The Whittemore School of Business and Economics Graduate and Executive Programs

UNH Business School Recruiting Just Fine On Line

By Janet Lathrop
UNH News Bureau

July 12, 2002

DURHAM, N.H. -- Potential business students from around New Hampshire and the region have been able to ask questions this month about earning an MBA or Executive MBA degree at UNH's Whittemore School of Business and Economics without ever leaving home, thanks to a new on-line chat room.

On Tuesdays during July, George Abraham, director of the graduate program at the Whittemore School, chats with people from Merrimack, Portsmouth, Rollinsford, Bedford, Londonderry, Nashua and Laconia in New Hampshire and from North Andover, Mass. and Westbrook, Maine, as well.

"It's pretty apparent that a lot of candidates are gathering information about school searches on the internet," says Abraham. "We opened at 11 a.m. and by 11:05 we had eight or ten people on the line. We're pretty excited about it; the results were great for our first day."

Prospective students ask the typical questions -- what fields of concentration does the business school offer, what is the financial aid situation, the application deadline, usual class size, and how many electives are offered compared to required classes, Abraham says. The difference is that he heard from them even if they were unable to travel to UNH for a day. While the on-line chat room does not take the place of a personal interview or a campus visit, it is a convenient way to start the college selection process.

For its first chat this month, the Whittemore School worked with an experienced internet service provider, Chat University. Abraham and colleagues announced the time and URL by e-mail to people who had left questions at the school's Web site and by post card to some who had asked for a course catalog. During the chat, visitors get to see all questions and answers in real time, unless someone requests privacy. Then Abraham can arrange to read a question and respond in a so-called "private room."

The Whittemore School has for many years hosted Open House events for those thinking about working toward a business degree. This month and into the next year, Abraham and colleagues will expand that effort to include more on-line chats, with information available about all of the Whittemore School's graduate degrees -- in accounting, economics, and management of technology, for example. Chats featuring faculty members as on-line hosts are planned, as well as chats with current students who can answer questions about attending the Whittemore School.

For more information on the Whittemore School's informational chat room, contact Abraham at 862-1367 on campus in Durham.

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