Michigan Ross Full-Time and Part-Time MBAs Talk About Why They Chose To Attend Each Program and More in Crossover Podcast
Members of the Full-Time MBA, Weekend MBA, and Online MBA Programs at the Ross School of Business recently came together to discuss why they decided to pursue their respective program format and their MBA experiences so far.
The MBAs conversation was part of a special crossover episode of the two Michigan Ross MBA podcasts — Business Beyond Usual and Working for the Weekend. The episode, which was published on each podcast, featured BBU’s co-executive producer, Jeff Church, MBA ’21, and WTFW’s executive producer, Suraj Kandukuri, MBA ’21, along with Online MBA student Jacob Hatke, MBA ’23, Full-Time MBA student Jen Nwuli, MBA ’21, and Weekend MBA student Linda Yang, MBA ’22.
During the podcast, the students dove into what they were looking for in an MBA program; the differing structures of the Full-Time, Weekend, and Online programs at Michigan Ross; the recruiting experience in each program; and much more.
Making the full-time/part-time MBA decision
To start, Church asked the panelists why they decided to pursue an MBA and whether they considered full-time and part-time programs.
Full-time = career switch
After receiving her second promotion in four years, Nwuli, who was a tech consultant at Deloitte prior to starting her MBA, said she was looking to transition into a career in the consumer products industry and considering positions at companies like L’Oreal. She noticed that employees in leadership positions all had one thing in common: an MBA and brand management experience.
That is when Nwuli realized an MBA would help her switch to a brand management career.
“The only reason I also didn't consider a part-time program is because I was feeling burnt out from work and I just wanted a reset, so started looking at full-time programs that had a really strong brand management, marketing curriculum, or clubs and networks,” she explained.
Weekend = career acceleration
Yang said she had always thought about pursuing an MBA, but it was not until she finally landed in the healthcare industry — after switching from wealth management and video game marketing — that she re-evaluated the MBA to accelerate her growth opportunities within that industry.
“Because I had just moved into this industry that I was passionate about, and I was working for a company that I thought I could have long-term prospects in, I didn't feel like it was the right time for me to take a break and step back,” she explained. “With the Weekend MBA, that would really afford me the opportunity to continue growing my experience in this industry that I want to be in, and also complement that with the formal business training.”
Online MBA = flexibility + degree
Hatke was looking to transition out of agriculture operations when he began considering obtaining an MBA to make that change. However, being a husband and father of two kids, the logistical challenges of a full-time MBA program led him to the Michigan Ross Online MBA Program.
“It allowed me to stay out in Portland, and it allowed me to have the online program side because you can take two or three classes at once,” he explained. “So, as a dad of young kids, and because they change so fast and they are only that size and age for a very short period of time, I didn't want to miss out on being an engaged dad, as well as starting school.”
Differences and similarities between the Michigan Ross MBA Programs
Next the panelists spoke about the differences and similarities between the three different MBA programs at Michigan Ross. That includes differences in structure with the Full-Time and Weekend MBA programs being more structured (two years, with Full-Time courses taking place during the week and Weekend courses on the weekends and over the summer) and cohort based, while the Online MBA Program is more flexible in terms of how students advance through the curriculum. They mentioned differences in recruiting and the MBA experience itself. While Nwuli said the Full-Time MBA Program offered her a break from work and a chance to focus on her degrees (she is also pursuing a dual degree in the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering), Yang and Hatke both said they appreciated being able to apply their MBA learnings in real time.
Same Michigan Ross community, same degree
The panelists also talked about similarities between the Michigan Ross MBA programs. Those include the same world-class faculty, the rigor of the curriculum; the ability to build friendships and forge close connections with peers; and access to a powerful alumni network. In addition, they said school spirit translates across all the MBA programs — Go Blue!