On Choosing an MBA Program

I am still in complete shock that I am ENGAGED!! I want to write a full post on the proposal but I need to calm my self down before I can! So now for our regularly scheduled post…on choosing an MBA program.


For me, the biggest concerns were location, cost, curriculum and class offereings and overall feel. When I decided I wanted to get my MBA I really jumped in with two feet. Everything moved quickly but I did make sure that my three biggest concerns were mulled over.


When it came to location I knew I had two options – close to home (somewhere on the northshore) or in the city. Both had their benefits. Boston has countless schools with MBA programs for both full and part time students and focuses galore! This would however mean commuting into the city after work (before I worked in the city) or staying in the city after work. I also considered that there would be group project which may require trips into the city on weekends.

I came to the conclusion that a school on the northshore (there were two I was considering) would be better for me. SSU won out on this front because it was the cheaper of the two options. Which leads me to my next big concern, cost.


Cost was a big deal for me. When I started my program I was in a lower paying job that did not offer tuition help or reimbursement. I knew I would be paying a large chunk out of pocket then taking out a loan if need be (luckily I never needed to). Grad school is expensive. Books are expensive. Other fees and miscellaneous costs are expensive.

I felt comfortable in my decision to attend Salem State because their costs were more affordable for me than schools in Boston or even other schools on the northshore. I was lucky to briefly take a job that ended up paying for 3 of my classes even though I only worked there for 5 months. Five months was about all I could take!

Curriculum and Class Offerings

When I started my program I had no idea what I was going to focus on. SSU does not make you choose a focus but offers a few to choose from. Their curriculum offers foundation courses, core course and wide variety of electives. After taking all of the foundation courses and a few of the core courses I realized I loved marketing and chose to take 3 marketing electives to round out my studies.

My program was geared towards individuals who work and are earning their degree on a part time basis. I was however considered a full time student for a few semesters! All but one of my classes were offered at night to make it possible to have a full time job and still be able to get to class on time.


You know how if something isn’t right you just know it? I never got that feeling with SSU. From taking classes pre-matriculation to meeting with the MBA coordinator to schedule my classes to spending numerous hours in the library, SSU just felt right.

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Looking back, I am glad this journey is over but if I had to do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am very happy with the school and the program I chose because it work for me and my life. Is it right for everyone, no way. But do as I say and not as I do…and I say choose a school that works for you in terms of location, cost, curriculum and overall feel.

Peace out friends and I promise a full proposal recap as soon as I can truly fathom that I am a bride-to-be!

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Emily Hursty, MBA

Officially Emily Hursty, MBA!! I can’t believe it and I am so excited!

Emily Hursty, MBA

When I arrived on campus for the ceremony I met up with a few fellow grads who have been with me thoughts this long crazy journey. Each of these beautiful, accomplished women have inspired me in different ways throughout the years.

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Denise is a mother of 6 (!!!!) and still found the time to push herself through this programs. Ashley lives over an hour away from campus and still made the hike multiple times a week to Salem to complete this program. I just met Sarah this semester and she was in both of my classes. She and her now husband got married in Iceland (check out my trip recaps here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4) this semester and she still maintained an astonishing GPA. I wish nothing but the best to these ladies!

Just before the ceremony were were all lined up in the gym and ready to make out entrance to Pomp and Circumstance.



Commencement exercises

As soon as I sat I immediately opened the Commencement Exercises brochure just to make sure my name was in there…not that I was worried but its still good to see! After a few great speeches, it was time to award the diplomas.


(Source: emilyh1020 instagram)

I still can’t believe it!! I really am Emily Hursty, MBA! A.MAZE.ING!

SL was happy for me too! We briefly celebrated at the champagne reception and snapped a few shots. Well, Sarah snapped them for us…thanks Sarah!

official MBA

After this we met my parents, sister and her boyfriend for a delicious dinner to celebrate. I didn’t take any pictures because I was starving and concentrating on family time. As for today…working from home, maybe some TRX but mostly just enjoying my new title, Emily Hursty, MBA!