To B school or not ?

It is a never ending debate – to go for MBA or Not to go for MBA . I have reduced this debate to To PAY for an MBA or To NOT PAY for an MBA. I have nothing against an MBA degree, or people who aspire to get one. I am one of those confused souls, who sometimes looks at an MBA as a vent that will shoot me to outer space, probably at escape velocity. So my comments here are very much a jambalaya of thoughts.

What I would like to do – Is conduct a series of surveys. 
  1. Start with a sample set of folks who are in the race to get into a B school, and ask them – “Why do you want an MBA? “
  2. And then interview the same set of people, one year through their MBA program – and ask , “Is this what you thought you were getting into ?” 
  3. And then right around when people are getting placed, I will ask them ,” So what are you looking for in your next employer / role ?”
  4. And finally, when they have been placed, I will ask them, “What did you gain from an MBA?”

Even if 10% of responses are coherent through this survey series, I will be surprised. What do you mean by coherent ? I shall explain.

If the answer to “Why do you want to do an MBA ? is close to the answer to “What did you gain from an MBA ?” – Then you achieved the goal you had set for yourself. In my dictionary – that is success. But in my short (very short) experience I see people going for an MBA with some ideal in mind, and they come out of it, with a debt, some enhanced social skills and mmmm at the max a job. 

Some people have a plan – they think about MBA as a medium to switch careers- IT to Management , or make more money, or simply because everyone else is doing it. So I again get confused . I don’t want to switch tracks, money is only a medium for me and I don’t like doing what everyone else is doing. 

I don’t know what a B school education will give me. I don’t even know what to seek from it. Being a consultant, I taste both the waters – tech and business. I know I like business aspects more. I enjoy reading case studies, discussing them , and debating them. I like to read about business models , innovations, corporate strategies and I enjoy the product wars. So is this a reason for me to go to B school ?  Because I will get to do these things more often. I am quite sure I am missing some point here.

So where I stand, giving up a salary for two years, and going to school, only to come out of it and wonder if I will be paid or not – does not make sense. Yet I constantly get this feedback, from my loved one, that I should do an MBA. Hence my dilemma. Thanks Raghu, our short conversation on the topic, helped me jot down my thoughts. I would love to hear from you on this one 🙂

1 thought on “To B school or not ?

  1. Honestly, I cannot comment whether MBA will be the right decision for you at this point of time. Not because I cannot voice my opinions about the industry, about the consulting profession, or about the future of IT. But because this kind of a decision is more of a personal choice, it is a very intricate combination of the factors that motivate you, money, position, power, qualifications, job role, location, people, learning etc etc. But there is one thing I can tell you because I believe I know you a little bit… You will thoroughly enjoy your MBA course.. the subjects, the courses, the books, the activities.. everything.

    I wrote a post with a similar heading but with totally different content (it was more of a venting post) some time back:
    Of course, this is more to the Indian context.


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