Executive MBA FAQs


Executive MBA FAQs


What experience is required to enter the program?

A minimum of six years professional business experience is required to enter the program. This requirement is in place to ensure that participants have the background necessary to participate and add value to the discussions of business issues brought to light throughout the program and during assignments.

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Do I need to take the GMAT or GRE test to be admitted to the EMBA Program?

No, GMAT and GRE scores are not required to be considered for admission into the program. The admissions committee places a heavy emphasis on professional experience and achievement, in addition to looking for demonstrated quantitative skills in undergraduate coursework.

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What are the application deadlines?

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and new cohorts start two times per year (fall and spring.) Completed applications received by the 15th of every month will be reviewed for a decision by the end of that month.  Please see the academic calendar for specific dates and final application deadlines.

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Is there an application fee?

There is a $60 non-refundable application fee. (This fee is waived for RIT alumni and veterans.)

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I started my MBA at a different school. Can I transfer the credits to this program?

No. Transfer credits are not accepted for the EMBA program. Since this is a cohort-based program, students need to work together throughout all courses. Additionally, the sequence of courses is structured with the expectation that certain models, theories, and methods are covered prior to students progressing through their courses.

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How many classes will I be taking each session?

Online Executive MBA courses are 6 weeks in length. Students take 2-3 courses each session, equating to 6-7 each semester, for a total of 25 courses and 49 credits over 17 months.

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How will I get my books?

All course materials will be provided in electronic format to each Online Executive MBA student. Students will also be supplied with an iPad which will be used to access the course materials.

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How many hours outside of class should I plan for assignments?

Everyone learns at a different pace, but typically success-oriented EMBA students put in approximately 20 to 30 hours a week to complete assignments and work with their team. Toward the end of the program, more time will be required to complete the Capstone project.

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How are the students divided into teams?

Teams of 3 to 5 people are established based on duration and level of work experience, functional discipline, industry sector, and educational backgrounds. We strive to create well-balanced, diverse teams so you can learn to work and grow together. Students also come to rely on one another for support, both educationally and personally, throughout their EMBA experience.

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Where will I go on the Saunders International Experience?

We are always looking at the global environment to determine a location where students can see some of the latest developments in technology, globalization, and innovation. The choice of venue for the international residency is based on global trends, country-specific attributes, and logistical considerations. Recent classes have gone to China and Europe.

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How will I balance work, family and the EMBA program?

Because spouses, family members, and employers are often surprised at the time commitment of the RIT program, you need to inform them that you will be taking a rigorous online Executive MBA (EMBA) program for the next 17 months and that your time for “extracurricular” activities will be very limited. However, with careful planning, you can still have a life outside of school and work. Many students find that making plans to celebrate during the occasional week off between semesters, and at the end of the program with family and friends, is a good way to make up for the sacrifices everyone makes throughout the program. Planning a party, vacation or other exciting event will help keep everyone motivated for 17 months. In addition to support from family and friends, students also have access to online EMBA alumni through our mentoring program. Students will receive short biographies and contact information for alumni who will be assigned as their mentors throughout the entire program. Mentors are a valuable resource with firsthand knowledge and advice from their experiences in the program.

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What if I start the program and find I cannot finish it?

Each student is different, and at times personal situations arise that can make learning difficult. We will work with you on an individual basis to determine the best path for you. It may include taking a leave of absence or waiting for a future session to begin your online Executive MBA program.

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What are some of the intangible benefits I will realize through the EMBA program?

You will not only learn new business theories, but you will increase your confidence, writing ability, presentation/speaking skills, leadership awareness, teamwork abilities, and professional and personal networks through faculty, staff, and peers.

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What degree will I earn?

You will earn an MBA degree.

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What are the differences between an EMBA and an MBA?

Executive MBA programs allow students to study as they continue to work while traditional MBA programs often assume that students are studying full time. EMBAs also tend to enroll more experienced professionals with proven track records and demonstrated leadership potential. Thus, top EMBAs match the quality and rigor of full-time MBAs but attract more seasoned individuals who are able to add greater value to each other's education. The cohort nature of Executive MBA programs—all students progress through the program with the same class and team, taking the same courses—promotes peer-to-peer learning and encourages strong networking and lifelong personal and business relationships. In general, traditional MBA students possess more academic knowledge than business savvy and can take years to prove their potential, while the payoff from experienced EMBA students' learning is tangible and immediate. Furthermore, the value of earning an Executive MBA midcareer continues to grow as organizations and students experience a faster return on investment.

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Do you have an alumni network?

Yes, RIT boasts an active network of more than 110,000 alumni.

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Whom do I talk to if I have more questions or if I want to apply?

Please call 1.585.475.2729 to speak with an Admissions Officer for more information.

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Reflections on Un-frequently Asked Questions: M2BA – A Meaningful MBA Experience

 Marty Lawlor, Program DirectorAs program director for an online Executive MBA program, I speak to many prospective students, and field numerous questions about the program.  Most of the inquiries have to do with the operations or outcomes of the program—the time commitment each week, the technology used for delivery, the cohort model, or ROI for the program, to name a few.I am surprised, however, by the questions that often don’t get asked: “Will I think differently as a result of this program?”  “Will my colleagues view me differently?”  “Will I form meaningful relationships with my cohort or instructors?”  “Will I have the confidence to lead a major project when I’m done with the program?”  I’ve concluded that, for many applicants, pursuing an MBA degree is perceived as a relatively simple exchange—take these courses; receive your degree. Though it may be incomplete, that perception is not entirely incorrect.  There are hundreds of MBA programs in the U.S. alone—both on-campus and online.  At the very least, most deliver a basic core curriculum of management, finance, accounting and marketing courses in which students learn to read an income statement, define a value proposition, calculate a net present value, and more.  A sizeable majority of MBA programs are further differentiated by breadth and depth of offering, or by specialty programs or concentrations.  The basic offering, albeit with some variations, remains essentially the same—a set of tools for the manager’s tool belt.  The result is a hyper-competitive MBA market with many programs promoting largely undifferentiated offerings amidst fierce rivalry. In this type of market, where potential students find it difficult to perceive real differences among programs, schools try to out-compete their rivals by acquiring similar resources and developing more, but basically similar, capabilities.  Michael Porter of Harvard Business School calls this “competition to be the best.”  Since very few schools can be crowned “the best,” however, this is a losing proposition for most schools.  Competing to be “the best” in the billion-dollar school endowment market is a tough slog even for those few programs that do have the wherewithal to outspend everyone else. RIT’s Online Executive MBA program has taken a different approach.  We’ve given significant thought to the distinctive value we can deliver, as well as to the type of students who would best benefit from our specific set of resources and capabilities.  For a while we thought our value was largely in the high-touch delivery of our program: small classes; smart committed faculty; two instructors for each class; and a dedicated and innovative staff to deliver a friction-free Executive MBA experience.  While we continue to believe that high-touch in an online program is unusual and does in fact create value, we’ve come to see that our distinctive value is in creating a meaningful MBA experience for our students, an M2BA, for short.
  • A meaningful MBA provides more than a tool belt and some tools; it causes students to think differently about business as well as themselves.  One graduate told us that, had he known earlier what he learned about himself during the program, he never would have taken his last job. Many of our graduates not only move to new positions, but also gain the personal insight and confidence to move to new industries.
  • A meaningful MBA provides a crucible experience for curious students.  It’s rigorous and intellectually rewarding.  Students learn that tension and differing viewpoints among team members can be productive and positive, and that it’s not just okay to challenge someone’s position, but often necessary.
  • Most MBA programs teach a basic set of skills.   A meaningful MBA provides multiple opportunities to apply theory to practice.  There’s a world of difference, for example,  between reading a case about consulting and actually negotiating a statement of work and then completing a messy 24-week project for a client.   Coincidentally, employers increasingly tell us it’s not what students know that’s important, but what they know how to do.
  • A meaningful MBA, especially an Executive MBA, provides an opportunity for students to learn not only from their instructors, but from each other as well.  We know that experienced managers and executives want to engage with other seasoned individuals who have faced and addressed similar problems.  This is a highly desired attribute of executive MBA programs in general, and one that we refer to as EMBA “fit.”  We define this as the ability of a student to both contribute to, and benefit from, membership in a cohort and specific team for the duration of the program.  This is as important as any other criterion in our admissions process.
  • Finally, a meaningful MBA doesn’t happen by chance.  It’s the successful outcome of a well-designed program whose curriculum, structure, and delivery all work together in a way that allows students to apply their learning right from the start, and to realize immediate returns on their investment.
Click these links for more information about RIT’s Online Executive MBA program and to hear from our graduates themselves.
   

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Beyond the Promotional Mix: Paid, Owned and Earned Media

I was recently asked this question by a reporter doing a piece on digital marketing:

Do businesses still need a website in 2015? With the proliferation of social networking sites, and more activity by businesses on FB, Twitter and others, do they still need to maintain a website? 

It would be so easy to answer “No” to this question, however, it’s not that simple. A marketer today needs to think about their marketing communications beyond the traditional promotional mix (advertising, direct marketing, social networking, etc.) and strive for a more comprehensive as well as integrated approach.

Today, one needs to think about presence in terms of paid, owned and earned media. These three categories of communication have different audiences, goals and results:

  • Paid Media is comprised of traditional advertising including print, TV, radio, display, direct mail, paid search and promotions. Paid media is directed toward the target market in general and the goal here is to build brand reputation, frame the product experience and/or infuse my brand, as a symbol, with values and identity.
  • A corporate website, campaign microsites, blogs, brand community, Facebook fan page, mobile apps, etc. make up the Owned Media portion of my communications portfolio. Owned media is targeted at the consumers of my product and the goal here is to enhance brand knowledge, reinforce brand choice and provide additional incentive to do business with my company.
  • Earned Media is the word of mouth message carried by my most loyal customers and brand fans. It includes Facebook comments, Twitter (@mentions, @replies), Vine, blogs, forums, review sites – anything in which the customer creates the content. The goal here is to achieve an authentic voice promoting my brand and product experience. Customer recommendations are the most powerful of endorsement. The marketer can only indirectly influence this message, though.

As a marketer develops a content strategy, each of these channels will play an important role in brand communications. Integrating content across all three mediums results in what is called converged media – the most powerful of integrated communications.

So, to go back to the original question, one cannot substitute social networking for all marketing communication efforts. The best marketers make sure they are creating a brand personality using integrated content, providing an integrated experience across paid, owned and earned medias.

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