Category Archives: Director’s Corner

Capping the TMMBA experience

blog cap

The goal of any MBA capstone is to measure students’ ability to synthesize and demonstrate their understanding of key business and managerial frameworks, concepts and insights taught through the MBA coursework.  The capstone experience varies from program- to- program.  In researching and talking with my MBA and EMBA colleagues from around the U.S. it seems that capstones fall into three main categories:  case competitions, integrated or consulting projects and business plan competitions.

Remember your TMMBA capstone course or competition?

The TMMBA capstone experience has included case competitions (2002-2007), technology commercialization course and competition (2008-2010) and most recently a Venture Capital Investment course and competition (2011-2012).  To varying degrees, each of these capstones met the goals of a capstone and we appreciate all our various stakeholders for making each one a success.

As you reflect on your experience what comes to mind? 

I’m looking to our TMMBA community for constructive input, suggestions and ideas to move this experience forward.  I’m a firm believer that none of us are as smart as all of us – and while there may not be a “silver bullet” for the capstone experience, I’m certain with your help we can get very close!

There is always room to improve, innovate and evolve.

In the next monthly alumni TMMBA email we’ll announce the date for an early January dinner meeting – we’ll catch up and talk capstone!

I hope you will consider helping.

 

Tracy

Tracy Gojdics is the Director of the TMMBA Program and an alumna from the Class of 2007. Outside of the office you might find Tracy out hiking, running, reading, or spending quality time with her family. Tracy can be contacted at tracylt@uw.edu or via phone at 206-616-2610.

TMMBA heading to Vietnam in 2014

The TMMBA Program is pleased to announce that Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi) will be the 2014 TMMBA International Study Tour (IST) destination.  The Study Tour allows students, alumni, staff and faculty to experience business and culture a different world environment through personal meetings with executives and senior managers, entrepreneurs, company visits, government agencies and cultural excursions.  The IST allows students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to another business and cultural environment and to develop and grow the global mindset necessary to be successful in an international business environment. Participants also have a lot of fun as they learn more about each other and create friendships that will last a lifetime.

flag

 

Vietnam:

 

  • Predicted to be one of the fastest-growing of the world’s emerging economies by 2025.
  • Manufacturing, IT and high-tech industries now form a large and fast-growing part of the national economy.
  • One of Asia’s most open economies. Economic reforms pushing toward a system of capitalism.
  • U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement opens up new markets for U.S. goods and services, and as Vietnam meets its WTO commitments, the Vietnam market represents the next great opportunity for all types of American companies.
  • Privately owned enterprises encouraged, and entrepreneurship has played a significant role in the country’s growth rate, in line just behind China and India.
  • Investment in infrastructure and tax incentives to stimulate the tech industry. Heavy investment in industry parks.

The IST is definitely a highlight of the program.  Read more about the TMMBA International Study tour by reading student, alumni, staff and faculty blogs from previous trips.

This year we have a record number of students participating and we’ll open up a few spots to alumni as well.  Should be another great International Study Tour!

TracyTracy Gojdics is the Director of the TMMBA Program and an alumna from the Class of 2007. Outside of the office you might find Tracy out hiking, running, reading, or spending quality time with her family. Tracy can be contacted at tracylt@uw.edu or via phone at 206-616-2610.

The Interview: The last stop on the application trail

interview

461.  This is how many TMMBA admission interviews I have done over the years!  It’s safe to say I’ve learned a few things about being an interviewer and how best to engage with an interviewee.   My intention for this post is to shed light on the TMMBA interview approach and what you can expect.

First, let me say that I recognize the “interview” can be a bit nerve-wracking.  After all, it is the last stop before a decision is made on whether or not you will be offered admission.  The nice thing is that there are a lot of articles and advice in the cyber world  on the MBA interview. One of my favorites, 10 Tips for Acing the MBA Interviews featured on Forbes (Jan, 2013), is a great, practical overview on how to prepare and what to expect.  However, most of the articles are for full-time MBA program interviews and not for a program like TMMBA.

So what is different about the TMMBA admission interview approach?  It’s a conversation.  It’s a dialogue.  No panels.  No litany of canned questions.  No right or wrong answers.  It is simply getting beyond what is contained in black and white as part of your application file and to validate you meet areas of the selection process.  It’s as simple as that!

There are three of us on the TMMBA Program team who interview applicants, and while we all have our own interview style we all approach it as a conversation.  So what are some things we might talk about during our conversation?

Here are 10 possible topics for a great conversation:

  1. Your current job and company.  What you like, dislike and how an MBA fits in to the big picture.
  2. If your company has been in the news or has released a new product we might chat about that.
  3. There is a lot of literature out there about the pros/cons of MBA degrees. What are your thoughts and why do you want to do this?
  4. How do you anticipate the first quarter going for you?
  5. Working in teams has its ups and downs.   What is the secret sauce for successful teams?
  6. What are you most excited to learn while in the program?
  7. How has the application process been for you?  What was your favorite and least favorite aspect of the application?
  8. If you came to a class visit we might talk about the course and what impressions you had while visiting.
  9. Mentors and role models and how they have influenced you.
  10. An international experience (work or vacation) and your impressions of the culture, people, etc.

Additionally, there will be time for any questions you have that have gone unanswered.  My biggest piece of advice on questions is that if you don’t have any don’t feel compelled to ask something and certainly do not ask something you should know by the time you reach the interview stage (class schedule, courses, etc.).

Lastly, we’ll wrap up our conversation with next steps.

If you have read this blog and you interview with me, let me know and I’ll throw in a bonus question! :)

TracyTracy Gojdics is the Director of the TMMBA Program and an alumna from the Class of 2007. Outside of the office you might find Tracy out hiking, running, reading, or spending quality time with her family. Tracy can be contacted at tracylt@uw.edu or via phone at 206-616-2610.