Masters of Science in Project Management….AKA Nope, not an MBA….

I have decided that instead of going for my MBA that I am going for MS in Project Management. YUP! I’m jumping in! I start next week.

So we this instead of an MBA? I have zero interest in finance, economics, accounting etc. and when it comes down to it, the two things I like the most about my career path is organizing data (Hey! Its not OCD its therapy for anxiety and chaos!) and managing projects. I want to strengthen the project side. And I just like school. And I want a pretty Master’s feather in my cap. And saying I am a MASTER OF SCIENCE… will just be F’ing cool. I will so introduce myself like, Hi…I am Chantal… MASTER OF SCIENCE! And then they will be all like, oh yeah, how do you make kryptonite..and then Ill be like, um, WRONG SCIENCE SUCKA! And they will be like, what kinda science? And I will be like…um Project Management…..ITS A SCIENCE! NAY.. AN ART! RECOGNIZE MY GLORIOUS FEATHER IN MY CAP!

So yup, here we go. I decided to not go down the prestigious/expensive school path (Northwestern/UIC)…cuz people. And am going w. the online classes cuz with 4 kids I need to do this when I can. Like when they are asleep, or during lunch at work, or its a GREAT excuse for mommy time. “Honey, I need you to watch the kids for a couple hours…gotta study!” And w. online school…there are less people.

I just hope people don’t hear online school and think…oh thats not like REAL school…cuz according to my peeps that have done both ways, they are both pretty equal in the education/hard/homework/project department. So we shall see.

Also w. this path I will get my PMP which is something that says you are Queen of Project Management. So I will have all sorts of feathers and crowns, maybe a tiara.  And I will feel like a ROCKSTAR.

Wish me luck!

MBA: School synopsis



Ok so I have narrowed it down to 3! I have done several admission events and I am going to apply to Northwestern/Kellogg, Loyola/Quinlan and DePaul/Kellstadt.

I’m on the fence about DePaul because I couldn’t find event I could go to that didn’t require me to take time off of work.

I eliminated University of Chicago/Booth due to the fact that there was an overwhelming number of engineers/ math peeps in the program and they were very…unsocial. Which as in introvert wouldn’t be a problem but half the reason to shell out that cash is the network. And as one of the guys I talked to at my Northwestern class visit, who was accepted to both, said “I can’t imagine having a beer with the crew at Booth” I can see his point.

So Northwestern is my number one. I have the GMAT on April 18th….I am very worried about it….and hope I get a decent score! But as my boss said, “dude they want your money.” So who knows. Maybe I’ll get lucky!

I also really liked Loyola, especially since they recently started offering classes in the Northwest burbs at Cuneo in Vernon Hills. Very convienent and beautiful facility. So they are my number two.

Fingers crossed!

In other news….tomorrow is my first 10k!!! Wish me luck!!

Researching MBA Programs…..AKA Time to up my Lopram dosage!

So I have decided that I want to complete my MBA. Yeah I may be nuts.

IMG_4370

I have 4 big reasons for this

1: I want to make sure my boys know the importance of education and that it doesn’t ever end.

2: I want to show the world that women, esp moms, can kick ass.

3: Just plain old ambition, I would like to get to the executive level in business where I can make a real impact.

4: Build an awesome networking community and gain security in my ability to obtain and keep jobs.

Other reasons being that I would love to be the first person in my family to get an MBA, it would make The Husband insanely proud, I think its important to put yourself out of your comfort zone and I just love learning. I have always loved school.

So. I have completed my first step, which has taken me a couple weeks. Researching programs. I have probably looked into at least a couple dozen schools. I have narrowed my secondary research to 6 schools, which are in varying levels of intensity/rankings. So my next step will be to attend information sessions to get a better feel for each school and to start studying for my GMAT. And yeah…I haven’t looked at a math book in over a decade…so when I see this in the GMAT math workbook…

gmatmath

I kinda wanted to curl up, die and say screw all of this. But I am working through the workbook and the math is coming back surprisingly fast! There are test sections in Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative reasoning. Now depending on the school, the average score for accepted applicants widely varies. A perfect score is 800. Northwestern and University of Chicago peeps average around 720(very good, like 95% good)…..kinda intimated there! The others on my list below vary between 540 and 650 (average to good). Feel a much more confident that I can hit those numbers, but will try for the 700s! So when the kids go to bed…I am studying…a lot.

I have been reading TONS of articles and blogs on the benefits of an MBA. (another) Some articles that say the opposite. Others about going to a prestigious school vs a more affordable school. Executive MBA vs regular MBA where you can have a concentration. The information gets overwhelming from time to time but has helped tremendously in giving me an idea of where I want to focus. I want to apply to Northwestern and University of Chicago because they are ranked as the absolute best in the Chicagoland area, will give me a huge amount of credibility and a great network system. HOWEVER, who knows if I will actually get in and wow…I could get a vacation house with the cost (which my husband comes back with, the ROI would come through the salary I could get in the future with an MBA from those schools). The other 4 I feel more confident I can get accepted too and the people in the programs will be less intimidating to my introvert self, while at the same time they are good schools that I will learn a lot from and I will gain networking.

If you are curious, here is my lil table I made for myself to compare my top 6 that I have decided to focus on. Decision factors were location, flexibility/when classes were available (focusing on Saturday classes), total time until completion and ranking vs cost.

School Program PROS CONS Smart Ranking Status
University of Chicago Weekend MBA/EMBA Best School, Opens a lot of doors, networking, Weekend classes, Mangerial and Org Behavior concentration or Stategic Management concentration, Wekeend classes/EMBA goes to Hong Kong and London expensive as  hell, 121K in 2 years, hard to get in (20%)/$148K +airfare to HongKong and London, DT Chicago Campus 4 Weekend MBA or Executive MBA requested info, started application process, registered for info session
Northwestern/Kellogg MBA -Saturday program #2 Best School, Opens a lot of doors, networking, Saturday program hard to get in(20%), 122K in 2 years, DT Chicago Campus 7 Saturday MBA- starts in JUNE, 2-5 years requested info, started application process, registered for info session
DePaul MBA_Weekend Cohort Good school, good rep, couple interesting concentrations, 52K$, weekend cohort ohare campus, weekend cohort assigns concentration 91 Weekends requested info, started application process
NIU EMBA EMBA NIU alumni, international trip, 2 years, Saturday only classes, 50K$, Hoffman Estates Campus full schedule, no concentrations 149 Weekends requested info
Loyola MBA Good school, Vernon Hills Campus, 77K Rep isnt as high as others, not excited about concentrations but can do general with project mgmt type electives 156 Weekends/Evening requested info, started application process, info session scheduled
LFMBA MBA Good chicago land rep, affordable, Several friends go here, super flexible, no GMAT, Org Behavior Concentration not accredited, Not mentioned in top Chicago MBA articles Weekends/Online/Evenings requested info, started application process