Carlson's online distance program
I’ve wanted to get an MBA for a long time, but a couple things made it difficult:
First, there aren’t any higher-ranking MBA programs near where I live. Many of the things I want out of the MBA experience (a social network of future leaders, a reliable financial return on my investment, a degree that dramatically sets me apart from others) isn’t as easily garnered from smaller, more regional schools. So I had perceived my options as either (a) getting degree that wasn’t as close a fit with my needs, (b) uprooting my family and moving to a new area or (c) not pursuing an MBA.
Second, I’m the primary bread-winner for my family, so quitting my job to pursue B-school isn’t really a viable option. Also the job I do have is fairly time-intensive (about 50-60 hours/week) and involves some travel, so it’d be difficult to attend set classes every week.
Carlson’s online distance program is a perfect solution for my lifestyle. The classes are small enough where even though I’m not physically present, I’m able to build a network of other people, many of whom are in similar situations as mine so common ground is easy to find. (Bear in mind that even though we aren’t physically present, we’re still working on group projects and interacting through the forums.) The coursework can all be accomplished in a reasonably flexible timeframe, so I’ll watch lectures on my cell phone while commuting (don’t worry… I don’t drive to work!), take quizzes in hotel rooms, do homework on airplanes, etc. I’m not going to pretend it hasn’t been a lot of work, but if you try then you can fit a lot of coursework into parts of your schedule that are normally wasted time. And when I do feel like pursuing the on-campus “social aspect” of the MBA, I’ve been able to visit campus for a Gophers game or an exam.
Online courses really do a fantastic job of giving you what you need out of an MBA without upsetting the rest of your life.