Students Cite High-Touch Approach as Reason Why They Chose Jenkins MBA
For anyone who explores or pursues an NC State Jenkins MBA degree, the program has them covered at every step, from a prospective student to post-graduation.
Jenkins emphasizes a high-touch approach at a level beyond that of many MBA programs. It’s so ingrained in the program that many students cite the personalized attention as one reason they chose Jenkins.
The people-centered focus starts when prospective students first request information about the program and continues throughout the process, in admissions, academic advising and career services.
It’s important because everyone wants to know they are special and valued.
Our program does that,” says Deborah Waller Wilkins, Jenkins assistant director of advising and student affairs.
The high-touch aspect includes all prospective students, some of whom ultimately may decide not to apply or enroll.
“We want to help people, even if they decide this isn’t the best time or program for them,” Jenkins Admissions Director Jen Arthur says. “The point is to help people on their journey.”
The admissions staff reaches out to prospective MBA students with a one-on-one phone conversation to discuss such options as dual degrees and certificates, the full-time program, and the working-professional program. Some prospective students ask admissions officials to review their resume and transcript to decide if they’d be a viable candidate. And the admissions staff guides them in the application process, so they can present themselves most effectively.
Jenkins hosts admissions events for groups, too. “But at the end of the day, prospective students each have their unique situation and want to get a perspective on the application process as it relates specifically to them,” Arthur says.
Other admissions outreach (virtual for now) to prospective students includes:
- Several information sessions each month
- Drop-in meetings with just a few attendees at a time for people who prefer a smaller group
- Student ambassadors available to communicate one-on-one with prospects
For those admitted to the MBA program, Jenkins’ personalized focus is equally as consistent.
Jenkins sends candidates a congratulatory package with information and swag. Admissions staff host an occasional virtual trivia night and joint information sessions — sometimes with mock classes and guest speakers — with other Poole graduate programs. And there are virtual panels with current MBA students and alumni, as well as live Facebook events.
“It’s about sharing some value with people, and hopefully it will help them to further solidify whether they want to do this and if it’s the right time,” Arthur says.
We want to make sure on the admissions side that we’re helping people move toward their goals.
Once students enroll, they work with Jenkins’ academic advising team and meet some of their classmates in advance virtually, so they can start to build their network early.
The academic advising team also uses a high-touch strategy with students.
One-on one advising services are offered to every MBA student by staff advisers, who answer questions about courses, a typical course load during a semester, the curriculum, dropping or adding a course, and other issues. Advisers also text students with reminders about important dates such as deadlines for registering for courses or dropping a class.
“Students have all kinds of extenuating circumstances during the year,” Wilkins says. “We let them know we care when they have personal family issues and need our assistance.”
After students are admitted, but before they start the program, they have a remote, one-on-one initial advising session to review the curriculum and university policies and procedures.
Other resources the academic advising office is involved with include:
- MBA Launch, a virtual student orientation for students
- The MBA Student Hub on the learning platform Moodle, which Wilkins calls “the one-stop shop” for students
- Professional MBA Delegates, a group of students who answer questions, offer support and act as a liaison between students and Jenkins staff
Jenkins’ career services office also offers resources and support for students throughout the MBA program — even after they graduate. Career coaches help with resumes, interviewing guidance and networking opportunities.
“With a lot of programs, once you’ve graduated, it’s goodbye. But we’re still here for them,” Wilkins says.
The most rewarding part of Wilkins’ job is hearing from MBA alumni about their career plans and success. “We get emails that say, ‘Thank you so much for sticking with me,’ she notes.
If I can encourage a student to let them know they’re going to make it, I will do it. We go the extra mile. Whatever that looks like, we do it.