Why I’m Not Getting Either A Part-Time MBA Or An Executive MBA

One of the first questions that I get from people when either A) I mention my age/years of work experience while talking about my MBA candidacy or B) I mention my candidacy and they already know my age is “Have you considered a Part-Time MBA or EMBA?”

The answer to that question is yes, I have; and that is exactly what makes me so certain that I want neither.

I become slightly irritated when people ask me that question without knowing anything about my goals. The source of my irritation is not the nature of the question itself, but rather the logic behind asking it in the first place.

“Canned answers” annoy me to no end; but I am even more annoyed by canned questions. What’s a canned question, you ask? A canned question (in my personal dictionary of self-defined terms) is one that is asked as a knee jerk reaction to partial data.

In all fairness, there is usually a reasonable expectation that the supposed conclusion of a canned question is likely to be true; nevertheless, the intellectual laziness that encourages people to just blurt out an ill-supported assumption without qualifying it first rakes my nerves just a bit.

This “reasonable expectation” creates a general level of agreement among a particular group of people that the presence of said partial data is enough to conclude that the canned question is appropriate (aka a stereotype). Ah, group think. I hate group think. I wish I could ding people like the GMAT does for making assumptions without sufficient data; but I digress.


(to a muscular black man)…. “Do/did you play pro football?” [as if that is the only thing for fit black men to do]

(to an overweight woman with a severe hormonal imbalance)…”Have you tried a low carb diet?” [hasn’t everyone?]

(to a 4th generation Asian woman)…”Do you speak Chinese?” [she’s Japanese and Ukranian]

(to an MBA applicant who is 30+ years old)…”Why don’t you just get an EMBA/Part Time MBA?” [more on this in a few secs]

I’m sure you get the idea at this point (and if you haven’t, well, I just don’t know what to say about that).


*You are looking to move up in the same company you already work for.

*You are looking to promote into a new position (most likely within your current field) in the same city you already live in.

*You have a family, a mortgage, or other responsibilities that would make A) quitting your job to live on loans for 2 years and/or B) moving to a different city to attend school an unwise life decision.

Note to canned questioners: None of the above circumstances describe me–mostly because I’ve put off A) becoming attached to any job or employer B) starting a family C) buying a home because they all tend to conflict with early-stage entrepreneurship.


* You are looking to change careers.

* You have weighed the risk of quitting your current job, living off of loans for 2 years and possibly leaving your current city and have determined that it is a good risk in lieu of the likely return.

*A full-time MBA experience is necessary for you to achieve your goals.

2nd note to canned questioners: Bingo x 3 on all of the above for me.

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