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# Why an MBA? (genuine answer pls, not essays!)

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Senior Manager
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Concentration: General Management, Strategy
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24 Aug 2011, 11:37
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=a topic is not for those interested solely in MC, IB, PE careers=

Guys,
One year into the application process, endless hours spent over the GMAT/TOEFL, several USDk of related expenses and I ran into a very tough question why an MBA?

Seriously, what is your reason to spend two years of your life learning dusty stuff (don't tell me Excel modelling is cool), taking a huge loan, experiencing stress at tests and various recruiting events etc.

One year ago I thought I knew the answer. Now I am not sure any longer. I googled 2 random pages offering '10 reasons' http://www.bbworld06.com/edu/top-10-reasons-to-do-mba/ or http://www.rajeshsetty.com/2007/09/02/1 ... ue-an-mba/ and realized that a half of common reasons is nonsense!

So, why an mba? Have you considered to continue your current career in, so to speak, an organic way? Especially, if your current work does not make you crying and a salary does not force you collecting bottles in spare time.

Pls share your real, genuine reasons (i.e most likely not the stuff your write in essays).
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24 Aug 2011, 12:06
1
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The background:There was a time when I was adamant about NOT getting an MBA. I don't want to be in a traditional corporate job so I didn't see the point in pursuing what I saw as a corporate degree. My friends were (and still are) getting MBAs left and right while I stood firm in my "No MBA for me position."
I was looking into pursuing a Masters in Communications. I'd taken the GRE, was working on a writing sample, and had figured out my school list. My sorority sister had graduated several years ago from one of the programs I was looking at and I wanted to get her perspective on the program. She was in the process of getting her MBA from Stern and told me to go for the MBA. Why did I listen to her? Because she'd been where I thought I wanted to go so she had personal experience to validate her advice. She told me to research schools and take the GMAT just to see where I landed.

My Reasons:
I found that I was kind of like the character in Green Eggs and Ham. I kept saying how much I didn't want an MBA, but I'd never actually researched the degree. When I took the time to do so, I realized that the MBA is EXTREMELY flexible. People used the MBA from a wide range of industries. Plus programs seemed to allow for taking a few classes in other schools at the university. I realized that I could tailor an MBA to my interests. I was also surprised to find that classes within the MBA programs also piqued my interest. The exposure I could get to my new industry through clubs, recruiting, and a summer internship also appealed to me. Doesn't hurt that the MBA positions me better for higher management level roles and can help me secure an even higher salary. So if the degrees basically cost the same, why not go with the degree with the higher earning potential?
Basically, I want the MBA because it gives me so many options to change my career. I can have a great time away from the rat race for 2 years. Most importantly the male/female ratio is heavily in my favor :-p
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24 Aug 2011, 12:23
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new skills, new perspective, new network, new opportunities. Strengthen weaknesses and further amplify strengths. A chance to withdraw from the daily grind of whatever your job is now and focus on the future. No matter what you do now, there is a whole world of stuff in business that you never touch on. If you're in marketing and have no interaction with finance, it's theoretically possible to gain some mastery of that area if you spend years doing so incrementally, but if you really want to build some solid expertise in a short period of time, there's no better way than to get an MBA. An MBA program gives you the opportunity to pull your head out of the day-to-day and look up, survey the landscape and then make your next move.
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24 Aug 2011, 12:27
I presume you have seen this post: the-true-value-of-your-mba-v-74335.html

Also: the-evolution-of-your-b-school-pursuit-56765.html
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24 Aug 2011, 12:33
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24 Aug 2011, 12:48
BB, once we take out MC, IB, PE out, the P&L gets more interesting Anyhow, my question is more about the non-monetary factors.

Unfortunately all the MBAers I know are still studying. The ones who graduated (from various EMBA) specified only network and network events.

I am not challenging a decision, rather trying to dig out the real, realistic reasons.
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24 Aug 2011, 23:57
One of the reasons a former colleague of mine (he worked as an auditor in big4) said me is: "Dude, I am working 12-14 hours a day like management consultant, but my salary is about two times lower. So what the hell?! I want to earn that f**king MBA degree and receive higher salary for the same amount of time I spent in the office!" This may be one of the real reasons, why MBA, but none will write it in his/hers application essay.
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Status: Nothing comes easy: neither do I want.
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04 Jan 2013, 01:34
Pursue the MBA if it fills gap.

Current position -------------- GAP ------------------- Desired Position.

Desired position could be anything : salary, job profile , dream company...anything.

If some other degree can also fill and that too in easier way, do not hesitate to follow your dreams. MBA is not a tool to convert a low salary to high, but a sacred education that would yield wonderful experience and knowledge.

In my case this Gap can be filled by MBA only
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04 Jan 2013, 04:38
1
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Expert's post
- The people
- The network
-The potentially huge salary increase
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04 Jan 2013, 07:10
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Coming from the military, a lot of people like to blow sunshine up your ass about how in demand and marketable you are, but the reality is while we have great leadership experiences at a young age, we seriously lack industry and business knowledge. That's where the MBA comes in.

A lot of companies have "Government consulting" divisions or "Junior Military Officer" rotational programs which aren't attractive to me because it pigeon-holes military officers, and quite frankly, I'm not getting out of the military with hopes of working with a bunch of other former military guys - I want to be working in the "mainstream" areas. Going to school with people from all walks of life helps with this matter and prepares someone in the military for the transistion.

The bottom line: The MBA enables me to do what I'm interested in and doesn't restrict my career opportunities to my past experience. I'm highly marketable in the government arena, but I have zero desire to do that. There are plenty of Junior Military Officer headhunters that are no better than scummy sports agents as their goal is to clearly land you the best paying job they can based on your experience so they can take their cut. The one I spoke with couldn't wrap his head around why I wanted to go into marketing even though I had an engineering background. He thought I was nuts for wanting to get an MBA to make a career switch. Needless to say, there are a lot of people who don't understand the value of an MBA.
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04 Jan 2013, 07:25
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Potential monetary gains aside, it all boils down to the fact that I believe an MBA will help me transition into a career I'm actually passionate about. Also, as someone who was laid off during the recession, and found it hard to find a new role through my network... I knew I needed a stronger support system to help me land on my feet if I was in a similar situation down the line.

An MBA program will expose me to companies that would not bother looking at my resumes, and set me up with a network of people who have accomplished amazing things, and are willing to help me do the same...
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04 Jan 2013, 07:29
1
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highwyre237 wrote:
Potential monetary gains aside, it all boils down to the fact that I believe an MBA will help me transition into a career I'm actually passionate about.

What he said. Thanks for making me look like a long-winded blowhard by cutting right to the point
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04 Jan 2013, 07:30
1
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CobraKai wrote:
highwyre237 wrote:
Potential monetary gains aside, it all boils down to the fact that I believe an MBA will help me transition into a career I'm actually passionate about.

What he said. Thanks for making me look like a long-winded blowhard by cutting right to the point

Ha, right after you quoted me, I edited my post and made it a bit more long-winded... lol
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04 Jan 2013, 11:33
There are a few main reasons for me:

Pivot. I've been steadily gaining experience in real estate marketing. I like to think I'm pretty good at what I do. But if I stay the course eventually that'll be all I can do. I want to explore, see what else is out there and what else I can do. The MBA gives me more options.

Learn. Not only do I not have all the answers, I'm don't even know all the questions! With an MBA I'll get to learn outside my niche and learn to solve problems that I didn't even know existed.

Accelerate. I'm not just tuning up my resume, I'm installing a better engine. With an MBA I'll be able to move my career forward faster and accomplish more sooner. There's all this talk about how having a Bachelor's just doesn't cut it anymore. And with so many countries developing so rapidly and much faster than the USA, what guarantee do I have that I'll be competitive in 20 years? With an MBA I'll always have something valuable to bring to the table.
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04 Jan 2013, 12:02
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My short answer was  about 4 months ago.

Now the answer has changed. The people I have met just through applying for a top MBA are inspiring. They have made me realize that I have achieved nothing and that the next 35 years of my career can go by and I can continue to achieve nothing. The MBA represents the freedom to better myself as a human being.

I have learned that maybe I can make a difference. Find something I am passionate about and help others. For me its not MC, IB, PE. Its retirement finance. The average person lacks the understanding of how pensions/401ks work and therefore do not participate. I can make a difference by becoming a leader in the industry and educating the common person to comprehend the basics. Move away from dependence on social security and such. Leadership skills I currently lack but can gain through an MBA can better position me to achieve.

Anyway, its all a pipe dream. But I have already learned that I dont know what I can achieve or how good I can be if I dont try. If I dont fail. All of the failure essays made me realize I dont take enough risks, because I havent really failed big enough.

The MBA process offers these little life-learning experiences along the way. They are priceless to me. That's why I am amped to go. That's my answer from outside of MC, IB, PE perspective.
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04 Jan 2013, 23:58
For me it's simple and straight forward.
I wanted to be a Product manager in Mobile Technology domain. My current education and current experience stream can get me my desired role [but takes several years]. An MBA would put me in that role in 2 years time ! ...... #accelerate
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05 Jan 2013, 01:03
It was money a few years ago. Since then I have done very well and earn more than the average graduate of any of the top tier MBA programs. Why on earth would anyone want to work their butt off, go into debt, and lose two years income to make less money? Because, those graduates have choices and I am pigeonholed. Currently, I have to work 80 hours per week and travel 5 days per week to earn a comfortable living, but I would have my income slashed significantly if I were to find something I could do 40 hours per week with minimal travel. An MBA allows me to develop a skill set to earn roughly \$100k/ year with a 40 hour work week. Sounds like heaven
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30 Dec 2014, 11:36
Hello from the GMAT Club MBAbot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
Re: Why an MBA? (genuine answer pls, not essays!)   [#permalink] 30 Dec 2014, 11:36
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