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MBA worth it?

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MBA worth it? [#permalink]  29 Jul 2007, 19:57
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Hi everyone

Found this on Paul Bodine's blog. Look forward to your comments. Just thought I should post this up here for the members applying for the 2008 application season.. I am not trying to play devil's advocate here, but when the dean of a major school talks like this, you cant help but take a closer look at it.

"I think the M.B.A. has lost a bit of luster. When there are books with the title 'The Five-Minute M.B.A.,' you know you're in trouble. There's a feeling that an M.B.A. degree has become a bit of a commodity, and I find it troublesome that some students are not persuaded that the hard intellectual work in the classroom is worth it. They think it's just important to learn the business basics and buzzwords, network with other students, and get their M.B.A. from a brand-name school."

--Richard Schmalensee, retiring dean of MIT Sloan School of Management, Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2007.
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There are books on how to be a millionaire while you sit at home and sip a slurpee.

A book, a comment from a school head or a general consensus among a faction of MBA aspirants is not going to reduce the gleam of an MBA.

It is like saying "Gee, Teri Hatcher is growing old - she wont be a hottie anymore". A bad analogy in this case, but an MBA is not simply a degree that one obtains by sipping a frappucino and reading a book on "MBA for dummies" purchased from the discount section of a local bookseller while yapping on the cellphone with a friend about the giant hooters shown on ABC and how the room mate working at Home Depot can hook up a sweet deal on a washing machine.

No sir, an MBA is two years of vaseline lubed anal torture that everyone undergoes to get on the greener side of the river.

Tell that to the thousands of aspirants slogging their asses to study for their GMAT or the application essays, while forsaking a good night's worth of hard earned fornication.

Nothing pisses me more than parting shots from a codger retiring into a life of fishing on a yacht off Massachussets while his Benjamins turn greener in the local hedge funds and derivatives.
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aviroop wrote:
There are books on how to be a millionaire while you sit at home and sip a slurpee.

A book, a comment from a school head or a general consensus among a faction of MBA aspirants is not going to reduce the gleam of an MBA.

It is like saying "Gee, Teri Hatcher is growing old - she wont be a hottie anymore". A bad analogy in this case, but an MBA is not simply a degree that one obtains by sipping a frappucino and reading a book on "MBA for dummies" purchased from the discount section of a local bookseller while yapping on the cellphone with a friend about the giant hooters shown on ABC and how the room mate working at Home Depot can hook up a sweet deal on a washing machine.

No sir, an MBA is two years of vaseline lubed anal torture that everyone undergoes to get on the greener side of the river.

Tell that to the thousands of aspirants slogging their asses to study for their GMAT or the application essays, while forsaking a good night's worth of hard earned fornication.

Nothing pisses me more than parting shots from a codger retiring into a life of fishing on a yacht off Massachussets while his Benjamins turn greener in the local hedge funds and derivatives.

WOW... Take that Mr. Dean...
Don't mess with these guys

>>
No sir, an MBA is two years of vaseline lubed anal torture that everyone undergoes to get on the greener side of the river.

Hahahahhahaah... I know how that feels. My masters was no better. Just that it didn't take me to "green enough" areas.
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aviroop wrote:
There are books on how to be a millionaire while you sit at home and sip a slurpee.

A book, a comment from a school head or a general consensus among a faction of MBA aspirants is not going to reduce the gleam of an MBA.

It is like saying "Gee, Teri Hatcher is growing old - she wont be a hottie anymore". A bad analogy in this case, but an MBA is not simply a degree that one obtains by sipping a frappucino and reading a book on "MBA for dummies" purchased from the discount section of a local bookseller while yapping on the cellphone with a friend about the giant hooters shown on ABC and how the room mate working at Home Depot can hook up a sweet deal on a washing machine.

No sir, an MBA is two years of vaseline lubed anal torture that everyone undergoes to get on the greener side of the river.

Tell that to the thousands of aspirants slogging their asses to study for their GMAT or the application essays, while forsaking a good night's worth of hard earned fornication.

Nothing pisses me more than parting shots from a codger retiring into a life of fishing on a yacht off Massachussets while his Benjamins turn greener in the local hedge funds and derivatives.

That's not bad. You should consider a moonlighting gig doing stand up improvs for the Comedy Club
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Re: MBA worth it? [#permalink]  30 Jul 2007, 06:22
Praetorian wrote:
"I think the M.B.A. has lost a bit of luster. When there are books with the title 'The Five-Minute M.B.A.,' you know you're in trouble. There's a feeling that an M.B.A. degree has become a bit of a commodity, and I find it troublesome that some students are not persuaded that the hard intellectual work in the classroom is worth it. They think it's just important to learn the business basics and buzzwords, network with other students, and get their M.B.A. from a brand-name school."

--Richard Schmalensee, retiring dean of MIT Sloan School of Management, Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2007.

At the risk of sounding unpopular... I think he's telling the truth... I do think people just want to learn the basics, network and get their MBA from a brand name school. I think that sums up a lot of people...

Along those lines - one of the interesting things I spent a lot of time reading about (see for instance, "We need managers not MBAs" - great book) was how business schools, have for some time now, simply been a "service". The students are the clients.

That is - you pay $100,000, we give you our name. Some students at Kellogg I know joke that their MBA was nothing but a "forced donation" in return for the degree. People refer to things like the "Wharton Walk" (which is basically just a pub crawl) .... Although I can't imagine Wharton being a cakewalk at all, it speaks to the perception of how MBA programs seem to (at least in some instances) be little more than expensive two year vacations. I'll pick on Kellogg only because its the school I know the most about... My friends at KGSM (and their friends) tell me that its near impossible to get anything other than a B. As they put it, a "gentleman's B" ... In fact, they seem to enjoy pointing it out to me on a frequent basis, as if to say "hah, I don't have to work for my brand name MBA"... And, if I'm honest with myself, I'll admit, at times I'm envious... must be nice not to have grades as a potential worry. I didn't really get why the GSB really belabored this point at first... but maybe now, it's a bit more clear. They kept making a point that they were an academic institution and they wouldn't coddle or treat students like "the client" - I'm not sure if thats entirely a good thing (I'd prefer not to get my academic ass handed to me ... maybe I can negotiate a little coddlin'), but it must certainly play a role in the GSB's reputation as an intellectual powerhouse. Somewhere, on BW there was a great interview with someone at the GSB about this very subject, wish I could find it again. In short, unless the schools stop treating the MBA as a "service provided to clients", and start treating it as "an academic program" - why would the schools expect the students to hold the academics in "higher regard" than the school's themselves do? GMAT Club Legend Joined: 10 Apr 2007 Posts: 4318 Location: Back in Chicago, IL Schools: Kellogg Alum: Class of 2010 Followers: 89 Kudos [?]: 732 [0], given: 5 [#permalink] 30 Jul 2007, 07:49 I agree with Rhyme in that there is a fair bit of thruth in the statement. With more and more programs existing every year it devalues an MBA as a whole a little bit each year. When you increase the number of MBA's handed out a year it is taking a way a bit of the prestige the degree once had. 50 years ago the few business schools that existed were very strong, now every state college seems to offer them because companies pay employees way part time so its pure cash to a school. Also how many people want to go to Harvard just because its Harvard and the name itself will get them any job they want (or so they think). I would say half of the applicants are like this, now those that are accepted probably would be a lot less. The few people I know who went through HBS all admit that other schools like Wharton and Sloan are more academically challenging and the people there probably do learn more...one actually said he didn't apply to Sloan because of how tough its academics are supposed to be. But Harvard still is Harvard and as long as they can pick the top 10% of the top 1% then they will stay at the top solely because of the abilities of their students when the arrive. Director Joined: 03 Mar 2007 Posts: 982 Location: Hong Kong Concentration: Finance, Economics Schools: HKUST MBA - Class of 2014 GMAT 1: 740 Q48 V44 GPA: 3.2 WE: Consulting (Consulting) Followers: 10 Kudos [?]: 45 [0], given: 8 [#permalink] 30 Jul 2007, 08:45 Very true guys, What you say makes sense, but isnt that practically applicable for any school program, be it undergrad, masters or a phd. It is like one of those universal truths I know perfectly well enough, how I got my degrees (less work and more play), but sometimes mainatining the illusion is more important than revealing the truth. CEO Joined: 15 Aug 2003 Posts: 3465 Followers: 62 Kudos [?]: 755 [0], given: 781 [#permalink] 30 Jul 2007, 08:58 You can be funny without using a lot of foul language. If you insist on using such language, you are not welcome here. Sorry. aviroop wrote: There are books on how to be a millionaire while you sit at home and sip a slurpee. A book, a comment from a school head or a general consensus among a faction of MBA aspirants is not going to reduce the gleam of an MBA. It is like saying "Gee, Teri Hatcher is growing old - she wont be a hottie anymore". A bad analogy in this case, but an MBA is not simply a degree that one obtains by sipping a frappucino and reading a book on "MBA for dummies" purchased from the discount section of a local bookseller while yapping on the cellphone with a friend about the giant hooters shown on ABC and how the room mate working at Home Depot can hook up a sweet deal on a washing machine. No sir, an MBA is two years of vaseline lubed anal torture that everyone undergoes to get on the greener side of the river. Tell that to the thousands of aspirants slogging their asses to study for their GMAT or the application essays, while forsaking a good night's worth of hard earned fornication. Nothing pisses me more than parting shots from a codger retiring into a life of fishing on a yacht off Massachussets while his Benjamins turn greener in the local hedge funds and derivatives. Senior Manager Joined: 17 Jul 2007 Posts: 288 Location: The 408 Followers: 3 Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 0 [#permalink] 30 Jul 2007, 09:08 aviroop wrote: There are books on how to be a millionaire while you sit at home and sip a slurpee. A book, a comment from a school head or a general consensus among a faction of MBA aspirants is not going to reduce the gleam of an MBA. It is like saying "Gee, Teri Hatcher is growing old - she wont be a hottie anymore". A bad analogy in this case, but an MBA is not simply a degree that one obtains by sipping a frappucino and reading a book on "MBA for dummies" purchased from the discount section of a local bookseller while yapping on the cellphone with a friend about the giant hooters shown on ABC and how the room mate working at Home Depot can hook up a sweet deal on a washing machine. No sir, an MBA is two years of vaseline lubed anal torture that everyone undergoes to get on the greener side of the river. Tell that to the thousands of aspirants slogging their asses to study for their GMAT or the application essays, while forsaking a good night's worth of hard earned fornication. Nothing pisses me more than parting shots from a codger retiring into a life of fishing on a yacht off Massachussets while his Benjamins turn greener in the local hedge funds and derivatives. nice. I have nothing else to add, other than the fact I'm standing up and clapping after I read this. Intern Joined: 20 Oct 2006 Posts: 37 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0 Re: MBA worth it? [#permalink] 30 Jul 2007, 09:24 rhyme wrote: That is - you pay$100,000, we give you our name. Some students at Kellogg I know joke that their MBA was nothing but a "forced donation" in return for the degree. People refer to things like the "Wharton Walk" (which is basically just a pub crawl) .... Although I can't imagine Wharton being a cakewalk at all, it speaks to the perception of how MBA programs seem to (at least in some instances) be little more than expensive two year vacations. I'll pick on Kellogg only because its the school I know the most about... My friends at KGSM (and their friends) tell me that its near impossible to get anything other than a B. As they put it, a "gentleman's B" ... In fact, they seem to enjoy pointing it out to me on a frequent basis, as if to say "hah, I don't have to work for my brand name MBA"... And, if I'm honest with myself, I'll admit, at times I'm envious... must be nice not to have grades as a potential worry.

Although I'm sure there are some people who feel b-school is an expensive easy ride, I also think some people state those kinds of things to "play down" their efforts/what they're getting out of b-school. Kind of throwing out those modesty jokes, that I know I do myself, depending on who I'm with (and then I know of other environments where people tend to play up to how hard they've worked/little they slept).
Also - if that's true of Kellogg (or whatever other school) - since you'll be going to GSB, getting a B there should give you much more to feel proud of.
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Re: MBA worth it? [#permalink]  30 Jul 2007, 09:56
Praetorian wrote:
"I think the M.B.A. has lost a bit of luster. When there are books with the title 'The Five-Minute M.B.A.,' you know you're in trouble. There's a feeling that an M.B.A. degree has become a bit of a commodity, and I find it troublesome that some students are not persuaded that the hard intellectual work in the classroom is worth it.

I agree with what's been said, without actually interpreting it as a bad thing. I.e.:

1) MBA = commodity: exactly that's why I need one. Imagine if everyone had one except me? Then I'd be forced to working night shifts pumping gas or flipping burgers. At least this way I have a fighting chance to get a more confortable / better paying job!

2) I assume the Dean is an academic type. Typically academic types are positively impressed by academic type stuff, i.e. "hard intellectual work". Yet the MBA degree is one of the less intellectually challenging (at least on the type of intellect I assume he is measuring). How many MBAs go into research? That's what PhDs are for!

MBAs learn some basics which they may need at some point, but most importantly, they refine the elusive art of working (and leading) effectively in complex global organizations.

L.
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My thoughts are:

- Isn't the MBA education about learning to work with very diverse people, work in teams, and learn how to deal with a huge variety of situations that could arise in the business world? If that's the case, then the "academic rigor" is secondary (other than learning the foundations of finance, econ, etc) and the networking, team working, and exposure to different experiences is primary.

- MBA is not an M.S. Yes there are some scary stat equations and lots of numbers to crunch, but it's nothing compared to some of the electrical or mechanical engineering equations that you have to solve (or prove) do do your homework every week. But those engineers do not get the chance to learn about the big picture, strategic thinking, and all those good stuff that an MBA does. I really do not think academic rigor is the most valuable thing in an MBA education

- Lepium is right. These days, if all the top business people have MBAs, you're at a disadvantage for not having one. Same with a college degrree, and it's starting to creep into a masters degree. It used to be having a masters degree in engineering is very prestigious. Now almost every good engineer at good companies have one.

So yes, I understand what the dean is saying, but I don't agree that MBAs should be structured the way MIT is structured (which is why I'm not applying there) and should focus more on exposure to "higher" thinking than the technical details of business.
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Apologies to any of the forum members or moderators here if my foul language has touched a nerve.

However, these types of comments from academia, usually get to be picked upon and scrutinized under a microscope, while missing the big picture.

Any academic program is nothing but a service - you pay x amount of money to get a degree. Yes, there are exceptions, like getting into MIT or Caltech where they measure the grey content of your brain, but at the end of the day, it is the motivation of the students that matters.

An MBA as kryzak said is more about networking and learning the soft skills than pure academics. That is what the value of an MBA is. It cannot be measured through grades and thesis publications and an economic measurement of the GDP of Tanzania.

It takes 2 years and 100 grand to open the greater possibilities of life. Without an MBA it will take 10 years, maybe less, maybe more
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Re: MBA worth it? [#permalink]  30 Jul 2007, 11:28
kharma wrote:
rhyme wrote:
That is - you pay \$100,000, we give you our name. Some students at Kellogg I know joke that their MBA was nothing but a "forced donation" in return for the degree. People refer to things like the "Wharton Walk" (which is basically just a pub crawl) .... Although I can't imagine Wharton being a cakewalk at all, it speaks to the perception of how MBA programs seem to (at least in some instances) be little more than expensive two year vacations. I'll pick on Kellogg only because its the school I know the most about... My friends at KGSM (and their friends) tell me that its near impossible to get anything other than a B. As they put it, a "gentleman's B" ... In fact, they seem to enjoy pointing it out to me on a frequent basis, as if to say "hah, I don't have to work for my brand name MBA"... And, if I'm honest with myself, I'll admit, at times I'm envious... must be nice not to have grades as a potential worry.

Although I'm sure there are some people who feel b-school is an expensive easy ride, I also think some people state those kinds of things to "play down" their efforts/what they're getting out of b-school. Kind of throwing out those modesty jokes, that I know I do myself, depending on who I'm with (and then I know of other environments where people tend to play up to how hard they've worked/little they slept).
Also - if that's true of Kellogg (or whatever other school) - since you'll be going to GSB, getting a B there should give you much more to feel proud of.

I'm preparing as much as I can these days. Nothing hard core, but in my spare time I've been reviewing a little stats a little econ... I'm roughly 60% through the stats material for intro to stats, sufficient, I hope, to help me coast a little bit easier through the course.

I'll be happy with a B in any course, except maybe economics or stats because I should know those materials well.
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Does Chicago have grade non-disclosure agreement?
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Lepium makes a point that is overlooked way too much. When people say that MBA's are no longer very meaningful because everybody has them -- that makes my blood boil because the logic is so bent. That's like saying going to college isn't worth it because everyone goes to college nowadays and so it's not special to have a bachelor's degree.

At the end of the day, I think employers know exactly what an MBA means -- they know it means that a great deal of pre-screening has been done for them, and while it doesn't guarantee anything, they know that a candidate is likely to fit the expected profile of an MBA grad.

"When there are books called "The Five Minute MBA" you know you're in trouble?"???????? Really???? Who's in trouble? Are bodybuilders in trouble because there are video tapes called Five Minute Abs?
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johnnyx9 wrote:
Lepium makes a point that is overlooked way too much. When people say that MBA's are no longer very meaningful because everybody has them -- that makes my blood boil because the logic is so bent. That's like saying going to college isn't worth it because everyone goes to college nowadays and so it's not special to have a bachelor's degree.

At the end of the day, I think employers know exactly what an MBA means -- they know it means that a great deal of pre-screening has been done for them, and while it doesn't guarantee anything, they know that a candidate is likely to fit the expected profile of an MBA grad.

"When there are books called "The Five Minute MBA" you know you're in trouble?"???????? Really???? Who's in trouble? Are bodybuilders in trouble because there are video tapes called Five Minute Abs?

Well said.
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kryzak wrote:
Does Chicago have grade non-disclosure agreement?

Yes, and the students that wrote it did so in a way that's pretty much impossible to overturn.

Which begs the question -- if grades don't matter, what is Rhyme doing studying the syllabus for his fall stats class during his last few weeks of freedom?
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Rhyme is making his own life easier by getting some of the material out of the way early so he isn't quite as overloaded during fall semester. Beyond that, you are paying good money for a high end school, why waste it learning the basics when you could reap so much more from using the time to focus on advanced concepts.
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johnnyx9 wrote:
"When there are books called "The Five Minute MBA" you know you're in trouble?"???????? Really???? Who's in trouble? Are bodybuilders in trouble because there are video tapes called Five Minute Abs?

Quoted for truth.

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