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I have quietly learned a lot from these forums and have read the previous threads dedicated to this topic, but wanted to get some opinions on my specific situation.
My intention has always been to apply to Full Time programs for the upcoming Fall 2014 class. Recently, I approached my boss to breach this subject as I anticipate asking for letters of recommendations in the coming months. He responded in a bit of an expected way - essentially stating that the company would cover 100% tuition if I went part time. The payback policy is that you must stay 2 years once you submit expenses for $0 repayment, 1-2 years 50% repayment, and less than 1 year 100% repayment. The part time programs last about 2.5 years, so if I quit 1 year after I graduated, I would not have to pay much back, as the first 1.5 years would be free, and the last year would only be 50% repayment.
Important facts to consider: 1) I am interested in making a career change. I plan on obtaining my MBA and then moving on to a career as an equity research analyst. I currently am a CPA working on a tax focused job at an asset management company.
2) I currently make ~100k a year at my job.
3) Other groups within the company I work for require research analysts. This would not be an easy transition. Since my particular group will be footing the bill for tuition, I would not be able to easily switch roles to another group.
4) If the offer to pay 100% was not on the table, part time would not even be a consideration. The allure of full time is strongly appealing and being that I want to switch careers, full time seems more fitting. Having said that, the money aspect is an important consideration.
5) There are strong part time programs near me. I live in Chicago and would apply to Booth and Kellogg if I go this route. If I choose full time, the programs I plan to apply to include Columbia, MIT, Wharton, Booth, Kellogg, and Yale.
I would appreciate any insight as I am having a very difficult time making headway. Thanks!!!
Hi Physics, first of all, great GMAT Score! That will definitely put you in the running at a lot of top full-time programs. The thing you probably need to ask yourself is if you'd be happy getting your MBA part-time and returning to your company. If you want to do a career change, the full-time MBA is usually the way to go, you'll just have to decide if it's worth the monetary investment.
Think of it as a time vs. money trade-off. Going to school P/T will save you $$, but you'll have to pay back your company with years of your life, while the F/T program will cost you more $$ but let you start on your new career right after graduation (plus, going back to school full-time can be quite fun )
Let us know if we can help when you decide to apply!
I appreciate the replies. You bring up some important facts to consider.
I would not be happy doing what I currently do upon graduation, but on the other hand, even if I left my job immediately after completing the part time program, I will still be able to take advantage of a 50% tuition discount. Another big factor for fulltime is that I would be able to apply for internships during the summer between 1st and 2nd year. I think that would be extremely beneficial for someone looking for a career change. Additionally, since I want to do equity research, a CFA is highly regarded, and I think it is possible to start working on those exams while I went full-time, but it would be nearly impossible to take that on during part time. I'm hoping to come to a conclusion soon, as I want to start on my full time applications soon if I go that direction.
If you are really intending to switch careers you have to go full-time. I do know people that have switched careers doing part-time programs in SoCal (UCLA/USC) but it is a tough, tough battle and it is not what part-time programs are intended for in the first place.
Definitely go full time since you are looking to make the career switch. I was debating the same thing and when you compare part time to full time, there just is not that much to compare, just go for it.
In terms of equity research, I have seen colleagues get into equity research with a strong finance background and very in-depth knowledge of their coverage industry, without needing a MBA.
If I were in your shoes applying this year, I would go full time and with your background and GMAT, I think you would be competitive for scholarships for full-time programs, which then makes the cost a moot point.
Re: Full Time vs. Part Time Decision
15 Jul 2013, 22:39
Check out this awesome article about Anderson on Poets Quants, http://poetsandquants.com/2015/01/02/uclas-anderson-school-morphs-into-a-friendly-tech-hub/ . Anderson is a great place! Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I...