Finding the right online MBA program takes time and research. You scour websites. You get recommendations from friends and colleagues. Then a few programs rise to the top of your list. Now what?
Talk to the MBA admissions officers.
“We know the MBA program inside and out,” said Abigail Harris, associate director of admissions for Kelley Direct Online MBA & MS Programs. “We can provide answers to lingering questions about the curriculum, financial aid, student life—whatever you want to know. We also work with prospective students every day, so we understand many of the main concerns people have.”
To get the most out of your conversations or MBA interview, Kelley Direct’s admissions team provided five questions to ask online MBA admissions officers.
Question: Who teaches your online MBA courses?
Why ask: Some universities outsource instruction for the online MBA program or use teaching assistants, which may result in a less engaging, valuable learning experience. Kelley Direct faculty, for example, are experts in online instruction and the same faculty who teach in Kelley’s in-residence programs.
Question: What career services are available to online MBA students? How do they differ for full-time MBA students?
Why ask: “You want to find a program that provides specialized career services for working professionals and their time constraints,” says Megan Post, an associate director of admissions for Kelley Direct. “You’ll be busy, and you want to make sure you get dedicated one-on-one time with a career coach who’s focused on advancement strategies.” Also, find out if a program provides user-friendly online resources for you, such as job boards and video tutorials.
Question: Are there live classes?
Why ask: Live, synchronous classes give you the opportunity to connect with faculty and participate in discussions with your classmates. You can ask questions and share your opinions. “You can’t expect students to stay engaged while staring at a professor spout off for 75 minutes,” said Ernest O’Boyle, Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship and Dale M. Coleman Chair in Management. “Any content that is one-way communication isn’t taught in a live session. The live sessions are your opportunity to interact.”
Note if a program includes live classes and the class frequency and time. Each Kelley Direct Online MBA course requires a live, 75-minute weekly session that takes place between 6 and 9 p.m. ET.
Question: What networking opportunities are there?
Why ask: Building a strong network is an essential part of pursuing any graduate degree—particularly in an online program. “Online MBA students can network just as much as students on campus,” says Sarah Wanger, executive director of Kelley Direct. “We provide two in-person sessions built into the program, optional global and domestic immersions, and regular opportunities for students to meet up virtually and in person.”
Question: Are there clubs for online students?
Why ask: In addition to building lasting relationships with your classmates, student clubs can provide a sense of community, professional development opportunities, and even leadership experience (if you want it!). Some of Kelley Direct’s nine student associations center around functional areas, such as marketing and product management, so you can learn about a new career focus and connect with professionals in the field. The associations also host discussions, special speakers, and quarterly meetups.
Interested in earning a Kelley Direct Online MBA or MS degree? Discover how to prepare a strong application.