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# Why did I even bother applying to B School?

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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]  23 Mar 2009, 13:09
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, 13:37
riverripper wrote:
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.

I guess this would affect people who want to do startups (i.e. Gates), but not people who just want to buy a small biz or franchise with stable profits to get investment money (i.e. Buffet). For the latter, you would need about 20% liquid capital of the biz cost, then get a biz loan for the rest. If the biz costs $500k, you need$100k. No need or want for VC people at this point. Ideally the biz is simple enough to let a manager run it, and you can keep your day job. To be honest, I don't like the idea of doing a startup when you have no security blanket. You could toil for years, spend lots of other peoples money, and come out with nothing. Sounds like playing poker to me. Of course, you could strike it rich too, but the odds are against you. I think its much better to do these sorts of things when you already have cash coming in from multiple sources, some assets to fall back on, etc. But to each his own.

Anyways, to get the initial capital, one would need to work for a few years post-MBA, especially if they are $100k+ in the hole. So that is kind of obvious. For me, consulting seems like the best gig to get some broad exposure. GM rotation would work too. Senior Manager Joined: 13 Jun 2007 Posts: 410 Schools: Wharton, Booth, Stern Followers: 11 Kudos [?]: 80 [0], given: 0 Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink] 23 Mar 2009, 17:20 domtri33 wrote: So over the course of the last few months, my mood has gone from absolute elation (getting into Kellogg) to downright pessimism (global economy is in the crapper). At one point, I felt like my ticket was punched. I had worked hard in undergrad, kicked as in my jobs and was given a golden ticket that would give me access to some the best jobs in the world. Now, from all accounts, I'm better off just eating my$1,500 deposit and giving my slot to someone else. At least now I have a job that I KNOW will be around for a while. Everywhere I turn on this forum I read "forget trying to bust into banking unless you were some ubber banker before bschool." "Forget PE, they only take H/S/W grads who have previsouly managed bajillion dollar funds" and "unless you get in with Carlyle right away, you might as well put that dream aside." "Consulting, forget about it, all the unemployed bankers will be trying to do that."

Well damn....where does that leave me? I mean, I spent six stinking years in the Army. The whole reason I wanted to go to bschool in the first place was so I could learn about business and jump into a good firm (and not doing general management, no offense to those interested in GM). Now all I am hearing from everyone else on this forum is that career switching is dead. That getting into b school and learning means nothing because all the recruiters really care about is your pre MBA work experience.

So, that being said, I've got one slot for Kellogg MMM on sale for $1,500 Just kidding. But really, someone, somewhere out there paint a rosier picture for me. I'll even take a decent lie at this point, just to get my spirits up. Sorry, I didn't bother reading all the topic, but a couple of points: 1. Like other people probably mention, you'll be graduating in 2.5 years; I know this is no guarantee (especially now), but I would think it should be enough. 2. You're from the Army, probably one of the best networks around; leverage it to the max and you'll be fine. 3. At the risk of not making friends on this forum, in this kind of environment, if you want to work for a bank or PE, why go to Kellogg? (right, getting ready to get destroyed) _________________ Wharton admits, join the rugby team!! It'll be by far the best experience of your MBA life Senior Manager Joined: 13 Jun 2007 Posts: 410 Schools: Wharton, Booth, Stern Followers: 11 Kudos [?]: 80 [0], given: 0 Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink] 23 Mar 2009, 17:25 Paradosso wrote: 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. Haha, brilliant! Kudos for that. _________________ Wharton admits, join the rugby team!! It'll be by far the best experience of your MBA life GMAT Club Legend Joined: 10 Apr 2007 Posts: 4318 Location: Back in Chicago, IL Schools: Kellogg Alum: Class of 2010 Followers: 87 Kudos [?]: 727 [0], given: 5 Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink] 23 Mar 2009, 17:53 Audio wrote: 3. At the risk of not making friends on this forum, in this kind of environment, if you want to work for a bank or PE, why go to Kellogg? (right, getting ready to get destroyed) Kellogg does fairly well in banking when compared to other top schools, looking at placement this year its sounds equivalent to other schools...but agreed with PE. Kellogg definitely is not the strongest place to help you get into PE. Though I would argue that no one is going to be doing well in PE these days at all, especially career changers. The shops arent doing deals since they cant get credit, people aren't pumping money into them, and they are basically trying to save what they have...and they arent doing well at that (look at the list of failures they have had lately). If these new TARP bonus limitations actually are put in place, how many people with several years of experience at those banks will be more than happy to make the jump to a PE shop even if its a starting position since even that associates bonus will be better than what they would get as a VP at goldman. The real question is once people show up next fall and start digging into the careers...especially if more crazy legislation happens or the banking industry has even more setbacks...will they still really want banking or be looking for other jobs. There are a lot worse places to be than kellogg when you look at it that way. It may not be known as a finance power house like some of its peers but the diversity of our recruiting gives us a huge advantage at times like this when hiring in Banking is 30-40% of what it was in previous years. A lot of folks I know who came here to go into IB bailed in october as they realized it wasnt the glorious place to be anymore and when they started to see what other careers offered. _________________ Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond. GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings 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] 23 Mar 2009, 20:00 wonderhaven wrote: Gil wrote: 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". This is absolutely true - mbafwi - you can still start/buy a business with your cash and use low interest loans for a full-time MBA. possibly, but most biz loans/banks require a certain positive net worth. so if i have 100k cash and 100k student loan debt, then i'm at 0 net worth. but i suppose stocks and real estate could be had with that 100k cash, regardless of debt. those things don't really provide cash flow though, so a stable easy biz would be better to provide consistent investment money every year... i'm not sure how it works with startups looking for funding, does anyone know if VCs look at net worth, liquid cash, etc when handing out money? or is it all about a new great idea, regardless of your financial situation? Senior Manager Joined: 23 Jul 2007 Posts: 313 Schools: Attending Stanford Followers: 6 Kudos [?]: 67 [0], given: 0 Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink] 23 Mar 2009, 21:02 riverripper wrote: 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. riverripper wrote: 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. River, I think we might have different perspectives here. This certainly isn't the same VC climate it was a few years ago (alas!), but there are still opportunities. I know a lot of people pursuing entrepreneurial and VC experiences this summer. Tech is not as good as it was in the past, but cleantech and healthcare are doing pretty well. I can't comment much on PE, it's not really my area of interest. I think the timing of a startup is a personal matter. The GSB alums I've spoken with have advised going for a startup early. If you have an idea you really believe in, then why wouldn't you go for it right away? You're still young and enthusiastic and able to work the insane hours required to successfully get a startup off the ground. If you wait until you've got a few years in finance/MC/industry, there's a real chance you'll get comfortable in that situation and not want to leave. Additionally, the farther out you are from your MBA, the more likely you are to have a family. The demands of family life can be hard to reconcile with the demands of a startup. VP Joined: 09 Dec 2008 Posts: 1221 Schools: Kellogg Class of 2011 Followers: 21 Kudos [?]: 240 [0], given: 17 Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink] 24 Mar 2009, 04:21 mbafwi wrote: riverripper wrote: 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. I guess this would affect people who want to do startups (i.e. Gates), but not people who just want to buy a small biz or franchise with stable profits to get investment money (i.e. Buffet). For the latter, you would need about 20% liquid capital of the biz cost, then get a biz loan for the rest. If the biz costs$500k, you need $100k. No need or want for VC people at this point. Ideally the biz is simple enough to let a manager run it, and you can keep your day job. To be honest, I don't like the idea of doing a startup when you have no security blanket. You could toil for years, spend lots of other peoples money, and come out with nothing. Sounds like playing poker to me. Of course, you could strike it rich too, but the odds are against you. I think its much better to do these sorts of things when you already have cash coming in from multiple sources, some assets to fall back on, etc. But to each his own. Anyways, to get the initial capital, one would need to work for a few years post-MBA, especially if they are$100k+ in the hole. So that is kind of obvious. For me, consulting seems like the best gig to get some broad exposure. GM rotation would work too.

So your post-MBA goal is to be Warren Buffett? I hate to be the buzz-kill, but if it were as easy as you describe to build up a multi-million dollar portfolio of companies you own (and that are run by other professional managers), wouldn't we all be multi-millionaires? The reason Buffett is so special is because so few others have been able to do what he's done.
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]  24 Mar 2009, 06:49
mbafwi wrote:
wonderhaven wrote:
Gil wrote:

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".

This is absolutely true - mbafwi - you can still start/buy a business with your cash and use low interest loans for a full-time MBA.

possibly, but most biz loans/banks require a certain positive net worth. so if i have 100k cash and 100k student loan debt, then i'm at 0 net worth. but i suppose stocks and real estate could be had with that 100k cash, regardless of debt. those things don't really provide cash flow though, so a stable easy biz would be better to provide consistent investment money every year...

i'm not sure how it works with startups looking for funding, does anyone know if VCs look at net worth, liquid cash, etc when handing out money? or is it all about a new great idea, regardless of your financial situation?

this is another case where timing is everything - you'll need to buy a business before you take out your student loan..
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]  24 Mar 2009, 06:52
Jerz wrote:
So your post-MBA goal is to be Warren Buffett? I hate to be the buzz-kill, but if it were as easy as you describe to build up a multi-million dollar portfolio of companies you own (and that are run by other professional managers), wouldn't we all be multi-millionaires? The reason Buffett is so special is because so few others have been able to do what he's done.

Buffett owns a multi-billion dollar portfolio of companies. There are several thousand small business owners in America who manage a business or a group of businesses that generate a few million in annual revenue, and have a "professional" manager run it. It's not an unrealistic or unreasonable goal to have.

As long as there are risk averse people out there, they'll always have an employee willing to run and manage the business for a paycheck. I don't see the supply of those drying up anytime soon.
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]  24 Mar 2009, 07:48
DK wrote:
Jerz wrote:
So your post-MBA goal is to be Warren Buffett? I hate to be the buzz-kill, but if it were as easy as you describe to build up a multi-million dollar portfolio of companies you own (and that are run by other professional managers), wouldn't we all be multi-millionaires? The reason Buffett is so special is because so few others have been able to do what he's done.

Buffett owns a multi-billion dollar portfolio of companies. There are several thousand small business owners in America who manage a business or a group of businesses that generate a few million in annual revenue, and have a "professional" manager run it. It's not an unrealistic or unreasonable goal to have.

As long as there are risk averse people out there, they'll always have an employee willing to run and manage the business for a paycheck. I don't see the supply of those drying up anytime soon.

Thank you DK, that's my point exactly. I've seen it many many times, guys will own 5 McDonalds, or 5 Papa Johns, or buy a textile company called Berkshire, or whatever other small biz that is out there. There are many businesses that are easy to run, have very predictable profits that are essentially recession proof, and can be run by a manager who will work for fairly cheap (i'm sure we've all worked for one). I don't think its impossible at all, and actually is pretty well understood and easy. Besides, I would do this as a side thing while keeping my day job, at least initially. My wife can keep a closer eye on the managers and operations, and I'd just take care of investing the constant profit in my free time. Key is, I don't want to work for the man forever. and I don't want to be some 40 year old banker who's unemployed and struggling nowadays, after working 80-100 hour weeks for 5-10 years. seems like a bad life to me. you are right in that i like buffet's model, but nobody will duplicate that to his level. i just want to get up to a couple million, that's all i really need. startups go after the billions with lots of risk, but i couldn't spend that anyway so i'm cool with a safe couple mil and be done with it!!
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]  24 Mar 2009, 10:17
mbafwi wrote:
i just want to get up to a couple million, that's all i really need. startups go after the billions with lots of risk, but i couldn't spend that anyway so i'm cool with a safe couple mil and be done with it!!

Don't we all. But I have to agree with Jerz, if it was really THAT easy, why isn't every MBA a multimillion dollar business investor? My guess is because in reality its not REALLY that easy. Not saying that it can't be done, it most certainly can. I just have a hard time thinking that if you want to do this, it's just a forgone conclusion that it will be easy.
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]  24 Mar 2009, 12:01
domtri33 wrote:
mbafwi wrote:
i just want to get up to a couple million, that's all i really need. startups go after the billions with lots of risk, but i couldn't spend that anyway so i'm cool with a safe couple mil and be done with it!!

Don't we all. But I have to agree with Jerz, if it was really THAT easy, why isn't every MBA a multimillion dollar business investor? My guess is because in reality its not REALLY that easy. Not saying that it can't be done, it most certainly can. I just have a hard time thinking that if you want to do this, it's just a forgone conclusion that it will be easy.

To be honest, I don't think it will be THAT easy. I guess I shouldn't use that word. I just think it can be done, with fairly low risk. There's always a chance life strikes and you have health problems, kids too early, or whatever else that would prevent you from saving capital. There's also a chance people quit eating at McDonalds, Papa Johns, or whatever you end up buying. I just think if you are careful and plan accordingly, your risk is low.

I don't think most MBAs would do this sort of thing for a few reasons. One they are stuck working 80 hours/week and have no time. Two they don't want to be associated with some po-dunk biz like McDonalds, they'd rather be on a golf course with a fortune 500 CEO or doing their own brilliant startup. I don't really care about status, or meeting famous people, I just care about financial independence, so that's not a problem. The main problem I see is people get stuck running the biz, and hence have no time to expand it. That's why its crucial that the biz is easy and can be run by some manager. One of my recs was a small biz owner who basically consults to the govt. He has 8-9 people who are charging time on contracts, but he is one of them and hence has no free time to expand. My dad also owned a small biz but had to spend all his time there. Once in that trap, its almost impossible to get out. So its key to pick something that requires a minimal amount of your time on site. Yeah it will hit your profit margin, but a 10% margin on a group of businesses is better than a 20% margin on one biz that you are stuck at every day!!
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]  24 Mar 2009, 12:06
mbafwi,

Have you ever read any of Tim Ferriss' material at all? I think he might be up your alley.

www.fourhourworkweek.com

His book by the same title is an interesting read even if you don't want to run a business selling ripoff diet product on the internet like he does.

And W is interesting, they definitely loaded it up with name actors/actresses. Richard Dreyfuss as Cheney was my favorite.
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]  24 Mar 2009, 12:30
bostonsparky wrote:
mbafwi,

Have you ever read any of Tim Ferriss' material at all? I think he might be up your alley.

http://www.fourhourworkweek.com

His book by the same title is an interesting read even if you don't want to run a business selling ripoff diet product on the internet like he does.

And W is interesting, they definitely loaded it up with name actors/actresses. Richard Dreyfuss as Cheney was my favorite.

Nope, looks interesting though. We seem to think along the same lines. Although I don't want to do a get rich quick scheme, those things never seem to work out except for the person selling them!
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]  24 Mar 2009, 12:48

Are my long-term prospects affected if I graduate during an economic downturn?

No. We have actually found that INSEAD alumni who graduated during economic downturns end up earning on average more than alumni who graduate during economic booms! This may be partly due to the fact that they have pursued less traditional paths and taken more risks, for example setting up their own company, rather than pursuing a more obvious post-MBA career path. 8% of the December 2008 class are setting up their own company, versus 4% of the December 2007 class.
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]  24 Mar 2009, 14:37
mbafwi wrote:
domtri33 wrote:
mbafwi wrote:
i just want to get up to a couple million, that's all i really need. startups go after the billions with lots of risk, but i couldn't spend that anyway so i'm cool with a safe couple mil and be done with it!!

Don't we all. But I have to agree with Jerz, if it was really THAT easy, why isn't every MBA a multimillion dollar business investor? My guess is because in reality its not REALLY that easy. Not saying that it can't be done, it most certainly can. I just have a hard time thinking that if you want to do this, it's just a forgone conclusion that it will be easy.

To be honest, I don't think it will be THAT easy. I guess I shouldn't use that word. I just think it can be done, with fairly low risk. There's always a chance life strikes and you have health problems, kids too early, or whatever else that would prevent you from saving capital. There's also a chance people quit eating at McDonalds, Papa Johns, or whatever you end up buying. I just think if you are careful and plan accordingly, your risk is low.

This is interesting because it reminded me that I use to plan on doing the same thing. Somewhere along the line I got infatuated with all the post MBA "prestige" jobs, got extra risk averse, and completely forgot about those plans. It's something I plan to keep in mind for the long term, maybe owning a few small businesses on the side like you're talking about (after I've put in a few years at my post MBA prestige job of course ). And for the risk averse person, owning some franchises semms like the safest route. I mean when's the last time you saw a Mcdonalds go out of business???

Oh and FYI, did you know that McDonalds will only allow you to own a franchise if you spend a couple years working at one from the ground up? They literally require you to start off as a fry cook and work your way up to manager before you're allowed to own a franchise. I had a friend who's family owned like 15 McDs and I've looked into this.
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]  24 Mar 2009, 14:40
IHateTheGMAT wrote:
This is interesting because it reminded me that I use to plan on doing the same thing. Somewhere along the line I got infatuated with all the post MBA "prestige" jobs, got extra risk averse, and completely forgot about those plans. It's something I plan to keep in mind for the long term, maybe owning a few small businesses on the side like you're talking about (after I've put in a few years at my post MBA prestige job of course ). And for the risk averse person, owning some franchises semms like the safest route. I mean when's the last time you saw a Mcdonalds go out of business???

Oh and FYI, did you know that McDonalds will only allow you to own a franchise if you spend a couple years working at one from the ground up? They literally require you to start off as a fry cook and work your way up to manager before you're allowed to own a franchise. I had a friend who's family owned like 15 McDs and I've looked into this.

Ewww. McDonalds? I'm going to graduate from a top MBA program. I'm too good for that! Prestige is more important than making money. McDonalds are rarely housed in prestigous buildings, nor do they have prestigous people in them.

Personally, I'd rather go work in alternative energy and be green and be an innovator!
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]  24 Mar 2009, 15:27
IHateTheGMAT wrote:
This is interesting because it reminded me that I use to plan on doing the same thing. Somewhere along the line I got infatuated with all the post MBA "prestige" jobs, got extra risk averse, and completely forgot about those plans. It's something I plan to keep in mind for the long term, maybe owning a few small businesses on the side like you're talking about (after I've put in a few years at my post MBA prestige job of course ). And for the risk averse person, owning some franchises semms like the safest route. I mean when's the last time you saw a Mcdonalds go out of business???

Oh and FYI, did you know that McDonalds will only allow you to own a franchise if you spend a couple years working at one from the ground up? They literally require you to start off as a fry cook and work your way up to manager before you're allowed to own a franchise. I had a friend who's family owned like 15 McDs and I've looked into this.

WHAT??? well looks like i'm not buying a McDonalds!!! I mean its cool to own one and invest the profits, but i don't want to work in one for 2 years... screw that.. i did used to deliver pizzas, maybe i'll buy a couple of those... oh yeah, i'll have a wife i can stick in there... maybe a mcdonalds will work!!!!
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School? [#permalink]  24 Mar 2009, 17:07
mbafwi - you may want to check out sites like http://franchisepundit.com/

I don't think McDonalds and other 'non-glamorous' franchises net all that much money, and often the financial projections assume the franchisee is also the manager.
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Re: Why did I even bother applying to B School?   [#permalink] 24 Mar 2009, 17:07

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