Tuesday Q&A: Part-Time MBA vs Full-Time MBA App Strategy

What is the best application strategy for a part-time MBA program?

Question:

I’m considering both full-time and part-time MBA programs. Are the applications strategies different?

Answer:

We dig the way you think. You’re looking at the application and asking yourself what it needs—what this SPECIFIC application needs. Because full-time and part-time — of course these programs are different, and of course, because you are paying attention, you want to know how to approach these two kinds of programs strategically in your app.

But at the end of the day, the process is preeeetty much the same. Part-time, full-time, weekends, nights… bschool is bschool, and all bschools are looking for the same things from their students. But there are some minor differences, so let’s get right into it:

  1. A part-time MBA is easier to get into. There are just less people applying for part-time MBA programs. They take longer to complete, and it’s hard to balance a job and school at the same time, so most MBAs prefer to just go full throttle and dive into a full time program. And that means… the competition isn’t quite as stiff for part-time. But, you still need to present a really frickin’ tight application, folks. You can’t just coast into a part-time MBA program…
  2. You need to show why a part-time MBA program is RIGHT for you. Part-time MBAs are more the exception, not the norm, so the adcom is gonna want to know why. Why is part-time the best option for YOU and YOUR goals, rather than a full-time program?
  3. You need to show why you’re RIGHT for a part-time MBA program. Between work and school and life, you’re gonna be juggling… a lot. And the adcom needs to see that you can multi-task, and that you can handle everything that’ll come your way while you’re in school. So that’s something you’re going to want to show in your essays with examples from work and extracurriculars. You gotta dig in and find that killer example of how you directed two major projects at the same time and succeeded in both, or how you volunteered three days a week while working full time, etc. Get ahead of this one, folks; the adcom needs to see this.
  4. In part-time programs, corporate sponsorship is extraordinarily valuable. Since you’re not gonna be leaving your full-time job to get your MBA, having your company at your back is a big deal for your app. It shows the adcom that your company believes in your talents and supports your career move. This is a HUGE plus. Are you screwed without it? Nah. But it does help if you’ve got it.

Other than that, my friends, the process is the same: you need to show leadership potential, fit with the school and program, and you need a results-oriented resume paired with some passionate LORs.

And hey, it’s already the fall, so full-time or part-time, it’s high time to start your app!
Get on it, and go get it.

Axolotl: Putting on The Finishing Touches