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B-schools for those returning to family businesses.

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B-schools for those returning to family businesses. [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2009, 18:57
Based on the subject above, can anyone give me some suggestions on where I can apply...
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Re: B-schools for those returning to family businesses. [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2009, 20:41
Great question. I find myself in the situation of leading a family business in a relatively short time horizon. I often hope that b-school will allow me not only to meet individuals from a broad spectrum of industries and backgrounds but perhaps even work elsewhere for 2-3 years (large corp.) and return to the family business...

Last edited by triple5soul on 15 May 2009, 06:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: B-schools for those returning to family businesses. [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2009, 22:46
Schools with one year programs may be the best choice for someone returning to a business. Columbia, Kellogg? and I know that Cornell you need an advanced degree so that may not be the best option. Also, depending on the business, your plans, and the location, you may be better off going to a school in your region than a "bigger" name school.

There are simply too many other factors to consider rather than a simple "yeah, Columbia is good for those returning to family businesses." The one year programs would definitely be worth learning more about though.

FYI- I run a restaurant that will be all set while I am away for two years. I have an operating partner and I am not really sure whether or not I will be returning to the business afterwards.
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Re: B-schools for those returning to family businesses. [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2009, 06:39
not sure, but i heard babson has a lot of people who are being groomed to take over family businesses...can someone verify that?
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Re: B-schools for those returning to family businesses. [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2009, 06:44
young_gun wrote:
not sure, but i heard babson has a lot of people who are being groomed to take over family businesses...can someone verify that?


I heard that too. The culture on that school's campus is all about start-ups, family business and running his/her company. I think they have a program where best business plans get seed money to start the business or etc.

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fsb/best ... index.html

Ranking for America's Best Colleges for Entrepreneurs

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Re: B-schools for those returning to family businesses. [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2009, 12:40
I have often heard on this forum that Babson is the best for entrepreneurship and is good for those interested in returning to family businesses. This is a post wherein I want to enquire about how good Babson college is from a point of view of placements. Although I said I wanted to return to my family business in my essays, I want to work for a couple of years by when I can repay a portion of my debt and get some skills that'll help in running the family business. Do people from Babson, especially internationals get jobs coming out of Babson? The statisctics in the web-page provide stats that leave room for lots of open ended interpretation. I want to know if others wouldn't mind sharing first hand info about the true worth of this school.
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Re: B-schools for those returning to family businesses. [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2009, 15:24
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You are in a fairly unique situation. I would recommend posting your profile and desires in the admissions consultants threads and seeing what they say.

From what I know, here is some advice:

1) Out of the top schools, I know that Kellogg has a huge push for getting people that are involved in family businesses. They even have a Center for Family Enterprises: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/res ... /index.htm

2) If you plan to take a hiatus from the family business for a couple of years and then return, you may be wise to either work for a top management consulting firm, or for a leading company in your industry in a general management position (I'm not sure if there may be conflicts of interest here). In order to do this, you may want to attend an Ultra Elite or Elite school.

3) Don't underestimate the value of a top school pedigree for running a family business. I feel that employees, investors, customers, suppliers, etc. will all question your age a little bit when you takeover, but it will be far easier to ease those concerns if you have a top school and maybe a top MC firm on your resume. In the end, your school name is not going to matter as much as it would for someone going down the corporate path - but it may have small side benefits. If you end up deciding to raise institutional capital from private equity or venture capital firms to expand the business - the top school pedigree will pay huge rewards.

4) Any school that has a solid entrepeneurship curriculum should suit you well. Obviously, you will want to take courses like Entrepeneurial Finance, Operations Management, New Product Development, Leadership/General Management, etc. and you won't particularly care much about a heavy finance curriculum.

5) This is probably something you need to ask others and admissions consultants about - but in your goals essays, I think it would flow fine if you mentioned the short-term goal of MC and then a long-term goal of working in the family business. However, you want to ensure that you lay down some concrete ideas for what you plan to do with the family business (transform it, revitalize it, expand it, etc.) so that you give off an image of someone who is very ambitous and someone who is going to make an impact. If you can tie your goals for the family business with social impact/do-gooder type stuff, even better. You just will want to make sure that you don't come across as someone who plans to takeover a middle-market business, not do a whole lot, and collect the dividends. These are all my personal thoughts on positioning and they should not be taken as professional advice or gospel - just simply what I would do if I was in your shoes (from what I understand about your shoes).

Good luck!
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Re: B-schools for those returning to family businesses. [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2009, 18:37
There are plenty of people in my course who are returning to Family business.
Some of the key criteria -
Does the school have the electives that you want to help you with the family business?
Can the location of the school help you with building networks which can directly help your family business?

In the context of family business, brand name universities are less relevant, because the brand is there to help you get a job. The key factors are cost effectiveness and whther the location and classmates and courses will help you grow that family business. e.g. An American school which predominantly sends its students to consulting and banking in the USA will not be as much use to a family business in Peru which focuses on medical products in the peruvian market (as an example) when compared to a school with a concentration in healthcare.
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Re: B-schools for those returning to family businesses. [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2009, 10:03
I think many schools (e.g. Wharton) also have student clubs targeted for those returning to family businesses. Might be worth reaching out to the current students there and getting their insight.

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Re: B-schools for those returning to family businesses. [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2009, 02:47
Actually I am in such a position. Having virtually no applicable experience to aid in taking over the family business, an MBA is crucial to me.

I've applied to a couple of schools, with particular focus on growing a family business and I think the best ones that I've seen so far are Chicago ( booth), Babson and probably Kellogg. But since Kellogg is particularly competitive, I didn't bother applying there - instead I chose to focus my applications on Booth and Babson because my gmat score isn't so competitive.

I would say that choosing between Booth and Babson, Babson has probably a better support system from my research into them. Also, it doesn't hurt that Babson's #1 for Entrepreneurship on Businessweek rankings.

So yes, I would think Babson's the better choice for Entrepreneurship programs.
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Re: B-schools for those returning to family businesses. [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2009, 02:49
I nearly forgot Columbia. They also do family business programs but again, they're very competitive. so if you're a good applicant anyways, Columbia's a fantastic choice too.

Still - the support system is always a good thing to consider.
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Re: B-schools for those returning to family businesses. [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2009, 04:56
I'm in the same position... currently work at family biz and will either come back directly after bschool or work a few years at a larger company in general mgmt / biz dev to get a sense of best practices and whatnot and then come back afterward.

My advice would be to apply to the best schools (general management and prestige wise) that you think you can get into because I think they will offer the best education as well as networking opportunities. Another benefit of working in a family business is that there isn't usually as much of a need to go to bschool this year in particular so maybe you can try the strategy of shooting for the stars this year and reapplying next year if it doesn't work out.

I disagree with what another poster said that prestige doesn't really apply because it only helps you with getting a job out of bschool. A school with higher prestige generally attracts higher quality students, which in turn leads to networking opportunities with people who are more likely to succeed. Also, if you want to work someone else for a few years, I would definitely recommend a school with higher brand equity than Babson. Btw, I couldn't find their employment report on their website (only thing was that unrevealing success stories thing).

Also, don't think this is that rare of a situation. Most top bschools have students coming from and going to family businesses and thus have classes, centers, clubs, etc. focused on meeting our needs.
Re: B-schools for those returning to family businesses.   [#permalink] 10 Mar 2009, 04:56
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