Welcome to Your Online MBA Residency Experience
The Online MBA residency weekend is a defining element of our revolutionary program. It’s your opportunity to engage in intellectually invigorating discussions of contemporary business issues, deepen your connection with online classmates through face-to-face interaction and grow your professional network.
We host residency weekends twice per year on our historic campus in Williamsburg, Virginia, and while attendance is only required at one weekend during your time in the Online MBA program, you are welcome to attend as many as you like. These conference-style, Friday-Sunday events include speakers, team-building activities and networking functions. You will have the opportunity to discuss core business topics such as leadership, finance and marketing, as well as current events and global issues. You’ll also have the chance to meet with our Executive Partners (EPs), a select group of retired professionals who volunteer their time as mentors to all Raymond A. Mason School of Business students.
My name is Pam Suzadail. I am the director of the online MBA program at the College of William & Mary. So one of the key features of the program is the residency weekend. We require our students to come to campus once during their time during the program. Each residency, we select a theme. The first residency we did was on crisis communications. This residency is on ethics and business. And we really felt passionately that we wanted to extend what really wasn't being emphasized in the curriculum.
We really wanted to make sure that there was really value add to the residency, which is one of the reasons why it's one credit. It's part of the curriculum. But also we wanted to make sure that it was about current events. What was going on in business right then? When something happened in the world or in business, that we were able to integrate that into the residency discussions. One of the things that makes the residency so important to the online MBA is the networking aspect. And we felt that it was really important that the online students had an option to do that in the online program.
You're able to get a personal connection when you meet somebody face to face in a way that is really meaningful. We start the residency with a network and reception on Friday night. Then Saturday morning, we do a breakfast. This time we have Thomas Jefferson coming. We do lunch with the executive partners. We have breakout sessions, discussions. We do a formal dinner the evening of Saturday with a keynote speaker, and then Sunday's really the wrap up. So they'll meet with the faculty and they wrap up. A big secret. We have the griffin that comes. We really do try to make them experience everything that William and Mary has to offer in 48 hours.
This program is a lot of creative thinking in it and innovation. And so in order to be able to build some of the best teams, we really are trying to build diverse backgrounds. We have students coming from the military. We have people that are involved in government. We have senior level executives. We have people that are new out of undergrad. We're really looking for a broad range of people in this program. These students are really passionate. They really are.
They're determined to not only earn the MBA, but they're also really passionate and determined to make sure that this is a high caliber MBA themselves. And so the residencies wouldn't even be as robust as they are without them. They're contributing to the weekend just as much as the faculty and all the participants. We consider the online students as part of the tribe. They're a part of the family, and one of the things we're just really excited about is welcoming them to campus.
Online MBA Residency at a Glance
During your residency experience, you can expect to:
- Learn from guest speakers as they share their expertise on a variety of relevant business issues
- Attend workshops and panel discussions designed to enhance your online learning experience
- Participate in engaging dialogue with industry leaders on topics that reach beyond what’s covered in the classroom (crisis communications, ethics in business, etc.)
- Strengthen your relationships with your classmates through valuable in-person interaction and collaboration
- Expand your network by forming connections with accomplished business professionals throughout the residency period
Please note: Students are invited to attend all residency offerings, though you only need to attend one to meet the 1-credit program requirement.
Residency Weekend Snapshot
- Arrive on campus Friday evening
- MBA networking reception
- Dinner with fellow classmates and faculty
- Group breakfast with guest speaker
- Breakout session #1
- Lunch with Executive Partners
- Breakout session #2
- Cocktail reception
- Formal dinner with keynote speaker
- Group breakfast
- Breakout session #3