What You Need To Know About MBA Sponsorship
The days of employer-sponsored MBAs are long gone.
With fewer employers offering tuition assistance for MBA degrees, b-school students often have to shell out their own money to get their degrees.
Ilana Kowarski, a reporter at US News, recently discussed strategies for how b-school students can still find ways for MBA sponsorship.
COMPANIES THAT OFFER SPONSORSHIP
While fewer companies today are offering MBA sponsorship, there are still a few that offer tuition assistance.
Consulting, financial services, and the government are the three top industries that often offer MBA sponsorship.
Generally, these companies will agree to partially pay or completely fund an MBA based on the contingency that an employee continues to work for the company after receiving his or her degree.
Aja Edmond is a 2012 MBA grad from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business who received a full merit scholarship from Eli Lilly and Company, a pharmaceutical corporation. She says that corporations will typically sponsor an MBA in hopes of attracting talent or encouraging diversity within the organization.
“To maximize competitiveness, only apply to scholarships that are 100% relevant so you don’t waste your time or theirs,” Edmond tells US News. “Also, you should have a genuine interest in the company and, if given the opportunity, express that interest in your application.”
CONDITIONS OF SPONSORSHIP
While sponsorship can help save thousands of dollars, experts note that applicants should consider the implications of a sponsorship before applying.
“The first question to ask yourself is if you really want MBA sponsorship,” according to Amelia Hopkins, of Top MBA. “Company sponsorship means locking yourself into a contract for the foreseeable future (often between two to five years post MBA graduation). This means that you won’t be able to make the most of career fairs or recruitment on campus, and unless you agree on it beforehand, salary increases will be hard to negotiate.”
Ogechi Igbokwe is the founder of OneSavvyDollar, a personal finance website site. She says tuition reimbursement usually has important conditions applicants should consider.
“In most cases, tuition reimbursement will not start immediately upon hire,” Igbokwe tells US News. “You may have to prove yourself first by completing probation in good standing.”