Is a One-Year MBA Program Right for You?

Okay gang, let’s talk about one-year MBA programs.

There’s always a lot of buzz about ‘em, whether you’re talking the J-term at Columbia, European programs, etc. They are all great programs, and having the opportunity to finish b-school in one year offers up some AMAZING opportunities for some students. After all, why spend two years getting an MBA if you can do it in one, right? Seems like a no-brainer: spend less time, less forgone salary, less money spent in general. Let’s just gitterdone in a hurry, right?

Well, maybe. Here are three reasons why you may NOT want to get your degree in one year:

1) No summer internship. If you are a career changer, you will most likely NEED the summer internship. It will be your MAIN chance to transition into the field of your choice. If you don’t have that internship opportunity, how will you prove yourself in your new field?

2) Less chance for exploring. One of the best parts of school is the fact that you have OPTIONS. You have time to chat with professors, students, even folks in the field. Any field. Who the heck knows where you’re gonna wind up if you keep your options open? By enrolling in a two-year program, you will expose yourself to marketing classes, accounting classes, finance classes, etc, no matter what you THINK you wanna do. And who the hell knows what you’re gonna like, what you’re gonna bump into, or what’s gonna happen? So many options… and who doesn’t like options?

3) B-school is fun. What’s the hurry? If I had spent just one year at HBS, I would have had, well, half as many amazing memories. If I had skipped my first year, I wouldn’t have musical directed the HBS show. If I’d skipped my second year, I wouldn’t have taken Tom DeLong’s class (which changed my life.) And if I’d finished a year earlier, who knows where I’d be now? I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be here, running Admissionado. In the end, I wouldn’t trade EITHER year for the world. So enjoy b-school; two years of goodness is often better than one…

This, of course, isn’t to say that two-year programs are always better than one. That’s not the case at all for many people. But it’s my job to show you both sides of the coin, and to help you make the best decision for YOU.

So, all things considered, is a one-year program right for you?

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