Questions to Ask Before Starting a MBA Program
How do you know if you are mentally and financially prepared to start an MBA program? To help with the soul-searching necessary to answer that question, here are a few questions to think about.
- Is this the best time to start? Taking a close look at your personal and professional life before you enroll. For example, if you are an accountant working in the tax department at a CPA firm, you probably don’t want to start a 16-week graduate program in January since that might mean getting use to studying again while juggling the April 15 tax deadline. Instead, consider a university that offers 8-week programs or starts at a different time of the year so you have adjusted to school before your workload becomes intense in the spring.
- Where can you find money? First, contact your human resource department to ask if a tuition reimbursement program exists and learn how the program operates. Second, apply the ‘latte factor’ to your budget. This phrase, coined by David Bach, author of a series of financial planning books simply means looking at how little expenditures can add up over time. Skip the daily $4 latte and you could save over $1,000 per year. Third, you might want to consider applying for a graduate assistantship.
- Where can you borrow money? Once you’ve evaluated your budget and explore the possibility of receiving tuition reimbursement from your employer, look at the types of student loans that are available.
- Are you willing to make sacrifices? Thousands of people before you have combined school with a job and a family; it definitely can be done. However, combining grad school, a job and a family along with taking care of elderly parents, coaching little league and training for a marathon is not realistic. Just as you evaluated your budget, take the time to consider when you will have the time to study.
- Should you enroll in an online or an on-ground program? If your job requires frequent travel or rotating shifts, enrolling in an online MBA program could be the best way to earn your degree. It’s important to remember that not all online programs are the same. Before you choose an online program, do your research so you can evaluate the quality in the different types of online MBA programs available. If you’d prefer to study in the traditional classroom setting and live in the Reading and Pottsville area, Alvernia University’s MBA Program could be the most convenient way to earn your MBA.