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Partnership: School of Business and School of Medicine and Health Sciences

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Listen to Associate Teaching Professor from School of Business and Senior Associate Dean for Health Sciences and Chair of the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership from School of Medicine and Health Sciences explain the partnership and go through the curriculum and new opportunities for students.


Annie Li: Thank you everyone for joining today’s webinar from the GW Online MBA Healthcare program and I’m your moderator, [Annie Li]. We have a highly anticipated webinar today, as we have invited a few faculty members with us to go over the unique GW MBA Healthcare program. We want to highlight and answer many top of mind questions that prospective students like yourselves usually have.Let me introduce our speakers. First we have Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy who is the Associate Teaching Professor at GW School of Business and teaches one of the core business courses, Foundational Management Topics in Healthcare. Dr. El Tarabishy is a very well-regarded professor and won the Most Outstanding Faculty Award numerous times.

He is also very active outside of teaching. He is also the Executive Director of the International Council for Small Business, the oldest and largest non-profit organization across the globe, devoted to advancing small business research and practices. He created and managed the annual global Entrepreneurship Research and Policy Conference.

Also Dr. El Tarabishy consults and conducts executive training for several national and international organizations including The International Finance Corporation, The World Bank and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

We also want to welcome Leslie Davidson, the Chair of the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership at GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She oversees the department and its programs that are developed to enhance the careers of professionals working in the health sciences and healthcare fields. Leslie is also a widely published author and her research has appeared in many prestigious academic journals, including the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Military Medicine and OT Practice.

We also have on the line with us Amy King who is the Director of Academic Operations at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

I just want to do a short introduction that Joe Bocchino who is the Senior Associate Dean for Health Sciences. Also looks after the program and really engages with the partnership between the School of Business as well. He might be joining us later.

With this great group of panelists and of course we want to hear more about the current GW MBA Healthcare Program. Now just to go over the agenda for today. We will kick off and you know just try to introduce the School of Medicine and Health Sciences and also the partnership that we have with GW School of Business and then we’ll look into the program curriculum and also the core courses that are from School of Business and of course also the electives that you can really tailor based off of your interests.

With that, I’m going to pass this on to Leslie.

Leslie Davidson: Hi. Thank you for having me. I’m going to spend a little bit of time talking about the School of Medicine and Health Sciences here at GW, a little bit about its history, but I think more importantly why partnerships and degrees that really bridge multiple schools and disciplines are important in today’s landscape [unintelligible 00:03:17].

The School of Medicine is the 11th oldest medical school in the country and it’s really the first to be in the nation’s capital. Just the fact that it’s in the nation’s capital it’s really been pivotal not only in terms of healthcare but in terms of policy and regulation and excellent in general. It’s become a globally recognized academic centre with regard to medical care as well as research and the programs not only in the School of Medicine medically based but also in the School of Health Sciences have really become the benchmark for many programs around the globe in the area of health and biomedical sciences.

We’ve really pushed to the forefront of medical education with innovative type of curriculum, type of teaching platforms that we use to teach students who are first career students as well as career switchers or individuals who are in specific areas and want to enhance their knowledge.

We’re constantly dedicated to improving the health of both or local and national and global communities and these threads are really tied to all of the programs that we have in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

We have over 3,000 faculty members and we have a number of core educators, clinicians, researchers and one of the special skill sets the vast majority of these faculty members have are the fact that they have been clinicians for a number of years and were able to take their clinical experiences and bring them to the classroom.

We have a number of clinical partnerships in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences and this is of course GW Hospital, we have the GW Medical Faculty Associates and we have strong partnership with the Children’s National Health System. In addition to these clinical partnerships we have dozens of industry and business partners that enhance the School of Medicine and Health Science curriculum and we tap into those. So our adjunct teaching, for guest teaching, for internships of our students across the board.

I’m going to really turn this over to talk about how the partnership between the School of Business and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences formed and a little bit about the program.

Annie Li: Great. Over to Ayman. Ayman are you there?

Ayman El Tarabishy: Yeah, thank you. I’m here, thank you very much and I want to welcome everybody here. Leslie, very well said and I think GW has a long history of innovation and even George Washington, our president, our namesake was an innovator and more of not just as a leader but also as a business person and so he was both a tobacco landowner but also a farmer and he would move back and forth between both areas just to kind of do business and do well at the same time. He also –historically if you all are interested –owned the largest distillery of whiskey in the United States.

So in GW’s DNA and who we are and what we do is we have this whole concept of innovation embedded in the bloodline of the university in many different aspects including what we’re talking about today right now, this partnership. This partnership might feel radical to a lot of people, saying, “How can the School of Medicine and the School of Business merge together or combine together in these typical types of programs?” But if you dig deeper and which we’ll do a little bit as we go through the certificate and through the different coursework, you’ll see a lot of similarities.

You’ll see a lot of what we call complementarity of knowledge creation, knowledge sharing and retooling and re-scaling what we call the knowledge worker’s mindset, which is basically if you are interested in doing an MBA at GW is what you’re here for. It’s kind of retooling your mindset, kind of getting all the skills and tools needed to kind of go back into the workforce and saying, “I have now acquired a new perspective, a new set of ideas, theories, practical business applications but also a focus on a key knowledge area,” which helps with the certificate. That’s where our innovation comes in. For us we find it not as a radical innovation but as more of an incremental innovation. We’re bringing two well established schools and two excellent bodies of knowledge and putting them together with one specific mission, which is basically to give the best education to the prospective students.

Here are some of our core courses at GW that we offer here. If you look carefully here we start what I call from what we say is the “hard topics,” the topics that really will ground you and that we feel that you need to have if you are in this business domain, in this business world. They go as: Financial Accounting, Finance, Marketing –you can go through the list right here. Macroeconomics, Operations Management, and these courses are basically what we call the “hard topics,” the topics that you need to understand and I’ll be very free in saying struggle with because it’s a whole new domain for you to kind of acquire and master.

Yet at the same time while you’re doing these courses, we offer what we call this global perspective. We offer what we call the “soft topics,” the human element topics that we find very important to kind of succeed in life. So we’ve got courses that deal with HR, courses with leadership, we talk about Strategic Management, Organizations and Human Capital and we talk about Global Perspectives, Business Ethics and Public Policy. So you’re getting a combination of both type of courses simultaneously.

A new course that we added and that I’m very proud of is the Foundational Management Topics in Healthcare and that’s the introductory course that we ask all people to come in to kind of get themselves mentally ready and kind of get their focus ready and kind of brush up on their school days is we start with that course. That course gives you a little preview of all the different courses available and asks some compelling questions to you of where you want to go with the MBA program and what the focus will be and what you’re good at and what are your areas that you need to work hard on.

That’s kind of how we’ve devised our courses in this. They’re all online of course and you’ll have an excellent group of cohorts working with you on this one. I think I’ll stop here.

Annie Li: Alright. Thank you. I just want to recap what we just talked about was the core courses from the curriculum so that’s 31.5 credits. That’s the whole list of the curriculum. There’s also the healthcare focus electives and also general electives. We will get into that in a little bit. As part of the curriculum, again, as what Ayman has mentioned, you can choose to complete one of five certificates from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, which Leslie will kind of speak to in a little bit. Also on the side, there is an opportunity for you to also participate a study abroad opportunity like we were saying, you know, bringing that global perspective into the curriculum is also an option through the study abroad.

With the core courses I just want to go over then the general electives. So there are 12 credits that you would take as general electives as part of the curriculum and you can actually take this not just from the School of Business and School of Medicine and Health Sciences, you can also elect to choose electives outside of these two schools such as Law School, School of Nursing and Milken School of Public Health. Again, this is how you can tailor based off of your interests in these electives.

Last but not least, our electives are really healthcare focused already out of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Leslie did you want to go through the electives that are available as part of this program?

Leslie Davidson: Yeah, I sure can. So when you’re choosing healthcare focused electives in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, I think that we have a number of programs within a school that really kind of illustrates the scope and the depth and the breadth of what healthcare is right now in the States. There are only a few examples here of the different classes and when I get into the certificate discuss I can go more in depth.

One of the programs that has quite a few classes that would be of interest to someone within an MBA would be our area of Clinical Research Administration. This is a program where the courses are really designed to address the whole idea of clinical research from the inception of an idea like I have an idea for a specific cancer drug and there are students sitting around a boardroom with that idea, to the lab, through all clinical trials just thinking about what’s going with regards to marketing, going through the FDA approval and really kind of launching. So there are a number of classes that I think would really complement the whole idea.

The two that I address here is really Critical Analysis in Clinical Research and Medicine Development. Those are just some examples and I can go over more details later.

The other area that is really emerging as being a key component to healthcare and is really an affordable [unintelligible 00:13:46] is not one of the areas that is going to go away is the whole idea of healthcare quality and what that means. This is somewhat of a new field and so the expertise in this area is something that organizations, industry, hospitals, insurance companies are looking for and so courses in the whole area of what health information is, what health quality is and how do we identify what those metrics are for quality and overall outcomes.

These courses in general, Analytics and Patient Safety Systems, again those are just three from quite a broad menu.

The other area that people choose, instead of being very focused in terms of clinical research or healthcare quality or regulatory care that I’ll talk about in a minute, is just general health sciences and what that means. So if people aren’t as interested in really identifying a fine lens, they can go a little bit more broad and this will give you more of an overview, a broad reach of healthcare sciences and some of the trends in health systems and how that would match up with really the business of specific health systems. That would include courses in epidemiology, issues and trends in health systems.

This is a constantly changing field so things that were really taken for granted and truism two years ago are really no longer relevant. As well as understanding what the healthcare enterprise means and how it’s just an incredibly complex system with multiple stakeholders and how to negotiate that and understand it from a systems thinking perspective.

The other area that we use as an example to take courses on is Regulatory Affairs. We have an internationally recognized Regulatory Affairs program here at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences and what that means is really the regulation not only for drugs but also medical devices and how that is understood in the United States and how people can go through the regulatory affairs process as well as globally. We really do not see very many drug companies as well as product companies that are only US based anymore. These are international markets and so it’s important to understand the regulatory system in the US as well as the international regulatory system if you’re interested in entering this type of business environment and so we have a number of courses where you can really focus on that.

The list goes on and on. Again, this is just kind of a tasting menu and we can talk more if you’re interested.

Annie Li: Perfect and then Leslie I think we’re going to get into the certificates right after this. As we mentioned, there are five optional certificates that you can choose to complete as part of your MBA curriculum. You can leverage the electives requirement and actually mix and match it or tailor it so that you can fulfill the certificate requirements to achieve that certificate.

Of the five here, so there are Health Care Quality, Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Research Administration, Clinical Research Practice and Clinical and Translational Research.

Leslie, I’m going to pass it over to you just so that you can provide more context and more details on each of these.

Leslie Davidson: Okay so when you’re actually going to leverage some of these electives and you’re interested in leveraging them to graduate with a certificate in addition to your MBA, you want to really keep in mind that what you’re looking for is a total of 18 credits and with those 18 credits you’ll graduate with both a certificate as well as the MBA.

So with that we have just some of them that are identified. We have the Healthcare Quality certificate and I mentioned before that this is really an emerging and growing area that healthcare systems, insurance companies are looking for and it’s everything from quality of outcomes to general patient safety and so the Healthcare Quality courses, I’m just going to read them off to you. I’m not going to explain but you get a basic introduction to healthcare quality and then understanding what a quality culture is. For quite a few organizations the whole idea of quality culture is something that’s fairly new and they don’t understand how to look at their business and build that quality culture as it relates to healthcare.

Look at not only the culture but we have a course called Healthcare Quality Landscape. We have a Quality Improvement Science, so really kind of looking at some of the theory and implementation behind quality improvement. One area that’s critical in this certificate is understanding healthcare quality measurements, data management and now with things like that.

Lastly, there’s a course in Patient Safety Systems.

So this is six different classes. Again, at three credits each we’re looking at the 18 credits to achieve that specific certificate.

The next one is a graduate certificate in Regulatory Affairs and the Regulatory Affairs has just a general introduction course, one in drug development, another course in development of devices and diagnostics, we have a clinical research and regulatory affairs course and then a course on regulatory compliance. Those are the courses that would make up that specific certificate.

The next graduate certificate is in Clinical Research Administration and so with a certificate in Administration you really will be able to participate in both the science and business of developing new therapeutics for patient care and these courses include Critical Analysis of Clinical Research. We have a course on Medicine Development and the process that occurs with the medicine development. We have a course in Partners with Human Subjects and what that means with regard to recruitment, ethics –a number of areas in there. Another course is the Clinical Research Industry so really understanding the research from the business perspective to the drug development to the distribution as well as the regulations. The last course that’s included in that certificate is Monitoring Clinical Research.

The next graduate certificate is the Clinical Research Practice area and so with Clinical Research Practice area we’re looking more in terms of understanding the skills to conduct the clinical research with sponsored research programs or institutions such as NIH or different universities. With this we have again similar courses: Critical Analysis in Clinical Research. We have a course in Clinical Investigations, so exactly what does it mean to do some of this research. We have a Bioinformatics course in the area of genomics and this is critical and really kind of on cusp of exploding in the area of clinical research and business. Then another course in epidemiology for just basic clinical and translational research, so understanding the basis of the populations that you’re going to be serving with the whole idea of clinical research practice.

And then we have a graduate certificate in Clinical and Translational Research and this is an area that really kind of illustrates some of the changing ideas of what healthcare business and how business and research have come together. What used to be is that a researcher would get a certain amount of money to answer a question and that question might be seen through the lens of a microscope and then the question would be answered and a paper would be published and lots of people would read it and the people who read it were in that specific field.

There were some concerns that there was lots of research and lots of money that was being spent that wasn’t shared with other stakeholders who could take that research to the next level and so in combination with researchers at NIH and a number of industries, a lot of effort has been put into taking the whole idea of clinical research and translating it from the microscope to more of a team science perspective and really bringing it to the individuals and then to the communities.

This whole idea of translational research is so exciting because you have people from all different types of backgrounds sitting around a table trying to solve very complex and interesting questions that have to relate to healthcare and the business of healthcare.

Those are the certificates that we have that you can leverage some of your electives with an MBA in Healthcare through the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. I think that one of the important things to think about is each one of these certificates has been selected because it presents a very different type of graduate with a healthcare MBA.

Every graduate who is going to have some key knowledge in areas that we’re looking at now but we’re also going to be looking at 5-10 years from now. These aren’t areas of healthcare that are somewhat whimsical and are going to go away in a year or two and whether or not you decide to do the MBA program next year or you decide in five years, some of the content in these classes is going to be very different because they’re all constantly changing fields in the areas.

So with that I think what I’m going to do is I’m going to give the reins to Amy to really kind of talk about –hold on a second, sorry. Before I give the reins over to Amy I just want to introduce everybody to Joseph Bocchino who is the Dean of Health Sciences here and he just wants to share a couple of words. He’s been one of the architects of this partnership.

Joseph Bocchino: Hello everyone. A couple of just points I want to add to what Dr. Davidson was saying. As someone who holds an MBA already and had worked in different facets of healthcare over my career, when I think about these different degrees, you know, sometimes some of you may already be out in the workplace somewhere but the degrees, especially in the health space can be a little bit confusing and here’s the way I might think about it.

First of all, the MBA is going to be a critical degree going forward when we think about how healthcare is going to change. Yes, finance drives a lot of it but actually the organizational changes that are going to come up, the changes in the way we market and bring people to receive their care is going to look very differently and then all of the behind the scenes in insuring as well as researching what we do. More of the research is going to move out of laboratories and situate itself more in the space of how we actually do clinical practice and how we decide what the policies are going to be going forward. And so when I think about these combination degree programs. . .let me just take a couple of them.

The FDA will always be hiring people, many of them scientists but more and more the FDA just like NIH, just like the CVC, they’re looking for people who have very strong business and organizational skills that can relate in the health space. So you don’t need to be a medical doctor, you don’t need to be a nurse or a clinician but you need to be able to speak the language. Some of you will probably end up consulting for large consulting groups who service the healthcare sector and I can assure you with one of these certificates under your belt, it won’t be that you just have a certificate, you’ve got the language that you can be sent into a client and you understand the first day what they’re talking about.

When I think about the Clinical and Translational Research certificate or the Clinical Research Practice certificate, for those of you who may have some interest in finding yourself working for an organization like NIH or even one of the pharmaceutical companies where you’re serving as the business leader for a large scientific group, I can assure you that the foundation you would receive in either one of those certificates will let you sit in the room with the PhDs and the MDs and very quickly find yourself to be a partner.

When I think about the Healthcare Quality degree, the first thing always that comes to mind obviously is hospitals but it’s bigger than hospitals. The insurers and the insurers are not just private insurance companies but they’re also large federal agencies. More and more they need people with the quantitative and qualitative research skills that you will learn in your MBA marry those with again understanding the way that we think in the health sector.

Finally the pharmaceutical industry continues to be a large draw for people with MBA degrees. Many people end up going into marketing and sales in pharmaceuticals initially but whether you go into marketing and sales or you go into the research end as project leaders, project directors because more and more the research portfolio while scientifically it may be led by PhDs and MDs, financially it’s overseen by business people. I think the CRA certificate very much sets you up to support that.

For some of you the FDA might actually be a space that you ultimately go. What I can tell you we will never have enough regulatory professionals to service the needs that we have globally and that’s almost a sure bet with an RA certificate and a higher level graduate degree, an MBA is significantly more substantial than many of the others. The FDA as well as the pharmaceutical industry is a recipient of people with these kind of degrees.

So you can think about the content in the programs but you can also think about who are the employers that are going to find you attractive? I won’t say any more about that and I’ll turn it back to Leslie.

Leslie Davidson: Thank you Joseph. That was helpful.

Annie Li: Thank you Leslie. Thank you Joe for joining us and yes what a great speech that he was able to provide. If you have any questions –I know there are a few people who have already asked some questions –continue to do so. I welcome that and we will address that with the panel that’s here today.

One of the questions that was asked before and I think it’s very interesting is, “Are these specific things that we mentioned available outside of the MBA?”

Right now we are talking about the certificates as part of the MBA curriculum. Ayman and Leslie?

Ayman El Tarabishy: What’s the question? Can you repeat it again?

Annie Li: Are these certificate offered independent of the MBA?

Ayman El Tarabishy: I think that’s a question for Leslie.

Leslie Davidson: Yes they are offered independent of the MBA and clearly the learning outcomes will be different if they’re not coupled with the MBA but absolutely they are.

Amy King: Hi. This is Amy. Two quick points if you’re looking at certificates outside the MBA. They will not be eligible for financial aid and there may be a few additional courses that would be required depending on which certificate they choose.

Annie Li: Great. Good information. Another question came in. We did mention the study abroad opportunity. Ayman could you speak a little bit about that study abroad opportunity?

Ayman El Tarabishy: Yeah, this is actually a very fascinating program that we have here. Part of you being in the Healthcare MBA program, you’re part of the MBA family basically and what we have as one of our benefits and kind of features of our program here is we offer a lot of different courses internationally, to go abroad. I know Professor Annie [Helm] who used to teach in the program would take students to Sweden to an intensive kind of consulting job with some of the start-up medical companies over there.

We also have a program if you’re more leaning toward policy, we have an outstanding program going to London, we’re going to Paris. I personally took students a couple years ago to South Korea to look at their medical domain. So you’ll be getting inundated via emails with all our different study abroad classes that you can take and sign up for that usually happen in the summer, some over winter break and some over spring break.

Annie Li: Ross, I hope that answered your question. Now Sue Ellen here has a question about can you choose to select two certificates from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences rather than taking any other electives?

Leslie Davidson: I can answer.

Ayman El Tarabishy: Go ahead.

Leslie Davidson: So even with not taking other electives you will not have enough credit space to complete two certificates with your MBA.

Annie Li: Okay and there’s another questions which is a great question here. Do we need prerequisite courses before we start the MBA? Ayman, could you to speak to that little it?

Ayman El Tarabishy: Can you say it one more time? I’m sorry. What was the question again?

Annie Li: Do students need to take prerequisite courses before we start the MBA?

Ayman El Tarabishy: No. No, there is no prerequisite courses. This is the required courses that you need to take. There are no prerequisites.

Annie Li: Perfect. This question is more asking for an opinion. Leslie and Ayman you can just speak to that. The question is coming from Karen. She is a licensed medical health therapist and really looking to open private practice and expand to an agency in the future. How do you think that our GW MBA Healthcare program will be beneficial?

Ayman El Tarabishy: Well that’s up my alley because what she’s basically talking about is coming and learning the business basics which is what I mentioned earlier: the accounting, the finance, the operations management but at the same time these core topics, what I call the “CBKs,” the common body of knowledge. She’s saying, “Well I also have a business idea. I want to start my own business or be part of an innovative business.” We have electives that deal primarily with this. We have the entrepreneurship course, we have three different electives in entrepreneurship that you can take online that will help you address your issue of starting a business or wanting to pursue in starting a business.

Leslie Davidson: I’m a clinician who kind of branched out and did my own business as well and I think that one of the real strengths of this specific program is the strength of the MBA core but also the electives with regard to healthcare quality and some of the regulations. That’s going to make a difference with regard to someone who’s trying to launch a business, especially in the area of behavioural health. This is an area of healthcare that historically has had some trouble being funded and this is changing significantly with the Affordable Care Act.
So to really understand how to adapt some of the new healthcare quality initiatives and metrics for that purpose of starting a business and tie that into the MBA and some of the entrepreneur electives I think would set you up really for success and to be well ahead of some of your competitors.

Annie Li: Perfect, thank you. Karen I hope that answers your question. We have a question from Harry and you speak to that and maybe Ayman you can speak to that based off of who you see in your classes. She’s asking, “Are most of the MBA students physicians or this also intended for attorneys who are interested in the business aspect of healthcare?”

Ayman El Tarabishy: We had actually some lawyers taking the MBA here and so I guess the question is everybody’s going to come in with a different knowledge base or angle of learning. What you are acquiring here is the fundamentals of a business. You have to understand the language, speak the language and analyse. So if you’re coming in from healthcare or your coming in from law and health, again the core topic at the end of the day is all about you being comfortable knowing and understanding, being in a business meeting what they’re talking about. What is ROI? What is FIFO? What is open innovation? What is creative destruction? These are the topics that you might have heard about but are not really sure of what do they mean and how do they relate?

Once you graduate you will connect the dots and that will help you to go back to your industry or domain and say, “I can speak two languages now or even more with a certificate in pocket.”

Leslie Davidson: Right and I think that one of the strengths of our program specifically in the health science programs that are working with the MBA is the fact that you have individuals in the courses from multiple backgrounds. You may have some physicians, you may have lawyers, you may have clinicians, you may have researchers, you may have people who are working in the area of regulation right now. So when you have that mix of people in your table in the course it really only adds to enhance that course to a level that you definitely would not have if all you were specific people or lawyers or physicians. It gives it a richness to the discussion and the understanding that just wouldn’t be there if it was really only a one background program.

Annie Li: A couple of questions regarding the credit hours of this program. This program is 55.5 credit hours and it is a fully online program in terms of there’s no residency requirement and all the courses are online.

There’s a question about the timeframe of the program. The benefit of the program is actually is it’s really self-paced. Ayman maybe you can jump on to speak a little bit about that. The program is self-paced and you have up to five years to complete the program. Ayman did you have anything else to add to that?

Ayman El Tarabishy: Yes. I think a lot of people would want to finish the program in two years or two years and some change and that’s doable but you just have to seriously commit to a timeline. You have to commit to taking the course and I think most of you will come with the intention of you wanting to finish within two years or two years and a half. Most of the time what happens is life. Life gets in the way and that’s where the beauty of the program is. You’re in this cycle. You have this system in place so you can extend it a little bit as you catch up with life but the intentions coming in, if you have everything working perfectly, you should be finishing within two years or two years and change, depending if you want to pick up some summer classes or not.

Leslie Davidson: Just one thing that’s important to clarify is the program in general is self-paced, however the courses are not. So if you register for a course for a specific semester, that course has to be completed within that semester. In addition, I can speak to the courses that are in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Those courses are online and they’re structured week to week so if one opens, the individuals who are in that course do the work for that specific week the next week it opens, so it’s not as though for our online courses it opens up and then those in the courses in the semester, all the students are at different places in the course.

One of the strengths of the courses that we’ve developed is really the fact that the students work through the course together and then the scaffolding of the learning is done in a community type setting.

Annie Li: Thank you. There’s a couple of questions. Amy I know you already addressed this earlier but I think a couple of them couldn’t hear properly about wanting to complete the program with two certificates. Sorry to repeat, could you repeat your answer again?

Amy King: Yeah there’s really not enough credit hours to complete two certificates and the MBA and that’s just not really possible. What I would say instead of thinking about, “Okay I want to complete two certificates,” is that in that foundations class we’ll really talk to you and walk you through how to select the appropriate certificate for what your professional goals are and that would probably serve you better than trying to complete multiple certificates in the long run anyways. There’s really just not enough credits to complete two certificates and an MBA in the program.

Annie Li: Thank you Amy. I hope everyone caught that and I have one last question or again looking for opinion, Leslie and Ayman. She has a Bachelor’s in Finance and then her husband is a physician and they want to open a clinic in the future together. She wants to be hands on with the operation side of the clinic. Again, her background is Bachelor’s in Finance, so how do you think that this program will benefit her? I’m assuming the husband is staying as a physician and not taking the MBA program.

Ayman El Tarabishy: Yeah so she basically wants to run the business and let her husband do all the work. That’s what’s happening here, which is fantastic what she’s. . .she’s very smart. That’s exactly how the course work is basically she’ll come up with the ideas, she’ll do the environment scan of what is out there, what’s in the market, who’s the competition, what’s the SWOT analysis, which is the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of opening a type of clinic and then how does she put it together. Where is the access to finance? What’s the marketing plan? What’s the operations? How will they sustain the cash flow? Who do they need to partner up with? What’s the current opportunity to absorb another clinic?

And she’ll probably do all this work as part of her MBA program, as part of her acquiring all the common body of knowledge of putting accounting, finance, marketing, management, operations, decision sciences and taking some of the electives, which is the entrepreneurship courses and then she’ll put together the feasibility study, which is kind of the whole business plan of sort and she’ll have an opportunity to actually pitch it within the business school because we have a business plan competition that she can apply to. I think it’s up to $50,000 in awards.

If she’s ready and if she’s done the work and gotten as much input as possible from colleagues, professors and from the ecosystem of GW and she goes to her bank or she goes to some seed investors and say, “I need $100,000. I need $150,000. I’ve been doing this research now for one or two years and we’re ready to pull the trigger.” We’ve seen that many times at GW with students taking the MBA program and then realizing that they want to pursue their business idea or have it part of their company that they work in, which is what we call the intrapreneurship. I think that’s the scenario that I can see happening here.

Annie Li: Perfect, thank you. I think adding to about the program, Ayman could you speak a little bit about how the classroom is like in terms of how everyone can kind of interact with each other aside from the orientation that they can also be a part of? How else can they interact with each other within the cohort?

Ayman El Tarabishy: Yeah so because this is an online MBA program we don’t have actually physical classrooms. What we have is what we call “think sessions” in which you’ll meet up with your professor or the instructional assistant of that course and there’ll be a lecture given and this is where the beauty comes in. This is where what I call the “secondary learning” happens here. The assignments themselves that are given to the classes, to the groups are group related. So in two or three of my classes I say, “I need you to write me an opinion paper and I need you to do it with your colleagues,” or, “I need you to work on a feasibility study together as a group,” or, “I need you to do this project as a group.” So then you’ll start working with groups within you classroom to fulfill these requirements.

Though saying that, then there’s a secondary arm to it, which is basically scheduling Skype calls or FaceTime or whatever application you use, coordinating times. Who’s going to be the coordinator? Who’s the person that’s going to take the first draft? So there’s that secondary market of learning, which is your engaged with your students and colleagues in producing these assignments as part of the course.

It is not easy because you have the school work, you have work and stuff but there is that magic and I’ve seen a lot of people actually have really flourished because they feel this is a team and they learn from each other.

Also another feature is in the assignment itself that I do in my course. We do something called blogs in which I put a topic for the week and I ask everybody to contribute to it and part of them contributing to it is they also have to contribute to two other posts written by their colleagues. So the next thing you know you’re reading your posts, you’re reading what people are saying and you’re responding to other people and it becomes a little bit addictive because you always want to go back saying, “Who said what? Do they agree with you? Do they not agree with you?” and then you sit down and you kind of jump in and you want to write another comment or another post or further disagree or show that they’re not accurate because of this link and that link. That’s kind of what happens in this ecosystem of learning at GW.

Annie Li: Perfect. Thank you. I’m going to squeeze in one more question here from [Ladiya]. She has a Master’s in Healthcare Administration. She is wondering how can the Healthcare MBA benefit her career path?

Ayman El Tarabishy: Alright. Well the Healthcare MBA is for the business world, so if her path leads to business, it leads to engagement in business, in particular with companies and organizations that are looking for people with knowledge and skills in the business domain, that’s where it fits in. I don’t really know her program specifically but I know that our program when people graduate they’re very proud just to go out there and be part of this whole business discussion –these board of directors, these boardrooms and have very fluent and deep conversations on this and that’s what we offer.

Annie Li: Perfect and I just want to thank everyone for being here with us and Leslie, Ayman and Amy. I don’t know if Joe is still on the line but for you guys to be here and sharing your thoughts and the insight and just getting more information about the program. Really appreciated. I think this was a great webinar everyone. I hope this has been beneficial for you as well. If you want to get in touch with us, our email and our phone number is in front of you there and if it works better, you can definitely book a telephone appointment directly with our advisor through the button at the bottom of your navigation window there. That’s it. Thank you everything.

Leslie, Ayman and Amy, did you guys have anything else to add as we wrap up?

Ayman El Tarabishy: No. I just want to say thank you for everybody being interested in GW and we look forward to meeting them soon.

Leslie Davidson: Yes, likewise. Thank you so much for attending today.

Amy King: Thanks everyone for being here.

Annie Li: Perfect. Thank you everyone. Have a great day.