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3 years post MBA - a reflection

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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 11:17
Great posts RR & Rhyme - Thank you both for coming back to give your invaluable insights.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 11:32
I loved this post. I have been contemplating business school for 6 months now. The idea spawned exactly like @rhyme described, out of boredom and discontent. I was very upset that my work was least appreciated within my department but most lauded outside. Colleagues taking my stories and using as their own anecdotes to gain recognition upset me most of the time. The plausible solution to me was get an higher education like it was some kind of a magic pill to cure all my problems.

I prepped for the GMAT and would have finished taking it by now if not for a major accident that put me in bed for a good part of 2 months 4 months ago. This is when I had plenty of time to think about my job and life. I have realized I was doing excellent work but had such bad PR skills. I was always talking more than I should (thanks to my wife pointing it out), brainstorming ideas out loud which made it was easy for others to claim these as their own. I was also showing my discontent which was very visible and loud at times.

I came back to work all healed up physically and I had to change the way I behave at work. I started volunteering for more work groups, spoke only when needed, put on a happy face and played my cards closer to the chest. Immediately within 2 months I was recommended for a promotion. Some of my approaches I use for work are being used more broadly amongst other teams and I am getting the credit for it as well.

My goal of completing my MBA is still very much alive. I plan on getting into school by Fall 2013. My wife wants to do it around the same time I planned on it so we can get it out of the way before we have any kids.

Thank you for such an inspirational message, wish more people actually retrospect themselves instead of blaming everyone else for their problems.

Thanks rhyme....
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 12:33
OjilEye wrote:
LibertyBell wrote:
Thank you both very much for sharing this!

What would interest me: All things considered, would you answer "Was it worth it for you?" with yes or no?


I am not really a fan of that question: "Was it worth it?" (nothing against you personally LibertyBell)

I think you'd be hard pressed to find an MBA grad that would answer "No" to a question of whether applying and attending business school was worth it. It's essentially asking someone whether the entire year (studying/taking GMAT, writing essays and going through self-discovery) and the subsequent two years attending business school was not the best use of their time. That's a hard truth to swallow.

I also think it's hard to quantify the worth of the entire process. MBA grads will likely walk away from school with new friendships, memorable experiences abroad, a network of diverse individuals they would've been unable to meet otherwise, and of course a more polished understanding of basic business principles. Sure, the job landed after graduation may not be as glamorous as originally envisioned, but am I too far off base to expect most (if not all) MBA grads telling themselves, "I experienced more things and met more people in the last two years than I ever could have had I not gone to school." Even if many of those people assess they may not come out on top financially after 5-10 years, who would say such an experience wasn't worth it?

But more importantly, going to business school is such a monumental and expensive personal decision that I think we're all clawing at reasons as to justify the entire process. My guess is, after all is said and done, it'd be really hard to look at it from an unbiased perspective and say, "Nah. Wasn't worth it."



You are perfectly right; I did not entirely realize the implications of this question.

Please consider it withdrawn.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 13:33
Fantastic posts RR & Rhyme! Appreciate your insights. :-D
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 13:44
OjilEye wrote:
LibertyBell wrote:
Thank you both very much for sharing this!

What would interest me: All things considered, would you answer "Was it worth it for you?" with yes or no?


I am not really a fan of that question: "Was it worth it?" (nothing against you personally LibertyBell)

I think you'd be hard pressed to find an MBA grad that would answer "No" to a question of whether applying and attending business school was worth it. It's essentially asking someone whether the entire year (studying/taking GMAT, writing essays and going through self-discovery) and the subsequent two years attending business school was not the best use of their time. That's a hard truth to swallow.

I also think it's hard to quantify the worth of the entire process. MBA grads will likely walk away from school with new friendships, memorable experiences abroad, a network of diverse individuals they would've been unable to meet otherwise, and of course a more polished understanding of basic business principles. Sure, the job landed after graduation may not be as glamorous as originally envisioned, but am I too far off base to expect most (if not all) MBA grads telling themselves, "I experienced more things and met more people in the last two years than I ever could have had I not gone to school." Even if many of those people assess they may not come out on top financially after 5-10 years, who would say such an experience wasn't worth it?

But more importantly, going to business school is such a monumental and expensive personal decision that I think we're all clawing at reasons as to justify the entire process. My guess is, after all is said and done, it'd be really hard to look at it from an unbiased perspective and say, "Nah. Wasn't worth it."


Depends what a candidate wants to gain from an MBA. Some alumni I spoke to old me it's not worth it and it didnt help them apart from getting their first job. I'd be better of looking for a non-mba route in to an advanced role if that's what I want. Later was promoted so didn't need to do an MBA. But now am considering it for different reasons. Which I think will be of greater benefit, even now I want to speak to some alumni and see if it will benefit for what I want to do next. Or am I better off just doing it
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 16:20
Riverripper and Rhyme, thanks. Although your visits are less frequent here, your old posts had a huge impact on my gmat and app prep. It's great to hear an update, hope others come back an share theirs.

Once again, you've simplified the process. Only apply to schools that believe will get you in the door for your first job(because the acronym alone will not, regardless of the school), and will set you up with a network that will help you through life.

Last edited by highwyre237 on 24 Oct 2012, 18:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 18:29
PS: I still hold Rhyme in very high regard...if you are looking for objective & honest opinions, I think he will always give them. It's in his honor that I strive to give my atypical viewpoint for anyone that it helps :).
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2012, 05:41
Thanks for the great insight. I'm curious about the people who have already changed jobs since graduating. Do you see that more often in folks who were using the MBA to switch careers of is it in everybody? I'm a career switcher and while I have a number of reasons why I believe asset management is the right path for me I've never worked a day in finance. The closest I will get is my summer internship between years. So I can see how the career switching people might end up trying to get out of their first job after B School if they end up being wrong about their new path.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2012, 12:03
Thank you, rhyme. Awesome posts and insights.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 26 Oct 2012, 22:04
*EDITED*

Last edited by Shawshank on 19 Jan 2013, 14:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2012, 01:25
Great post.
Could be argued that even though most guys are looking for ROI from their MBA that if they enjoyed and felt happy post-MBA (e.g. from the career change that otherwise would not have occurred) then that should be taken into account.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 06 Nov 2012, 10:52
Great discussion.

Here is some perspective about MBA from a Stanford alum

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/arti ... -be-an-mba
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2012, 15:27
I love this thread.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2012, 16:14
OK, single best thread on GC. I have to go back and give Kudos! :)

Since I am still in College I have slightly different question. Many people tell me that consulting is the best way to groom one for a MBA, considering the diverse industries and the competitive environment. Can you give me any insights if consultants you know have been prepared particularly well for the MBA and have been more successful with Post-MBA job recruiting? Or do you think if I went into an industry position or even entrepreneurship after college, I would be equally well prepared and in a good position to find a job after a MBA?

Thanks for the insight! :)
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2012, 18:08
riverripper wrote:
My advice on the debate if getting an MBA or not will achieve what you want is think about what you want. Now imagine you spent 100k getting a degree, and don't get exactly that...are you able to still be happy or is it going to be the biggest disappointment in your life?

I tend to see my friends who aren't overly thrilled with getting an MBA from whatever big name school as having such a narrow goal and not achieving that made the degree a failure. Generally they can't admit it is them and/or their expectations that failed and not the school. Any top program will provide you with a great education, a network that will open some doors, and career opportunities aplenty. Not everyone that gets into Stanford gets a high profile VC gig, HBS isn't the golden ticket for everyone into a big name PE firm, Kellogg wont get you a marketing gig at the biggest name CPG's.

If you don't have the right background and want to make a major career shift, it may be doable depending on the function and industry, but requires a lot more of you. Just having the fancy degree wont get it done because you will be competing with people from lots of big name schools and some have a background that perfectly aligns with what companies want. Certain changes are much more realistic, so I have a lot of friends with no marketing background who landed offers from top companies in this area. But then friends who wanted to break into HF's struggled unless they worked at one pre-MBA or at a big name bank in the right functional area.

Another way to be happy is to set targets on what you will be earning and your ROI. I have friends who probably are making $5k before they graduated and then I know people who are up $75k (non-bankers). Now, some of the people who have the same basic income are extremely happy where they are at, while some people raking in the cash are still unhappy with their career choices. Are some people disappointed with only making $135k a few years out of school, sure, but you need to put that into perspective. Pretty much everyone who goes to a big name school is going to be in the top few percent of income earners, especially in their age range. It takes hanging out with my non-MBA friends to remind me just how warped our reality can become in regards to income. My wife and I will pay more in taxes this year than most of our friends we grew up with will earn in the entire year. My friends from Kellogg are now buying nice houses in the desirable zipcodes, driving nice new cars, have nanny's taking care of their kids, and of course going on ridiculous vacations.

Before committing, I suggest thinking about what is important to you and will make you feel like going to school was a great decision. Then conversely the what if scenario of what will make you feel like you failed. Now think of the likelihood of each of those, and should the failure be much more plausible then maybe it isn't for you. One of my friends who I know is making less than he did before Kellogg, is probably the single most satisfied person with where it got him. For him ROI didnt matter it was about wanting to switch into a niche area he was very passionate about.

Heck personal example, I went with the goal of going into the energy space coming out. Interned at an oil company, but decided that wasn't for me fulltime. Second year I accepted an offer at a manufacturing company, was there for a few years and now am switching to a tech company. I was huge on the energy area, as you may notice if you look through my old posts but for a variety of reasons never actually went into it. However, I could not be any happier with what my degree has gotten me. My income level is bordering on what a few years pre-MBA I would have viewed as obnoxiously high. Met some amazing friends, got to take part in a great couple of years, my wife's career has benefitted, and pretty much overall it worked out better than I hoped even though I definitely didn't achieve my original career goal.


Great post. As a career switcher this is why I have a dream job path and a backup (read: realistic) career plan.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2012, 18:44
Much needed post. Thank for providing us with your insight. I'm sure that I am not the only one struggling to make the right choice. Thanks again!! Kudos!
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2013, 14:02
rhyme wrote:
I thought I'd add to the "dumb luck" component of how people have fared. January is always an interesting month because you get the 100 "LinkedIn" updates from your classmates. Seems like a lot of "Associates" are now "VP" at banks. A lot of "Consultants" are now "Engagement Managers". I took some time to peruse through and its intriguing - a few folks have done really really well, others seem to be stuck. It's such a curious dynamic to see who has been promoted 3x in 3 years and who hasn't had a single promotion - or just made lateral moves across firms.
I guess I dont have a point here, other than to re-iterate that an MBA will open doors, but what happens after that is up to you.

Oh and, best of all, I underestimated my income for this coming year!


Interesting. Were the people who got promoted multiple times the ones who stood out while you were in class with them? I wonder if there's any correlation between how hard they worked in b-school and their subsequent professional performance.

Thanks so much for your insightful posts.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2013, 17:52
Shawshank wrote:
rhyme wrote:
I thought I'd add to the "dumb luck" component of how people have fared. January is always an interesting month because you get the 100 "LinkedIn" updates from your classmates. Seems like a lot of "Associates" are now "VP" at banks. A lot of "Consultants" are now "Engagement Managers". I took some time to peruse through and its intriguing - a few folks have done really really well, others seem to be stuck. It's such a curious dynamic to see who has been promoted 3x in 3 years and who hasn't had a single promotion - or just made lateral moves across firms.
I guess I dont have a point here, other than to re-iterate that an MBA will open doors, but what happens after that is up to you.

Oh and, best of all, I underestimated my income for this coming year!


Interesting. Were the people who got promoted multiple times the ones who stood out while you were in class with them? I wonder if there's any correlation between how hard they worked in b-school and their subsequent professional performance.

Thanks so much for your insightful posts.


You know, you'd think there's be more correlation.... it really is a random walk (poor pun).
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2013, 15:48
This was such a good post, so I'm bumping it up! Hope to get some other people's post-MBA reflections.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2013, 20:08
Just read this post and found the perspective amazingly refreshing. Kudos and hope all is well!
Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection   [#permalink] 20 Aug 2013, 20:08
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