Thursday, June 02, 2005

Value of MBA

Posted in BW Forums on 6/2/05 (in response to controversial article about MBA value,

I believe we all must aim for a "Balance" in our view about B-Schools. This is a classic example of how an idea that has been around for so long (the effectiveness of B-schools) has remained largely unchallenged and thus becomes a myth: drawing largely from general observations, we conclude that B-school is "the key" to success. There's some truth in that myth (Bschool is "a key" to success), but not everything about the myth about Bschool is true (Bschool is NOT "the key" to success). The OP/writer of the article attempted to challenge this myth and drew some valid points from real observations. However, he erred in judging the whole Bschool system as a failure. Thus, I believe we all have something to learn here and need to achieve a balanced view. Don't be too the right or too the left, be in the middle. When conservatism is being challenged by a radical idea, we tend to choose side, where what's likely best is to be in the middle, because each side has its own rights and wrongs.

To the OP/writer of the article, you shouldn't cherry pick the negativities of any particular B-school and render the whole system failing in moral or financial terms. Although there will always be bad apples in a B-school student body, the system still works pretty well for many people. I'd say the majority of students in Top B-Schools are very smart, they still work hard, learn hard, they are still 'hungry'. The education also gives them a significant salary jump that creates an attractive long-term ROI. So, for many students, the B-school system still gives them a positive intellectual and financial contribution.

To students/applicants who are looking for success in life & career, B-school is NOT "the answer". It's not everything, and nothing is guaranteed for you even if you're admitted to the best programs. If you think an admission puts a stamp on you that you'll be successful no matter what, then you're mistaken. A lot of people are infact very successful without having an MBA. B-school is merely a catalyst that can catapult you closer to your goals. It could help tremendously in the first few years after graduation. However, in the long run your success will depend on many other factors but where you went for MBA (your characters, ethical judgments, personality, values, work ethic, luck, etc.).


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