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Should my friend get an MBA?

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Should my friend get an MBA? [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2014, 05:34
We're trying to figure out whether an MBA makes sense for him. Here's where he's at right now:

Job - Manager of sales ops analysis at a late-stage startup (making $88k/year with 10% end of year bonus); previously sales analyst at an established sales org; previously director of ops at an early-stage startup

Education - BA with high honors from excellent big ten school; MA in polisci with concentration on stats from top 10 polisci dept

Career Goals - start his own company/consulting firm and/or become at least a VP (ideally a C-level exec) at a sales org (ideally tech-related, but he's flexible)

Salary goal -- make at least $120K by the time he's 30 (he's 28 right now)

He's got some promotion potential at his current company and generally likes his job. He's gotten one consulting gig so far and liked it in some ways, but wasn't thrilled with it (more to do with the client than anything else).

Thoughts? We're in the mid-Atlantic, by the way.
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Re: Should my friend get an MBA? [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2014, 06:13
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Sounds like a great MBA candidate. But, it's great that you guys are doing the diligence.

My approach would be to start with all the things that MBA may provide. (Salary, network, career progression, academic knowledge etc.)

1.) Salary goal - average salary at most top 10 schools is around $120k base, $25k signing bonus, and $30-50k year end bonus. So, that is quite a bit more than his stated goals. But, again, he would need to weigh it against the loans he would be taking to reach that position.
2.) Career goals - this is somewhat tricky.
a.) Consulting - I think it's a fairly established fact that you would hit a ceiling without an MBA in this industry. Even if he manages to switch (might be quite difficult), most of his peers will have an MBA.
b.) Start his own company - Few questions to probe here - does he have the required motivation and/or experience (to build a start-up/raise money etc.) , a vague idea of what industry/area he wants to target, the network, the knowledge. Is he looking for co-founders, people with similar goals etc. All these are values that entrepreneurs look to derive from an MBA program.
c.) VP/C-level exec - Although there are guys in those positions who dont have an advanced degree, having an MBA would certainly be a quicker route to reach there.

Also, it becomes progressively difficult to get a full time MBA after early-mid 30s. So, that's a point he should be considering as well.

Finally, just be aware that this forum has tons of people who find value in an MBA. Discount the bias :)
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Re: Should my friend get an MBA? [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2014, 06:19
Thanks for the reply! As for the questions about starting his own company, he definitely has the motivation and knowledge to do it. He has an excellent idea right now and a few people at his current company who are totally bought into it. He also has connections to the startup industry out in CA. He's actually questioning whether an MBA would work for him and we're trying to figure out reasons why it actually makes sense. :)
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Re: Should my friend get an MBA? [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2014, 06:53
achilles12 wrote:
Thanks for the reply! As for the questions about starting his own company, he definitely has the motivation and knowledge to do it. He has an excellent idea right now and a few people at his current company who are totally bought into it. He also has connections to the startup industry out in CA. He's actually questioning whether an MBA would work for him and we're trying to figure out reasons why it actually makes sense. :)


Great. So, what apart from 'brand value' is he looking to get from an MBA? Why are we trying to 'find' reasons that he needs an MBA. It just means that he has already established that he needs one. I'm just saying if I have everything what I want to get to a point in my life, why will I take a detour?

One more thing, from his list of goals, it looks like he is not quite certain of what he wants to do. My suggestions would be to narrow down as much as possible. He would have to either ways - whether he continues or decides on an MBA.
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Re: Should my friend get an MBA?   [#permalink] 22 Feb 2014, 06:53
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