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I'm currently working in the commercial banking industry. I want to get an MBA to move into management / supply chain / finance.
I know that people recommend Full Time MBA programs for career changes. Here's the question: Is it better to just apply PT.MBA (say Haas, USC, NYU) and switch careers afterwards, or apply for Full Time (UCIrvine, USC, UCDavis, UofMinn) and move from there?
These are my actual choices.. I feel like I have a better chance with some of the PT programs. (Let's assume cost is not an issue)
To answer this, consider why PT is worse for career changers.
First, there's generally no internship. This is typically where people try out a new industry/function.
Second, career support for PT students is often not very high because the assumption is that, because you are continuing to work, that you'll either use the PT program to advance your current career or you'll use your own contacts to find the job you want. If you're switching industry and role, you'll have trouble doing this.
Third, you're simply in a class with people who have different priorities. In a class where everyone is networking and starting fresh (for the most part), there's a built in advantage. In a class where most are learning stuff to take back with them to a current function to advance their own careers, the student body will react differently.
The fact you'll get an MBA from a "better" school as a PT compensates a little for that -- depending on where you want to work, you may be able to use the alumni network to try and get things going, and it just may "look" better. But for a career changer it generally will not compensate fully.
Last, consider that, assuming an MBA gives you a boost to your earning potential, the PT programs will generally cost you more.
A full time program will be much more beneficial to career changers. Not just in the network/atmosphere of classmates, but also your availability to join student organizations and attend mixers and networking events throughout the day. This + recruiting and career opportunities/internships.