Why have you specifically selected the Weekend MBA Program, and what do you think the advantages and challenges of earning your degree while working full time?
There are three key advantages to the Weekend MBA Program. First, it is practical. My consulting job involves travel outside the Chicago area 80% to 90% of the time. Travel is generally limited to Monday through Friday, with virtually no work-related activities or responsibilities on weekends. Unlike traditional part-time programs, the Saturday schedule fits our lifestyle and will allow me to make the greatest contribution inside and outside the classroom.
Second, as one of the youngest managers in our group, the greatest barrier to my continued development and advancement is broad business experience. I love my job and the project nature of consulting, and am not looking to change careers. My ability to consistently deliver tangible results, provide leadership to our client-service teams, and develop positive client relationships, has earned me two promotions and significant salary increases in 3 years at KPMG. Combining world-class graduate education with leading global management consulting experience will enable me to continue learning and advancing at an accelerated pace.
Third, a traditional part-time evening program often lacks a diverse student body, since the pool of available students is limited to students and employers in geographic proximity to the classroom. The flexible Weekend Program minimizes this disadvantage by attracting students from outside the Chicago area. This breadth of life experience translates into a more dynamic classroom environment and diverse peer group.
There are also challenges with the Weekend Program. Saturday classes and weekly study will eat up my already limited free time and, despite support from my wife and coworkers, there will be sacrifices. Also, my career responsibilities do not regularly require use of deep quantitative skills and the UCGSB has a quantitative reputation. I look forward to the strategy and management classes but expect to be most challenged by Statistics, for example. I’m optimistic I’ll remember at least something from freshman calculus.