Is the MBA (with co-op) program right for me?

This program is typically geared towards two categories of people; new graduates and those looking to change their career. The program is ideal for high-calibre students that have little to no work experience (usually less than 2 years).

What are my choices of MBA (with co-op) programs in Canada?

There are very few programs that offer the MBA with co-op. In Canada, the two programs that stand out are the programs at Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, ON) and McMaster University (Hamilton, ON; *MBA taught in Burlington, ON).  These programs offer a highly integrated experience with alternating school and work terms. The table below is a synthesis of the research I did when deciding which school to apply to.

In terms of the average GMAT score, tuition, and average starting salary after graduation, the two programs are on par with each other. However, there is a difference when it comes to the acceptance rates; 57% for McMaster versus 30% for Laurier. The acceptance rate is a very important criteria that serves as a good proxy to the quality of the program and the reputation of the program from an employer standpoint. The Laurier program appears to be highly competitive and has similar acceptance rates as McGill (30%), Schulich (27%), Rotman (44%), and UBC (40%).

Other criteria that must also be taken into consideration are the opportunity cost of attending a 28-month program versus a 20-month program and the location of the program. Laurier is located in Waterloo, the heart of Canada’s technology triangle, and this alone provides many benefits to the learning experience and work opportunities. McMaster’s main campus is located in Hamilton, although the MBA program will be located in the brand new Ron Joyce Center in Burlington. The location of the program is a key criteria since the networking opportunities provided by an MBA program is one of its most attractive features.

Both of these MBA programs are well-respected and each offers a unique MBA experience. Just to let everyone know, I decided to apply to the Laurier MBA only.

I also came across a well written article on the benefits of a co-op MBA program. To access it, click here.

It is  important to note that University of Victoria also offers a co-op program, although it is not integrated into the core curriculum in the same way as the Laurier and McMaster programs. For more information, click here.

Also, in 2009, Dalhousie University launched Canada’s first Corporate Residency MBA program. For more information, click here.

Link to: Wilfrid Laurier MBA

Facebook: The Laurier MBA

Link to: McMaster MBA

Sources:

Financial Post: http://www.financialpost.com/executive/canadian-mba-programs/index.html

Macleans: http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/09/16/m-b-a-rankings/

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