With so much changing all around us in the way we work and live together, it is no wonder that students are faced with more complex decisions than ever before. I receive questions from students all the time asking me if an online MBA is the same as an in-person MBA and the big question: is it worth it? My answer? Yes. It is worth it.
It is true that many things have changed. Online classes are not the same as in person classes and there is no way around that. However, doing your MBA virtually has its advantages too. Below I will break down my top 3 things that have not changed for students despite our MBA program being 100% online.
#1. Professors' knowledge, experience, and research
Our professors have not stopped researching and adding to the rich base of knowledge that post-secondary studies were built upon. In an online environment, you are still tapping into your professors through their lectures and classes. The quality of teaching has not decreased despite a change in delivery.
Virtual teaching does not mean less teaching. Online office hours may benefit students because you know that when you book an appointment with a professor, you will have a designated 20 minutes (or whatever the time may be) of one-on-one time with your professor. In person you may have interruptions from other students or professors, no set dedicated time to meet, or less of a focus on meeting all together.
Students have told me that this designated one on one time has been very helpful for them — even moreso than in person office hours.
#2 In-class projects and skill-building experiences
At the Goodman School of Business, we know that knowledge and experience go hand in hand. To accomplish this for our students we rely on experiential learning. Experiential learning is when students work with a company as part of their class curriculum to assist that company with a project or problem. This is real work that students can put on their resumés.
These projects and corporate connections are still happening while classes are operating virtually. You can still add experience to your resume during this challenging time, and how rewarding would that be to present a future employer with your resume and be able to say that you accomplished these tasks during a global pandemic!
The same can be said for co-op opportunities. If students have an opportunity to participate in a co-op program I always suggest they take part! Co-op is so valuable to an MBA student to gain experience but also confirm their interest in a certain industry. Students have the opportunity to build their teamwork skills by collaborating with co workers virtually. This also requires excellent communication and administrative skills.
Working during a pandemic doesn't need to be a terrible experience, on the contrary it can arm students with a variety of highly sought-after skills that are valuable in any workplace setting.
#3 Extra-curriculars: the fun stuff!
There are so many opportunities for students to get involved with their classmates through extra curriculars. While we may not be able to gather for a game of basketball right now, students are still able to participate in initiatives organized by student government, take part in case competitions at the local or national level, or take part in industry specific interest groups.
The Goodman School of Business has gone above and beyond to ensure that these opportunities are still available for students for them to have a rich graduate student experience. This is not limited to the Goodman School, however, students are welcome to join any club they like within the Brock community.
Online learning does involve a higher degree of self discipline and time management, but it is still possible to have a great experience when completing an online degree. One thing that hasn't changed above all else is our desire to get to know and connect with our students. Each student brings their own skills, knowledge, and experience to our programs and together we can learn from each other, support one another, and achieve great things!
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