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# Why did I even bother applying to B School?

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Current Student
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]

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20 Mar 2009, 10:23
domtri33 wrote:
DK wrote:
Every bank and consulting firm will ask for your GMAT. Some of them will even go so far as to ask for your SAT scores (yes, during an MBA program, and yes, that test you took back in high school). How much weight they put on an SAT score, I don't know, but I'd guess it is minimal.

Wow, that blows my mind. But I guess its understandable when you consider how many resumes they look at year in and year out.

I know you have wet feet. But here is my take, one is that you do not know what's gonna happen in 2.5 years. look at the people who applied in 2006, they pretty much got screwed even though in 2006 the economy was crazy. If you look at the last recession 2001-2002, by 2004 the economy was booming like crazy again.

Second, this is a long term investment. You will make the money back, it's just 5 years vs 10 years.

Third, You're MMM, if you look at the recruitment report 20% was MBB. others were like GM of big programs like Exxon etc.

Personally, you profile is unique enough that you really have a shot regardless of GMAT. I think that is why schools care about all these GMAT and grades because they want you to get good jobs which better reflect the school. So if Kellogg has confidence in you, you should have confidence in yourself.
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]

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20 Mar 2009, 16:31
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domtri, I totally agree with you. This whole MBA idea seemed cool a couple years ago when I got serious about it, but now that I've submitted a bunch of apps (and still waiting on decisions), I'm not sure its worth it anymore. Plus my company will sponsor me 100% if I go to school part-time, although the only MBA programs around here are ranked 20-40. I figured if I could get into one of the M7 schools it would be worth quiting and going in debt, but now I'm thinking keeping my job for 2 years and having my company pay for the lower ranked MBA might be a much better idea. Especially since cash is king right now and I'd love to have $50-100k to play with in the stock market or real estate, as opposed to being in debt 100k and missing out on all these investment opps. I almost feel like doing this MBA thing in this economy is taking 3 steps back, and there's a lot of uncertainty whether it will lead to 4+ steps forward. We all hope so, but we all will be watching the stock market and real estate market rebound and we'll all be sitting on the sidelines, paying off debt instead of getting rich!! oh well on another note, anyone know if you want to start your own biz eventually, does an M7 MBA help anymore than a top 40 one would? I assume the education would be the same, so it would come down to network. Does network help if you want to start a small biz eventually, and specifically how? Just cause u know someone at a BB IB or VC, does that mean they'll automatically give you$10M seed money? My guess is no...
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]

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20 Mar 2009, 16:45
mbafwi wrote:
domtri, I totally agree with you. This whole MBA idea seemed cool a couple years ago when I got serious about it, but now that I've submitted a bunch of apps (and still waiting on decisions), I'm not sure its worth it anymore. Plus my company will sponsor me 100% if I go to school part-time, although the only MBA programs around here are ranked 20-40. I figured if I could get into one of the M7 schools it would be worth quiting and going in debt, but now I'm thinking keeping my job for 2 years and having my company pay for the lower ranked MBA might be a much better idea. Especially since cash is king right now and I'd love to have $50-100k to play with in the stock market or real estate, as opposed to being in debt 100k and missing out on all these investment opps. I almost feel like doing this MBA thing in this economy is taking 3 steps back, and there's a lot of uncertainty whether it will lead to 4+ steps forward. We all hope so, but we all will be watching the stock market and real estate market rebound and we'll all be sitting on the sidelines, paying off debt instead of getting rich!! oh well on another note, anyone know if you want to start your own biz eventually, does an M7 MBA help anymore than a top 40 one would? I assume the education would be the same, so it would come down to network. Does network help if you want to start a small biz eventually, and specifically how? Just cause u know someone at a BB IB or VC, does that mean they'll automatically give you$10M seed money? My guess is no...

It's refreshing to see someone thinking and talking so straight, rather than chiming on about the long-term value and how you should be investing in education at a young age, etc. (although expect those arguments to appear very soon).

To answer your last question, I think that the M7 MBA can assist you in getting meetings with investors. Where you take the meeting is up to you. If your idea and your track record leave a lot to be desired, then your M7 MBA won't change that. However, the school ties may help you open the door and make the initial contact.
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]

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20 Mar 2009, 17:12
DK wrote:
mbafwi wrote:
domtri, I totally agree with you. This whole MBA idea seemed cool a couple years ago when I got serious about it, but now that I've submitted a bunch of apps (and still waiting on decisions), I'm not sure its worth it anymore. Plus my company will sponsor me 100% if I go to school part-time, although the only MBA programs around here are ranked 20-40. I figured if I could get into one of the M7 schools it would be worth quiting and going in debt, but now I'm thinking keeping my job for 2 years and having my company pay for the lower ranked MBA might be a much better idea. Especially since cash is king right now and I'd love to have $50-100k to play with in the stock market or real estate, as opposed to being in debt 100k and missing out on all these investment opps. I almost feel like doing this MBA thing in this economy is taking 3 steps back, and there's a lot of uncertainty whether it will lead to 4+ steps forward. We all hope so, but we all will be watching the stock market and real estate market rebound and we'll all be sitting on the sidelines, paying off debt instead of getting rich!! oh well on another note, anyone know if you want to start your own biz eventually, does an M7 MBA help anymore than a top 40 one would? I assume the education would be the same, so it would come down to network. Does network help if you want to start a small biz eventually, and specifically how? Just cause u know someone at a BB IB or VC, does that mean they'll automatically give you$10M seed money? My guess is no...

It's refreshing to see someone thinking and talking so straight, rather than chiming on about the long-term value and how you should be investing in education at a young age, etc. (although expect those arguments to appear very soon).

To answer your last question, I think that the M7 MBA can assist you in getting meetings with investors. Where you take the meeting is up to you. If your idea and your track record leave a lot to be desired, then your M7 MBA won't change that. However, the school ties may help you open the door and make the initial contact.

Since when did investing in education long-term not become the 'thinking' and 'talking straight' person's approach? Even if you did have fifty to 100K more to play around in the stock market/real estate, why would that be any more of a better short term investment than a long term one? There's a reason that high-yield stocks are only recommended for long term investors.

Furthermore yes, no seed money would be guaranteed for start-up idea no matter where you went to school. But is a 100K investment that stupid if it increases your chances of getting 10M in funding by say, 10%? Especially one that can be paid off with low-interest loans well down the line. What gives you the impression that you are just throwing away all your existing liquid capital (that could be conceivably used to invest in any economic upturn in the next couple years) by going to B school?
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]

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20 Mar 2009, 17:26
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It never ceases to amaze me how one hears the 'cash is king' clichè more often exactly when cash is earning nothing short-term, and a pittance long-term.
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]

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20 Mar 2009, 21:31
just wrote a long reply, but my session timed out apparently... that sucks... i'll paraphrase

boston, I don't think getting an mba is stupid, otherwise I wouldn't be here. Point I was making is my situation might make more sense to go part-time than full-time. For starting a biz, I would need a decent net worth and capital to get a biz loan. Going full-time to M7 leaves me with neg net worth of $100-140k at graduation. It will take 3-4 years to pay that off, then 2-4 years to save enough capital/net worth to get the biz loan - so 6 years total post-grad. Going part-time leaves me with at least$50k cash at grad, which can be invested and should get a decent return as the market/real estate rebounds. Then save for 2 years to get to the same point financially in 2 years instead of 6. So, for all aspiring entrepreneurs out there, is a M7 school worth delaying making your first million (or losing said amount, but lets be optimistic) by 4 years?? I'm assuming i could get a consulting job with either option (firms would differ tho) and hence have the same general knowledge when starting the biz.

I also mentioned in my timed out session that I applied to four M7 schools to see what my options were, and I will find out next week. Been going back and forth on the pros/cons for 2+ years now, and I was finally convinced that M7 would be worth it. But now with the economy in the tank and IB non-existent giving me more comp for what I want to do, I'm having a hard time justifying taking on the debt.

I'm not trying to bash anything or anyone, I would just like to hear some others' thought processes given the current situation. I assume most biz people (meaning all of u) don't want to always work for others, especially in IB or MC which are not sustainable careers if you want a life. This whole thing is a means to an end, and I'm just wondering if I can skip a few steps and get to the end faster!!!
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]

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20 Mar 2009, 22:17
mbafwi, would you owe any time to your current employer if they pay for your MBA? Assuming your goal is to start your own business and you don't owe any time, I would take the part time MBA in a heart beat, even if it was at a 20-30 ranked school. One of the biggest benefits you get from M7 is access to top tier jobs upon graduation. Part time programs won't give you the same access. However, if that;s not your aim, then you are going to learn all of the same business skills you are going to need in a part time program. The one draw back that I do see is that you will not be able to build as strong of a network in a part time program.
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]

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20 Mar 2009, 23:33
DK wrote:
mbafwi wrote:
domtri, I totally agree with you. This whole MBA idea seemed cool a couple years ago when I got serious about it, but now that I've submitted a bunch of apps (and still waiting on decisions), I'm not sure its worth it anymore. Plus my company will sponsor me 100% if I go to school part-time, although the only MBA programs around here are ranked 20-40. I figured if I could get into one of the M7 schools it would be worth quiting and going in debt, but now I'm thinking keeping my job for 2 years and having my company pay for the lower ranked MBA might be a much better idea. Especially since cash is king right now and I'd love to have $50-100k to play with in the stock market or real estate, as opposed to being in debt 100k and missing out on all these investment opps. I almost feel like doing this MBA thing in this economy is taking 3 steps back, and there's a lot of uncertainty whether it will lead to 4+ steps forward. We all hope so, but we all will be watching the stock market and real estate market rebound and we'll all be sitting on the sidelines, paying off debt instead of getting rich!! oh well on another note, anyone know if you want to start your own biz eventually, does an M7 MBA help anymore than a top 40 one would? I assume the education would be the same, so it would come down to network. Does network help if you want to start a small biz eventually, and specifically how? Just cause u know someone at a BB IB or VC, does that mean they'll automatically give you$10M seed money? My guess is no...

It's refreshing to see someone thinking and talking so straight, rather than chiming on about the long-term value and how you should be investing in education at a young age, etc. (although expect those arguments to appear very soon).

To answer your last question, I think that the M7 MBA can assist you in getting meetings with investors. Where you take the meeting is up to you. If your idea and your track record leave a lot to be desired, then your M7 MBA won't change that. However, the school ties may help you open the door and make the initial contact.

I really disagree. The people who are talking about long term value have a valid point.

No one is paying for their MBA with cash. I would venture to say the vast majority of people are paying with a loan which they will pay over the years, even if they have the cash. If you know how to invest wisely and have the money, you can do it regardless of the MBA since its not that same money.

The bulk of your MBA debt can be paid out at a time when "cash is not king".

To me, its a question of what happens when the economy does pick up. Where do you want to be? Without any debt working at your old job with a reasonable promotion, or with a large amount of debt but a strong brand and network which will strengthen your ability to capitalize on the available positions in the market? Its a personal choice that really depends on how good your current job and progression options are.

I'm not saying an MBA is for everyone, but you should never go to extremes. An MBA was not a winning lottery ticket during the good times, and it's not a waste of money right now. It's a great option which you need to weigh against your other options.
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]

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21 Mar 2009, 05:05
I really don't see how the value of an MBA, or the value of an M7 MBA vs. Top 25-30 MBA, has changed all that much. Sure, current grads won't find the $250k+ banking jobs to be as plentiful right out of school. But doesn't the value of an MBA extend far longer than just what job you can get coming out of school? I don't think that having a pretty piece of paper that says Kellogg will automatically get me great jobs in the long term, but I do think that the relationships I'll have with my classmates and with alumni will provide opportunities well past that first post-MBA job. As for your question about being an entrepreneur, even if the economy was still growing at 4% a year, an MBA would still cost about$150k, and you'd still be graduating with the same amount of debt, so I don't see how the current economy means you'd graduate in any worse financial position than you would have in any other economy. I don't think an M7 for entrepreneurs would automatically generate seed money from alumni, but I do think that the M7 alumni network would at least get you in the door to sources of funding that you may not otherwise have access to.
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]

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21 Mar 2009, 10:22
Jerz wrote:
As for your question about being an entrepreneur, even if the economy was still growing at 4% a year, an MBA would still cost about $150k, and you'd still be graduating with the same amount of debt, so I don't see how the current economy means you'd graduate in any worse financial position than you would have in any other economy. I don't think an M7 for entrepreneurs would automatically generate seed money from alumni, but I do think that the M7 alumni network would at least get you in the door to sources of funding that you may not otherwise have access to. Quoted for truth. And beyond this, the opportunity cost of an MBA has rarely been lower! You probably wrote on your essays that you're a leader willing to seize opportunities even as others are paralyzed by fear and groupthink, why don't you prove it? _________________ http://bent.tw Intern Joined: 01 Aug 2008 Posts: 45 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 0 Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 21 Mar 2009, 10:54 monkbent wrote: Jerz wrote: As for your question about being an entrepreneur, even if the economy was still growing at 4% a year, an MBA would still cost about$150k, and you'd still be graduating with the same amount of debt, so I don't see how the current economy means you'd graduate in any worse financial position than you would have in any other economy. I don't think an M7 for entrepreneurs would automatically generate seed money from alumni, but I do think that the M7 alumni network would at least get you in the door to sources of funding that you may not otherwise have access to.

Quoted for truth. And beyond this, the opportunity cost of an MBA has rarely been lower! You probably wrote on your essays that you're a leader willing to seize opportunities even as others are paralyzed by fear and groupthink, why don't you prove it?

Well I didn't write that, but I think you are proving my point for me. Its fear and groupthink that led many of you to want an MBA in the first place!!! If you wrote that, you should prove it and go out on your own now and make money while things are cheap. When Bill Gates was presented with a great opp, did he say "I'll take advantage after I get my Harvard degree?"... nope, he dropped out and jumped on it. Yes I would graduate with the same debt now as in a good economy. My point is these low prices on real estate and stocks won't last forever. As Buffet says, if you're going to buy socks, might as well buy them at a low price!!!

Anyways, I'm not trying to convince anyone. I think most have made up their mind, and many are just punching their ticket. There are pros/cons to both sides, so for those who don't want to work 80 hours for some bank their whole life, there is real opportunity cost. I can argue it either way, which is why I've applied and am still 50-50. Either way, I do want a biz education so I can make intelligent biz decisions going forward. I guess its just does M7 increase my ceiling to say a 100M biz instead of a 10M biz... I don't know, but I do think network is huge in life, just look at the Bushes!

domtri, I would not have to stay at my company if I went part-time...
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]

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21 Mar 2009, 21:13
mbafwi wrote:
monkbent wrote:
Jerz wrote:
As for your question about being an entrepreneur, even if the economy was still growing at 4% a year, an MBA would still cost about $150k, and you'd still be graduating with the same amount of debt, so I don't see how the current economy means you'd graduate in any worse financial position than you would have in any other economy. I don't think an M7 for entrepreneurs would automatically generate seed money from alumni, but I do think that the M7 alumni network would at least get you in the door to sources of funding that you may not otherwise have access to. Quoted for truth. And beyond this, the opportunity cost of an MBA has rarely been lower! You probably wrote on your essays that you're a leader willing to seize opportunities even as others are paralyzed by fear and groupthink, why don't you prove it? Well I didn't write that, but I think you are proving my point for me. Its fear and groupthink that led many of you to want an MBA in the first place!!! If you wrote that, you should prove it and go out on your own now and make money while things are cheap. When Bill Gates was presented with a great opp, did he say "I'll take advantage after I get my Harvard degree?"... nope, he dropped out and jumped on it. Yes I would graduate with the same debt now as in a good economy. My point is these low prices on real estate and stocks won't last forever. As Buffet says, if you're going to buy socks, might as well buy them at a low price!!! Anyways, I'm not trying to convince anyone. I think most have made up their mind, and many are just punching their ticket. There are pros/cons to both sides, so for those who don't want to work 80 hours for some bank their whole life, there is real opportunity cost. I can argue it either way, which is why I've applied and am still 50-50. Either way, I do want a biz education so I can make intelligent biz decisions going forward. I guess its just does M7 increase my ceiling to say a 100M biz instead of a 10M biz... I don't know, but I do think network is huge in life, just look at the Bushes! domtri, I would not have to stay at my company if I went part-time... LOL - if you knew my background you would know that fear and groupthink are hardly an issue with my decision to go to business school! Anyhow, I was probably a bit harsh in my response. In your situation, it may make sense to do the part time thing and save IF your goal is to start your own business. But I have to ask - is that your goal, or is your goal to make money? Your points about stocks and real estate seem focused on the latter. Not that there's anything wrong about that, mind you. Rather, your motivation should be the big factor in your decision. I'm going to business school because I think the field I want to go into looks fascinating and I'm looking for a job that is challenging and fulfilling. I honestly don't care about making a lot of money (although I obviously want to be comfortable). The idea of using my savings to invest in stocks and real estate while staying in my current career sounds horrible - I have no interest in being an unhappy rich man. That said, if making money is your ultimate goal, well, it's easy to see how spending$150,000 + and forgoing that much in income, and even more in missed investment possibilities, may be a hill t0o far. That's fine, I can respect that, and wish you luck if that's what you decide.

(And there's of course the third option, where the business you want to start is your passion, and the part-time MBA more easily leads to success - that sounds awesome. No debt, and achieving your goals. Go for it!).

I guess what I would say to anyone reading this thread and to the original poster is first know your yourself. The right decisions will flow from that.
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]

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22 Mar 2009, 11:19
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I'm really enjoying the discussion in this thread and I think that you are right to be hesitant about the size of the loans. I think Money magazine did an article a few months ago about doctors and lawyers who are well into their late 40s and still paying student debts to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. The student loan market (not to mention tuition) is not what it was 30 years ago, and people are just now starting to realize the danger of the "invest in yourself" cliche.

Personally, the only reason I applied to the schools I did was because I just didn't see the point in spending $150,000 and two years of my life on another degree unless it was really a unique opportunity. I had basically given up on my quest when I got the dings and single WL, but by a stroke of luck, things worked out. I'm going for it but my plan is to change nothing about my lifestyle when I'm done, and then obsessively pay off my debt. We'll see if I'm really disciplined enough to do that. _________________ "You can only be young once. But you can always be immature." Manager Joined: 21 Feb 2009 Posts: 76 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 0 Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 22 Mar 2009, 14:23 balki1867 wrote: I'm going for it but my plan is to change nothing about my lifestyle when I'm done, and then obsessively pay off my debt. We'll see if I'm really disciplined enough to do that. Ditto. Same plan here. I figure it'd be easy enough to accomplish this, considering I'll be taking a few steps backward while you're a student. It'll feel like you're moving forward if you revert back to your pre-MBA lifestyle I'll probably be living with roommates for a while, due to my interest in staying in the major (and expensive) metropolitan areas. Manager Joined: 08 Mar 2009 Posts: 193 Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 0 Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 22 Mar 2009, 16:32 Stay the course...talk to some people who applied to business school in Fall of 2001..... BTW...the financial sector will find a way to reinvent itself...always has... Many people who were in Finance programs just for the "guaranteed" $$job will bail....creating a future shortage MBAs in finance... Current Student Joined: 21 Aug 2008 Posts: 348 Schools: Fuqua '11 Followers: 5 Kudos [?]: 38 [0], given: 0 Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 23 Mar 2009, 10:00 mbafwi wrote: Well I didn't write that, but I think you are proving my point for me. Its fear and groupthink that led many of you to want an MBA in the first place!!! If you wrote that, you should prove it and go out on your own now and make money while things are cheap. When Bill Gates was presented with a great opp, did he say "I'll take advantage after I get my Harvard degree?"... nope, he dropped out and jumped on it. Yes I would graduate with the same debt now as in a good economy. My point is these low prices on real estate and stocks won't last forever. As Buffet says, if you're going to buy socks, might as well buy them at a low price!!! Anyways, I'm not trying to convince anyone. I think most have made up their mind, and many are just punching their ticket. There are pros/cons to both sides, so for those who don't want to work 80 hours for some bank their whole life, there is real opportunity cost. I can argue it either way, which is why I've applied and am still 50-50. Either way, I do want a biz education so I can make intelligent biz decisions going forward. I guess its just does M7 increase my ceiling to say a 100M biz instead of a 10M biz... I don't know, but I do think network is huge in life, just look at the Bushes! domtri, I would not have to stay at my company if I went part-time... Ironically I just watched "W" yesterday. And you can get your company to front the$$ for your B school education without owing them at least a year or something of service? That's awesome. But remember, when Bill Gates started Microsoft, you better believe he was working 100+ hours a week and then-some to get it off the ground. And that's without having anything else on his plate (no school, had very well-off parents that could still support him) etc. I don't know if getting an MBA will really make your future workload any easier or harder. There's an interesting chapter in Malcolm Gladwell's latest book about successful entrepreneurs(gates, jobs, michael dell, guys who started sun microsystems) and what 'profile' they fit. Typically they are early 20s, and a big part of why they've been able to get their business off the ground is because they had absolutely zero on their plate while they were pursuing it - no family, no debt, nothing to pay off(rent etc). So if that's what you are aiming for I can't fault your logic. But you should be sure that after having dealt with classes / work for 3 years or so, would you just be willing to quit your job, quit the guaranteed income and put in the time necessary to fuel a successful startup? Intern Joined: 01 Aug 2008 Posts: 45 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 0 Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 23 Mar 2009, 11:51 bostonsparky wrote: mbafwi wrote: Ironically I just watched "W" yesterday. And you can get your company to front the$$for your B school education without owing them at least a year or something of service? That's awesome. But remember, when Bill Gates started Microsoft, you better believe he was working 100+ hours a week and then-some to get it off the ground. And that's without having anything else on his plate (no school, had very well-off parents that could still support him) etc. I don't know if getting an MBA will really make your future workload any easier or harder. There's an interesting chapter in Malcolm Gladwell's latest book about successful entrepreneurs(gates, jobs, michael dell, guys who started sun microsystems) and what 'profile' they fit. Typically they are early 20s, and a big part of why they've been able to get their business off the ground is because they had absolutely zero on their plate while they were pursuing it - no family, no debt, nothing to pay off(rent etc). So if that's what you are aiming for I can't fault your logic. But you should be sure that after having dealt with classes / work for 3 years or so, would you just be willing to quit your job, quit the guaranteed income and put in the time necessary to fuel a successful startup? If I went part-time, I could attend a school ranked around 20-40, but not a M7. So for me its a question of brand and network vs a free education. And I would not owe any time upon graduation to my employer, but I would also not be guaranteed any promotion or new job. Doing a startup would be hard, I agree. But I don't think that's what I want to do. I want to do more of a Warren Buffet deal, where I buy a very safe and reliable existing biz (maybe a franchise, but not a textile company!!) and just use those profits to build from there. Hopefully acquiring more and more businesses, real estate, stocks or whatever I think is a good investment. The key is to make sure I'm not putting much time into running the business, but rather use my time to expand the empire. So I would want something very simple/safe that gives predictable profits, and I would let a manager do 90% of the operations. I don't think it will be easy to hit$1B like Buffet did that way, but I do think it is reasonable to get over \$1M that way. After that, I want to live a relaxed life, doing some non-profit work and maybe teaching/coaching in some high school (summers off suits me well!!!). Anyways, to get started, I need a decent net worth to get the biz loan, and more biz knowledge. I see it as M7 increases my long-term ceiling, but delays me getting started. So I can argue it either way...

BTW, how is W? Haven't seen it yet...
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]

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23 Mar 2009, 13:09
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Time to play devils advocate about starting and running your own business. Lots of MBAs dream of starting and running their own business, plenty try. However, few succeed to the level you are describing. Many will have small businesses that are fairly successful by most standards but few create companies worth 8-figures plus.

I have had a chance to talk with some Kellogg alums who have started and run businesses that are hugely successful and there is one common piece of advice they have given. Do not even attempt to start a business immediately. Most recommend doing it 5 to 10 years out, and many recommend partnering with someone else. The reason for this is if you try and fail straight out of school, which happens just as often if not more often than people succeed...then you have nothing to fall back on really. Your resume will look bare compared to people who have spent several years working their way into management positions. You wont have a nest egg to keep you going until it becomes profitable.

By starting a company 5+ years out you will have a history of succesful managing people/project/businesses, hopefully some savings, student loans paid off, and hopefully you have a well developed network you can leverage not just for seed money but for business. Plus if you give it a go and fail you have experience to fall back on and a resume that shows post MBA success.
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]

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23 Mar 2009, 13:33
riverripper wrote:
Time to play devils advocate about starting and running your own business. Lots of MBAs dream of starting and running their own business, plenty try. However, few succeed to the level you are describing. Many will have small businesses that are fairly successful by most standards but few create companies worth 8-figures plus.

I have had a chance to talk with some Kellogg alums who have started and run businesses that are hugely successful and there is one common piece of advice they have given. Do not even attempt to start a business immediately. Most recommend doing it 5 to 10 years out, and many recommend partnering with someone else. The reason for this is if you try and fail straight out of school, which happens just as often if not more often than people succeed...then you have nothing to fall back on really. Your resume will look bare compared to people who have spent several years working their way into management positions. You wont have a nest egg to keep you going until it becomes profitable.

By starting a company 5+ years out you will have a history of succesful managing people/project/businesses, hopefully some savings, student loans paid off, and hopefully you have a well developed network you can leverage not just for seed money but for business. Plus if you give it a go and fail you have experience to fall back on and a resume that shows post MBA success.

+1. Good insight. This is definitely the traditional wisdom that is provided on business school campuses.

However, I wanted to chime in and mention another possibility. If you are able to develop a few solid ideas for businesses prior to starting school, actually launching it during school sounds like a wonderful idea on paper. You have no opportunity cost while you are in school, and the environment is very supportive of those who want to start a business. Professors and alumni serve as a great support network while you are in school -- it is harder to find this kind of environment after you graduate. For example, most people who start search funds tend to embark on the fund raising stage in their 2nd year of B-School. You can test your ideas in a laboratory setting. Is your business cash flow positive by the time you graduate? Good work, continue onwards. Is it still losing money / failing to generate revenue? Okay, no big deal, go work for Bain or what have you.

Another common trait of most entrepeneurs: the general public and their peers tell them that their idea is crazy and/or doesn't make sense. Happens to every one of them. The key is to ignore the noise and keep charging ahead with your vision. This may be difficult in an environment like business school, where many of your peers are extremely risk averse and looking at things like GM/Consulting/Banking. There has been a lot of low hanging fruit around on B-School campuses the past several years - who knows how that will be going forward.
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]

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23 Mar 2009, 14:09
Hate to break it to you guys but talking with VC people are various events this year has painted a very very bleak picture of getting funding for anything in the near future. They will take a look at companies but funding an idea wont happen like it did a few years ago. I know a few people who plan on trying to start something this summer but its not like they will have funding from sources outside their own pockets and maybe some friends or family with plenty of money to spare. Getting VC funding is going to be much harder than you can imagine these days...same with the idea of selling a small/medium cap business to a PE firm and the ones who are buying businesses these days are conglomerates who are trying to pick up high value brands that have run into capital issues...basically they are bargain hunting for companies doing poorly on paper but that have sound models and real value.
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School?   [#permalink] 23 Mar 2009, 14:09

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