Monday, September 10, 2012

Choosing between Part-Time, Executive, or Full-Time MBA programs

You've made the choice to pursue an MBA, congratulations!  Before you start tackling those applications, your next big decision is to choose the type of program that is right for you: Part-Time, Executive, or Full-Time.

Each program varies slightly and now’s your chance to spend some quality time determining what you need out of a program and the differences between each type.  I've listed some questions below to help you think about how your personal goals (and sometimes major life adjustments) will fit with each of the MBA programs.
Once you have a firm understanding of what you need, you'll be able to communicate your goals in your admissions essays and clearly articulate why that school's program is a fit for both you and the school!

Designed for working professionals, part-time MBA programs allow students to work full-time during the day and attend classes in the evening.*

·         Does my current employer offer tuition reimbursement?

·         Are classes offered within a reasonable distance to my office or home?

·         How will I allocate my time to attend to my other obligations outside of work and school?

Executive MBA (EMBA) programs focus on enhancing the careers of working executives, many of whom are company sponsored.*

·         As an expert in my field, what management skills do I need to continue to progress in my career?

·         Does my current employer require an MBA for a promotion opportunity and if so, will they sponsor me?

·         How will I adjust my schedule in order to attend classes at night or on the weekends?

Two-year full-time programs are primarily for students who are able to take the time off from working full-time to concentrate on their studies.*

·         Am I prepared to quit my job (and paycheck!) to attend school full-time for 2 years?

·         Do I want to switch careers?

·         What is my goal for the summer internship between my 1st and 2nd year?

·         Will I attend school full-time in my current city or do I want to move in order to attend my top choice of school?

I encourage you to reach out to Forte Foundation women or MBA Admissions offices for current students and alumni contact information.  Talking to students that have been through each program is a fantastic way to learn and a great way to network!

Liz Schaab, Forté Fellow
MBA 2014, SMU Cox School of Business

*I used the GMAT website for descriptive information on each type of program.

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