OTDI Smooths Enrollment Process for JPMorgan Chase Analytics Students

Todd Thomas sits at a computer desk in his home office
Todd Thomas, Extended Education outreach program coordinator, facilitates administrative services for Ohio State units that offer contract courses to third-parties.

By the end of this academic year, more than 100 students — all of them JPMorgan Chase employees — will have completed a Graduate Certificate in Analytics from The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.

And all of them had assistance from the Office of Technology and Digital Innovation (OTDI) along the way.

The 12-credit, graduate-level certificate was created in 2018 as part of Fisher’s Executive Education program. This year, 28 Chase employees are participating in the cohort. A total of 94 have completed the program since its inception according to Marty Schwalbe, who retired as director of growth and learning for Fisher Executive Education in December 2021.

In most graduate business programs, students come from a variety of industries, and cases they study in the classroom might not always directly apply to their experience in the workplace. A class on pricing might extensively cover consumer packaged goods and only slightly touch on pricing in service industries.

“That burden falls on the student to translate it over into (their) world,” Schwalbe said. “What custom programs allow us to do is make (the courses) more relevant to the students.”

In programs like the one at JPMorgan Chase, the course material is tailored specifically to the industry. Students can more freely discuss specifics of the business without any concern about sharing trade secrets with competitors.

In addition, the company can specify what skills their employees need, guiding the curriculum itself.

“The beauty of this program is that it’s evolved over the years,” said Chelsea Hillenburg, data analytics manager at JPMorgan Chase. “With each cohort, we ask for feedback and provide surveys for students, and each year we’re able to evolve the program into something more specific to the needs of the firm and the employees.”

That’s the primary benefit of working with Fisher to create a custom corporate program according to Schwalbe.

“They know the needs of the business – what demands it puts on their people,” Schwalbe said. “There will be (skill) gaps, and then we fill the gaps.”

“We help all the students ... through the application and course enrollment process, so (the unit) can focus on communicating with the business and structuring the courses.” — Todd Thomas

OTDI is also in the gap-filling business. Navigating Ohio State’s admission and enrollment processes can be challenging to students at any level, but students in customized programs like JPMorgan Chase’s often face additional hurdles. The admission process differs student-to-student depending on what level of education the person has obtained in the past, whether they’ve attended Ohio State before, and at what level.

That’s where OTDI’s third-party contracts service fits in.

“It’s an end-to-end process,” said Todd Thomas, Extended Education outreach program coordinator. “We work with each person to identify the admission pathway that’s best for them.” This concierge-type service is offered by OTDI to Ohio State units for a small per-student charge.

OTDI’s enrollment services also extend to tracking application fee waivers and ensuring that the company, rather than students, is charged for tuition.

“We help all the students — whether that’s 10 people or 100 people — through the application and course enrollment process, so (the unit) can focus on communicating with the business and structuring the courses,” Thomas said. It’s a win-win proposition; the students don’t have to go through a complicated admission and enrollment process, and Fisher doesn’t have the administrative burden of enrolling the students, either.

“Our partners at Ohio State always worked with us to ensure that it a smooth process and every participant found the experience valuable,” Hillenburg said.

That helps the cycle continue, paving the way for more employees to become students.

“JPMorgan Chase has invested in (these employees), and they get to invest what they learned back into the company,” Schwalbe said. “So that relationship is very powerful.”

Learn more about OTDI's services for third-party contract courses.