When I was researching MBA programs I really did not consider the University of Indianapolis Executive MBA Program that meets on Saturdays because, well, it was on Saturdays! I could not imagine giving up every Saturday for over two and a half years. I was a mother of a 2 year old and thought I would be missing out on too much. I elected to do an off campus cohort program and never looked back, until I visited the Saturday program a few weeks ago.
Wow. Those people looked well rested on a Saturday morning compared to my evening classmates. I guess that is a benefit in not having to attend class after work two nights a week. I don’t ever remember feeling that refreshed in an MBA class after working all day. The other benefit is that the quality of instruction is not diminished, the Saturday program enjoys the same instructors and instruction time as the other UIndy MBA Programs.
In talking with a few of the Saturday MBA students I was surprised to find out that many of them had young children at home. I had a complete shift in my thinking as I listened to one Dad tell me that he loved being home for his children's bed time every night. He told me that knowing he would be gone on the weekends, extended family and friends picked up in his absence with activities and help around the house. He said that the evenings around his house are hectic for two parents and his wife appreciated not having to do two of those alone every week. He agreed that the MBA program was a big time commitment, but having the Saturday option made it less stressful for him as a husband and father.
Another benefit is the group work coordination. The Saturday cohort has lunch together, which provides an excellent opportunity to work on group projects or have a study session. For our evening program most of us were too tired after class to even entertain the idea of getting together after class so we would have to get together on a non-class night or a weekend morning. But, at 3:30pm on a Saturday, you can easily work together for a while and be home by dinner without having to sacrifice any more time to group meetings.
One student shared with me that on Monday and Tuesdays he focuses on any practice problems, homework or reading for his morning class. Wednesdays and Thursdays he works on the afternoon class and he takes Fridays and Sundays off in terms of his MBA studies unless there is a test or project that needs his attention.
In hearing these stories and looking at the Saturday program through the eyes of those who have made the commitment, I see why it’s a huge benefit for many people.