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# How much money did you walk away from to pursue an MBA?

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24 Oct 2010, 13:06
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i make about 80k right now with the most relaxed sales job i can imagine. I work from home, and dont stress very much. I REALLY want an MBA though even if its against my best financial interest at the moment. I am talking about a FULL time program, otherwise i'm not interested.

How much did you leave on the table ($$) when you went back to school? Was it alot? Were you nervous about doing so? Please only answer if you quit your job for a full time program. Also include your age. I plan on working during my program, but at a bar or something like that so I can help support my wife at least a little bit. Founder Affiliations: AS - Gold, HH-Diamond Joined: 04 Dec 2002 Posts: 14448 Location: United States (WA) GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42 GPA: 3.5 Followers: 3717 Kudos [?]: 22998 [1] , given: 4514 Re: How much money did you walk away from to pursue an MBA? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 25 Oct 2010, 11:46 1 This post received KUDOS Expert's post Great question but probably belongs in the MBA forum where it will appeal to a broader audience. _________________ Founder of GMAT Club US News Rankings progression - last 10 years in a snapshot - New! Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books Co-author of the GMAT Club tests GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings Manager Joined: 24 Aug 2010 Posts: 125 Schools: CBS Class of 2013 Followers: 5 Kudos [?]: 14 [1] , given: 0 Re: How much money did you walk away from to pursue an MBA? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 25 Oct 2010, 12:25 1 This post received KUDOS I'm giving up 2/3 of my equity in a start-up backed by Goldman. I figure, it's not worth the stress and not sure what multiples we're going to exit at, so risk just not worth the reward. VP Joined: 07 Apr 2009 Posts: 1183 Concentration: General Management, Strategy Schools: Duke (Fuqua) - Class of 2012 Followers: 35 Kudos [?]: 437 [1] , given: 19 Re: How much money did you walk away from to pursue an MBA? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 25 Oct 2010, 15:19 1 This post received KUDOS crypto wrote: i make about 80k right now with the most relaxed sales job i can imagine. I work from home, and dont stress very much. I REALLY want an MBA though even if its against my best financial interest at the moment. I am talking about a FULL time program, otherwise i'm not interested. How much did you leave on the table ($$\$) when you went back to school? Was it alot? Were you nervous about doing so? Please only answer if you quit your job for a full time program. Also include your age.

I plan on working during my program, but at a bar or something like that so I can help support my wife at least a little bit.
You should really consider why you want an MBA. Post-MBA jobs may have more vertical growth, but the pay isn't that much better than your current salary. There's usually more stress and time commitment involved in those jobs.

Also, you will have very little free time while you are doing your MBA, unless you don't plan on attending the networking/career-related events. IMO, recruiting is what separate elite programs from non-elites. Rhyme posted his schedule during his time at Booth http://gmatclub.com/forum/rhyme-s-guide-to-what-to-expect-from-recruiting-64846.html, I would say my schedule is pretty much the same. Thus, I would not plan to work a part-time job, especially at a bar, where you will not learn anything useful.
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Re: How much money did you walk away from to pursue an MBA? [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2010, 22:51
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Not applying until next fall, but will give up six figures and a CIO-designate position at an easy going company. I'm 30 years old with a wife and daughter who are financially dependent on me.

Not terribly nervous at the moment, but perhaps that will change by my application season. So far my keys are:
1) 100% family support - we all know what's at risk and what the reasons are for going, and it's still all systems go
2) Extensive research about the industry/function I want to enter, the schools that pipeline it, and financing options
3) Everything we've done preparation-wise is going according to plan. We're meeting our savings targets, I'm dominating grad school, GMAT was a relative success.
4) We've explored several alternatives and backup plans along the way in case things don't pan out how we envisioned

If my life were about making money and kicking back, I wouldn't need the MBA because I'm already there. But at some point I think we all wonder if what we're doing at the moment makes sense anymore. Does my job even matter? Is it fulfilling to me? Am I growing? And when you can't answer yes anymore, do you forsake yourself for the accumulation of money? I won't and neither will my family, so we're willing to cut it loose without much reservation.
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27 Oct 2010, 05:11
Thanks for posting all the useful information. It is helpful to get a general idea.
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27 Oct 2010, 05:28
crypto wrote:
i make about 80k right now with the most relaxed sales job i can imagine. I work from home, and dont stress very much. I REALLY want an MBA though even if its against my best financial interest at the moment. I am talking about a FULL time program, otherwise i'm not interested.

How much did you leave on the table ($$) when you went back to school? Was it alot? Were you nervous about doing so? Please only answer if you quit your job for a full time program. Also include your age. I plan on working during my program, but at a bar or something like that so I can help support my wife at least a little bit. Anyone who's in PE and applying is giving up significantly more....but, that being said i'm 25 and have no one to depend on me and have saved a good deal since college from banking and PE bonuses... Senior Manager Joined: 21 Sep 2010 Posts: 261 Followers: 5 Kudos [?]: 30 [0], given: 56 Re: How much money did you walk away from to pursue an MBA? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 29 Oct 2010, 07:56 You really would have to look deep inside yourself and ask: is it worth it? Only you can truly answer that question. _________________ "Only by going too far, can one find out how far one can go." --T.S. Elliot Intern Joined: 23 Oct 2010 Posts: 8 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 0 Re: How much money did you walk away from to pursue an MBA? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 31 Oct 2010, 16:08 method wrote: Not applying until next fall, but will give up six figures and a CIO-designate position at an easy going company. I'm 30 years old with a wife and daughter who are financially dependent on me. Not terribly nervous at the moment, but perhaps that will change by my application season. So far my keys are: 1) 100% family support - we all know what's at risk and what the reasons are for going, and it's still all systems go 2) Extensive research about the industry/function I want to enter, the schools that pipeline it, and financing options 3) Everything we've done preparation-wise is going according to plan. We're meeting our savings targets, I'm dominating grad school, GMAT was a relative success. 4) We've explored several alternatives and backup plans along the way in case things don't pan out how we envisioned If my life were about making money and kicking back, I wouldn't need the MBA because I'm already there. But at some point I think we all wonder if what we're doing at the moment makes sense anymore. Does my job even matter? Is it fulfilling to me? Am I growing? And when you can't answer yes anymore, do you forsake yourself for the accumulation of money? I won't and neither will my family, so we're willing to cut it loose without much reservation. thats very interesting. thanks for sharing. Are you going full time? what does your wife say? will you be soley using financial aid? are you relocating to a new city? I am looking at college of charleston, and i live in Colorado now. i dont want to do an executive program. I want the real college experience for the MBA. im 27 so we are close in age. Director Status: Go Blue! Joined: 03 Jun 2010 Posts: 685 Location: United States (MO) Concentration: Nonprofit, General Management Schools: Michigan (Ross) - Class of 2015 GMAT 1: 740 Q47 V45 GRE 1: 336 Q169 V167 GPA: 3.22 WE: Information Technology (Manufacturing) Followers: 16 Kudos [?]: 147 [0], given: 249 Re: How much money did you walk away from to pursue an MBA? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 01 Nov 2010, 06:45 crypto wrote: thats very interesting. thanks for sharing. Are you going full time? what does your wife say? will you be soley using financial aid? are you relocating to a new city? I am looking at college of charleston, and i live in Colorado now. i dont want to do an executive program. I want the real college experience for the MBA. im 27 so we are close in age. Sure! And yes, we plan on moving to attend a full-time program. There are no attractive full-time programs in Kansas City, so I feel your pain with the Colorado situation. At first, I started looking at online and part-time programs with the thought of evolving with my current employer, but the more I introspected, the more a different passion emerged. Wife is very supportive. She's also born and raised in KC, so this will be her first opportunity to live in a different metro, and as she aspires to be a writer I think that's exciting for her. We'll be evaluating a variety of options for financing. I'm headed into education management, so I will qualify for loan forgiveness from several schools and also the government. I'm also likely to qualify as a Consortium applicant since I currently tutor minority students with college aspirations, and there is a fellowship that usually factors in with one school. We're saving up a nice chunk of cash as well, but we own a home and will probably continue making payments on it while we're gone. And we also know that we won't be able to make a fully informed decision on financing until the dust settles and, hopefully, a few offers are on the table. We plan on coming right back, so part of me wishes I could do the Olin Executive MBA in KC, because it could be a fantastic chance to network with executives in the city. But I'm also a double jumper (new industry and new function), and the executive MBA isn't going to open as many doors. At 27, I imagine the same will hold true for you as well. If you want the full-time experience, you should go full-time, no question. Be careful to research the school, however, and take visits if you get it boiled down to a few schools. I currently attend UMKC to qualify for the CPA exam, and our MBA program would not present the same experience or culture as a more ranked program. Intern Joined: 15 Nov 2010 Posts: 6 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 2 Re: How much money did you walk away from to pursue an MBA? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 15 Nov 2010, 23:49 consider a 1-year program (full time) - costs less, and you will be able to go back to work sooner. Manager Joined: 05 Nov 2009 Posts: 54 Location: United States Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Technology GPA: 3.5 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 14 [0], given: 9 Re: How much money did you walk away from to pursue an MBA? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 16 Nov 2010, 12:29 Really nervous about the same topic. I make a pretty decent salary around six figs ( little more in a good year) with a fulltime job and a part time business in a relatively cheap city in Ohio. I have quite a few friends convincing me NOT to pursue MBA. However, I am tired of the technical field and want some change and move up into Management. Yes, its possible thru job change, but I want more. I want the theory and the BRAND name and NO, I am not interested in getting a PMP. I am the only earning member of my family and hence have to be a little cautious. I keep asking myself these questions and keep getting the same answers in my head. - Is MBA worth it ? Hell Yeah... - Is my post MBA salary going to be atleast 10 - 15 % more than current ? NO IDEA... - Do I think MBA from a good school would make a different ? YES, Very much.. isn't the BRAND we are all after ( of course education.. professors ... etc etc ) - Am I too old to pursue MBA ? Maybe.. I am 33 and by the time I graduate, I will be 36ish.... Too old for college parties anyways. - Should I pursue P/T MBA or F/T MBA ? P/T.... for the following reasons.. 1. I can still keep working and pay off the loan sooner 2. I can get into a good school on basis on my experience and a decent GMAT. I've heard its a little easier to get into P/T programs at good schools 3. F/T students are much younger and I don't want to be the only oldie in the class - Does a F/T MBA have a better brand value than P/T ? Yes, but its a risk I am willing to take. - Is my MBA going to pay me in short term ? I SINCERELY HOPE SO. I know its a great investment long term, but in the 5 years after MBA, I hope to see a drastic change in my career. GMAT Club Legend Joined: 10 Apr 2007 Posts: 4318 Location: Back in Chicago, IL Schools: Kellogg Alum: Class of 2010 Followers: 88 Kudos [?]: 750 [0], given: 5 Re: How much money did you walk away from to pursue an MBA? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 16 Nov 2010, 19:01 It is tough to walk away from a solid income to take on a bunch of debt but for most people it works out well. For example I was an lead engineer before school so making a very comfortable living...post MBA first year out I will more than double my previous income after bonus. Yes my salary is on the high side but most jobs pay well enough to justify it. Even if you aren't getting a significant bump in pay most people still feel it is worth it. I know what my earning potential is now and even if my pay wasn't what it is right now, 2 or 3 years from now salary growth and career potential are much superior to what they would be otherwise. That said, more pay and visability due to special programs and what not...well then thats a lot more stress and pressure. I have sit downs every few weeks with senior executives at my work about how I am progressing...its nice they are that involved and provide me with career advice and guidance all the time but it is clear expectations of me are different than any other employee who is at my level. Basically I am getting paid now for what I can do in a year or two not so much for what I do now because I am still doing mostly training. _________________ Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond. GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings SVP Joined: 30 Apr 2008 Posts: 1887 Location: Oklahoma City Schools: Hard Knocks Followers: 40 Kudos [?]: 570 [0], given: 32 Re: How much money did you walk away from to pursue an MBA? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 17 Nov 2010, 09:20 I think I need to weigh in from a different perspective. I am a practicing attorney and decided (for a number of reasons) not to pursue my MBA. The main factor was my family, but second was adding additional debt on top of my already large law school debt. It didn't make sense for me to add on so much more debt. I'm in a place now where I'm comfortable. If I ever get my MBA, I will already be done practicing law and on to a different job with my wife's business or go to a school locally here. There are times where it just doesn't make sense to leave the income or situation. I was in one of those situations. I can't begin to describe how disappointed I was that I wasn't even going to apply to some of the top school. If apps weren't so darn expensive (and interviews, etc) I would have applied anyway just to see if I could get in. But that would have created an even more difficult decision for me. If I thought I was depressed from not even applying, think of how it would have been to turn down U of Chicago or Northwestern? My thoughts too. _________________ ------------------------------------ J Allen Morris **I'm pretty sure I'm right, but then again, I'm just a guy with his head up his a$$.

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22 Nov 2010, 07:13
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I wanted to add my personal view on the age issue for HopefulOldie. Honestly, I'm older than you, I will be 37 or 38 at matriculation. Here is a thing though, the age matters if YOU make it matter. The median age at MBA programs is 28 not 25, unless you are going to H/S . Most people are mature enough at that age so you shouldn't have a problem finding common values with them. I know it from my own experience - if I feel old, then I'm going to be uncomfortable with youngsters. But if I forget the age, be myself and enjoy the crowd NO ONE will notice and I feel fit in.

I initially thought to attend P/T as well. However, after reading through this forum I figured that it is worth pursuing a F/T. Mainly:

1. I can dedicate my full attention to the material presented vs. after work classes in P/T program (fresh mind versus stressed and tired after a full work day)
2. I will have an access to much better career service in F/T versus P/T
3. I will build a bigger, stronger network of friends and colleagues due to the fact that I will spend more time in the school compressed in two years versus 4 years of after-work studies.
4. It is way easier to change your career in F/T rather than in P/T
5. Finally, and probably most importantly, the F/T program will have a transformational experience in your life. You will submerge yourself for two years in the atmosphere of self betterness, learning, development. Ideally, it will change your way of thinking, your values and your understanding of the world. It sounds idealistic, but it is true in many ways. The Top10-15 school will mint you. And this is why I'm going there.

I'm also seeking an intelligent/intellectual crowd and I'm hoping to find one there.

As for walking away: 6 figure income and 10 years of IT experience. Management position

-kundozei
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22 Nov 2010, 07:52
kundozei wrote:
I wanted to add my personal view on the age issue for HopefulOldie. Honestly, I'm older than you, I will be 37 or 38 at matriculation. Here is a thing though, the age matters if YOU make it matter. The median age at MBA programs is 28 not 25, unless you are going to H/S . Most people are mature enough at that age so you shouldn't have a problem finding common values with them. I know it from my own experience - if I feel old, then I'm going to be uncomfortable with youngsters. But if I forget the age, be myself and enjoy the crowd NO ONE will notice and I feel fit in.

I initially thought to attend P/T as well. However, after reading through this forum I figured that it is worth pursuing a F/T. Mainly:

1. I can dedicate my full attention to the material presented vs. after work classes in P/T program (fresh mind versus stressed and tired after a full work day)
2. I will have an access to much better career service in F/T versus P/T
3. I will build a bigger, stronger network of friends and colleagues due to the fact that I will spend more time in the school compressed in two years versus 4 years of after-work studies.
4. It is way easier to change your career in F/T rather than in P/T
5. Finally, and probably most importantly, the F/T program will have a transformational experience in your life. You will submerge yourself for two years in the atmosphere of self betterness, learning, development. Ideally, it will change your way of thinking, your values and your understanding of the world. It sounds idealistic, but it is true in many ways. The Top10-15 school will mint you. And this is why I'm going there.

I'm also seeking an intelligent/intellectual crowd and I'm hoping to find one there.

As for walking away: 6 figure income and 10 years of IT experience. Management position

-kundozei

Excellent post Kundozei,

Well what can I say.. I was BORN OLD. Even when I was in my teens I used to think / feel like a 30 yr old.

For me, PT seems to be the logical option because I am the only earning member of my family and have a few other loans to pay off too. I know P/T would be a little stressful but hopefully from my F/T salary, I might be able to reduce the amount of loan for MBA. I completely agree that F/T MBA is awesome for career change, however, I am not planning to do a career change, just move up the ladder FASTER. And did I mention getting into a top 20 P/T MBA program is a little bit easier.
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22 Nov 2010, 09:25
Quote:
Excellent post Kundozei,

Well what can I say.. I was BORN OLD. Even when I was in my teens I used to think / feel like a 30 yr old.

For me, PT seems to be the logical option because I am the only earning member of my family and have a few other loans to pay off too. I know P/T would be a little stressful but hopefully from my F/T salary, I might be able to reduce the amount of loan for MBA. I completely agree that F/T MBA is awesome for career change, however, I am not planning to do a career change, just move up the ladder FASTER. And did I mention getting into a top 20 P/T MBA program is a little bit easier.

HopefulOldie, I totally understand. Given your circumstances P/T makes a lot of sense. I think there is thread on GMAT club about schools where a career office is more friendly for P/T students. (I remember NYC Stern was not one of them).

Last edited by kundozei on 25 Dec 2010, 15:59, edited 6 times in total.
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25 Dec 2010, 15:05
Agree with Kundozei.

I will be walking away from a six figure salary and a recent promotion. For me the benefits are:

- Spending 2 years planning / getting my own business off the ground while leveraging MBA resources and networks

- If the business doesn't work out then change the industry and role as I am not a big fan of my current company / role... even though it's very comfortable and probably I'll progress fast

By the way, I'm also on the older size -- 30.
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26 Dec 2010, 06:55
method wrote:
Not applying until next fall, but will give up six figures and a CIO-designate position at an easy going company. I'm 30 years old with a wife and daughter who are financially dependent on me.

Not terribly nervous at the moment, but perhaps that will change by my application season. So far my keys are:
1) 100% family support - we all know what's at risk and what the reasons are for going, and it's still all systems go
2) Extensive research about the industry/function I want to enter, the schools that pipeline it, and financing options
3) Everything we've done preparation-wise is going according to plan. We're meeting our savings targets, I'm dominating grad school, GMAT was a relative success.
4) We've explored several alternatives and backup plans along the way in case things don't pan out how we envisioned

If my life were about making money and kicking back, I wouldn't need the MBA because I'm already there. But at some point I think we all wonder if what we're doing at the moment makes sense anymore. Does my job even matter? Is it fulfilling to me? Am I growing? And when you can't answer yes anymore, do you forsake yourself for the accumulation of money? I won't and neither will my family, so we're willing to cut it loose without much reservation.

I am infrequent in checking this forum, but reading this, you are my hero I have exact same thoughts about pursuing an MBA. I have friends who are advising against it with my 6 figure salary and faster promotions in job title and responsibility. It does come down to the job mattering to you and whether you seek fulfillment! I wish all the folks here best of luck I am 31 and will be 34 if I start B School in 2011, thats on the higher end!! But I hope to be in a different league during recruiting, I am seriously thinking to be more focussed (like you suggest by researching your options earlier) and not pursuing every passing fad. Instead I know I need to be focussed on startups and general Management and thats what I will seek when I get out too, may be start my own venture while at school. All said and done, I am not seeking instant salary raise or entry into Investment Banking/Consulting, instead I seek fulfillment and reaching where I want to go in a better way!
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Re: How much money did you walk away from to pursue an MBA? [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2010, 13:26
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I am a single mother in my late thirties, with a veep title. I earn a six figure salary, but desperately want to move into another industry (and role within my field) even if it means stepping back in terms of responsibility and influence. I've worked hard, and achieved much, given my non-business background, but I truly feel that an MBA is necessary to accomplish my next career goal. So, I'm willing to take a chance on myself, even if it means temporarily lowering my standard of living.

I definitely agree with those who suggest you assess your rationale for earning an MBA and the sacrifices it entails to ensure that it's the best decision for you.
Re: How much money did you walk away from to pursue an MBA?   [#permalink] 28 Dec 2010, 13:26

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