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Ross Weekend MBA pros/cons vs. FT?

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Joined: 16 Dec 2019
Posts: 1
Ross Weekend MBA pros/cons vs. FT?  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2019, 14:07
My main question is: what are the real-world pros and cons for pursuing a Full-Time MBA at Ross vs. a Weekend MBA at Ross?

The weekend program sounds ideal for me, since I still have plenty of undergrad debt and I like my current job. Michigan is 100% the place for me - love the school, love the culture, love Ann Arbor. I'm go blue or bust, so getting in is more important to me than choosing one kind of program over another. From what I can tell, I'd be a little "safer" applying to the weekend program. However, I'm curious about what I'd be "missing out" on if I don't apply to the full-time MBA?

Can employers tell the difference on your diploma? Does it affect potential salary offers? How does not having an internship in the middle of a FT program affect earning potential?
Is the weekend MBA actually easier to get into with a lower undergrad GPA?

- Did my undergrad at Michigan in Economics, class of 2015 (hence the username)
- Currently working in Marketing/Strategy at a major automotive company (OEM)
- I already live in Ann Arbor, but I have lived and worked in 4 different states across the U.S. since graduating (rotational program within the same company)

Post-MBA: would like to stay at my current company and work in advanced Electric Vehicle marketing. EVs are the future of the industry and I love the idea of being at the forefront of a major transitional period. I am also interested in working in London either in marketing or consulting. As a U.S. citizen, an MBA seems to give you a much better shot at consulting/finance jobs in London than just an undergrad degree in Economics.

Other info:
GMAT: Haven't taken the test yet, but my latest CAT was a 690 (Quant needs work, Verbal is consistently above 95th percentile)
GPA: 3.0 (not super impressive, I know, but I hope it is mitigated by my student organization leadership experience)
Experience: 4 now, almost 5 years by the time I'm applying (looking to apply by Dec 2020)
Other: I have a small business on the side that is profitable, but that seems to be very common for many Ross admits.
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Status: Go Blue!
Joined: 03 Jun 2010
Posts: 685
Location: United States (MO)
Concentration: Nonprofit, General Management
Schools: Michigan (Ross) - Class of 2015
GRE 1: Q170 V166
GPA: 3.22
WE: Management Consulting (Non-Profit and Government)
Re: Ross Weekend MBA pros/cons vs. FT?  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jan 2020, 18:46
Hey there and go blue!

I'm a MBA/MPP alumni from the class of 2015 so we were on campus at the same time, but obviously in different worlds! I did 2 of my courses on Saturdays to make my schedule work out, and so I had the fortune of taking them with the Weekend MBA students and can share some insight. I've also done another Masters in Accounting in the evening while working so I know what that's like first-hand.

Pros and cons are probably what you would expect.

There is something really unique about the full-time MBA experience as it's as much more than just coursework. The camaraderie and social experience is probably next to impossible to replicate for a part-time program, and accordingly you'll make deep friendships and professional connections that will last for the next 5-10 years of your career if you nurture them. You'll also have a very lived-in experience academically, which is hard via virtual tools to replicate for a part-time program. Meeting with your class teams to talk about an interesting case or slaving over a valuation assignment are not things that you'd want to do via Zoom in my opinion. That said, I found the weekend MBA students to be wonderful. Very little ego, very down to earth, which is what you'll find in the FT MBA program as well, but it seemed even more true in the weekend program. I will say that they did seem slightly less ambitious and more "I'm here to check a box" at times, and so I think the classroom dynamics were not as strong in case-driven learning for example.

Beyond these elements, there are distinctions when it comes to recruiting. Perhaps things have changed, and you could certainly ask the career office, but I feel like many recruiters came on-campus and those jobs were reserved for full-time students who either needed to get on a pre-approved shortlist thanks to their diligence in the social recruitment period before interviews, or they used bid points to secure an interview slot. It's certainly possible to apply outside of on-campus recruiting to top consulting firms and get results, but you might not get into a strategy division, or might not get as lucrative a compensation package coming from the Weekend program. Your diploma has no distinguishing elements, and your resume need not either, but I feel like your resume will tell the story that you did the MBA while working and then the signal is out there.

Financially, it's hard to say which program wins. If you get a significant scholarship in the FT admissions cycle, that's an amazing result. If you don't, are you paying sticker for either the FT or Weekend program? Is your employer willing to pay for anything? Also, one thing that I didn't know before I attended, but know now, is how lucrative the management consulting offers are. If you intern with a top firm and return full-time they will pay for your second year tuition on top of a big signing bonus. It's hard to imagine someone in a weekend program being able to accept a summer internship with a consulting employer though, and I'm not sure you could even access those internships unless you were in the FT program. Finance seems tricky to land (talking about IB) unless you really pot commit yourself, and it will be obvious in your conversations, approach, courses, preparation if you're not die hard committed to IB and you'll lose out. If you do land an IB job, the money is obviously even nuttier and that makes the tuition less of a weight.
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Re: Ross Weekend MBA pros/cons vs. FT?   [#permalink] 12 Jan 2020, 18:46
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