Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Pros and Cons Revisited

(Again, disclaimer, severely underslept. Baby Y thought last night was a good time to finish sleeping around 3 a.m., 2 hours after I fell into bed after a long night of studying for the 8:30 a.m. Time Series mid-term.)

So I do take requests. (Women in biz post coming soon ... ;) And I've actually been thinking of revisiting the pros/cons of the MBA (oh, the eternal question, no?) post so now is as good a time as any.

Working off the original list:

Reasons not to MBA:
  1. I'm still a cheapskate - each monthly tuition bill stings in a big way
  2. I still hate debt - no solution to this if you are not one of the full-ride/merit types or flush with cash
  3. I still hate being graded and evaluated - but non-grade disclosure makes it less painful
  4. I no longer hate paying to be graded and evaluated - neutral on this one now, see above
  5. Baby Y puts a real crimp on my ability to exploit my MBA earnings - that's just the way it goes. But I can live with it.
  6. MBA still feels like a 4-letter word - I just tell people that I'm in graduate school and leave it at that
  7. I still prefer work work to homework - but my flexible schedule is pretty nice and the homework is easier than undergrad
  8. I still like making money more than paying tuition - but the post MBA salary should make up for it
  9. I'm still unconvinced that I need to attend an academic program to learn what I need for my work - honestly, while the GSB is above its peers on academics, I was hired based on my pre-MBA knowledge and could probably function just fine in my summer internship on my work experience and CFA alone. I am learning things but not as much as a career changer would.
  10. I would still like to return to the Pacific NW ... someday - but I don't regret leaving and am feeling in less of a hurry to return as time passes
  11. I no longer have doubts about the ROI - I would have earned a perfectly good salary w/o an MBA but I now have far, far more options about when/where/how/why/what in the way of career. The intangible rewards are huge and make it all worthwhile for me. (The post-MBA earnings should be pretty good too.) However .... this is not true for all career paths/people ... do your own calculations.

Reasons to MBA

  1. I need to be around ambitious peers or I will die of boredom - I love my fellow GSBers! (Not all of them mind you, but enough of them.) Such a cliche but they really are the best thing about the experience, even for a stay at home nerd like me, ha. There is so much to do/join/lead/create/explore/discuss. No room for boredom.
  2. Could not have advanced satisfactorily in my career without the MBA - If my summer internship is any indication I'm coming away from the GSB with my dream job. And if I hate it - there are other opportunities to be had. Though recruiting was a miserable, humbling experience, employers who would have previously thrown my resume into the recycle bin, now take me seriously. Works for me.
  3. I'd rather get it over sooner than later - I am so glad I finally applied already. As mentioned before, no value in waiting to apply.
  4. I know what I want to do and can structure the MBA effectively - this is especially important at the GSB where you have so much control over the process but I think I could have applied a year or two earlier than I did and still have been fine. Nonetheless, I doubt I would have come away with the internship I did without the experience I got by waiting to apply.
  5. It's nice to leave the Pacific Northwest - as mentioned above
  6. I am now able to be the "breadwinner" - which may be a nice option for my family
  7. I have my choice of employers - a little less than I expected going in, but still pretty great, as mentioned above
  8. Some of these classes are really interesting - the GSB has 2 years worth and more of real classes that involve real thinking and real work. It's not a bullshit degree if done properly.
  9. I need more high-quality, hands on experience in analysis - have gotten some of that but more valuable perhaps has been the rounding out I'm receiving in non-finance material (painful as it is).
  10. Taking a break from working is pretty great - the student schedule is super hectic but I don't miss the office environment
  11. I needed a change! And I got one. A good one.


Unknown said...

thanks for that....especially in your underslept state.

I swear that's the reason I don't have a blog....the fear of having someone spotlight my thoughts from two years ago; thoughts which, in all likelihood, have long-since evolved.

Glad to see most of your reasons still hold! Good luck on Time Series!

Anonymous said...

The difference between to MBA or Not is that when you have and MBA you KNOW you DONT need it. The others DONT know it yet.

Anonymous said...

very honestly written, as always. i will echo most of it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this post. I have a young child and I am trying to decide if it is the right time for me to apply to an MBA program. Your blog has been so helpful. Keep writing!

Carmen said...

Thank you so much for your comment. It help me find more about mba program.