We mention this now because, well, it’s time.
For those of you who are beginning to wonder if your MBA ambitions are going to come true this year – full-time 2-year MBA ambitions, that is – if you’re on the older side, then we encourage you to expand your horizons.
We’ve been saying for awhile here that Round 3 is generally a no-go. Don’t waste your time. (Except for the possible exceptions that we talked about last week.) However, Executive MBA and part-time programs are still viable at this time of year. For anyone worried about whether or not their full-time apps are going to work out, who’s really committed to this idea of heading to bschool right away, well, these programs are awesome.
You will be graduating from the same school, taking the same curriculum, earning the same degree. You will have those coveted three letters after your name (though people, please: Don’t literally put “MBA” after your name in your email signature or on LinkedIn like doctors do with “MD” and “PhD” – it’s just not the same).
If you decide that a P/T or EMBA is right for you, you will likely find that it’s MUCH easier to get in.
So why the bias against the EMBA?
We’ll take some responsibility for possibly contributing to this. After all, we have been known to caution BSers that not all tracks are equivalent. It’s easier to get into an EMBA program, so yes, that means it’s easier to get in – meaning, the caliber of student in those tracks may not be the same. This is more true at some EMBA programs than others.
Saying the caliber of student is different isn’t saying they’re losers. It’s still HARD to make it into an Executive track at any top tier program. In most cases you still have to, like, take a test and stuff. (Well, unless it’s Kellogg.) You have to be qualified.
Sometimes, people go for an EMBA based on lifestyle choices. They’re typically older. It’s more likely they’ve got families who are counting on them, often with school-age children, and a partner who’s got his/her own career underway. These BSers are possibly not as keen on the idea of uprooting their lives and moving to another city for two years. The full-time MBA is much more disruptive to your life.
Or, maybe it’s because the EMBA student is quite a superstar in her career and things are going swimmingly, so much so that she isn’t actually all that interested in the MBA – but her boss or mentor kicked her in the butt to have her go do it, and her company is paying for it. She’s into it because, sure, more education is good, but it’s not like she felt she “had” to go get an MBA. These often make some of the very best bschool colleagues.
We’re not suggesting that any and all BSers are an automatic fit to an Executive MBA track. If you’ve not got managerial experience under your belt then it can be a hard sell to convince an adcom that it’s a good match for you. Just because you’re over 30 doesn’t mean that the executive MBA format is instantly going to be better than the full-time one. It’s really up to you, based on your own process of introspection that tells you what you want out of the bschool experience and education, and a realistic assessment of what you bring to the table and where you will be able to take that experience in tackling a future career.
We have more posts here on the blahg about the EMBA and more too on school fit. There’s also an excellent multi-part Success Story (here’s Part 1)from a former BSer who started off trying for full-time programs and then decided that an EMBA was the right choice.
When you’re researching your bschools, you need to not only be clear on whether the SCHOOL is the right culture and climate, but also that you’re choosing the right PROGRAM based on your needs and interests and specifically what stage of development you feel you’re in and what you would most benefit from professionally.
If any of you would like to share your thoughts on this, perhaps you can volunteer some ideas on whether or not there’s a stigma against the EMBA? Are you considering an application to an Executive MBA at this point? Or, did you apply for one already this season? And if you’re in an EMBA program, perhaps you can offer your own perspectives on what your preconceived ideas were, coming into it, and whether those were accurate or not?
Would love to hear what you all think!