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MBA - Getting into a Canadian School without Post-Secondary

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MBA - Getting into a Canadian School without Post-Secondary [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2013, 15:11
Hello everyone,

I'm looking for some guidance and feedback from those "in the know". I'm 36 years old and have managed a diverse career in various area's without any formal Post Secondary education. I'm hoping to get into McMaster's MBA program for a couple of reasons. First, it's a great program according to someone I know who has attended the program. Second, it's within 7KM of both my office and home. Commuting time is time I'd prefer to invest in my studies.

My career consists of:

2008 - Present: Business System Analyst
2003 - 2008: Director, Financial Operations
1999 - 2003: Started in sales, and left as a Manager in Operations (2 years management)
1995 - 1999: Sales

So with respect to career, I believe I have fair amount of management experience. Now many of you will probably observe, and rightfully ask why I went from a Director role to a non-managerial technical role. Well I planned to have a family, and I was working 60-70 hour weeks in my Director role. Additionally I've always been very proficient technically, and I saw leveraging those skills as a great way to reduce working hours, while maintaining a salary close to my original salary. Ironically, It's my experience as Business System Analyst has given the greatest breath of knowledge on Business Administration. Namely because my current employer deals in Business Process Improvement exclusively for companies with a minimum of 2 Billion in Annual sales and up. I'm at the forefront of dissecting their business systems and processes, including analyzing their key data-sets for improvement opportunities.

Recently I've completed a certificate program (Business Analysis) at University of Toronto, I believe my average score from all courses was 85%. I'm not sure whether that is relevant or not to an MBA program, since it's just a certificate program. I've always been a great independent learner, and get results when I apply myself.

McMaster's web-site lists that it will consider "highly qualified" applicants, but does not quantify what that is? I assume they're leaving it open intentionally, for review on a case by case basis. The GMAT will certainly be a challenge for me, in the sense that I will take a lot of time to refresh old material and learn from scratch concepts I have probably never seen. So before I delve into this kind of a time investment, I really want to know I have a reasonable chance of acceptance.

Appreciate any feedback from those with relevant information. Apologies for the long-winded post.
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Re: MBA - Getting into a Canadian School without Post-Secondary [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2013, 19:28
Unfortunately, it looks like you may be out of luck. From:

http://mbarecruit.degroote.mcmaster.ca/ ... you-apply/

Quote:
What we look for: The completion of a 4-year bachelor’s degree in any discipline, a minimum B average (75%) in your most recent two years of university study and proof of graduation (if applicable).


An MBA is a graduate degree. So, without a BS/BA you may be SOL. From your background, it looks like you'd be able to handle the coursework, but without an undergrad degree, they're probably not going to consider your application.
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Re: MBA - Getting into a Canadian School without Post-Secondary [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2013, 19:32
packet82 wrote:
Unfortunately, it looks like you may be out of luck.


Quote:
Non-degree applicants
DeGroote also considers highly qualified applicants who do not hold a bachelor’s degree. In addition to the requirements above, non-degree applicants are required to have:
A minimum of 7 years of relevant work experience.
A GMAT total score of 600 (required), including a minimum verbal score of 28 and quantitative score of 37.
Non-degree applicants should also submit transcripts for any college programs they attended.


There's also this excerpt from the same page. The wording in it makes me wonder at what rate (if any) applicants that fit in this category are accepted.
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Re: MBA - Getting into a Canadian School without Post-Secondary [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2013, 19:42
senior wrote:
packet82 wrote:
Unfortunately, it looks like you may be out of luck.


Quote:
Non-degree applicants
DeGroote also considers highly qualified applicants who do not hold a bachelor’s degree. In addition to the requirements above, non-degree applicants are required to have:
A minimum of 7 years of relevant work experience.
A GMAT total score of 600 (required), including a minimum verbal score of 28 and quantitative score of 37.
Non-degree applicants should also submit transcripts for any college programs they attended.


There's also this excerpt from the same page. The wording in it makes me wonder at what rate (if any) applicants that fit in this category are accepted.


Well, if they're willing, you might as well give it a chance. I'd just try to get as high of a score as possible on the GMAT. I doubt they get a ton of non-degree applicants and you have a management background. So, your major problem is going to be illustrating that you can handle the work and explaining why you need an MBA at this point in your life.
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Re: MBA - Getting into a Canadian School without Post-Secondary [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2013, 05:21
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packet82 wrote:
Well, if they're willing, you might as well give it a chance. I'd just try to get as high of a score as possible on the GMAT. I doubt they get a ton of non-degree applicants and you have a management background. So, your major problem is going to be illustrating that you can handle the work and explaining why you need an MBA at this point in your life.


Thanks for the feedback. I think the reason is two-fold: First, I believe I have a great deal I may learn from the program which will make me a stronger leader. My goal is to progress to progress to a CTO/CIO role; alternatively some kind of executive BPI role. Second, not having any post secondary has certainly limited the upper ends of my career. I believe although I have the necessary skills, any public company would be unable to justify why they selected a candidate without post secondary credentials given the pool of candidates available. Finally, many companies simply filter out resume's which lack a post secondary BA (or really any degree), regardless of experience.

In terms of handling work, I'm aiming for the part time program, taking one class at a time. From what I've been able to ascertain, that's about a 10-15 hour a week commitment. My certificate program was roughly the same time commitment, and I was able to excel at that. I think that offers them a data point to verify I'm able to handle the additional workload. This blends nicely into life's two greatest priorities for me at the moment. Heavy involvement with my children's upbringing, and positioning myself for the next step of my career in 5-6 years when they're older and more independent - thus requiring less one on one time with dad.

To that end I agree with you 100%, I feel it will be a tough sell. I'd be nice to see someone in similar shoes that has been accepted into McMaster chime in; I suspect the probability of that happening within the pool of forum members is near 0.
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Re: MBA - Getting into a Canadian School without Post-Secondary [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2014, 14:37
senior wrote:
packet82 wrote:
Well, if they're willing, you might as well give it a chance. I'd just try to get as high of a score as possible on the GMAT. I doubt they get a ton of non-degree applicants and you have a management background. So, your major problem is going to be illustrating that you can handle the work and explaining why you need an MBA at this point in your life.


Thanks for the feedback. I think the reason is two-fold: First, I believe I have a great deal I may learn from the program which will make me a stronger leader. My goal is to progress to progress to a CTO/CIO role; alternatively some kind of executive BPI role. Second, not having any post secondary has certainly limited the upper ends of my career. I believe although I have the necessary skills, any public company would be unable to justify why they selected a candidate without post secondary credentials given the pool of candidates available. Finally, many companies simply filter out resume's which lack a post secondary BA (or really any degree), regardless of experience.

In terms of handling work, I'm aiming for the part time program, taking one class at a time. From what I've been able to ascertain, that's about a 10-15 hour a week commitment. My certificate program was roughly the same time commitment, and I was able to excel at that. I think that offers them a data point to verify I'm able to handle the additional workload. This blends nicely into life's two greatest priorities for me at the moment. Heavy involvement with my children's upbringing, and positioning myself for the next step of my career in 5-6 years when they're older and more independent - thus requiring less one on one time with dad.

To that end I agree with you 100%, I feel it will be a tough sell. I'd be nice to see someone in similar shoes that has been accepted into McMaster chime in; I suspect the probability of that happening within the pool of forum members is near 0.


Any update on this?
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Re: MBA - Getting into a Canadian School without Post-Secondary   [#permalink] 04 Jan 2014, 14:37
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