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  • henry2
    replied


    As a soon to be graduating MBA, I feel that my perspective is somewhat skewed, but not in the manner that you would expect. I am actually quite opposed to the idea of entrepreneurs who are set on their career path to obtain a MBA - and this is spoken from someone who has always wanted to continue down the road of entrepreneurship.


    For some perspective - take a look at this link:

    http://thewalnutstreetjournal.blogspot.com/


    ...and also this link:

    http://www.humbledmba.com/beware-of-mbas-the-business-school-curriculum


    If you have any more questions - please do ask them.

    Leave a comment:


  • nicholascrawford
    replied


    In my mind, the time spent getting an MBA is absolutely worth it. The question is the money. If it's paid by your employer, you're almost foolish not to (can't speak for everyone). But if you're paying for it, there should be some real thought before jumping in.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kooky
    replied


    I read someone's post where they were discussing starting a company. In your case I would see if I could take some online classes on entrepreneurship, and start networking with local small business owners.


    Instead of investing that 100k in an education you might not use, I suggest investing your spare time and money into a business idea.


    Although on the other hand, about 15% of my classmates have started their own businesses right after grad school after specializing in entrepreneurial studies.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kooky
    replied


    I am about 50% through my MBA at NYU (part-time). I have taken the slow approach so the entire process will take about 4 years total. I am currently 32. I decided to get a MBA to round out my career skills (no financial background).


    About a year ago, I changed jobs. My new job was obtained through contacts (students) and friends through NYU. The MBA degree (pending, obviously) gave me a tremendous advantage over other candidates. Over the next three years, the salary increase from my new job will more than pay for the tuition and loans I have for grad school.


    If you go through with it, I would suggest finding the best program in your area and leverage any and all resources at your disposal. Reach out to alumni, classmates, and professors. Do not expect to get a degree and have everything handed to you. Make sure that the MBA degree will propel you further in your career.

    Leave a comment:


  • chetsteadman
    replied


    @zerostyle - sorry, I've been meaning to chime in regarding your first reply.


    I think an MBA could prove absolutely worthwhile in your field, whether or not you decide to leave the corporate world.


    While people don't typically think of the MBA as a fast-track to an entrepreneurial career, the fact is that MBA's have incredible access to entrepreneurship resources.


    For one, a lot of the schools have their own in-house accelerators that are actually very well-connected.


    Second, professors (many of whom have experience as PE/VC investors, board members, and entrepreneurs) are often very eager to help students out with advice and connections.


    Third, it's no coincidence that MBA's are disproportionately represented at accelerators like LightBank and Y Combinator--you have people with plenty of drive and the free time/resources to actually bring ventures to light. I can't count how many of my classmates have received significant seed funding from the likes of these two.


    Finally, if you ultimately decide to end up somewhere in the middle of corporate and startup (i.e. venture capital, search funds, etc.) opportunities for that abound in business school. I can only speak for my alma mater, but we have our own angel fund with about a dozen portfolio companies as well as a search fund.


    At 32, you'd definitely be on the right side of the bell curve for full-time (which I'd recommend for someone looking to do entrepreneurship), but you wouldn't be a sore thumb or anything. A few schools don't like candidates with more than 5 years of experience, but most are totally okay with it.

    Leave a comment:


  • chetsteadman
    replied


    With that being a pretty popular topic these days, I don't think you really need to target a school that specializes in third-world economics--they'll all offer plenty of opportunity to examine the subject. What you may want to focus on is a program that offers a lot of curriculum flexibility, so you can apply a few extra electives to relevant classes.


    However, if you really want to drill down into this one topic, it sounds like a Masters or PhD in Economics is more up your alley. MBA programs as a rule will include a bunch of core classes (accounting, investing, statistics, operations, marketing, etc.) that will take up a good chunk of your course load.


    Also, economics is economics. Just as physics don't change from region to region, the laws of economics don't change much either. Different elements certainly do come to light given the sociopolitical disparity between the developed world and the emerging world, but I'd argue that these large real-world differences in outcome are based on pretty basic structural differences.

    Leave a comment:


  • Harry
    replied


    Hey everyone -


    This is a complete shot in the dark, but does anyone the better graduate programs that focus on third world economics?

    Leave a comment:


  • chetsteadman
    replied


    Quality of education was only one of many factors in my school choice.


    I guess this is where a lot of the "M7 or bust" talk comes from when you talk to MBA candidates. While I don't necessarily agree with the idea that you're screwed if you go to a school ranked lower than, say, Columbia, there is a ton of opportunity outside of course content that is more-or-less exclusive to top programs.


    As an example, before returning to bschool, I was at a well-regarded investment bank in a group that wasn't exactly glamorous. While I often hear that once you're in this firm, you have it made, the reality is that internal mobility is really tough. I'd tried time and time again to interview at groups that I wanted to be in, and nothing seemed to work--not even getting my CFA charter.


    As soon as I got admitted to a few target MBA programs, the floodgates opened up, and I had the opportunity to move to my target group without even going back to school. In the end I decided to go back to school anyway, but there is a lot to be said about the effect that even just getting into a top school has.


    With that said, this is probably just isolated to a few industries. I think trade schools, state schools*, and associate degrees are a brilliant idea for those people who know exactly what they want to do (assuming it's not law, medicine, banking, consulting, or a few other types of jobs).


    *Although I vehemently disagree with the idea of state-funded universities, which in the end have the opposite of their intended consequences. That is, in a round-about way, they make it more expensive for lower-class students to get decent educations.

    Leave a comment:


  • Alex
    replied


    That struck me as a pretty fair & balanced article; thanks for the read.


    I don't know when the apathy for low-cost Associate degrees or trade-schools started, but those are definitely still viable options for most people. Even for people who continue their education, those options provide an excellent starting point at a significantly reduced cost. I don't know about anyone else, but I definitely wasted ~1.5 full years on bull-crap courses that did nothing for my education or life; I cannot imagine spending Harvard type prices on those same courses.

    Leave a comment:


  • nicholascrawford
    replied


    A well-spoken article on student debt: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/09/09/megan-mcardle-on-the-coming-burst-of-the-college-bubble.html


    I saw this unfold. We had low tuition and low aid. In the late 90s, that was deemed unsustainable. Now we have high tuition and high aid. If you're low income, that aid could be grants. For everyone else, it's loans.

    Leave a comment:


  • Alex
    replied


    I agree with a lot of the above comments. An MBA (or any Master's programs) is a time-consuming & costly undertaking, & should definitely be intensely contemplated before starting.


    *Generalizations follow*

    I'm not a big fan of people going straight from undergrad to a Master's program, simply because I think a lot of people still have a lot of maturing needed before they can appreciate the additional schooling. The exception being someone who knows exactly the field they want to join & the entry requirement is a Master's/Doctorate (ie. Teachers, Pastors, etc.).


    I was definitely part of the first group coming out of undergrad; I slacked off through most of college & only took my last year (when interesting courses finally happen) seriously. I definitely agree with "onerany" that any degree is entirely worth the effort put in, & this is one reason I will appreciate the MBA program much more today than 5-6 years ago.


    I'll also be using the degree to break-in to specific fields in the finance sector & carefully reviewed/interviewed the networking & career opportunities from each program in the area. I would not need the degree right now if I had been more dedicated to breaking into the field after graduation; unfortunately the area we chose to live after I graduated sucked for opportunities. Now that we're at a place in life to make this change happen, I cannot wait to get started & crush these courses.


    PS. Paying for the program in cash; Not a fan of taking on debt for pretty much anything.

    Leave a comment:


  • Standard_Deviance
    replied


    @zero: Sounds to me like you've answered your own question. The cons seem significantly stronger than the pros for you.


    If an MBA isn't going to enable you to do much different afterwards, or if it's a financially risky or unsound proposition, then getting one doesn't make all that much sense. An MBA seems to make a lot more sense when it enables you, like Alex, to make an advantageous career shift you otherwise wouldn't have been able to make.

    Leave a comment:


  • chetsteadman
    replied


    Yeah- I'm talking about a program that's top 5 across the rankings (and empirically in recruiting). You can't say the same for most of the Ivies.

    Leave a comment:


  • onerany
    replied


    @zerostyle: I think chetsteadman was specifically talking about Ivy League schools, not schools with top vs. non-top MBA programs. For example, you listed Kellogg, Chicago, and Stern - none Ivy.

    Leave a comment:


  • nicholascrawford
    replied


    A little different in the tree and landscape world where I'm one of a handful of people nationwide with an MBA and an undergraduate degree in the green industry. I could be a Harvard grad, and it wouldn't make a difference since I'm already way over educated. There's an insanely strong preference for hiring within which makes it hard to move into a new city and get a high level position like before. Finance is probably as opposite a field as you could imagine.

    Leave a comment:

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