Evening & Weekend vs. Executive MBA programs: How to choose, part II

By Julia Sprague

There’s more than one path to an MBA, and for many people, a full-time program just isn’t in the cards. Perhaps you’ve already launched your career, or have started a family.

That’s why we offer two part-time MBA programs. The Evening & Weekend program is designed to be a three-year, six-semester program; our executives program meets every three weeks from Thursday through Saturday over the course of 19 months.

Both programs offer the same rich resources and result in the same Berkeley degree. But which MBA schedule is right for you? In this two-part series (See Part I), we spoke with two couples in which each partner chose a different part-time program.

Berkeley EMBA student Tatiana MedvedevaTatiana Medvedeva and Sergey Averchenkov live in Mountain View and are engaged to be married. Both are Russian – she’s from St. Petersberg, he’s from Moscow – but they met in the U.S. in 2011. Sergey will receive his degree from the evening and weekend program in 2017, while Tatiana will graduate from the executive program in December 2015.

Why did you both decide to get your degrees at the same time?

She said:  We were both at a place in our careers where going to business school just made sense. The timing for both of us was good, before we decide to have children.

What are you each doing professionally besides studying at Berkeley?

He said:  I’m Vice President of the Engineering Department at Gbox, a small start-up in Redwood City. We’re just coming out of stealth mode, trying to create a business engine for creative people to monetize on movie-making capabilities.

She said:  I’m a Director of Product Management for Intermedia, a company that provides cloud services for small and medium-sized businesses.

How did you decide between the Executive MBA and the Evening & Weekend MBA programs?Berkeley Evening & Weekend MBA student Sergey Averchenkov

He said: I chose the evening and weekend program because I wanted to have more time to pursue extracurricular activities and the schedule is less intense than that of the executive program. Ultimately, I want to build my own start-up – I’m now working on creating my own business plan and model.

She said: I felt like 19 months was a better timeline for me. Within the class demographic, I knew I would be among peers with very similar experiences to mine. I also had more flexibility around my work schedule than Sergey, so I could take a couple of days off every few weeks.

What are the challenges of being a “two MBA” household?

She said:  Time is definitely the main issue. It’s a challenge that we have different class schedules – when I have a break, he’s busy with his homework. It’s difficult to coordinate our down-time.

He said: We do like to fantasize what will happen once we have our free time back! We’re making this significant investment to advance in our careers. So a frequent topic of discussion is: What’s next? How are we going to achieve our goals?

What are the advantages?

He said: We’re definitely benefiting from exposure to the networks of both programs. The connections and people have been just unbelievable. We’ve made more friends in the past six months than in the past ten years. And the professors in both programs have been phenomenal.

She said: You can’t go wrong when you’re ranked among the top ten U.S. business schools. We’ve really been enjoying the classroom atmosphere. And Haas was a great fit in terms of the culture. It’s very open – everyone is so generous with sharing their experience, information, and collaborative studying. You don’t always find that in other business schools. It’s one of the main reasons we chose Haas.

—Kirsten Mickelwait

To take a closer look at how each program works, compare Berkeley MBA programs.

Compare Berkeley MBA Programs

Posted on March 25, 2015
Themes: MBA Benefits
Julia Sprague
Julia is Associate Director of Admissions for the Berkeley MBA Programs for Working Professionals. She hopes these blog posts provide you with more personal insight into the Berkeley-Haas and Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA program experience.