Morning classes ideal for full-time employees - Metro US

Morning classes ideal for full-time employees

Students interested in earning an MBA who don’t have time to attend evening or weekend classes now have a solution, thanks to the University of Toronto’s morning MBA program.

“People have very busy lives that often don’t allow them to study in a full- or part-time evening program,” says Richard Powers, associate dean and executive director of MBA programs at U of T’s Rotman School of Management.

The idea behind the morning MBA is simple: Classes are held two days a week, from 7-9 a.m. “We’re four minutes from the subway, and we guarantee you’ll be out by nine,” says Powers, who developed the program. Like the part-time evening program, the morning MBA forgoes an internship and can be completed within three years.

“I thought there was a segment of the market whose needs weren’t being met,” he says. “They didn’t wish to leave a job for financial reasons, or their schedules, whether it was family or personal or business, did not allow them to attend classes at 6:30 at night.”

Powers did some research and was surprised to discover “nobody had ever done it. In fact, our dean’s first response was, ‘Maybe there’s a reason for that,’” he says.

So far, the program has been successful, with more than 30 students enrolled in 2007, and more than 40 enrolments in 2008. “Students have found it’s easier to come into work a little bit later in the morning than it is to leave earlier in the evening,” says Powers.

The program is challenging, yet manageable, says Louise Biggar, a morning MBA student who will graduate in 2011. “I think what’s special about (it) is the average work experience is much greater than a full-time MBA student,” she says. “Often when we do group projects, my classmates will bring their experience to bear, and it makes for a much richer class discussion.”

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