One-Year MBA + DBA/Ph.D -- Does it work?

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by Cosmic Fury, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. Cosmic Fury

    Cosmic Fury New Member

    Hi, I'm a transitioning veteran from the US Navy. In addition to my professional experience in the Navy, I am on my last semester of an undergraduate degree in the Liberal Arts (with a concentration in management & business administration).

    I am also looking at getting into a one-year MBA program at several schools, in order to get my education on a fast-track pace. However, I want more than just a one-year MBA. I know that the market is slowly but surely flooding with fresh MBA grads, and I want to really stand out from the crowd.

    As of graduation from my bachelor's degree program, I'll have 30 months of Post 9/11 entitlement left. If things go well, I'll have that one-year MBA in exactly as much time, and still have plenty of my Post 9/11 benefits (18 months) remaining.

    At the moment, I'm looking at one of several options. The same college I'm looking to get my MBA at also offers dual Master's programs in other fields to be covered in an 18-month period. (FYI, all courses are full-time and condensed for faster completion). Another option is simply to complete the one-year MBA and earn an additional master's degree in another concentration of my choice.

    Another very tempting option is the pursuit of a DBA or a Ph.D in my preferred concentrations, following along the lines of those classes I took while pursuing my master's program. However, I'm not even sure that such a thing would work.

    I intend to pursue a professional career in international business management, with aspirations of being an effective and groundbreaking organizational leader at all levels of the company that I might work with in the future. In addition, I want to be a go-to expert in the realm of business negotiations as well as conflict management on a professional basis. I dealt with a taste of all of these things during my time in the Navy, and I for one want some more of that work in the private sector.

    I strongly feel that an MBA alone simply won't impart the skills I'll need to become an expert in these fields, though. Neither do I want to spend a long time acquiring these skills, though. While I feel that a DBA/Ph.D is a great option for those looking at executive leadership further down the line (like I am), but I'm worried that the time-consuming process of earning these degrees will prevent me from entering the workforce in earnest while I'm still relatively young. (I'm 25 years old right now, and hope to hold a DBA/Ph.D before I am 30 years old, if at all possible.)

    While on paper the solution might seem simple enough (complete the one-year MBA and hack it out at a two-year doctoral program), does it actually work? I am very serious about acquiring a strong and authoritative education for myself, but I also have the desire to put this education to use before I become just another old fart who's looking for a job.

    Are there any strong solutions to this sort of problem out there? If so, what are some good pointers on pursuing these options?

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    After reading what are in your post. Since you still have lot of money from your Post 9/11 GI Bill. I would recommend you take 1 and/or 2 years off to get a most prestigious MBA as possible. Especially, those on campus program such as Columbia University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Standford University. Do not earn a bunch of college degrees, they do not lead you anywhere. If I have a choice again, I would have a Bachelor and Master degree from the top schools.

    If you have no intention to become a college professor, then do not get a Doctorate degree unless earning a Doctorate is part of your personal enrichment.

    The On-campus program also helps you with networking among other professionals, which is where the job comes from. You don't have to rush into the civilian workforce
  3. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    I agree with TEKMAN. If you can get in, go to an elite MBA program and gut out the two years of no income. By elite I mean top 20 or 30, similar to what TEKMAN's suggesting. Don't worry about entering the workforce too late, you're younger than you think. I once thought I was old when 25, now am the reverse of those digits and realize how wrong I was.
  4. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    I'd say that if you want a doctorate, get a doctorate. You should be prepared to find that your 2-year timeline is unrealistic, though.

    Career-wise, I believe the above posters are correct. At this point in your career, the elite, 2-year, on-campus MBA will do you more good than any doctorate. See if you can get admission to Harvard Business School or another top-20 program.
  5. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    To acknowledge Stanislav's point, if you want a doctorate, go for it, at least eventually. He's also right that two years might be a little unrealistic. They generally run 4+ full time and 5+ part time. There are a few that can be pursued in less time, such as some Exec EdDs, like Penn's, or the Exec Doctor of Management from Case Western Reserve. Those programs are insanely expensive, though, and you'd definitely want to be in a situation where you rich Uncle Sam foots the full bill or the great majority.
  6. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I agree with this post, a bunch of low ranked degrees are not going to do much for you for your goals. An MBA from a top school is the way to go.

    People have the wrong idea that a doctorate is going to lead to a top business career but it is not the case, a PhD or DBA many times just leads to an academic career. An even an academic career normally requires a DBA or PhD from a top school.
  7. JP007

    JP007 Member

    I couldn't agree more about doing a full time MBA at a top b-school (think m7). That one degree will get you further than a collection of lower ranked programs. Do a top MBA program, you can always do a part time PhD for intellectual purists later on.
  8. Cosmic Fury

    Cosmic Fury New Member

    The main problem is that my GMAT scores are rather low. While my Verbal sections are top notch, my Mathematics portion went through the test with one foot in the grave. Given the fact that my four years in the Navy is really my only full time professional experience, I'm more or less barred from attending something like Harvard (which I can't afford at the moment anyway). (I only got a 590 on the thing, and I know that nothing less than a 650 is going to cut it at most institutions. My Verbal was 36 and my Quant was only a 35 and my IR suffered even more intensely on the exam... but my Essay got a perfect 6.)

    I have been applying at universities where my overall GMAT isn't as much of a burden on my admissions chances. In addition, I've been looking for those who give applicants with military experience a leg up ahead of the other competition -- something that I need greatly at this point. I've also been applying at universities that don't look at the GMAT as much they do at other qualifications, such as the various application essays as well as the professional experience that the I bring to the table from being part of the Navy.

    An on-campus program is where I truly have my heart set at. I'm very much looking into getting a good place to anchor down while I earn my MBA. Sure, it'll be a lot more expensive than getting an online degree, but quality and quantity are both on my list, and most online programs don't do the job in terms of my desires (location, time, and results). Price isn't as much of an object as it would be at any other program, because I'm looking at a pretty quick turn on my investment almost anywhere I go to.

    At the moment, the two programs I'm specifically applying to are Hult International Business School (London), as well as UT Austin (McCombs School of Business). With Hult, my scores aren't very far below their current average, and my application so far seems to be sitting very well with them. They're a highly ranked institution, and their global one-year program seems almost perfect for what I'm looking for in an internationally focused business school. With UT Austin, it's a more tentative matter. While they're closer to home (with me being a Texas resident) and my GI Bill is able to cover the entire thing, my chances of getting into there are much lower. Aside from my military experience, I don't have anything particularly spectacular to offer (aside from the ability to write). They're a great school, and my prospects for job-hunting after graduation for extremely good... BUT, I've got to get in first.

    For a DBA, I'm honestly waiting on getting my job and sticking with that for a little while before starting my program.
  9. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    That isn't that bad, little above average. Probably not Harvard B-School material (well, OK, unless you're an astronaut), and probably on the low side for UT-Austin, but service in the military must surely help and if you tell a good enough story in your essay/cover, you might get in. The last person who gets in still gets in. By the way, I'm sure everyone here would include UT-Austin McCombs among those categorized as great schools. Pretty much elite, half step down from HBS.
  10. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Yes, UT is a great school.

    BTW, my GMAT strengths/weaknesses are exact opposites :). I pretty much own math section, but don't know how to even study for Verbal.
  11. Cosmic Fury

    Cosmic Fury New Member

    Yeah, I'm not really that much about getting into HBS or similar schools. I'm not a hardcore academic, so its program won't likely suit me all that well. I'm looking for a school that looks past the test scores and assesses whether I'd be a good fit as a person, then as a student. I personally want to avoid getting funneled into an ultra-competitive system where it's solely about the numbers at play.

    In a nutshell, my dream school is one that is both high quality and fits me as a person. If I find that then my experience and education will sell themselves far better than the degree ever will. It's just too bad that I've yet to find something that helps me match schools by more than just numbers.
  12. Roy Felton

    Roy Felton New Member

    Now have you finalised your college?
  13. A few thoughts -

    You are 25, fresh out of the Navy, and pursuing a MBA, yet you have a poor GMAT score for what you want/need. You also have no business/private sector experience. Both are considered negatives.

    I would shortlist a bunch of top tier MBA programs and speak with Admissions and see how they accommodate veterans into their program. Some may have a process that minimizes the importance of the GMAT.

    As you are 25, assuming you are mobile and have no family commitments you want a 2-year, in person program. You need to build your network and get a traditional education. If you were 30+ With a family then a part-time or distance program might be an option.

    Lastly, look at the costs of each program and also consider what you will be seeking afterward. McCombs is great but is around $50K per year for full time, out of state. Top 10 are $60K+. The "deal" in the top tier is Indiana-Bloomington, especially if you can get in-state - $26K a year. What is your state of residence now?

    As to the DBA, worry about that after you get your MBA and work experience in your chosen area.
  14. Cosmic Fury

    Cosmic Fury New Member

    @ Roy

    I'm extremely close to completion, and I receive my conferral on May 9th. All of the schools I've talked to have stated that this is a non-issue, provided I graduate at/by the above printed date. If they accept me into the program, they'll set a conditional status on the acceptance, pending my graduation and submission of my degree from my school before my matriculation/enrollment/attendance.


    I'm painfully aware of these facts. I know just as much as the next guy over that I'm by no means Harvard or Duke material, thanks to my test scores and my less-than-elite undergrad degree. Despite that, I've at least got a strong shot at being able to get at least a foot in the door for many good institutions that place more emphasis on the individual applicant and their ability to pitch themselves and their story, rather than just a number (as important as it is). This is why I'm here asking around for good info and advice, mostly because I'm not really in a good position at this exact moment in time to sink another $250 into a second "shot at glory."

    For the schools themselves, an in-person program is precisely what I'm shooting for, the reasons you've stated being big factors in that decision. Despite my degree being a distance-learning program (to include that DIY aspect some people seem to frown upon), this was done out of necessity. I started up on it while I was still in the service, and am extremely close to completion. Given that I've at least got military experience and can still spin a really good yarn in relation to my very odd academic background, I know that I've at least got a snowball's chance at making it through this process.

    As I've still got the full array of GI Bill benefits (sans the 6 months I sank towards the remainder of my degree), I know that I'll not have to take out nearly as much in student loans as I would normally have to, so cost isn't nearly as big a factor for me at this stage. So long as the school provides a solid alumni network, and most of all a great learning experience, I'm all ears in terms of advice. (Since a certain number of MBA schools can easily be marketed at the interview for their name brand, a strong reputation wouldn't hurt at all either.)

    As for my state of residence happens to be Texas. However, a federal law enacted in 2015 requires all public schools to charge in-state tuition to veterans with an honorable discharge, as opposed to out-of-state tuition. Source: USA Today Article This in-state tuition law/policy does not take into account Yellow Ribbon funding, as many strong public schools have affirmed their commitment to providing veterans with a quality education without breaking their finances in doing so.

    As for any potential doctorate programs that I might be eyeballing farther down the road, I perfectly agree with you; I'm worrying about getting into (and through) the MBA program(s) of my choice first. However, I've found that my best efforts usually come when the goal sitting in front of me ends up simply being another major step on my professional and academic path forward. I'm fully aware that I've got quite a long time to decide what to do in that arena specifically; it's just that I'd rather know what I'm doing before I get to the point where I need to make major decisions on a then-and-there basis.
  15. When I applied to IU's DL program I made a point to state my online undergrad in my admission letter. I did have a strong GMAT and work experience but I don't think online degrees are as negatively viewed anymore as you might think. And my application was in 2005.

    It's great you get in-state tuition - I would give Indiana a strong look for both the strength of the program, the quality of instruction, the cost and the large alumni network.

    Good luck!
  16. Cosmic Fury

    Cosmic Fury New Member

    So, I've been (surprisingly enough) accepted into Hult! The flip side of this good news, though, is that they're of course a very expensive school to attend, given that their one-year MBA costs as much as a two-year program at most other schools. They awarded me a total of 10,000 GBP in scholarships, so that also helps in driving down costs. However, I'm still looking at having to take a hefty loan out in order to attend.

    All that remains is to confirm my place and make arrangements so that I can actually pay for attending the school, or I'm effectively SOL in terms of securing my seat there.

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