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Part Time vs. Full Time

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Part Time vs. Full Time [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2009, 09:43
Alex,

I recently posted my profile for your evaluation and you gave me some useful advice--thanks for that. I was originally only considering full time programs but lately I have been wondering about part time programs. I was layed off 6 months ago so I am currently not working.

I am thinking that I could probably get into a more highly ranked program by applying as a part time student. If I were to do this then I would try to leverage my status as an MBA candidate to find part time or temporary work. I could then get a higher quality degree without accumulating all the debt I would from a full time program and still gain some work experience while going to school. I have had friends who have worked full time while going to school part time and they end up having no time left for anything else. I don't want to do this so going to school part time while working part time would be a great compromise. Plus, it seems that companies are a lot more open to the idea of part time or temp employees right now.

What are your thoughts on this? Would a school discount my application completely if I don't currently have a job in their area? Would my low GPA be less of a hinderance when applying to a highly ranked school's part time program vs. full time?

Here is my profile again:

Nationality: Dual citizenship, American and EU national

GPA: 3.0 in Electrical Engineering at a state school

GMAT: 710

Age: 35 at matriculation

Work Experience:
4 years in oil field services industry, Significant responsibility and leadership experience. Good career progression during this time.
3 years as a Product Engineer for a contractor in the mining industry.
6 months supervisory position at a mine in Indonesia.
+ whatever I do for the next year.
Extensive international experience in all roles.

I don't have much formal EC experience. I spend most of my free time travelling or catching up with friends.

I am looking for a general management program and possibly sales and marketing.

What are my chances at a top 10 program?
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Re: Part Time vs. Full Time [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2009, 09:23
I hate to say this, but at your age and stage in life, the MBA degree isn't the key - it can be helpful, but not as the *one* thing that will solve everything. Brands matter to kids. It becomes far less important the older you are (and the older you are as perceived by others - and your resume will give your age away since you'll have your college grad year on there).

Also, you are making a career switch - I get a sense that you're not completely prepared for what it will take. At your age, it's going to take more work because employers will be more skeptical about your willingness to "start from the bottom" just like all the other kids in their mid-20s (and that's assuming you're willing to start over - it'll still be an uphill climb to convince recruiters that you're willing to). The MBA isn't really going to solve that completely.

My suggestion is rather than look to spending more time, effort and money looking at b-schools, you really should focus on getting a full-time job or finding a set of responsibilities that keep you preoccupied on a full-time basis (i.e. volunteer for a political organization, etc. on a full-time basis, help a friend start a company, etc.). At this point, school should be a *complement* to what it is you're doing, and not the "way out" of your predicament. I know that is hard medicine to swallow especially in today's job market, but it's really your only solution (not to mention that adcoms to be blunt will find a 35-year old unemployed engineer unappealing for b-school admissions).
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Re: Part Time vs. Full Time   [#permalink] 08 Oct 2009, 09:23
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