Choosing the Right MBA Program

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versatile MBA

You're an engineer. Why do an MBA?
Dec, 2009

By Richard Speed, associate dean for faculty resources, Melbourne Business School You're an engineer. You've reached the limit of your technical job and you're looking down the barrel of being promoted from specialist management as a chief engineer or plant manager to a leadership position as operations manager or general manager. Trouble is, these roles require skills they didn't teach you in your engineering degree-skills like being responsible for other people's performance, for financial and marketing issues, leading transformational change in your organisation and for managing relationships with suppliers and buyers. You could blunder around, bluff your way through the maze, or simply rely on learning on the job- or you could seriously consider re-skilling with an MBA. Which MBA is right for you?

Choosing the right MBA program is a good start. The classic, career-changing MBAs are full-time immersion programs. They take 16-months and you'll need to put your job on hold or leave it and get a new job afterwards. The part-time MBA, which can also be done on week-ends at some business schools, takes longer but provides more flexibility. It means you can combine full-time work with study. The Executive MBA comprises intensive bouts of residential study in-between several months off, when you return to full-time work. It's a high-level program for senior professionals over 40, with ten years working experience, who have been identified by their employers for the next C-suite role. All MBAs require substantial investment-not just financially, but more so in time and family support. For this reason, you want to choose a school that does it seriously. Choosing the right school

Do your homework. There is so much information about business schools, including many rankings. These rankings are public and carry weight. Find out what they are, how they are constructed, and whether they resonate with...
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