Two Women of Hybrid MBA Faculty Share Tips for Success

The Hybrid MBA program is unique in its model: it is 95% online and most students take on a full course load while holding full-time positions. Managing time can sometimes take some juggling, so we asked two of our female faculty at UW to give incoming students advice on how to prioritize work and projects in the Hybrid MBA Program. 

Weili Ge, PhD, Professor of Accounting

Weili Ge has taught at the University of Washington since 2006. She specializes in financial accounting and is known for her creative and witty lectures. This fall, she is teaching a core class, Financial Reporting & Analysis, to first year Hybrid MBA students. 

What do you find most exciting about teaching Hybrid MBA Students?

There are many aspects of teaching Hybrid MBA students that I feel excited about. If I could pick only two, I would pick the following:

  1. Forming meaningful relationships with students: The Hybrid MBA Program is a community with individuals who care about one another. Getting to know students and connecting with them always makes me feel excited about teaching and helps me to keep improving my teaching materials and methodologies. The unique structure of the Hybrid MBA program, with its in-person sessions and synchronous online sessions, has made it possible to connect with students and get to know them.
  2. Hybrid MBA students’ passion for learning: Hybrid MBA students are hardworking and eager to learn. I love hearing their questions, reading their insights about cases, news articles, or any topic related to my class, and getting their feedback about how they have used what they learned in my class in their work or job interviews. I have learned so much from my students! 

What advice would you give to incoming students to the Hybrid MBA Program?

You will be very busy! At times, you will feel overwhelmed, especially during the first year in the Hybrid MBA Program when you are adjusting to the lifestyle of working and studying in a challenging yet rewarding program. 

Probably many of you are thinking about this question: how shall I manage my time? One piece of advice I would give you is to consider how your to-do items fit into the “Urgent Important Matrix” in Stephen Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. 

Matrix of Urgent and Important

“Urgent Important Matrix” from Stephen Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”

This matrix will help you to identify your priorities and decide how to spend your time. It is often the “important but not urgent” items, such as self-care, long-term career planning, and nurturing relationships, that get set aside. But ignoring these issues can have negative long-term consequences, so be sure to allocate time to them.

A derivative of considering the “Urgent Important Matrix” is that you will learn to say “no” sometimes to tasks to which you would usually say yes. I know it can be really difficult to say “no” sometimes, but that might be the only way for you to attend to those “important but not urgent” items. The matrix will help you figure out what items to say no to. 

Elizabeth Umphress, PhD, Professor of Management

Elizabeth Umphress is a professor of management who has taught at the University of Washington since 2011. At Hybrid, she is known for her Successful Negotiations elective course. Students describe her curriculum as engaging and empowering. Many students leave her negotiations course feeling more confident and able to handle a real word negotiation like negotiating their salary, or their work responsibilities, or buying a new car.

What do you find most exciting about teaching Hybrid MBA Students?

I really appreciate the opportunity to interact with smart, engaged organizational leaders. I appreciate that Hybrid MBA students bring their expertise into the classroom and share their insights and experiences with their classmates. This generates an enriching environment in which we are all learning from one another.

What advice would you give to incoming students to the Hybrid MBA Program?

First, I encourage all learners to adopt a growth mindset, acknowledging the value in how challenges and feedback will help you learn and grow. Second, be ready to hear ideas from co-learners and instructors that might be radically different from your own. When hearing these different ideas, consider pushing past a possible first reaction to dismiss or reject these different ideas because you’ll miss out on an important kernel of knowledge. So, instead of pointing out why the different idea might be “wrong”, ask clarifying questions to increase your understanding of different perspectives. Finally, attempt to make conscious attempts to treat your fellow co-learners with dignity and respect. This includes, among other things, ensuring that everyone feels safe and has the opportunity to share their unique perspectives and identities. 

 

Learn more about Hybrid MBA Curriculum here

Meet UW Hybrid MBA Students through our Hybrid MBA Student Q&A blog posts.