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GTown vs. UMD vs. NYU vs. Michigan: PLEASE HELP!

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GTown vs. UMD vs. NYU vs. Michigan: PLEASE HELP! [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2013, 08:09
I've gotten into Maryland's part-time MBA program and interviewed for Georgetown's Evening program earlier this week. I'm also applying to NYU's part-time program, as I could stay with my brother in New York on weekends.

That said, I live and work in downtown Baltimore and it's a 5 minute drive from both home and work to the University of Maryland's B-School campus in Baltimore. I'd have to commute at least 6-8 hours/week to Georgetown, factoring in group work and rush hour traffic. My biggest concern about Georgetown, having spoken with several students currently managing the commute from Baltimore, is my ability to fully immerse myself socially in the program. I'm also considering NYU, which might actually involve less total weekly travel time, but would take a serious hit on my life outside of work and school, and may have the same barriers to social immersion as Georgetown. I also feel as though with the convenience of Maryland, I'd be able to dedicate more time and effort to my coursework and may get more out of it.

I'm aiming to change career paths - I graduated with a good GPA from a top-20 undergrad university in 2009, but the employment landscape at the time led me to a career in recruiting (absolutely not my passion). I plan on focusing all of my MBA elective coursework in Data and Business Analytics to get into a more analytical role.

So, I know that Georgetown has a strong reputation, but I do not like DC and would not want to live there after school, so I'm wondering if the reputation outside of DC would do much more for me than Maryland to make up for the three rough years of commuting.

Throwing a curve ball out there, I'm also considering Michigan's full-time program and I'm wondering if it makes sense to accrue the massive debt (Around $200,000 opportunity cost) that would result. Obviously, I know that Michigan gives me the best chance at a career change, but I also have a life in Baltimore that I'd potentially want to come back to, and I'm not sure that a Michigan MBA will go as far in Baltimore as one from UMD. Also, I'll be paying out of pocket for any program I attend - my $21billion global company doesn't offer tuition reimbursement.

Also, I'm prepared to quit my job in either years two or three of any of the part-time programs to take internships to help me redirect my career.

So, all things considered, between Maryland, Georgetown, NYU and Michigan, what makes the most sense for me?
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Re: GTown vs. UMD vs. NYU vs. Michigan: PLEASE HELP! [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2013, 08:31
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rayricepudding wrote:

Throwing a curve ball out there, I'm also considering Michigan's full-time program and I'm wondering if it makes sense to accrue the massive debt (Around $200,000 opportunity cost) that would result. Obviously, I know that Michigan gives me the best chance at a career change, but I also have a life in Baltimore that I'd potentially want to come back to, and I'm not sure that a Michigan MBA will go as far in Baltimore as one from UMD. Also, I'll be paying out of pocket for any program I attend - my $21billion global company doesn't offer tuition reimbursement.

Also, I'm prepared to quit my job in either years two or three of any of the part-time programs to take internships to help me redirect my career.

So, all things considered, between Maryland, Georgetown, NYU and Michigan, what makes the most sense for me?


Seeing how you're prepared to quit your job in 2-3 years an want to change careers, it sounds like a FT program would be the way to go. Yes it would be expensive, but it's an investment in the rest of your life. Also, you show concerns about immersing yourself socially in part time programs, but quite frankly, since you're working full-time and going to school part-time, I'm not sure what kind of student life PT programs offer anyway.

As for reputations, a Ross MBA will carry more weight that Maryland - even in Baltimore. Though I'm curious why you would have thought about Ross if you'd want to come back to Baltimore after a career change? Other schools on Ross' level like Duke and Darden place well in the Mid-Atlantic region while also being stronger than UMD. Just food for thought.

Obviously I'm biased towards the FT MBA, but I think if you want to change careers, why not go all-in full-time and enjoy the MBA experience and not choose a program out of convienence (Maryland) or fret about the time spent commuting (G'town, NYU).

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Re: GTown vs. UMD vs. NYU vs. Michigan: PLEASE HELP! [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2013, 08:48
Thanks for the Reply CobraKai! You make a good point about the issue of quitting my job. It wouldn't be ideal for me to have to quit my job and take internships to change career paths, but I'd do it if need be - frankly, I'm bored out of my mind at work so this is a pretty attractive option. That said, in my profession (recruiting), I could have a huge year this year or next and be able to pay out of pocket for all of my tuition. So leaving a year early would at least give me more to work with financially. But, there's also a chance that I have a couple down years, so it's really a gamble.

I'd much prefer to be fully-immersed in a full-time MBA program, but frankly I'm of the mindset that unless I get into a top 15 school, it's not worth the salary loss or time. The market will soon be saturated with MBAs, so unless you go to a top-tier program, the value of the degree will likely decrease. I elected to take the GRE instead of the GMAT, as I was also considering Master's programs in other disciplines. My GRE score converts to a 680 GMAT score (per the GRE-GMAT conversion tool that admissions offices utilize), so it'll likely be tough for me to get into most top-15 programs. This is what has led me to consider the part-time programs - it's really a cost-benefit analysis.
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Re: GTown vs. UMD vs. NYU vs. Michigan: PLEASE HELP! [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2013, 09:12
rayricepudding wrote:

I'd much prefer to be fully-immersed in a full-time MBA program, but frankly I'm of the mindset that unless I get into a top 15 school, it's not worth the salary loss or time. The market will soon be saturated with MBAs, so unless you go to a top-tier program, the value of the degree will likely decrease. I elected to take the GRE instead of the GMAT, as I was also considering Master's programs in other disciplines. My GRE score converts to a 680 GMAT score (per the GRE-GMAT conversion tool that admissions offices utilize), so it'll likely be tough for me to get into most top-15 programs. This is what has led me to consider the part-time programs - it's really a cost-benefit analysis.


Completely agree with you on this point, which is why I suggested the likes of Darden (UVA) and Duke in addition to Ross, all of which are top 15 schools. Don't sell yourself short because of your standardized testing either - you won't know how you'll fair until you apply.

Either way, best of luck with whatever you decide. I know exactly what you mean in terms of being bored out of your mind at work!

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Re: GTown vs. UMD vs. NYU vs. Michigan: PLEASE HELP! [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2013, 11:22
You're absolutely right. I may as well apply to Darden and Fuqua.
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Re: GTown vs. UMD vs. NYU vs. Michigan: PLEASE HELP! [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2013, 12:11
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rayricepudding wrote:
I plan on focusing all of my MBA elective coursework in Data and Business Analytics to get into a more analytical role.
I think you should also ask yourself “is MBA right for me?” You mentioned that “I plan on focusing all of my MBA elective coursework in Data and Business Analytics to get into a more analytical role.” This isn’t typical MBA coursework, nor is it the typical role MBAs place into after school.

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Re: GTown vs. UMD vs. NYU vs. Michigan: PLEASE HELP! [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2013, 13:38
Hi Asimov,
That's a good point too, but with the increasing market demand for business analytics, this is a growing field in the MBA world. Schools like Maryland, Georgetown, NYU, Michigan, Cornell and others either have concentrations in this area or offer many applicable electives. You're spot-on with the fact that it's not common, but the truth is, I have developed little more than a sales-based skill set in my current role and I need to develop some concrete skills. I am specifically interested in business and data analytics, so I see this as a great option for me. Unlike most people pursuing an MBA to help progress their careers or move into a management role, my goal is to redirect my career while acquiring a degree that won't hold me back from management and executive positions in the future. So, while acquiring the typical core MBA curriculum, I'll also be developing a skill set in data analytics that would hopefully position me for opportunities directly out of school. I realize that I'll likely be towards the lower end of the post-MBA spectrum in terms of salary, but to get into a position I enjoy, I'm okay with that.

A general management MBA may be good for someone who's career has already progressed in the right path, but it would likely do very little for me, especially with the upcoming influx of MBAs on the market due to more people going back to school because of the economy. I see this specialty as an opportunity to both pivot my career and provide me with long-term growth potential.
Re: GTown vs. UMD vs. NYU vs. Michigan: PLEASE HELP!   [#permalink] 27 Feb 2013, 13:38
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