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3 years post MBA - a reflection

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3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 04:33
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As I sit here sipping Dunkin Donuts coffee staring at my office computer I realize I missed coming to GC, and more importantly, I dont have a particularly strong desire to work, so instead, I'll just wax nostalgic to a bunch of strangers who likely couldn't care less what my thoughts are.

So, here I am, 2009 Booth grad, roughly 3 years out. How's it played out? Did I make the right choices? What would I have done differently? What was I right about?

There are a few things that I suspected were true - but have become even more clear since:

1. The pedigree of your school will get you an interview, but nothing more, and the relative value of that pedigree diminishes as your career progresses. Make no mistake, a top-tier MBA does open doors, but that's all it will do - you get invited to the party, but you may not get to eat desert. Now, a few years out, its crystal clear that my co-workers couldn't possibly care less that I have an MBA, much less from where I happen to have it (most of the guys I work with are Wharton, HBS, Booth, etc) so I hardly stand out. That doesn't bother me, but I know some friends who seem to have held on to this idea of "I'm from Booth!" and cant' seem to wrap their heads around the idea that someone from Duke or Ross or something might actually be able to get promoted faster based on their performance. One guy I know seems convinced he should be a VP (at a company where being a VP means having perhaps 50 to 100 people below you) despite the fact that he's got maybe 2 to 3 years of relevant experience. He's bitter about his MBA. I can't imagine there are a lot of folks out there like that, but maybe I'm wrong. I guess my point is: have realistic expectations of what you are going to get out of this.

2. A lot of people have no clue what they want to do, and they seem to pick wrong. I am still amazed by the number of individuals I know who have changed jobs already (myself included) since graduating. Some of these folks did it for promotions - but a large number did it for no other reason than they simply hated their jobs. Its perhaps a bit sad that so many people get an MBA and leave with this mentality that they've foudn their calling, only to discover they have not. I have no clue what the % is, and perhaps its inflated in my class because 2009 was such a bad year, but it feels like its at least 50 or 60%. In fact, I can't think of a single friend who hasn't left their old job other than those who founded their own firms.

3. Related to #1 ....the path to "success" is slippery and windy. The relative successes of various folks I know are tremendously varied and seem to be driven by luck as much as anything else. I know one girl who managed to move from Deloitte to one of the big gaming dev shops as a director in strategy. I have no idea what she makes, but it sounds pretty cool and well compensated. Another guy I know moved from a nearly no-name IT tech consultancy to Paypal and is comfortably clearing $200k. Impressive indeed - but I know of at least a dozen others who are still Sr. Associates at consulting firms, one guy who has hopped investment banks a few times but seems stuck at his level, another ex-Bain guy who has struggled to find good employment, and yet another girl I know went into some government job and is now a partner at a small VC firm somehow. Everyone has their own path.... Make no mistake about it - most people are doing just fine, but its clear that there's no magic sauce...

4. The network value is exceptional -- while #1 may be true, the fact that there's a network of folks to call on is outstanding. Don't like your job? No big deal, go to linkedin, hit up 10 classmates and you've probably got an interview in a week. It really is that simple.

So now I should probably be doing some actual work....
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2012, 05:51
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Can you elaborate a bit on why or how people "pick wrong" as you alluded to in your second point? Did they pick wrong because they didn't do their homework, or is it more likely that you simply won't know whether a particular industry/function is a good fit for you until you try?


It's a combination of factors. Some people come in very good ideas of exactly what they want to do, and others, most I would argue, come in with a better understanding of what they don't want to do. Even among those who say they know what they want, often the reasons seem a bit superficial (money is usually a key motivator), and as any behavioral economist will tell you, money is a poor motivator. On top of that you layer a very intense microcosm of MBA life - 500 similar minded students all searching for the 'perfect job' - and its pretty easy to be swayed by the bright lights and the song and dance. Companies put a LOT of money and effort into recruiting people - they can make most any job sound glamorous. I don't think its an issue of not doing your homework, I think its an issue of perception vs reality. That's in part the beauty of the internship, you get to try before you buy - and one of the biggest reasons I think the FT program is better than a PT program (unless you plan on staying in industry/function). This is all a bit rambling but basically I think people pick wrong because they 1) Dont REALLY know what they want to do, 2) There's a tendency to pick from a small 'menu' of jobs (you can be a banker, a marketer or a consultant), 3) The idea of something is usually better than the reality of it.

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Can you also comment on your personal ROI on the MBA thus far? You don't have to use specifics of course, but when do you estimate you'll come out on top after accounting for 2 years of lost income and the b-school tuition expenses you shelled out?


My comp before MBA was basically 100K, so I wasn't going in with the expectation that I'd be leaving with some stellar ROI. (One friend was at 42,500 before school, and landed a gig at $127K right out - now THATS ROI!). I haven't a clue what my lost income, tuition and other crap added up to, but it was probably close to a $400K total including the opportunity cost. But I didnt go to grad school for money (well, in part money) - I went because I didnt want to do the same crap I had been doing before and knew an MBA was the most likely way to change job and function, without also taking a huge paycut to do it. This year, I'll be well ahead of where the graph below suggests I should be.

So, is the ROI there? Probably. Hard to say what I would have made if I hadn't gone to get an MBA. That said, I do know people who make less - a lot less in some cases - one girl I know spent a year looking for something and ended up at 90K. I know another guy who took a job offer 2 years out at total comp of $120K. I know another person who, far as I can tell, hasnt been able to get a job at all. Of course, there's a sampling bias problem here too - the only people who share their incomes are those who know they are doing well.... people don't generally offer up "Yo! I'm at 75K plus free coffee!"...

Theres also the real value of the intangibles -- getting to do something I do enjoy and having the network to call on .... I dont know how you value that, but its hard not to look at it and say its meaningful.

By the way, if you are curious what the averages look like - Image

and Image

From: http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/mariann ... s_1209.pdf

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


Yes. Clearly. ROI and job and happiness etc. But its clear that not everyone feels the same way... Like I said, I've got that one friend who just cant understand how someone younger than him with a non-top tier MBA could possibly get promoted ahead of him - or god forbid - someone without an MBA. It drives him INSANE. He's categorically convinced he should be making $500K a year by now and thinks its absurd that the rest of his company hasn't realized that. He holds a HUGE grudge against booth and wouldn't be caught dead saying anything positive about his MBA.

Quote:
I'm interested to hear more about your classmates who found their own firms - whether most of them are sticking with their own firms because entrepreneurship was still the right thing for them three years down the road, or they are still struggling and do not have any other option.


I must admit im shocked that some of these firms have managed to stay alive. There are a few that don't surprise me at all - I was offered a chance to invest in one at graduation, and wanted to but just felt like it was going to be a lot of money. I wish I had. They just closed a KPCB investment a few months ago. Granted I'd be diluted to 0.000001% by now, but dang!!! Other companies I cant understand how they manage to stay in business - but honestly I dont know of a single company started out of Booth in my year thats folded. I'm not sure what to make of that - it can't be that every single one is successful... but the folks that started them were die hard passionate about it and I could see them eating ramen noodles just to keep the lights on.

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You mentioned that you have changed jobs - Do you think you're closer to your true calling? What advice would you give MBA aspirants to avoid #3, i.e. what to do and not to do during their studies and/or job search in order to find the individual's ideal post-MBA path?


I feel like I'm a lot closer to the ideal. If I could layer in a little international experience, I'd probably be completely in love. I got my MBA to leave my industry and go into general management with ideally, P&L responsibility. I've got that now, even if its not huge. I've got my direct reports and a slew of indirect reports, I've got strategy setting authority and get to drive my business line. At the end of each month I can see if what I'm doing is making more money or making us less - and I love being able to just pull up a report and say 'Yup, cool. Add another million to the AB!'. Bottom line, I have fun going to work, I make decent money and I work decent hours. Unless someone can find a way for me to do this job from a ski chalet or the beach, there's not a whole lot more I could ask for.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 07:59
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Great post Rhyme...I am only a few years out but have a similar take on most everything state.

Pedigree seems to be most helpful if that person interviewing/evaluating you also went to a top school or wished they had. Once you are working very few people will care, and sometimes it goes the other way. The expectations placed on me were higher than typical, but with that came much greater opportunities. It did help get some good mentors because you come in with a certain visibility, and there might be some top managers that really want to take future leaders under their wing. That is about the best leverage I had out of my degree once I joined the real world.

The network is much more valuable. Two years out of school and going about the job search again, I can tell you that 99.9% of my success has come through networking. The Kellogg network has been incredibly valuable. You are often just a person or two away from a person of influence at a target company. Combined with linkedin and the ability to connect who knows who, the network of a top school becomes that much more powerful. It helps avoid the blackhole of HR and also gives you some insight on to whether that is a company you really want to join or not. I turned down an offer solely because I talked to several Kellogg alums who had left the company and who provided me with some extremely valuable insights into the culture and the future expected performance of the division I had the offer in.

Post-MBA work experience and how people perceive it ranges greatly and a lot of that is personality. I have friends who are onto job #3 and still feel they are not at the level they deserve, and this is more a function of that person and what I tend to see as unrealistic expectations. Not a whole lot of people have the sense of entitlement but there are some. I worked with a grad from another school that behaved like this, and honestly it probably sank his future career potential more than anything else. On the other end, I have friends who have been promoted annually, skipped a few levels, and are now in some pretty awesome gigs. Rotational folks range from loving it to loathing another move. A lot of consultants I know are looking for the right exit at this point, but there are those who are now up a few levels and can't fathom the pay cut moving into a corporate gig would probably require.

With the economy still not that great, and having come out in 2010 when things pretty much sucked, I tend to think my classmates have done very well for themselves overall. Some people probably are disappointed, but that probably is a result of either unrealistic expectations or just the way the world is working these days. Career changing is a lot harder than it was when most of us were studying for the GMAT 5 years ago. Companies are a lot less likely to take a risk on pure talent without previous experience like they once were.

Overall I would say about half my friends have made switches. Some left because they hated their job, others left for greener pastures, some due to family reasons, and some because they got bored and simply wanted a new challenge.

Huge numbers of folks getting married and tons of couples having kids. Seems like people settle quickly into the family stage after hard partying for a few years. It is funny to get together with friends now, because there will be kids all over the place and sometimes I look at my buddies and can't believe they actually have a kid now.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2012, 11:29
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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.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 11:37
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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."
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 18:25
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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."


I think for the most part, you're right, people like to justify their decision. I will give you my answer, mere months out, which is a solid, I don't know. Before I start, I should warn that my comments should be taken in the context of evaluating the degree and not Duke, which I believe is as fine as any if you've made the decision to do an MBA.

I think a business education is extremely valuable, I think about things in a completely different way than previously. Whether the MBA was worth it, like I said, I don't know. I think I'm perhaps a little different than most people in that going into the MBA, I had a job that I actually for the most part enjoyed - I liked the company, I loved the people, and I was close to MBA pay levels. So I doubt I'll get financial ROI out of it, but I knew that going in. I was simply running out of challenges at work and looked at the MBA as a way to change gears and get more challenge. I took a job with a F50 company, which was a totally different experience than what I had previously. In hindsight, I think I actually had a lot more responsibility than I had realized. And as I look at the kind of work that I see some would be MBA candidates doing, I can totally see where an MBA would be 100% worth it. This is all to say that I think your mindset going in makes a lot of difference.

I also am starting to look into other options because I'm not entirely in love with my work. My circumstances are a bit unique, but I also think you just really don't know what the job is like until you start doing it. I'm actually using my pre-MBA network to start looking around, so I can't really speak to tapping into the network (and my network is probably a little young yet anyway being recently out of school).

Anyhow, I'm more than happy to answer questions in more detail via pm to anyone that has questions.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2012, 02:38
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First of all, thanks for the excellent thread to all those who have contributed. This thread, at the very least, makes me happy that I am not alone. I am planning to do a MBA and actually just got an interview invite from Rice PMBA program. I have been working in the US for last 8 years in Civil Engineering Consulting with an emphasis on Geotechnical Engineering. Those who know the industry may also know that this industry is ripe with archaic thinking. I have had a tough time in this industry partly because I speak my mind and partly because I get stereotyped (as a technical person). Under paid (with salary in early 60s - according to DOL, my salary should be close to $75K) and overworked (I pretty much take care of reports, proposals, laboratory testing, drilling, client interactions, project updates, etc.). While I do understand that there are areas for me to improve (mostly related to verbal communication), the discontent and the bitterness have taken their toll. There was a time when I was motivated and passionate about what I did. Now, I simply do it without really caring so much. Even though my current company is small with around 100 employees, the growth opportunities have been missing so far because of a control freak boss (who has the same amount of work experience as I do and who is my intellectual junior).

My short term reasons for doing MBA are apparently not the best - salary growth, better position, and possibly a career transition either into IT (I have 3 years of work experience in a top IT company in India) or into Civil Engineering (possibly a much bigger, international level company).

I would appreciate it if y' all can pour in...
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 06 Nov 2012, 07:43
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These are some of the questions going through my head currently. Right now I like my job ok, it's a good company, albeit maybe a little boring. But I make close to $100K and I have 3 kids. While it's looking like I can get into a really good program, I still have the consideration of just letting my company pay for a part-time MBA at Ohio State. I have the hope that, while it would be a huge debt load, the MBA can propel me to greater responsibility at a fun and exciting company...yeah, the grass is always greener.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2012, 21:01
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heyholetsgo wrote:
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! :)


Going into consulting just because it is going to groom you for an MBA is a surefire way to disappointment. Why would you do something that may make you miserable for 2-4 years? Then what happens if you are a consultant for several years and fail to get into your dream schools...all that planning for naught. Consultants make up a large number of the applicants, and schools desire diversity, so not every consultant goes to top 5 schools. Follow your passion, and see where the road will take you. I went for function over industry and definitely couldn't be happier in that.

Consulting certainly helps recruit in certain areas, but so many of your classmates were consultants that it does not separate you from the pack. If you want to be in a given field and in a given functional area my advice is go into it right out of undergrad. Generally that will better position you for long term success in the field than a few years of consulting will. I know plenty of people who joined consulting and couldn't get out of it fast enough post MBA. They got the same jobs that plenty of folks who didn't go into consulting got, so read into that what you want.

Most consultants go back into consulting for a few years to get their degree paid for or because it is what they know and it generally is on the higher side of the pay scale. The irony is that typically consulting seems to have the lowest satisfaction rate.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2013, 13:43
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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!
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 07:11
Great post! Thanks so much. It's weird being on the other side of that. Gives me more incentive to not pick based on rankings but where I'd like to end up after b-school.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 07:45
We need more post-MBA reflection posts like this. Thanks, rhyme! Your findings are in line with my expectations, especially #1. Once you've secured a position with a company, it's all about your performance. I do think #4 is a very nice thing to have, which brings me to the conclusion that the degree is particularly useful for your immediate post-MBA job as well as to find opportunities when you need to transition to another job.

I'm interested to hear more about your classmates who found their own firms - whether most of them are sticking with their own firms because entrepreneurship was still the right thing for them three years down the road, or they are still struggling and do not have any other option.

You mentioned that you have changed jobs - Do you think you're closer to your true calling? What advice would you give MBA aspirants to avoid #3, i.e. what to do and not to do during their studies and/or job search in order to find the individual's ideal post-MBA path?
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 08:11
Thanks rhyme and riverripper for sharing your insights.
It helps to put things into perspective for all prospective mba candidates .
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 08:50
Agreed. I'm looking forward to getting my MBA, but know that it is not the magic pill that will give me happiness. I'm depending on myself to really reflect and find what my passion is so I can hopefully apply it to a future career.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 10:15
Hey rhyme,

Great post. I (as I'm sure many others) really appreciate the insight you're bringing to the table. So you've confirmed how the top-tier MBA has opened many doors but won't guarantee a completely satisfactory job in the end, hence why so many of your classmates have switched jobs.

Can you elaborate a bit on why or how people "pick wrong" as you alluded to in your second point? Did they pick wrong because they didn't do their homework, or is it more likely that you simply won't know whether a particular industry/function is a good fit for you until you try?

Can you also comment on your personal ROI on the MBA thus far? You don't have to use specifics of course, but when do you estimate you'll come out on top after accounting for 2 years of lost income and the b-school tuition expenses you shelled out?

Thanks ~
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 10:37
+1 to what the above poster said.
In addition to that, I would also like to know the ROI on MBA in relation to school ranking 3-5 years out
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 10:49
Easily the best thread ever.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 10:54
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?
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 11:04
ROI is going to vary so much by person even from the same school. The same job function companies can have pretty wide variations in pay. What career path you are on is a huge difference too, if you are a banker you might make drastically more than someone in product management. Then of course locality is a huge factor, you may make a lot more if you live in San Fran or NYC, but someone in Nashville or Dallas probably will have more free cash. How fast you advance, are you a high potential who is promoted quickly or are you stuck in the crowd getting 3% raises each year. The degree/school might help gets you the job, but your performance is what has the huge influence on your income growth.

My salary pre-MBA was higher than the average for entering students, and even factoring all my student loan payments and higher cost of living I still have better cash flow every month than if I stayed in my old career. If I focused on paying down loans and eliminating them ASAP vs. building a nest egg, saving for a house, retirement, daughter's college, etc. I could be debt free years earlier than I plan to be now. My target is 7-8 years out of school to have no debt, and I took on a pretty hefty amount. Unless you are clearing 100k already you probably will come out ahead in the long run. Then again you need to look at your future options for advancement, such as if you are in a tech area where you are at the top already with no room to grow then it still might be a smart idea.
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Re: 3 years post MBA - a reflection [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 11:06
Quite interested in the point about the great networks you guys have developed. This seems to suggest that for schools with larger intakes, you can develop networks with a larger reach as opposed to a small intake school (like in Europe with sub 100 classes).
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