Selecting the *Right* MBA [PTOH style]

How should you go about selecting the *right* graduate MBA program?  The skills learned during an MBA are necessarily important, but the experiences obtained and the network developed can be even more influential to shape career opportunities and open doors.

From an intellectual perspective, my selection process was surprisingly clear; I was unwilling to put a pause on my career for the requisite 2 years required of a typical program.  That meant I was either limited to one of the few local colleges or should take my search online.  Luckily, technology has enabled the development of transformative learning methods allowing geography to be a non-factor, allowing myself the opportunity to attend a top-tier program from anywhere in the country.

From a subjective perspective, the Part Time Online Hybrid format was immediately attractive.  The high ranking that initially drew me to the Tepper MBA program ended up being just one of the many factors I now adore.  I love the data-driven focus that only a school so renowned for computer science can bring to their MBA; I love the intimate class size designed to allow you to know the professors taking deeper dives into subjects; I love Carnegie Mellon’s extensive and tightly knit alumni network and leadership development focus; and I love the focus on skill diversity of accomplished peers.  The new building was just icing on the cake.

Finally and perhaps most importantly, I love that CMU’s *online* program isn’t just online but rather involves destination access weekends (San Jose, DC, Pittsburgh) every 6-8 weeks at the start and end of each mini-semester.  Our class is comprised of people flying from around the world, California, Japan, Italy, to end one semester and begin another. In a method similar to college, this provides a collaborative learning and bonding environment that creates genuine responsibility and shared goals with classmates so that everyone can engage in the material.

This is an ongoing series to remind my future self of the foundational and formational experiences of working full-time and attending an intense, collaborative, Part-Time Online Hybrid MBA program at Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business.  Photos courtesy of the Pixel.
Matt Moschel | MBA 2021
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