Online MBA Students Build Connections in Amazing DC Experience | VTX

The outstanding education Virginia Tech MBA students receive can be enhanced by an in-person experience that offers unique opportunities to connect and network with classmates and industry leaders.

Virginia Tech The Online MBA team recently participated in three days of immersive programming in Washington, D.C., where online MBA students can connect with other students and faculty, Virginia Tech MBA alumni, and government and nonprofit administrators, as well as engage in discussion and reflection on the experience.

The online MBA event lineup in DC featured a panel of MBA alumni, the Office of Cultural Practices and Government Accountability, the National Geographic Society and National Geographic Partners, and other nonprofits like Eat.

“Virginia Tech MBA students receive a high-quality education and engage in ongoing collaboration with peers and faculty through a team model. Immersive, in-person experiences like the online MBA in DC help further foster connections between students, faculty, alumni and industry,” said Parveez Gandforosh, associate dean for graduate programs.

“Virginia Tech’s graduate programs are located in the heart of the greater Washington, DC region at the intersection of government, nonprofit and private industries. The in-person DC experience is designed to enable students to contextualize their MBA and professional experience in this dynamic ecosystem and explore new applications for their degree,” said Dana Hansen, director of MBA programs and course leader.

When the online MBA program launches in 2021, the program’s curriculum includes an optional 10-day field trip that gives the cohort the opportunity to study abroad. However, the summer 2022 trip has been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The decision was made to allow students to visit the DC area and participate in immersion programming in January as an alternative to traveling abroad.

To begin their experience, students gained insights into how higher education interacts with all levels of government in a conversation with Virginia Tech’s Vice President of Government and Community Relations, Christopher Yanilos. Students learn that relationship building and communication are critical tools for advancing higher education priorities such as access, capacity, and research through government relations efforts.

In a panel discussion, Virginia Tech alumni from the DC area shared how the skills gained in the MBA program translate to a variety of career environments, including Capitol Hill, the federal government, the nonprofit arena, and startups. The panelists shared how MBAs can continue to equip themselves with the courage to encourage buy-in from various stakeholders to drive innovation.

“The alumni panel discussion gave me unique insight into the impact that Virginia Tech MBA graduates are making in the DC area and beyond. Each speaker brought unique insights from their organizations that enriched the discussion. They also highlight the many different career paths that closely align with an MBA degree,” said Lt. James Whittlesey, navigation instructor and company advisor at Virginia Tech’s Navy ROTC.

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