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I'm not really worried about the curriculum or the pace of life at school, I'm sure it will be difficult, but I'm sure I'll adapt.
What I'm worried about is when I return to the workforce in a role that will likely be much senior to the one I am in now.
In other words, assuming all goes well and I land a good job where I have direct reports, how do I have any credibility in the eyes of these people when they will have company-specific knowledge of the company and I'll just be the "MBA" that shows up.
The work I do in my current role is very specific to the industry and company that I work for. I can't imagine how anyone from outside the industry or company could possibly take over my manager's or director's position. I know not every industry is like this, but I still imagine if I move into consulting or corporate finance or whatever, any people that are working under me are going to seem much more qualified and knowledgeable (at least at first). I mean it will be great that I will have taken classes on financial accounting, ethics, organizational behavior, supply chain management, etc... but really how much of those skill-sets are really going to help me assimilate to whichever company I end up at?
I realize there are plenty of valuable things that I will learn through all the group-work etc. but still I think about what it will be like starting at a new company in a new industry after school and it just seems like it will be difficult to hit the ground running.
No matter how much you know, it's a sign of respect for your coworkers that you spend a good amount of time listening and learning when you start a new job.
Anyone in a new position is in the same boat - you may face supervising someone who has been passed over for the job you now have. Resentment is fairly likely: who wants to be told what to do by the new guy? That's where your interpersonal skills are going to matter more than anything you know about making the spreadsheets balance.
I wouldn't worry about it too much, though. Assuming you take a traditional route, your job is likely to be replacing someone else who was hired out of b-school. I don't think you'll be traveling an unknown path.
Some good points, yeah I guess the sort of resentment you mention is what I'm anticipating, because I've definitely been in a position where someone is brought in and their subordinates have to bring them up to speed on things, I guess its just a necessary awkward situation.
I'm not interested in i-banking at all, but it amazes me that some MBA's move into an associate position knowing next to nothing about the industry, and they're immediately supervising these money-hungry analysts that have been killing themselves for two years.