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Info sake: Which MBA field has the best work-life balance?

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Re: Info sake: Which MBA field has the best work-life balance? [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2008, 14:56
icon wrote:
This is NOT on topic with the conversation in this thread but related to a city discussed at length earlier in it. I saw this article today and was stunned.

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar ... 360/&imw=Y


When I left Ann Arbor, MI a year ago, the housing prices were in free fall. My friend owned a condo that went from $210K to $140K in only 10 months (those are actually buy/sell prices). From what I've heard from friends still there, it's dropped even further. In Ypsilanti township (15 minutes from UMich), houses that were $240K two years ago are now selling for $120K. And these are nice houses, 2500 sq. ft., nice upgrades, decent yard!

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Re: Info sake: Which MBA field has the best work-life balance? [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2009, 11:42
This is probably the most off topic thread I think I've ever read in my life.

I read the whole thing, hoping to get back to the work life balance field question, but it ends with talks regarding property. sigh. :(
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Re: Info sake: Which MBA field has the best work-life balance? [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2009, 13:18
bigfernhead wrote:
This is probably the most off topic thread I think I've ever read in my life.

I read the whole thing, hoping to get back to the work life balance field question, but it ends with talks regarding property. sigh. :(


Well, get it back on track!

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Re: Info sake: Which MBA field has the best work-life balance? [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2009, 09:42
I've read through a lot of the posts on here, and I'm left feeling pretty disturbed.

Look, everyone should do what they want to do. Do what makes you happy. Fine. Thing is, we all say that, and then people are lining up begging for information on how to break into an uber-high stress job that will demand 70-80 hours/week minimum (sometimes upwards of 100), frown on you for taking your vacation and require tons of travel. And that's for years. The argument being, of course, that you're getting paid some serious bank for that, and after two or three years, if you're good, maybe you'll bump up, you can make even more, while your hours will moderate only a little. And then, after a few years of that, hopefully, you can jump up again, only work 10 hours a day and travel 2-3 days a week, and make an obscene amount of money. And then you're 40.

I think a question everyone's got to ask themselves is "how much do I need to make to do what I want to do in my life?" Because the rationale everyone reflexively gives here - put the kids through college, own a nice home, drive a decent car, afford to travel, etc. - simply does not require a seven figure salary, except perhaps in the SF Bay area and NYC. So when you talk about attaining the salary of a senior manager at a bulge bracket bank - if your goal is to become really and truly rich - you're effectively talking about mortgaging your late 20s and 30s to reach a (very) high level of income in your 40s. Let's be clear - that's the tradeoff that's being made here.

A disclaimer: I'm 27 and starting my MBA this fall. I'd like to be that rich too, but I probably won't be. I'd rather spend the next 15 years of my life working a 40-50 hour per week job, taking every bit of my four weeks of vacation a year and doing work that is important to me personally, while having a solid relationship with my future wife and, hopefully, kids. If you work 80+ hours a week, I just do not see how you can do that.

Finally, let's take it easy on bashing the rest of the country, all right? I get the feeling that no one on this board has ever lived anywhere but NYC/Boston/Chicago/San Fran/LA. The notion that there's no "culture" or decent restaurants or anything else but in those few cities is just preposterous. How many of you guys living in NYC go regularly to the Met? See the ballet? Hmm. Living in Raleigh, or Atlanta, or Nashville, or Cleveland, or Minneapolis, or Portland, or Phoenix, etc. etc., is not tantamount to social death. Sure, there are some shitty cities out there. I wouldn't wanna live in Richmond, Peoria or Cheyenne either. But get a grip. And pulling down $250,000 in any of those cities will allow you to live a very, very rich lifestyle.

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Re: Info sake: Which MBA field has the best work-life balance? [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2009, 10:00
Ntang wrote:
Because the rationale everyone reflexively gives here - put the kids through college, own a nice home, drive a decent car, afford to travel, etc. - simply does not require a seven figure salary, except perhaps in the SF Bay area and NYC.


Well - what do you do if you want to live in these areas? What if you have family, friends, networks, etc. that are settled into NY or California and you desire to be near them? You have to make sacrifices and cut corners in some area of your life or the other. Either you work less, see the kids more, but live in a modest neighborhood and have them in public schools, perhaps having them take loans for college or you work more, see them a little bit less, live in a nicer neighborhood, put them in private schools, pay their college in cash, etc. These are personal choices and tradeoffs everyone has to make. It's not your duty to intervene in other people's desires or lives.

Ntang wrote:
Living in Raleigh, or Atlanta, or Nashville, or Cleveland, or Minneapolis, or Portland, or Phoenix, etc. etc., is not tantamount to social death. Sure, there are some shitty cities out there. I wouldn't wanna live in Richmond, Peoria or Cheyenne either. But get a grip. And pulling down $250,000 in any of those cities will allow you to live a very, very rich lifestyle.


I really hate to bring this up, but I think pelihu has already so I don't feel like I'm popping the cherry on it. Things are (very sadly still) a little bit different if you are a minority. Most minorities will feel most comfortable in cities like SF/NY/DC/Chicago/LA/etc. because they have support networks in those cities and those cities are far more progressive and liberal than a city like Cleveland or Nashville. The same will probably go for members of the LGBT community - they won't be jumping for joy for job placements in Ohio or Wisconsin, regardless of what the relative cost of living, salary, and lifestyle may be like.

Ntang wrote:
A disclaimer: I'm 27 and starting my MBA this fall. I'd like to be that rich too, but I probably won't be. I'd rather spend the next 15 years of my life working a 40-50 hour per week job, taking every bit of my four weeks of vacation a year and doing work that is important to me personally, while having a solid relationship with my future wife and, hopefully, kids. If you work 80+ hours a week, I just do not see how you can do that.


I'm happy for you. You know what you want and I hope you get it. There's no need to criticize others for what they want.
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Re: Info sake: Which MBA field has the best work-life balance? [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2009, 10:17
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Things are (very sadly still) a little bit different if you are a minority. Most minorities will feel most comfortable in cities like SF/NY/DC/Chicago/LA/etc. because they have support networks in those cities and those cities are far more progressive and liberal than a city like Cleveland or Nashville. The same will probably go for members of the LGBT community - they won't be jumping for joy for job placements in Ohio or Wisconsin, regardless of what the relative cost of living, salary, and lifestyle may be like.


Given the over-representation of minorities and LGBT members in business schools, I can see how this would be a widespread concern. Nevertheless, I think this effect is greatly exaggerated - in fact, this sounds like a complaint from someone who's only lived in one of those select cities. There are minority communities everywhere. In the South, in particular, many metropolitan areas are predominantly black, and the latino community is enormous (and I'm not just talking about the poorer, immigrant community). Any city in the Southwest is sure to have a huge latino population. And the notion that strongly progressive, liberal communities don't exist outside of CA and New England is, on face, absurd. Go visit Atlanta or Fayetteville sometime.
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Re: Info sake: Which MBA field has the best work-life balance? [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2009, 10:33
Ntang wrote:
agold wrote:
Things are (very sadly still) a little bit different if you are a minority. Most minorities will feel most comfortable in cities like SF/NY/DC/Chicago/LA/etc. because they have support networks in those cities and those cities are far more progressive and liberal than a city like Cleveland or Nashville. The same will probably go for members of the LGBT community - they won't be jumping for joy for job placements in Ohio or Wisconsin, regardless of what the relative cost of living, salary, and lifestyle may be like.


Given the over-representation of minorities and LGBT members in business schools, I can see how this would be a widespread concern. Nevertheless, I think this effect is greatly exaggerated - in fact, this sounds like a complaint from someone who's only lived in one of those select cities. There are minority communities everywhere. In the South, in particular, many metropolitan areas are predominantly black, and the latino community is enormous (and I'm not just talking about the poorer, immigrant community). Any city in the Southwest is sure to have a huge latino population. And the notion that strongly progressive, liberal communities don't exist outside of CA and New England is, on face, absurd. Go visit Atlanta or Fayetteville sometime.


Again, this really comes down to personal preferences and also most likely where a person has family/friends/networks. All I am trying to say is that you shouldn't judge people for their choices or desires. Help them achieve them and be supportive, instead. People wanting to enter investment banking are not expecting a 9-5 job where they will get to coach their kids baseball teams - there's no need to restate the obvious. There are a multitude of factors that drive people's goals and desires and you won't be able to change these.
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Re: Info sake: Which MBA field has the best work-life balance? [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2009, 10:53
yep. we shouldn't judge anybody on what they want to do.
There are always reasons / situations that we don't know from the outside looking in.

yea I agree with Agold about the minority support thing.
I can see Ntang's point too that there are minorities everywhere....but we know that there are more on those metro cities (I'm not saying that it doesn't exist anywhere except for CA, New England).
I lived in a tiny college town for 4 years..and I've worked in San Diego and SF too.. so I've pretty much seen both sides.

now..here's my unrelated question.. would you rather work in a company where you're the only MBA (well maybe 2-3 other people) and people are collaborative..or would you rather work with 50 other top MBA grads in which they will all compete with you in getting promotions and trying to one-up everybody else?
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Re: Info sake: Which MBA field has the best work-life balance? [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2009, 10:58
cul3s wrote:
now..here's my unrelated question.. would you rather work in a company where A) you're the only MBA (well maybe 2-3 other people) and people are collaborative..or would B) you rather work with 50 other top MBA grads in which they will all compete with you in getting promotions and trying to one-up everybody else?


Impossible for me to decide based on that limited information.

My personal top 3 priorities are:

1) Rapid advancement
2) Interesting and impactful work (dollar-wise, not save the world-wise)
3) Location

From what you describe, if you look at the stereotypical companies that fit into A) and B), I would probably be looking at B). A) sounds like a small company type atmosphere in a niche industry and B) sounds like your typical bank or consulting firm.
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Re: Info sake: Which MBA field has the best work-life balance?   [#permalink] 08 Jan 2009, 10:58
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