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Advice for Online MBA Students

Enrolling in an online Master of Business Administration program can take your career to new heights. You may enjoy the opportunity to learn new things and enhance your knowledge of business.

But what does it take to succeed in an online program? An MBA program is challenging because it helps students stretch and grow a great deal in a short time. In the right online MBA program, students can be ready for their next career challenge as soon as they complete the program.

Programs like those offered by the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) set students up for success by providing appropriate supports and guidance. UNC MBA professors share some advice on how to succeed in the online MBA program. The first thing to know is that online courses are not like correspondence courses.

What Type of Student Does Well in an Online MBA Program?

Unlike on-campus courses, online MBA programs don't involve regularly scheduled class time. This can prove challenging for students who need more support and the structure of an on-campus schedule. Students who thrive in an online program are self-driven and conscientious. They know how to stay on top of their coursework without any nudging.

Successful students do more than homework and watch videos. They ask questions, participate in discussions, and get to know their professors and classmates. "The more you put into it, the more you will get out of the class," says Dr. William Wilcox, UNC MBA professor.

"In this online program, we have regular and meaningful interactions between the students and the instructor via synchronous and asynchronous media," says Dr. Keiko Krahnke, associate professor at UNC. "Instead of merely submitting required work, I would encourage you to connect, share thoughts and learn from each other."

How to Excel in an Online MBA Program

Dr. Don Gudmundson who teaches in UNC's MBA with a human resource specialization encourages students to stay focused and concentrate on what they want to learn from each course.

In reference to economics-related courses, Dr. Abe Harraf encourages students to learn how to apply economics in managerial situations to make sound business decisions that optimize the use of resources while maximizing return on investment and profit.

Harraf's advice is useful to students in all online programs:

  • Stay committed and persistent.
  • Collaborate with peers.
  • Manage time effectively.
  • Learn as much as possible.
  • Interact with your professors.

Dr. Milan Larson, UNC associate professor, says managing time and staying on top of coursework are important because falling behind will limit what the student learns.

How to Grasp the Accounting Coursework

Accounting is unlike a typical MBA class because it focuses on numbers rather than people, systems or products. Students learn how to review the numbers to cut costs and maximize profits.

Accounting Associate Professor Janel Greiman offers the following tips for accounting classes that also apply to other courses:

  • Take notes of the lecture videos as you would in a classroom lecture.
  • Focus on understanding the course content, not memorizing.
  • Review quizzes and tests to understand why an answer is correct or incorrect.
  • Treat the homework as a very important part of the program.
  • Practice often.
  • Work on the course materials every day.
  • Review earlier material prior to new material.

Accounting requires working the problems to learn it. Greiman encourages students to complete assignments and view lectures without feeling rushed. Grasping the course material requires re-watching and re-working problems.

Dr. Bob Lynch, UNC professor, encourages students to go for it!

"I've been amazed at how much I have learned through online experiences," Lynch says. "Technology is rewriting how information and learning are delivered across one's lifetime."

Learn more about the University of Northern Colorado's online MBA program.

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