CMU_WomenTech Network

    Our recent online event, "Navigating Tepper School's Master's Opportunities," delivered invaluable insights into the diverse array of Master's programs offered by Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business. The panel, comprising J.R. McGrath, Kari Calvario, Tony Gomez, and Amy LaSota from Masters Admissions, expertly guided attendees through the intricacies of program selection, emphasizing the unique features and advantages each program offers.  

    J.R. initiated the discussion by guiding attendees through crucial considerations for choosing the right program. He prompted reflection on preferences such as the type of work, preferred work environment, and the choice between part-time or full-time study, either on-location or online. By outlining personal and professional goals for the next five years, attendees gained clarity on program fit. J.R. highlighted two program categories:    

    Pre-experience Programs: Tailored for participants early in their careers, these programs suit recent graduates or individuals with 1-2 years of work experience seeking a career pivot or skillset enhancement. Examples include the full-time Business Analytics Degree and the new Master in Management.    

    Experience Programs: Geared toward individuals with at least 2 years of work experience, the MBA Degree is a focal point. Classes often have an average of 5-6 years of work experience. This program allows flexibility with full-time and part-time online options. Additional experienced programs, such as the Master's Program in Science Management, provide a comprehensive experience comparable to an MBA.   

    Whether opting for a full-time Business Analytics program for experienced candidates or a part-time online format, J.R. emphasized the importance of aligning the program with individual career goals and experiences.  

    Kari expanded on the school's growth over the past nine years, emphasizing its commitment to incorporating emerging technologies like AI. The MBA stands as the institution's most established program, yet it also offers highly specialized programs, prompting individuals to consider their specific focus areas. The school boasts small class sizes and provides options for part-time online classes.    

    Amy delved into the online hybrid MBA program, thriving for over a decade, offering the same degree as the full-time MBA but with a more extended completion timeframe. Geared towards individuals seeking career excellence and in-depth exploration rather than those undergoing a career switch, the program doesn't mandate an internship—a requirement for the full-time MBA. Ideal for working professionals, the part-time format involves classes twice a week, with lecture hours designed to accommodate students' working schedules. The program includes "access weekends," facilitating cohort interaction through on-campus classes. Amy encouraged attendees to explore the Accelerate Leadership Center for comprehensive leadership development.    

    Tony supplemented Amy's insights by focusing on the flagship program—the full-time MBA. Highlighting the school's pioneering role in establishing management science as a field, Tony emphasized the integration of data analytics to uncover the decision-making processes of leaders. The program aims to unleash the full power of data utilization while ensuring the development of leadership skills. He envisions creating future business leaders equipped with emotional intelligence (EQ) and intellectual prowess, capable of solving complex problems in the evolving landscape.  

     As the session transitioned into a lively Q&A with the engaged attendees, some questions sparked significant interest:    

    [20:25]​​​​ When does the Master of Data Science start?  

    The Analytics program begins in the fall, offering both full-time and part-time options.    

    [21:15]​​​​ What makes the Tepper School programs unique?  

    The uniqueness of Tepper School programs lies in our commitment to leading at the intersection of technology, data, business, and leadership. We recognize the significance of data in decision-making for businesses and organizations, and our focus is on cultivating individuals who excel in translating complex information into easily understandable communication, influencing multiple stakeholders, and instilling belief in their team's vision. Additionally, what sets us apart is our faculty, who consistently teach across various disciplines within the university, providing unparalleled access to renowned experts – this extends to our online classes as well. The Accelerate Leadership Center plays a pivotal role in shaping individuals into strong contributors, team players, and effective leaders.    

    [28:10]​​​​ Do we have an opportunity of having placement assistance if we are enrolled online?  

    Regarding placement assistance for online enrollees, the dynamics differ as online students are typically assumed to be working full-time. However, the Tepper School provides the same dedicated placements team for both full-time and part-time online students. Interestingly, an observation from one of our colleagues highlights a growing trend where Tepper School students enrolled in online programs are increasingly making career transitions, highlighting the evolving opportunities available to online learners. The level of support depends on individual circumstances and goals.  

    [31:48]​​​​ Does my degree say “online, part-time”?  

    No, your degree simply states Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business degree without specifying the mode of study.    

    [32:37]​​​​ What are you looking for in an ideal candidate?  

    The ideal candidate criteria vary, and Tony emphasizes the importance of a candidate possessing a balanced blend of emotional intelligence and intellectual curiosity. He looks for individuals who demonstrate eagerness to learn beyond the expected, effective collaboration skills, and proficiency in interpersonal communication. Amy, on the other hand, values collaboration, seeking candidates who thrive in team environments and show growth potential. Kari stresses that there is no secret sauce; every aspect submitted in the application undergoes thorough review and analysis, ensuring a holistic evaluation of each candidate.    

    [40:42]​​​​​​​ Could you provide insights into the career services and job placement support CMU offers? Any star examples?  

    Our community is tight knit, with each member entering with a specific career goal. J.R. shared an anecdote about a student who, after thorough pre-degree research, realized a shift in career aspirations during interviews and networking events. The collaborative spirit among classmates played a pivotal role, as they supported each other in navigating such transitions. Kari highlighted the proactive nature of the community, citing instances where students in the Product Management program began interviewing for summer internships before stepping foot on campus. The Career Center's involvement begins early, offering support even when students have just submitted their enrollment, ensuring assistance throughout their academic journey.    

    [49:43]​​​​ What if I have a non-traditional background, what if I don’t have a tech background? Is there a fit for me in these programs?  

    From a technical standpoint, the more specialized courses delve deeper into technology. The programs are designed to assist you, but it is essential to examine the curriculum for a comprehensive understanding. If you are keen on enrolling, assess whether additional courses are necessary and prepare accordingly before embarking on the program. Realistic self-evaluation of your background is crucial in this decision-making process.    

    [54:56]​​​​ What are the types of financial aid, are scholarships available to anyone?  

    As you embark on a Master's degree, it is essential to assess the return on investment (ROI) it offers. We emphasize merit-based scholarships rather than need-based ones, ensuring that every program provides eligibility for scholarships. Additionally, there are awards from donors that may offer additional financial support, providing a range of opportunities for students pursuing their Master's degree.    

    [57:10]​​​​ What are the great resources that Tepper offers?   

    J.R. shared that the Alumni office has consistently demonstrated eagerness to assist. Whenever he engaged with alumni, their refrain was, "What can I do to help?" Students are readily available for discussions, mentorship, and ongoing involvement. Amy underscored the value of current students as a rich resource. With admissions ambassadors and office fellows conducting Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions, they provide firsthand insights and address queries from a relatable perspective. Kari highlighted the crucial role of Program Teams, serving as a bridge between students and admissions. Their support extends beyond administrative aspects, offering valuable insights and guidance. Tony emphasized the expansive reach of the entrepreneurship center, extending beyond our walls to embrace the entire CMU community. This center provides support through incubator spaces, facilitates networking with entrepreneurs and investors, and aids in the development of innovative ideas.  

    The session wrapped up with an engaging discussion on the Pittsburgh campus, delving into its vibrant ambiance, prime location, eclectic bars, dynamic student life, and thriving sports scene.  

    Explore the different Master's programs offered by Tepper School:   

    Master of Science in Product Management (MSPM)   

    The Carnegie Mellon MSPM program is one-of-a-kind. Offered through the top-ranked School of Computer Science and Tepper School of Business, the one-year, STEM-designated program combines the best of both schools, giving you an efficient, focused, and effective path to product management success. The MSPM coursework and hands-on experiences are designed to train students to become product managers who empathize with customers, lead cross-functional teams, and deliver business value.   

    Master of Business Administration (MBA)   

    At Tepper, you’ll find the same academic and support standards across our MBA formats: Full-Time MBA, Online Hybrid MBA, and Accelerated MBA (for those with a business undergraduate degree). Tepper’s STEM-designated MBA program delivers the analytical and leadership skills you’ll need to lead where human intelligence unleashes the power of data, and interdisciplinary teamwork drives innovation. You will never find a “one-size-fits-all” program at Tepper. Together, you’ll collaborate to solve tough business challenges using data and creativity. With a powerful combination of advanced analytics and personalized leadership coaching, the Tepper MBA gives you a formidable advantage over the competition.   

    Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA)   

    The Tepper MSBA is a STEM-designated program designed for people who want to deepen their analytical skills and move into sought-after business analyst positions. Earn your MSBA with full-time and part-time, online formats, and position yourself for career advancement in the rapidly expanding field of business analytics. Put your enthusiasm for data analytics to work and you’ll graduate equipped with the analytical skills, business knowledge, and creative problem-solving expertise to transform data into better decision-making.   

    Master of Science in Management (MSM)   

    This full-time, in-person program takes place over 10 months where you will learn business fundamentals that prepare you for a data-informed and human-driven future. Your spark to join The Intelligent Future is within this STEM-designated program. Study a data-informed approach to business that sees you partnering with innovative tech, AI, and human ingenuity and specializations in Finance, Marketing, and Operations, and more. The Intelligent Future of business is one of purpose, creativity, inclusivity, and limitless imagination. And what makes this future possible? One spark from someone like you.   


    The Q&A session showcased the diverse aspects of Tepper School's programs and the commitment to providing comprehensive support for students. As you consider your Master's journey, we invite you to explore the detailed descriptions of each program and discover the path that aligns with your ambitions. Tepper School stands as a beacon of innovation, leadership, and inclusivity, paving the way for your success in the world of business and tech.