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State School MBA questions (in DC)

tthornell

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I've read the MBA thread (all of it) and I wanted to ask a couple of quesitons that have not been addressed there. I recently finished my B.S. in Business Admin. from Nichols College in Ma. The rub is that I completed my degree online. I've got a decent story as I'm an Info. Systems manager on a 210' Coast Guard ship and have been for the last three years (in fact I write this from the Atlanctic Ocean). I'll be moving to DC in a few months and I want to pursue my MBA while I am there. I am thinking along the lines of George Mason, American U or maybe GWU. I'll be going part time since I'll still be in the CG. I'm not trying to enter finance or consulting so I do not think a top school be a fit for me. I really want my MBA to meet interesting motivated people and make both personal and business connections. Truth be told I'll probabaly retire from the Coast Guard in 13 years, but I'd like to jump into the corporate world after. My interest range from real estate to branding. It is hard to find info on 2nd tier programs so here are the questions.
What are the connections and network like at one of these schools? When I enter the corporate world in 13 years will I be too far removed from my MBA for it to matter? Will the fact that my undergrad was online (not an online college but a private school with an online program) be a huge disadvantage? Do part time programs have higer acceptance rates?

My other, and preferred, option is to become a Coast Guard Officer (I'm waiting for results of my application and will take it if accepted) and use the experiences and career progression to get into a top 25 school. Sorry for the long post, just wanted to be detailes. Thanks.
 

Joffrey

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Networking opportunities have little to do with the school, and more with the person using them. If you're a ****** networker or make no use of it, the extent of a school's alumni network is worthless. If you are proactive and have decent social skills, they could be invaluable.

The two schools you mentioned - AU and GW, definately have fine alumni networks. I went to a podunk state school and made some good connections (ok, only one and we aren't much in contact anymore) so going to either of those two schools will net much better results. The best bet would be to make contact with a few folks in career fields you are interested in, while enrolled and keep up with them for the 13 years you will be in the coast guard. Maybe when you are done you may be able to set something up with their help. But 13 years is a loooong time. Also, you could tap into the alumni network shortly before you leave the coast guard. People love to be asked for help. Long story short, either school will have a deep network for you to tap into.

I don't think you will be too far removed from your MBA after 13 years. Companies love military folks because people in the armed forces learn many things you couldn't pick up straight out of graduate school or even a few years in the business world. The important thing is, will you be capable of spinning your experience into something the private sector would find valuable?
 

tthornell

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Thanks for the reply. I've definitely got the social skills to make contacts and friends. I just need to be in the environment where I am around motivated ambitious people. If you learn anything in the military, you learn to keep in touch with people, so I do not think I'd have a hard time maintaining my contacts. Did you go full time or part time. What were the advantages/disadvantages as far as networking? I'm not worried about the recruiting aspect for obvious reasons.
 

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