Saturday, February 9, 2008

Value for the Money?

Going into this Executive MBA, I always wondered what the real value of the exercise would be. Pitted against a "traditional" MBA grad, how would my part-time program measure up? When I've mentioned my intentions to older, more senior people, they always ask things like "what are you majoring in" (there is no major in an executive MBA), and they tend to look on the exercise as pursuing an MBA lite.

The degree is the same as the part-time and full-time MBA programs, so what, really is different? Are we somehow getting away with doing less than our part-time and full-time peers?

First semester I would have said "no", since our stats class was a full-semester class (delivered in just 9 class periods, mind you) and the other classes, though they all suffered from "compression" to some degree (i.e., having to do a full semester's work in 9 weeks), we still felt like our money was well-spent.

Enter second semester. We have a marketing professor who is in the hospital due to unexpected surgery: what can you really do about unforeseen events like that? To fill in, we have a lecturer (not a PhD), someone from the world of corporate sales who is very polished and generally a very nice guy, but you can tell the substance just isn't what you'd get from a tenured professor. And it's really starting to irritate me.

This morning we had a guest lecturer (a PhD Associate Professor) on pricing strategy, and his talk was full of insights and commentary, all delivered without the aid of PowerPoint or notes (something I consider amazing and proof of his intelligence). Then came our lecturer to cover the remaining three hours, and you could tall almost immediately that the substance went out the window. Do I really want to pay $5,000 to hang out every other week with someone who's just basically a really nice guy? I find myself craving more, and even a guarantee of an excellent grade this semester won't really keep me more engaged than I am now.