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Manager
Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 139
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Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 0

Hey application folks,

I just finished my GMAT several days ago and am starting the application process for business school. One dilemma I have is deciding on Full time vs. Part time. I had always been leaning towards Part time, but recently I've thought about the pros/cons of each:

Part-time pros:
- income \$
- evening program
- same faculty and classes (but held in the evening/weekends)
- networking with fellow classmates who are already working in the industry

Cons:
- less networking capability (harder to join clubs, orgs, etc)
- fewer/no recruiting from employers
- more intensive with work, school, social life
- harder for career switch (true?)

Full time pros/cons are pretty much opposite of the part time pros/cons from my perspective. I'm sort of torn between the two and am wondering if anyone has advice/comments. I'm not trying to make a complete career change, but am going to stick to Finance related roles. I've had my letters of rec already sent to the PT programs. Also, I know that part-time programs are easier to get into so this may help my case as these are my stats:

GPA: 2.51 (this is the killer)
GMAT: 710 Q50 V36
Work exp: 4 years (1.75 with software co. in project management, 2.25 years with Fort. 500 consumer products co. in finacial/cost analysis)
Essays: working on them now
* I've taken some community college classes and am enrolled in some for Winter in order to show that I am able to attain As now etc. etc...to help my GPA.

I'm looking to go to UCLA or USC, whos GPA/GMAT median scores for PT are 3.4/686 and 3.1/619, respectively.

Thanks guys!
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VP
Joined: 24 Sep 2006
Posts: 1360
Followers: 10

Kudos [?]: 193 [0], given: 0

My opinion:

1) If you want to move from your current employeer, industry or discipline, then FT will help much more than PT. Part time is usually much better suited for people who want to stay at their current employer or industry while increasing their progress rate or moving their ceilings upwards.

2) You may wish to consider the amount of dedication required for PT and the demands of your current employer / position, as well. Think 2 solid years of putting almost everything else on hold.

Hope it helps. L.
VP
Joined: 24 Sep 2006
Posts: 1360
Followers: 10

Kudos [?]: 193 [0], given: 0

Info [#permalink]  11 Dec 2006, 23:24
You may want to check this post by Hjort, as well.

http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=22317

Hope it helps. L.
GMAT Club Legend
Affiliations: HHonors Diamond, BGS Honor Society
Joined: 05 Apr 2006
Posts: 5926
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2009
GMAT 1: 730 Q45 V45
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Kudos [?]: 1742 [0], given: 7

I went through the same analysis myself. It's very difficult to choose two years of expensive education with little income over three to three and a half (at least, realistically, knowing myself) with a full time job. In the end I chose to try for full time first, and if that fails, I'll try for part time.

I spoke to some part time friends and I've had more than one tell me that they wish they had applied full time, in fact, now that I think about it, I know of only one person who recommended I go part time. Everyone else, alumni, and current students in the part time programs recommended full time.

These are basically the reasons they quoted:

1. Yes, you can complete in 3 years or maybe even 2.5, but its going to be non-stop and very hard to do. Realism indicates 3 to 3.5 is more likely for demanding programs.

2. While part time is great, balancing a full time job with the demands of what is basically a near full time mba program anyway, is hard. Doing so for 2 years without a break is really pretty impossible, hence why it tends to take longer than that.

3. If you think you might switch careers, full time is the only option. The recruiting and opportunities to network in your planned career will far exceed those in the part time program.

4. You compete with full time people in classes who have a lot more time to actually study.

5. Some universities explicitly DENY you access to recruiting unless you get a letter from employer saying it's OK.

6. Don't forget about the clubs that you can be a part of.

7. The people you meet in your classes will be there one day, they wont the next. That is, every quarter you end up meeting different people because everyone is on different schedules, people take different quarters off, etc - so it becomes very hard to establish deep relationships when you only know people for 2 or 3 months at a time.

These elements combined with my personal situation made full time seem more logical. I admittely don't know if I'm going to switch industries - probably not - but I'm definetly switching job function as much as I can, so I'm sort-of a career switcher in that sense. (But I'm not going from say consulting to IB at least).
Current Student
Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 5240
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rhyme wrote:
I went through the same analysis myself. It's very difficult to choose two years of expensive education with little income over three to three and a half (at least, realistically, knowing myself) with a full time job. In the end I chose to try for full time first, and if that fails, I'll try for part time.

I spoke to some part time friends and I've had more than one tell me that they wish they had applied full time, in fact, now that I think about it, I know of only one person who recommended I go part time. Everyone else, alumni, and current students in the part time programs recommended full time.

These are basically the reasons they quoted:

1. Yes, you can complete in 3 years or maybe even 2.5, but its going to be non-stop and very hard to do. Realism indicates 3 to 3.5 is more likely for demanding programs.

2. While part time is great, balancing a full time job with the demands of what is basically a near full time mba program anyway, is hard. Doing so for 2 years without a break is really pretty impossible, hence why it tends to take longer than that.

3. If you think you might switch careers, full time is the only option. The recruiting and opportunities to network in your planned career will far exceed those in the part time program.

4. You compete with full time people in classes who have a lot more time to actually study.

5. Some universities explicitly DENY you access to recruiting unless you get a letter from employer saying it's OK.

6. Don't forget about the clubs that you can be a part of.

7. The people you meet in your classes will be there one day, they wont the next. That is, every quarter you end up meeting different people because everyone is on different schedules, people take different quarters off, etc - so it becomes very hard to establish deep relationships when you only know people for 2 or 3 months at a time.

These elements combined with my personal situation made full time seem more logical. I admittely don't know if I'm going to switch industries - probably not - but I'm definetly switching job function as much as I can, so I'm sort-of a career switcher in that sense. (But I'm not going from say consulting to IB at least).

I agree with Rhyme about 95%.

Consider these options as well Jay178:

* One doesn't necessarily HAVE to work full time. Some employers will add some flexibility to their employee's schedule, or you can drop down to part time instead (if possible).

* Many schools now (unfortunately UCLA isn't an example) have a part-time to full-time transfer option after completing the core courses.

* Part-time does give you networking access to working professionals. And if you are as extroverted as Rhyme, professional networking can be a good thing.

* According to the WSJ 2006 Guide, most schools now give PT students access to career fairs.

* Full timers may have more extracurricular options, but how much time do you realistically think one can devote to such activities?

It is indeed a difficult choice. I am in the same boat as you, except our GMAT scores and GPAs are reversed. Probably taking similiar online classes as well.

Manager
Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 139
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 0

i have decided to go part time mba as I do not want to make a complete career switch and may indeed stay within my company and transfer to a different department when i graduate. i'm also glad to know that if i want to leave my company, i have full access to the target school's career resources (sans internships)
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