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Careers in publishing and writing

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Careers in publishing and writing [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2011, 02:14
Publishing may not be the hottest career destination for top MBA grads. But for those who are interested, the industry offers plenty of opportunities on the creative and business side.

For many others who don't want to leave their lucrative jobs in consulting and I-banking, writing for the traditional (print) or digital media can still be an extra-curricular option.

I couldn't find any relevant threads on the topic. Any professional/amateur writers out here with experiences and tips to share?
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Re: Careers in publishing and writing [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2011, 13:36
What exactly do you have in mind for MBAs to do? Write about business, write novels, or try to sell and promote other people's writing, like magazines and books?

Lot of MBAs write personal blogs, but to write about business in serious publications you gotta be an expert. Unless you pursue some kind of research/education path after or during the MBA.
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Re: Careers in publishing and writing [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2011, 18:49
If you want to work in Publishing, do a masters in Book Publishing. An MBA isn't really going to help you become an author or anything - maybe some spark of genius might help you save an industry that is languishing in the doldrums (at best) but that is a long term campaign rather than a straight out of school thing.
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Re: Careers in publishing and writing [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2011, 20:50
DoorKnocker wrote:
What exactly do you have in mind for MBAs to do? Write about business, write novels, or try to sell and promote other people's writing, like magazines and books?

Let me explain what I meant by 'business' and 'creative' roles in the publishing industry.

For the traditional publishing biggies (and the smaller players as well), the supply chain forms the backbone. This provides a lot of opportunities for people with business backgrounds to take up SCM, logistics, warehouse and transportation management roles in publishing houses. There are also the conventional roles in Finance, Accounting, business development, marketing (I'd say best-sellers are more about kick-a$$ marketing than about ground-breaking content), strategy (how would you tackle the 'threat' from digital media?).

Like 3underscore mentioned in the previous post, it's an industry that's been struggling with a lot of problems. And where there are problems, you'll find MBAs :wink: Whether they fix the problems or cause/aggravate them is debatable.

Then of course, there are the creative roles - from writing to production & design. I'd say there's a lesser dependence on an MBA degree for these roles. For instance, most journalists who write business related articles, don't have a management degree, but their work is lapped up by everyone who's interested in business - from MBA applicants to CEOs. But having said that, an MBA on your resume won't hurt you. If you really understand the nuances and interplay of between economics, finance, business - then that depth and clarity would reflect in your writing.

With your background in engineering and your teaching experience, you'd be able to explore creative (content creation, writing articles and if you are feeling ambitious, then writing books) as well as the business oriented roles.

If all this sounds a little theoretical, check out the MBA jobs offered by Random House to MBA grads. Click on the 'Job Category' list and it'll show all the relevant roles for the industry.

So, is Dubai getting the thumbs up? This isn't the right thread to get into the details, but if I were in your shoes, I'd take up the Canada offer.
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Re: Careers in publishing and writing [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2011, 08:20
I do have some exposure to the publishing industry and I can tell you that the creatives don't go for MBAs. They go for MFAs in prestigious institutes such as Iowa Writer's Workshop and those on the business side have mostly matured from the operational/ creative side. MBAs are hard to come by in this industry. Myabe E-MBAs but not the young ones straight out of school.
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Re: Careers in publishing and writing [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2011, 08:59
"careers" in writing? Good luck with that. If you want to be a writer, go write.

About the worst thing you could do would be to amass a huge student loan debt, which will necessarily require you to forgo non-lucrative career tracks like publishing. This is the quintessential example of a door that gets closed by an MBA (not missing out on too much though, since the sound of the publishing industry nowadays is a cacophony of slamming doors)
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Re: Careers in publishing and writing [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2011, 10:40
JoelCairo wrote:
About the worst thing you could do would be to amass a huge student loan debt, which will necessarily require you to forgo non-lucrative career tracks like publishing. This is the quintessential example of a door that gets closed by an MBA (not missing out on too much though, since the sound of the publishing industry nowadays is a cacophony of slamming doors)

Very true about the slamming doors part. Also agree with you on the RoI not working out for writing roles.
I've been hanging around the fringes of the industry for too long and one door opened up only recently. And the compensation for all the patience is hardly sufficient to pay the bills.

I do know of a few folks (consultants, bankers) who completed their MBAs from bschools and graduated without a crippling debt. They started writing on a part-time basis, their books sold well and when their names gained credibility, they got into it on a full-time basis. But they may be exceptions rather than the rule. For those who are going solo, chances of being successful in a short span of time are pretty slim.

The business side can be a little more predictable - with conventional roles in production, distribution, finance, marketing.

Which is why, I'd be keen to hear Anasthaesium's story.
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Re: Careers in publishing and writing [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2011, 10:49
Anasthaesium wrote:
I do have some exposure to the publishing industry

If I am not being too intrusive, I'd like to learn about your experience in publishing. Were there others in the team who had an MBA? Or is having a management degree not the norm?

Most of my knowledge about the business aspects of publishing is theoretical. So I'm hoping to learn from guys who've been there done that.
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Re: Careers in publishing and writing [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2011, 09:55
Well, for what little experience I have in publishing ( I am senior editor at a magazine and going to launch my own soon in addition to my day job) , I havent come across many with MBAs. In the finance dept., yes, few. In the marketing strat depts. , yeah some. Senior corporate roles ,yeah, some E-MBA types. But hard to find a HSW grad ( read 0.00001% probability) of finding one straight after B-school at a publishing house. But in some established media firms with in-house advertising and PR depts. I have seen and networked with a few MBA account managers (mostly from lower rung schools, again, not HSWKB )
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Re: Careers in publishing and writing [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2014, 02:15
wow, this is really very rare for MBA applicants...
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Re: Careers in publishing and writing [#permalink] New post 14 Apr 2014, 22:00
MBACrystalBall wrote:
Publishing may not be the hottest career destination for top MBA grads. But for those who are interested, the industry offers plenty of opportunities on the creative and business side.

For many others who don't want to leave their lucrative jobs in consulting and I-banking, writing for the traditional (print) or digital media can still be an extra-curricular option.

I couldn't find any relevant threads on the topic. Any professional/amateur writers out here with experiences and tips to share?


The career for an author is not an easy one though it is certainly a very interesting field to work in. But it is very uncommon to pursue such a career after an MBA. Of course when you launch your own publishing house the degree is going to help you a lot.
Re: Careers in publishing and writing   [#permalink] 14 Apr 2014, 22:00
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