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Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 1am

HEC Montreal Student Lori Weiss on the One-Year MBA

HEC Montreal Student Lori Weiss on the One-Year MBA main image

I am a New Yorker at heart. I was born and raised in northeastern New Jersey, and that has played a huge part in developing my values. Inevitably, it contributed to my need for a fast pace and quick-witted thinking. For my undergraduate program, I completed a four-year degree in three and a half years, and I knew that my graduate school studies would also need to go faster than normal. That is why, in the end, I knew that a one-year MBA suited me better than a two-year program. I felt no need to drag out a program that could ultimately be quicker.

It also made sense from a financial standpoint. By completing the program in only one year, I would be out of work for a brief time period. This meant that I would lose only one year’s worth of income, thus giving me a quicker return on investment (ROI). Also, I would need to pay only one year’s worth of tuition, drastically reducing my cost of education. Frankly, it also meant that I would be out of the workforce for a limited amount of time, so I would be unlikely to miss any important changes. With the rapid pace that technology changes, this was a major advantage, considering my field of interest.

Regarding the qualitative factors, I should be honest in saying that I much prefer work over school. I love the idea of school, but I do not love being a student. Don’t get me wrong – there are some great benefits of being a student. Every day is different and I avoid having a monotonous schedule. I can also go to the grocery store when nobody else is there. In all honesty, though, the benefits I perceive of being an employee far outweigh those of being a student.

As a worker, I see the funds in my bank account rising, rather than falling. I get to really enjoy evenings and weekends without having to think about a million different projects. Vacations are true mental breaks, rather than simply a get-away that still involves work. I have always said that I value a work-life balance and school does not truly allow room for that. Only at a job could I really control my schedule.

Knowing how I feel about the difference between work and school, deciding on the length of my MBA studies was a decision that was made long before I accepted the offer at HEC Montreal. I knew that, if I were to return to school after my BA, the program would need to be short and sweet. Though I am a good student and I adore education and learning, it was important for me to return to the labor market as fast as possible.

When I applied to MBA programs, I had submitted my forms to two schools: York University’s Schulich and HEC Montreal. I wanted to keep my options open, and both programs appealed to me for different reasons. In the end, though, the choice was clear. Looking at the quantitative and qualitative benefits that a one-year MBA program afforded me, I knew that enrolling at HEC Montreal would be the best choice. It had everything I wanted and more, particularly due to the duration of the program.

I should note that I am extremely happy with the choice that I made. The one-year program has given me just enough time to reflect on my career aspirations, discover new subjects, and absorb the core business concepts that I hoped to learn. I am also happily pursuing post-MBA career options already. Though I have not been out of work long, I am looking forward to jumping right back in. I would not have wanted my journey to go any other way.


About Lori Weiss

Lori Weiss recently got her MBA from HEC Montreal, where she was recently awarded the Global Citizenship Scholarship for her Campus Abroad trip to Russia. She has been involved in many activities at HEC Montreal, including her role as International Affairs Director for the student association and as an HEC Montreal team member for the Rotman CSR case competition. Prior to pursuing her MBA, Lori acquired five years of work experience as a Communications Manager for a Canadian Immigration law firm. Lori enjoys blogging and maintains her blog, Lori’s HEC Montreal MBA Experience, during her studies.

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