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the future with debt?

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the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2009, 13:25
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With all of the economic chaos going on, how many of you are reconsidering getting an MBA? If I knew I would be able to get an interesting job that pays well in 2 yrs then I would definitely do it but things are looking very grim and I'm getting very nervous about this.

Are all of you confident that eating up your savings and going into debt for an MBA is really worth it now?
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2009, 15:27
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flood wrote:
With all of the economic chaos going on, how many of you are reconsidering getting an MBA? If I knew I would be able to get an interesting job that pays well in 2 yrs then I would definitely do it but things are looking very grim and I'm getting very nervous about this.

Are all of you confident that eating up your savings and going into debt for an MBA is really worth it now?


I applied to 3 schools this year and was rejected at 2, waitlisted at one. I am not particularly disappointed, as back when I embarked on this journey (started preparing for the GMAT) in February of 2008, things looked a lot different. I think it is still a good value proposition to attend business school, but things like scholarships must be taken into account.

If you were planning on a Wall Street career and you were graduating in the class of 2005, you would have been wise to enroll at the most prestigous school that takes you and ignore financial aid/scholarships. This is not the case today.

That said, I plan to sit on the sidelines and wait and see what things look like. I will definitely be re-applying in the Fall, likely to wider range of schools, and most likely to around 8 of them. I also plan to do some further introspection and try to figure out what I'm really looking for from my career and my life. I am confident the MBA will still be in the equation -- but perhaps I won't be so heavily weighted towards the Wall Street feeder programs.
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2009, 13:41
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If anything I'm more excited about getting one. Not to sound like a Motley Fool advertisement but historically when the market contracts like it is now, a lot of new opportunities for business growth are going to pop up*, and in a couple years, there'll be a very good chance for recent MBA grads to get in on the ground floor. Perhaps the concentrations of an MBA will be a little more swayed (less in finance, more in say entrepreneurship and MC) but I think the value is definitely still there. Two years is a long time.


*An example I love that Malcolm Gladwell gave in his latest book was of how in the 75 richest people of all time (wealth pro-rated to today's dollars), something like TWELVE of them were americans born in the 1830s. Why is this? Because they hit their creative peak at a period (post civil war) where the market was just coming out of a gigantic state of flux and uncertainty. Sound familiar?
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 09 Jan 2010, 13:20
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I decided to do this as well. I think I made a good choice.


I toyed with the idea of sitting out another year as well. However, after some consideration, I think now is probably one of the better times to get an MBA. I'm putting my bet on the economy picking up enough where internship will be more available in summer 2011 and the job market will have completely rebounded by 2012. If that's the case, employers will recruit heavily to fill those positions that were shed during the lean years.

That said it's all a game of chance and timing. Future is full of surprises. I bet the economy tanking probably wasn't on the list of things that MBA class of 2009 and 2010 worried about when they enrolled at their schools.
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2009, 14:42
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Yeah you are not the only one for sure. Especially because b-schools are completely ignoring the crisis and keep rising their tuitions despite the fact that prices of everything are going down.

It is a big risk...however if you can manage not to put urself into a huge debt I guess its a good investment
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2009, 09:05
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rsp33 wrote:
I'm in the same boat. Got an admit to a top 15 (no $) and a full tuition ride at a 35-45 located in an area where I'd kind of like to live post-MBA. Six months ago I thought it would be a no-brainer for the better-ranked school but now am having some second thoughts.


I almost feel the opposite. In a tight economy, I would picked the best ranked schools, since unemployment skyrockets as you fall down the rankings.


There are always 2 sides to an argument and 2 ways to look at something. The other side of this would be the following, in my opinion:

Even at top schools (such as H/S/W), during a downturn environment, on-campus recruiting drops and so does recruiting from big name firms and companies. Even students at these schools have to hustle, be creative, leverage their contacts, and put a real effort into their job search to land up with something. A lot of this is done off-campus.

In a boom year, a lot more recruiting takes place on campus, with big brand name firms wining and dining you and actually "recruiting" you. In a bad year, it is barely considered "recruiting", but more like "searching for a job".

The alumni network of a top school will certainly help you find contacts to reach out to and build your network/make connections to eventually land a job. However, it could arguably be said that your success at doing this is more dependent on YOU than the school and their alumni/career services office. The more it is dependent on you rather than the school -- the more it makes sense to take money at a lower ranked school.
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 04 Mar 2009, 08:58
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You are correct, the worse the situation the more it depends on you to find a job. But then again.... how would you rather market yourself:

a) through a brand name degree
b) through a "good" school name degree

There's still the brand name factor even when you're trying to find the job yourself. Let's remember that the career centre and alumni are not the only reason you're applying to a top school. There's also the aura of amazingness that comes from getting into the club after an extremely selective process.
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2010, 16:23
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Historically, now seems as good a time as any to take out $100k - $150k in student loan debts. The way I see it, with the deficits and non-discretionary spending the federal government is projecting, the U.S. dollar is gonna see some serious inflation over the next couple years. Ten years from now, we could all be averaging $400,000 per year and your student loan debt will feel like a car payment. You can't control fluctuations in the economy, but you can control your long term career prospects by going to a better school.
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2010, 16:43
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2010, 10:16
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conmisdosmanos wrote:
I'm interested in microfinance as it relates to the US food industry (I am not honestly sure what job function to identify as my goal...), and eventually would like to own my own business. Not necessarily immediately lucrative (or ever lucrative...) career paths! Although I suppose I could manage a couple years in a debt-repaying position before setting out on my own.

Ross has loan forgiveness programs for non-profit/public positions, but not necessarily social enterprise. It's a possibility but not something I'm prepared to count on.

The way I'm looking at it is this: the "lesser" school might make life easier upon graduation, but Ross will continuously open doors for me for the rest of my life. It's a trade-off, but I think it will be worth it. *Cue hyperventilating, sweating, and heart pumping wildly at the thought of the size of my loans...


I'm not familiar with Ross' particular loan forgiveness program and don't think this was mentioned previously in this thread... but since 2007, public service after graduation from any institution has been rewarded with Congressionally-authorized loan forgiveness programs. Federal loans are covered and "public service" is defined to include a charitable organization. You have to stay public for 10 years.

More info here:
http://www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice.phtml

& here:
http://www.finaid.org/loans/ibrfaq.phtml
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2010, 19:51
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bostonsparky wrote:
If anything I'm more excited about getting one. Not to sound like a Motley Fool advertisement but historically when the market contracts like it is now, a lot of new opportunities for business growth are going to pop up*, and in a couple years, there'll be a very good chance for recent MBA grads to get in on the ground floor. Perhaps the concentrations of an MBA will be a little more swayed (less in finance, more in say entrepreneurship and MC) but I think the value is definitely still there. Two years is a long time.


*An example I love that Malcolm Gladwell gave in his latest book was of how in the 75 richest people of all time (wealth pro-rated to today's dollars), something like TWELVE of them were americans born in the 1830s. Why is this? Because they hit their creative peak at a period (post civil war) where the market was just coming out of a gigantic state of flux and uncertainty. Sound familiar?


This is a great example - Malcolm has a special talent for great analogies.

We had the CEO and founder of Oaktree Capital speak in the Restructuring class today - smart, insightful and sharp guy with a great sense of humor. His investing advice was simple: "Be bold when others are fearful, and be fearful and others are bold" and I think it is generally applicable to big decisions like investing into your own future, too. If it is not scary, it is an easy decision, and so everyone is capable of making a similar one.

MBA is an expensive toolkit, but it is well worth it, and I would always wholeheartedly recommend Wharton MBA to anyone anywhere.

Graduating with an MBA into a down economy is thought to reduce the impact of the education on your career, but you will be in a much better position vs. not having an MBA.
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2010, 08:10
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xerox wrote:
We had the CEO and founder of Oaktree Capital speak in the Restructuring class today - smart, insightful and sharp guy with a great sense of humor. His investing advice was simple: "Be bold when others are fearful, and be fearful and others are bold"


"and steal all your best lines from more successful business men." :)
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2009, 13:36
I am planning on applying this fall but am very anxious about what I am hearing right now. Parts of me are reconsidering but on the other hand a lot can happen from applications until deposits are due so I think its still going to be worth the effort to apply.
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2009, 13:48
Yes, it makes me nervous, particularly since I'll probably take a pay-cut post-MBA on top of all the debt, but it's something I really want to do and so I'm willing to take the risk.
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2009, 18:17
flood wrote:
With all of the economic chaos going on, how many of you are reconsidering getting an MBA? If I knew I would be able to get an interesting job that pays well in 2 yrs then I would definitely do it but things are looking very grim and I'm getting very nervous about this.

Are all of you confident that eating up your savings and going into debt for an MBA is really worth it now?


I was going to create a post with the exact same points, but you beat me to it, Flood. I am VERY concerned but am trying to think as long-term as possible. After spending a boatload of money to get to this point, having planned on applying this year for the last 4-5 years now, having wanted an MBA since I was in college, and having landed a 1/3 scholarship to a top 15 school, I'm inclined to just do it. I'm at an age (26) where it makes sense to do this now and try to climb out of debt with more of my prime years ahead of me.

While I may have to realign my post-MBA aspirations to something more realistic in this climate, I still think the overall value of an MBA will pay dividends even if I return to the same industry I currently find myself in (corporate finance). I was looking at profiles of various people on LinkedIn this weekend and let's just say a significant, significant number of people in desirable positions do have the degree from a top 15 school.
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2009, 22:09
A few months ago, I wouldn't have thought twice (hypothetically) choosing between a top school admission with no money and a scholarship at a lesser school. Now, I'm suddenly so concerned about debt and even less post-mba pay that I'm inclined to choose the latter. Again, not that I have the first option at this time.
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2009, 07:10
I'm in the same boat. Got an admit to a top 15 (no $) and a full tuition ride at a 35-45 located in an area where I'd kind of like to live post-MBA. Six months ago I thought it would be a no-brainer for the better-ranked school but now am having some second thoughts.
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2009, 08:22
rsp33 wrote:
I'm in the same boat. Got an admit to a top 15 (no $) and a full tuition ride at a 35-45 located in an area where I'd kind of like to live post-MBA. Six months ago I thought it would be a no-brainer for the better-ranked school but now am having some second thoughts.


I almost feel the opposite. In a tight economy, I would picked the best ranked schools, since unemployment skyrockets as you fall down the rankings.
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2010, 22:26
DK wrote:
flood wrote:
With all of the economic chaos going on, how many of you are reconsidering getting an MBA? If I knew I would be able to get an interesting job that pays well in 2 yrs then I would definitely do it but things are looking very grim and I'm getting very nervous about this.

Are all of you confident that eating up your savings and going into debt for an MBA is really worth it now?


I applied to 3 schools this year and was rejected at 2, waitlisted at one. I am not particularly disappointed, as back when I embarked on this journey (started preparing for the GMAT) in February of 2008, things looked a lot different. I think it is still a good value proposition to attend business school, but things like scholarships must be taken into account.

If you were planning on a Wall Street career and you were graduating in the class of 2005, you would have been wise to enroll at the most prestigous school that takes you and ignore financial aid/scholarships. This is not the case today.

That said, I plan to sit on the sidelines and wait and see what things look like. I will definitely be re-applying in the Fall, likely to wider range of schools, and most likely to around 8 of them. I also plan to do some further introspection and try to figure out what I'm really looking for from my career and my life. I am confident the MBA will still be in the equation -- but perhaps I won't be so heavily weighted towards the Wall Street feeder programs.


I decided to do this as well. I think I made a good choice.
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Re: the future with debt? [#permalink] New post 09 Jan 2010, 16:53
Personally, I believe graduating with an MBA in 2012 will be great timing. It's all speculation, but presuming that the job market will still be bad in two and a half years would be an extremely pessimistic view relative to those of most all published economists. In the years through 2020 I anticipate lots of opportunities as the baby-boomers head toward retirement. Investments all bear some level of risk, but investing in education from a top school, at a young age, is about as safe as it gets.

However, I'm not interesting in working in IB, and that industry seems especially unpredictable at the moment.
Re: the future with debt?   [#permalink] 09 Jan 2010, 16:53
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