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Working Professional Program (UF) or The College of William & Mary(FT)

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Career Switcher-FT Program ( Mason) vs. Working Professional Program

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Intern
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Working Professional Program (UF) or The College of William & Mary(FT)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2015, 21:43
I was hoping the forum could help me with a major dilemma I am having.

Background: I am currently 24 with three years of full-time work experience in the retail sector. I have worked with the same company for the past five years and have received four promotions in that time. I am pursuing an MBA to transition into a new career in consulting(Does not need to be MBB). I have an Undergraduate degree from George Mason University in Business Management and graduated with a 3.2 GPA (3.4 within my major). My GMAT is by far the weakest area of my profile.

As an aside, I was dinged by Georgetown, Kelley, UNC and Notre Dame, which I feel is in large part to my GMAT.

I recently received an admit to The College of William & Mary ( Mason) full-time MBA program with a small scholarship. I love the program and feel they can help me land a consulting role, but am not convinced it is the program for me. It is semi-local and has strong ties to the Washington DC area, which is where I currently live and can see myself living. My main worry is placement and if the program is truly great for a career changer?

I also applied to the University of Florida and was denied admissions to the Traditional programs. They did potentially offer me a seat in their working professional program, which would require me to fly out to Florida one weekend a month. I too love the program and am very enticed by the idea of earning an MBA and working/ not graduating with debt. I will be fully self-funding the degree and will be able to fully use the career services department. I do worry about transitioning careers this way. All research I have done clearly indicates attending a two-year program is the best for career changers as they can utilize an internship. Networking would also be more difficult as I would only be required to be on campus once a month.

I am not tied to my current organization and will be willing to leave at any time. I spoke with the Career Services at UF and they indicated that 40% of the class is actively seeking to change careers. I know I can apply for other jobs while attending and can hopefully utilize the fact I am working towards an MBA to get into the door. My main worry is if I forgo the typical route of a two year program, that I may get "stuck" with working in retail. I do not want to tie myself into this career and can see not attending a two year program as a downside.

My question for you is what should I do? Attend the two year program at William and Mary? Do the UF working professional program and not have to worry about debt but perhaps have a more difficult time in my job hunt?

All advice is greatly appreciated
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Re: Working Professional Program (UF) or The College of William & Mary(FT)  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2015, 05:33
I don't know anything about W&M, but if you are confident W&M will help you to land a consulting role, I would go with that. Also, if you want to end up in the DC area, UF is not going to have as strong of a tie with those local firms/recruiters.

I am surprised that 40% of the UF Working Professional students are career switchers. All of the ones I have met are not switching careers. Are you positive that the 40% number is for the WP program only?

Overall, I think FT programs are virtually always better for career switching, because of the emphasis on applying to jobs and finding an internship.

Best of luck in your search.

Note- I did my undergrad at UF.

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Re: Working Professional Program (UF) or The College of William & Mary(FT)  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2015, 17:39
Thank you for your reply. This decision has been racking my brain and your feedback is greatly appreciated.

The 40% number seemed high to me and I am in touch with their WP career coach to clarify a few questions. If career changing is possible with this option, I would prefer it due to the flexibility and no debt. I will see what career services says take it from there.

Living in DC is not a major consideration. I am a native of the area and have spent my entire life here, but I am no way committed to living here either short or long term.


Anyone else have advice?
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Re: Working Professional Program (UF) or The College of William & Mary(FT)  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2015, 19:22
If you are trying to switch into management consulting, it would behoove you to go to a FT program. The internship is a big help in helping you get your foot in the door. It is very difficult to get into management consulting from a part-time program at a lower ranked school. Additionally, GMAT and GPA is important for management consulting recruiting.

You are still young, I would recommend that you boost your GMAT and apply for a higher ranked school (top 15-30). If not, you may not get a big ROI at the end of your MBA.
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Re: Working Professional Program (UF) or The College of William & Mary(FT)   [#permalink] 22 Mar 2015, 19:22
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