There is a big difference between the part-time and full-time MBAs

And don’t ever let anyone tell you differently.

The part-time program in HKUST is 24 months versus the full-time’s 16 months, and yet the difference couldn’t be any more starker. The difference lies not in the quality of education as we do share many of our best professors, nor is it in the school facilities and support as HKUST is indeed quite supportive of its part-time students even to the point of assigning career counselors especially for this group.

Instead, the difference lies in the student themselves: the part-time MBA students are less committed to the program because they are distracted by so many other priorities such as their jobs, their families and their other interests. And given that as a rule that you take whatever you put in, the part-timers get a lot less from the program not because it’s the program’s fault, but rather because it’s their perogative not to put more because of <<insert excuses here>>.

Now, don’t tell me I’m being harsh. If anything, I am only being truthful.

And though I have met some part-timers that are completely A-1 and stellar, people that I would love to work with in the present and the future, most of them are blahs. Specifically:

– Many are not sensitive about the time (e.g., they are often late). I sat in a popular class on Saturday where most part-timers are enrolled. The full-timers have the weekday class, while respectful of their work schedules, part-timers have the Saturday class.

The class started at 9am. To my surprise, at 9am, there were around 5 part-timers there in a class of 40. What the hell? In a full-timer class, the classroom would’ve been full by then.

The part-timers rolled in one after another between 9am to 9:15 am. The professor started at 9:15 am and even then, there were a few late comers.

Not only that, some even dared to fall asleep in class. Embarrassing. Others were looking at the professor with blank stares as if they couldn’t follow. When the professor asked them a question, they looked as if they were high.

I know it’s Saturday but this is like with everyone else. I know you’re tired with all the work and etc. etc. but an MBA is a commitment. How can you do things half-way? Are you really like that at work?

I found their extreme tardiness very unprofessional. How is it that they can dare show up at work 1 hour late for example? And this is what happened in one of my evening classes that started at 7pm.

One after another, not one, but NINE (9) students rolled in between 7pm to 8pm, rudely passing by the professor who is the Head of Financial Stategy in a top-tier investment bank and disrupting the class.

I know they are busy but if they were late, could they not just come by the break as not to disrupt the class? People paid good money for our excellent MBA education but you are not only rude, but totally unprofessional. I am embarrased to have been affiliated with these naughty group of people.

To top it off, I’ve heard stories that people would talk loudly in class while the professor was teaching. Who were the culprits? Not the full timers.

In terms of business etiquette, it’s amazing to see how simple things as being on time are being ignored. Being part time means that you may have far more excuses to NOT be engaged, but it does not give you the right to be inconsiderate of other people! It makes me really mad to see how quite a few of them are not displaying habits that should be highlighted from a #6 MBA program.

Mind you, the full-timers are not always very innocent. But we do our best to be there on time, act in a very respectful manner and at least, display some good business etiquette.

I found the part-timers’ decorum, or at least some of them, quite lacking.

SO — if you are deciding between a part time or a full-time degree, IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT, make the better choice and enroll in a full-time program.

The mindset is so much different and you are far more committed to the program. Given that you get what you put in, it is essential that your mindset is geared towards learning as much as you can in these 16 months and to try to get the most out of your career path. In a way, an MBA is a wise investment so just taking an MBA part time for the sake of having those three letters on your CV is silly. If you haven’t even invested the effort and time to learn about the subject thoroughly, you’re just wasting your time.

I understand that there will be part-timers reading this, and if this hurts you, I apologize.

I do hope that you understand that I am NOT judging all part-timers as a group, but more of a still large group of part-timers who do not take their studies seriously and are really inconveniencing those who are. Put yourself in our shoes: It is really an embarrassment to see those who carry the school flag become excessively tardy and exhibit unprofessional behavior.

So I hope you make the right choice.

There are many benefits of being part time, most of which getting to keep your job and income. But I do see a quality gap in general. So don’t ever think there is none.

So if you can – full time or part time? Make your choice but I have already given you my honest to goodness answer.

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2 thoughts on “There is a big difference between the part-time and full-time MBAs

  1. I have just fell asleep in my yesterday evening class for 10 mins in HKUST..opps..too tired…from 8.15 – 1130 everyday…

  2. LOL – I know. One reason why I chose to quit my job previously. Not that it’s always a good thing SK. I still do miss my paycheck. 🙁

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