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Posted: 4/14/2013 2:44:58 PM EDT
I'm not sure if this is in the right spot but I figured education is an investment. So let me start off by saying I am graduating in May with a major in Finance. I have a job lined up after school that is paying decent and is giving me full health and dental insurance (I am one of the fortunate enough to land a job coming out of school). I am looking to go through a MBA program (In the next two years) but was looking for some input. First off, was it helpful advancing you in your career? If you could go back, would you do it knowing what you know now? I have a lot more questions but I guess your answers to these two may help me determine if my next questions are relevant.

Thanks for the input.
Link Posted: 4/15/2013 10:19:16 AM EDT
An MBA can be worth it if coupled with work experience.

I worked as a manufacturing engineer in a large plant and was thinking of getting an MBA.  I asked the plant manager for some advice and was glad I did.

He advised me to go to the best school I could.  2+2 = 4 at any MBA school, but the name brand matters a lot more than I thought.  The quality of the professors and the networking with your fellow students matters in the end.

Call me an educational snob and flame away  I think there are a lot of similarities between an MBA and a law degree - the name brand of the school matters.  

I worked full time and went to a night program, starting 9 years after graduating with my BS degree.  The work experience helped quite a bit, so working for a few years before starting an MBA is a good idea from my perspective.

My MBA is from Northwestern, which has a very good reputation.  My $0.02 is to prep well for the GMAT to get a good score and apply to several top 20 business schools.

In my experience, your current employer will not reward you for obtaining an MBA and you will need to change jobs to cash in.  I was 1 of 4 people from the same plant in the night program.  3 of the 4 of us left for new jobs after graduating.  My new job included a salary increase of roughly 80%.  YMMV.  Good luck in whatever you decide.
Link Posted: 4/15/2013 1:21:16 PM EDT
Thanks for the information. I have been eying U of I and North Western as well. One person that I have been in contact with (working at a boutique in private equity who attended U of I) was mentioning Kellogg and Booth but unfortunately I don't know if I could swing either of those. How long did it take you to get through the MBA program? I have read between 2-5 years from many programs. Is it realistic to get it done in 2 years while working full time?
Link Posted: 4/15/2013 1:48:51 PM EDT
I started in Jan of '99 and finished in June of '01.  I could have finished a few months earlier.  At that time, it was 20 courses for the night program and you could take a max of 2 at a time.  Classes were 615 to 915 PM, mostly at the downtown campus.  Tough to do while working, but was well worth it to me.

U of Chicago has a good program as well but do not know if they have a night program.
Link Posted: 4/19/2013 8:55:43 AM EDT
I've always been told that an MBA should be secondary and obtained after a reputation is already somewhat established with an employer and hopefully they would be willing to finance it in someway. I've also heard from a lot of people that it is completely useless and everything that you learn during the program can be learned through doing business, it's seems that it's mostly entrepreneurs who fill that way, though.
I would recommend reading 'Ahead Of The Curve' by Philip Delves Broughton. It is his story of time spent in the Harvard MBA program and what he learned in applying business fundamentals to varying aspects of his life along with how he came to view relationships and non business aspects of his life with more value. I also learned a good bit about business in general from the book without actively trying to learn.
Link Posted: 4/19/2013 3:28:19 PM EDT
Save your ducats.  We're going into a global depressions.  MBAs are not what they once were in the '70s.  Nowadays every brick 'n mortar and several online paper mills awards MBAs.
Link Posted: 4/20/2013 6:07:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/20/2013 6:16:02 AM EDT by lostinboston]
Originally Posted By 4v50:
Save your ducats.  We're going into a global depressions.  MBAs are not what they once were in the '70s.  Nowadays every brick 'n mortar and several online paper mills awards MBAs.

Which goes back to the first post about the schools reputation, rank, and program matter very much.  I would also add career placement is very important.  Some school have companies recruit there, some actively seek the best careers with the best company for the individual student.  Everyone has different needs and may not fit into a cookie cutter system.   Some do both.  

Schools also focus on industries.  If you want to be an investment banker at GS, you need to go to a top 5 school and have good experience.  If you want general management, find a program that fits you and your industry and target it.  I start an MBA program this fall.

Edit:  because we are heading towards a global meltdown I am getting an MBA to maximize my income, ability, connections and foresight to ride it through.   There will still be market trends and a need to talented, educated, hard workers.  You don't need an MBA for that, but in my situation, it is the best course right now.

Also, get a really good gmat score. It will open doors and some schools will offer better scholarships.  You have plenty of time to study for it (the score is good for 5 years) and research program and visit schools and meet with admissions, career counselor and current students
Link Posted: 4/25/2013 8:53:06 AM EDT
Best of luck to you.

I completed a bachelors in information systems management while I was active, and will be using the GI Bill to an MBA from a private school here in Florida. They have a program tailored to students with limited actual white-collar experience, so it seems like the best bet for me. Don't know if I'd pay for it, at this point, but since the GI Bill is right there I figured there's no reason not to knock it out now.
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