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Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water

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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2008, 14:00
IHateTheGMAT wrote:
terp06 wrote:
IHateTheGMAT wrote:
Terp -

Dude quit lumping USC (ranked 21 in USnews and BW and is normally around 18) in with Pepperdine which is not in anyones top 50, or even top 100. I've lived in southern california a lot longer than you have and there is a HUGE differences between USC and pepperdine (or any other school other than UCLA for that matter). In socal it's UCLA, USC then everybody else. The fact that you lump these schools together does make me question the accuracy of some of your other comments.

edit: one other thing. UCLA/USC/Pepperdine are on a level playing field for GM and corporate jobs? Are you crazy? In socal, if you are looking at IB/MC/PE/GM/Mkt or any other field your chances (based on where you get your MBA) will fall in this order - UCLA, USC, Pepperdine/LMU and everywhere else. ALWAYS.


Alright, I'll agree with you on Pepperdine. However, don't Marshall and Anderson maintain distinct advantages in certain fields? i.e. I know that Anderson is a lot better for Finance/Consulting, but isn't USC considered the gold standard in some fields where its alumni are dominant?


Marshall is arguably stronger in media/entertainment/real estate. But even if I were going into one of those fields I still think I'd be better off at Anderson. Anderson has a stronger overall rep and that's what counts the most. However, I will say that its VERY VERY common out here for certain companies to have nearly all USC grads or nearly all UCLA grads. People down here have a strong affinity for their schools, so if the people making the hiring decisions went to USC you have a better shot landing that job even though UCLA is the better school. There is definitlely a lot of this is a "USC company" this is a "UCLA company" stuff going on down here. But, overall, your odds will be better at UCLA. Any company that's neutral, will go for UCLA grads. And obviously amogst the top IB/MC, etc there is no such thing as a "USC company" so they will always favor UCLA. UCLA has significantly better IB/MC placement than USC. But of course, many of those top firms hire as many or more people from the top east coast schools as UCLA.


This confirmed what I have heard from numerous people in SoCal. I think I may have just exaggerated and/or communicated poorly in my original post. By this same token, I would not be surprised if there are several companies which place high value on regional universities in their respective local areas due to the strength of the alumni base. In jallenmorris' case, OU.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2008, 14:05
There are companies here that place value on OU, and you'll see that in any region. I think what you'll find is that the majority of those companies that value the regional MBA programs are regional companies. HQ are there, it's like keeping it in the family for these companies. They also know the programs and know the students. They have a better ability to look at a resume and see where the person went to UG, how they did is a certain professor's class, or other regional aspects. There are things these companies can do that national companies like IB/MC/PE/VC cannot do. They have an image that is as much where the consultants went to school as what the consultants can produce.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2008, 20:10
jallenmorris wrote:
There are companies here that place value on OU, and you'll see that in any region. I think what you'll find is that the majority of those companies that value the regional MBA programs are regional companies. HQ are there, it's like keeping it in the family for these companies. They also know the programs and know the students. They have a better ability to look at a resume and see where the person went to UG, how they did is a certain professor's class, or other regional aspects. There are things these companies can do that national companies like IB/MC/PE/VC cannot do. They have an image that is as much where the consultants went to school as what the consultants can produce.


Out of curiosity, which companies recruit OU grads? I did my MA at OU (Army paid for it), and am curious to see by any chance if these companies have a European office. Thanks!
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2008, 03:42
Off the top of my head I remember the woman I spoke to yesterday mentioned they place people each year with KPMG. I'll be speaking with Mel Penn later this week about their placement as he is the person that reports the information to the ranking publications.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2008, 13:52
It is tough because it's very difficult to take a pay cut. To illustrate:

Case in point...when I first started working out of undergrad (12 years ago), I made $42k/yr. It wasn't a lot of money but I was single and I had a cheap crappy studio apartment in Oakland (only $600/mo for rent) and drove a used car that I bought a few years earlier for $6k, etc. I lived paycheck to paycheck for the first 6 months and then started saving a little bit of money and then bought a new car.

A few years later, I had a bunch of raises, went to new jobs, and I was making $120k/yr. By then, I had bought a house, still had the new car that I bought a few years prior, and went out every day. I was saving a little bit of money but as you can imagine, my spending was way higher than when I was making $42k/yr.

Fast forward to now where I make a lot more and my wife also works...but now we have home that's over $1M (so you can imagine the monthly payments), drive nice new cars every few years (currently drive a 2006 BMW 750Li that was $85,000), etc. Expenses have gone way up from back when I was making $120k/yr. We also have a son so we pay $2500/mo for a nanny, etc.

My wife and I talk about having her stay home to take care of the kid, etc...but that would mean moving to a less expensive home, getting more standard cars (e.g. honda accord, toyota camry, etc.), eating at home, eating at cheaper places when we do go out (no more high end steakhouses with lots of wine), etc. This is if she stops working. If I decide to take a much less stressful job that allows me to spend more time at home, that will pay something like $120k/yr and it would be an even more drastic change to our lifestyles. I don't think we can move into a 1000 sq ft. apartment at this point in our lives.

My point is that as you move up in your careers (which is what we want to do), you make more money but you also have a lot more stress and a lot more time at work (less time at home). If there's a job out there that will pay the same as I get paid now but I can work 9-5 M-F...I'd be all over it. It just doesn't exist. So the original poster in many ways is correct in saying that "family + Post MBA Career = oil + water".

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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2008, 14:00
You're right in that people do expand their expenses as their incomes expand. The truth is though, it doesn't have to be this way. These are all choices we make. I didn't have to go buy the flatscreen LCD tv that I wanted. (32" is modest, but still not a necessity). My point is that I can take a job that I'm making big $$ and not go to excess with the spending. Any of you that doubt that, let me be clear: It's my wife that gives me this ability, not mine on my own. I enjoy the luxuries of life and so does my wife, but she's more disciplined when it comes to gratification delay. I think many people that make $150k+ a year would be absolutely shocked to see how a family of 4 can live in other parts of the country outside of huge metro areas. The income starts people to turning "wants" into "needs". The BMW you have is sweet, but it gets you to point B from point A the same as my 1966 Mustang does and I paid about 90% less for my 'Stang than you did for you BMW and it's worth more now because it actually has appreciated in value from when I bought it. I think the take-away from this entire thread is that we all make choices and decisions based upon our own unique experiences and that is what is truly diverse. Would I drive the BMW if given the opportunity? Sure, but it is truly not my style, otherwise, I wouldn't be driving a 42 year old classic muscle car. (When I go fast I want to go loud!)

This has really been a fun thread to discuss.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2008, 15:01
RVD wrote:
It is tough because it's very difficult to take a pay cut. To illustrate:

Case in point...when I first started working out of undergrad (12 years ago), I made $42k/yr. It wasn't a lot of money but I was single and I had a cheap crappy studio apartment in Oakland (only $600/mo for rent) and drove a used car that I bought a few years earlier for $6k, etc. I lived paycheck to paycheck for the first 6 months and then started saving a little bit of money and then bought a new car.

A few years later, I had a bunch of raises, went to new jobs, and I was making $120k/yr. By then, I had bought a house, still had the new car that I bought a few years prior, and went out every day. I was saving a little bit of money but as you can imagine, my spending was way higher than when I was making $42k/yr.

Fast forward to now where I make a lot more and my wife also works...but now we have home that's over $1M (so you can imagine the monthly payments), drive nice new cars every few years (currently drive a 2006 BMW 750Li that was $85,000), etc. Expenses have gone way up from back when I was making $120k/yr. We also have a son so we pay $2500/mo for a nanny, etc.

My wife and I talk about having her stay home to take care of the kid, etc...but that would mean moving to a less expensive home, getting more standard cars (e.g. honda accord, toyota camry, etc.), eating at home, eating at cheaper places when we do go out (no more high end steakhouses with lots of wine), etc. This is if she stops working. If I decide to take a much less stressful job that allows me to spend more time at home, that will pay something like $120k/yr and it would be an even more drastic change to our lifestyles. I don't think we can move into a 1000 sq ft. apartment at this point in our lives.

My point is that as you move up in your careers (which is what we want to do), you make more money but you also have a lot more stress and a lot more time at work (less time at home). If there's a job out there that will pay the same as I get paid now but I can work 9-5 M-F...I'd be all over it. It just doesn't exist. So the original poster in many ways is correct in saying that "family + Post MBA Career = oil + water".

RVD.


Great post - It's good to see someone else's perspective on this, especially someone with more experience. From what I've seen, the difficulty of taking a paycut is proportional to what percentage of your income you spend. The less you rely on your current income, the more secure you are on a rainy day. If you actually wanted to take a lower paying job, I would think that it would have to be a slow and smooth transition (i.e. you'd start cutting down your expenses now and saving more). No matter how you think about it though, it's not easy. People quickly adapt to their income levels and it's just a downfall of most people. I saw plenty of people who went from making $120K/year-ish to being in the 300k range during the dot-com boom. They got used to a certain lifestyle and had a very difficult time adapting back to reality once the economy and job market corrected itself.

The 750Li is a beautiful car by the way.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2008, 16:52
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2008, 17:25
42k right out of college 12 years ago?! 120k a few years later?! boy, has my career been a spectacular failure. damn liberal arts.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2008, 18:50
solaris1 wrote:
42k right out of college 12 years ago?! 120k a few years later?! boy, has my career been a spectacular failure. damn liberal arts.
:shock:


I thought those numbers were fairly impressive too - especially considering it was 12 years ago and I don't believe he was in Finance.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2008, 22:46
i was in management consulting. it went something like this:

6/1996: $42k at a small consulting firm
12/1996: $50k
6/1997: $60k
6/1998: $80k (they really liked me b/c i worked hard) - bought house for $250k (which bought a nice house in SoCal back then)
3/1999: $120k (jumped to KPMG consulting, old firm offered $100k to stay) - dot com boom was happening
4/2000: $180k (left KPMG to go independent consulting)
5/2001: $220k (independent)
3/2002: $120k (back full time at a software company)

2002: got married. wife makes similar amount as me.

...2004: sold 1998 house for $555,000 and bought new house for $987,000.

and then back up again in salary when I started my own company, etc.

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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2008, 19:33
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Maybe i can give an alternative perspective... 34 with 2 kids, crappy undergrad but worked my way up and always managed to have a sustained work-life balance. I've NEVER done an 80 hour week, probably the most i've ever done is a 60 hour week. Family balance is also imperative to me and finding that balance along with career choice is the key. Blasting away debt quickly is not necessary the way to go. To give a quick summary of my career.

1995-97 - Graduated - took easy jobs so that I could focus on music career ($12k pa - 37.5 hours per week)
1997 - relocated to London, took jobs to pay rent ($26k - 37.5 hours per week)) - switched departments due to high performance
1998 - changed company for pay rise ($42k - 45 hours per week (2 hours per day commute) = 55 hours per week)
1999 - changed company due to commute ( $50k - 37.5 hours per week)
2000 - $68k (37.5 hours)
2001 - $72k (37.5 hours) - bought house for $380k
2002 - $75k (37.5 hours) - got married
2003 - relocated to Tokyo as independent consultant $120k (with approx 3 months vacations during that year) - 37.5 hours per week.. I billed by the day, and i specifically put 7.5 hours per day in the contract.
Kids born 2005 and 2008

Not stellar money, however money was never my goal and as you can probably see from the working hours, a good balance is what I've always targeted. However, one advantage i did have, due to the musical aspirations, whenever I went out, it was usually to DJ and I would get lots of free beers and a bit of cash.
In terms of recommendation, all I can say is that moving abroad was important mostly because the wife was on an ex-patriot package as an international teacher which helped to subsidise overhead costs such as rent. Plus the hours we worked meant we could spend a lot of time together and give lots of time for the kids. As such I have a huge compilation of videos of my childrens upbringing, our interactions and treasured moments of fun, something which we can share together. That's something a succesful career cannot buy. So for me the MBA is all about giving me options in targetting a path i want to tread.

Things like eating at expensive restaurants are not a concern for me, i prefer to cook, and to be honest, I can cook just as well as a lot of good restaurants, if not better (parents have a background in catering).. plus I enjoy it, and its certainly cheaper than constantly eating at fine dining places. (e.g. people pay through the nose for Fois Gras, but its half the price to buy it and cook it yourself... and it's not difficult and you can make it suit your tastes moreso than a restaurant) furthemore, learning to cook good quality meals can be fun to do with the family and trains a great skill.

The other thing to look at, if quality of life is an issue, is relocating to another country where you could increase QOL on a lower salary. It's one of the main reasons a lot teachers go into international school teaching... fully paid apartments with maids and drivers, private healthcare and plush apartments... basic salary may not be great, but expenses are extremely low and lifestyle is extremely high. Have you considered moving abroad to do your MBA? I took my family with me to Hong Kong to do mine (wife not working).. one advantage of this, is she is now integrating into the ex-pat community and helping me to find networks which are not accessible through regular B-school networks.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2008, 08:40
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My expectations of top level GM positions, or being a financial executive (Treasurer, Business CFO) for a F500 company in Industry is that work will likely be in the 60+ hrs per week, which I don't think is too bad considering the more laid back cultures outside of banking and consulting. That seems to be what the sub C level execs are doing at my firm, at least.

The one key thing I think a lot of you guys are forgetting are
1) The importance of corporate culture where you go to work. GE is going to be a different environment than say Abbott Labs. You think fit is important in an MBA? It's just as if not more important at work.

2) I think the argument that "you can never become a C level exec at these firms without a top tier MBA" is completely flawed. No one here has even brought up the concept of individual ability and achievement. Working 80 hours a week and sacrificing your family time is not going to automatically make your career dreams come true. You have to be good, saavy, and networked well to make it work. I think what we see is that the top tier MBA programs (well especially Kellogg, my #1) foster that kind of thinking.

At the end of the day Morris, no one here is going to have the answer for you. I think there is a lot to be said for evaluating what you want out of life and deciding what you are willing to sacrifice or settle for. The benefit of a top tier MBA in my opinion, is that it opens the doors to dip your toe into anything if you want.

I'm married and my wife is going to be a doctor, and we would be looking at debt close to 300k when I graduate from B School. Some people look at me like I'm crazy for not signing the dotted line to becoming a live at home Dad. I may do that someday if it makes sense or our Kids need me to, but I would consider a Kellogg MBA an achievement that I couldn't have dreamed of when I was in high school, and I'm doing this just as much for personal goals and educational achievement as anything else.

In a nutshell - what does your MBA and Career mean to you in light of everything else? There are always trade-offs, but I think a top tier MBA creates the most options.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2008, 18:26
Manbehindthecurtain wrote:
My expectations of top level GM positions, or being a financial executive (Treasurer, Business CFO) for a F500 company in Industry is that work will likely be in the 60+ hrs per week, which I don't think is too bad considering the more laid back cultures outside of banking and consulting. That seems to be what the sub C level execs are doing at my firm, at least.

The one key thing I think a lot of you guys are forgetting are
1) The importance of corporate culture where you go to work. GE is going to be a different environment than say Abbott Labs. You think fit is important in an MBA? It's just as if not more important at work.

2) I think the argument that "you can never become a C level exec at these firms without a top tier MBA" is completely flawed. No one here has even brought up the concept of individual ability and achievement. Working 80 hours a week and sacrificing your family time is not going to automatically make your career dreams come true. You have to be good, saavy, and networked well to make it work. I think what we see is that the top tier MBA programs (well especially Kellogg, my #1) foster that kind of thinking.

At the end of the day Morris, no one here is going to have the answer for you. I think there is a lot to be said for evaluating what you want out of life and deciding what you are willing to sacrifice or settle for. The benefit of a top tier MBA in my opinion, is that it opens the doors to dip your toe into anything if you want.

I'm married and my wife is going to be a doctor, and we would be looking at debt close to 300k when I graduate from B School. Some people look at me like I'm crazy for not signing the dotted line to becoming a live at home Dad. I may do that someday if it makes sense or our Kids need me to, but I would consider a Kellogg MBA an achievement that I couldn't have dreamed of when I was in high school, and I'm doing this just as much for personal goals and educational achievement as anything else.

In a nutshell - what does your MBA and Career mean to you in light of everything else? There are always trade-offs, but I think a top tier MBA creates the most options.


Inspiring post - kudos.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2008, 23:47
Manbehindthecurtain wrote:

I'm married and my wife is going to be a doctor, and we would be looking at debt close to 300k when I graduate from B School. Some people look at me like I'm crazy for not signing the dotted line to becoming a live at home Dad. I may do that someday if it makes sense or our Kids need me to, but I would consider a Kellogg MBA an achievement that I couldn't have dreamed of when I was in high school, and I'm doing this just as much for personal goals and educational achievement as anything else.

In a nutshell - what does your MBA and Career mean to you in light of everything else? There are always trade-offs, but I think a top tier MBA creates the most options.


My wife is a doctor. I already stayed home with our now 2-year old son this past year, and let me tell you that it's not for everybody. My expectations of how everything would go were a bit unrealistic; I really thought it would be a cakewalk. While I did have a good time with our son and taking care of the home while my wife worked, I could not do this for an indefinite period of time. 1 year is enough, and this type of lifestyle is simply not meant for me. I truly have a lot of respect for the stay-at-home Moms, because this is no easy job. In terms of personal and professional fulfillment, I simply know that I need to be in a work/studying environment with other people who share a common interest and/or are goal-oriented.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 05 Nov 2008, 10:40
I am very much interested in this topic. This is a very timely thread.

I am trying to decide whether to go for an EMBA program or should go part time. EMBA is expensive, but, offers cohort system and chance to complete the program definitely in 2 yrs. Part time costs relatively less and moreover you can spread the costs over more than 3 yrs. But, you will take longer to complete the program.

With this background, the question of whether I will be traveling more if I have an MBA is also coming up during discussions with my wife. With 2 kids (5 yrs and 2 month old) and my wife's job, and my monthly travel for my job: we are trying to discuss our options. I am convinced that I want an EMBA. If I don't do it now, I fear that I won't get an MBA later in the life. My age is 32 right now. If I start EMBA in 2009, I will be 35 by the time I graduate. I think that's ideal for leveraging of the lessons I learnt during EMBA program.

Other details: I have exactly 8 yrs of experience. Have Masters in Engineering, present job in engineering. Would like to stay within Twincities area. (MSP)

Thoughts??
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 06 Nov 2008, 13:51
This was from a coupple pages ago, but I think it's important to keep in mind how small the teir 1 undergrad and Ultra Elite/Elite Business schools are compaired to the pool of all Undergrad schools (I think there's 3500 or so in the US many of which are far larger) and Business schools (several hundred of varying sizes) whenever you talk about total C level employees at fortune 500 companies. One of the articles linked in this thread makes a 1:1 comparison between Harvard undergrad and the University of Wisconson. Harvard has like 6,000 undergrad students, Wisconson has about 60,000. So if there's 10 CEO's from Harvard and 11 from Wisconson students at Harvard are about 10x as likely to become CEO's.

While there are more senior exectuives coming out of the 99% of schools that aren't Harvard, Stanford, etc. there aren't 99x as many.

My girlfriend is really starting to freak out about giving up her successful sales career in DC if I end up getting into Tuck or Johnson. She also worries that life is gonna become all about me for a while and she might have to take a backseat while I'm having all these amazing experiences. I've spent the last 3 months doing a constant sales pitch for the involvement of partners at these schools and Kellogg but it's only half working.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2008, 06:52
Such a great thread ... unfortunately (or fortunately) I'm off to a flight shortly, but I will try to add my 2c later. This is something that I've thought about a lot. The upshot: I made the decision to avoid MC and IB for a variety of reasons but the biggest is indeed life balance.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2008, 07:04
what are the hours like in VC or PE? are they pretty crazy as well?
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2008, 07:08
gt7er wrote:
what are the hours like in VC or PE? are they pretty crazy as well?


Very firm and level dependent. You'll have some VC shops where everyone works 40-50 hours/week and you'll have some PE shops where the norm is 80-100 hour weeks. I would say that on average, junior guys in PE/VC can expect to spend 60-75 hours in the office, and senior guys can expect to spend about 50 hours/week in the office. The senior guys also have to travel quite a bit.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water   [#permalink] 07 Nov 2008, 07:08
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