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Duke EMBA now or full time top-5 MBA in three years?

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Duke EMBA now or full time top-5 MBA in three years? [#permalink] New post 19 Mar 2010, 20:10
I have an interesting dilemma and would love to hear your expert opinions.

Wusappenin:

Age: 28/m
Undergrad: University of California School (Lower tier) B.S. Physics. GPA 2.84. Undergrad research published in Nature
GMAT: 750 (47/47 98%)
Job: 6 years work experience - all military. Top student in flight school. Current fighter pilot. Combat tour to Iraq. Air Medal recipient. Division Officer in charge managing 38 people. Ranked #1 of 21 officers in performance evaluation and recommended for early promotion. Achievement medal for sustained superior performance.
Perceived strengths in application: leadership experience, decision making experience, exceptional work record, above average GMAT.
Perceived weaknesses in application: low undergrad GPA, lack of finance/business background or education

Dilemma:
Interested in attending Duke's Cross Continent EMBA program which will allow me to get my MBA while staying at my current job. I am applying for the 2011 class which starts this August.
However, some people have told me that with my background and GMAT scores, I should wait two-three years, when I will complete my obligated service, and then apply for a top 5 school.

What are your thoughts on this situation? The advantages of doing the EMBA is that it will allow me to complete my tour in the military with my MBA completed. This will allow me to immediately jump into a job in the business sector once my tour is completed without having to wait another two years. The advantages of going to a full-time top-5 program are evident, however, will being 31 when I start my MBA, and 33 when I complete it, be a factor in the business world? Is it, at my age, worth the extra two-three years to get an MBA from HBS or Booth vice Fuqua? Is this all a moot point and I should be content if I get into the Duke EMBA?

I really appreciate your time and look forward to any insight you may have. [/i]
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Re: Duke EMBA now or full time top-5 MBA in three years? [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2010, 13:00
Expert's post
wusappenin wrote:
I have an interesting dilemma and would love to hear your expert opinions.

Wusappenin:

Age: 28/m
Undergrad: University of California School (Lower tier) B.S. Physics. GPA 2.84. Undergrad research published in Nature
GMAT: 750 (47/47 98%)
Job: 6 years work experience - all military. Top student in flight school. Current fighter pilot. Combat tour to Iraq. Air Medal recipient. Division Officer in charge managing 38 people. Ranked #1 of 21 officers in performance evaluation and recommended for early promotion. Achievement medal for sustained superior performance.
Perceived strengths in application: leadership experience, decision making experience, exceptional work record, above average GMAT.
Perceived weaknesses in application: low undergrad GPA, lack of finance/business background or education

Dilemma:
Interested in attending Duke's Cross Continent EMBA program which will allow me to get my MBA while staying at my current job. I am applying for the 2011 class which starts this August.
However, some people have told me that with my background and GMAT scores, I should wait two-three years, when I will complete my obligated service, and then apply for a top 5 school.

What are your thoughts on this situation? The advantages of doing the EMBA is that it will allow me to complete my tour in the military with my MBA completed. This will allow me to immediately jump into a job in the business sector once my tour is completed without having to wait another two years. The advantages of going to a full-time top-5 program are evident, however, will being 31 when I start my MBA, and 33 when I complete it, be a factor in the business world? Is it, at my age, worth the extra two-three years to get an MBA from HBS or Booth vice Fuqua? Is this all a moot point and I should be content if I get into the Duke EMBA?

I really appreciate your time and look forward to any insight you may have. [/i]


You're most welcome. Thanks for posting.

Given your record of achievement in the military and the value that business and MBA programs give military experience, I don't see your lack of direct business experience as a major failing. I do see your low GPA as a stumbling block, but again given your record in flight school and your GMAT score, it is not an automatic ding at even top 5 schools.

Given the financial aid programs for vets and the better reputation of the full-time MBA, my inclination would be go to go b-school full time but aim for those programs that are "Military friendly" and have higher average ages at matriculation. Duke, Darden and MIT come to mind immediately, but there are others. You may be interested in MBA Podcaster's excellent podcast on going from the military to an MBA. There are enough 31-year old matriculants at programs where the average age at matriculation is 28 or 29 so that you won't feel like an old man so again I don't see your age as a big issue, provided you target schools appropriately.

Regards,
Linda
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Re: Duke EMBA now or full time top-5 MBA in three years? [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2010, 13:42
Thank you very much, Linda, for your time and response. This world is very new to me and I'm just trying to be a sponge right now and soak up as much as I can.

I have a couple more questions. First, does it matter if I get an MBA from Duke vice MIT? Am I correct in assuming that it would depend on my future career field? Given my experience and background, would it really matter? Secondly, do I even have a reasonable shot at making it to the Duke EMBA, or, for that matter, a top-5 full time program? Lastly, as a working professional, would you wait the two/three years to go to a full time program or would you do the EMBA right now knowing that you would be immediately marketable once you leave your obligated commitment. I guess what I'm asking is, do you think that the additional time required is worth it to pursue a full time MBA?

Again, thank you for your insight. I know that there are many people here who definitely appreciate it.
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Re: Duke EMBA now or full time top-5 MBA in three years? [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2010, 07:40
Expert's post
wusappenin wrote:
Thank you very much, Linda, for your time and response. This world is very new to me and I'm just trying to be a sponge right now and soak up as much as I can.

I have a couple more questions. First, does it matter if I get an MBA from Duke vice MIT? Am I correct in assuming that it would depend on my future career field? Given my experience and background, would it really matter? Secondly, do I even have a reasonable shot at making it to the Duke EMBA, or, for that matter, a top-5 full time program? Lastly, as a working professional, would you wait the two/three years to go to a full time program or would you do the EMBA right now knowing that you would be immediately marketable once you leave your obligated commitment. I guess what I'm asking is, do you think that the additional time required is worth it to pursue a full time MBA?

Again, thank you for your insight. I know that there are many people here who definitely appreciate it.


You're most welcome.

Duke and MIT are different and excellent programs. You are correct that your post-MBA goals should guide your school choice decisions. You might be interested in series we are running on our blog on MBA Program Selection. It starts at the link I just provided. It could matter in terms of the network you develop, your satisfaction with the program, and even the opportunities you find plentiful or scarce at the end of your MBA.

While I can't guarantee that you would be accepted to a top-tier school given your undergrad GPA, I think given your GMAT and other accomplishments, it's worth the effort to try for one of those programs. At your age, I would aim first for the top-tier, full-time program. Yes, I think it is worthwhile.

Best,
Linda
_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Duke EMBA now or full time top-5 MBA in three years?

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