I recently presented at a mobile panel and got a nice email from a woman after the event:
"Hi Daniel, I really enjoyed meeting you this morning at Mobile Outlook 2010.
As you may recall, I'm just finishing my MBA in Marketing at [XXXXX]. I've
attached my resume as promised and would love to hear from you if you think
there are any opportunities in your company. If not, then I'd also appreciate
any referrals that you might be able to offer. I look forward to hearing from you.
I've gotten interest from MBA's on a regular basis, and yet none of them have ended up working for us. It's a trend that's happened often enough that I want to write a blog about it.
The first thing that I would say is that we'd love to have MBAs working for us. Having said that, I find it very unlikely that it will happen.
Here's why: The entire reason you go to get an MBA is to increase your marketability. Yes, sure, you do it to be a better businessperson, but at the end of the day, the reality is that you can make 20%+ more in the exact same job just by having an MBA. So by working at a big company with your newly minted MBA, you'll be able to greatly increase your salary.
At a small startup like PointAbout, we won't be able to pay you for your MBA degree. The reality is that you'll be able to apply your MBA skills in a small company to a much greater degree than you could at a big company, but you won't be paid for your greatness.
I call this the "MBA Catch-22": Your MBA is very most at a small company, but most monetizable at a large company.
All the MBAs I've met to date have chosen to monetize their MBAs after considering this Catch-22. And really, I can't blame them.
William, thanks for taking the time to write your thoughtful comment.
I don't disagree with anything you're saying. My only comment is this: Many MBAs, upon graduating, want (or possibly, need) to maximize their degree with the highest salary possible. This cuts them off from the most promising smaller companies that can't afford the pricey degrees.
My hat is off to the rare MBA student who's just paid $50k to $100k for a degree and is risk tolerant enough to actually *use* that knowledge at a company where it can be put to good use but not necessarily monetized. Speaking honestly, I haven' met such a person yet.
Great article!. I've read this article several times since you first posted it last year, and I've repeatedly debated whether I should respond, mostly because I suck at writing. But after the course that I took this year, I feel slightly more empowered. Thus "I'm turning over a new leaf" :-)
I will agree that in the past, conventional wisdom and reasons for getting an MBA were so that one can increase his or her marketability and overall compensation. However, in recent years (the past 5 to 7years), the reasons for someone seeking an MBA have become more broad.
For instance, Social Entrepreneurship and Public Management are increasing trends and offerings in most of today's MBA programs because students are seeking specialized education in these areas. Employment opportunities in Social Entrepreneurship and Public Management typically don't pay well, or at least not well enough for some people to justify spending $150 - 200 K on an MBA education. Nonetheless, students are increasingly enrolling in MBA programs choosing to focus in these concentrations. Some business schools (as well as some Law schools), such as Stanford, offer loan forgiveness programs for graduates who work for nonprofits or work in the public sector after graduation. Also, some schools even provide fellowships or money to supplement the salary of those seeking summer internships in these areas.
Additionally, there is an increasing trend of MBA students, such as myself, seeking a concentration or specialized learning in Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship. Both the students and the schools recognize that students may not immediately, if at all, collect high or high enough compensation while starting their own ventures or while working at a start-up upon graduation. Furthermore, several top programs that are recognized for their strength in entrepreneurship offer Entrepreneurial and Venture Capital Summer programs that supplement the salary of students seeking internships at a Venture Capital firms or Start-up companies.
Below are a few links that describe various programs at Stanford and UVA: http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/finaid/forgiveness/no... http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/ces/students/internsh... http://www.darden.virginia.edu/web/MBA/Entreprene...
These are just two schools. Other business schools, who can afford to do so, offer or will start to offer similar programs. The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University raises funds each year to assist students seeking summer internships in Social Entrepreneurship. Most likely there are several other school which do the same.
Sorry for the long response. But as you can see, an MBA education is becoming more broad. And in my opinion, an MBA education is becoming more well-rounded and valuable; not just in terms of increasing ones marketability and compensation, but also in increasing one's fundamental knowledge of management, increasing management education in non-traditional fields, sectors, and industries, and, most of all, increasing one's personal satisfaction.
I hope that you consider me for employment with Socialize, Inc. upon graduation from my MBA program. :-)
Yesterday Casey Golden of A Small Act Network and I were invited by Jim Hunt to be guest lecturers at Georgetown University on entrepreneurism for an MBA class on the subject.
I talk about how I got Seth Godin to agree to making an app through our startup AppMakr (it happened while I was in an IKEA parking lot), how MBAs will be running companies and need to "get" social media, because their customers do, how I had a revelation in the shower that led to my previous real estate company getting an 100x increase in traffic and leads, and much more.
The lecture is below. Enjoy!
This month I started writing down my goals for the very first time. There have always been things I really want to do, but somehow I never bothered to write them down. At first I thought I was just being pragmatic. After all, I already know what my goals are. How is it going to help if I write them down?
But now I've realized that I was actually scared of the future. Writing down your goals forces you to look into your own future, and that can get scary. Not only do you have to know what you really want, but you also have to confront the idea that it's not going to happen unless you start working towards your goals.
I've always wanted to start my own business. Ever since I remember myself, I've been daydreaming about being a successful entrepreneur, being my own boss, and more recently, making a positive contribution to the world. But the ugly truth is that none of this is going to happen unless I start taking action right now. Writing down my goals forces me to confront the harsh reality and actually start working towards my future.
I know that things will get tough at some point. They always do. But persisting through hardship is what separates successful people from those who never manage to get anything done. I've learned this myself the hard way. But now that I write down my goals, I know exactly what I'm struggling for. And I won't stop until I get there.
I write down my yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals. Most of my monthly goals are small steps towards my yearly goals, my weekly goals are small steps towards my monthly goals, and so on. If what I'm doing this month won't help me get where I want to be at the end of this year, should I really be doing it?