Open Forum with Graduates and Enrollment Advisors
For this webinar, we invited some of our graduates and also enrollment advisors to share their program experience and admission process.
Dr Hassan Mirza, 2012 Graduate – Senior Healthcare and Policy Consultant
Commander Matthew Newland, 2013 Graduate – Senior Policy Analyst, Office of Global Affairs in the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Marjorie Thomas, 2013 Graduate – Director of Membership and Client Services for the Lerner Health and Wellness Center at the George Washington University, Department of Athletics
Gillian Birmingham, Enrollment Advisor
Ilana Hirson, Enrollment Advisor
So just a bit of background about our graduates, first of all, Dr. Hassan Mirza is a senior healthcare and policy consultant. Hassan has worked for Kaiser Permanente, Blue Cross, Blue Shield and other local healthcare organizations. He mainly consults senior leaders on risk and liability issues that affect the organization from a labor compliance and general health law perspective.
Hassan has spoken at various venues to discuss contemporary models on leadership development for healthcare professionals, and in addition to consulting Hassan is an adjunct professor with the Ageno School of Business at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He teaches business and management courses to undergraduate and graduate students. Hassan also serves on the advisory board for Tri-City Health Centre in Fremont, California.Hassan received his bachelor of science from California State University, [unintelligible 00:01:52] doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, George School of Law, of course the MBA in healthcare from the George Washington University, and a PhD public policy from Northeastern University.
And of course we have Marjorie Thomas here with us today, so she has spent most of her career in the health care industry as a biopharmaceutical sales and marketing representative, and has extensive experience in customer relationship management.She is currently the director of membership and client services for the Lerner Health and Wellness Centre at the George Washington University Department of Athletics. In addition to managing membership and client services, she does plenty of business in data analysis, with her ultimate goal being to generate revenue for the campus recreations.
Membership generates about three-fourths of the revenue for campus recreation, so she’s always in motion and thinking of creative and financially smart ways to help customers meet their fitness goals. She has developed the current pricing strategy and tracks all the annual revenue for the facility using retail industry trades as a benchmark.
She also wears the hat of being the CRN database system administration, so quite a bit of hats. So as part of her MBA course work, and she will get into this a little bit more during her session, she has gained international healthcare marketing and strategy consulting experience. She has helped a Swedish biotechnology client develop an entry strategy into the US medical devices market.
She is a certified graduate teaching assistant of international business. As a GTA she instructs adults or distant learners how to apply critical thinking skills to course content and how to write analytically. She also serves as a mentor for undergraduate business students working on foreign market analysis and the online industry. So that’s a brief background on our graduates today. They’re awesome, obviously from their experience.And so we well get into a little bit of our program before we hear their stories, so just a very high level highlight of GWU, George Washington University. So just a brief background, so the School of Business is accredited by AACSB in providing highest quality faculty and challenging curriculum.
So GW and the School of Business has been ranked by US News and World Report in various categories, including top business school and top online MBA program. In terms of what our program is about, we will pass it on to our enrollment advisors to provide more insight, and Ilana will be with us to talk about that.
Ilana: Hello everyone, thank you for joining us. On behalf of Gillian and myself we want to welcome you this afternoon to the webinar. A lot of you are coming from different avenues, some are accepted students, some of you are in the process of doing your application, some of you we may not even have spoken to yet. So what we want to do is just give you a brief overview to the program so that you will have an idea, if we haven’t spoken with you yet, as to what to expect from the program.
So in terms of the MBA healthcare, it is a true MBA healthcare and it is one of the very few programs or MBA programs that have been created to provide business skills to those in the healthcare industry, and our cohorts exercise tools of business management, decision making and leadership in their current and, in the case of those of you who are looking to take on other positions, for future roles.
The one main aspect of the degree would be the fact that the actual degree which we are going to confer on you is going to be a George Washington University MBA. Two very important factors, one it will not state that you’re an online student because you are going to have the same professors, the same dean, the same curriculum and the same education as if you were an on campus student.
Matthew: Hello, I’m sorry to interrupt, this is Matthew Newland. Can someone hear my voice? Yeah okay. I can’t get onto the webinar and I was silenced for a while but I am indeed here on the call, I’m sorry for interrupting.
Ilana: Not a problem. Welcome Matthew, glad we got you on. Sorry for the interruption but I’m glad that Matthew is able to join us. As I was saying, the degree conferred will be a George Washington University MBA, it will not state that you online, and more importantly it is not going to state that it’s a healthcare MBA.
And the reason we’ve done this very, very specific, and the main reason being that we don’t want to limit our graduates. So we need to allow our graduates to be able to use the MBA Healthcare while they’re currently in the healthcare arena, but should anyone wish to move outside of the healthcare arena, you are going to have a very, very highly regarded MBA.
That having been said, in terms of the actual program it’s been designed to be completed in two years. It’s made up of 23 core classes, and those include things like business law strategy, finance, operations, marketing management, and then added to that are 12 electives. Now out of the 12 electives, six of those electives, so to speak, will form part of the core courses.
So it will in actual fact be six that you would be choosing to tailor program to what your needs are. And the types of electives we offer are things like healthcare quality analysis, healthcare IT, clinical management. One of the newer electives which has been put on is telemedicine. But if you haven’t spoken with us, when you do, we will be sending out the full list of electives as they currently are.
And also very different to our program is the fact that you have the opportunity for an international study aboard program. And in terms of the study abroad, we offer the study abroad both in the healthcare side, as well as in the core business courses. And we’re very happy to have with us today Marjorie Thomas, who took part in the international study abroad program, and will be speaking to this further.
And I know that everyone is very, very anxious to hear from the graduates. So for those of you, who we have spoken to, enjoy the rest of the webinar; and for those of you who we haven’t spoken to, we will be reaching out to you in the course of the next week and enjoy the rest of the webinar. Thanks Annie.
Annie: Thank you Ilana. So we’re getting to the graduates and Mathew sorry I didn’t hear you on the call and I wasn’t able to introduce you properly. Did you want to give a little background on yourself before we begin?
Matthew: Sure. My name is Matthew Newland and I’m an officer in the US Public Health Service. I currently work in the Office of the Secretary in the Office of Global Health Affairs as a senior policy analyst. I’m on the PEPFAR team, and PEPFAR is the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. And I graduated last year.
Annie: Thank you. So we have all three graduates here today. So the first few questions, just to get the discussion going, is you know just having some questions here so that you can speak to that, for everybody to join in. What were your reasons for pursing the program and, you know, what made this stand out by this program from your perspective?
And also if you could touch on you know how was it like for you guys to complete the degree while working full time and how do you balance the time right, and giving any tips to the audience here today? You guys can take turns answering the questions, whenever you can start. Matthew, Hassan or Marjorie, whoever wants to go first?
Matthew: I’ll go ahead. Well I chose this particular program for many reasons, one I live in the area of Washington DC. But more than that as I was looking at different schools, there were other online MBA programs and I wanted to go for the online component of it, but George Washington University had such a good reputation compared to the others, especially you know better quality professors, which is absolutely true.
And since I was in the area I also had the advantage of being able to take courses on campus when I needed to as well. And there was also a focus on the Healthcare MBA so I could tailor that to my work, which is of course in the US Department of Health and Human Services and my focus is on HIV.
For the work-life balance, that’s probably the most challenging component of being in the program because you’re working full time and you’ve got to take courses as well.
It’s not easy, it takes setting aside time to study during the week and on weekends, and I found it to be most helpful just to do a little bit every day rather than saving all the homework for Saturday or Sunday; that just wasn’t possible. But to do a little work, like a couple hours every day worked out for me.
One of the challenges was having enough time for other activities like exercise or social activities, but there are breaks through the semester and so try to give yourself some time to do something special like once a month. And trying to find ways to work in exercise, but again that was a challenge that I found in the program. It wasn’t the program, it was me and time management.
Marjorie: Okay. So a lot of the reasons for me pursuing the program were similar to Matthew’s. I was working in — like my bio state, I was working as a speciality representative in the biopharmaceutical sales industry and I felt like I had sort of reached I guess a plateau, if that’s a good way to put it, in my career.
You know I was doing well, I enjoyed what I was doing but I felt like I needed more, like I needed to learn more so I could just get to the next level. And so I sought out the program. I connected with Gillian actually first and she just made the enrolment process so easy for me.
I wanted to go to GW because of its reputation and like Matthew I live in DC, so I wanted to be able to take classes on campus if I wanted to.
And then just in terms of completing the degree and you know having a work-life balance, just like Matthew you know I set aside time. Even though it’s online mainly, I set aside time, the same times every week as if I were going to you know like a typical brick and mortar class. So I set aside those specific times every week and that’s when I worked.
I also on the weekends worked, like when my kids were doing their homework or you know completing projects or assignments, I would just sit down and work with them because, you know, they inspired me and then I was there to help them if they needed me right then. And then I also felt like I was not giving up a whole lot of time from them while I was completing the program.
But, you know, it can get difficult if you don’t make time, like set aside the time for classes. And then you also, like Matthew said, you have to make sure you set aside that you time because otherwise you’re just going to go nuts for two years.
Annie: I can only imagine. I know Hassan has some audio problems right now, so he’s going to join us back on the teleconference shortly. But in the meantime if you guys could speak to like you know what was your motivation kind of to pursue the program and why choosing this GW program, so then the audience can also kind of get a sense; that would be great.
Marjorie: So again, and I think Matthew stated that you know talking about GW’s reputation, but for me again I was just at a point in my career in the healthcare industry where I felt like I needed a lot more; and GW a) its reputation; b) yeah all of the professors in the business school are connected to the community, to the business community. So they’re not just, you know, professors who’ve been sitting in ivory towers for years, you know, and they’re tenured.
They know what’s going on in the healthcare industry and in the business community right in BC. You know, they’re there writing policy, they’re there you know setting up marketing strategies, working with big companies in the industry. And so GW wasn’t really a choice for me, GW was the school that I wanted to go to.
Matthew: Yeah and similar to what you just said, my motivation was I had gotten to a point in my career where I wasn’t moving forward — well I was moving forward, but not quite in the direction or at the rate that I really wanted to go. And I’d also thought about going for an MBA for a number of years and thought wow wouldn’t that be a good idea, but I didn’t put much energy behind it.
And being in the Public Health Service I had some educational benefits that would pay for a tuition in you know whatever program someone wanted as long as it’s you know related to their field.
And then I walked into a colleague’s office one day and she was a director and all I wanted to do was just say hi, that was it, she’s a colleague, friend and mentor. And as soon as I walked in she said, “Matt I think you should go for an MBA because it’ll help you with your career and when you’re a supervisor most of your time will be spent on management and budgets and the MBA will give you that”.
And that was all the push that I needed to go for it, it was just like that little boost to say, “Okay here we go”, and I could just see, you know, having at that point a bit of education already, but I could just see all the homework assignments, you know the papers, the tests, the late night studying because I knew that’s what it would take, but I said okay, I’ll do it, you know. And I’m so glad I did it, I have no regrets about it whatsoever.
Annie: Thank you. Hassan, are you back on the call now? I know you’ve just joined us again.
Hassan: Can you hear me now?
Annie: There we go, we can hear you. Hello, welcome. So would you like to share your — yeah?
Hassan: Yeah, I was trying to talk earlier but I guess I wasn’t connected properly. So you know the reasons why I pursued the program was, you know, at the time I had been working in the healthcare industry and I kind of saw people around me getting promoted and taking on new projects and moving into other roles, you know, outside of the company that I was working.
I was working for Kaiser Permanente, which incidentally happened to be right across the street from the campus, so that was pretty convenient for me.
And so I was looking at other areas, I was working as senior council, as an attorney working on healthcare issues and malpractice issues; and I was also enrolled in a PhD program at the time in a healthcare related discipline, public policy and law.
So I wanted to broaden my healthcare sort of academic experience so that I could you know hopefully try to move up and take on new tasks. You know, a very useful mentor for me many, many years ago told me that in order to be successful, you know, you need to kind of be doing something new every couple of years.
Even if you don’t, you know, move into a new job or, you know, apply for a new employment opportunity, but at least take on new projects or do something new to kind of keep you fresh and I think that that was probably the best advice that I ever received. So I thought that this would be sort of my new sort of work or new step.
And I don’t know if Alana is still on the line, but she was my advisor and she is wonderful. I had so many conversations with her before I actually, you know, decided to apply, she was very responsive on email, on phone calls.
I had so many questions, I’m very, very particular about everything that I do and so I had a lot of questions and she was very patient with me. So I just wanted to say thank you to her again if she’s on the phone, if not I’ve already told her this many years ago.
So that was the reason why I pursued the program, I wanted to broaden sort of my experience in the field. Clearly, you know, what made the program stand out for me, aside from living in DC at the time, I’m currently in San Francisco, the exact opposite end of where the school is located.
But at the time I was actually in Washington DC, I was living in Virginia, in Arlington and you know I saw the campus every day driving into work and used to go to the campus every day for lunch in the food court, and I said, hey you know why not just be a student here, I’m here you know as it is all the time, every day.
So I looked at that school because of its location, but what really kind of you know iced the deal for me was the accolades and the recognition that GW has received internationally. Not just you know within the city or within the district or the area, in the DMV area, but also you know internationally.
I mean we’ve talked about its accreditation, we talked about its rankings in the US News and World Report, and there were several, you know, blogs from very respected sites that really clearly ranked GW at the very top. And currently if you go online and look at any ranking, you’ll see that George Washington’s MBA program in healthcare is ranked number one compared to, you know, the other programs that you can apply to.
So that was just kind of what sealed the deal for me, I’m like perfect it’s right here, I can go study at the library. But even that was not important because this is an online program, but it was actually the ranking and how respected the program is, the faculty is just great. And then also I know several alumni from GW and they’re all very, very successful. So that to me tells me that it means something to graduate from this institution.
You know the work-life balance, I mean I’m not going to lie, it’s work. I mean it’s school, you have to study, you have to attend class. Online there are discussion board postings that you have to participate in, there’s a lot of reading. But I think if you have your eye on the prize and kind of see the light, and know that all of your effort is going to lead to something, then it makes it more tenable.
For me I was very, very busy, that’s the only I can survive. I mean I was working full time as most everyone else was. I was also attending a PhD program and I was in my last year of that, so it was kind of tough and I was working on my dissertation at the time. In addition to that I was also on several boards, we had board meetings; and then I was also teaching as well. So I kind of had a full plate, but you have to be very disciplined –
Marjorie: Sorry, what were you saying about the work life balance Hassan?
Hassan: Well it’s what you make of it. So you know –
Marjorie: [I’m just teasing].
Hassan: No I know, and that’s a good question because I know the way I’m talking it seems like there is no life balance here, work-life balance. But really there is because you have to make it, no matter what you’re doing you have to carve out some time for your personal time. I know Matt was talking earlier about you know going out and working out and trying to you know carve out some time for a social life and this and that.
I’m a big foodie so I have to go out to restaurants all the time and try new things, and I mean in DC there are a lot of new restaurants that open up every day. So, you know, I had that to look forward to and I feel like my work is much more efficient when I say, okay I’m going to do this and then right after I’m done I’m going to go try out this new whatever.
But what I did, and I know I’m talking too much but I just want to mention one last thing about the work-life balance, is that specifically what I did is I tried to do my study, I agree with Marjorie and Matt where you have to do something every day. I mean it’s not like you just wait until Sunday and then do it, on Sundays especially during the football season I did not do any work.
And the reason why I didn’t and I was able to be successful in this program was because I was doing it the other six days and I was doing something in the morning, something at night. But on Saturdays this is what I did. Before the people that I want to spend time with are even up is when I spent most of my time. I would be up early in the morning and I would get up around 4:30 am, 5:00 am.
Not that you have to do that, not that you’re even required to do that, but that’s what I did because by the time my wife and my daughter woke up, and all the people I want hang out with are up, I’ve already put in five hours of work that day. So I think I’ll stop for now.
Matthew: It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only foodie in the program.
Marjorie: One thing I wanted to add to what Hassan was just saying, and what Matt said earlier just in terms of time management, one thing that I learned really, really quickly is to never just have idle time and you know when I say that, I was raising three kids, one of them has since graduated college, the other one is in there and then I have a high schooler now.
But anyway, you know at the time I was in the program a few years ago, they were all either, you know, elementary, middle or high school. I always had my laptop or my iPad or a packet of something I was reading because you know in running them around; I’d have times when I was just waiting.
I was waiting for somebody to get out of practice or I was waiting you know in a long line somewhere or I was waiting at a doctor’s office and I didn’t want to just spend that time just waiting. So I always had something to read with me so that I could do my work, and that’s one way that I fit everything in also.
Annie: Thank you. And I think that these really probably apply to a lot of folks on the call as well, so thank you for all the tips, telling your stories. Right now I’m just going to open up the floor to see if anybody has any questions, again you can reach out through the chat box or by just bringing it up on the call right now with us.
So I just muted everybody so you guys can bring it up on the call as well. If there are no questions at this session, there’s always opportunity to bring up the question through other sessions. So any questions so far?
Eza: Good afternoon, my name is [Eza]. My question is what type of changes in your career development have you seen after receiving your MBA?
Marjorie: That’s a great question.
Annie: That is a great question and we will actually get right into that in like two slides, hold that thought. But for now in terms of, you know, is there any questions around the time, the program in itself, for now? If not, hold that thought, we will definitely come back to that and I want everybody to kind of hear that out as well.
So before that let’s go into, you know, just overall the experience of the program, how did you guys find the online program in terms of the classroom, you know a lot of people might be new to the online environment from an education perspective, and also any thoughts on how it helped or not helped from a student support service perspective.
And Marjorie, you know, you participated in the international abroad program, could you speak a little bit more about that? I’m sure like some folks here are interested in that as well.
Marjorie: Sure. You guys want me to start?
Marjorie: So just in terms of the experience with the online classroom, it’s interesting, I actually liked it a lot. Starting with the second part of that question, student support services are phenomenal. There’s no one that you call to get information from that won’t try to help you, and if they can’t they’ll point you in another direction.
But you know starting with professors and your graduate teaching assistant, of which I was one, you know always start with them to get assistance. Typically if courses are set up properly, the syllabus, once you get the syllabus it will outline every single detail, like nothing will be missing.
And what I did when I was a graduate teaching assistant was to make this sort of transition to the online classroom a little bit easier is I set up a scavenger hunt, you know, and the professor that I TA’ed for was nice enough to give some credit for it.
So I set up just a list of questions, you know, asking the students where to find different things on the Blackboard course page, and forcing students to go through the entire course page and get comfortable with it; and then they would get credit for, you know, going through that.
And then just in terms of the international study abroad, I decided to do that because I thought Sweden would be a cool place to go, and then also the professor who ran that short term study abroad program was my professor for global perspectives and international management.
So I decided to go to Sweden with a group of other students, and it was at a point in the program — I’d arrived at a point in the program where I was able to take the different frameworks and the theories that I had learned and put them into practice by helping this biotech company enter into the US. They had a cool product and they just needed some help, you know, developing a plan coming into the US medical device market.
Then as soon as I got back from Sweden I started out as a graduate teaching assistant for the same professor, and I worked with her for two years. So [unintelligible 00:31:37], I got the full experience out of the program.
Hassan: Yeah and I agree with Marjorie, I mean I didn’t go to the international abroad program. I really wanted to but I didn’t. But my experience in the online classroom and I’ll talk about that in a second, but there is a question here to all the panellists if Matt and Marjorie don’t mind, I’ll take a first stab at it.
Basically the question is what is the method of evaluation used in the courses, is it exams, papers and projects? And the answer is, it’s all of the above and then some more. So there’s ample opportunity to receive grading, marks and feedback.
There are exams. You know, there might be more exams in some courses that you take than there will be in others, some classes they had like weekly quizzes. There are papers, some classes that we took, you know, you had to submit a research paper or a reading assignment on a weekly basis. Some of them had it, you know, at the mid-term mark. And then there were also projects, I can remember a lot of my classes had projects.
The cool thing about that was a lot of the projects were actually even group projects so that you would then have to pair up with some of your peers who are in this online classroom and, you know, get together and say, “Hey when’s a good time to talk”. There could be a challenge with people living in different time zones and this and that, but you know what, you just make it work and it works; and it’s so fun.
And I’ll be honest with you, I’m still in close contact with a lot of my group members from those classes, and then there’s also networking opportunities as well because everybody’s sort of in the same industry. So as far as my experience with the online classroom, I think it was great.
The online platform is very, very simple and easy to use, it’s very intuitive, user friendly. And they kind of have to do it that way right, because if it’s difficult you’re not going to have people participate, you’re not going to have people sign up for the program I mean if it’s difficult to even like have your voice be heard.
So it’s very simple and in the event there are some challenges, there are a plethora of avenues that you can seek out to get help. Student support services are just one, but you can call can IT. I’ve had a problem trying to log onto something and I got it fixed, you know, within a minute over the phone.
So there’s all these support services available to you, it’s designed to make it easy for the student and it was very easy to navigate through the Blackboard system and communicate with your professors. So that’s my sort of bit there, if you guys want to add more to it go ahead, Matt if you have anything else to add?
Matthew: Sure, I agree with everything you said and some people think well with the online environment what about the quality, or is the interaction meaningful, and I’d say it’s absolutely high quality and interaction that’s still very meaningful. Just how we have so much social media and programs like Skype, there are ways to communicate with people in real time.
Even with video when you have your class discussions or you’re on Blackboard and the professor needs to give a lecture and it’s almost like a virtual chalkboard where they write some concepts or formulas and you can ask questions in real time. Or they’re recorded and you can go back and look at them at your leisure.
And so I completely support it. And also with the IT, any challenges that I had they were resolved instantly because they were available 24/7.
Annie: Thank you. I’m just being cautious of time; right now it’s around 2:43 pm. So I’m just going to move on to, you know, what everyone wants to know right, like how has the MBA kind of impacted your life, your career? And then after this then we’ll take on more questions for the graduates. If you don’t mind, anybody can jump in and start.
Matthew: Sure, this is Commander Matthew Newland. It was a major part in me securing my new position in my new office, in the Office of Global Affairs. Going back to international work was what I had wanted to do and I had prepared to do and trained to do, and it didn’t happen overnight, you know that’s the way life is.
But after studying and learning all the concepts, with applying it to the job, it helped prepare me for interviews. And it’s more than just landing the job; it helps you while you are studying to consider your work environment and other environments just much more carefully and in greater depth and detail. And when you get the job you have a new set of skills.
But you’re also aware of things and you can articulate concepts and challenges and solutions in a way that other people without the degree cannot, and I still use it today, also in my personal life too, and that’s what it’s given me.
Marjorie: So piggybacking on exactly what Matt just said. I was fortunate, when I first started the program I had one of the professors who, I think most students would agree, is one of the more difficult professors, Dr. Forman, with decision making; and he said something that just impacted me and it started me out on the right foot and, you know, sort of sustained me throughout the program.
He said you know, you’re not meant to understand every single detail of the program, you’re not meant to understand everything because you know it can be a bit esoteric. So our primary goal should be focusing on learning how to think differently, and that’s what the program did for me, it taught me how to think different.
So you know a lot, like what Matt said, I feel like I became a different person. I think differently from Hassan now and Matt, I decided sort of half way through the program that I didn’t want to be in healthcare anymore, and so going back to what Alana said, you know fortunately the concepts and the theories that we were being taught in the program are able to be applied to just more of a general business setting.
And so you know, I can’t even pinpoint or articulate one thing that made me decide I didn’t want to be in the healthcare industry any longer, but I decided it and I stayed in the program and I was able to and continue to be able to just — I want to say this though that it doesn’t sound sort of arrogant.
But just, you know, get a little bit more respect just because I was able to finish this program and because, like I said, I was thinking differently and I was approaching business problems or opportunities just differently, with a different mindset. So it positively impacted my life, it changed my career for me.
Annie: Thank you. Hassan, did you have anything to add?
Hassan: Yeah just real quick, I know that we probably have a lot of questions from the attendees here. For me this program has I would say greatly positively impacted my career and my life. One because, you know, obviously you’re learning more right, there’s knowledge. You learn more about a specific topic and about a specific field, which then allows you to start thinking differently in whatever you’re doing and apply it.
As far as, you know, my work was concerned I did a quick sort of unofficial, unscientific experiment. I looked at a lot of my emails before I joined the program okay, and I urge for those of you that are about to enter, you know, to kind of do this as well and you’ll see sort of like the growth right in front of you.
I saw a lot of my work emails that I responded to, the questions that I asked before I joined the program, and then I looked at a lot of them post you know degree, after I graduated, and it is amazing.
And I don’t know Marjorie and Matt if you guys have ever done that, but I have seen that difference right in front of my eyes, because you know more you’re going to ask different questions, you’re going to apply it to your work and then you’re going to get accolades from people that are responsible for sort of you know evaluating your work, you take on more projects.
I actually have taken on a lot more operations type work than I had prior to the MBA and it’s strictly related to, you know, this experience from the MBA program. So you know this education is definitely going to help you.
In my life, you know, personally I think it has. I mean I’m able to engage in certain conversations with people that are you know on the business side of things more so than I probably would have been able to do prior to it. So it just helps, it works and I’m all for it; so that’s my input on that.
Annie: Thank you. So I’m going to open the floor for everybody to ask any questions at this time, or again via the chat box. Are there any questions at the moment? I hear some beeps; do you have a question on the call? No?
Well I do have some questions on the chat box, I think this is more — we don’t have the stats on this, but you know folks would like to know Alana, Gillian chime in, it’s do we have a proportion of — like do you see students who are also practicing physicians in the program?
Ilana: Hi, it’s Ilana. Yes of course. In fact I would say probably at least — well not at least, I would say well over 50% of our students in the program are currently practicing physicians, nurses. In other words, people who are directly hands on involved in healthcare, radiologists, absolutely, yes.
Annie: Thank you. And anybody else has any questions at the moment before we get into the next session. I mean you guys can definitely think of some questions as we proceed because we do have a couple more slides to cover. I think this is a more personal question and I think that he’s looking for more advice I guess.
So I have someone here asking, you know, he’s a physiotherapist and going to be moving to Canada in a couple of months and he wants to enhance his career skills. So do you guys think that the program can help him achieve this?
Marjorie: Without a doubt, without a doubt. Like Alana said, you know there are a lot, I don’t know what the exact percentage of practicing direct patient caregivers are in the program, but absolutely it will enhance your career skills and enable you to, you know, move to that next step if you want to.
Like Matt was saying earlier, if you decide you want to change course and do something more administratively, or you know move into the c-suite, then absolutely it can help you do that.
Hassan: I agree Marjorie; I just want to add in my two cents here. I personally know of two people that have graduated from this program and have moved to Canada, Toronto and Ottawa in the province of Ontario, and they are very successful right now, not that you can’t be successful in other provinces in Canada.
But, you know, don’t forget that this still a top ranked program from a top ranked school. So regardless of where you go, you can always hang that on your hook there.
Annie: I totally agree. And Marjorie you were in the international program, so I mean like there’s the option to also join that kind of program to kind of broaden your global experience as well right, I’m guessing.
Marjorie: Yeah, absolutely.
Annie: And then separately, I think she might have joined a little late because I know you guys have already spoken to the time management side of things, but Michelle is asking how did you guys manage your time with a full time job[unintelligible 00:45:03] a week? So I know you guys kind of spoke to that already, if you guys could just kind of summarize that for her again.
Marjorie: Just be doing something all the time, all the time. Just don’t sit idle.
Hassan: Right make it work, time management.
Matthew: Yes and do a little bit every day; don’t save it all for the weekend, that just won’t work. If you set aside two or three hours a day, or thereabout depending on your schedule, it just breaks it up into manageable segments.
Marjorie: And for people that are already in the healthcare industry going into this program, you will be amazed at how much your experience, your current experience will help you get through this program.
Annie: And I think there’s a great question here from Thomas, you know would you say that this program is beneficial for people looking to enter the healthcare industry, who is coming from a very different background, right? And Alana you might be able to speak to this as well?
Ilana: Hi Thomas. It is beneficial, however one of the provisos for coming into the program are, you know, that people are in some manner, means or form involved already within the healthcare arena. It doesn’t have to be, as I said previously, hands on and nor does it have to be something that one assumes is part of the healthcare industry, it could be the IT side, it could be any side, the construction side, people involved in building hospitals.
But absolutely, yes it is because you have people in the program more importantly, part of what we term the adult learning process, is learning from your cohorts in the program and that becomes collaborative. So you would learn different things in the program from cohorts that you wouldn’t learn from a textbook. But I’ll go into that more with you on Monday, Thomas.
Marjorie: And I do think it’s important to add really quickly that, you know, just be patient because if you’re in a completely different field right now and you’re enrolling in this program and then you want to go into healthcare, you’re not necessarily going to start out as like the COO of a hospital, because just like any industry or any job you go to or transition to, they’re going to want to see some experience you know in the field or in the job that you’re applying for, if that makes any sense.
Annie: Thank you. And Michelle was also asking, and Marjorie I think you might have touched on this little bit, like she’s asking you know how beneficial is the degree for biotech and also pharma clinical kind of operations? Because your experience from the abroad program was in the biotech field too, right?
Marjorie: Right. I can’t really answer that question though because I wasn’t in clinical operations in pharma, I was doing you know more speciality sales. But then remember too that I made a career change after I got, you know, into the program. But I do know people.
Matthew: Yeah, there are absolutely courses that are relevant to it, there are courses in operations and management that are so relevant to that field and it was something that I wouldn’t, being in the Public Health field, something I would not be directly involved, you know, with supply chain or pharmaceuticals. But this gave me a much better understanding of how operations work, and it was a challenging course but it made things very, very logical.
And so when you’re dealing with having to have enough medications for a population and avoiding stock out, or getting resources out in a more efficient manner than what you have, it gives you a way of studying the process and then implementing solutions. And I’m certain that would be helpful for professionals like the person who asked the question.
Annie: Thank you. Just doing a time check here, we’re right now at 2:57 pm. I know we started five minutes late, but again I want to be respectful of everybody’s time. There are still a lot of questions coming in and we will definitely get our enrollment advisors to follow up with you guys to answer those questions, getting input from the graduates as well.
So I mean just one last question is — let me see. There are a few more questions; sorry I’m just going to quickly look at. You guys touched on this I think, you know is the program beneficial for a physician already in an administrative role?
Hassan: The short answer is absolutely yes. There are strategy courses, financial management and operations courses that will make administrative you know employees, clinical administrative employees even stronger in that field. So I personally have seen that while working at Kaiser. So a lot of people with their MBA background have soared, so yes.
Annie: Thank you. Yeah, there are a lot of questions coming in so we’ll definitely answer to everybody afterwards as well, we’ll follow up with you guys. And just quickly, wanted to touch on — you know this might come up as well when you guys get all the answers, you know Gillian can you speak to the admission side of things so we basically know what they can expect?
Matthew: Could you ask the question again?
Annie: Just getting Gillian to –
Gillian: – Are you turning it over to me?
Gillian: Okay, thank you. Hi everyone, thanks for joining us this evening and in essence of time, sorry I hope I’m not speaking too fast but I just want to briefly go through some of the admission requirements for this year, and especially for students who both Alana and I have [unintelligible 00:51:49] you know had that opportunity to speak with them.
But just to give you a little bit of a highlight of the type of things you would look for from our discussion, and these are also backed up by emails as well because we want to make sure you have all the required information to make the process as simple for you and take away as much of the administrative part because we know you are working full time. So we totally respect your time as well.
So technically what we’re looking for in the admission requirement phase is the completed online application, which we provide you the link and the necessary information on that, a $75 application fee that goes along with the application online.
Official transcripts, which only have to be presented once you’ve been accepted and confirm your acceptance into the program, but for review purposes we will accept unofficial copies of those transcripts.
A minimum of three years of full time working professional experience, preferably at least six months or a year in the healthcare industry so you’re coming in at not too much of a disadvantage since everyone in the program does have that healthcare background.
A current resume or CV, and please note you don’t have to limit your CV or your résumé to one or two pages. A lot of people believe that you don’t want to overwhelm you know the committee with information, but you know keep in mind too that we want see as much of your healthcare experience especially highlighted. So don’t hold back as we see 14, 15 pages especially from our physicians, so you know don’t worry too much about that.
We also need two professional letters of recommendation, statement of program objectives and professional goals. The committee actually has two different [unintelligible 00:53:35] that they like you to address.
And one of them is the traditional statement of purpose, you know why you’re looking at GW, why an MBA, how you’re going to be looking at your professional and academic experiences and leveraging the two of these so you can be successful in the program.
And then the other one is where they have posed six statements and they ask you to address three of them in about 100 words or so. So you know very simple things, “If I had to do it all over again I’d take advantage of”, something to that effect, “GW graduates use the business degree for positive sustainable change, how do I make an impact”, and you complete that statement, “I stand out of the GW MBA applicant pool because”, and so forth.
So we would always provide you with all the necessary information to make sure that your application is as strong as possible. And then last but not least, there’s also a GMAT or GRE or TOEFL or IELTS exam. And that is not mandatory for every student, that’s why we encourage each one of you who haven’t done so to have a discussion with both Alana and I because there could be instances where we can actually waive the GMAT or the GRE for you.
And there are a number of different countries too where the TOEFL and the IELTS exam you’re exempted from that. So we do encourage you to have that discussion. As Alana said earlier, we would follow up with our students accordingly. If you get a chance to call us by all means do so as well, we’ll make ourselves available for you.
And one other thing I wanted to briefly touch on is the funding options. We also provide you with all the information on that as well. Give you all the contact details, make sure that you have everything organized well in advance so when you sit down in that classroom that very first day, you feel that you have that comfort and you don’t have to you know worry about anything but being successful in the program.
Okay and with that Annie, it’s after three so I’d like to just turn it over to you again.
Annie: Thank you. Again, thank you Marjorie for answering some of the audience questions on the chat box right now and I know we still have a few questions to be answered, and again the enrollment advisors will follow up with you to answer those questions in more detail. Student services, I’ll skip that over, again being respectful of time, right now we’re at 3:03 pm.
Thank you everyone for being here on a Saturday. And thank you to the panelists for being here with us and sharing their stories, and I personally think that it was really insightful to hear from them directly and I hope it’s for the same you guys, for everyone on the call.
If you have any more questions or if you want to start the process with our enrollment advisors, they are definitely going to be here for you and the contact details are on the screen. Again, they will follow up with you guys after this webinar just to answer the questions.