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Interview with Robin Camputaro - Associate Director for Marketing and Recruitment (Virginia Tech MBA)

Robin Virginia TechF1GMAT: Virginia Tech MBA focuses on building a strong foundation with First Year Core Courses. How is the curriculum structured to help MBA students?
 
Robin Camputaro (Virginia Tech MBA): The MBA degree allows a student to gain a broad perspective of various business disciplines.  Most MBA students come into the program with either no business background, or a previous business degree with narrow focus.  The 10 required core classes introduce a wide range of business functions, and provide the quantitative and analytical foundation for the more rigorous, advanced classes in the second year. A final spring class—Strategic Management—holistically summarizes the core classes, providing students with a firm understanding of the integration of the different function.

The first year caters to students with a plethora of diverse backgrounds. Business, engineering, and technology fields are some common areas of focus for students, thus it is critical that all students gain a fundamental business foundation. Accounting, finance, statistics, ethics, and marketing are all core classes taken by first year students.

There are ten required core classes. They are designed to allow students with no prior knowledge the ability to understand the breadth of the material, yet at the same time challenge students with business backgrounds to further their knowledge.

F1GMAT: Virginia Tech MBA is introducing a new IT Concentration for fall 2012. Tell us a little bit about various concentrations available for 2nd year students.
 
Robin Camputaro (Virginia Tech MBA): The general MBA curriculum offers a scripted tour through the major disciplines of an MBA education. If you are interested in going beyond the generalist MBA, you may select from one of our concentrations, which will strengthen your knowledge in a particular area to create an educational experience truly your own. While a concentration is not required, most students find the focused classes and deeper interaction with faculty enhances their overall MBA experience. The following are the available concentrations available to Traditional MBA students:

Organization Management & Strategy

The Organization Management and Strategy concentration offers students the chance to explore and assess the strategic foundations of various kinds of organizations and learn how managers create sustainable competitive advantage in both start-up and more mature businesses. Course offerings cover topics such as entrepreneurship, mergers and acquisitions from a strategic perspective, ethical dimensions of leadership, and effective management of change initiatives within an organization. This concentration may be combined with the Marketing concentration for a dual concentration.

Marketing

This concentration is strong on quantitative decision making and prepares students in the areas of product, promotion and international marketing strategy. We have had marketing alumni leading promotional campaigns, such as “Got Milk,” and brand development at Miracle Gro.  This concentration may be combined with the Strategy concentration for a dual concentration.

Information Technology

Starting Fall 2012, we begin offering a concentration in Information Technology. MBA students who choose this concentration will learn how to solve business problems through the practical use of computer systems. The IT concentration was developed as a direct result of input from the 2011 MBA cohort.  We are excited to offer this new concentration.

Finance

The concentration in Finance is designed for students who envision themselves working for multi-national companies in fields such as Treasury and Corporate Development (M&A). It prepares students for this field through a diverse offering of courses in topics such as corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, corporate risk management, capital structure, portfolio management, fixed income securities, and risks and strategies associated with financial institutions.

F1GMAT: How is the student life at Virginia Tech?
 
Robin Camputaro (Virginia Tech MBA)

Good Citizens of the MBA Program

We expect each student to contribute fully to the program
—both in and outside the classroom. With such a small class, it is imperative that our students feel comfortable participating in discussions; engaging with alumni, faculty, visiting companies, and administration; leading diverse teams; and acting as hands-on participants.

Opportunities to Connect

With more than 600 different student organization and clubs, Virginia Tech students have a wide range of opportunities to get involved on campus and within the surrounding community.  We encourage our MBA students to prepare actively for their careers and to take advantage of the variety of social and professional development activities and networking opportunities offered by the MBA program and the larger campus community.
Blacksburg, Virginia's largest town, contains some 12,000 acres nestled on a plateau between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains. Home to about 41,700 local residents, the town offers award-winning services, reasonable cost of living, safety, moderate climate, and abundant leisure activities. Blacksburg is consistently ranked among the country’s best places to live and has earned a reputation nationwide as a well-managed, stable, and forward-looking community.

The region’s retail hub, including the New River Valley Mall, is situated in Christiansburg, which is less than 10 miles from the Virginia Tech campus. Accessible to Interstate 81, Blacksburg is about 30 minutes from Roanoke, Southwest Virginia’s largest city.

F1GMAT: What are some of the post-MBA opportunities available for MBA graduates?

Robin Camputaro (Virginia Tech MBA): The Virginia Tech MBA Career Experience emphasizes a holistic, proactive, integrated marketing approach to the career search.  In our program, we have merged the academic and career advisers to provide you with seamless advice on how to reach your goals.  Our students have the assistance of the MBA Program’s career and job search advising office, in addition to the university’s Career Services office. Through this unique and customizable approach to internship and job searching, we help students identify and capitalize on their distinctive gifts to determine how their career objectives fit their personal and professional priorities.

The VTMBA Career Experience includes the guidance and assistance of our Career Services Director, Gina French, who serves as a liaison with companies seeking to hire our MBA students.  Our office has built strong relations with many top companies who seek out our MBA students.  Our Career Services Director is available to meet with individually to discuss your ideal job functions and target organizations in your preferred geography.  Together, you will identify opportunities in conjunction with your career aspirations.  Our office regularly posts internship and full time opportunities so you can begin your job search immediately and continue until you have secured a position which is the best fit for you.

Virginia Tech MBA students are employed within a wide range of industries and geographic locations. The VTMBA program has very close ties to its alumni students. Opportunities after graduation range from:

• Consulting
• Marketing
• Sales
• Finance
• Accounting
• General Management
• Information Technology
• Operations
• Logistics


Our graduates have performed these services for the government, non-profits, financial institutions, energy providers, and technology and research-based institutions.

F1GMAT:  Can you give our readers a demographic snapshot of the latest class?


Robin Camputaro (Virginia Tech MBA)

Class of 2014

GMAT average 626
GPA average 3.46
Average age 25.8
Women 29%
International 53%


VirginiaTech MBA


Country VirginiaTech MBA

F1GMAT:  What are some of the unique courses offered in the MBA program?
 
This required course is offered in a series of one-credit modules spread throughout four semesters. This course includes a formal class in the first semester (MGT 5404), which will guide MBA students to develop a personal marketing plan, identify success-related behavior expected by recruiters, develop a “30-second commercial” for prospecting, research companies, and conduct direct marketing to target companies. Other topics covered include negotiating the role, salary and offer timeline, and evaluating alternative offers.
The remaining three credits consist of workshops, presentations, and alumni/company panels that relay key business topics that are vital, but not covered in other courses. Students will work on oral presentation skills, interpersonal skills, and business writing skills.
 
F1GMAT:  What are the entry criteria in terms of the number of years of experience/GMAT/GPA for the Full-time MBA program?

Robin Camputaro (Virginia Tech MBA): The Full-time MBA program does not mandate any work experience to be considered for admission.

For Traditional MBA students only the GMAT is accepted. For simultaneous degree seeking applicants, the GRE is accepted if the partner program requires it for admission.

The target GPA is above a 3.0, but there are provisional acceptances for students below a 3.0 on a case-by-case basis. The student’s last 60 credit hours are calculated as the applicant’s GPA for admission into the program.

F1GMAT:  What are some of the defining characteristics that you look for in a Virginia Tech MBA candidate?

Robin Camputaro (Virginia Tech MBA): We look for individuals who exemplify professionalism, maturity, and diversity both personally and professionally.  As a smaller MBA program, we believe each student contributes to the overall class composite with their professional backgrounds, life experiences, and personalities.

Good Citizens of the MBA Program

Because we limit our class to no more than 60 students each year, we expect each student to contribute fully to the program—both in and outside the classroom.  With such a small class, it is imperative that our students feel comfortable participating in discussions, engaging with alumni, faculty, visiting companies and administration, leading diverse teams, and acting as hands-on participants. We provide a variety of resources, events and experiences that guide you in your learning process and help you towards your new career.

Factors in the Evaluation

We consider all the information in an application, but particularly important factors include undergraduate grade point average, performance on the GMAT, length and type of professional work experience, oral and written communication skills, references, major and strength of institution, and career goals. International applicants are expected to demonstrate English proficiency.

Communication from MBA Office

Applications are considered ready for processing when all required documents have been received and the admissions interview has been conducted. Completed applications are reviewed weekly. Candidates who submit applications are usually notified within two to four weeks of the completion of all required elements of the application. Official notification of admissions decisions comes by letter from the Virginia Tech Graduate School, usually a short time later.

University policy prohibits the release of admission information in any format other than a letter from the Graduate School, which is sent via regular mail directly to the students. All departments, such as the Virginia Tech MBA Program Office, make recommendations to the Graduate School regarding an applicant’s admission or denial. The Graduate School dean makes the final decision on all applicants and then notifies the students directly.

About
Robin Camputaro

Robin Virginia Tech
Robin Camputaro, associate MBA director, joined the Virginia Tech MBA program in 2011 after 11 years of marketing experience in various industries, including airport administration, shopping mall administration, and higher education food service. Ms. Camputaro currently oversees the marketing and recruiting for the full-time MBA and the Professional MBA programs with the Virginia Tech MBA program. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida and her MBA from Jacksonville University.

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