Having completed my MBA back in September 2009, I can tell you that I don’t think about all the effort and time spent on the MBA very often now. However, I remember that when I received my final mark, it was a feeling of pure relief. The weekends to follow were a bit weird as I was always expecting to receive an email from my MBA program manager or a colleague asking me even more questions on our final paper. But nothing happened. No more emails, no additional meetings, no “final” corrections to be done. Nothing. Finally!
2 years later, I enjoy the good life; I’m working 4 days a week in a financial institution, making more than enough to support my household and I can finally play with my kids during the weekends! So if you are asking me if a full time MBA is worth it? I would answer yes. In fact, there are several advantages of doing a full time MBA instead of a part time program.
Full time MBA vs Part time MBA – What is the difference?
In my experience, I had the option of doing it either full time or part time. The Part time MBA program was over 3 years with 2 days of class every three weeks. The full time MBA program was over 18 months with 3 days of class every three weeks. Both MBA programs had classes on the weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 5) and they were non-stop (summer school included!). Some people thought of doing it part time thinking that a full time MBA was too much combined with a full time job (yup, I did both at the same time). In fact, they were wrong!
The Full Time MBA is Easier
Easier? Really? Yup. The full time MBA is easier than the part time program. Why? Here you go:
A) You are in the mood anyway
When you enter an MBA program, you must be in the mood to work hard and often. Therefore, there is not much difference between doing the full time or the part time MBA when you think of the work schedule. You are already planning MBA study time in your schedule and meetings with other students.
B) You can combine papers from different MBA classes
With 3 classes per session, we were able to take the same project and write 2 or 3 papers with different angles. For example, if we were implementing a new welcoming process in a bank branch, we were able to complete the project management paper at the same time as those for human resources and finance as well. While implementing a new process and calculating the net present value of the project, we were able to see how employees were reacting to the modifications of your day-to-day. We were then able to use data and research for both papers and save some time. With 3 classes at a time, it was easier to find ways to piggy back on each project.
C) You get your life back much faster with the full time MBA
The last reason why the full time MBA is easier than the part time MBA is because it is much faster. To illustrate my point, I’ll take the marathon and half marathon analogy: While you will obviously run faster and save energy doing a half marathon, it will still take you more time (and in the end more energy) completing two of them compared to one full marathon. Therefore, at the end of the road, you will recover much faster after a full marathon. It is the same thing with the full time MBA; as soon as you get your life back, you already feel much better ;-).
Full Time MBA Vs Part Time MBA – Final Thoughts
I know how doing the full time program might be scary. I was too, when I started. However, once you jump on the train, things become much easier if you do more at a time. In my opinion, the part time MBA will just burn you out, take the fast lane for you… and your family!