The chance to build a professional network is a major draw for prospective MBA students who are building their career. Classmates and alumni networks have traditionally been invaluable resources.
For Online MBA students, the appeal of classroom sessions, group work and intense socializing remotely may seem limited. However, technological advances and changing cultural habits are making Online MBA degrees more attractive for those who want to build life-long networks.
Digital interactions can be equally or even more enriching than the in-person variety, says Birgit Newman, associate director of graduate career services, Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
Improvements in digital communication have played a big part in that. “Technologies such as Zoom, Teams and Google offer the added advantage of a visual interface, and facilitate face-to-face interaction as well as shared experiences real-time,” says Newman. “Quick visual demonstrations and collaboration across multiple applications can be offered.”
She admits that “expressions of emotions, empathy and sympathy tend to be more impactful” in real life, but these can be boosted with techniques that Kelley teaches its Online MBA students. For example, the business school’s Graduate Career Services team makes networking a key part of its coaching as well as the MBA curriculum. […]