Q: Can you describe the academic experience of the Part-Time MBA Program? What is the faculty like?
A: Everyone's coming in to the program very motivated. Everyone wants to make the most of the class time. For example, if you’re in class two nights a week, you make the most out of those two hours, and so does the faculty. They know they have a certain amount of time to tell you what you need to do to achieve your career goals. And you want to take advantage of that, because the faculty here is incredible. Look at their resumes and work experience—it’s not just higher education experience. More than theory or concepts, they give you something tangible and practical, because they know that you're going to work the next day. In fact, I’ve gone to work on a Thursday morning, and used what I learned on Wednesday night.
Q: So you’ve already noticed the difference D’Amore-McKim’s Part-Time MBA program has had on your career?
A: It’s added a great balance to my current full-time position: I can draw upon the ideas generated in the classroom, and the new methods of learning. You're taught to question assumptions more. You're given facts and you say, "Well, what's beyond the facts? What do we need to try to solve with imperfect information?" Which is often what you're trying to do in the workplace. You learn how to do that in the classroom. Also, you have a new confidence to ask questions and to challenge workplace assumptions.
Q: What are some of the important skills that you’ve developed?
A: I’ve gained crucial presentation skills. That’s a big part of an MBA program, whether it’s individual presentations or group presentations. You have to be able to get up in front of your colleagues and very esteemed faculty and present your case concisely and confidently. And I've brought that back into my work environment, where I present ideas and business cases. My manager even noticed. He said, "You seem much more confident now when you're up there giving your presentations. I've noticed an improvement."
Q: Can you comment on the flexibility of this program?
A: I looked at other programs and they do not have the level of flexibility that D’Amore-McKim offers. You can take two classes in one night instead of spreading them out over a couple of nights a week. I preferred earlier classes, so I took the 5:20pm class and had the rest of my evening to do homework. If you need to work later, you can take the 7:30pm class. Then, you also have Saturday classes as an option. Or, maybe you need to take a semester off because jobs go in cycles. Or even two semesters off. It's reassuring to know that the program was designed for what you want to do.
Q: The professors play a big role in that flexibility?
A: Yes, they’re very supportive. They understand that we’re at our jobs for eight to nine hours before we even show up to the classroom. That our brains probably have been in sixteen directions. Of course, they have serious expectations of us, but they completely understand who we are and the pressures of our schedules. For example, I had to speak at a town hall at my company. I was going to miss the first day of class, so I made sure to email my professor ahead of time. He said, "Absolutely, I understand. If you need to come late, come late. If you miss it altogether, I understand. Get the notes from a classmate. I'll be available to meet before the next class if you want to catch-up."
Q: What would you say to someone who’s considering the D’Amore-McKim Part-Time MBA program?
A: When I was at an information session for this program, there was a woman there at roughly the same point in her career. She said, "If the only reason that you're not signing up today is because you don't think you can handle it, go sign up right now.” Because we're all in the same boat. We're all having the same fears, doubts, and concerns. Will I make it? Can I balance everything? She sat there and said, "You can." All of a sudden, I was like, "Why not? She's right. She's right." I think what set the tone for me here is that I'm not alone. There is a significant support structure here.
Hear more about Meaghan's experience in the Part-Time MBA program »