I was already pursuing a MBA at the University of Colorado when my job transferred me to a new city. I had completed 6 classes with no grade lower than A-. I made the poor decision when I moved that instead of staying at CU (getting a new job), traveling for school, or attending only online classes; I would transfer to a new grad school to finish my MBA as soon as possible. At the time, graduating with the piece of paper was more important. After all of my academic successes and licenses earned, I made a very poor decision, in hindsight.
As a side note, do not transfer grad schools. Start and concentrate fully on your study and creating job opportunities. The only exception I see to this rule would be if you could transfer from an average school to a top 25 business school.
First, CTU has a policy that all work must be submitted in APA format, even short one paragraph assignments. This is a bit excessive. Additionally, the American Psychological Association style is specifically that, for psychology. It is true that other medical professions sometimes use this style, but APA is reserved for the soft sciences. I have never used APA in my undergrad, graduate, my published work (yes, I am published), or my professional reports. APA is not relevant to my work as my MBA is supposed to be relevant to the world.
Second, and my biggest problem, is that my classes were very simple. CTU was easier than my undergrad work, and I'm talking about my easier 300 level classes. My marketing class was a series of show and tell sessions where we described an everyday object. My management class required two papers a week summarizing articles. I repeatedly added my own analysis with references and graphs to which my professor replied, you are over achieving on every assignment but very good work. I was trying to challenge myself, plus that level of work was required in my previous schools. My finance management class was comprised of such subjects such as, what is a stock, what is a bond, how does life insurance work. These discussions were hardly 600 level, I felt like I was in a high school class. In one class the professor could not answer the question, what does ETF stand for?, a rather simple question. This professor was the Dean of the Finance Department. After the first two weeks of class the professor actually approached me and asked that I teach in his class. He asked that I teach certain topics, lead discussion, and through example and lecture, show the other students how to apply financial thinking and concepts. My classes continued this way in every subject. I didn’t take a single test at CTU. I was also never required to submit any final projects that were greater than any individual paper that was assigned throught a semester. My “capstone” class, which is supposed to be my chance to prove I was worthy of my MBA and include research and analysis from all subjects in the business school, was not at all like that and was one of my easiest classes. I actually took the capstone class in the middle of my semesters to get it out of the way, instead of at the end of my degree program. I was not required to take any law classes (even ignoring the fact that I had taken three business law classes at CU), only one very elementary economics/accounting class, only two finance classes (even though finance was my specialization), and no classes in operations or logistics. Unfortunately, I was getting exactly what I had asked for: the easiest way to get that piece of paper that said I have a MBA. I wanted the fast track and CTU provided the bullsh*t “schooling.”
Third, CTU advertises itself as the future of education, “career-focused,” “industry-specific,” and focused on advanced technology. None of those dash excessive adjectives were true. Not once did we work with mentors in the business world or any actual companies. Never did we discuss how our projects were mirrored to actual projects in the real world. We never had a guest speaker from a local business. While my career was pushing me harder and setting expectations for me upon graduation, my schooling at CTU seemed to be “dumbing” me down. I should have been on the payroll (which I was later offered by the Dean of Finance) than wasting time and money. We didn’t even use Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Project, Outlook, or Access for our work (although I secretly did even knowing my grade could be punished) even though those programs are used in the real world. We were forced to use some software no one outside of CTU has ever heard of or used. It was also expensive software that CTU sells. That must be part of the “for profit” designation CTU carries. None of our work was ever shared with local businesses to show our potential as employees to those businesses. I would never use any of my school work from CTU to sell myself in interviews, I do use work samples from my CU schooling in interviews to prove I can work for employers. That was what CU advised me to do, and has received many kudos from interviewers. CTU promises a nontraditional college experience with a focus on technology like in the real world. The extent of CTU’s technology was using email to communicate to teachers (that’s not groundbreaking), submitting papers online (also not groundbreaking but funny when the papers were prepared in class and the teacher couldn’t accept them directly to his computer but we all sat there wasting time waiting for our work to upload, then the professor had to open the papers individually), then meeting as teams in some classes in the CTU online chat rooms. The irony being that I rarely talked to a team member in or out of class as it was explicitly against guidelines. This “advanced” technology made all teamwork a hassle and counterproductive. That was the extent of technology at CTU, PowerPoint for presentations was accepted sometimes but not supported. I even had more than one professor state they would not share their PowerPoint notes and lectures with the class because that was their work, not ours. I still don’t understand why you would teach from PowerPoint slides but not allow students to review those slides after class when studying. Furthermore, the online portion of each class (whether it was 50% or 100% of the attendance) was forced and almost every professor complained about it. CTU has yet to figure out how to use an online platform to teach, their attempts are so awkward and made work very difficult.
Lastly, CTU has little to no career services. They try to pass off their very small and security job dominated job fairs as career helpful. But these aren’t helpful since almost no local or nonlocal businesses attend, and no one in the business school is attempting a degree of being a security officer. They have only one person on staff to help with interview preparation and resume building. I feel that a graduate candidate should already have these skills and professionals they can network with, but apparently this is not true at CTU. The career services employee came straight from 20 some years in the military and did not have any educational or professional experience to qualify him as a career services mentor. The marketing professor invited him to come to our class and effectually waste an entire period teaching us about resumes. The info presented was misleading, incorrect, and horrible. I have worked in HR depts., I have worked closely with HR depts. and employees professionally and in networking, and I have my own mentors and experiences to back me up. This career services individual “taught” all the wrong things to do as the only right way to write a resume. He taught that the longer the resume the better because it shows the candidate has more experience (no matter the quality of the experience or resume), he taught many pages are best. He taught that sections titled hobbies, interests, skills, qualifications, education, licenses, should all be separate sections, even though some of those are synonyms for each other. He also said that personal interests should be included, the more the better. I still don’t know what my interest in cooking, bird watching, and UFC have to do with getting a financial analyst job, not to mention I don’t even like those things particularly. He also promoted the use of objectives (I don’t agree but I do accept that many people do like the objective section), but he specifically stated the objective should be many sentences, include as many adjectives as possible, and does not need to relate to the actual job being sought (I wholeheartedly disagree).
I had many, many other problems with CTU but I achieved exactly what I intended: a piece of paper that says I have a MBA. I list my MBA on my resume. But I regret how I failed myself by taking the easy way out, and I didn’t even save money. Fortunately, I was able to finish my MBA in six months; unheard of from real schools.
During my time at CTU and since, I have passed the Series 7 and 66, passed the CFA Level 1 and 2 tests, earned an insurance license, and taken the LSAT. I’m hoping those accomplishments fill my gap the MBA doesn’t.