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Would like some advice on my situation

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Joined: 20 Nov 2012
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Would like some advice on my situation [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2012, 09:59
Hello everyone,

I'd appreciate some advice/insight into my situation for applying to business school... I think it's a pretty unique and abnormal situation.

Here's my profile:

Age: 25 (going on 26) Asian male
Undergrad: Civil & Environmental Engineering with 3.1 GPA
School: Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Haven't taken GMAT yet
5+ years commitment to church leadership and outreach
Avid guitar player/musician, snowboarder, and basketball player

Work Experience: 2 and a half years, both with Fortune 500 companies. Worked in operations/supply chain management in a Global Leadership program, now doing Product Management for Staples in their eCommerce division

As you can see my bachelors has no relation to what I'm doing now. After graduating, I was going for a master's in Operations Design and Management at my school, when my adviser recommended me to go for the MBA instead, as it was a more valuable degree with only a handful more classes. I was a full time MBA student (with 0 full-time work experience) at WPI for about a year and half when I was hired into my first role. I've since then moved into my ideal position and industry with my current employer Staples. I am about 75% done with my MBA which, relative to other programs, is lower cost because I took advantage of graduate tuition promotions.

Here is the thing. I'm happy where I am now with my current role and the growth opportunities I have over the next few years, but I feel that my growth could be capped based on the fact that I don't have a top tier MBA. Especially because I'd like to get into consulting or corporate strategy eventually, which will likely require a top ranked MBA. I've asked several people on their opinion on finishing at a non-ranked school (which is almost complete) vs. getting the top degree, which in the long-run could lead to higher salaries and more opportunities.

The caveat here is that I've accumulated about $150K in loans from undergrad and the current MBA program that I'm in (WPI although a very good school is very expensive). If I were to do this, I would need to go the part-time/tuition reimbursement route or the low-cost program route. I've been looking into the following programs:

Kelley at Indiana University, ranked # 15. Has a great online/part-time program that costs only $50k total
Marriott school at BYU, ranked #32. Costs ~$20K total, but it is a full-time program
Tepper at Carnegie Mellon, ranked #11 overall. Will be starting a new online/part-time program next year, I believe it will cost around $60k total

Is it worth abandoning my current degree to pursue a higher ranked MBA going online/part time (or full-time in the case of BYU)? Is it worth adding on my to current amount of student loans? I assume after 2 years w/ my company I would see about a $10-12k increase in salary. And with my current resume, would I be able to get in the above schools assuming I get a GMAT score around 650-670 or higher?

Thanks in advance for your advice!
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Would like some advice on my situation   [#permalink] 20 Nov 2012, 09:59
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