Why I took the Quantic MBA?
A college business professor takes and reviews the program
If you're reading this then you've probably come across online ads for the Quantic MBA program and you're wondering if it's worth it. I got targeted ads for years before I finally pulled the trigger and enrolled in the program. The pandemic meant the classes I was teaching at Conestoga College moved to Zoom. Since I wasn't commuting to work anymore, I had some time on my hands. So, you may ask, was it worth it? The short answer is absolutely yes!
Why I was interested in an MBA
An MBA is unusual as far as grad degrees go. Most masters degree are highly specialized. An MBA is different. It takes a specialist and turns them into a generalist with broad business training in a dozen different areas. It's perfect for an engineering graduate, for instance, who aspires to management. I'm no engineer but an MBA was something I had considered since doing my undergrad in political science. My University of Waterloo program was co-op education which meant I completed six work terms of 4 months each and took a few business courses. This kept mom and dad happy. After graduation I did an MA in journalism, worked as a reporter/anchor for CTV News in Northern Ontario and found a side gig teaching communications courses at Laurentian University. I liked teaching and eventually landed a full-time job teaching journalism at Conestoga College and earned a doctorate from Charles Sturt University. My journalism teaching evolved into teaching in a public relations program, which evolved into teaching courses in social media marketing. I had a little business training but I felt like I could offer more to students if I took an MBA.
What drew me to Quantic
For years, I had been casually browsing MBA programs online. I wasn't looking for the best and most prestigious program. If you're looking to join a top consulting firm then those pricey elite programs could be worth it. I really just wanted the best value and something that would fit into my lifestyle. Did I mention I have five kids? There are a ton of online MBAs and many published rankings. When I started in 2020, Quantic offered a free MBA and an Executive MBA that was $10K USD. Today, Quantic charges for both programs BUT scholarships are offered. The program is accredited and has lots of grads in top companies.
Getting into Quantic
Quantic is selective. There is a tendency to judge the worth of an MBA program by how many people it rejects. If this is important to you then you will be pleased to know that Quantic only accepts 13% of applicants across it's MBA and Executive MBA programs.
Quantic has a great hook to entice people to apply. You get to try free courses in accounting, finance, economics, accounting etc. You even get a business foundations certificate when you finish those introductory courses. The only catch is that you have to start an application to the school. There's no charge for this but the hook is set. The course delivery is impressive (more on this later) and once I had a taste I wanted the whole program.
Completing the package of introductory courses is considered in your application. You also submit a resume, your transcripts, a letter explaining why you want to attend etc. You're then given a video interview with an admissions officer. If they like the cut of your jib then you'll get a formal written offer. Because I had been working for many years, I was offered a place in the Executive MBA and a 75% scholarship. That meant I would only be paying $2500 USD. I was still a little hesitant but my wife said I've been talking about it as long as she'd known me and I should just go for it. I paid my tuition and a couple of months later started my MBA journey.
What is the Quantic program like?
The Quantic learning platform
The platform is what people would call "gamified." It's actually quite remarkable and when I started using it I thought I was looking at the future of online courses. Quantic claims you interact with the platform every 9 seconds to promote what's known as "sticky learning." I thought it was far better than just reading material or watching video lectures.
I found it really easy to work on my course in chunks as short as 15 minutes. I was regularly working on the program on my phone in the car while waiting for my kids somewhere. It's hard to carve out 3 hours to go to a class but there are lots of 15 minute windows throughout the day.
The program includes the usual MBA courses such as accounting, finance, organizational behaviour, economics, marketing, strategy, operations, data analysis, etc. There were less common courses too such as block chain. You finish the Executive MBA program with a capstone project where you create a business plan in a small group. More on that later.
Overall, I came away very impressed with the course content. Everything was up to date, thorough, and well explained. Students complete 9 mandatory courses and 3 electives. The best part is that I still have access to all the courses after graduation so I can go in for a refresher. They even give you summary documents. I can also complete any electives I didn't choose while enrolled. Right now, I'm working on the Supply Chain specialization, for instance. One of my capstone teammates has completed every single elective Quantic offers.
Students could discuss course material on Slack and there were opportunities to meet with professors over Zoom to ask questions. Work was assessed through tests, case studies, and projects. Students had to work through all the material before they can be assessed. There's even an online graduation ceremony.
Networking and Group Work
Like most MBA programs, Quantic has group work but it's only a few projects. There are students all over the world but Quantic helps you team up with students in the same time zone to make things easier. I found some great students to work with on an accounting case study early in the program. It went great and we stuck together for the rest of the program including the final capstone project. Our team members included an engineer/project manager, a dentist/real estate developer, a supply chain manager, and a marketer. I'm pretty proud of our work and we're currently semi-finalists in Quantic's business plan competition.
Team work is one of the best parts of the program. One of the reasons to take an MBA is to network with others and Quantic students are eager to connect. There are guest speakers, lots of meetups on Zoom and even clubs for discussing business podcasts, and books. There are real life meetups as well. I live about an hour west of Toronto and there was a real life meetup just recently.
Is the Quantic MBA Worth It?
If I were to identify one shortcoming with the program it's that you don't develop a relationship with your professors because it doesn't really work that way. Building relationships with students is something I find important and you just can't do it with a program like this one. I can say without a doubt the program is worth the time and money. I achieved all my goals and it didn't cost me an arm and a leg. In fact, it has exceeded my expectations. My competence and confidence have grown. I'm still networking with Quantic grads and taking business courses.