Hello everyone! I wanted to reach out to the community with some thoughts about the weekend MBA option. I am currently a student in the Saturday cohort at Smith School of Business at University of Maryland. I had originally planned on doing the evening program because it was the only schedule I’d ever heard about from friends already enrolled in MBA programs around the country.
During the application process I attended as many information sessions as I could so I could make a well-informed decision about where to earn my MBA. At one of these sessions I met a second year student who did his first year in the Weekend MBA program; as he described the benefits of the program, I realized it fit perfectly with my life and I instantly discarded the idea of doing week day classes. It is really SUCH a good deal and I’ll tell you why!
Now, as a student, I never have to rush to DC from work or deal with work week traffic, I can determine my weeknight schedule and when to study, I only have one day of class per week instead of two, I get to bed at a reasonable hour before early morning meetings (not possible for 40% of the work week doing the weeknight option), and I get all of this with the exact same professors and quality instruction! Another important point is that, in addition to students with families, Saturday classes attract folks that have busy work weeks that may include after-hours functions and networking events. For week days that after-hours events are not occurring, weekend students still have the option of taking classes on a week night if a conflict comes up on a Saturday. The professors are INCREDIBLY accommodating of packed schedules and understand we are busy people who have to make hard choices.
One of the criticisms of the weekend program is that people don’t want to lose their weekends… which I find really silly frankly. To the contrary, we have students who are single and others who have families that prefer this schedule… not to mention the weeknight students will have to study on weekends anyway so they may as well get course credit while they’re at it! Classes start at 8:40 am which allows me to sleep in until 7:45 if I want and still enjoy ample time to get to class. Bottom line: the weekend option for a part-time MBA offers the best of all worlds and I personally would choose the weekend option ten times out of ten.
One last thought is that Smith is the only school in the DC area that offers such a convenient option! This is a hugely distinguishing characteristic that sets Smith apart from its competitors and is a significant point I personally used to make my decision. Fortunately, there is room for growth still in the Weekend MBA at Smith so if you know someone interested in the program, share this information with them! It may help them as much as it helped me!
Meaghan Murray was born in Laguna Hills, CA where she lived until graduating from Laguna Hills High School in 2004. She moved to Annapolis, MD to attend the United States Naval Academy where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics and a commission in the United States Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer. Meaghan moved to San Diego, CA to serve two tours on warships at the head of an Engineering division on USS BUNKER HILL (CG 52) and later the Combat Systems Department on USS SAN DIEGO (LPD 22). Her qualifications include the Surface Warfare Officer pin, two Officer of the Deck letters, two Combat Information Center Watch Officer letters and Gas Turbine Engineering Officer of the Watch. Her significant operational activities include humanitarian assistance in Haiti and missions with the Chilean, Peruvian, Argentinean and Russian navies. Now, Meaghan works for United States Cyber Command as a Cyber Planner. Her interests include current events, politics, running, Notre Dame football and exploring Washington DC.
(This article was originally posted on December 12, 2013)