24 August 2011

Business Beaver

When I first began at the foundation, I realized that they offered a particularly fantastic tuition benefit. I investigated and found that the foundation would pay most of the tuition and fees for seven credits each semester for full-time employees taking OSU classes. I have been pretty satisfied with my MBA experience with UMass, but I figured it didn't hurt to check out OSU and see if it was logistically feasible for me to transfer.

Oregon State University has a pretty new MBA program, and while they don't currently offer classes online they do offer on campus courses in the morning and in the evening. Actually, only one core class is offered each day, once in the moring and once again in the evening. Not a lot of flexibility in scheduling, but students have the option to fast track through the program in 9 months. The program and faculty pride themselves on their integrated business projects, which gives student the opportunity to work on real entrepreneurial initiatives in order to finish their degree at OSU. To prepare for this capstone type experience, MBA students take a series of foundational management classes that were fairly similar to those I was planning to take through UMass -Amherst.

I had chosen UMass' program a year ago when I applied because it is online, allowing me to finish wherever med school took our family, and it is a good fit for my career ambitions, providing a broad overview of management skills with no particular emphasis. That meant I could apply the skills to whatever non-profit organization I choose to join in the future. The program at UMass also allowed great flexibility in class scheduling and completing my degree. All core classes were offered each semester, classwork could be finished at any point throughout the week (though some professors were more lineant with their assignment due dates than others), and there was no limit to how long you stayed in the program. I had planned to finish my degree by December 2012. I had taken four classes (12 credits) through the UMass online MBA program, and when I checked with OSU advisors most if not all of those credits would transfer and be applied to their program.

I applied to OSU (didn't hurt to try) and was accepted! So I had a choice to make, and it was quite the conundrum for a couple weeks. To be an OSU Beaver, or not to be? In the end, I couldn't turn down the amazing benefit of taking classes in an on-campus environment and, of course, there was the financial benefit! I also think taking classes on campus will help to keep me focused on finishing while my husband is busy studying medicine. Starting in September, I am a Business Beaver! I will finish the program in two years (fingers-crossed and stars aligned) taking two classes in the evening per term. Wish me luck!