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Has Anyone Felt Like This?

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Has Anyone Felt Like This? [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2014, 16:39
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Really long time lurker, first time poster. When I started my GMAT studying earlier this year and my MBA admissions "journey", I was pretty gung ho about it. I had my sites set on a top 10 school for sure and had built up a resume to go along w/ it (went to a top public undergrad business school, 2 years at Deloitte, 2.5 years at a Fortune 100, and even 1 year in Africa trying to start my own non-profit). The more I researched getting an MBA, the more I was turned off. I find the price of the schools to be outrageous (10 years to recoup the costs on average even at a top school???), and there's a whole industry devoted to GMAT test prep which I thought was crazy (it seems like everybody who got a 750 or above on the exam is starting their own test prep company). And a lot of these posts I read on this forum make it sound like the sole life ambition of a lot of the posters is to get into a top school. I don't hear of what they want to do with the degree. I can't say my whole life would be complete just because I went to Wharton or a school like that.

To top it off, I don't think I have any ambition to go work as a consultant or a ibank. I also don't think most people realize how crappy consulting or ibanking really is. I worked consulting - I consider it the worst decision I ever made. The hours were ridiculous, the travel wears you down, you can't create/sustaine any relationships while doing the job, and you work so much you are extremely unhealthy. I remember thinking on drive back from a client "If I crash into the wall right now, I won't have to go to work tomorrow." And a lot my colleagues had the same thought too. I even had partners tell me, "I wish I spent more time with my family instead of working so hard" (I've heard the same from VPs at ibanks). Ibanking sounds worse. All my friends that went ibanking hated it and were out in 2 years and they were super into that lifestyle going in - they're favorite movie was Wall Street, read books about Michael Milkin, etc...

I haven't read a post that brings up these points. What does everybody think? Am I too cynical?

Also, despite all of this I'm still considering getting an MBA since I still do see somewhat of a benefit (slightly higher pay, good networking opportunity with bright and ambitious people - I've really enjoyed meeting the people in my MGMAT prep class and at the info sessions for the top schools) but I find it increasingly difficult to put in the time and concentration required to get a top GMAT score as I am a bit jaded.
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Re: Has Anyone Felt Like This? [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2014, 18:08
eutothegene wrote:
Really long time lurker, first time poster. When I started my GMAT studying earlier this year and my MBA admissions "journey", I was pretty gung ho about it. I had my sites set on a top 10 school for sure and had built up a resume to go along w/ it (went to a top public undergrad business school, 2 years at Deloitte, 2.5 years at a Fortune 100, and even 1 year in Africa trying to start my own non-profit). The more I researched getting an MBA, the more I was turned off. I find the price of the schools to be outrageous (10 years to recoup the costs on average even at a top school???), and there's a whole industry devoted to GMAT test prep which I thought was crazy (it seems like everybody who got a 750 or above on the exam is starting their own test prep company). And a lot of these posts I read on this forum make it sound like the sole life ambition of a lot of the posters is to get into a top school. I don't hear of what they want to do with the degree. I can't say my whole life would be complete just because I went to Wharton or a school like that.

To top it off, I don't think I have any ambition to go work as a consultant or a ibank. I also don't think most people realize how crappy consulting or ibanking really is. I worked consulting - I consider it the worst decision I ever made. The hours were ridiculous, the travel wears you down, you can't create/sustaine any relationships while doing the job, and you work so much you are extremely unhealthy. I remember thinking on drive back from a client "If I crash into the wall right now, I won't have to go to work tomorrow." And a lot my colleagues had the same thought too. I even had partners tell me, "I wish I spent more time with my family instead of working so hard" (I've heard the same from VPs at ibanks). Ibanking sounds worse. All my friends that went ibanking hated it and were out in 2 years and they were super into that lifestyle going in - they're favorite movie was Wall Street, read books about Michael Milkin, etc...

I haven't read a post that brings up these points. What does everybody think? Am I too cynical?

Also, despite all of this I'm still considering getting an MBA since I still do see somewhat of a benefit (slightly higher pay, good networking opportunity with bright and ambitious people - I've really enjoyed meeting the people in my MGMAT prep class and at the info sessions for the top schools) but I find it increasingly difficult to put in the time and concentration required to get a top GMAT score as I am a bit jaded.


I hear you on the cynicism re: Banking and Consulting. But at the end of the day, you need to ask yourself "Where do I want to go with my career, and how does an MBA help me get there?" If you are just interested in going to a top 10 school because apparently there's good connections and stuff... well then I can see why the inspiration just isn't there.
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Re: Has Anyone Felt Like This? [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2014, 19:16
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"10 years to recoup the costs on average even at a top school?"

This is inaccurate. It ultimately depends on what your salary was beforehand, how much money you have saved, scholarships you earn, etc. At top 10 schools, median comp is $140k at graduation, and about $180-220k after 5 years....so the repay period is much closer to 3-5 years.

Top schools also open up opportunities in fields other than finance and consulting....tech, healthcare, marketing/cpg, etc are all big. They aren't always as lucrative, but still start you off $100k salary, $20-30k bonus.

But ya, business school isn't right for everyone, and it's totally okay if you don't want to go. I make $100k currently, so definitely thinking about some ROI issues on my own end, but I figure it's worth the experience...I've never met anyone who went to Kellogg who regretted it, even slightly (although I've heard people regret it from a few other schools, like Columbia).
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Re: Has Anyone Felt Like This? [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2014, 19:29
I think I may be slightly jaded from all the posts I read on how it's a "dream" to go to business school. I see it as a step on a ladder up.

I agree about the ROI issues. That's one of my biggest concerns. A top school will cost $180K or so once it's all done (including living costs) and I make close to $100K and it would be reasonable to assume I would hit $100K plus bonus in the next year or so. My total cost would be $380K. My boss has his MBA and he was saying I'd be crazy to quit to go full-time. My boss got his MBA when he was early 20s (I'm 29) and in a dead end job not making $100K with a lot of upside.

I'm actually considering purchasing a small business or starting a business for that kind of money instead.

That's funny about Columbia. That was the school I wanted because I love NYC but the more research I do on it, the less I want to go.
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Re: Has Anyone Felt Like This? [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2014, 19:37
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eutothegene wrote:
I think I may be slightly jaded from all the posts I read on how it's a "dream" to go to business school. I see it as a step on a ladder up.

I agree about the ROI issues. That's one of my biggest concerns. A top school will cost $180K or so once it's all done (including living costs) and I make close to $100K and it would be reasonable to assume I would hit $100K plus bonus in the next year or so. My total cost would be $380K. My boss has his MBA and he was saying I'd be crazy to quit to go full-time. My boss got his MBA when he was early 20s (I'm 29) and in a dead end job not making $100K with a lot of upside.

I'm actually considering purchasing a small business or starting a business for that kind of money instead.

That's funny about Columbia. That was the school I wanted because I love NYC but the more research I do on it, the less I want to go.



It depends on what you want to do, and what you do now. What's your salary progression look like? What's your current career path look like? If you want a easy job, and don't care about making a lot of money, MBA is a bad choice...and that's a perfectly rational opinion to have. Most people who get an MBA at a top program our motivated towards something, and are willing to work hard and make sacrifices to do so (e.g. work those consulting hours). Personally I have great friends, great girlfriend, great travels, run marathons, etc...but I'm just so bored, and I always need to be working towards something greater or I get a bit depressed. So for me, MBA was an easy choice (I want to do consulting a few years and then go into executive track at a f500). There's nothing worse than ennui for me, and things like sky diving really only give a temporary fix. Maybe this will change when I'm older and have a family, but by than I'll have the debt paid off and a recession-proof resume.

Very few people's only ambitious is getting an MBA. Remember, this site is a biased sample...it's a site for people taking the GMAT and applying to business school, so that's all people post about here. Everyone (well most people) has a life outside of applying to business school and goals beyond getting their resume branded with a business school.

Also, what school did your boss go to? Getting some random MBA from somewhere local will give a very different experience than going to a top 10-20 program.

p.s. you're making a bit of a math error with your $380k estimate. You're double counting a lot. If you count the $100k in lost pay for year, then you don't count living expenses/rent, since living expenses come out of the $100k. Also internships and signing bonuses and such help a bit.
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Re: Has Anyone Felt Like This? [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2014, 19:57
I get bored too.

Have you done consulting before? Consulting work isn't fun. I dealt with a lot of BS and ultimately become extremely bored with it. You deal with a lot of theory but you never really do anything real. I don't mind hard work but I do mind when it's a lot of BS and not "real".

While I don't mind working at my company, I can't see myself there in the long term because of it's slow pace and the people there are too "comfortable" with their lives.

My boss went to South Carolina so I can see your point. I had another boss that went to McCombs and he was really for going to get an MBA even if I am already making close to $100K. But he also told me, if I'm not balls to the walls for an MBA, don't go.
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Re: Has Anyone Felt Like This? [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2014, 20:10
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eutothegene wrote:
I get bored too.

Have you done consulting before? Consulting work isn't fun. I dealt with a lot of BS and ultimately become extremely bored with it. You deal with a lot of theory but you never really do anything real. I don't mind hard work but I do mind when it's a lot of BS and not "real".

While I don't mind working at my company, I can't see myself there in the long term because of it's slow pace and the people there are too "comfortable" with their lives.

My boss went to South Carolina so I can see your point. I had another boss that went to McCombs and he was really for going to get an MBA even if I am already making close to $100K. But he also told me, if I'm not balls to the walls for an MBA, don't go.


I'm a project manager at an investment bank, so it's in essence "internal consulting," and a lot of it has been metrics related, so it's been a bit not "real" too. Been in global strategy groups too, so I've done a lot of things consultants would do, but more on the execution side I guess (e.g. business migrations)....so I hopefully have a somewhat decent idea of what I'm getting into, in fact I think it'll be better since I won't have to do the repetitious BAU work I get stuck with occasionally, and there will be more variety in projects. Not sure how I'll like the travel, but I'm sure I could do it for a year or two, which is all I really need before jumping over to a decent F500 position (assuming I get into a top consulting firm).


But, I guess we'll see how it actually plays out haha.
Re: Has Anyone Felt Like This?   [#permalink] 13 Apr 2014, 20:10
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