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Is B-school really a 2-year break?

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Is B-school really a 2-year break? [#permalink] New post 03 Sep 2013, 22:53
I am new here so hi all! There's an unreal wealth of information in these forums...pure gold.

One of the common reasons to go to business school is to give yourself a break from corporate America. Really?? For some reason I cannot find much about the time commitment that full time MBA students endure. Everybody seems to agree that it's a huge time investment. I did find the old post about somebody's crazy schedule during interview season. Stanford has "a week in the life of..." but it only shows three days of the week... :???

So...
How many hours a week does an MBA require? 30 hours a week? 50? 80?
What is the breakdown? Class hours, study time, group projects, networking, info sessions?
Does it vary per school?
How drastically does it change during exams?
How about interview season?
Is there such thing as free "me" time?
1st year and second year differ?

I do consulting and my hours are 50-60 plus travel. I really hope that I'm not signing up for another 2 year sprint of working my ass off 60 hours a week :wink: . Thanks!
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Re: Is B-school really a 2-year break? [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2013, 01:46
From what I've seen and heard from current students, b-school is really what you make it to be.. If you want to make it a 2 year break, it could well be the same... But if that is the case you would be throwing $150K + whatever is your opportunity cost down the drain...

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Re: Is B-school really a 2-year break? [#permalink] New post 06 Sep 2013, 08:14
I can't speak for every school but at Darden you will work 14-19 hour days in your first year. It will change you. After that, it eases up and it's what you make it in the second year.

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Re: Is B-school really a 2-year break? [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2013, 17:15
This is a fun topic, because I feel like what most grads won't say that they view bschool as a two year party (but rather as an investment to learn biz skills/network/prepare for future careers), a lot of them really think that a primary benefit is a 2-year party. Personally, having worked in banking for hte last 3 years and experiencing 100-work weeks, I *definitely* view bschool as a way to chill. Screw everyone else who says we're being stupid for wasting hundreds of thousands as a giant 2-year break from work; unless you've gone through the hours and crap we have endured, keep that thought to yourself :lol:
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Re: Is B-school really a 2-year break? [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2013, 12:07
MacFauz wrote:
From what I've seen and heard from current students, b-school is really what you make it to be.. If you want to make it a 2 year break, it could well be the same... But if that is the case you would be throwing $150K + whatever is your opportunity cost down the drain...



Can anyone confirm this? I find this difficult to believe unless this estimate includes job searching and networking events.
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Re: Is B-school really a 2-year break? [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2013, 10:53
bryk wrote:
MacFauz wrote:
From what I've seen and heard from current students, b-school is really what you make it to be.. If you want to make it a 2 year break, it could well be the same... But if that is the case you would be throwing $150K + whatever is your opportunity cost down the drain...



Can anyone confirm this? I find this difficult to believe unless this estimate includes job searching and networking events.


It's more than that.

Tuition is roughly $100K for top schools these days.
Living costs will be $65 - 90K for the 22 months (in the US or Europe, you're likely looking at around $3-4K per month in expenses when you factor in rent, utilities, transport, food, dining, social, etc). Rent alone will be $1-2K depending on location and roommate situations. I'm sure some of you guys will try and find ways to scrape by on much less, but most of you won't want to live like college students (and there's a lot of pressure to not live that way).

And when you add in travel, job search costs, electronics (new laptop), vacations, etc. factor in another $10-20K.

What I advise clients is to count on spending $200K. Summer internship income won't really put much of a dent because it's only 2-3 months of after-tax income (yes you'll be in a low tax bracket because your annual income will be low, but still you're paying double rent, unless you can sublet your place in the summer plus you've got living expenses to cover anyhow).

$200K.

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Re: Is B-school really a 2-year break? [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2013, 15:53
Once you have your full time job offer, and know where your career is headed in the near future, it becomes a break. Everything before that is hell: from studying for your core course exams, networking, and interviewing. So at best, it's a one year break. :)
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Re: Is B-school really a 2-year break? [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2013, 23:20
It is / will be exactly what you make of it (like most things in life).

For the consultants and sponsored people (who had a job waiting for them), INSEAD was often referred to as the world's most expensive vacation. And it was. INSEADers travel, party, and socialize like no other business school.

For those who were very serious about getting a job, jumping industries, etc, INSEAD was no joke, and they worked their asses off.

Personally, I worked very hard, but it was a blast. I've never traveled so much in my life, or had so much fun. But it's serious work. I would say classwork and related activities were about 60+ hours a week, social another 30 or so hours.. so, yeah, pretty intensive. But I was in a 10 month program. I have heard from people who exchanged to go over to Wharton or Kellogg that they have nothing but time... class 2-3 days a week, and the rest of the time who knows what they do with their time. INSEADers who exchanged to 2 year programs found the pace very slow, and often traveled throughout the US mid-week to keep busy..

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Re: Is B-school really a 2-year break? [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2014, 14:13
I think many people confuse the word "break" with not being busy. You are very busy in business school and the days are quite full (particularly in the first year), but it's nice because you have a lot of flexibility with what things you choose to be busy with. So, you decide which clubs to join, you decide what social activities to attend, and you decide how much time to spend on coursework and which courses to take. Academic coursework is somewhat de-emphasized relative to focusing on the activities and involvements that will bring the most value to your career. And of course, a big part of business school is building your network and meeting classmates, so there are plenty of opportunities to be social, travel, and party. So, the notion of a "break" comes from the fact that most schools give you the flexibility and time to manage your own schedule and decide how involved you want to be, so most of your time is spent on things you would want to be doing anyways.
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Re: Is B-school really a 2-year break? [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2014, 17:38
To answer you question in short, No.
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Re: Is B-school really a 2-year break? [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2014, 06:11
I do consulting and my hours are 50-60 plus travel. I really hope that I'm not signing up for another 2 year sprint of working my ass off 60 hours a week :wink: . Thanks![/quote]

If you are looking for a break, better take a sabbatical. MBA definitely isn't the way to go. In some schools you might get along as a free rider but if you want to get something out of your MBA and go to a decent school, expect to put a lot of hours into it. The only break was the summer internship where I worked in FMCG.
Re: Is B-school really a 2-year break?   [#permalink] 01 Mar 2014, 06:11
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