Big decision: Go full or part-time?

In my experience as a Kogod Ambassador I’ve noticed that some of the most popular questions among prospective students relate to their decision about going full or part-time. They wonder about the main difference between both programs, and what they could miss if they chose the latter. To them, here’s my answer, and know that I’m fully writing from my personal experience since I’m a full-timer while my husband is a part-timer, both at Kogod…

By comparing my husband’s experience with mine, I can tell with absolute confidence that the learning experience as well as the ability to network and make friends is exactly the same. Professors demand as much from part-timers as they do from full-timers, with the only difference that part-timers take fewer courses per semester. As for the interpersonal relations, it’s true that part-timers meet in class less often; however, their class is smaller so they share all courses, which allows them to get to know each other more quickly.

The main difference between you becoming a part or full-timer relies on (1) the time you spend on campus, and (2) the extent to which school becomes your main focus. Of course going part-time will require you to spend less time at school, since you will be working simultaneously and taking only 6 credits per semester as opposed to 12+. Plus, work will probably continue to grab a big part of your attention, since there’s a reason you didn’t leave it in the first place, this being: the need to continue getting an income, the potential of growing within the organization, the risk of quitting and having to look for a different job later on, etc.

No one program is better than the other per se; it all depends on what YOU want to do, meaning what your interests and priorities are. Most international students for example, prefer to go full-time, looking for an on-campus experience that they probably lacked in their hometowns. Other people feel they want to become 100% students again: dress up comfy, grab food on the go, study at the library or simple sitting on the grass, and generally following an unstructured time schedule. Some decide to go full-time to graduate earlier and make that career switch they’ve been long waiting for. Others are willing to cope with only one type of stress at a time.

But everything is relative. For many people, working and studying at the same time proves less stressful than studying only, since it gets easier to set up time boundaries and become more productive. Plus, people may feel psychologically less pressured when taking care of several issues than when only focusing on one. Some others are career enhancers as opposed to career switchers, so keeping their job to capitalize on opportunities of growth within the organization makes more sense for them. Other people simply need their monthly income and are not willing to take on the risk of getting a new job in times of recession.

So… Who are you? What are your goals? What are your interests and priorities? Inquiring yourself can help you find out whether you would be happier as a full or part-timer at Kogod. Ask yourself:

  • Do I want to spend more or less time on campus?
  • Does having two focal points stress me out more or less than having one?
  • Do I want to have the 100% student experience again?
  • Am I a career switcher or enhancer?
  • How does quitting my job affect my career potential?
  • Can I afford to stop receiving a salary while studying?

Getting to know who you are and what you want is the first step to choosing the school and program that will fulfill you the most.

To know more about Kogod’s full and part-time graduate programs click here.

A bittersweet delight

10 straight hours in a breakout room dissecting a case for Professor Clark’s Organizational Behaviour class, receiving a 2 day crash course on Mangerial Econ before the final exam, hours long commute on the metro and the ride-on buses, numerous packs of cigarettes, uncountable coffee cups, and sporadic indulgence during Happy Hours….

It must be equally challenging for most of the to-be-business tycoons or entrepreneurs around Kogod to manage a routine like mine where homework takes over life and balance and when  your team mates unknowingly become your second family. Nevertheless, I am constantly impressed and inspired by my fellow Kogod students and how their passion to learn and their vigor to succeed never fade away.  The very reason why I choose aspiration, expectation, hope, and zeal as the 4 words  to describe the ambience I sense at Kogod every single time I enter the building. My first semester here has helped me realize the little steps of my ambitious big dreams. My first semester here has exponentially multiplied my social network giving me access to various resources I could have never imagined otherwise.  My experience as a first year student at Kogod has truly been highly rewarding so far despite the the endless HWs,  not having enough time to party, and missing out on Superbowl, Australian Open finals, and Grammy Awards tonight.  In a nutshell, gradschool experience is a bittersweet delight.

My name is Sudipa, a first year full-time MSA student, originally hailing from Nepal, but coming to Kogod via Singapore, Canada, Tennessee and New York. I am as unconventional as  my travel history and I capitalize on that as a business student :). Learn more about me on my next post. Ciao!