More than one BSer is in this position — in fact, it’s been happening more and more these days, due to the limited supply of some types of MBA programs and the oversupply of others:
You apply to Really Good School for their full-time MBA program.
Because you’re older, and maybe because you’re from an oversubscribed candidate pool, or in some other way you’re just not quite exactly a perfect match for them — or, in the case of Columbia, you’re in NYC — they are unwilling to offer you a slot. BUMMER!!
But hold up! They think you have something going for you! They’re willing to consider you for their Executive MBA!! Or maybe the P/T MBA — we’ve seen that happen at one school lately too.
This is a good thing. Yes it sucks, it’s not what you were targeting. You wanted the full-time immersive whole enchilada full monty of an MBA.
However, if they are offering you this other opportunity, you might want to think carefully about it before telling them to take a hike.
AND MOST ESPECIALLY: If all they are offering at this juncture is the opportunity to INTERVIEW with this other program — you should DEFINITELY think twice before turning them down.
1. It will give you more experience – you can never have too much experience when it comes to interviewing!!!
2. You never know where you’ll end up with the other applications; it can always be nice to have a card in your pocket!
3. If you don’t get an offer, some schools will give feedback later on — but they most likely would not do so if you turn down the interview
And another is… It’s free! What’s the reason not to?? OK you wanted a pizza, and they’re offering a chicken sandwich. But you’re hungry, aren’t you?
You are not committing to anything by agreeing to being considered for the EMBA or P/T or whatever program you feel is not what you want. Going through the interview process is no sacrifice to you, and you might actually LEARN SOMETHING from the experience.
And, you might end up coming out the other side of this whole ordeal of a gazillion apps and maybe multiple years devoted to it with just that one offer left standing. (Hate to be a downer but it might happen.)
We agree, the EMBA is not the same as the F/T program, in terms of experience, in terms of cost, in terms of what your cohort may be like. The P/T program is not the same as the F/T for a few of those reasons, but mostly because of quality of life and how long it takes (though the ROI may be better due to the lower opportunity cost). But the EMBA might be the best you can do — and some of these EMBAs are really quite good. They ALL offer you that MBA education which, right now, you claim to want, and do not have.
Options are always good. Why close yourself off when you don’t know how this particular chapter might play out?