One reason we didn’t mention for the bias against the EMBA is, some BSers want to do the full-time MBA thing because hey, who wouldn’t want a two-year break from work? It’s like a vacation! A big party! With everyone telling you how awesome you are the whole way through! For two years!
Doing an EMBA is not that*. Doing an EMBA is intense. Not only are you not getting a break from work, but besides maintaining your regular job responsibilities, you’re also going to school at the same time. Which means like homework and stuff. Yeah, that should seem obvious, but it sometimes does not seem to quite sink in for people. And you’re doing this job thing at the same time as you’re doing this school thing at the same time as you’re hopefully managing to not alienate your significant other so much that they want to divorce you before it’s done. It’s a lot to juggle. You have to respect those part-time and executive MBA students. In some cases they are MORE motivated than the average full-time BSer.
However, they’re definitely a different breed and this is another reason why things like school visits – and especially class visits – are so important in the process of applying. We can pretty much guarantee that you will come away with very different impressions of the type of students in the EMBA vs the full-time tracks, should you be shopping around so much that you sit in on classes in both programs at the same school.
And, as with all of this, you’ll also very likely discover that you’re a better fit with the cohort at one place or another. These determinations are tough to make while sitting behind a computer screen.
One comment from the former BSer-person on the prior post was about how EMBA students are big on networking as part of their career development process (we’re paraphrasing here). You don’t have to be a first-class networker to make it into one of those programs – and most full-time MBA students probably think that they’re doing a helluva lot of networking, too (or at least, they sure did talk it up a lot in the essays they wrote in their applications). The contrast that our EMBA student friend made is worth reflecting on. Obviously it’s just one person’s perspective but it’s insightful, as a way to understand the different experience that an EMBA might offer and the different approach that those students may be taking.
You can never talk to too many people in this process. If you’re kicking the tires on the idea of applying to one of these programs this season (or ever) then it’s a great idea to pick up the pace on your school research and outreach.
We’ve got some more ideas for some of you EMBA-potentials to consider that we’ll toss out in the next few days.
*Except for the telling-you-you’re-awesome part. There’s a fair amount of that in any MBA program, expressed or implied.