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Sloan vs. No School

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Joined: 09 Apr 2020
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Schools: Sloan '22 (A)
Sloan vs. No School  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2020, 15:23
I was recently accepted to MIT Sloan with no scholarship money. Super excited about the opportunity, but I'm having doubts if it makes sense financially and career-wise.

I'm in my late 20s and have been working in healthcare consulting. This year I'm slated to make between $200k - $230k. I'm not particularly engaged by my work and I'm afraid that if I stick around longer I'll get so sucked in I won't be able to leave (plus, the consulting lifestyle is starting to wear on me).

My near term career goal is to work for a biotech company in commercial strategy/biz dev, or for a small healthcare-focused startup, with the goal of eventually working my way into a leadership or C-suite role in the future. I could probably get a job like that without an MBA, but I think an MBA would help and pay dividends down the line in terms of long-term career progression in pharma/biotech, especially since I don't have an MD or PhD. Plus, I think two years of immersion in a different environment and really exploring/committing to school could be good from a personal growth/exploration standpoint and expose me to new professional interests.

Finally, this COVID-19 stuff is complicating things - going to school seems much more risky now.

Any thoughts/guidance/wisdom would be much appreciated!
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Re: Sloan vs. No School  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2020, 15:25
flatiron617 wrote:
I was recently accepted to MIT Sloan with no scholarship money. Super excited about the opportunity, but I'm having doubts if it makes sense financially and career-wise.

I'm in my late 20s and have been working in healthcare consulting. This year I'm slated to make between $200k - $230k. I'm not particularly engaged by my work and I'm afraid that if I stick around longer I'll get so sucked in I won't be able to leave (plus, the consulting lifestyle is starting to wear on me).

My near term career goal is to work for a biotech company in commercial strategy/biz dev, or for a small healthcare-focused startup, with the goal of eventually working my way into a leadership or C-suite role in the future. I could probably get a job like that without an MBA, but I think an MBA would help and pay dividends down the line in terms of long-term career progression in pharma/biotech, especially since I don't have an MD or PhD. Plus, I think two years of immersion in a different environment and really exploring/committing to school could be good from a personal growth/exploration standpoint and expose me to new professional interests.

Finally, this COVID-19 stuff is complicating things - going to school seems much more risky now.

Any thoughts/guidance/wisdom would be much appreciated!




What city do you live in ? 200k in one city is different than 200k in another. Important piece to know before giving feedback
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Re: Sloan vs. No School  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2020, 17:06
Unfortunately, most companies you would recruit out of business school would pay you $200K-$230K all in comp and sometimes less. If money is more important to you than other stuff, going to school does not make sense. If you want to switch focus and do something else and pay someone $200K for that, go ahead!
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Re: Sloan vs. No School  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Apr 2020, 23:07
You think you will still make 230K this year? I have friends out of work, furlough, and taking 20% pay cuts. I think the only people I know who are not are Google/Amazon which live in a bubble. Even vendors who work for Microsoft are all on unemployment or trying to get it.
If you feel you can maintain your income and your main reason to get an MBA is not to be "stuck" making $230K then perhaps it may not be worth the effort....
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New post 13 Apr 2020, 07:46
If I was making $200K-$230K then I would not even consider pursuing a graduate business degree unless I wanted to pivot into a different career path.

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New post 13 Apr 2020, 08:38
I hear the case for career progression, long-term value of the MBA in pharma / biotech space.

With the information provided, I would vote no school, but there are a few other questions that I think could move the needle here. As follow:

1) how important is the money to you? There's a 20-50% chance that this experience and credentialing of yourself will have net negative return. Not to a debilitating degree, but you might earn 10% less over your lifetime. Are you okay with that? Totally okay for the answer to be yes. What's 1mn when you have another 3 or 8mn in the bank? There's some intangible value to the experience and relationships you will build - value that as you will. An okay valuation is that it's worth all the money in the world.

2) what's the reputation of your healthcare consulting firm? If you could use a well branded MBA program / don't have an ivy league (or like) undergrad there's clear value in the various opps that will open to you. If you are already at MBB / LEK doing healthcare work, don't waste your time with the MBA.
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Re: Sloan vs. No School  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2020, 09:17
Would this be a good opportunity to potentially talk to your boss or mentor at your current workplace? I can see taking out your boss for a lunch or a coffee over zoom :-) and Giving them an update on your application situation and talking about future. I don’t get many of these opportunities with my boss or with my employees. A talk like this is something your manager would likely find interesting and valuable and It would also elevate your maturity and performance in his/her view potentially.

I would give them an update about your admissions and thank them for the recommendations and help and state that it would not have been possible without their help along the way. Ask them about how they see the future of the company and what they would recommend for you as a logical step for your career. This gives them a chance to potentially keep you using a lucrative offer and keep you from leaving the company if they value you in which case you can make even more money and get slated for a promotion potentially much earlier than otherwise. It also allows them to get rid of you in a safe way. For example if they have reservations about your performance or how you fit with the rest of the team but they haven’t been able to express or communicate that very clearly, this is their chance to send you out to business school and get rid of you. It is a valuable message for you because It puts the cards on the table and you basically know that if that is the case, you would never be promoted and you would never get more than the minimum raise and it’s a dead-end job for you there.

Whether you choose to go to business school or not, I would take this opportunity to talk to your managers.

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New post 13 Apr 2020, 10:04
Have you considered options like 1 yr programs offered by Stanford MSx and Sloan Fellows where the drawback is in form of less flexibility to pivot careers but what I understand from your situation is that you want to pursue MBA mostly for career progression (move into C-suite) which can be facilitated by these programs as well.
If you're doing well in your current career and can stretch for a while to be eligible for these programs, work-experience wise, I would suggest to stay away from MBA given there's too much unpredictability in the air right now and even in the best case scenario, in terms of compensation, you'll return to where you left off.

Don't think too much about the network, leadership development kind of things. You can pursue them sideways using resources and platforms which cost a lot less.
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Re: Sloan vs. No School  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2020, 10:19
I think you should think through your decision about MBA before you get into the program.
If you have a solid answer to why you want to do an MBA, you should go ahead with it.
If you don’t have an answer, you’re wasting time and $.

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Re: Sloan vs. No School   [#permalink] 13 Apr 2020, 10:19

Sloan vs. No School

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