* ^ *
I am, and this sure feels more and more like a risky venture, finally going after my MBA starting in 2006, and I've gotten a lot of good intellectual information, and more than a few intimidating lessons in how far behind the cut I am likely to be, unless I can plan my course very carefully.
I have been to GMATClub.com, where I have discovered that being 45 years old with a Liberal Arts degree and a less-than-sparkling GPA, is a distinct liability.
** sigh **
Of course, those guys are all trying to get into the "Elite" schools, while I'm just trying to find the balance between one I can get into and afford, but which degree will be worth everything I will be putting into its attainment.
Lets see. First off, no scholarship. Those are mostly for full-time students, which is not an option for me. I'm going to be either part-time or Online.
Next up, why I'm going for a degree. Like most males, I spent a part of my life making stupid decisions, and three of mine were doozies:
Bad Idea #1: My dad was an engineer, so I had a vague idea at 18, that I would be one too. I figured I would get my B.S. in Chemistry from Baylor, snag a Fellowship and get my M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M. That plan fell apart when, as an "Honors" student, I took advanced courses in both Calculus and Chemistry, and failed both of them. Twice each, too.
Bad Idea #2: When it dawned on me that my only way to get through school with any kind of degree was to get away from the Chemistry major (after a 0.4 first-semester GPA, Baylor took care of me and the whole 'Honors Program' thing as any chance of a distraction, and put me instead into another program they called "Academic Probation"), I made a horrible mistake and listened to my Guidance Counselor, who assured me that an English degree was the way to go. It never occurred to me, that someone who had never been in the actual workforce could not speak for actual priorities and conditions in the workforce. As a result, my total number of job interviews my Senior year at Baylor, was zero.
Bad Idea #3: They say when you find yourself in a hole, job one is to stop digging. I did not manage to find a position with a major corporation until 2000, so that while I can honestly say that I have succeeded in my positions, the companies I have worked for are unlikely to open any eyes, much less any doors.
So here I am, having done fairly well for someone with a Liberal Arts BA, but to move up in my present company, or to seriously contend for a position with significantly better career prospects, I need the MBA. I've actually already done the work, I just need to prove the academic documentation.
The University of Phoenix has been relentless in pursuing me, but to be honest I worry about the reputation of a school which does not seem to measure the chance of success before accepting students; they don't even want a GMAT score, for example!
And the people I spoke with at GMATClub.com left no doubt that they consider getting an MBA from one of the for-profit schools to be like wearing a duck costume to an interview; sure you can do it, and theoretically it's not supposed to hurt your chances, but they are convinced in reality it won't get me where I need to be. Of course, these are the same people who fully expect to be working for six-figure salaries right after they get their MBA's, so I really need to hear from real-world people.
So here I am, sorting out which schools to apply to, how to pay for the thing, and to make sure I don't get in over my head (or is it too late already?).