3. Flexible structure: Other students choose part-time M.B.A. programs due to family obligations. Geoff Boltach, a part-time student at Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business, says he'd prefer a full-time program. But as a business owner with two children below the age of six, he decided a part-time program fit his lifestyle.
Professional and family obligations also moved Sean Nowlin to choose a part-time M.B.A. Nowlin, who is the senior display media manager at PPC Associates, a digital marketing company in San Francisco, is currently studying at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management.
Nowlin advises students who have just finished their undergraduate programs, as well as those who are considering changing companies or careers, to consider a full-time M.B.A. and finish as quickly as possible. Aspiring executives who are a few years out of school should get their M.B.A.'s part time, he says.
[Learn why online M.B.A.'s remain controversial.]
Although part-time M.B.A. programs can be flexible and cost effective, there are drawbacks, according to Gonring, the McDonald's spokesman. "You may be squeezing in extra development and learning, but you definitely pay for it with your free time," he says.
Even part-time programs require "immense" amounts of studying, echoes Meredith Kinsey, a part-time M.B.A. student at Clemson University's College of Business and Behavioral Science who is executive director of marketing and corporate communications at Green Cloud Technologies in Greenville, S.C.
"It is imperative that you manage your time wisely," she says, "to ensure you have enough of you to go around—for work, school, your family, and yourself."
Searching for a business school? Get our complete rankings of Best Business Schools.