How to evaluate MBA programs in Washington DC
By Keegan Cassady, MBA candidate May 2013
Every year, employers seek increasingly qualified applicants trained and verse in business, making the MBA increasingly commoditized. That said, not all MBA students enter their programs for the same reasons. Some seek advancement, some enlightenment, some encouragement. MBA students come from a myriad of backgrounds, running the gamut of ethnicities and ages. There are four questions you need to yourself ask before jumping into this vital degree:
Does the program cater to my career goals?
At Mason’s MBA program, the degree is tailored not only to your goals, but to your schedule. I myself wanted to be in and out and on with my life in two years time, and was willing to throw in the time and just focus on the degree. But several levels of participation exist, from the part time program to the executive MBA to online courses, tailored to fit your needs. Additionally, the MBA offers courses and concentrations in a variety of topics – I’m splitting my time between marketing and entrepreneurship, which are helping me as I start my own theatre company.
Does the program offer a wide range of perspectives?
Mason’s courses aren’t designed to shovel information down your throat. They offer discussion and interaction, and encourage group work. In class participation is vital in most of our courses, where students drive discussion, lead presentations, and collaborate on case studies. In Brazil, our entire perspective on doing business, on everyday pace, has been brought into question. This mandatory trip abroad is definitely one of the most worthwhile aspects of the MBA program.
Does the program advance and encourage networking opportunities?
Every semester a new cohort commences in the MBA program, at least. People from all walks of life enter the mason program, and working together, we build stronger networks. Outside of coursework, cohort members find time to meet together, socialize, and unwind after the intense weeks they’ve had, either as study driven full timers, or time-pressed part timers. The mandatory week abroad allows students of all sorts of students an opportunity to meet people they would never have otherwise. This year, the MBA program added the beautiful cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo as part of their destinations abroad, and allowed us to meet over ten businesses in Brazil. I especially enjoyed the color duo we met at BNDES. Who knows? Maybe I’ll apply to work there…