AdmitMBA360 Blog formerly Journey to my MBA

Journey to my MBA

Friday, February 17, 2006

Way to go VirginaTech B-School with your new podcast!

Looks like we have another Business School related Podcast on the scene. Rather quietly, VirginaTech's Executive MBA program started a Podcast back in August of 2005. Their posting is quite sporadic, but averages out to one every two weeks.

Although, this may sound like I'm coming out of left field, I've actually been thinking about this for quite a while. I'm a person who tends to pursue effective implementation of things. When I see processes or tasks that could be done quicker or more effectively, I try to do something about it. I almost never have the solution. I only see the initial gap. Then, I take the people or task and I find a solution that fills the gap. This Blog is a testimony of that characteristic in me. I guess, you could say that if you work with me, you'll get your gaps fixed (ha ha hee hee).

For several years now, I've been terribly frustrated with the whole Business School info session, research and apply to us thing. While doing my own application stuff, I just couldn't overlook the flagrant gaps in how B-Schools market themselves and connect with applicants.

One solution that I think would help bridge the gap for B-Schools is to consider podcasting, or online audio/video. B-Schools could create a dozen or so recordings of student interviews, Alumni and admission committee staff for applicants to preview.

Hey, why not record some creative podcast that could help alleviate the application stat question stuff of the application? Be real and show examples of where a 700 is important or a 650 is sufficent. Tell it clearly in one recording that says to every candidate out there that if they got a 730 on their GMAT, they should move onto other things areas of the App. They should get it clearly that a 770 is not necessary even though their Jerk uninformed friend is telling them this because they are Indian or Asian or an Engineer. Uh... I don't think I would say it like that, but I would at least state it clearly. I know you (admissions staff) are sick of saying it and you probably think that these insecure people should probably be left alone to screw themself on their own, but their chatter makes it difficult sometimes to get to the meat of things.

By the way, if you are one of these people who attained a score in the 700-730 range your first time out... here's the answer to all your problems ok? Ready?

"Take the test again only if you feel like you could do much better without much more prep and it wouldn't be a big deal to just wait for the next months time frame to take it. Maybe you were sick or something... then sure .... go ahead."

But if it's already your second time taking it, then give it a rest and move on.

Now, if you got a 740 or 760 and you feel like you could do better, then I have the answer for you........... ready?

Put your head in a cold shower and slap yourself around till it hurts a little.

Your book smart, but lack common sense. Get a life!

As a side note.... I think that the Business School application process is still WAY to nebulous. The info sessions and MBA Tours are all nice... but it takes WAY to freakin' long to wait for them to come to my area. Not only that, but by the time, they do come around.. it's already half way through Round 2 application deadline periods at most schools. It's like that every stinkin year. How crazy is that? These info sessions NEED to be done WAY earlier. What if I want that same info NOW and I'm a top candidate. Wouldn't it be wise for schools to put some time into these relatively inexpensive yet highly accessible portable audio recordings?

Transcipts of those interviews with admission directors are nice, like what you'll find on some B-school websites, or, but their not portable and available for me to share and listen to. It's pretty well understood that face time is far more effective than a one way e-mail or brochure right?

BusinessWeek has got the video thing sort of going. Their nice and helpful, but the intro level of the schools are still absent. In other words, give me a few videos that highlight several aspects of the school experience. Show me. Don't just let me read about it. If you don't show me your program, then there's no contextualization of what your planning in the future. Put your info sessions online in a multimedia/video format. Then highlight some of your specialty areas. For example, consider producing an in the trenches documentary of real-world situations that your students are going through with side interviews and lessons learned. The Apprentice has shown us a little bit of what this could be like, but I'd remove the tasteless drama. Ross's Action Based Learning would also be a great candidate for this. Wharton's computer simulated business case stuff would also be phenomal to view some video on.

I understand that motivated student candidates are what your looking for. You're looking for candidates to pursue the info via Alumni or to research the info through other creative methods. I get it. But what if I don't have many connections to begin with. What if I really don't have a clue as to what this whole B-School thing is really about and that I'd like to learn more? Your spread thin, but then.... so are we! It's difficult trying to figure out which school is good for us. Pushing the notion that we should visit the school is only done when I've heard enough to think that it's a strong possibility. Insisting that I visit you is a bit elitist. Don't you think? It makes me questions whether you understand how things have really changed and that it's getting more and more difficult to differentiate the nuances of the schools I may be interested in. Especially those that may match my career goals.

One well done multimedia info session presentation that I attended was HBS's. You should see their full presenation with videos! Ross's is pretty good as well. The testimonies, interviews done in video format during the info sessions are awesome. These are some of the better multimedia ones that I've seen. The plain powerpoint ones need updating. As good as these were, the presentations need to be easier to access and broken up into pieces that I can sit down at watch for bits and pieces at a time. If you give a 35 minute video... sorry... it'll collect dust. But give me 3 or 5 minutes of multiple Options to looks at online and you got me.

I've been managing this weblog for a LONG time and in many instances, I have found it hard to state profound or meaningful qualities that make some schools different from another school.

I really hope that some people who have something to do with admissions would take this to heart and at least discuss this. Please consider doing some field surveys. I believe you'll find out that what I'm talking about is worth serious consideration.

I've rambled about this enough. Back to the Virginia Tech EMBA prodcast.

Here's their Podcast description:

These podcasts highlight Virgina TEch's Executive MBA program. It includes interviews with EMBA speakers, world-class faculty and the executive students and alumni. Now in its third cohort, VT's EMBA reflects rich cultural and professional diversity of the National Capital Region, Richmond, Maryland and West Virgina. Pamplin EMBA focuses on innovation, globalization and entrepreneurail leadership with emphasis on business ehtics and change management. Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business is ranked as on the the top business schools nationally and in top three in the National Capital Region.

Good on ya' Charles Jacobina for taking this next generation step in making a mark by making the Business School education world more approachable.

Charles Jacobina, Ph.D. MA ’77, EdD ’77, was appointed executive director of the very young EMBA program at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business. Previously, he was an associate professor of marketing and the director of e-Business Programs for The business school at George Washington University. He was also director of GW's Accelerated MBA program. In 1995, Dr. Jacobina was awarded Professor of the Year from the GW School of Business and Public Management.

Podcast Subscription Link

Virginia Tech MBA Website

Virginia Tech EMBA Website


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