Each year a strong contingent of Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (GDBA) students go on to gain admission into the SFU Beedie full-time MBA program (see below for details). Today I am going to look at the transition from the two programs.
I have broken it down into 3 categories:
-If you qualify for full course waivers, then you will be starting in the second semester in January. Instead of 2 to 3 courses per semester, you will be taking at least 6 (but most likely 8). However, do not be alarmed! These courses are staggered and condensed. For instance, in the GDBA you might have taken BUS 557 over a 4-month period and simultaneously, two other courses. In the MBA program, the equivalent course, BUS 719 is condensed into 5 to 6 weeks. In essence, the classes are staggered but “shorter.” This also means that they are very intensive and will require more of your time.
-Be prepared to go from virtually zero face-to-face time to spending the majority of your day with your cohort. A typical day starts at 9:30AM. Class will usually end at 1PM but you will probably stay to study or work on a case or assignment with your peers.
-As a GDBA graduate, you can work the first semester since you won’t start school until January. Once you start full-time in January, it is strongly advised to not work. But, if you want to be a workhorse to support your vices (such as excessive shopping) then maybe you will want to opt for a part-time weekend job for some pocket change. However, for the normal human being, this would be spreading oneself thin and scheduling will be tricky, especially when most courses require group work. More importantly, you might burn out. Plus, if you have a pocket of time, go enjoy yourself! Go work out, relax, or see your friends that you will probably neglect for the next 12 months in school.
-Your friends (outside of the program), as mentioned in the previous section, will probably feel neglected because aside from your academic schedule, you will be thrust into various mandatory events and take part in optional meetings that you might not have been aware of while in the GDBA program. These will take up the rest of your time. These include Career Management Centre workshops, clubs (such as: Segal Case Club, Graduate Business Students Association, Net Impact, Graduate Business Women’s Council, and more), networking, recruitment and speaker events, which take place before or after class. On the bright side, you will gain lots of new friends and for sure be spending lots of time together. Moreover, you will make life-long connections.
The GDBA program is itself an excellent transition tool into the MBA program because the courses taken in the GDBA are fully applicable in the MBA program. Second, the work ethic that you develop and establish in the GDBA will be the foundation for the MBA program because you will require this and more focus and energy in the MBA program.
Diana is a full-time SFU Beedie MBA Student with an undergraduate degree in Health Sciences. She has a passion for wine and travelling. She is the VP Finance for the Graduate Business Student Association. Connect with Diana on LinkedIn or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thinking about the MBA?
The GDBA is a great way to start your MBA at SFU Beedie. Most GDBA courses can be transferred for advance credit in the MBA, allowing you to complete your MBA in less time. You can start online and then move into face to face mode when you are ready. Students can use the GDBA to shorten the time it takes for the MBA; to test the waters a bit – to see if an MBA is right for them; to take advantage of flexibility of online delivery before moving into a face to face program or even to improve their grade point average to qualify for admission to the MBA.
If an MBA isn’t your goal, that’s okay too – many students find that what they learn in the program meets their current needs. And in the future, the door to an MBA is always open.