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Unsure About MBA [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2011, 19:22
In the last few years I've been interested in getting an MBA. I have a couple of general questions about MBAs.

I'm a recent call lP lawyer in Canada. I have an engineering background. I'm interested in getting an MBA primarily out of interest. I'm very interested in business generally. I have a lot of (what I think are good) business ideas. I think I have a good grasp of business. I would like to learn more. I don't necessarily want a career change, I like my job, but I think maybe in a year or two I could possible move onto something else.

Would you even consider an MBA? The opportunity cost will be large (salary and tuition for one year) possibly without a large payoff post graduation.

What sort of career opportunities do you think would fit my profile?

What is the general consensus on schools? Is it the typical go to the best possible school in the US? Is there anything worthwhile in Canada?

I'm at the stage where I'm really just throwing the idea around so appreciate any insight anyone might have. Not sure if there is anyone with a similar background.
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Re: Unsure About MBA [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2011, 11:46
Although congenial, you seem very conflicted.

1) You don't want a career change, you like your job! But then you might want to do something different in 1-2 years, and you're asking about career opportunities. Which is it?

2) You have a good grasp of business, but you want to attend an MBA program primarily out of interest? Again, which is it? If I already had a good grasp of carpentry, I wouldn't attend an expensive carpentry program just out of interest unless I had a LOT of money to blow.

If you want to learn more about business, pick up a book and maybe attend the cheap, local, part-time MBA program in your area.

If you become serious about switching to business, then you should attend a strong MBA program.
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Re: Unsure About MBA [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2011, 11:50
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hi dagman, your questions are extremely broad and I'll try to hit on a few important points that may be relevant. First, there are the different type of MBAs you could opt for: MBA, EMBA, part-time MBA to name a few (that's pretty much it anywa). Each of these mean a bit different to people. What you should ask yourself is exactly what it is that you want? What do you wish to gain/have/garner with another degree in your life? You mentioned that you don't necessarily want a career change, but you ask for what type of career opportunities. With no career change in mind, an EMBA would be very fitting because most EMBAs are looking to enhance their career in the same industry/function and to leverage that career with an MBA. For traditional full-time MBAs, most are looking to jump ship to another career (or career-changers). Given your profile, I don't see any reason why you can't jump to another industry. So to answer your question of what type of career opportunities are available for you, I'd say that whatever you want you can probably achieve (as long as you put in the legwork). In your case, you would simply have to make a very strong case as to why you want another MBA in your life, since you already have a JD. Would anyone consider an MBA in your case? I think that's too vague to be answered by anyone else except yourself. You really have to ask yourself what it is that you want to do in your life in order to determine whether the investment of an MBA makes sense at this point in time. With a firm understanding of what you want to do, then you can look at the different schools available in Canada, US, or even in Europe. There's no general consensus as to going to the best schools - but simply the fact that most people would prefer to go to best schools for career opportunities. The way I like to think about this is that as long as this specific school can help you get to where you want to be, it's a good school. I know some folks who went to small-time regional schools to enhance their careers and they got what they wanted. Not everyone wants to work on Wall Street for Goldman Sach (unless of course you're gearing up for Goldman or McKinsey, then yes you would want to go to the best possible business school out there). With all this said, I just want to cap it out with an emphasis that you will really have to think about what you want to do in 5 or 10 years. If you can nail down that part, the rest will eventually flow out. However, it's quite hard to figure out the career opportunities with an MBA w/out thinking about what you want to do, let alone the fact that it'll be merely impossible to not know what you want to do and get into a business school.
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Re: Unsure About MBA [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2011, 16:36
Thanks for the responses. Sorry if I sound conflicted. I'm still in the early stages of mulling over the idea of an MBA.

As for the career change, I like my job right now, but I'm the type of person that consistently strives for a challenge. I like the idea of eventually being more involved in a business rather than merely looking in from the legal end. I am interested in business, I almost went into business for undergrad, then an MBA after engineering, now am considering it again. It's something I would like to do at some point in my life--but unlike many people, not for monetary reasons, but more for my own personal career fulfillment.

As for my knowledge of business, suffice to say its only general knowledge, and I would like a more theoretical understanding of it, rather than what I can learn here and there from the casual reading of a book or newspaper.

If I was going to bother taking the opportunity cost, I would make sure to go to a good school, so I would have as many employment options as possible after graduation.

I guess the most helpful question is this: What sort of jobs would fit someone with my background? I am interested in exploring what sort of career opportunities there might be out there where I could leverage my entire skillset--i.e. engineering, law, and then of course business. For example, a tech analyst. Or perhaps consulting for tech companies.

I'm just looking for a starting point for some further research to help me make a decision.
Re: Unsure About MBA   [#permalink] 25 Jan 2011, 16:36
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