“I mainly interact with my professors using message boards. I can either send a public message or utilize an individual message board that only my professor and I have access to.”
The Big Picture
Why did you choose to enroll at University of Phoenix to earn your online master of business administration degree?
I chose to enroll at University of Phoenix to earn my online master of business administration degree because I needed a program that accommodated my schedule. Because I work full time, I wanted the ability to complete coursework at my own convenience, whether in the evening or on the weekends. Plus, I’ve heard a lot of positive things about University of Phoenix.
I decided to pursue my master of business administration degree with a concentration in health management because I am interested in the business side of the health field. During my undergraduate program in fitness, exercise and science, I intended to enter the physical therapy field, but the longer I pursued my degree, the more interested I became in health management instead.
What are the benefits of earning an MBA degree online?
The main benefit of earning an MBA degree online is the flexible scheduling. An online program allows me to work full time and complete coursework. Another benefit is the learning format. I am more of an independent learner, and an online program caters to the type of student that I am. I like being able to go over the readings and daily discussion on my own.
What are some drawbacks to earning an MBA degree online?
The main drawback to earning an MBA degree online is the limited in-person interactions with professors and students. I consider myself a big people person, so I miss the social aspect of an on-campus school. However, I don’t think this detracts from my learning experience.
How can prospective students be sure that an online MBA program is legitimate?
Students can make sure that an online MBA program is legitimate by doing background research on the program’s curriculum and reading articles written by alumni who have graduated from the program. On top of that, students need to make sure that the program is accredited before enrolling in the program.
What do you learn in an online MBA program?
My online MBA program typically takes students 1 and a half years to complete. Students typically take 1 class at a time, usually in succession. Each class is 6 weeks long and requires about 16 to 18 credit hours worth of work. For me, I started taking general MBA classes and as time progressed, I began to take classes related to my concentration in health management. At the end of the program, students take a final class that is quite comprehensive.
Coursework mainly involves weekly assignments, papers, problem sets, case studies and PowerPoint presentations. Students also work in learning teams to complete 2 or 3 group projects.
How is the curriculum in your online MBA program at University of Phoenix presented?
The curriculum in my online MBA program at University of Phoenix is presented through the online learning system, which contains online documents. Students can sign into the learning system and access weekly reading assignments, textbook chapters and lecture notes. It also allows them to upload and submit assignments by a certain deadline. Occasionally, professors post video links that are relevant to class material.
The learning system also contains the discussion boards. In order to gauge student participation and encourage online interactions, professors require that students respond to discussion questions and post a certain number of messages at least 4 days per week.
What kinds of academic resources does University of Phoenix provide to help you succeed in your education?
University of Phoenix provides extensive academic resources such as an online library which allows students to access periodicals and books. The university also offers a math resource center and writing center that features online interactive tutoring sessions. These are great because students can listen to the tutor and watch as he or she writes on the online chalkboard. There are also a number of different editing tools that students can utilize in order to receive tips and grammatical feedback on papers.
What kinds of computer skills are necessary to succeed in an online MBA program?
To succeed in an online MBA program, students need to be comfortable with navigating a computer and searching the Internet using various search engines. Students should also know how to use Microsoft Word and PowerPoint because they will have to write a lot of reports and make presentations.
Fortunately, University of Phoenix provides resources to students in order to help them acclimate to the online learning system. After I enrolled in my program, a counselor helped me log into the system for the first time and walked me through the different online features.
What are the credentials of your faculty?
Most of my professors have masters degrees or PhDs, as well as professional experience working in the fields that they teach. For example, my professor for my human resources class worked in the human resources area of the medical field for quite some time.
Can you describe your interaction with your professors?
I mainly interact with my professors using message boards. I can either send a public message or utilize an individual message board that only my professor and I have access to. It functions as my private e-mail. Occasionally, I utilize the live chat function that is built into the online learning system if I want to interact with my professor in real time. Overall, professors are quite responsive. I have never waited more than a day to hear back from them.
How are you funding your MBA program?
The cost of my entire MBA program is about $26,000 total. I am funding my education through student loans. University of Phoenix provided me with a financial aid advisor who walked me through the entire financial aid process and made sure that I filled out the necessary forms.
Do you feel like you are getting your money’s worth?
Yes, I do feel like I am getting my money’s worth. The cost of an online MBA program is fairly comparable to an offline program. Plus, I am able to save money on gas, move through my program faster and continue working at my job. For these reasons, an online program was a smarter decision financially.
The Job Hunt
What kinds of career services does University of Phoenix provide to help you find a job after graduation?
University of Phoenix provides great career services such as the mentorship program, which links students with alumni who are working in their current field of study. Students can also explore potential job opportunities and other tools in the university’s online learning system.
Do you think that employers value an online MBA degree as much as an MBA from a brick-and-mortar school?
Yes, I think employers value an online MBA degree as much as an MBA from a brick-and-mortar school. I think that they view an online degree as a positive thing because it shows that students are motivated, meticulous and know how to use time wisely.
Does an online MBA program allow you to network?
Yes, my online MBA program allows me to network. I interact with my professors and students on a daily basis for 6 weeks straight and often keep in contact with them after the class is done.
What are your career goals?
I am interested in working in the human resources area of the healthcare field. Ideally, I would to work in hospital administration in the human resources department.
What advice can you offer students who are trying to decide if an online MBA program is right for them?
I would advise students who are trying to decide if an online MBA program is right for them to determine their level of discipline. Students need to make sure that they are comfortable with being able to complete schoolwork without guidance and face-to-face interaction with professors and classmates.
I would also encourage students to take an online class before enrolling in an online MBA program. This will help them figure out whether or not they like using an online learning format.