Academic Coordinator for the Graduate Business Programs, Jean Cherney, and our enrollment advisor, Noel Sepulveda, discuss the online MBA program offered at Rider. In this webinar, they go over the program overview, career outcomes, admission requirements and more.
Noel Sepulveda: Good afternoon. My name is Noel and I’m an Enrollment Advisor at Rider University. I would like to welcome you to our online master of business administration webinar featuring our special guest, Ms. Jean Cherney who is currently the academic director of the online Master of Business Administration program. I also want to take this opportunity to introduce your enrollment team. From left to right Miss Sara Falter, Mr. Isaac Velum, Mr. Noel Sepulveda, myself, Mrs. Monica Lamb, and Miss Valeria Bernard. Our very special guest Ms. Jean Cherney. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to talk to us today about the history of Rider University and our online Master of Business Administration program. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself today?
Jean Cherney: Great. Well, Noel thank you for having me here today on this webinar. I want to welcome everybody to Rider University. I know you’re not physically here on the campus. One thing I want you to know is that whether you’re taking online classes here or in person you’re going to be considered part of the university community. I’ve been here at Rider University for six years. I’ve loved every minute.
Jean Cherney: What I really like is the people here are very personable. It’s a relatively small campus. There is a lot of opportunity to connect with people. You don’t get lost in the shuffle. I really like that. I have my background is I have an MBA but I have a degree in education as well. My career has been working in higher education in different capacities as academic advisor, as a career advisor. I really love what I do here at Rider University. I love working with the students.
Jean Cherney: I mentioned that we have a physical campus. I’m not really sure how much of those of you out there listening know about Rider University. I thought I’d tell you a little bit about us. We’re located in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Lawrenceville is in central Jersey. It is about 20 minutes from Princeton University. The other thing that is unique about this area of New Jersey is there’s a lot of industry especially pharmaceuticals and financial services companies. The reason I’m mentioning that is that it really provides Rider with an opportunity to connect with these area businesses. That, in turn, is a great benefit to our students.
Jean Cherney: We have Bristol-Myers Squibb right down the road. We do a lot of thing with J&J. With Novo Nordisk. With Merrill Lynch. Bank of America. ETS, Educational Testing Services down the street. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance. These companies being in this area are really partners with Rider. That’s a very I think that’s a benefit to our students. Rider University has been around for a long time. We celebrated our 150th anniversary a few years ago. The school started as Trenton Business School. It was really set up to help the people who were coming back from the Civil War. There was a booming economy and we needed to train people to be in business. We started out as a business school. You can say that we’ve been in the business for a business education for a long time.
Jean Cherney: If you look at the more recent history of Rider our Rider MBA program we’ve actually been in existence to 50 years. This coming year, May 2020, we will graduate our 50th class in the MBA program. I think that you can see that we have a long track record. Don’t think that we’re doing the same things we did 50 years ago. Business has changed a lot. The world has changed a lot. Rider changes with it. We’ve done a lot of to update our curriculum so we’re really current. I think that’s one of the things that is really also unique about Rider.
Jean Cherney: Our student-faculty ratio is 12 to one. What that means for you is that it’s going to be easy for you to connect to the faculty in our program. You won’t be one of 100 students in a class. Typical class size the most you’re going to have in-class is 25 students if it has if it was nine. It really depends on the class that you’re taking. Our faculty 99% of our full-time faculty have a Ph.D. or a doctorate that’s the highest degree in their field. We have some JVs, some law degrees in our program. You’re being taught by people who have the credentials. You’ll never be taught by a teacher assistant. That’s another plus for you.
Jean Cherney: Rider is dual accredited in by AACSB. AACSB is an accrediting organization of business schools. They are the gold standard when it comes to business school education. Rider actually is accredited in our business program but also in our accounting programs. We are one of two schools in New Jersey that has that distinction. What does that mean for you? What it means is that we have quality programs and we have programs that we have to maintain that quality. If we don’t maintain that quality we lose our accreditation. We are constantly looking at what we’re doing to make sure that we’re delivering what we are wanting to deliver.
Jean Cherney: Let me tell you specifically a little bit more about the MBA program. If you go to the next slide the program overview. The first thing on that slide is our program goal. The reason I wanted you to see this is because this is what really drives all of the classes and all of the things that we do to deliver a program to you. We want you to leave this program having achieved this goal. This is to develop students into thoughtful decision makers prepared to lead their organizations. What that means is that we’re really going to be focusing a lot on decision-making. Making sure that you have the knowledge to be a good decision maker because you have to know your areas to be able to make good decisions. Then once you’ve made a decision you need to be a good communicator to be able to lead the organization through that decision.
Jean Cherney: All of our courses were very purposeful about making sure that in every course you take you’re practicing these decision-making skills, communication, and leadership skills. Our curriculum is when we look at the curriculum you’ll see that you have classes in different functional areas. Those classes are not really focusing on teaching you how to calculate things in finance. It’s really about using those finance principles to make decisions. You’re taking it one step further than just learning the knowledge in that functional area. As I mentioned, we are always we’ve changed our curriculum many times over the last 50 years. We’re committed to doing that because we want to be current.
Jean Cherney: We have several advisory boards here at Rider in the College of Business Administration who advise the different departments. We use and these advisory boards are made up of employers. We use their expertise and their knowledge of what they’re looking for to make sure that our courses are delivering what we want them to deliver. Our program is a part-time program. I would say about 98% of our online MBA students work full-time. Then we have a couple students who do the program full-time. For the most part, people are working full-time and this is something that they’ve added to their plate.
Jean Cherney: When you look at our program and you are wondering about who else is going to be in the classes with you they’re going to be students like you. They’re going to be people who are working, who have a family, and this is something that you’re adding to your time schedule to make a commitment too. The average age of our students is 31 years old. They have an average of about four plus years of professional work experience. Again, I’m telling you this so you can see where you fit in this. Let me just tell you, we have younger students and we have students who I have several students who are in their 50s and actually early 60s. It’s never too late.
Jean Cherney: We are 100% online. When you come into this program you are not going to be required to come to campus. Although I encourage you if you’re in the area I encourage you to come to campus and take advantage of some of the things that we have on campus. Our online classes are asynchronous which means that you don’t have to sign on at a certain time during the day. The professor is not going to say, “At 6:00 I’m going to be lecturing for three hours and you need to be online.” What will happen is when you get home from work and you have everything settled and you have time to look at the class that is when you’re going to be able to get on the class. It really is nice because you can set your own schedule.
Jean Cherney: You will have deadlines in the class that you’ll have to meet. It may be that you have to post to a message board by Wednesday evening. Or, you have to take this exam by this date. There really won’t be any times when you’ll be asked to be online at a certain time. If the professor needs you to do that for any reason they will tell you well ahead of time. For the most part, they won’t do that. Our courses we have six different start times in the year. That means that there are two start times every semester.
Jean Cherney: There are two parts of the semester. There’s fall A fall B. Summer A summer B. Spring A spring B. Those parts are seven weeks long. You’ll take one class during that seven weeks. You’ll finish that and you move onto the next. The really great thing for you guys about that is that it allows you to focus on one class at a time and finish that and then move onto the next. It’s really a good way of working. You’re going to have 36 to 39 semester hours to complete credits to complete. That works out to about 12 to 13 classes. I’ll tell you why. That’s without prerequisites. I’ll tell you why there’s a differential there. You can complete this program in about two years if you stay on track.
Jean Cherney: Let’s take a look at the curriculum and I’ll go into a little more detail. You can see from the curriculum overview slide that it starts with there are 30 credits in core classes. If you look at those core classes you’ll see that a lot of them are based in a functional area like Information System, Accounting, Economics, Finance. That in each of those classes you’re reviewing that material in those fields but you’re also looking at your decision-making and your communication skills within that area of business. Again, everything is focused on that decision-making leadership and communication skills.
Jean Cherney: You’ll see the first class is Executive Communications. This is actually a recent change that we’ve made. We had a prerequisite that was Executive Communications but we moved it to the core. We made it a more robust class because we really felt that communication skills are the key to you being successful. If you can’t communicate well either orally or in written form you are not going to be able to lead your organization because the organization isn’t going to know what’s going on. Really having good communication skills is key. This course is one of the first courses you’ll take in the program because one of the things that you’ll review is how to do case studies, how to make decisions. It’s setting you up for going through the rest of the classes. You’ll take it within the first one or two classes that you’ll take in the program.
Jean Cherney: The last class that you’ll take is Strategic Management. That is a capstone class. It is a it brings together everything you’ve learned in the program and lets you put it into practice. There’s actually a simulation exercise. You are in a group of students. You are actually simulating running a company. Every week something gets put into the mix where you have to change and change your strategy based on what that factor was that was introduced. It’s a cool class. A lot of work but a very cool class. Students really get a lot out of it. I think it helps you see, “Oh, I did learn how to make better decisions. I did learn how to be a leader.” It a good class to end the program with.
Jean Cherney: In addition to those 30 credits in the core, you can take six or you will take six to nine credits in electives. You have a choice on whether it’s six or nine based on whether you want to get a concentration or not. A concentration is three classes within a functional area. We have four different concentrations or the three, I’m sorry, different concentrations. Business Analytics, Finance, and Global Business. If you decide that you want to do a concentration then you would be taking nine credits and electives. If you decide that you don’t want to do a concentration then you would take six credits in electives. We would help you choose what those six credits would be. You might take a class in International Management. Then you might take an Analytics class.
Jean Cherney: I definitely encourage all students to take at least one Analytics class if they’re not going to do a concentration because Analytics is such a it’s so vital in business today. I think that even though you may not be the person who is doing the analytics the work on the with the data knowing how to look at that data, knowing what questions to ask is really helpful if you’re going to be a decision maker and a leader in an organization. Now, you will see in the gray part there are some prerequisites in the program. These prerequisites are required before you can take the core classes. They really are the foundation for you doing well in the core.
Jean Cherney: If you look at these prerequisites you will see Information Technology Proficiency, Fundamentals of Accounting, Economics, Finance, Calculus. It is very possible you many if you have a business undergraduate business degree you may have taken many or most of these classes. If you took them in the last five years and you got a B or better in those classes you’re probably going to waive a lot of these prerequisites. If you took them a longer time ago than we are we will give you an opportunity to do an online proficiency exam to show that you’re still that you’re still up-to-date on this knowledge. That is an option.
Jean Cherney: If you don’t have an undergraduate business degree then you will or you didn’t do well in these classes as an undergraduate and by not doing well I mean, a C or less than we will have you take these classes. They’re all online. We will do an evaluation of your credits before you come into the program to let you know what prerequisites you … Well, let’s go onto the next slide and look at these concentration options in a little more detail.
Jean Cherney: As I mentioned there are three concentrations. They’re comprised of three electives in a certain functional area. Now, you’ll see that there are four classes listed. In the Analytics there’s Data Mining, Applied Data Management, Business Analytics for Managers or an Independent Study in Business Administration. There are four classes there. You would choose three of them. In all of these, you’ll see that Independent Studies are an option for you. I wanted to just mention a little bit about what an Independent Study is.
Jean Cherney: An Independent Study is an opportunity for you to do research in an area within this field. In Finance or in Analytics or in International or Global Business. You would do research. You would pick a topic that is of interest to you. You would I would set you up with a professor who would be your advisor for this project. They would help you to come up with the project. To really think about what research you’d want to do. Then they will grade it once you’re done. They’ll be there to advise you throughout.
Jean Cherney: We have a really great career I mean, a business librarian in the college who is an invaluable resource to people who are doing research. You’re going to be doing research in all of your classes. In particular, an Independent Study is going to require you to do a lot of library research. Diane Campbell, our business librarian is well versed in what resources you can use to look for the exact information that you need. Rather than you spending a lot of time trying to figure out where you should find this data she can tell you exactly where to go. Because Google in graduate school is not going to cut it. You’re going to use more a robust resources for your research.
Jean Cherney: The good thing about an Independent Study is one it allows you to research something you’re interested in. A lot of students have parlayed their Independent Study into making connections because a lot of times you might go out and interview people as part of your research. The other thing they do is they look at a project that might be of interest to their current employer and they use it as a way to maybe launch into a different position within their organization. There’s a lot of good reasons to do an Independent Study. I’ll be honest, not a lot of people do it. It is a little bit more work. It can really have a good payoff.
Jean Cherney: These are our concentrations. We have these particular concentrations because they’re the most popular. They’re the ones that we can definitely make sure that you get. We don’t want to promise you something that we can’t deliver on. These are the most popular and the ones that we can follow through on. Let me take a look briefly at career outlook because I’m sure that when you’re looking at MBA programs you’re really thinking to yourself, “It is this going to be worth it? Is this something that’s really going to have a payoff for me?” Normally, I would tell you, “Oh, yes this is the information this is the research we have on our own students.”
Jean Cherney: As I told you before most of our students are already working. We don’t have a lot of data into what they did once they left our program because, for the most part, most of them are working at the same organization. When we ask them, “Did you get a job?” They already have a job. We don’t have a lot of data on that. I do have students who regularly contact me and say, “Hey, I got a promotion,” or, “I moved into a new position.” They credit the MBA with helping them to do that. When you look at research on the MBA graduates they earn about 50% higher average salary than undergraduate counterparts.
Jean Cherney: One thing I will say about an MBA it’s incredibly highly regarded. It is not I don’t think you’re ever going to regret that you got an MBA. I certainly don’t. I didn’t ever work out in the business world. Even within at the higher education field my MBA has really helped me. I’m always happy that I have it and it has helped me get jobs. I think it’s a valuable degree to have. Beyond that, remember that it is really focusing on making you more of a decision maker a leader. It will enhance your knowledge and your skills as well.
Jean Cherney: If you look at the top industries that hire MBA graduates they’re really all over the place. Financial services, professional services as I mentioned to you. We have people from pharmaceutical companies, financial services. We have people from healthcare, from hospitals who come in to get an MBA. Manufacturing. We have a lot of students who come from the state of New Jersey to get their MBA. Also, in retail and ETS, educational services. We really we draw from all of these industries because people know that an MBA can really be a leg up in their field.
Jean Cherney: I want to tie up some things here by just to you a little bit about why you should choose Rider. I’m sure you’re looking at a lot of programs. I think Rider is the best choice but why. Let me talk a little bit about three things. Really the first thing is flexibility. I think that most of our students and I’m imagining that most of you are in this position too. You’ve got a lot of things going on in your life. Got work, maybe family, maybe other things that you’re involved in. You’re trying to fit school in. School needs to be a good fit because you’re going to need to put a lot of work into it. It is not going to be like undergraduate.
Jean Cherney: You’re going to have a lot of group presentations. A lot of papers. It’s going to be a little bit more than you were used to. It can be done. A lot of people do it every day. The nice thing is that the program at Rider is very flexible. Works with your schedule. We have the six start dates that you can start when you’re ready to make the commitment. Then we also have that asynchronous online format. You can really work on it when you have the time and fit it into your time management schedule.
Jean Cherney: The other thing about Rider is the networking opportunities. Because we’re in this area in of New Jersey you are and I imagine even our online program really pulls a lot from this area. You’re going to be meeting people who work in a lot of different industries and for a lot of different companies. Those people are going to become your network. It is up to you to make those connections. You’ll have the opportunity. I think that’s a really valuable part of our program is that we have so many different students from different industries and different companies that you can add to your network. We also have a lot of professors who are connected to the area industries who you can network with. Because we’re relatively small those it’s very easy to make connections with our faculty. They’re very happy to do that because that’s one reason they’re at Rider.
Jean Cherney: Part of our faculty that I didn’t mention is we also have adjunct faculty. We have our full-time faculty. Some of our classes are taught by adjunct faculty who are working professionals but they love to teach and they love to share their knowledge. They’re experts in their field. They come and they teach some of our classes. Again, that’s another great networking opportunity for you. I would encourage you that wherever you look that you look for a good network. Rider has a great one. We also have a lot of events on campus that you can connect with people. If you’re in the area that would be another opportunity for you to be able to come in and connect with people to build your network.
Jean Cherney: The last thing I want to say I think that we really focus on your success. We our curriculum is designed to make sure that we prepare you for moving up to the next level of your in your career. We are really dedicated to making sure that we are always tweaking that curriculum so that it meets your needs. I think the other thing we have easy access to faculty. That not only helps you in your networking but it’s going to help you in your classes. You’re taking an online class but there is a faculty member who’s teaching that class. It’s just the same faculty member who’s teaching you in the would teach you in an in-person class.
Jean Cherney: They are available to talk with you about any issues you may have. We encourage you I encourage you to do that. To reach out to your faculty to let them know if you don’t understand something. If you’d like to review something. They can really help you with that. It’s pretty easy here at Rider because we don’t have a huge program. Our AACSB accreditation. I want to just mention that again because I think that’s really important. As you look at programs I would strongly encourage you to pick a program that’s AACSB accredited because employers know the difference and I think that it is … I like to think of it as a good housekeeping stamp of approval on a program.
Jean Cherney: We have to maintain standards. If we don’t maintain those standards we don’t keep our accreditation. It’s not given to everyone. We go through our accreditation about every five years. We have to be re-accredited. It’s a pretty arduous process. We actually start planning as soon as they leave we start planning again for the next accreditation because we have to be looking at our classes. We have to be assessing are we reaching our learning goals. All of that, what that means for you is it’s you’re getting a quality product. No matter where you go I would encourage you to look for AACSB approval.
Jean Cherney: The 100% online I said it mirrors the in-class experience which is really nice. You’re not getting an online … You’re getting a Rider MBA. It will not show on your diploma or your transcript that you have an online degree because you have the same degree that our in-class person people have. I think the one of the biggest things that you have going for you in terms of a focus on your success is the support that you have from one the team of individuals that you have in your student services coaches.
Jean Cherney: Also, in all of the resources that we have on campus. I think that whether it’s career services. Whether it’s our Student Success Center. We really have a lot of opportunities for you to get assistance and to take advantage of resources. I think Rider is a great choice. I think that you’ll feel like an individual who is having their needs met as opposed to a number. I think hopefully you’ll feel as you feel maybe on this webinar that we really care about our students. Let’s go to the next slide.
Jean Cherney: I want to just tell you a little bit about our admission requirements. The admissions requirements are pretty simple. We require that you have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college. If you’re an international student or you earned your degree abroad we have to you have to have it evaluated so that we can show that it’s equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor’s degree. We need evidence that you graduated with your Bachelor’s degree. We need official transcripts from all of the universities that you attended. This will show us that you have that Bachelor’s degree. It will also show us maybe that you took classes that may help us waive the prerequisites. That’s why we need them from every school because if you took one class at a community college one summer that maybe one of the classes we need to look at to review your prerequisites. Every school.
Jean Cherney: The other thing is if you took any graduate-level business classes at an AACSB accredited school you can transfer in up to six credits of graduate business credits into our program. They will probably come in as electives but maybe not. We’ll evaluate them and we’ll let you know where they count. That’s really nice. That’s something about the AACSB. If they weren’t AACSB accredited schools we wouldn’t take them. We will look at those on a case by case basis.
Jean Cherney: We need your current resume. We want to see what your professional experience is. There are times when we will give a waiver if you have taken a class but it was a long time ago but you still work in that area. Then we will waive the prerequisite. That resume make sure that it’s detailed so that we know what you do in your job and what you’ve done in past jobs. We require the GMATs although they’re generally waived.
Jean Cherney: Especially for, in general, we look for people who have a business degree from an AACSB accredited school. An overall GPA of a 3.3. We’re going to look at everybody to see if they can waive the GMAT so we look at your professional experience, we’ll look at your academics. If you want to find out whether you would be eligible for a GMAT waiver we can let you know that. You’re going to need to have prerequisite course before you can start in the core.
Jean Cherney: Part of the admissions requirements is just letting you know what courses you have waived. What courses you can take proficiency exams in and which courses you’ll need to take within the program. As I mentioned, pretty simple admissions requirements. I’m going to turn this over back to Noel because he’s going to tell you a little bit about our tuition and financial aid. He’s a little bit more well versed in that. Noel, can I hand it back to you?
Noel Sepulveda: Yes. Thank you, Jean. Thanks for all the great information you shared with us. Talking about tuition and financial aid. It’s 950 per credit hour for both in-state and out-of-state students. There is a $50 technology fee per course. A distance learning fee of $35 per course. On average that’s for 36 to 39 credits there’s no prerequisites. Financial aid is available to those that apply and qualify for it. We do accept employer tuition reimbursement. Monthly payment plans for self-paced students, and military tuition assistance, MBA education benefits. With that said, at this time, Ms. Cherney will answer some questions for us. Frequently asked by students. Jean, what does Rider university look for in a potential applicant?
Jean Cherney: Well, it really we really look at each student as an individual. I will say that. That we really review everybody on a case by case basis. In general, we’re looking for people who we see can be successful in their program. I mean, really for us that’s the bottom line is we want people who are going to be able to come into the program and be successful and go through to completion.
Jean Cherney: If we think that you’re not going to be able to do well in the courses those would be the applicants that we would probably not accept. To determine this we look at a variety of things. We look at your past educational experience. We look at your professional experience. Because you may have graduated 10 years ago and you may not have been a great student 10 years ago but now you’re doing a job that has a lot of responsibility and shows that you’ve matured. We are taking all of those things into account.
Jean Cherney: In some instances, we may say, “Hey, take the GMAT that will give us a little bit more information.” All of those things will be taken into account when we look at an applicant. In the end, the dean who makes the decision, he’s the associate dean for graduate program. He is looking for people who are going to be successful in this program and who are going to have something to add. Because remember you’re in a class but you’re not sitting there in a class being lectured to. You are providing your input. You are providing your view on things. We want people who can be active participants in the class. That’s what we look for in an applicant.
Noel Sepulveda: Thanks, Jean. What types of resources are available for online students? Do they have access to career services, the libraries, student ID cards, discount?
Jean Cherney: Yes. Oh, absolutely. All of those things are available. I mean, of course, it’s easier if you’re on campus. If you’re in the area like I said I would encourage you to come by and visit our career services office. We have a great library. All of this is available online too. Our career services we have people who … We have career fairs and people who come here to recruit that you would need to come to campus for that. We have a career advisor that is who just works with students in the College of Business who would be available to you. She can help you with your resume. With getting ready for interviews. With making decisions about whether how the best way to move up in your company. She’s really very good. Her name’s Lindsey Alvarado. She’s fantastic. She would be available to you to do a Skype call or a phone call.
Jean Cherney: Our library is fantastic. All of the resources that are available to you a lot of them are online. You can actually contact Diane Campbell who is the person who oversees a lot of the business resources in the library. She can help you go through and find exactly what you need for your classes. She’s fantastic. You’ll have a student ID. One other resource that I didn’t mention was our Student Success Center. What that is, is it’s a in simplest terms it’s a tutoring center but they also have a writing center there. It really is available to you if you’re having any issues in your classes.
Jean Cherney: Mainly, they’re the prerequisite classes where maybe you’re taking calculus and you need to brush up on some math. They are there to help you. I actually I just had a student who finished her calculus class and she came to me about two weeks into the class and said, “Oh my gosh, I really don’t know what I’m doing.” I said, “Listen, go to the … First of all, go see your professor and secondly, go to the Student Success Center.” She just came to see me last week her class had ended and she said that she’d gotten an 88 on the final. She had done really well in the class. She credited going to the Student Success Center. She said, “It really helped. I had a couple of sessions with them and they explained to me what I wasn’t understanding.” That’s valuable. They can do that online as well. That’s all available to you which is really valuable.
Noel Sepulveda: That’s excellent, Jean. Thank you. Are online students able to attend their graduation ceremony?
Jean Cherney: Yes. We want you to come. We have our graduation ceremony in Trenton at an arena. If you graduated in December, May, or August all of those students go to the May ceremony. It’s a great time for you to one meet other students in the program. To celebrate with your family. Yes. We really would like you to come to that ceremony if you can.
Noel Sepulveda: All right. Thanks for all that great information, Ms. Cherney. Thank you again for your help setting up this presentation. Taking the time out of your schedule to share information about the Master of Administration program. To the guests, to our guests listening to this webinar, I want to let you know we’re currently accepting applications for our upcoming semester. Please contact us today at 866-310-2840. Or, email us at email@example.com or schedule an appointment on our live vCita calendar page. Thank you for your participation. Have a great day.