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Drawing on her knowledge as the Director of Masters Admissions at Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business, Kari Calvario shares everything students should know about CMU Temper’s MS in Business Analytics program. [Show Summary]
Welcome to the 510th episode of Admission Straight Talk. Thanks for joining me.
Before we dive into today’s episode, I want to mention a resource at Accepted that can help you prepare your statement of purpose to masters programs in business analytics and data science. Download Five Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Grad School Statement of Purpose to learn how to avoid the five most common mistakes we see in graduate school statements of purpose, as well as how to write a statement of purpose that makes your story memorable and highlights your qualifications for your target programs.
Our guest today is Kari Calvario. She is the Director of Masters Admissions at Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business. She earned her bachelor’s in English literature and a masters in education. She joined Tepper in 2014 and has been there ever since. [Show Notes]
Thank you for having me. I’m excited to speak with you.
We’re going to focus on the masters in business analytics programs at CMU Tepper. What are they? Can you provide an overview of both the full-time in-person option and the part-time online option? [2:02]
Yeah, happy to. Thanks for that first question. The Tepper School, as any school, is always looking to diversify. We’re looking to grow. Our MBA program has been our flagship program, but I think one of the really great things about Tepper is we’re always looking to innovate. We’re always looking for what’s relevant. With lots of conversations with employers, with alums, we found that there was this need for professionals who have not only advanced analytical skills, but then the ability to combine that with a business sense and be able to communicate those business needs, to be able to convince about business needs. The Master of Science in Business Analytics program was initially born as our part-time online version, which still exists to this day, but it was born out of that need of wanting to provide students with analytical skills and be able to combine it with the leadership and business skills that they would need. As that program continued to grow over the last several years, it evolved and kind of branched also into our full-time MS Business Analytics program. Now we carry both of them. They are both really successful programs. It started with this need several years ago after the feedback that we got from employers, industry professionals, alums, and has now grown into two really successful programs.
Is AI becoming a more important part in the curriculum? I find it fascinating that it’s a program that really seems to combine left brain, right brain, that you’re highly statistical and quantitative, but it also is very much about communications. With all the publicity about ChatGPT, AI, et cetera, is it becoming a more important part of the program? [3:39]
I don’t know that it’s a more important part, but certainly it’s an integral part of it. We wouldn’t be CMU if it wasn’t something that was a part of our program. I think the lens that our curriculum is taught from even something like a communication class is all taught from this analytical lens, which of course, lends itself to AI, to machine learning. When we talk about this intelligent future, this background that I have, we talk about data informed, but human decisions. Data can’t make decisions, but it’s such an important part of it.
It’s data informed, but there’s the human part of it. AI, you just mentioned, it’s this really unique combination of AI and the improvements that we can make, but we still need the human piece of it. And that’s what I think our program is really good at.
What distinguishes CMU Tepper’s Master in Business Analytics program from other BA programs, and what do the two programs, online and offline, have in common? [4:51]
Well, you asked to distinguish first, so I’ll go with that first. I think what sets our program apart is that our parent school is the Tepper School of Business. This is something that we’ve been at the forefront of — analytical decision-making. It’s been the type of curriculum that we have. That we’re not a case-based school. Cases have a place for sure, but we are founded in making decisions based on data. When the business analytics program was formed, it was formed under that parent kind of guidance, I guess for lack of a better term. We’ve done this before.
Specifically when we first started with the online program, our part-time online MBA has existed for years and years and has consistently ranked in the top MBA program. From a delivery of the program, from a content, from the curriculum being a sister program at the Tepper School with the MBA program, that’s I think what sets it apart is this business analytics has become this hot topic and very well it should, but it’s something that has existed at the Tepper School and in the MBA curriculum for quite some time.
We’ve formalized that and, of course, have evolved at or else why would we have a different program than the MBA, but the concepts, the structure, the faculty who are teaching in the program, that’s all been really well established just at the Tepper School in general.
That was what distinguishes – what do the two programs have in common. [6:38]
What did they have in common is just that, it’s the exact same curriculum. A question that I get a lot in admissions is, “Will my diploma say part-time? Will my diploma say online?” The diploma says Carnegie Mellon Tepper School Master of Science in Business Analytics, because the graduation requirements are the same, the faculty teaching in the full-time on campus program are the exact same faculty teaching in the part-time program. The only difference is in the delivery of the program and the time it takes to complete it. Because of that, there’s no differences between the two. It’s an MSBA from Tepper no matter how you earn it.
No asterisks. [7:21]
No asterisks. Nope.
What are some of the problems or projects that MSBA students have tackled? Anything particularly memorable? [7:26]
Yeah, and it’s hard to go in a single conversation, Linda, without saying COVID. It’s the world we all live in. Of course, I’m going to go there. But from a business school perspective and from a business analytics perspective, our students have had some really unique opportunities to do — we call them capstone projects or hands-on experiential learning — those sorts of things, that they’ve been able to work towards a specific goal.
Our students have worked with Campbell Soup before and forecasting when everybody went home or was sent home for two weeks in March of 2020, but then it turned into this long-term forecasting, how many people are really having soup over their lunch break anymore, when really it was a throw it in your lunchbox, bring it to work. But then suddenly these issues start. Our students are working on those hands-on trying to forecast, okay, some folks are returning to work, some are in this hybrid environment, how do we forecast the needs and the supply? We’re working with bigger, larger organizations, but also smaller private organizations.
Blood donors dropped during COVID, and so working with private organizations to stabilize just even something like blood donors and to get a predictable model of how do we stabilize getting our donorship back. It’s these wide-ranging projects, but they’ve been some really unique opportunities to be part of some really good things of helping companies get through this pandemic and things like that. They’ve had some really hands-on experiences that are really fascinating.
Now, you have the residential component. It’s a nine-month program, right? And then you have the part-time online program. Is there a residential component to the online program, and do the two programs ever meet? [9:11]
Just from the nature of our building, the Tepper Quad is the home of the Tepper School of Business. There’s certainly an opportunity, but there’s no official overlap as in everybody’s all together for this one reason or not. For the 18 months online program, there is no required on-campus component. You can do the entire program online. Certainly though, campus is always open. There are opportunities. We call them immersion weekends. There’s not an academic component to it, but for certain times throughout the year, it aligns with the curriculum. There are these immersion weekends where online students can come to campus.
They spend Thursday night through Sunday morning. They might be meeting with their career counselor. They might be doing a leadership workshop. They might be doing some networking. There’s some really unique opportunities to come to campus, but not every student. We have some international students who maybe can’t travel, so there is no required academic component to those weekends, but they do have the opportunity to come here, be with their classmates. They’re with their classmates online Monday through Thursday, but really the opportunity to be in the same room together. There is that opportunity for the online program.
Are the classes for the online program on the weekend or evenings, or is it asynchronous, synchronous? [10:42]
Both. Yeah, so both. We’re a good blend. We are both synchronous and asynchronous. I’d say it’s probably about 80/20 of synchronous. It’s mostly synchronous. Classes are Monday through Thursday. No Tepper student ever has classes on a Friday, but Fridays tend to be their busiest day. It’s group work. It’s recruiting. It’s catching up. But classes are in the evenings, Monday through Thursday. There are typically two sections offered.
Usually it’s like a 6:00 to 8:00 and then 8:00 to 10:00. It’s the exact same class, but two different sections. They have the ability to go to those classes, and it roughly shakes out to an East Coast time and a West Coast time, but you don’t have to…
That’s what I was thinking. [11:32]
You don’t have to live in Pittsburgh to go to the 8:00 time zone if it’s better for work. What we’ve done is most of the students in our online program are working professionals. Maybe they have a stable work schedule. Some might be traveling. Some might have later hours. If they’re logging into a class, we want it to be worth their while, right? We want them to have interaction with their professor. We want them to interact with their teammates.
There’s going to be projects. They’re not logging into a live class and taking a final or something like that. The asynchronous classes, which they know in advance, can watch this video, react to the prompt, or things like that. If they’re coming to the synchronous classes, they’re really beneficial.
What kind of academic background are you looking for in applicants to these programs? [12:18]
Yeah, that’s a great question, and it’s another question that ‘s probably my second most asked question.
It’s a very frequently asked question. [12:32]
As I mentioned, we’re an analytical program. We’re a quantitative program. It’s kind of like a double-edged sword where we celebrate that and we’re really proud. We’re really proud of the curriculum we have. But then I think we kind of push back a little bit that it doesn’t mean one size doesn’t fit all. One undergrad major, one course preparation. What we do look for though is aptitude. We want you to be able to come into our program to be academically successful. You’re going to have quantitative classes. You’re going to have some programming classes. You’re going to have these analytical classes.
Have you seen programming before? It doesn’t mean you have to be this expert coder in R and Python, but are you familiar with it? Have you maybe taken some Coursera courses? There are backgrounds, I think, that naturally fit. A lot of engineers are naturally attracted to Tepper. Maybe it’s software engineers, computer scientists, but it’s more about the types of classes that you’ve taken. Have you seen some more math classes? Have you seen some programming courses? It doesn’t mean you had to have majored in it, but just so that you can transition into… Your very first semester, you’re taking probability and statistics, which uses R.
It’s more about the aptitude. We dig really deeply into applications. Yes, you’re an economics major, but I’m going to dig into your transcript and see what classes have you taken. What have you done in your work? Do you have any certifications? Is there anything or what is there that lets me think, yeah, you can come here and you can be successful in the program knowing there’s resources and there’s always going to be help, but what’s the aptitude that you have? Sure, experience with technical skills, but it’s not a requirement.
I was a political science major undergrad, and I took the minimum math that I had to take. If I were to wake up one morning, and I was a lot younger, and I decided I wanted to go get a masters in business analytics, would you advise me to take some statistical classes, some quantitative classes, and probably some programming classes, either at my local community college or extension or Coursera or something like that? [14:17]
Right, yeah. Exactly right. Spoken from an English major when you introduced me. I took the minimum to graduate and moved out of that school. What I would say is you don’t have to send me a transcript from Carnegie Mellon that says you got an A. There are other ways to show it, but I’d say, “Hey, here’s what you’re going to see in your first semester. Here’s what you’re going to see in your first year. Let’s talk about some things that can prepare you for that.” It’s more of a conversation. Folks are always welcome to give our office a call. We can’t go through an application and say, “This will get you in. This will not get you in.”
You understand that. But we can say, “Hey, I would really love to see you. Go take an online computer science course and get a little more familiar with these basic programming languages,” or go out at a calc course or a linear algebra course or something like that, or write me an optional essay in your application that says, “Hey, I don’t have these formal classes. I was a political science major, but here’s what I’ve been doing in my work since. I’m using Tableau. I’m doing these different things. I’m building these really complex reports in work. I’m self-taught, but I’ve got the skillset.”
I wouldn’t know that if you didn’t put it in your optional essay. But once I read it, that’ll prepare you sometimes even better than a class that you took 10 years ago.
What about experience? We’ve talked about academic background. What about experiential background? It seems like the online program is a little bit more geared towards those people with full-time work experience, and the full-time program, the in residence program, is more of a pre-experience program. Could you dive into that a little bit? [16:00]
Sure, and you’re exactly right, Linda. Again, it’s kind of the evolution of the program. When we began, and it’s our part-time online program and it has really grown year to year, we’ve got about 50 students in it each year, which is what I think is a really healthy number, a lot of those folks see the need for business analytics in their current company and they want to use the degree to move on to more senior roles, or maybe making an industry shift, but they want to take the skill set and use it to move into become that subject matter expert, become the analytics expert in their company, get that promotion, reach that next senior level.
When the full-time program launched and it’s more pre-professional, that was feedback from employers saying, “Okay, here’s kind of the types of jobs,” and perhaps we’ll talk about that, but the types of jobs we see are more for folks who are just going to start out in the industry. They’re pre-professional. Maybe you’ve had a couple analytics internships, or you’ve got a year or two as a data analyst or something like that. But given the curriculum and the recruiters that we are talking to are saying, yeah, you’re going to be highly employable, but it’s not going to be that I’m already established at this company and I just want to move into a more senior position.
It’s going to be, I’m just starting out in the industry. I know I’ve got this really, really desired skillset, and that’s going to help me really break into this new industry.
For the pre-professional program, do you like to see relevant internships? [17:43]
I do. Yeah, I do. I think it’s natural, right? Whether it’s an internship in banking… Are we looking for quants? Are we looking for data analysts? Not specifically. We’ve seen folks who’ve had internships in investment banking. One of my favorite applicants interned at Disney but was doing some analytical work at Disney. I think it can go across industries, but versus me, to keep using myself as an example, I interned at a library. I did nothing with analytics. I loved it, but I probably don’t have the relevant internship experience to be looking at my time at my local library.
While we’re not picky or we’re not just kind of like, well, you weren’t working at a SaaS company, or you weren’t doing something like that, it’s not that. It’s more of, oh, that seemed like it was really impactful, or you returned for two summers. You interned the summer of your junior year. You returned the next year. That obviously means that your performance was well received. That’s a good indicator of potentially how you recruit and how you interview. There’s different ways to do it, but seeing those relevant internships helps.
Now, I’m going to guess that occasionally a student struggles in the MSBA program, right? Do you know why they struggle? Is there any pattern that would help you I guess not admit people who struggle? [19:07]
Yeah, yeah, that’s a completely fair question. It’s a reality, and we have support. We have our academic office, our program office. I think there’s a couple different things. For our part-timers is time and the time commitment. It’s an extra 20 hours a week on top of most likely your full-time job, maybe a family, all sorts of things. I think it’s just being realistic. It’s not about intelligence. The folks that are applying to our program are all super, super bright, but maybe they’re not used to spending 20 additional hours. When you’re an undergrad and that’s your whole world, maybe that’s what you can devote to it.
But when you’re juggling different real adult experiences, to add on 20 additional hours. I think it’s our job in admissions, whether it’s the admissions interview, whether it’s just the materials, whether it’s just phone calls I have with somebody who’s interested in the program to say, “Hey, you’re going to get a lot of support here and you’re really bright, but I need you to know too, you’re going to have to put in some work. It’s not a light program. Like we talked about, you’re here part-time, you see online. It’s a lot of work, but it’s 18 months and then you’ve done it and you’ve got the degree and you’ve moved on.”
I think it’s just being really intentional. We try in our office to be really authentic and to say, “Hey, we really want you to be a part of our program. Let’s have a conversation. But I’m going to be honest with you, you’re going to have to put in some work to be successful in this program.” The full-time classes, we’re recruiting or doing admissions right now for the second cohort. From a Tepper standpoint, less data, but the sentiment remains the same of this is the big leagues. This is a masters program. You can do really well in an undergrad, but you’re going into a masters program now and you are living on your own and doing this sorts of things.
I think, again, it’s being upfront with candidates, whether on our website, whether in one-on-one conversations, of saying like, “We are going to support you to the nth degree, and we need to see some on your end too.”
Let’s move into the admissions realm, okay? Can you describe the application process for the MSBA? [21:39]
Yeah, I sure can, and it’s exactly the same. I’ve talked a little bit of like, well, for online, it’s this. For full-time, it’s this. Same application. You literally just select which program that you’re applying for. It’s a pretty standard application process, Linda. It only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. I always joke that the reason I know that is I made my little sister submit an application and time it. Like any good big sister, I was like, “Hey, I need a neutral party to tell me what are the roadblocks in our applications,” so I made my little sister do it. It takes about 30 minutes from start. That doesn’t account for selecting your two recommenders, and I can talk about that in a second.
But start to finish from as far as all the data you’re providing, the information, plugging in your academics, 30 minutes. Like most places, we’re going to ask for transcripts. We’re going to ask for two letters of recommendation. We use an internal form/ it’s not a free form letter. But two, they can be academic, or they can be professional. We’ve got a short answer question and a video essay, which is new to this year, and has actually really, really helped on the admission review side because it gets candidates in front of us sooner. We see their presence. We can hear about their goals. We really, really like that addition we’ve had.
It’s an entirely online application. It can be started and stopped at any time. It auto saves. You can start it out of curiosity one night, and then finish it a couple nights later. It’ll always be there for you. We’ve tried to make it as straightforward as possible and as painless as we can. All the standard things, transcripts or resume, two letters of recommendation. We do have a test waiver policy. It’s not like you can tell me yes/no for a test, but you submit a simple essay saying, “Hey, here’s why I think I can apply in lieu of the GMAT or the GRE,” and we review that and let folks know, and then we review applications.
In terms of the test waiver, do they have to submit the test waiver so many weeks before the deadline, at the deadline, or how does that work? [23:40]
Nope, just part of the application. We’ve got an upcoming application deadline. Within 10 business days after that deadline, we let folks know. It’s not a, “Yes, you’re in. No, you’re not in,” but it’s a, “Hey, we gave you a waiver.” It’s not an indicator of admission. It’s an indicator that you’ve provided enough evidence that you don’t need to submit the GMAT or the GRE. Or “hey, we need you to either give us a test or go take the GMAT or the GRE. Let us know the timeframe that you might do it.”
If somebody’s not granted a waiver, it’s not the end of the road for them. There’s just some more steps. Sometimes folks have a test score, and they’re able to provide it to us. Others need a little bit of time to study for it. They might push their application to a later round, which is completely fine with us.
The essay question asks about “your objective in pursuing the MSBA.” CMU also asked for up to the two-minute video, which you mentioned, which asks them to discuss your post-MSBA goals. Now, some applicants may feel that the questions are duplicative. Can you provide guidance on how to make the most of each question? [24:32]
Sure. Thank you for that. I think it might actually be a little duplicative, honestly, and maybe we need to wordsmith that a little bit.
What we see a lot with the written essay question is folks saying, “Here’s why now. I’m one year out of undergrad, or if I’m part-time, 10 years out of undergrad. I’ve had conversations with my supervisors.” It’s more of that of. Perhaps it’s better to frame it as, what’s your motivation to pursue an MSBA at this time? I think that’s driven by where you are professionally, where you are in your life. To say, okay, I’m a recent graduate and I know that business analytics is the hot item right now. We get a lot of folks, “I wanted to come to CMU for undergrad, and now I have this opportunity.” I think the written essay is more asking for, what’s your motivation at this point to apply?
The video essay, we worked really closely in partnership with our Masters Career Center. It’s the same essay that we ask our MBA candidates as well of, talk us through your goals. Of course, with MSBA, it’s likely, I’m going to move into an analyst role. I’m going to work for this company. But the thought that goes into it of thinking through, here are some companies that I think I might want to work for. We don’t specifically ask a plan B, but we give some guidance on maybe share a plan B, show the pencil versus pen argument.
The video essay is the opportunity to say, “Let me talk to you about my goals and talk to you about the companies and why I think I’m interested in that, but I’m also open to knowing it might take me a couple steps before I reach maybe my top company.”
Is it more long-term? [26:45]
Yeah, yeah. It’s more encompassing, but maybe we’ll do some updating of those words, Linda.
What can an interviewee expect if lucky enough to be invited to interview? [26:56]
You’re exactly right. Our interviews are by invitation only. We don’t have the capacity to interview everyone. We do a pretty nice 30-minute interview. It’s conducted by a member of the admissions team, so myself or any of my colleagues who are admission officers. It’s a behavioral style interview, so a lot of, tell me about a time when, give me an example. We always recommend candidates brush up on the STAR technique, the situation, the task, the action, and the result. It just helps to keep answers succinct, but I think too is we’re very conversational. Of course, we have a goal of the interview.
We’re trying to assess fit for the program, but it’s not meant to be a test. How I am today is how I am in an interview. I want to get to know these folks. Because our interviewers, they’re figuring out if they want to come just as much as we’re trying to assess if they will be. I would say be prepared with maybe three to five specific examples at work about leadership, about teamwork, about a time you were challenged, things like that, and allow the interviewer to lead. 30 minutes flies by. We’ve got things we need to get through, but there’s always time for questions at the end.
It’s 30 minutes, allow your interviewer to lead, but ask one or two questions at the end that you can’t really see on the website. I’ve had folks, Linda, ask me about my thesis from my masters degree because it’s on my LinkedIn. I don’t even remember my thesis from my masters degree, but it has shown me that they’ve taken the time to just dig a little bit deeper than the website, or I’ve been at Tepper a long time. I’ve been here nine years. My favorite question to answer is the growth that I’ve seen or where I see the program headed. That to me shows this candidate is really being thoughtful about the questions they’re asking instead of what’s the tuition or something that’s easily accessible on the website.
When this show airs, there will be still two rounds available for this application cycle. March 26th and May 7th are the upcoming or will be the upcoming deadlines at that point. Is an applicant in a disadvantage if they apply in these later rounds, and are they better off waiting until next year? [28:56]
Yeah, totally fair question. Absolutely not at a disadvantage. We’ve got the four formal rounds for a reason. We don’t have our fingers crossed behind our back. If you’re a competitive applicant in round one, you’re a competitive applicant in round three. We don’t have a cap of the program that we’re trying to hit. Especially as this program is growing, we want the folks in the program who are, of course, going to be academically successful and be able to get the jobs that they want, but who are going to be good contributors to the classroom, that are going to be team players, that are going to be leaders.
Sometimes those folks don’t apply until round three or until round four. Absolutely not at a disadvantage. The only not even caveat that I add is if you’re an international student, the reason we recommend earlier is because of the visa process. Did we admit folks last year in the later rounds and did they get visas? Yes, but that’s a process out of our hands. My recommendation for an international student would be earlier, but absolutely you can apply in a later round. You just have a little bit less time to get your visa if you’re admitted.
How does the MSBA differ from an MBA with a focus on analytics or a masters in management with a focus on analytics? [30:25]
There’s two simple ways. The first is it’s more technical and it’s more applied. What I mean by that is it’s a lot of business classes, but it’s business classes taught with the lens of analytics. I think I referenced it before, but I always think of our communication class. They’re all taught with this eye towards being analytics professionals. In a communications class, they focus on the science of storytelling and using data to do storytelling. It’s a communication class by nature, but it’s with an analytic lens.
Some of our core classes at the business school aren’t even taught as electives for the MBA program because they’re all specifically looking more towards that analytics lens. That’s the first, and then it’s just the how do you apply analytics? It’s one thing to learn about it, but then the application of it in these experiential learning courses to be able to say, “Okay, here’s this industry. Here’s how we’re going to apply analytics to it.” It’s in the application and then just being more technical overall.
What jobs are graduates of the programs getting, and how does CMU Tepper help them find those jobs? Are you seeing on campus recruiting coming back to Carnegie Mellon? [31:44]
Yeah, we are. It’s really interesting, Linda. Just recently, the Admissions Office moved and we combined with our Masters Career Center in one suite. It’s been really, really exciting because it’s almost like the front end with admissions where the folks are talking and then to see the end, but we’re seeing the recruiters who are coming in. We’ve got a shared lobby space. That’s just my silly anecdote. Recruiters are coming to campus. We’re in our first cohort of full-time MSBA who are recruiting. They’re in the process of getting offers. We’re still kind of waiting and seeing what type of jobs. Certainly our prediction is they’re going to get early career analytics jobs.
They’re going to get business or data analytics jobs. Our part-timers I think are getting promotions. They’re moving into more senior analyst roles within their companies. But with these full-time folks, I think we are seeing that. But the support that they get is twofold. They get support from the Tepper Masters Career Center, so they get one-on-one coaching from the Career Center. They get resume reviews. They get mock interviews. They get all of these things in addition to at the Carnegie Mellon Career Center level.
They’re able to work with both the Tepper Career Center and the larger Carnegie Mellon Career Center with access to career fairs that happen at Carnegie Mellon, specific analytic career fairs that are happening. The levels of support are quite robust from one-on-one coaching all the way up to unique access to Carnegie Mellon analytic career fairs.
Does the part-time program also have access to the Career Center, or just the full-time? [33:30]
Absolutely. Yep, absolutely they do. They’ve got the one-on-one coaching. They’ve got the access to recruiters. A part-timer can formally recruit. They do not have to only come to the program if they’re looking to stay at their company. They absolutely can recruit. Their resume becomes part of Tepper’s resume books. At Carnegie, we’ve got partnerships with over 200 recruiting partners who are coming and recruiting. They get a Tepper resume book. Even our MSBA students, their resumes are part of this resume book that employers can access.
What about applicants who are planning ahead for next fall? They’re not going to apply this cycle. How can they prepare to apply successfully? I mean, would that go back pretty much to doing the internships, demonstrating the aptitude if they don’t have the classes? I mean, what would you recommend? [34:14]
Yeah, I would recommend all of that. I think those are excellent points, Linda. I think too is to try and connect with the community as well. We’ve got student ambassadors. It’s on our website of folks who are current students in the program who don’t report their conversations back to admissions. You can have these conversations of what is life like? What’s the class?How can I prepare. They also though don’t have a bearing on admissions. They’re truly just neutral conversations, but they’re really great, because they’re living and they’re breathing the program. Talk with a student ambassador. We’re probably in the next couple weeks going to get some campus visits up and running.
Those will go throughout the spring, throughout the summer. Come to campus, eat lunch with the MSBA students. If you’re a part-time student who can’t get to campus, we’ve got our online class visits. They’re live Tepper classes. You’re kind of a fly on the wall, but you can see the interaction between faculty and students, between classmates. In addition to taking that objective look at, okay, are there any classes maybe I could take or I could audit, if you’re a college senior and I guess you’re in probably your spring semester, but maybe there’s an opportunity to tack on a class. Of course, there’s that.
But I think in addition to that is, how do I really learn more about my fit with this community? Whether it’s the nine-month full-time or the 18-month part-time, it’s a quick program. It’s going to make a lasting impact. You want to make sure that this is the right place for me. Take advantage of the resources that we provide to immerse yourself in Tepper.
What question would you like to answer that I haven’t asked? [36:06]
That’s a great question. I think it would be, “I don’t have the background you’ve talked about. Can I come to Tepper?” I talked about that a little bit, but the answer is I don’t know if you can come. I don’t know. It’s a holistic application review. Can you apply and should you apply? Absolutely. Do not count yourself out because… I think I’m very much like a list maker. I have this, check. I have this, check. I can go, okay, now I can go apply to Tepper. It is holistic. We don’t have our fingers crossed behind our back of, yes, we talked about aptitude. I don’t mean to repeat myself, but I don’t want folks to count themselves out of this program because there is no one set recipe for admission.
What if I’m not an engineer? What if I don’t have this class? What if I don’t have that? Well, then let’s have a conversation and let’s talk about what you do have and what can help make you be successful. My answer might be or my suggestion might be, hey, you might need to go take a class or two just so that you get here and you can be successful. My answer’s not going to be, “Don’t talk to me. Don’t apply.” We pride ourselves on being really approachable. We want to talk to folks. We want to share more about the program. We’re trying to grow our program, both of them. The part-time has been around several more years.
We always want to move and grow forward. If we had the same people applying, we can’t get diverse thought, we can’t get diverse backgrounds, and that doesn’t make for an enriching program. Should I apply to your program if I don’t meet the certain mold? Absolutely. And if you’re not sure about it, give us a call and we’ll talk about it.
You’ll give them some advice as to what they can do to prepare themselves? [37:52]
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