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Perception of 1yr vs 2yr MBA programs?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by micbain, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. micbain

    micbain Senior member

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    Hi guys,

    Hoping anyone with experience on this could chime in. What are the perceptions of 1yr MBA programs? There aren't too many that I can think of in N.America (Queens and Northwestern come to mind) but there are a fair number in Europe.

    Pro's/Con's of the 1yr? Perception by potential employers?

    The 1 yr program seems attractive mainly from a financial perspective (1 year less of tution and opportunity cost), and as I already have an undergrad in business, I don't know if I need 2 years of formal education.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,
     
  2. dhc905

    dhc905 Senior member

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    I went to the NU 1year sell week and I have to say, I wouldn't hire any of the apes in the 2yr, but the 1yr's were all top notch, both in background and in attitude. They're not there dicking around and hitting on 18 year old freshman, they're on the warpath to a higher paying job, simply put.

    My outsider's perspective.

    Also HBS used to have a 4Q program, which I guess they've done away with for one reason or another.
     
  3. cchen

    cchen Senior member

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    You may also want to consider columbia's j-term program, if you don't need an internship
     
  4. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    For obvious reasons they're bad for career switchers but I don't think the perception of them is any different than for 2 year MBAs. Most employers realize that people who go to 1 year programs have myriad reasons for choosing that particular path. I haven't heard of anyone from INSEAD, Kellogg, or Columbia's J-Term being frowned upon by employers (as long as they weren't career switchers!)
     
  5. micbain

    micbain Senior member

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    I'm not a career switcher...rather I'm hoping the MBA will accelerate my career. I work in the corporate finance group of a Big4 but would like to move into a position (either ibanking or corp dev) where I can work on larger transactions and have a chance of specializing. I really enjoy my job, but the firm tends to focus on "mid market" M&A transactions and most practioners at my firm are generalists.
     
  6. scientific

    scientific Senior member

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    well, it depends on who's doing the perceiving.
     
  7. toslat

    toslat Well-Known Member

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    1yr is enough for the knowledge while 2yrs is required to instill the soft skills, mentality and attitude. Which program is right for you will depend on what your are missing.
     
  8. micbain

    micbain Senior member

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    well, it depends on who's doing the perceiving.

    Employers.
     
  9. medtech_expat

    medtech_expat Senior member

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    For obvious reasons they're bad for career switchers but I don't think the perception of them is any different than for 2 year MBAs. Most employers realize that people who go to 1 year programs have myriad reasons for choosing that particular path. I haven't heard of anyone from INSEAD, Kellogg, or Columbia's J-Term being frowned upon by employers (as long as they weren't career switchers!)

    Curious as to why you make an exception for career switchers? I changed industries myself from IMD, as did a number of my classmates.
     
  10. Viktri

    Viktri Senior member

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    Employers.

    I would use career statistics as a measure of employer perception of the program (whether 1 or 2 yrs).
     
  11. gdl203

    gdl203 Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Most important is to ask yourself where your target employers recruit. You mentioned banking - the top investment banks in NA recruit from a speficic set of core schools and use the summer program as an important recruiting tool. All of the core schools are 2-year programs. So if that's your goal, here's your answer. If you go for a school that's not typically a core school, you'll be ina very large pool of applicants for very few spots and will fight a long uphill battle to get the job - particularly without a summer job to prove yourself.

    INSEAD might be an exception, the brand, network and program strength opens a lot of doors.

    That's my take
     
  12. micbain

    micbain Senior member

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    Most important is to ask yourself where your target employers recruit. You mentioned banking - the top investment banks in NA recruit from a speficic set of core schools and use the summer program as an important recruiting tool. All of the core schools are 2-year programs. So if that's your goal, here's your answer. If you go for a school that's not typically a core school, you'll be ina very large pool of applicants for very few spots and will fight a long uphill battle to get the job - particularly without a summer job to prove yourself.

    INSEAD might be an exception, the brand, network and program strength opens a lot of doors.

    That's my take


    Thank you for your input!

    So blunt question: Based on your experience, knowledge and industry hearsay, do new associate classes contain any meaningful % of 1yr MBA grads (Especially INSEAD, and other high end Euro schools?).
     
  13. gdl203

    gdl203 Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Based on my experience, in NYC, no. Very very few, if any at all. INSEAD probably being the only European business school that may place people on Wall Street. No other European school. Now, to get the same job in London, that's a completely different question.
     
  14. micbain

    micbain Senior member

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    Based on my experience, in NYC, no. Very very few, if any at all. INSEAD probably being the only European business school that may place people on Wall Street. No other European school. Now, to get the same job in London, that's a completely different question.

    So essentially:
    If I want a chance at a banking career in London: Go with a top 1 year Euro program
    If I want a chance at a banking career in N.America: Go with a top 2 year US program

    Also, in your experience, what is the average age of new associates recruited from MBA programs? Given the hours, I understand the preference is for younger candidates. All else being equal (grades, mba school, pre-mba experience, etc), is there an age where you begin to lose interest in the candidate?

    Although a young man in biological years, I'm no longer a spring chicken in IB terms. I just turned 28, and realistically wouldn't be able to enter a MBA program until 29/30. I started thinking about the 1 year programs as a way to fight the age issue.
     
  15. gdl203

    gdl203 Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Age is not really an issue as long as the attitude is aligned with the associate role. I have often seen 1st yr associates in their early to mid thirties.
     
  16. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    Curious as to why you make an exception for career switchers? I changed industries myself from IMD, as did a number of my classmates.

    I might have worded it too strongly. You can certainly switch careers from strong 1 year programs like IMD but the short duration of these programs and the fact that you can't do an internship (in most cases) make it more difficult for career switchers, as far as I know.

    But I'm sure you can still do it.
     
  17. thebac

    thebac Senior member

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    The one issue you might have with regard to age is that top MBA programs are skewing younger these days, so I really wouldn't put off applying any longer if you're going to go. I agree with gdl203 that age isn't necessarily a red flag, but it is a potential concern, both with respect to being able to take direction from younger superiors and with respect to the willingness to work long hours.
     
  18. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    The two programs who have definitely skewed younger are Stanford and Harvard. Unless you're military or have a really compelling story, chances are that 30 is probably too old for either. Every other top program is (to varying degrees) much more accepting of older applicants with the schools specializing in ops and marketing (Kellogg, Michigan) usually being more accepting than those more focused on finance (Chicago, Columbia). European schools are generally very open to older applicants. Leaf through an IMD or INSEAD resume book and you will see many, many applicants over 30 (sometimes well over 30).

    In general, though, many top MBA programs in the US have a median student age of around 29 and that number includes a fair amount of 25-26 year old bankers and consultants bringing down the average.

    As fart as ageism in hiring goes, I think that for industries like finance it certainly can be a red flag because the expectation is that older graduates won't be able to grind out the hours due to family obligations/general life circumstances. On the flipside, many industry roles will be difficult to access for younger grads due to fears over lack of experience and difficulties in managing older employees.
     

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