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backhander
07-27-2010, 11:15 PM
I know this isn't the right forum to to ask this, but since I'm already a member here I thought I'd try.

I've decided to pursue an MBA, with time constraints and affordability being a factor, I've decided for a mostly online distance program at at Tier 1 University. I can't afford and probably can't deal with getting into the top programs like Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc, so I've been aiming for Washington State University or University of Massachusetts since those are Tier 1 universities with fully online programs and are both affordable at both being under 30K. In addition, even though they are online programs, the degree and MBA received id the same as any Full time MBA student at those programs, ie no specification as being online.

First question, anyone familiar with those programs or have suggestions of similar priced and reputable ones?

Also, GMAT obviously is an admissions factor, but so is GPA. I have an unusual predicament with my GPA. I graduated from Washington State University with a pretty good GPA, it was 3.84. However, I didn't start my undergrad education at WSU, I did at another university, and not really being into school at the time, I never went to class and my GPA suffered dearly, being probably 2.2 if lucky I think. Anyway, I took time off from school after that and when I decided to get a degree I enrolled into WSU and got pretty good grades from there on out. Basically my final 7 semesters were strong grades which constituted the 3.84 GPA.

Second question is, since MBA programs require you to submit transcripts from all colleges attended, will my low GPA from previous colleges bring me down during admissions? Or will the strength of my GPA from WSU be the one that counts?

Third questions, is it alright or a negative factor to have an MBA from the same school as your undergrad degree? I'm interested and leaning towards WSU for the MBA even though I received my undergrad there. I do however have 5+ years work experience inbetween though, so it's not like i'm going directly to MBA after receiving undergrad.

Anyway thanks for the info, hopefully this can become a discussion that can help me out during the admissions process.

LanEvo
07-27-2010, 11:29 PM
Well, it would depend, which MBA school/program are you looking to get into? Also, where you're currently working, do they happen to have an MBA program, that mixes work with like after-work classes or anything like that?

backhander
07-27-2010, 11:36 PM
Well, it would depend, which MBA school/program are you looking to get into? Also, where you're currently working, do they happen to have an MBA program, that mixes work with like after-work classes or anything like that?

Right now I'm thinking of Washington State University or University of Massachusetts, again the reason being they have programs which can be completed online and are affordable. Plus when completing their online MBA program, the degree received is the same as any Full time MBA student. Also those schools are Tier 1 and though aren't the cream of the crop, they are atleast reputable, in my opinion anyways.

I'm currently not working, also the reason why i'm interested in an online program. I can continue to job hunt, and if I do find a job, I can still continue with the program while working.

onehandbh
07-28-2010, 12:35 AM
Some questions for you to answer for yourself:

1) why do you want an MBA?
2) what do you want to get out of it?
3) pros and cons of online vs in person?
4) what is the final cost/benefits of each program?
5) have you explored/researched what each program (at each school)
is like?

Although not quite like PhD's, I think you need to think a bit about
why you want to apply for certain schools and think about the total cost,
network connections, prestige, etc. that each school offers. These things
should definitely be factored into the total cost. Don't just think of
tuition and board. What does the average MBA grad from Yale, MIT or
Harvard get vs the avg MBA from Univ of Phoenix online? If you were
a patient would you rather be treated by a nurse who got a degree online
or a one that went to a good school and went through practical work in
hospitals, etc -- similar to a residency.

For example, if you get an online MBA from University of Phoenix vs
a MIT or Univ of Michigan what do you get out of it?

IMO, the most important things you get from an MBA, in no particular
order:

- personal connections -- classmates & alumni assoc.
- confidence
- knowledge/skills

One of my friends who went to Univ of Michigan met some of his
future co-workers(startup company) while at the MBA program.
He also participated in some competitions that directly led to him
being offered strategy consulting positions without any interviews.
He did win many of these competitions, though.

My cousin got his MBA from MIT and it was super intensive but he
learned a lot and it led to a pretty sweet job. It's more than paid for
itself.

Also IMO, if you are getting an MBA just to be able to add a three
letter acronym to your title and hope that helps you get a job, then
you might be better off applying to a better school that the ones
you listed. The top schools may not be cheap, but in the long run
you'll more than get your money's worth vs going to univ of phoenix
to get an online MBA or get a surgeon's online degree, etc.

One last, but important item, some MBA programs look highly at work
experience as a factor. For example, if you formed a successful startup or
your own business, consulting company, etc, this may help you get into
an MBA program even if you got poor grades. Look at it from the
school's POV. Some schools like the university of the (another name for
a famous big flying bird-like creature) just accept anybody that can pay
their high tuition costs and make the school makes their money b/c they
don't need any classrooms. It's all done online.

goober
07-28-2010, 06:02 AM
Read this guy's experience. There are also a blog about his online MBA journey.

http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/is-a-graduate-degree-worthwhile-or-worthless/

The conventional wisdom which I don't know if it holds true today or not- is that unless you are going to a top 20 type program, MBA are often not worth it. Connections are what makes top MBA programs stand apart. With an online program I would think your connections would be even fewer IMO. I know a woman who went to UCI to get MBA when she was around 30 years old. 5 years later, she still doesn't have a full time job. Single nonmeaningful anecdotal example I know...

Still if you have the time and the money it certainly would not hurt you to pursue this degree. You may want to talk to people on a business forum and get their more relevant direct experiences rather than a tennis forum:)

r2473
07-28-2010, 07:21 AM
I'm currently not working, also the reason why i'm interested in an online program. I can continue to job hunt, and if I do find a job, I can still continue with the program while working.

An MBA is most useful to FURTHER your career. It doesn't really aid you in getting your first job. Sometimes it can actually hurt you. Nobody wants to hire someone with too much education (usually meaning they demand a higher salary) when they have no experience. My oldest sister made this very mistake.

Get a job first. Work for a few years. If you are lucky, your employer might pay for your MBA.

Getting your MBA without a real plan can be a huge waste of money.......although if you just want to kill time for a few more years and you don't mind going deep into debt, it might be worth it. Lots of kids do this.

backhander
07-28-2010, 10:33 AM
I actually do have work experience, I was a Business Consultant for consulting firm for 5 years. However when the economy took a downturn, I was let go and have been unemployed for almost a year now.

The reason I'm interested in an MBA is because it has always been something that I knew I should pursue in order to further my career, and now being unemployed, the timing seems right, hoping that when I do receive the MBA, it is at a time when the job market has picked up much more and it becomes more of a job applicant job market.

Also the reason I'm deciding to go online is because it would still allow me to job hunt while I'm in the program, and if I do get a job I can still continue with the program as well.

I'm definitely staying clear of "online" universities like Phoenix and Devry. I'm choosing to find "real" universities that offer an online distance program. I know I shouldn't be looking at cost, but because I am unemployed I need to keep the tuition at a reasonable cost.

The reason I was leaning more towards Washington State University was because it is a major public university in WA State and has a totally online program that is the same as their Full Time Program, plus is it affordable at 30K. In addition, I plan on living and getting a job in WA State forever, and I thought it would be better to get an MBA from within the state if I want a job in that state.

r2473
07-28-2010, 10:47 AM
^^OK.

The value of an MBA is to make more money / get a better job. This (usually) happens in three ways:

1) You have been in a position for a while and realize the only way to advance further in the company / industry is to get more education. For example, say you were an accountant working in a Big 4 accounting firm. Getting the MBA probably would let you advance in the company and / or get better offers from others in the industry. It makes sense for someone in that position.

2) When you go back to get your MBA, you can make some good contacts that could help you find a good position upon graduation. But, if you do it on-line, I'm not sure you will be benefited in this way either. Doing it on-line makes sense if you are in position (1) above. You don't really care about making contacts. You are already firmly in the industry. If you are not, then maybe on-line is not the way to go.

3) A lot of firms hire out of MBA programs. You get one shot. If you don't get hired during "interview month" you are pretty much SOL. Are you a good interviewer? Are you better than the others who will be in the program? Getting the job often boils down to how well you do in a 30 minute interview. Naturally your resume is going to play a key role as well. But if all candidates are fairly equally matched on paper (and they often are or they wouldn't all be there in the first place), it comes down to how well you interview.

It seems like quite a gamble ($30K) for someone in your position. It may or may not pay off.

By the way, the education itself is crap.

Thomas Crown
07-28-2010, 03:03 PM
if you are charming (read: excellent salesman), go get an MBA. people who are naturally good at selling will benefit most from an MBA, and any degree, simply because they can sell themselves better. the degree(s) just become an added credential.

if, however, you'rel ike the vast majority of people who do well in undergrad and think that getting an MBA means 6 figure salaries, then, NO.

you have to EXCEL at being a salesman in order to make it in the business world. you may get HIRED to do some number crunching and ''analysis'' early on (read: make powerpoint presentations), but those who progress to the top levels of firms do so simply because they can talk the talk and at times, walk the walk.

MBAs are marketed as great for preparing "leaders" of tomorrow. but think about it: each MBA program graduates 100s of students every year. multiply that by thousands of universities. that results in 100s of thousands of "leaders" and "managers." question is: who the hell is doing the actual work?????

so, if you want to get an MBA because you think it's a ticket to leadership positions/executive level positions, think again. it helps, but only on the margin. what matters is if you can set yourself apart from the other 76 people in your department with MBAs and "proven leadership abilities" and "demonstrated team work capacity" and "profit maximization outlook."

max
07-29-2010, 10:15 AM
As I get older I have less respect for non-Ivy MBAs. Nowadays they really seem a dime a dozen: all it means is that some guy got his company to pay for him taking weekend/evening lessons at the local school.

To no small extent, it is compensatory education: the student went to a modest/mediocre school, and the MBA courses bring him up to the level he would be at if he had a BA from a better school.

I'm underwhelmed by the basic MBAs I've run into. I really am. If you read the Wall Street Journal on a regular basis, other business publications, talk and walk business, you'll know more.