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MBA after a PhD in Engineering field

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MBA after a PhD in Engineering field [#permalink] New post 13 Oct 2010, 11:53
Hai,

Could you please answer the following questions:

Does the doctoral thesis work (PhD) be equated to work experience years when it comes to top B-School applications?

Anyone or if you know any one who went to pursue MBA in a good B-School after having only academic research experience (PhD + post-doc or just PhD then directly to MBA) - could you please share your application and admission experience please?

Thanks a lot.

kind regards,
V
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Re: MBA after a PhD in Engineering field [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2010, 20:28
Expert's post
Hi V,

Not a lot of experience with this particular path, but I can tell you that typically academic experience is not considered to be work experience. The way to confound this norm is show that all of the key transferable skills - leadership, teamwork, innovation, maturity, etc. - that are evident in most professional experiences were also paramount to your academic work.

The other issue is one of appropriateness. I talk about this over and over on this thread, but the MBA spots are given to those where the degree is deemed appropriate to your path. It is very hard to imagine career goals that required an MBA right on top of a PhD. Either you just wasted a whole lot of time, which is shame, or you are not properly understanding the power and limitations of an MBA, or you have a very, very specific and unique job in mind. If that last one is the case, you might have a decent shot.

Basically, unless the stars align, this is likely to be a tough sell and probably the wrong way to spend $150K.

Hope this helps.

Respectfully,

Paul Lanzillotti
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Joined: 28 Aug 2010
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Re: MBA after a PhD in Engineering field [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2010, 21:45
Dear PL,

Thanks a lot for your reply. Of course, I am interested in a career in industry or if I stay in academia I am planning to move to the administration/management side including business development (e.g. marketing department of an university). In the long-term i do not see myself just sitting in the lab bench doing research...but more interested in having a career where a synergistic mix of scientific background and business skills are required (e.g. investment banking, domain specific business consulting).

Other focus areas where PhD + MBA can be useful are: if a PhD has potential patents and wants to become an entrepreneur or if the same PhD wants to take a lead role in any university where he wants to coach people on technology transfer, IP, to help manage industry-academia interactions, and to transform best students ideas to become start-ups etc.,. Ofcourse, a PhD can also start his own technology consulting business and for which an MBA could be useful...

But I can clearly understand that work experience (preferably outside academia) on top of a PhD becomes critical to get inside a B-school...Or one stays in academia post-PhD like post-doc, then he/she should have show the ability to manage projects, to be innovative via patents etc...

kind regards,
V
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Re: MBA after a PhD in Engineering field [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2010, 23:04
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If you can paint that convincing story, you can be competitive. Even if not, I know many advance degree holders who engaged in part-time programs while working at universities - either as part of the faculty or the staff. You are seeking primarily knowledge, which means that all MBA options are going to be worth pursuing, whereas someone seeking access to a recruiting pipeline might be limited to full time programs.

Good luck!

-PL
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