated, right. How can you have an intangible resource, and if we were in a session I would ask this question and then sit silent there for one or two minutes as you write kind of the different answers that you can think of.
So knowledge might be an intangible resource. You know we’ve heard this expression before, knowledge is power. So what about knowledge? People know things that is in their implicit minds. That they’re not actually sharing and writing but they know how to get things done, you just need to ask them and actually be very nice to them so they can give you these intangible resources. We bend to it, right.
You go around in circles and circles and circles and it’s taking you forever to accomplish a task, but if you just ask the right person, right, and if this person liked you, voila you get your task accomplished. That’s the intangible resource. And what we’re talking about here is companies, organizations, if they’re able to capture both the tangible and the intangible resources, what they have – what they create basically is what we call a distinctive capability. They are different.
Now, let me ask you this question. What about your company, what about your organization, what are your distinctive capabilities based on the resources that you have available.
Next slide. Okay, so a couple of things. Sustainable competition, or basically advantages, rises from these companies that are able to keep these distinctive resources different from other groups, okay. I can give you many examples here but we all know them here. Why is Apple always on the edge of innovation, why are they always distinct from every other company, phone company out there or computer company out there.
What about Tesla, right. What are they creating now? Actually Tesla is no longer a car company, they’ve kind of basically switched their mission to being a power company. They’re about new forms of energy. Now they’re saying, “Oh we’re all about energy so please don’t consider us as just a car company here, what we’re bringing to the consumers here is an alternative method for utilizing safe and clean energy”.
And in a way this is kind of how they all built themselves, the successful companies how they built themselves is they created distinctive resources that differentiate them from the regular organizations.
So my question to you, what’s so distinct about you, what’s special about you, what distinctive resources do you bring to the table that make you different than other individuals, let’s say applying for a job or staying in a job, right, and how does GW fit into this picture. What are the resources that you’re looking at from GW that can accompany you to the next level and that’s the conversation that we will have in our classroom, but also in other classrooms as well.
Go to the next slide. Alright, so I like this, I like this graphic, this comic here because it’s all about evolution, right. If we’re talking about resources and moving forward we actually have to take a couple steps back and talk about evolution, how we evolved through time. So we look at evolutionary economics and it’s a distinct field of study by the way, right, and it’s basically a discipline and it falls under the discipline of economics but also has different iterations of it here.
But the word evolutionary itself broadly refers to the property of individuals within a population that changes basically over time, their features change over time. So how have you evolved in your current career or in the marketplace? The millennials are coming in, how do you feel, how do you measure up, what’s so distinct about you versus other groups or cohorts coming into this marketplace of knowledge workers.
The other point here is evolutionary economics which is very key here, right. Basically it’s we’re studying the dynamics, things change, things don’t stay static, continuously are changing. Heck we’re doing a webinar right now and we’re in four different locations right, and yet we’re doing a PowerPoint online, if you believe it or not. But the mechanism has changed, the evolution has changed and we’re trying to put it all concisely in about 45 minutes worth of time.
In the old days you would have had to drive down, park your car, spend an hour just getting to GW, right, from all the different logistics and then spend another hour and then another hour to get home, we’re talking about three hours’ time. And now because of the importance of time we’re at a 45 minute spell.
So let’s talk about this, you know the evolution of the firm and from a resource based perspective, but also from a strategy perspective. And these are basically the usual suspects that we can talk about all the time, Darwin, Schumpeter and [unintelligible 00:22:23] and Boulding. My personal favourite is Schumpeter. I come from the school of economics, I come from the strategy field so Schumpeter basically is my hero and he’s kind of disrupted things. So I’m going to focus on him more in this session, but we can probably talk about the other ones in other sessions as well.
So what is Schumpeter saying? Basically Schumpeter basically has built his theory or a lot of books have kind of worked on his theory, he was actually an economist and he was the first one to raise the concept of disruption, right. And this is a famous book, one of my favourite books here, it basically talks about contemporary rules of evolutionary economics, but a lot of it has to do with basically disruption, right. And this is where I switch to a story mode.
If I ask every single one of you to tell me your routine every day, what do you do in the morning every day getting ready to work. You’d probably go like this, “I wake up, make breakfast, I get ready for school, get the kids get ready for school, right. Get in the car, I drive to school, I look at my calendar and I shake my head with all the meetings that there is and I get to the office, do emails, go into meetings” right, and that’s basically a typical routine for you.
Think of it as companies as well. Companies are in the business of routines, right. That’s why there is bureaucracy right, they know what they’re doing and they basically keep repeating it over and over and over again, right. Routines they think create efficiencies, right. They kind of systemize everything.
But at the same time routines become so predictable that innovation gets snuffed out. Why do you want to change this routine, why do you want to change you know what you want to drink for coffee every morning and which Starbucks you go to. You know you’ve figured it out, now you don’t need to think about it anymore. It’s just a routine, a regular routine and this is the problem. This is the biggest problem that organizations are facing is routines. They basically keep repeating themselves until they get out of – go out of business.
Examples and these are my favourite examples here, Kodak for instance. Kodak knew exactly what they were in the business of. They knew that they were monopolizing the market, they knew that everybody was using their cameras and they were going to print them and so on. And yet sitting in the other building, in the digital building or in the innovation building a new technology on how to take digital pictures.
But the executives and CEOs sitting in Kodak in a meeting said, “Why are we going to change our routine, why are we going to change the way we do business if this is making us money. Why are we going to start looking into digital photography, right, as a new method of income that basically we’re killing our regular business”. So they left this technology on the shelf for years.
We’re not talking two or three years, they knew about it since the 1950s but they never touched it. Why? Because they were doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing, you know creating efficiencies in the routines that they were programed to do and their bonuses, their salaries and their promotions were based on efficiencies on these routines.
If I ask every single one of you why are you in this webinar, it’s not because it’s a routine. You’re looking at a different routine and that gets really interesting now, kind of like BlackBerry. You know BlackBerry fell in the same trap as Kodak. They had the technology of an iPad, they called it the PlayBook, sitting there for 15 years. They knew, they had it ready to go, they never acted on it until Apple came, right.
So the biggest problem organizations have and the biggest obstacles individuals have is breaking out of a routine. So how do we do this, what’s the method, what’s the mechanism and if we focus on healthcare it becomes very interesting and this is one of the main topics on the healthcare class is what are the current routines that hospitals, physicians, clinicians, administrators continue to follow in the healthcare industry, right, and why can’t they move out of it.
Most of the time what we hear is well it’s because it’s just the way we did things, but that’s not good enough anymore, right. This is when the concept of customer comes in, well we know he’s a patient or she’s a patient but they’re also a customer and if we talk from a business perspective, customers have a whole different way of looking at things. They want basically speed, they want personalization, right, they want price, right, and they want convenience, right.
So if you have a patient walking in, that patient is looking at you from two different lenses. One lens saying, “I’m not feeling well or I don’t feel well so you need to take care of me as a patient, but at the same time I’m also a customer right, so how are you going to handle me as a customer as well”. And healthcare professionals are saying, “Well wait a minute, we didn’t – we’re not used to this. We’re used to the routine of you’re a patient and you just stay a patient and don’t talk to us about you being a customer because you’re not a customer”, and they’re saying, “Hold on, yes we are customers now”
Now this is why we get – now you get to see your doctors via Skype, this is where you can actually do all your online reservation, registration or scheduling your doctor and all that stuff via online, you don’t even have to call in anymore. Actually they send you a text message, if you need to they send you an address, your prescriptions can actually be automated to be sent to your pharmacy.
Routines are starting to be broken and the reason for this is very simple in one way, and it’s because the way we move now is you either evolve or you perish, and this is where the concepts of dynamic capabilities comes in. What are your dynamic capabilities in achieving these successes, right?
So one way of doing it, one method of achieving these dynamic capabilities, this whole new concept of what we call a disruption, right, disruptive innovation. And the way it works, and I think if I ask you in a poll in a webinar that we do in the classroom, I’ll probably pull up a poll and say how many of you have heard of disruptive innovation or disruption or creative disruption.
And one third will say, “I have no clue what you’re talking about and where did you come up with these words, are you making them up”, one third of you saying, “Oh yes I’ve heard it, never really knew what it meant” and one third saying, “I know exactly what you’re talking about, I like the topic, tell me more”. So and this what we typically get in the classroom. So let’s break it down into a common denominator in which we all can understand what is a disruption.
Disruption is very simple and it’s a tricky way of thinking about it here, so I’ll basically give you an example of it. Most of you if I say maybe 10 years ago right, most of you, 90% of you would have if you traveled on vacation or if you went to a special event, your kid’s birthday, graduation, you would be carrying a camera, right.
All of you will be carrying your camera and your phone which used to be a Nokia or a Samsung, right, and the phone was just for you to make phone calls. And the rest was basically you would have your nice camera, SLR camera or if you don’t want to carry something heavy, you’ll carry a digital camera and kind of like a point and shoot camera, five megapixel, four megapixel, seven megapixel depending on how much you want to spend. And you were a happy camper, you know you have your camera, you have your phone and you’re ready to go.
Then somebody said, “Let’s put a little camera on the phone” and the people said, the engineer said, “Well yeah we can put a camera on the phone but it’s so bad that nobody’s going to use it”, “Like sure we understand, just put the camera on the phone and see what happens”. So they put the little one megapixel camera in the phone and you’d pull it out once in a while, look at it saying, “Who uses this”.
But once in a while, once in a blue moon you’ll take out your phone and you’ll take a picture with the one megapixel camera. And then you would go buy a new phone maybe six months later, a year later and now that little camera is three megapixels and you say, “Hmm it’s not bad, it’s getting a little bit better”.
And then you buy a new phone and now it’s five megapixels and you say, “Well wait a minute, that’s good enough, it’s five megapixels. It’s kind of like my old digital camera but now I don’t have to carry two things I can carry one thing which is my phone, and look at this, I can actually take a picture and send it to someone else via email or I can send it via text”.
This is when the disruption happened. The concept of good enough, when it was good enough for you to replace something more expensive, right, that you said, “It’ll work, it’ll work enough for me” and the disruption started to happen. And now if I ask you the same question, how many of you carry a digital camera to any of these events, maybe one in a hundred. All of you will say, “No I have my phone. You know I have my iPhone, I have my android phone, I have” whatever phone you have.
Only the ones that are hobbyists, that really want to take pictures, fancy pictures with their high-end cameras will actually take a camera with them. But that’s a low percentage. Most of us now use our phones for cameras and also believe it or not music, right. We just plug in our music there, put our headphones on and we no longer carry Walkmans or iPods, and all that stuff. Everything is a one stop deal. Again it goes back to customers, convenience, speed, personalization and price.
So as an example here in this graph that you see here, with time right, a low technology that can be introduced, that can break a routine, can eventually build up to replace existing routines, right. Kind of like the music industry, live music, then we switched to records, then CDs, then iTunes. What’s next, what’s the next disruption? What’s good enough for us for next, right?
And in our classroom, in my classroom but also other faculty in their classroom, we talk about this. We talk about breaking routines down, disrupting routines and analyzing them from a different perspective, from a strategy perspective, from a leadership perspective, from an accounting perspective, from a finance perspective and we put you in the middle and we tell you to start learning the language of business.
Learning the language of applying theory and practice together and applying it to your career and work, but also in my classes at least, to your personal life, right. What are you – what are the things that you say are good enough for you now and how can you make them better, right? Do you want to learn the language of finance, well do you know what NPD stands for, do you know how to do a mathematical equation to look at the valuation of a firm.
I don’t need you to be experts because that will take many years for you to learn to be an expert in this domain. But what you need to know is how to be good enough to sit there saying, “You want to value this company, well there are four methods of doing it. I don’t know exactly how to do all of them but I pretty much understand the methods of doing it. You can do cash flow, you can look at your income statement, you can look at actually past companies that were sold” and we can do a combination of three or four of them and that could get you pretty much a valuation of the company.
Another example I like to use here is basically the storage industry, and this is actually Christiansen’s work that his dissertation from Harvard was on, on storage companies, right. I don’t know how many of you remember the floppy drive? I do remember the floppy drive. And then we had the 3.5 disk and then the CD and then the thumb drive and how iCloud, and I’m in love with iCloud. Everything that I do is in iCloud but I still have these like you know thumb drives just in case the iCloud blows up, right. I’m like at least I have something more that I can store my desk here.
But again, good enough. I think Bill Gates one time said nobody would want more than 500 MB worth of storage, and now we’re close to I think with iCloud it’s one terabyte. I don’t know what’s next after one terabyte, but it’s interesting kind of how much storage we need here.
Let me continue with the other slide. This is another one here, from printing to the iPad. And again these routines keep breaking, we keep disrupting them. But it has to come down to two points, the dynamic capabilities of a firm which is basically what I call the explicit knowledge that they know, but also the implicit knowledge that they can share with other individuals.
So here’s where I see us moving forward in. The fundamental question and I’ll stop here and then kind of open it up for questions, maybe I’ll do two more slides then I’ll open up for questions here, is the question I ask you here, right. You either disrupt your routines now and start kind of looking at yourself from a different perspective saying what are the skillsets that I need and what is it about the explicit knowledge that I need to acquire, but also the time I need to build my implicit knowledge, right.
And that’s what I call the tacit knowledge and basically you’re taking time off from your daily routines, kind of rebuilding your skillset and that’s an investment. And so it’s not a chore, it’s not a task, it’s an investment for the next level. So disrupt or be disrupted basically is it’s kind of like the point I’d like to share with you all.
So here is some of the disruptions I think that are coming, right. I’m a Star Trek fan and I think in one of those episodes he was looking at this kind of board and this is from like 20 years ago, right, and this is basically an idea of what is the iPad today. And the other one here is kind of how you see things that implies creativity, and actually I do teach a class online on creativity and innovation and the difference between both.
But here are my takeaways on dynamic capabilities and where human capabilities are coming in. One is we hear about it all over the place, is a self-driven car, right. This is coming and it’s coming very fast so something to watch out for and kind of where do you fit in in this industry.
And the second one is more on the internet of things and we see it from all of the place. Believe it or not the Google glasses failed but that’s exactly what Google wanted you know in its Google X projects is fail, fail fast. But the Google glasses are going to come back up again and they’re coming back from a different format and I’ll explain to you in a minute here.
They come in the form of contact lenses and this is where the future is coming in now, and this is healthcare actually, a whole new domain for healthcare. And instead of – for individuals with diabetes, for individuals that have – that continuously need to check their blood sugar levels and stuff like that, actually there’s research now that’s showing that you actually can measure all of this using your eye lenses, your eyes basically.
So eventually if you can imagine you can put a contact lens on that have basically technology in them that will measure your sugar level and if it’s low basically it calls your phone or sends a text message to your phone and tells you, or an email tells you, “Oh by the way, you’re low, you need to do something about it”. And if you don’t respond within half an hour it sends you another reminder, and if you don’t respond in that time it sends a message to your mom or your wife or your husband, and then they get after you and then you’re in trouble. So but it’s coming so watch out.
The other one is basically internet access or Wi-Fi for everyone. You know I know Facebook, I know Google, a lot of people are working on this, but the more we get connected, the more routines are going to be broken in the sense of how we do things. And I’ll give you a personal example.
I do a lot of work both at GW but also on other projects, and I was just telling a colleague of mine that in the last you know five years most of my work was done via email. I think 90 – like 70% or 80% of my work was done via email and correspondence. And then I added a good enough technology, WhatsApp, right, and I have these phone numbers of these individuals and their cell phones.
So little by little I started switching to having conversations about things that we needed to work on via WhatsApp, which is basically an SMS just in a little bit advanced system. Now almost a year and a half into it I think I do about 30% to 40% of my work on WhatsApp and less on email. It’s good enough.
It’s actually I write less text messages, we quickly come to a conclusion and we are – the speed is incredible, I don’t have to wait three, four hours to get a response. I don’t have to sit and craft a response. It’s quick, two or three sentences maximum. Three sentences is actually too long to send, and if we need to talk we call each other. That’s a routine changer, but it’s good enough, right.
So again these are the types of discussions that we have in our classroom, especially in the introductory healthcare class is that we start kind of mapping out some of the new disruptions that are happening and where you fit in.
And the last one and I’ll stop here, is basically just a picture I like, right, because at the end you actually have to enjoy this new routine and if you don’t, if you think it’s mandatory then you won’t do that well, you know. So I urge you guys to kind of sit down, plan it properly, talk to your loved ones, talk to work, talk to everyone in saying, “I’m changing my routine for the next two years and it requires everybody’s support”.
And I usually do this, but when my healthcare and [unintelligible 00:41:53] students graduate and they bring their significant others I congratulate their significant others on the graduation and not them, because these are the ones that sacrificed and kind of stood by you while you went through this journey. So I’ll stop here and then we can maybe open up for questions. Annie?
Annie: Yeah for sure. If you have – actually I’m going to maybe take this approach where if you guys have any questions for Dr. Tarabishy and also from the beginning of our webinar where we talked about the curriculum and also the certificate options, and also why GW, feel free to submit them now into Q&A and also the group chat. While Jason, if you don’t mind going through the admission process just so that everyone here gets a sense of what is expected from requirements, and if you have any insights or tips as to who you’re looking for from a successful candidate.
Jason: Sure thing. So here’s a list of our application requirements. This particular program begins in the fall, spring and summer semester, so that means in August, January and May. We have an online application form. Typically we have a $75 application fee, but as a thank you for attending today’s webinar we will waive that application fee.
We accept both the GMAT or the GRE, we also consider students for waivers who have more than seven years of full time professional work experience, who have significant military background or who are USMLE board certified physicians. We typically waive the GMAT for those folks.
We also take a look at all of your university level transcripts, so we will take a look at how you’ve performed academically. We look not just at the overall number, but also the individual courses that you took, what the major was and in the context of where you went to school, and when you went to school and for what.
We look at your résumé. We look at both the quality and the quantity of your work experience. We’re typically looking for both – a little bit of a healthcare background, whether you’ve had some exposure to the healthcare fields. And so specifically will be talking about these topics in our classroom for this particular program. We typically also look that you have some work experience to bring to classroom discussions and be able to contribute to what the faculty member is presenting in the theories and frameworks that are a part of the course.
We also want you to have a little bit of context for things to stick to. So when you’re learning for different concepts, we want you to have a little bit of background knowledge that you can apply it to.
We ask for two letters of recommendation. We prefer that at least one of those come from your current supervisor, the other one can come from a client, a former manager or a colleague. Typically it should be someone who knows you fairly well and can speak to you in a professional manner.
We ask for two essays. Typically we want to know why you’re looking to do this program and what you hope to get out of it, and a little bit more about you. In the essays I strongly encourage students to really be themselves and to be honest about who you are and what you’re looking for in the program. So don’t feel that you need to tell us what you think we want to hear, it’s really an opportunity in the application to hear your voice and get to know you.
Another piece of the application, your test scores and your experience and your recommenders will literally say things about you and this is an opportunity for you to speak for yourself.
We do have an optional essay. So in the event that there’s something in your application that you think would raise an eyebrow or a red flag, maybe there’s an anomaly, there’s a gap in your work experience, maybe one semester your grades really suffered for a particular personal reason, anything that you think needs some additional explanation that’s where we would ask you to put that is in the optional essay.
Be reminded that it is optional, don’t think that you have to fill that space. It’s certainly no penalty to you for leaving it blank. If you don’t have anything else additional to say, that’s certainly alright with us.
And for international students we’ll typically look for a TOEFL or an IELTS. There are certain countries from which that is waived or if you did your undergraduate or at least a two year graduate degree in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Australia for example. If you have any specific questions about whether or not you qualify for a TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT or GRE waiver you should reach out to your enrollment advisor and speak to them about that.
We’re still accepting some applications for the fall semester and you see there the classes will begin on August the 29th.
Annie: Thank you Jason. And thank you everyone for a great presentation today. And again if you have any questions on the topic of the course that Dr. Tarabishy presented today, or any comments, do share with us. Or if you have any questions about the admissions or about the curriculum itself, also share that with us in either the group chat or the Q&A box that’s in front of you there.
While everyone is taking their time to kind of typing in their questions, I do have a couple of questions that are often popular or common in terms of what’s brought up during the webinar or even through the advisors. So one thing is given that our degree is online, does the degree – like when they graduate, does the degree certificate itself say or reference online? Perhaps Jason and maybe Jeff could speak to this?
Jason: That’s a great question Ani, it does not. So this is the same AACSB accredited Master of Business Administration program that’s offered by GW. It’s a different format, a different modality but it’s the same degree, the same curriculum, the same course work and the same calibre of faculty and program that you would have with any of our other full time, part time, online, on campus. It’s really just different facets of the same exact program. So it’s not a specific designation that makes it different than any of the other MBAs that we offer.
Annie: Thank you. And then going back to another question that often comes up is about, Jason, what you’ve kind of spoken to about the recommendation letters. Like there’s usually a question about is there an outline that’s utilized for the letter of recommendation or is it entirely up to the writer to just write anything?
Jason: There are prompts on the website. So as you go through the online application there will be two essay prompts that will specifically ask you what to write. We ask that you follow the directions, as I mentioned tell us about who you are and what you’re looking for and don’t necessarily focus on what you think we want to hear. Be yourself, be genuine and follow the guidelines that are there. If we say 750 words, we don’t necessarily count them but we’re not looking for 7,500 words either.
Annie: And then somebody is talking about the time for the program and I think it really depends on the person. So Jeff I’m going to go back and have you answer – or not answer, but maybe provide more insight in terms of how the roadmap will look like for somebody who will be taking on the MBA program as of this fall for example, and especially given that there’s options of the certificates now how would that look like, just so then people can get a sense of how the roadmap is like.
Jeffery: Yeah. So I would say typically students who are doing the Healthcare MBA Program are doing it at a part time pace, so that is roughly six credits per semester. Doing it at that pace it would take three years. That’s including fall, spring and summer semesters. And if you were to tack on a certificate, that would take exactly the same time since within your healthcare elective credits you would be taking the same courses that would be designated for the certificate. So you’re not adding on time by doing the certificate.
You could speed that pace up by going full time, depending on sort of your work commitments, family commitments, other sort of commitments. If you’re able to dedicate the time to go full time you can probably move that up into a two year timeframe. You might be say two years and a semester, just sort of depending on how it ends up mapping out. But I would say on average it’s going to be somewhere between two and three years.
Annie: Thank you. And I’m just going to go back to the slide on the certificates just in case anyone has any questions specific to the certificates. Now somebody – I think it’s specific to the person, so Mario is asking about I guess just how would you weigh somebody academically versus like their work experience? In the process is there any like tips or anything, yeah?
Jason: So typically within the work experience we’re looking for some growth within a particular industry, some increased responsibility. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve managed people, although we look for that as well. But maybe you’ve managed projects or budgets, you’ve sort of taken on some more senior level things and taken on additional things in your role.
Time can heal some wounds in terms of academics. We understand that perhaps who you were in the classroom at 22 is different than who you’ll be in the classroom at 32 or 42 or beyond. So if you were a great undergraduate student back then we’d expect that you’d be – you know be able to perform academically now. If maybe your grades weren’t quite as great as you’d hoped, we’ll look for ways that you’ve grown within your career and particularly demonstrated some leadership and some quantitative skills that you’d be able to bring to the classroom.
It’s not uncommon for students in this program to have been out of school for 10 or 15 years prior to coming back to this program. It’s not uncommon for students to be fairly senior in their careers and they’re looking to take that next step, or maybe they’ve already taken that next step and they’re looking to get a little bit of formal training to kind of fill in some of the gaps of where they’ve been put in their career at the moment.
So it’s certainly not uncommon for students to have quite a few years of post-undergraduate experience prior to matriculating into the Healthcare MBA.
Annie: Thank you. Now the next question I have is around – I know it’s like five – actually 2:56 Eastern Time, but there are a couple of folks who are asking about time commitment or time management, what that looks like per week maybe. Dr. Tarabishy and Jeff if you could speak to a little bit of that in terms of what’s the expectation or how they can navigate or balance really their full time work and also the school?
Dr. Tarabishy: And so who do you want – do you want me to go first? The way I would do it is for every class, at least in my classes, I say you need to spend at least an hour a week in my class. Aside from the online sessions that we do, spend at least a minimum of an hour and increase it as the course builds up, right. So you plan accordingly. There are readings, there are assignments, there are group meetings. But a minimum of an hour is committed, it can go up to two or three hours depending on what you’re doing here.
But again, it’s kind of how you set your routine up here, you know. For instance I have weekly blocks, you know. I send out readings every week so now you can say to yourself, “Well I’m going to read this, I’m going to read the newspaper, I’m going to read this, I’m going to watch this and I’m going to do this”.
Now you need to start compromising, saying, “Well you know Dr. Tarabishy sends us an article that’s between four to 10 pages every week so my routine now is he usually sends it in the morning, every Monday morning so I’ll basically print it out, have it ready at lunch, I’ll grab the article and start reading it. By Tuesday I should have finished reading it and he wants a blog reply by no later than Thursday, so I’ll craft, start crafting my outline for the response Wednesday morning and then by Thursday I’ll sit at my desk or sit at home and spend 45 minutes to an hour to put a response”.
That’s basically how it works. So if you are at work, you are doing different things, you just need to start planning things together. In other courses from what I understand is there might be a group project so you need to set up a Skype call or do a chat and you say okay let’s do it around that period of time or let’s schedule it at that time. Kind of managing different expectations in different groups, but a lot of it, the success of it all is how you organize yourself and how you organize with other people as well.
But more importantly, and this is very important and I say this in my sessions, life happens. You got slammed at work, you know kids are sick, things just go crazy and you need to manage many multiple things. This is where you communicate with your faculty, you communicate with your team members and you communicate with the MBA office because it is an ecosystem of sorts.
If you let us know and you let your team mates know and you let the MBA office know, then it becomes manageable because we’re all on the same page. Because it happens to everybody, not just you. Everyone goes through the same thing and this is where you manage your expectations and just make sure that everybody is on the same page.
And again you know speed is relative, right. And so if you want to finish fast there’s more sacrifices, if you want to take your time and kind of do it and enjoy family time as well then you need to set your expectations, right.
Jeffery: So I can’t add too much. This is Jeff. Yeah, so I can’t add too much to what Dr. Tarabishy said. Part of the question asked about the flexibility of the time commitment during the week. So as Dr. Tarabishy noted, you know the classes often have a sort of like meet once a week one hour timeframe where you’re kind of coming together as a class. Beyond that, you know unless there’s say a group project or a deadline, the time is very flexible. So if you need to sit down and do the class at three in the morning because of your other commitments, you can do that.
The, I guess, downside of that is as Dr. Tarabishy I think was really emphasizing is it really puts the onus on your to manage your time and sit down and participate in the class. Like you know in say a brick and mortar class, an on campus course you actually have a designated time, a designated classroom, sometimes a designated seat to come into and sit down in, in the online environment you know you have to bring yourself onto the computer, login and do that.
But you know on the one hand that requires you to – kind of that onus for you to do it. The flipside, the sort of what makes that advantageous is that’s a very flexible way of participating in a course.
Annie: Thank you so much. And thank you for such a great presentation. I think we’ve covered a lot of aspects about the program and I hope we have addressed a lot of typifying questions that you might have as you’re considering this program, and also through the course demo you get a sense of how our MBA program ties into the healthcare program