Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business is welcoming a newly launched Masters of Science in Management (MSM) program. The one-year program is designed for early-career professionals with zero to two years of work experience who are looking for a career pivot or to gain business skills. If that sounds interesting to you, you don’t want to miss this episode of Admissions Straight Talk, where Linda Abraham sits down with Dr. Kevin Dietrick, director of the MS in Business Analytics and MS in Management Program to learn more about the program and how to get in.
Are you a college junior or senior with an interest in business and a non-business major? Or maybe you’ve graduated already and you feel like you need to boost your knowledge of business to propel your career and have a life of impact and consequence. Today’s show is with the director of Carnegie Mellon Tepper’s brand new Masters of Management. Let’s learn all about it, because it might just be the program for you.
Welcome to the 553rd episode of Admissions Straight Talk. Thanks for joining me. Before we dive into today’s interview, I want to mention a resource at Accepted that can help you prepare your statement of purpose to a Master’s in Management program or other graduate programs. Download Five Fatal Flaws To Avoid In Your Grad School Statement of Purpose to learn how to avoid the five most common mistakes that we see in grad school statements of purpose, as well as tips on how to write a statement of purpose that makes your story memorable and highlights your qualifications for your target program.
Our guest today is Dr. Kevin Dietrick, Director of the MS in Business Analytics and MS in Management Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. Dr. Dietrick attended Allegheny College as an undergrad and earned his master’s in education and his PhD in Higher Education and Higher Education Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. He has been working in higher ed for most of the last 12 years. He came to CMU Tepper in 2018 as senior associate director of student services and became the director of the MS in Business Analytics in August and the director of the MS in Management last month.
Dr. Dietrick, welcome to Admissions Straight Talk and congratulations on those positions. [2:12]
Thank you, Linda. Thanks for the introduction. Thanks for having me.
My pleasure. Now let’s start with a really basic question. What is the MS in Management at CMU Tepper and who is it for? [2:16]
That’s a really excellent question and I think a good place for us to start today. The new MS in Management – we just launched it a couple of months ago – is a new venture that we have here at Tepper that falls into what I think is a suite of master’s degree programs offered through Tepper. It is a one-year business degree, and to the question of who is it for, it is for folks who are early on in their career. So we talk a lot about pre-experience. That’s not necessarily exclusive. It doesn’t mean you have to have zero experience, but generally, zero to two years of work experience is the type of student that you’ll find in this program starting. Very exciting, the fall of 2024.
So what that person looks like, and I know we’re going to dig into a little bit of that today, but just to give you a little bit of a sense of what we’re anticipating and frankly what we’re searching for. I think this is a really neat opportunity for folks who maybe are looking for an early career pivot. And so, I think that looks and manifests in a couple of different ways. It might be simply that what I studied in college, I don’t actually want to do. Maybe I was a computer science major, maybe I was an engineering major, and maybe I’m just looking for a little bit of a pivot and determining, you know what, I don’t want to be a programmer. I don’t want to work as a software engineer.
Looking for those opportunities to either take your skillset and say, I have these skills and I want to pivot them into business, or it could just be a wholesale change. We’re accepting applications from students from every undergraduate, major and background. If you’re interested in the program, we absolutely want to talk to you, but to your point, English or history, this is an excellent opportunity for folks who are maybe looking for that new direction.
And the other pathway, again, very similar is maybe I worked for a year or two and I’m not quite to that age work experience, experience level where I can really quite start looking at a degree like an MBA, but I want to do a little bit of an early career pivot. I want to collect some business skills. And so this is a really neat opportunity for folks that fall into a couple of different buckets that I just described there.
It doesn’t sound like it would be appropriate for somebody who has an undergraduate business degree. Is that correct? [4:32]
Like I said before, we’re accepting applications from just about anyone. If you’re interested in the program, absolutely come talk to us. And that would include business.
Can you provide an overview or tell us a little bit about how the program is structured and what people will actually study? [4:47]
Absolutely. So the first thing I’ll say, and I try to be transparent with every candidate that we talk to, is it’s a busy program. It goes by in the blink of an eye. As we sit here today in the middle of November, I have a group of students in another program who just started a couple of months ago and they’re well on their way to being halfway done with their program that is similar, in that it’s a one-year program. So Masters of Science in Management, it’s a nine-month program. Students have coursework in fall and spring, and then they’re out the door in May. What they’re going to get here while they’re on campus is obviously, that’s what we’re here to talk about today. They’re going to get a couple of things. They’re going to get some foundation laying in business areas, introduction to business, introduction to business skills.
All of that’s going to be really core and important to them before they actually start and jump into the program. So we’ll go through, what we call here is the base camp. That’s the start of the journey, before you climb the mountain. They’ll start here at basecamp and go through things like that, do some leadership development. We’ll put them through some job search prep as well before we jump into the program. And then once we do the curriculum and the topics that they’re going to cover and something that we’re starting to talk to employers about as well in terms of the skill sets, they’re going to go through, I think what you would expect to see in a lot of business schools, but I think differentiated to the Tepper flavor, econ, finance, accounting, we take a very quantitative nature here. So PropStats is going to be an important class for folks to come in and take early on in their time here.
The first semester, and we break our semesters up into what we call minis here. First semester is going to be very, very required course heavy, some of the courses I just stated. And then in addition to that, operations, marketing, they’ll take a communications course. And then once you get to the second half of that first semester, that’s when actually students will have an opportunity to start diving into electives a little bit. And then onward into the second half of the program, that spring semester, much, much heavier opportunity for elective coursework. And so something that’s a part of this program is the opportunity to specialize. And so we’ve introduced in year one, initially three, but we just added two, in fact, pretty hot off the press, just added two new specializations, so students can come here and via their elective coursework specialize in areas like finance, marketing, operations. And then the two newest ones we just added are entrepreneurship and strategy as well.
Got it. It sounds like it’s a very dynamic situation for the program if it’s developing that quickly. [7:21]
Yeah. And I think that this hearkens to something that we were maybe speaking to before the call started here, and that is that in particular with these one-year programs, it’s very important for us to speak to what we’re hearing in the way of feedback and iterating the program to meet needs of both students and hiring market as well.
Right. Now, there was a fairly long Poets&Quants article about the MSM and on the Tepper website there’s a focus on management science, specifically management science and how Carnegie Mellon really epitomizes that approach to management. How does management science differ from plain management? There are many masters in management programs. [7:51]
That’s correct. And I appreciate the question. We talk about a couple of things here, I think pretty regularly at Tepper. We talk a lot about the intelligent future. We talk a lot about our methodology of teaching business education. And so, I appreciate the intro making me think back to my days when I started here a little over five years ago. And it struck me right away that there’s a core to this place and the way we teach business education that has been in existence for as long as the school has been around back to its days as the Graduate School of Industrial Administration. And that is using informed quantitative methods to make business decisions, to drive business decisions.
And so, your question hearkens to that core of who we are. It is a master’s of science program because of the quantitative core that students are going to get while they’re here. So a lot of the things that we mentioned here, there’s going to be necessary, and I think very helpful, quantitative and mathematical components to the education in the classroom. And I think that’s a big differentiator for us. And of course, as we mentioned, something we’re very proud of.
Thank you. That was a very good answer. How does the Tepper MSM differ from the Tepper’s Masters in Business Analytics? [9:34]
I’m hopefully the right person for that question, as you mentioned.
Exactly. I can’t imagine anybody being better, more qualified. [9:45]
I get the opportunity to oversee both programs. And frankly, the MS in Business Analytics is going to be so much more niche. And so what we’re asking those students to do in particular, once they go out, they leave us and they go out into the workforce. But even while they’re here, I mean, it’s going to be much heavier in programming, statistical methods and modeling, machine learning courses. That program is really geared towards preparing folks for a life immersed in data as a data scientist, analyst, business intelligence analyst. So that’s going to be a key distinction. I think what differentiates candidates when we talk to them is that they have that keen interest in going straight into that niche area.
And the master’s in management is a little bit more general, a little bit more flexible. [10:32]
That’s correct. Thank you. Yeah, thank you.
What jobs do you anticipate graduates of the MSM program will go into or will get? I know you’re talking to employers. [10:38]
Yeah, excellent question. And so what we’ve tried to do is inform our processes here, and I think you see that manifest in the curriculum. There’s a little bit of we’re going to see, but there’s been a lot of data collected and a lot of what we’re anticipating. So what we anticipate, and I think what we’ll see is that graduates of this program can slot into a variety of functions across a number of different industries.
We mentioned pre-experience, early career, and so they’re going to slot into more at the entry level of jobs. But that’s okay. I mean, that’s what the program is designed for. And I think in terms of, just to hit on a couple of areas within that entry level, we’re trying to speak to needs, both internal and external, and strengths, internal and external as well. So just to give you an example, we spoke through some of our specializations, areas like operations, management and marketing. Those are areas where I anticipate that folks will find their way into. And then of course, the opportunities are going to span across different industries, healthcare and tech, consulting and the like I think will hopefully, a year from now when we get back together, we’ll be immersed in our first class and talking about where they’re going.
Right. Analyst positions, I assume. [11:58]
Yes, that’s correct.
You touched on this a little bit earlier in the interview, but what kind of academic background are you looking for, should they have? Even if that history, major political science major, which was my major way back in the day, what kind of quantitative background should they acquire maybe before they apply or certainly before they attend? Or will you admit people and then tell them, “Look, you’re admitted contingent upon you completing these courses” or whatever they are? [12:03]
That’s an excellent question, and I think I’ll highlight, as you mentioned, something I said before, and that is that we’re looking for a diversity within our student body. So we’re welcoming applications from a variety of backgrounds and hopeful that if candidates are interested, they’ll come and talk to us.
The other piece I’ll mention is that students, while they’re here on campus, we’ll get them what they need. And so there’s going to be a couple of components to supporting them academically, supporting them prior to their arrival. But what we’re looking for in the application, in addition to the variety of undergraduate majors, is we’ll ask that students have taken one college level mathematics course. That could be a calc, that could be a stats, but one college level mathematics course. And we will look at AP credit as well. So if students maybe got AP calc credit, we’ll look at that as well as a part of the application. So we hope students will submit that too.
And then to the latter part of your question, in the interest of making sure that students, again, they’re going to get what they need when they’re here on campus, do a little bit of math prep prior to their arrival, embedded during their orientation or perhaps just before, something that they can do asynchronously at their self-paced type of model. So that’s a little bit about what we’re looking for in terms of academic background.
Any writing or communications component that you’d like to see in terms of their academic preparation? Because you could get the computer science guy who’s just been in that computer science lab too, right? [13:51]
Yeah, that’s important as well. And what I’ll highlight, and I think this goes back to the quantitative piece, is we’re not looking for a finished product. We’re here to help you polish and refine, to land at a finished product. So yeah, absolutely, we’ll evaluate things. This gets into the application and the application cycle a little bit, but there’s an essay involved. There’s a video essay involved.
And so certainly, we’ll be evaluating those things like communication skills through the application and through the resume. We’ll be looking at things like, what have you done in your college career? What sort of leadership skills might you have started to develop? Again, not looking for a finished product, but what have you done? Because that is harder to exhibit when you’re an early career professional, you’re not going to have management experience. So we’re looking for those other avenues where candidates can show us, “Hey, I really do have this potential, and I had these really neat experiences as an undergraduate student or perhaps in my first year on my job that I’m going to bring with me. I’m going to bring those learnings and continue to refine and polish here.”
That leads to my next question, which is about the experience that you’re looking for now. It’s “pre-experience.” So when you talk about pre-experience, that really means pre full-time experience. But do you want to see people that maybe worked part-time or had internships or took leadership roles on campus even if they weren’t paid leadership roles? I mean, is that something that you’d like to see, since it is a pre-experience program? [15:06]
Yeah, absolutely. I’m a big believer in story and journey. And if you’ve had these experiences that have led you to a pivot or you’ve had these experiences that led you to feel you should go in this direction versus that one which you originally thought was the way for you, I still think there’s just such a tremendous amount of value in those experiences and speaking to those experiences.
So yes, absolutely. Internships, clubs and activities, leadership opportunities through those, all of those things are going to be things that I think bring a lot of value to the classroom experience here. And so I want to hear about them and I want to see them through the application process.
They also demonstrate certain personal qualities that can be valuable in business. I assume as a member of the class, whether it’s initiative, creativity, managerial, organizational skills, teamwork, all those things show up. So I guess what I’m trying to say is, pre-experience doesn’t mean no experience. [16:12]
Exactly right. Pre-experience does not mean no experience. I don’t think we often take the time to sit back and think about how the journey that we are on is bringing us experience. It’s taking us from point A to point B. And so, I really want to emphasize that part you just mentioned that pre-experience doesn’t mean no experience, but let’s highlight what you have there and let’s talk about it.
I’ll never forget one of my first clients. It was probably 25 years ago and she was a lovely, lovely young woman. She wanted to talk about traveling to a certain country. She was of that ethnicity. I said, “Oh, that’s fascinating. When did you visit this country?” She says, “I never visited that country.” I said, “How do you…” And I was just starting out. I was really shocked. Unfortunately, I’m not so easily shocked anymore. She says, “I’ve never visited that country.” I said, “Then how do you want to write about visiting it?” She says, “Oh, I know many people who visited it.” And I said, “Do you have a background in creative writing?” And she said, “No.” I said, “Well, neither do I. What have you done? Let’s talk about that.” In the end, she had really some fascinating stories. Her essay is still on the site as a sample essay.
And she got into the school she wanted to go to. She got into her first choice school. But I mean, it was just bizarre. And again, she was otherwise a lovely, lovely young woman. She just didn’t have confidence in herself. And she ended up writing an outstanding essay. Again, pre-experience does not mean no experience. And she had some fascinating experiences that spoke volumes about her personality and character. [16:58]
I’ll bring a very brief personal anecdote into the conversation. And perhaps I’m showing why I feel a particular way at the direction of these programs. I grew up doing a ton of traveling in my childhood. I was in a transitory family. We moved every three years. My father’s from the US, my mother’s from Central America. My name doesn’t lend to that sort of thinking, but I grew up in a biracial household, and so much of my formative experiences was spent in Central America, in Panama. And growing up in regular, consistent cadence in another country at times, that had a huge impact on me. That’s not work experience, that’s not internship experience, but it’s experience. It impacted who I’m, and I think that’s why I speak so passionately to that direction.
I think that’s a great point. Let’s turn to the application components. You touched on them a minute ago, let’s go a little bit deeper into them. The test requirement is the GRE, the GMAT or the EA. Do you have any preference? [19:24]
No preference. And I know we’ve been getting some questions about the GMAT focus, that’s also in play here, but no, we don’t have a preference. I’ll mention too, Linda, that we do offer a waiver for candidates. So that’s also an option. And in particular, that type of student that generally might be in conversation or in play for a waiver, it’s going to be someone with a little bit more of that Quant side of the background. So we’re looking at the transcript, looking at the resume, and we’re seeing what we feel comfortable foregoing the test and granting that waiver.
If a candidate applies for a waiver but is not granted that waiver, it’s not an outright no, it’s, let’s have a conversation. Here’s what we’re seeing. We’d like you to take the test, we’ll give you X amount of time to go take that test and then come back to us and have a conversation with the results. So it’s not an outright, no, I want to make sure I state that as well.
Okay, great. Thank you. Now, the essay question that you touched on a minute ago asks applicants to “provide an example of when you experienced or created an inclusive environment and how you’ll use that experience to help members of the community reach their full potential.” Could you provide some guidance on how to respond to that question or make the most of that question? [20:33]
Yeah, and there’s a couple components that I’ll use to contextualize as well. I think one is social impact is very important to Tepper in this day and age, and so that gets to the community portion. The other is that within the cohort of masters of science and management students that come to campus, this group of students will be spending a lot of time together. So community, again, another theme here is going to be very important.
So with respect to that question, we want to know a candidate’s viewpoint on community, on being a community member, on what that has meant for them, how it relates to their impact on the communities that they’ve been a part of, and what they’re going to bring to us here in terms of quality and experience, again, as a Tepper student.
It is almost more of a personal statement than traditional statement of purpose. And then the two-minute video, that seems to be more akin to a traditional statement of purpose in terms of the content and the question, which is, “Please describe your post MSM career goals.” And why have a video as opposed to a written essay for that one? [21:38]
Yeah, that’s a really good question. And I’ve got to tell you, Linda, I’m a big fan of the video essays that we’ve incorporated here at Tepper. And I’ll spin into some tips, if you will.
Oh, I’d love it. Sure. [22:08]
With respect to the video essay, that’s an opportunity for us to evaluate candidates in a finite period of time. I’m trying to see and evaluate how they take a question, which they could spend five, 10 minutes on and condense it down. So we’re getting into, eventually that will get them into preparing for their, “tell me about yourself and your elevator pitch.” You have this story, you got to get it down to this amount of time. So I think that’s one component that I like about it. It’s also an opportunity for us to evaluate communication skills outside of the writing space, the speaking space, which is very important, that verbal communication. It’s an opportunity for us to evaluate a candidate’s poise and gravitas and their ability to, how they’re presenting themselves. It’s an opportunity, we tell a lot of candidates here, every interaction, is you are presenting yourself to a company, to an alum, to a recruiter.
And so it’s an opportunity to see how candidates handle that opportunity with us. And I love having that opportunity to hear from candidates as well, that spoken, verbal, about what they’re interested in, why are they interested in us? Something I’d make sure to mention in response here as well is it’s easy to tell when folks are reading off the screen. I would say both of those are no-nos.
So it’s an opportunity for us to see how a candidate prepares. And there’s a difference between preparing and then delivering without reading, and then preparing and then just reading a statement. And I want to see how they prepare and then deliver that prepared statement or structure, that skeleton outline that they put together.
Thank you. That was very informative. What can an interviewee expect if lucky enough to be asked an interview and are all admitted students interviewed? Is that your intention? [23:58]
Yes. Yes to the question. At any point, if a candidate ends up on campus here, if they get admitted to the program, they’ll have been interviewed. And so what can they expect? So they’ll, during an interview, meet with myself or perhaps a member of our admissions team, and they’ll go through a series of questions that are geared towards informing us, informing the application, so it’s another input into the application file as well. And it’s an opportunity for us just to see how they would be in existence here as a Tepper Master’s of Science and Management student.
We’ll go through a series of behavioral questions, no gotcha questions, but certainly designed to make sure folks are thinking on their toes and see how they think on their toes. I like to think of them as, we’re not yes or no questions. There’s not right or wrong answers, it’s not a test, but we want to see how you’re thinking and how you process, and hear a little bit about your background and why you’re interested in the program as well. So it’s our face-to-face opportunity to dive in and see if we’re hearing a consistent story across the application, across the video essay into this interview. And another, I think, really good opportunity for us to evaluate how someone communicates, how they interact one-to-one, of course via Zoom, which is, it has its differences, but I think it’s still a good metric for us.
Okay, great. Thank you. That was a great answer. Now when this show airs, there will be three rounds available for this application cycle in the class entering in fall 2024. Round two has a January 21st deadline, Round three has a March 31st deadline, and round four has a May 19th deadline.
Is an applicant at a disadvantage if they apply round three or four, or is it too soon for you to even tell that it’s a brand new program? Would somebody be better off waiting until next year? What do you think, from the preliminary indications of interest? [25:32]
Yeah, there’s always that balance. I always like to tell students, just because you never know what could happen, the earlier you apply, or at least the earlier that you’re talking to us, the better you position yourself. But in a sense, the answer here is no. And that is because we’re going to be building. And I always talk about it, I’ve talked a little bit about profile and I’ve talked a little bit about diversity within a class. We’re going to be building a class for a year, and we do that very intentionally. I say a year, I should say a cycle of four rounds. But we do that very intentionally, Linda, and I think that’s because we have the community, we have the student experience so much in mind that it does take four rounds to really put a class together.
So for those folks who are listening who maybe you feel like you’re late in the game, first off, absolutely not. You have plenty of time before that round two deadline. And if you’re, maybe you’re catching this on the web a little bit later, maybe it’s February or March, there’s still absolutely plenty of time to have a conversation, put in an application. Our website, I love this, our website says you can put an application in, I think it says under 30 minutes or at around 30 minutes. And so, if you’re listening, let’s have a conversation about your interests and your desires, your career goals and outcomes that you’re looking for, and we’ll see what the right direction is for you.
Looks like you really welcome calls with questions from potential applicants. [27:31]
Linda, I love talking to prospective students. I am on LinkedIn, and I absolutely welcome these conversations. It’s one of the very rewarding parts of my day. I’ve talked a lot about journey and experience, and I want to hear from people and hear where they are, where they’ve been, and where they’re looking to go. I think it’s very important.
This show is supposed to air on December 12th, so it’s a little more than a month before the round two deadline. It’s enough time to put together a wonderful application. What would you advise anyone aiming to apply this cycle, whether it’s round two, three, or four, aiming to apply this cycle to the masters, the MSM, the Masters of Science in Management at Carnegie, Mellon? [27:57]
I’d advise maybe to go back to a couple of earlier portions of the program, rewind and re-listen, a couple of times.
You gave wonderful advice. That comment is very good. [28:31]
Aside from the joke though, I think there’s a couple of things that I really want to draw out from folks.
Come talk to us about your story. Tell us your story through your application. That’s really your opportunity to tell us who you are, why you’re a good fit for this program, why you’re a good candidate for MSM, and why you’ll be successful here. So tell us your story.
So I think another neat opportunity is to come visit campus. I’m trying to think of timeline here and when this is airing, but if you have the opportunity, come visit Pittsburgh too. If you’ve not been to Tepper, we live in this brand new beautiful building. We’ve been here since I started. Right at the heart of Carnegie Mellon’s campus, it’s this great central location. It’s a hub of activity and innovation, so it’s really nice to get here and see all of that going on. So come to campus, sit in, I don’t have any current MS and management classes currently ongoing, but come sit in on a class, see what it’s like in the classroom and start to see yourself here. I think that’s a really important part of the journey to land at a place like Tepper as well, is to make sure it’s the right fit too.
What about those planning ahead to apply next fall or later? How can they prepare to apply successfully? [29:43]
So there’s a couple of things that I’d call out. I think one is if let’s say for example, you’re in college and listening to this, maybe you’re a sophomore or junior, do you look at that math course? Make sure you have that college-level math course. And if you have the opportunity, maybe you’ve already taken it or maybe you took that AP calc course, it wouldn’t hurt to brush up. So look at that academic preparation component, making sure that you’re ready for that quantitative component of the program.
I think second is if you’re really thinking about this, you’re starting to prepare yourself, look ahead to your summer internship for this upcoming summer and find something that will be of benefit to you, be of benefit to you, your experience, your application as well. And make sure you’re using that summertime wisely, so look for an internship.
And then the last component I would say as well, I’m a big believer in conversation. I’m a big believer, I think a lot of times nowadays you hear of a personal advisory board, whether you’re that formal or whether you’re a little bit more informal, start networking, start hearing people’s journeys and their stories and asking, ‘how would you prepare or what would you do in this situation?’ And I know that’s personally guided me a lot in my life and career, and I think that other people have so much wisdom to share and they’re willing to share. So that’s something else I would highly recommend.
A couple of thoughts occurred as you were talking because it was again a wonderful answer. For those people applying ahead, let’s say you’re a college junior now and you have an opportunity to intern at a consulting company domestically. Or you have an opportunity to do some fantastic volunteer work supplying fresh water or something like that to a village in Africa. One is very directly business-related and the other is not, but it would be an incredible life experience. What would you advise that person to do? [31:15]
That’s a good question, Linda. I like how you’re thinking on your toes here.
What I would say is there’s frankly not going to be a right or wrong. I think what’s most important in this situation is that a candidate be able to justify, I did this because of this reason and here’s why it was important or why it is important to me. So more so than right or wrong, this is the answer to the test, for you to get into Tepper’s new Master’s of Science and Management program, I think you have to make it relevant. You have to be able to tell that story and make sure it’s relevant. I think there’s a ton of value to, we’ve talked a little bit about social impact and the sustainability component. I think there’s a tremendous amount of value. Likewise, there’s a lot of very practical value in going out and getting some consulting work experience.
As I think about the journey that students will be on here, they’ll fairly quickly come into the program and have to identify what type of specialization they’d like to jump in. So that’s where something like, Hey, I have experience in X. I can say checkbox, yes, I want to go in that direction. Or maybe I had a finance internship, but I want to go in the marketing direction or vice versa. So there’s that very practical component to the latter, but I think more so than yes, no, this one versus that, I think being able to justify and tell your story.
That’s a great answer. Thank you. One thing we haven’t discussed too much in terms of the video is the importance of direction and goal. We talked about a pivot, somebody who doesn’t like what they’re doing. How important is clarity in terms of the future? And again, I don’t mean that somebody needs to know the title they’re going to have or the address, the suite number. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about a sense of career direction. [33:33]
Yeah, you hit it right on the head. I think that the part that is most important for me there is I want to reemphasize that folks, when they get here, should not be a finished product necessarily. We’re not looking for them to be the best communicator and have the content knowledge of all of our classes that we have on the website. They’re going to develop while they’re here.
With that sort of way of thinking in mind, I would say a similar answer here. Direction, yes, finished product, no. You should have some idea. You should be starting to go in a particular direction. Doesn’t mean you can’t pivot. And it certainly doesn’t mean… We’re going to be here counseling them throughout the process. It’s going to be a very important part of the experience here, and that is career journey, career discovery. So some idea, looking for that direction, absolutely, yes. Does it need to be, as you said, I know I’m going to be in the corner office on the 37th floor of this building, not necessarily.
Let’s say I go to the MSM, I work for three or four years or whatever, and then I decide I want to go back for an MBA. Will I have to take the full two-year MBA program? [35:20]
No, you won’t. So this pairs very nicely with an MBA offering that we have here at Tepper that is an accelerated MBA. So a lot of the core that students will take here during MSM that we spoke to earlier in this conversation, they’ll have that core. They’re not going to need to repeat it. So if you’re someone who’s thinking about maybe an MBA down the line, this is actually a really nice pairing so that you don’t have to come back and do a full on two year MBA.
Okay, great. Thank you. What question would you have liked me to ask you? [36:03]
I made a note to highlight a couple of our additional specializations. I’ve already done that, but just to make sure I re-emphasize that.
We’ve added strategy and entrepreneurship, in addition to our finance, marketing and operations specialization. So these are going to be really key areas where students can start to differentiate themselves and also build those skill sets. So I want to say that that’s a really, really neat feature of the program that I would highlight.
I think that’s about it, Linda. I mean, I really appreciated the conversation here. Anything else that I didn’t talk about?
Yeah, I was just thinking there’s one thing, and that is there an experiential component to the program? [36:47]
That’s a good question. So because, this is in mind with returning back for an MBA down the road someday, which will consist of an experiential component, this MSM does not have sort of a while you’re in the program experiential component. The way we’re thinking about it is students come to get an MSM, complete the program, get their work experience, and then a few years down the line, then they can come back for that MBA. So that middle portion is how I’ve couched the experience in my mind. But no, there’s no experience component to the program.
Getting back to the specializations that you touched on a minute ago, about how many classes does one take if you’re focusing on one of those areas and does everybody have to concentrate? [37:27]
Everyone will complete a specialization while they’re here on campus. So the specialization will consist of five classes. Within a given specialization area, we’ve identified certain courses that are required as a part of the specialization, and that’s three per specialization. So if you want to get a specialization in finance, you would take three courses that we’ve identified as, ‘you need to take these,’ and then you have two elective options.
Then outside of that, you’ll also have additional elective space as well. So it’s condensed, it’s a fast-paced one-year program, but you also have ample opportunity to make sure that you’re taking courses that help differentiate your resume and also help you with developing your skills to help make sure you’re doing a great job once you leave here at Tepper.
Great. I want to thank you so much for joining me today. I really enjoyed learning about Carnegie Mellon’s new, brand new Masters of Science and Management. [38:24]
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