Full Time MBA Programs: The Complete Experience
Afull time MBA program is the quintessential business school experience. For the duration of the program, you will focus exclusively on classes and networking, without outside distractions. For many, this is a treasured period of idyllic student life devoid of the stresses of work. On the flip side, it's also costly. For one to two years, you'll essentially be without income, eating into your savings or taking out loans. The cost of tuition, combined with the opportunity cost of foregone income, can be difficult to swallow, even when compared to the promise of higher pay after completing an MBA.
To help you figure out if full time MBA programs are a good choice, we've compiled a list of defining characteristics below. Think of it as an answer to the question: "What am I getting into?"
Balance Between Education and Networking
A full time MBA offers a balance between education and networking. In most cases, you'll attend class for a few hours each day, providing you with regular opportunities to learn and interact with your classmates. Further, you'll have the rest of the day – and evenings – to socialize with your peers and build lasting relationships. Many bonds are formed over lunches, dinners, and drinks as your academic and personal lives blend together.
High Cost of Attendance
Besides tuition, a full time MBA carries significant opportunity costs in the form of foregone income. If a business school charges $40,000 a year in tuition and your annual earnings were $60,000, the true cost of attending the MBA program is $100,000 per year. It's easy for costs to add up quickly!
Most full time MBA programs last two years and provide a valuable window of opportunity in the summer to work as an intern. This is particularly helpful to career switchers, as it enables you to start building experience in your desired field and list it on your resume when it comes time to apply to full time jobs. Even if you're not a career switcher, an internship is a great way to experiment within your field, for instance by working with other companies in your industry.
High Quality of Program
Generally speaking, full time MBA programs are harder to get into than their part time brethren. As a result, the student experience can be quite different. In particular, students in part time programs may be less focused and dedicated owing to the lower admissions bar and career demands.