I wanted to get everyone's take on whether they thought doing something like SFU's GDBA (Graduate Diploma of Business Administration) as a preparatory program for a subsequent MBA was a good idea, particularly for those with limited work experience or wanting to strengthen their application, or a waste of an additional year's tuition?
Has anyone done a program similar to this? Would you recommend it? (And would you do it again?)
I just wanted to comment because I was also considering the GDBA at one point in time. As you might already know, SFU is using the GDBA to bridge between prospective MBAs with an undergrad in business/commerce and those without an undergrad in business/commerce. Most business school programs aren't designed for this and it likely won't strengthen your application for most places you want to go - SFU just wanted to tailor in an effort to differentiate itself and try and create a 1 year MBA. What schools want to see in general are good academics (either u/g gpa or gmat, weighted differently depending on institution), leadership potential (have you led teams, have you been held accountable for other people's work), and ability to contribute (do you have expertise in a discipline, an industry, some wildly diff experience, etc). These will all slide based on which school you are applying to (i.e. the bar is much higher at harvard or gsb than at ubc or sfu), and each school will have additional criteria that they will value higher - that you have to look at school profiles and application forms - you will see hints on the application essays.
Finally I decided to forego doing anything at SFU because I felt I wanted to gain more experience first and get a more worldly network. Six years later, I'm applying to the top school outside of the US, and I'm waiting for a response from the adcom after finishing my interviews. Good luck!
Here are a collection of what I thought were my more helpful posts:
PM me and let me know if these helped!