10 things I wish I’d known about getting an MBA (before I took out my school loans)

It’s been almost 2 years since I graduated from Harvard Business School, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I wish someone would have told me BEFORE b-school and definitely while I was going through my job search.

I used to have a roadmap for life...now it looks like this

I used to have a roadmap for life…now it looks like this

So here’s my top 10….

1. They were right – at least half of the classmates I know (if not more) are at a different job 18 months out than they had when they left school. Which makes me really question what the career services team gets graded on in terms of performance…

2. Nobody mentions how much more confusing and scary (and cash constrained) life gets AFTER the MBA. Yes taking out loans to go on trips during school is an integral part of making deeper relationships…but damn…I still haven’t paid off enough to get back to the original loan amount I took out to begin with!

3. Generally (and please don’t take offense if this doesn’t apply to you), if you dig past the surface “things are going great!” conversation BS, people who didn’t go into finance, consulting, PE seem truly happier – but no less stressed out. But people STILL chase those jobs coming out of school like their life, status, and future happiness depend on it (for the transferable skills of course. Right…)

4. It’s scary and frustrating as a career switcher to feel like I’m starting from scratch again while I watch my non-MBA friends who now have 7 years of experience kick ass at their jobs

5. Getting an MBA didn’t prepare me to DO actual skill work in my industry at all really. It taught me how to see a big problem and make snap decisions on what should be done. But actually DOING work?  I’m learning as I go and it’s a steep steep learning curve.

6. It’s going to take more time than I thought to do really BIG things (you know the stuff they allude to on your first day about how you’re going to change the world while forgetting to mention that it won’t happen quickly because you’ll likely be funneled back into an industry/job role that thrives on the status quo)

7. The expectations are SO much higher – at work, from friends, from myself, my family, would-be employers. Everyone expects you to be able to just DO amazing things, and KNOW things simply because you went to B-school.

8. Once you’re in the job…nobody really cares you have an MBA. If anything, some people who don’t have one hate you for it on the low.

9. Most people don’t want to admit to themselves that even if they knew what they really wanted to do…they probably still wouldn’t leave their well-paid, high status job to go do it.

But most importantly….

10. While my MBA prepared me to be able to speak eloquently even when I don’t have the answers – it most certainly did NOT help me figure out what I want to do in life, how to find my passion and purpose or give me any clarity on HOW I’m going to change the world. I tell a lot of MBA hopefuls that your time at school opens a thousand doors and exposes you to things you’ve never heard of before, but that can be paralyzing because what they DON’T do is help you figure out which one to go through. So you end up rationalizing why you followed the crowd (transferable skills, paying off loans faster and THEN you’ll figure out what you want to do, need another brand name on the resume to prove myself, etc.)


So, I figured I’d start a blog. And use it as an excuse to talk to MBAs and ask them about how they’re handling their lives and careers after 2 years of wedded bliss to the idea that they were handpicked out of the masses to do bigger and better things with the education and network from their MBA program.

Hopefully, I can have candid conversations with folks and share what they’ve learned, what they wish they knew going in (and coming out) and how they’re navigating the world with a few more letters after their name and all the expectations and pressures that came with it.

Maybe if I can get past the façade we learn to put up and hear some real stories, I can start learning how others handling work/life balance (ha!) while climbing the ladder, or choosing a path less traveled and the good, the bad and ugly that comes with that.

We learn in B-school (or at least at HBS) that social capital is scarce and no one wants to be associated with the person that doesn’t have it all together. But maybe if more folks knew it isn’t all rosy after you graduate and that many people are struggling with the same questions, insecurities, frustrations and life decisions, we could learn from each other’s experiences and create more realistic expectations for the droves of people turning to B-school as the next step in life.

Or not. We’ll see.

But if you’ve got a story – want to chat – have something to say about what you wish you would have known, hit me up! Would love to hear from you!

505 thoughts on “10 things I wish I’d known about getting an MBA (before I took out my school loans)

  1. Really refreshing to read this. I was one of the few that after going through the MLT process and receiving several admissions from my top choice schools, decided to pass on the MBA experience. I wrote about it a while ago here: http://absolutetraveladdict.com/2011/12/03/my-decision-to-decline-columbia-business-school-admission/

    I took a few steps back and started trying things…voice acting, writing, etc and even changed careers (w/ no additional training or schooling, just a little persistence and sweet talking. :-)). Despite some small successes, I still wonder if life would have been that much sweeter had I gone through with the MBA, even though I know the truth: Nothing out there is better than the moment I’m/you’re/anybody is in right now. Everything happens for a reason and when you are ready to make a change, you can… I still may do it at a later date, but I’ll be a lot more prepared if that time comes.

    Looking forward to more of your posts.


    • Thanks for reading April! Really cool to see such a different path taken – and I’m glad you followed your instincts and went with what felt right. Your site looks really fun – I love traveling too and never thought about writing about the adventures for a living. The top 5 things you need for int’l travel are so true – if you ever decide to go to India, you’ll need all 5 for sure.
      Looking forward to more posts, I signed up for notifications. 😉

      • Well, I have done my Business Honors Degree recently but my case had been different, I worked full time with full time evening studies for four years. So once I finished my Honors, I already had four five years work experience along and and trainings held by my companies. I am thinking of going for MBA or any master degree. Upon receiving my Honors degree, it did not really change much of my life as everything goes same except it opened doors for me towards jobs with mandatory requirements for a degree and I have got such one job partially because of my degree and mainly because of my work experience. What point i wish to establish is that to get a degree, its a personal passion , a sense of achievement one must see it more in personal development term either financial terms. Try to think out of box. Degree could mean that you are educated but its on you how to use the knowledge learnt. To my all friends out there who have done their Bachelors or honor degrees and thinking of pursing MBA or any other master degree without having work experience, please take a break, get to job, take your career bit ahead, get minimum two years experience and then purse your degree as part time such that you don’t have to get the loans to sponsor your studies. Life is too short to depress it with loans for sake of education and later pay off them with degrading health, dim prospective for jobs etc. Wish you all the best.

        • So, mba executive is a better choice after some years of experience or should we do a regular degree course as i am so confused because i am pursuing bcom hons from du and i am planning for mba so i just want to know what the better option is

      • Hi, I am Christine Thomas, I would like to share my experience with you guys on how I got a loan to pay the duty tax of my bank draft and to start up a new business. I was at the verge of loosing all my belongings due to the bank draft I took to offset some bills and some personal needs. I became so desperate and began to seek for funds at all means. Luckily for me I heard a colleague of mine talking about this company, I got interested. Although I was scared of being scammed, I was compelled by my situation and then I began to look online and ran into their phone no: +18437769340 /email at: anzjacksonfinancingplc@yahoo.com where I was given a loan within 72hrs without knowing what it feels like to be scammed. So I promised myself that I was going to make this known to as many that are in financial stress to contact them and not fall victim of online scam in the name of getting a loan,

    • Hi,
      honestly, i tried googl-ing as i was grappling with similar questions. I did my MBA 6 years earlier and now i feel lost. Technically i know nothing which can be termed “Skilled”, all i know is how to make promises, make presentations and work out a plan in order to attempt fulfilling promises. But is it a skill, i or anyone for that matter would have done those logical tactics without an MBA. For all i know, this MBA made me scared more scared day by day. I dont even know any of you, infact i am not from same continent but i want to tell this to you and everone here coz i wont be able to confess it to people around me. But yes, it made me scared, i am not able to take risk, i want to quit this job but i cant coz i am doing well economically and socially. I want to start something more meaningful but i cant coz i am stuck with responsibilities. Nevertheless, i am of the conclusion that an MBA makes one a employee and to be employer one needs everything else that an MBA doesnt teach.

      • Aj, at 2:30 in the morning, your words are the only thing making sense to me. I have 4 months left before I get those letters attached to my name. I haven’t been going to classes in the last 3 days, I skipped recruitment, and networking. I couldn’t see myself working for Allianz or McKinsey. What the hell do they actually do there? Lately, I had the same revelation… Months and months of sleepless nights and papers to write but what can I actually offer the world? , I had some real taste of team work and 10 classes of finance which I absolutely hated and went straight to the bin. I’ve learned how to prettify my PowerPoint presentations and propose solutions to problems I only knew of the previous day. I’m starting to feel like a joke. I don’t know what to look for after this mba because I feel like I have nothing concrete to offer aside from these 3 letters. And yes, expectations are way high. I don’t know how to tell people to just leave me alone, I wanna work as a florist. At least that is a clear skill.

        Pls write back if you’ve got the time.

        • C., I read your post and can sympathize with you. MBA life can be so pretentious sometimes. I work in finance and my job is ridiculously easy, and I stay on the job because I like the people I work with and it pays my debts. But the second I started feeling empty (what do I do, really, other than help make rich people richer?) I started volunteering to figure out what I like. I know I have better things to offer the world than what I’m doing now. I volunteered at hospice, with animals, cancer patients, as a mentor to kids, etc. and people like me aren’t looked upon favorably in the finance world because the time i’m devoting to these causes doesn’t benefit the “bottom line”. But! IDGAS!! It’s what makes me happy. So if you haven’t yet finished your MBA, finish it, and you go and do what you want to do and stop worrying about what people think! I was in the same boat as you and worrying about what my peers had to say was making me miserable. Now I do what I want without regrets. Maybe you can open your own botany store later, and the MBA might come in handy. Who knows? Good luck and congrats 😉

          • i am a fresher, about to begin my MBA this june . i was a bit shaken up by reading the whole thing, but Victoria, you my dear have given me a really +ve vibe… i loved ur answer and it feels like I have chosen the right thing , and I hope after this investment of 2 years I’ll be where I want to be . Thanks once again for writing ur thoughts..

          • Thanks for this blog. I’m also a fresher starting my MBA this August and just thought to read up a bit on the MBA degree and the opportunities it promises. I’m 27 and I’m an airport design engineer. I must say after a while, one feels stagnated in corporate especially if you don’t have a higher degree. I’m not sure why I’d want to do an MBA just yet, but I think corporate encourages it. I really have no interest in corporate and I already feel bored in engineering after practising for 4 years. My passion is in volunteering (which is also frowned upon in my line of work), almost makes me feel like I don’t belong in engineering. I do hope to be able to have a lucrative business in the near future so I can afford a life of travel and adventure. I think the 40-year corporate life is really sad seeing that most employees aren’t about to retire even at retirement age, yet everyone seems to be rushing into corporate and fighting their way to climb the corporate ladder… just some thoughts I wanted to share. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to the MBA as I hear it is challenging and I could do with some challenges atm. I’m from South Africa by the way. Could anyone recommend an area of specialisation in MBA that would complement my engineering background?

          • Victoria, I really like what you said in your post. Awesome vibe. Letting go of worrying about what people will say is extremely difficult, but I am working on it. I have realized that you really can’t be happy so long as your sanity is dependent on what everyone thinks about you. Unfortunately, business is all about wondering what everyone will think of you… so an MBA brings up conflicting emotions.

          • Hi Victoria,

            Do you mind telling me what area in finance you do? I’m doing a MBA in Finance as well. 🙂 Reach out to me please! 🙂

          • I am a BBA student and I am extremely confused on what to do when I get out of school, it is very confusing and I always thought of getting an MBA but this blog and all these reviews have started to change my perspective.
            I have had 3 internships under my belt in fortune 500 companies and although I was excited on the first day, it starts to fade in the following day, when I see frustrated people punching the clock just to pay debts and I see them and all I can think of is that I dont want to have this corporate frustrated life, be a corporate slave with the company tag around my neck as a leash.
            Not everyone is Jobs, Branson, Gates or Zuckerberg.
            I am not gifted and I havent figured out what I want to do.
            All this while I thought an internship will help me to understand what I want to do, on the Contrary it has made me realize what I don’t want to do.

            figuring myself as I go, help is always appreciated.

        • Hi Chona,

          I am in the same boat. Working as analyst after I got my MBA at Kaiser Permanente. All my schooling is totally not serving the purpose. All I am busy with is learning excel functions how to weed out some charts for our leadership. Honestly, had much higher expectations from Master’s degree.



          • Well, I have done my Business Honors Degree recently but my case had been different, I worked full time with full time evening studies for four years. So once I finished my Honors, I already had four five years work experience along and and trainings held by my companies. I am thinking of going for MBA or any master degree. Upon receiving my Honors degree, it did not really change much of my life as everything goes same except it opened doors for me towards jobs with mandatory requirements for a degree and I have got such one job partially because of my degree and mainly because of my work experience. What point i wish to establish is that to get a degree, its a personal passion , a sense of achievement one must see it more in personal development term either financial terms. Try to think out of box. Degree could mean that you are educated but its on you how to use the knowledge learnt. To my all friends out there who have done their Bachelors or honor degrees and thinking of pursing MBA or any other master degree without having work experience, please take a break, get to job, take your career bit ahead, get minimum two years experience and then purse your degree as part time such that you don’t have to get the loans to sponsor your studies. Life is too short to depress it with loans for sake of education and later pay off them with degrading health, dim prospective for jobs etc. Wish you all the best.

        • I have experienced the same and still going through this after 2009 graduate school. I can’t get a break still due to lack of experience . Recruiters don’t seem to help either.

        • You can utilize your MBA to start your own small business as a Florist – if that is your passion go after your passion – make sure you offer a specialized service in Floral that no one in your city or community offers – look at your competitors services, just don’t let them know that you are thinking of doing a floral shop

        • if you want to work as a florist that is what you should do. I am not kidding! I URGE YOU TO START IMMEDIATELY.
          PLEASE, check my web site { greatamericanopenroad.com}. Drop me a line. Thanks.

        • Hi, If you wanna work as a florist you need to get started now. Start work as a florist as soon as possible. You are educated so you should know how to make a decision. The decision is you should start work as a florist. Otherwise you are wasting your life. Get started as a florist as soon as possible. YOU might have to relocate. Go visit some florists and listen to them. Hurry up. Get started. Hurry up. There are customers out there waiting for you. Give them what they do not expect to receive which is customer service. Get going. I know you are not lazy. Do not procrastinate any longer. IT IS refreshing to hear someone knows what they want to do. Hurry up and get started. Best wishes from greatamericanopenroad.com.

      • I completely agree with you. I am in the MBA program now and I graduate in November of this year but I am starting to regret my decision in pursuing this degree. I have a BA in Finance and I’ve worked on and off since undergrad but i’m considered entry level because I have no mastered skills. I have $50k in student loan debt and no job opportunities available. I feel like I was set up in a sense. My friends are all doing really well in their jobs as Social Workers, Nurses, etc. I definitely should’ve went into the health care industry. I may end up having to go back to school 🙁

        • Nina,

          I was thinking about going back to school for nursing, which was my original major in undergrad. I realize that nursing is my true passion.

          This article has touched my soul and I thought I was alone out here with these same feelings. I received my MBA in 2008. I was working for a nonprofit when I obtained my degree. I worked there for almost 6 years and had my MBA for 4 out of the 5 1/2 years and I did not advance there at all. People with only high school diplomas and trade school certificates where advancing to management level positions. I left there and had a string of other jobs, but none were fulfilling. I felt lost and depressed.

          So now I am preparing for a career change for nursing. I feel as though I wasted money and time that I can never get back.

          Thank you so much for this article! I don’t feel so alone anymore!

          • Actually, I was thinking about something similar. After getting an MBA, and working in health cae setting I was thinking about MPH degree.

        • I know how you feel. My Bachelors is in Health Services Administration, I have an entry level position in the hospital, yet have been working here for five years (I’ve least doubled my pay and got a M-F schedule), but still, I recently graduated with my MBA, and I do not know what is next. I decided to go back for nursing. I only have three classes to take before starting the program because my credits transfer. Kara, RN, MBA (eh. looks good I guess).

          I am SO glad that others can relate to me on this subject, I kept telling people that it doesnt really mean much to me now that I am done since it has provided me with no sense of direction because I am 23 and have no real experience.

        • Nina,
          don’t be too hard on yourself. I have a RN license, A BA in Finance and currently pursuing an MBA. I have 10 years nursing administration experience. Even if you do go back to school for healthcare, just do an associates to get the experience and not dig yourself into too much more debt. You will find that in the long run, your business background will serve you well!

      • This is like V for Vendetta, Where the girls writes in prison cell to her neighbor cell where V was.
        “I dont even know any of you, infact i am not from same continent but i want to tell this to you and everone here coz i wont be able to confess it to people around me. But yes, it made me scared, i am not able to take risk, i want to quit this job but i cant coz i am doing well economically and socially.”

      • Hello AJ. it is somehow heartwarming to see others are facing the same questions that you are, years after graduating from an MBA program. I graduated with my degree in Feb 2014 majoring in “General Business and Finance” from an average B-School in the Northeastern US.Months later, I came back to my country. I had many questions in mind one of which would be: what can I do with my MBA degree from a decent American B-School?

        And I’ll have to confess, when I came back home, i was not the same person who had left five years ago. I was now a 29 year old MBA graduate from an American Business school who had several friends all around the world and knew “People” in the US.

        I was seeing myself as the Alpha-male who was to be respected, well-paid, appreciated, praised, and employed as a problem solver at the highest rankings of a reputable organization. again, i am not and have never been an arrogant egoistic person in my life, but believe it or not, my MBA degree had given my confidence an “extreme” boost and my ego a “Serious inflation”, if you will!

        i still remember how we were told at the school that how we are going to change the world and be the future leaders who are supposed the change the crazy direction our world has taken and make a better future for humanity!!! (complete BS)

        Right after being hired by a medical device company as a Marketing Coordinator, I bitterly realized that i actually know NOTHING about the real world circumstances! I don’t know how to handle simple office tasks and I don’t have any idea about the office politics! (Even though I passed my Organizational Behavior course with an A!) !

        Long story short, Two years after graduation and at the beginning of the 3rd decade of my life, I am disappointed! I’m confused and i keep questioning myself every day!

        Even though, there have been positive aspects to my MBA experience, I am deeply doubting my decision to do an MBA!

        I hope I am not being too whinny or negative, but this is the state i am in at the moment.

    • This article rings true! I just got my MBA in the UK and moved back to the US. I was confident I could get a great job with my newly earned MBA. I do have a few years of work experience BUT in different sectors.
      So far, anybody I have interviewed with couldn’t have cared LESS about my MBA. I don’t care for finance or consulting and would much rather get onto the management track. i have only been asked about my work experience as if it didn’t state MBA in bold letters on my CV. It’s very frustrating. I know my MBA will reward me once I have gained the necessary skills and experience but as of now I feel like it’s invisible on my CV. What is not invisible, however, are my student loans. It cost A LOT to study in the UK although the MBA program was only one year.
      So now I am also looking at entry level jobs. I really had gotten the MBA with the goal of skipping entry level jobs this time around. I don’t mind rolling up my sleeves and proving myself but it is very frustrating and scary to start a job with a very low salary. I worked for Apple before I decided to go back to school. I am confident had I stayed I would be making more money now than I probably will once I get a job now. I try to think positive but considering the circumstances it is difficult.
      Further, yes I agree I have a good idea of the ‘big picture’ now, have definitely become more analytical, am able to work with any sort of person but I can’t say I have picked up essential skills that are useful on the job. I am ‘happy’ to know I am not the only one struggling.

      • Pat,
        I agree with your comments. I earned an EMBA from USC last year, thinking this was my ticket to getting into the big leagues,if not a solid entry onto the management track…Was i ever mistaken! The “MBA” , in bold headlines dominates my resume but every recruiter or hiring manager has ignored it…I keep getting considered the same stale positions that I had prior to my entry into B-School. I now question the validity of my degree let alone wonder what my career placement people really do! One thing is not in question, is my student loan, which is certainly substantial.

      • I have completed my 12th class from commerce and now thinking about do Bba and then MBA …but don’t why because I have not any other very good skills ..I have interest in writing thinking about wonderful world , and want to change the world through my ideas and imagination… But what can I do with my these interests for my career now I have to take decision but don’t know which decision will be right ..some time I thought I am good in maths that why I should go for GMAT exam and MBA … And some time I think I am not interested in business and I think Managment also ..then why I am going on this field …my mind is confused ….don’t know what decision will be good …I have some other courses to do but I did never think about these courses like mass communication , interior designing ,
        Psychology etc …
        Thankyou very much for this opportunity to say …hope someone reply to me …please I wish ….

        • Ayush,

          I am a BBA undergrad graduating soon. I was planning for an MBA withput clarity, Ofc I cant tell you what to do, but I will tell you to follow your passions, writing psychology and whatever it is that interests you, why not?
          I know money is s huge factor to worry about, but you need brains for money not three letters.. its how you manage your skills is what will eventually make u money.
          Classes at school and degrees from universities only are a suggestion, how you apply it, is upto you.

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    • Awesome thoughts here. I just think that MBA is good if you’ve got some other skills and experiences before you go into it. When you finish, you can then choose what you really want to do. For me, MBA is about setting you free to do what you really like to do. MBA will give you many ideas to apply the experiences you’ve already got. But if you have no experiences and no skills, I think you will feel pretty lost after MBA. The other thing is: never expect too much from your MBA. It adds prestige to you, if you’ve already got something to sell. It is not a magic wand.

    • I went to one of the best high schools I did terrible with my GPA but always scored high on test ,finals,act,sat etc.,was gifted in that area never really had to study that hard I was very inquisitive during the class was not very interested at the time .I do regret …. No I can’t say I regret but I can say I have a strong or stronger urge to fill my mind with knowledge more now than ever before.It seems like knowledge is easier to access than it ever has obviously because of technology.The problem is society has not figured out how to create a system to allow individuals benefit from the technology weather it be through financial gain or personal satisfaction facing problems and solving them or worse which seems to be what is occurring and that is a lack of any problems and too many problem solvers with no one needing their help. Anyway my overall point is this who knows what they want to be at age 17 ( that’s the age I graduated high school) for the rest of their life. And guess what with what the cost of an education what if you get half way through what ever it is you are studying and you find you don’t really have a passion for it or its not what you thought it would be .? Well guess what you damn well better be it because your playing late in the 4 the quarter down by 21 if your half way there and like it or not you better be that until you pay for the school or you are gonna get overwhelmed. Me I decided to be the guy that makes people who finish college and there MBA look good! I’m all about making people happy and not so depressed thinking they have wasted their lives in school. Remember money cannot buy you happiness, but more importantly no money definitely cannot buy you happiness which has landed us right back where we started.! Lol the key is not money it is being able to use what u learn where ever it us and apply it to your life ,job, and who ever you can use it to benefit the planet.If everyone learns to live within the space they fill chances are you don’t need as much as society wants you to want.If this all sounds uneducated then my mission is a success if it wasn’t for me you guys and gals wouldn’t look so smart! Lol.

    • April,

      Your two paragraphs just gave me shiver. I am an engineer who hate engineering! (ironic). Studying it was so much fun, but working as an engineer is one of the most boring robotic works there is. I’m thinking of changing careers. My first impulsive idea: Business Development. I always liked sales and marketing. So I thought I’d go for MBA. I’m not sure if it will pay off the huge amount of tuition fee that I will be paying bit by bit.

      At the same time, I’m thinking of studying personal training and starting my own business one day. I’m in a good shape, and why not? I can get a certificate with spending $15 hundred, and be able to work on weekends and evenings while I grow and develop my business.

      • I told myself going into my MBA program that I was buying myself options. So far those options have not been terribly prolific. What I DID find was that MBA polished me up some, taught me some needed analytical and problem solving skills, and has helped me to become a good manager in the field I was already in (transportation, logistics). I was hoping to jump into something more “exciting”, but 5 years in I haven’t found it yet.

        Things an MBA did NOT do for me:

        1. Make me a better leader. Call me jaded but I just don’t believe this comes from a classroom: it comes from character, compassion, and a little courage.

        2. Open a lot of doors to me. Nobody outside of finance or consulting jocks care if you have an MBA.

        3. Provide me with a gold-plated network. My network is (suprise!) mostly people I work with, not the starry-eyed visionaries who want to give an eager MBA a chance to change the world, or even change industries.

        4. Help me figure out what I actually want to do with my life.

        5. Give me any sense of confidence in our higher education system, or the value of Business as an academic discipline for that matter.

        Here’s to the MBA’s out there who have found, or are at least trying, to find something good and not settle for the hum-drum. Five years post-MBA, I am just now joining your ranks. So if you have any good ideas PLEASE SHARE!

        • OMG this is me. I started my MBA mainly to stretch my mind after years in similar administrator positions. I’ve been working through it part time. Now I’m starting to feel like I could really sink my teeth into a more challenging role … but as what? This is the problem. I still am only qualified to do a certain number of limited roles, my network is pretty much the same. So my horizons have been broadened but I still don’t see how an MBA will help me leap from an administration manager style role in a small non profit into something more meaty and fulfilling.

    • Thank you for your candor. I am trying to decide what will be best for my career. I am in my late 20’s and I work for a large tech company in account management. Note I did not get my Bachelors in Business so all of my business acumen has been from on the job training. I would ultimately like to become a Director or VP one day. From what I have noticed, many of the top execs either worked abroad to gain international experience or have gotten an MBA. What are your thoughts?

    • Hi, I am Christine Thomas, I would like to share my experience with you guys on how I got a loan to pay the duty tax of my bank draft and to start up a new business. I was at the verge of loosing all my belongings due to the bank draft I took to offset some bills and some personal needs. I became so desperate and began to seek for funds at all means. Luckily for me I heard a colleague of mine talking about this company, I got interested. Although I was scared of being scammed, I was compelled by my situation and then I began to look online and ran into their phone no: +18437769340 /email at: anzjacksonfinancingplc@yahoo.com where I was given a loan within 72hrs without knowing what it feels like to be scammed. So I promised myself that I was going to make this known to as many that are in financial stress to contact them and not fall victim of online scam in the name of getting a loan.

  2. Interesting post Azelly! Especially since I’m an MBA grad too 🙂

    I think it’s tough to use other people’s “happiness” as a barometer to compare against your own when it comes to your career. The grass is always greener on the other side, you know? But I think it’s safe to assume that 99% of people who enter the finance, consulting, or PE industries are going to experience some of the most job stress because, well, that’s how the job is designed. They pay you a lot, but they make you grind for every penny.

    In terms of discovering what’s right for you (or any MBA grad) I think it’s important to sort of narrow down your source of motivation on the extrinsic/intrinsic scale. Of course, ideally its great to do something you absolutely love and make tons of money. But I think if you focus on the things that intrinsically motivate you, where you wake up excited that it’s Monday (http://dailyremedy.blogspot.com/2012/08/why-i-love-mondays.html) then the money will follow.

    I’m excited to read more posts!

    • Thanks for reading Arun! I’ll be sure to check out your blog as well (maybe I can learn some pointers on how it’s done!)

      I agree that maybe we shouldn’t use other’s happiness as a barometer…I guess I was just saying if you compared how satisfied with their life (i.e. how happy they were getting up on Monday…or Saturday for that matter if you’re a banker 😉 – the percentage of days in a month that a person is both intrinsically AND extrinsically motivated and fulfilled seems to be higher on the side of those who went a different route.
      From what I’ve seen, many folks that take the safe route are focusing on the extrinsic at the expense of the intrinsic – and because of that imbalance, aren’t truly happy. Not to knock anyone’s choices – we all go where we go for our own reasons – just trying lower the incidence rate of imbalance if I can. 🙂

      I’ll hit you up on FB – would love to catch up!

    • The solution for some people if they want to change the world they should maybe consider being a job creator, which simply means starting a business doing something they have a passion for. When you start a business you have created your own job. You might have to get your hands dirty, oh my goodness what will my friends think of me doing some manual labor. When you work for a company you are not appreciated except for what you bring to the bottom line. IF YOU DIE in your cubicle, management says” send some flowers and contact HR FOR a replacement”. OH well parents and teachers and professors tell people to get a job. They never seem to stress starting a business. Oh well, I HAVE work to do. Thanks for listening. Start a business- get off your butt.

  3. Awesome post. Very honest.
    I agree with all of it. I think most people prepared for the realities of how dreary corporate life and life with debt is.
    EscapeTheCity.org is a very cool site to check out. Lots of success stories of corporate escapes.
    I wrote a post about his too: http://j.mp/YqOIm5
    Avoid debt (loans, cars, mortgage, credit card)
    Avoid destruction of options (not delay or rejection, but destruction).
    Collect free options (online courses, weekend hacks, coffee with someone)
    Make friends
    Share ideas
    Acquire skills. Lots of them. Spend enough time to get good enough at lots of things.

    Thanks again for the post. I’ve shared it with several people.

    • Pat – LOVE escape the city and everything it stands for!
      Thanks for reading, and looking forward to getting the Pick of the Week newsletter and staying focused on following passions, not the mainstream 🙂

      • I agree- escape the city is a great website! I have been working for 2 years in a prestigious commercial real estate firm in a big city, considering an MBA, but scared/ overwhelmed in thinking about the cost. it would mostly be for career “advancement”, self-discovery, and meeting new people, but can say in all honesty it’s not my passion. my company is global so i’m hoping they can send me abroad next year. glad to learn about the realities of post-MBA life 🙂

      • I comment whenever I like a post on a website or I have something to valuable to contribute to the discussion.
        It is caused by the passion displayed in the
        post I browsed. And on this article Life After the
        MBA – 10 Things Wish I Knew Before. I was excited enough to drop a thought 🙂 I actually
        do have 2 questions for you if it’s okay. Is it just me or do a few of the responses come across like coming from brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are posting on other online sites, I would like to keep up with you. Could you make a list the complete urls of all your public pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

        Feel free to visit my site :: best green coffee bean extract brand on dr oz

  4. Very interesting! I’m graduating in May 2013 and I hope I’ll be able to live up to my dreams in the Sustainability agenda… I had the most amazing summer internship opportunity, but to get a full-time position aligned to my inner-aspirations is proving a lot more challenging than it what b-schools advertise! I’ll let you know how things go in a couple of months…

  5. I went to law school (Harvard) but definitely relate to this. After 1.5 years practicing law for the government, I am about to leave the law for a different career. It wasn’t until I graduated that I started the hard work of figuring out what I want to do with my life.

    • Well, I’m glad you took the leap and started asking the hard questions at all – so many of us avoid them until it’s much much harder to shift gears and pivot careers/lifestyle.

      Thanks for reading! and hope the new career gives you a chance to be more excited about going to work each day!

    • sir ,I have just taken admission in mba program and i require knowledge from u how to go frm here onwards
      what are the things i shud concentrate to move further
      how i shud prepare myself in dese 2yrs n mek myself to enter in to a corporate world

      • Step 1. Go back to school and learn proper English.

        Step 2. Figure out what you want to do in life.

        Step 3. Come back and ask your question here.

        • Take this advice literally Rahul. I can understand that Laad’s words may be difficult to accept. However, it is what you needed to hear.

          • @Laad Labbuck Doss

            Step 1: Learn the fact that there is a huge non-english speaking population on this planet. Population that knows their mother tongue AND a little bit of English as well.

            Step 2: Learn the fact that (most of) the highest revenue generating companies in the world currently, don’t even have english proficiency as a pre-requisite for its employees.

            Step 3: Stop talking if you cannot contribute to a discussion positively.

            Step 4: Realise that making a person feel bad about themselves on the internet will NOT make you happy person.

            Step 5: Even if you decide to do the above, at least make sense. If he ‘figured out what to do in life’ he certainly won’t come back here and ask a question.

        • 1- he doesn’t speak. English properly means that. He must know a second language which is his native language.
          2- your reply was so rude.
          3 I suggest you go back to school to learn ‘attitude ‘ and come back to this website and practice it.

      • Strange that you can spell several different words with multiple syllables, but the mono-syllabic words trip you up. It’s ALMOST as if you are just playing…………..

  6. Hi there,

    great post, and could not be more timely for me. One of the commentators also mentioned that he only started figuring out what to do with his life after he graduated. This is close to home for me as well, and it is unfortunate that this “search” so to speak comes after we’re saddled with student and other debt.

    I also wrote on a similar topic here: http://insearchofperfect.com/2013/02/17/the-simplify-movement/

    So what is your plan? 🙂

    • A lot of soul searching and talking with people that truly know me and what I care about. I realize I’ve always been the type to crowdsource inspiration and clarity (before crowdsource was a buzz word lol) I think people don’t leverage their support networks enough when trying to discover their truth and what really makes them tick.
      Part of the reason I started this blog was to get out of my own head and leverage the wisdom of folks asking similar questions. Even if no one person has the answer, hopefully the combo of soul searching, meditation and learning from others will help me focus in on the right approach to the windy path 🙂
      We’ll see!

  7. Pingback: JEREMYCWILSON.COM » Azella Perryman’s New (Post) MBA Blog

  8. Azella,

    Great thoughts. I’ve struggled with basically all of the same problems in the two-plus years since I got an MBA, and right now I’m trapped in a dead-end hourly job as I try to apply my way into something better. In retrospect, I trapped myself a little. I kept pursuing my coaching career even as a full-time student, and then when that went away, I was stranded. I’m still pursuing a career in sports, but I have less to fall back on now.

    I still don’t know that I made the right decision. On the one hand, I made a bunch of friends, greatly expanded my network (which was almost non-existent pre-MBA, at least where I live), and finished the program. On the other, I have a small mountain of debt and I don’t feel like the educational side of the experience was worth that much. I felt like the majority of what we were taught boiled down to common sense, or encouraged somewhat mindless group-think. As you can probably remember, I tend to resist that. I may no longer be the hothead that threw chairs in Ms. Garon’s class, but I have to admit that I am still pretty stubborn and individualistic, and GW’s program at least did not do much in the way of encouraging creative thinking. They pump out people for government and government contractor positions (more than anything else, at least), and that just wasn’t in me.

    Anyway, it’s a tough spot to be in, and I like all of your points, especially the last one (I have more personal thoughts on that one, but it would take a long time to write them all down). I hope that you’re doing well, and still getting to hoop it up on occasion.


    • Ha just graduated from GW also and I felt the same way. Really not sure what I want to do at this point hoping to figure it out soon.


  9. I am going to B School this fall and would like to comment on a few of your points.

    1.) People have changed jobs. Have they changed industries/roles ? If not then think your friends changed jobs as per their expectations. This is not something you can blame on career services.

    2.) Totally agree. The suffering caused by educational loans is hard to feel till you get one.

    3.) I did not get this point. People are equally stressed but more happy ? How is this possible ?

    4.) The reason your friends with 7 years of work experience didn’t get their MBA and you got one suggests that either they had better jobs to begin with or had lower expectations. It would be good to see how your friends feel after 12 years of experience and how you feel after 5 years of post MBA experience. Change is a messy process. No pain, No gain.

    5.) I agree. MBA should teach concrete skills. After all 2 years equals 24 months and 5 semesters and 1 internship is possible. With the right guidance from career center and some self improvisation (taking courses from other departments in your university) some hard skills can be taught/learnt.

    6.) Its incorrect on your part to believe everything that is told to you. You probably knew that immediately after your MBA you probably would be joining a corporation that thrives on status quo.

    7.) and 8.) How is it possible that nobody at your firm cares that you have an MBA. Yet the same people expect a lot from you because you have an MBA.

    9.) If people are doing their jobs and not following their passions then it was not a passion to begin with. An interest or desire but not passion. It might be equally likely that they prefer leading a comfortable boring live than to go through the suffering of pursuing their passions.

    10.) No B School claims that it can teach you what to do with your life. It is something that comes with trial and error and lot of risks. It’s one of the toughest thing to answer even for the deepest philosophers. Some people seem to know it others meander through their life but still cannot grasp it.

    Why I am saying this ? I went to a prestigious undergrad and had to sacrifice years of my life to get there. I too had unrealistic expectations(mostly fueled by society). By the time I finished my education I knew what the takeaways were and what weren’t. Now I am going to B School with accurate expectations. I would say its not the degree that make people exceptional. The education merely provides a conduit, a process and you challenge yourself through the process. Its the individual that makes the most out of the process and becomes great.

    • I agree with your statements.
      To the OP,

      I came upon this page, bc I am ending my time in undergraduate studies for my bachelor’s and want to pursue a master’s once I am done. I look forward to reading more on your updates, best of luck to you.

      One thing I can account for, after I graduated high school I worked fulltime at crappy status quo job and soon realized I wanted to get a four year degree. So 3 years after high school and working ft at crappy job, I enroll in college and find a new part time job for expenses. 4 years later I am earning my degree and still working the crappy part time job while I am still in school. 7 years I have spent of my life working at some boring, non challenging low income job, whether part time or fulltime out of high school or while in college. Moral of the story, it can be worse. You will spend time doing something you don’t like, don’t agree with or just don’t enjoy, at least you have better opportunties to control that, unlike my past 7 years. Don’t let my 7 years become your life bc it happens to many people. You have the option and better opportunity with the mba.
      Don’t let foreshadowing the perfect job torment a harsh reality.

      It could be worse, and millions of people spend their days, months, years and lives working sh*tty unimportant low wage hourly jobs just to live their lives. My experiences of unworthiness, non caring, boring, minimum wage, used abused dead end jobs, has fueled me so bad that I want to get every bit of education possible so I will never have to depend or be subject to these stipulations of work for survival again.

      Great things will come to you. There is so much to do in the world, definitely recommend trying new or any type of job in a different field. Like I have learned not to work or pursue a career in retail/food through my job experiences.

    • Hi,
      I like your post very much. I am going through the same problem. It’s been 2 years of working in a consultant firm. I don’t like pretty much be here, My heart don’t know why doesn’t want to be here.
      Basically what I wanted to ask how to know what actually your interest is? What you really want to be? Sometimes I want to do MBA and sometimes want to be in government sector. I am pretty much confuse what should I do. Should I leave the company and make my path clear towards my goal or be here ? If you have any suggestions please let me know.

      • Hi people, i have read a few of the posts and as well as comments,the journey does not seem easy for some of us. I my self did a bachelors in Business statistics and have a dream of going for an MBA,which areas of specialization would be good for me. am graduating January 2015. Thanx

    • It is interesting reading about the pro’s and con’s of b school. What made decide to go to b school. Reality check, I thought once I move to Cali it would be easy to find a job. Unfortunately, my timing could not have been worst, 2009 the beginning of the recession. No one would hire me with a bachelors degree in business/marketing. I was literally told from a recruiter “I can’t help you”. So, I went to b school, and will graduate in 2014.
      I have been in the healthcare field as a nurse for over 25 years, and had worked hard to change careers to follow my passion. I hear you talk about the corporate world and how tough it is. The healthcare field is full of challenge, emotional, physically, and mentally draining. It’s like being on the battlefield and watching people dying all around you.
      My new challenge is breaking into the corporate world after age 50. When I first went to college I did not know what I wanted to do. I kept changing majors. I was intrigued by marketing and advertising, but naively listen to my older brother who talked me out of pursing my new found passion. My point here is it is very difficult to figure out what occupation is going to hold your interest and passion for a lifetime; because we continue to grow and change our opinions about what is important in our lives, and how we want to impact our world around us. The bottom line is, always go with your gut feelings if it feels right, it is right. You can always change careers.

    • Can’t agree more on this.

      I started working with this IT company about 8 years back and am still here even though there have hardly been few projects where I’ve actually felt work satisfaction. I never quit the company because I was getting paid well and I was transferred to a client location in a developed country. I didn’t want to go back to my country and could not quit because my company sponsored my visa for the said developed country.
      Honestly, I could have maybe left the company and went for higher studies or joined another company where I could get to develop software or maybe could have started developing software on my own. Didn’t do any of those. Why? Because when you’ve seen people struggle with basic finances at times, you know the value of money. Passions etc. are important and good but the path may not be as easy or as comfortable. And more often than not, people are okay to be uncomfortable for a while if they are sure that they’ll get a comfortable life later along with their passions fulfilled. The thing is that there is no such guarantee .. so it’s upto you if you want to take that risk and leave the existing comfort for a future comfort that you may not even get to experience.

      So, if you have a MBA degree and are making good money then you have certain comfort (even after paying your monthly/bi-weekly installments for education loan). MBA is not meant to change your life or for you to find out your true calling in life. Not everybody can find personal satisfaction as a corporate slave.

      When I started working, money was the last thing I was bothered about. Even with the little I made, I never bothered to check my bank account. I was just waiting to get assigned to some project where I would get good work to do. Just that. Nothing else mattered. But when that didn’t really happen and instead I was sent abroad where I could earn a lot more, I got used to this. But I made up my mind that I am going to use this money to not just give me comfort but also fulfill my other passions like travelling etc.

      Now I am thinking of maybe pursuing MBA because honestly, I am not really a techie anymore .. not at heart for sure. Things change, people grow .. and you find happiness in other things in life. I now enjoy working with clients etc. .. never thought I had it in me to do that. So, when I do MBA now, I am not expecting to have spiritually satisfying experience. I would rather go to a monastery for that after I have earned enough money to take that sort of a break.

      Working in corporates isn’t really as bad as some people make it out to be. It’s just about working in teams of people where not everybody is your best buddy. It’s an experience that slowly slowly helps you grow up and face the real life situation. And take any degree, they all teach you the basics, the work life is never exactly the same as the academic life. If you are getting to do presentations, sell stuff, make promises, take decisions then that is what your role was always meant to do for the company. It was never about creating revolutions in one day. Things take time .. as you advance into senior management, you have more visibility and more power to turn things around. Be good at what you do, bring positivity in whatever part of the business you touch and maybe go beyond your usual role to add value to business. I know I am not a MBA but trust me, I have worked with enough clients to know that you can always do something to add value to business.

      And to the author of this blog, I am really impressed with your credentials of getting MBA from such a well known institute. You probably have always worked hard and have it in you to make things happen. Give yourself some time .. you actually might make real difference to the world .. 2 years of corporate experience is just the beginning .. more you experience the business logic, better and easier it gets to make a difference .. Good Luck 🙂

      PS: I don’t mean to say that people should not follow their passions. I am just saying that working just for money isn’t really a bad thing. You can follow your passions as hobbies. Having a financially comfortable life is a blessing in today’s world.

    • Hi Abhi,

      Thanks for your positive post !! Since my childhood , I have always loved to take leadership roles and I do a good job there. It was not until I finished my Engineering I realized I should pursue a different vertical . Though I work for a prestigious company now , I have less interest in IT sector. So I have decided to pursue an MBA after thinking and making lot of research if it would suit me. This post was informative but it has added a terror in my heart! Are the loans so high that you won’t be able to clear it ? Is it really true that there is a huge possibility that POST MBA you won’t get a job?

      • Hi Abhi. I just recently completed my MBA. I currently work in credit/lending. The loans aren’t so high that you won’t be able to ever get them down however it’s a significant investment that you should really consider before going into a program. Some schools are different prices than others but it depends on what you want to do when you finish and the type of company you’d like to work for. I currently owe over $100K in loans and although I knew what I was getting into before I took my first set of classes, my mindset when I first began was that I would need this for the next step so I should stop putting it off (since it’d been more than 5 years since I’d completed my undergrad).
        I’ve been applying like crazy to places since last September and haven’t had much luck in getting responses. The biggest tip that I can give you about MBA programs is going to events and conferences that have job fairs and employers and start networking and making those connections early. Also keep an open mind when networking and looking for jobs. Originally I didn’t think much about going into development programs since I’d previously gone through a commercial credit program and I sincerely regret not pursuing more training programs with other companies. Hope that helps some.

  10. I was mostly agreeing until number 10 which cancelled out the sense of the previous nine. You seem, and admit so yourself, to be a crowd-follower. B school is for you to figure out what you want to do, especially in a career switch. I do blame the B school career centers for pushing people into the so called safe boats – consulting, finance..There were few people in my class who actually wanted to do consulting, but were they were too scared to try different, and when CMC meets people like this they invariantly advice them to consulting to allow time to figure it out while paying off the loans and earning good pay. I won’t be too cynical as to suggest it has to do with their employment stats.

    Your post is however extremely useful as a lesson to future b schoolers – figure out what you want to do exactly during b school, preferably before and just after internship.

  11. Pingback: Before B-School, Consider the MBA Job Search | Study Abroad Guru for Post Graduation

  12. Thank you! Reading this post brought some clarity into the picture for me. I have to decide between going to a top 5/10 school and take a 180k loan or going to a top 20 school and getting a full ride. Now I know which one I need to choose. I don’t want to follow the crowd and I truly want to find myself. Isn’t that the whole point of going for a new degree?
    Which is why I am gonna give up the top 10 schools, where i’ll be competing with people with just as much loans to pay off, for the same consulting positions (you know, because they ‘enjoy’ consulting…. not for the money!), and instead go to a top 20 school where I am already paid for, I don’t have to worry about paying off the loans, so I can focus on following my interests and take a lesser paying job that I like.
    I am a dreamer and honestly, I might want to give up everything one day and just move. Which is why I don’t want to be caught up in the vicious cycle of loans, getting a high paying job, not being able to leave the high paying, workaholic job for something that gives me time for myself but less money….I’ve already had so many spinal problems from the job that i’m in that I can’t lose focus on taking care of my body.
    And when I think about it, I don’t want to be part of a group/organization where they will value the brand name of the school, and overlook my skills. And hopefully after my first job, my skills and what I bring to the table will speak for themselves.

    • That’s great. I think I will be in a similar situation as you. I feel like I’m being pulled in many different ways and the prestige of a top 3 school is hard to resist. I’m kind of a “prestige whore” though. I went to a prestigious undergrad and saw the doors it opened for me. But it didn’t make me feel happier or know anything. I did get a lot of opportunities because of where I went to school though.

  13. Let me ask you something. I went to undergrad for Asian Studies. It’s a long and convoluted story why I went with that major but the point is the degree itself is totally useless. In the three years since I graduated university, I’ve had to get jobs through temp agencies and in warehouses beside people who never even went to college. The only even remotely possible career future for me without totally starting over from scratch I’m told is international business through MBA. Honestly, to the best of your knowledge is an MBA going to help me get a real job? I mean, Asian Studies is not a career. It’s not even a field. At least business is a field. At least people who go through MBA programs have a basic understanding of marketing or accounting or finance or something. Is that worth my time and money or should I just completely start over and go to school for something completely unrelated but safe? Thanks

  14. I am in exactly the same dilemma right now. I took my GMAT a year ago, but the thought of taking a loan of approx. $150k (incl. living expenses) just scares the crap out of me. I can fund a lot through savings of 5 years, but hell then I will be starting all over again!!
    I am thinking of moving to the U.K or Australia and under taking a MBA there. Australia has a booming economy and will keep going so for the next many short terms.
    My third dilemma is that I paychecks are in the $80k’s now and incl. bonuses etc it touches $95k. I wont gain much out of the MBA, but at the same time I want the learning experience!!

    • Hi,
      I went through a very similar process, got into UNC and UT Austin. I also applied for some big Part time MBA programs. Here are my thoughts. If you know what you want to do in life and the MBA is going to provide a career changing choice to achieve it, go ahead and do it full time (e.g. want to move from accounting or tech to say marketing or finance). If you just want the experience and learning to grow or do something on your own later, apply to part-time programs of good schools. They provide the same classes, but will let you pace yourself over a 3 year period. Doing the opposite i.e. going to school full time just for the experience or going part time when you want to change careers might not yield good results. Hope this helps

    • Dont come to lone island “Australia”. I am about to finish my MBA in two months. There is no such booming economy here. I wish if some had recommended to read Henry Mitzberg’s book “Managers Not MBA’s” I wont be that much confused as I am now, even same is with every second class mate. We are asking each other so its done what to do next…

    • Hi Nakul,

      My honest suggestion to you would be to NOT do an MBA. You are already in the 100k bracket, and you would be earning the same amount in your first job, post-MBA. If you want the ‘learning experience’, believe me you can get all the learning from a text-book, which will cost a max. of $100. I say this because I’m doing an MBA from the #3 B-School in Australia and its just not worth spending 60k+ for the 2 year course and for the ‘experience’, cause there really is NO experience. You go to class,attend lectures, do some assignments, give exams. It feels as if im doing my undergrad degree back in India(im sure u know wat i mean 😉 ). If you plan to study in Australia, they say the MBA experience(pro-active class discussions, lots of team based work, etc. etc..) are only in 3 B-schools here namely Univ of Melbourne(#1), UNSW(#2) and Macquarie University(Most intensive 1 yr MBA course in Aus).

      These are my 2 cents of advice, but overall i would suggest….Dont! Advance in your company, maybe opt for a better position in another company and you can get all the real-life corporate experience you want. The lectures here don’t really give you any of that.


      • Correction: You might earn even much less than 100k in your first break. You may earn 100k+ if youre lucky ie. or if you graduate from MSB(maybe).

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  16. Nice post. I personally think, occasionally, that higher education is a little bit of a farce, for people who don’t know what they really want to do and just want another program to wade through for a couple of more years. I’ve noticed it with things such as language class – I know a bunch of people who spent a bunch of money on this wicked-expensive, “prestigious” Chinese class and come out with pretty bad chinese, only to know a bunch of other people who learned Chinese on their own have way more kick-ass abilities. However, I also find myself gravitating toward education because it seems safe and it seems like what you’re “supposed to do”, because I also don’t know what I personally “want” to do.

    • You are right in that higher ed is a little silly, but you’re also right that it’s safe. Whatever your opinion of it, a higher-ed degree is a shortcut to many opportunities. And across fields, hard-won practical knowledge and success is usually more in-depth and complete than classroom learning.

      I will defend the MBA in that context. Yes, you can start & fail in business as an employee or entrepreneur… but an MBA teaches you SOME of those tough lessons. An MBA significantly minimizes the risk of failure. Reward is correspondingly lower.

  17. Pingback: Found a nice blog | Dad with MBA

  18. Right on the money! I’m 2 quarters away from graduating and I’m starting to think that maybe I should have funded my own business instead of investing in an MBA in a scarce job market. My entrepreneurship professor told us that the days of finding a typical job are gone and we have to start reprograming ourselves to think differently about how we earn a paycheck.

  19. Very honest of you, so congratulations for your openness. I’m nearly at the end of my MBA which I’m doing through the Exec route. I would question why people do this as a direct entry from a first degree; what I’ve learnt from people on my modules about operating in real life business has been invaluable and I can’t see how you would benefit from only learning the theory if you aren’t in a position to go back and apply this to your day job. I’m not denying it’s been tough, but that’s my choice. So far, the MBA has really given me the confidence to question & challenge a lot more, as well as be bolder in what I am prepared to try. Although I haven’t finished it yet, I really hope that this continues to impact on my career and work choices for many years yet.
    Wishing you the very best of luck with your career and life choices. The MBA is the map, you just have to choose where to go now 🙂

  20. It’s almost five years since I graduated from MBA school and would agree with most of the points. From my experience, it’s important everyone who is taking the plunge into MBA is aware of realities of post-MBA life and starts the MBA course with right set of expectations. Contrary to what most of the students entering (or planning to) into MBA think or are made to believe, it’s not all rosy with red carpet laid out after MBA. An MBA graduate has to fight as hard as any other graduate for jobs. Just having an MBA doesn’t make you suitable for very senior posts in the organisations if you don’t have relevant work experience. Just because one has MBA doesn’t mean salary will increase 2-fold / 3-fold after graduating.

    Having said that, I still feel that doing an MBA is a life-changing experience. I learnt a lot of things which I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t done my MBA. In the short term, post-MBA life may be challenging with huge expectations and financial hardships (loan repayment), however, I am sure one bears the fruit of it in the longer run.

    • Well said. I firmly believe an MBA makes you more wise… with all the positives and negatives that come with widened perspective. You end up looking at risk very differently.

  21. I can relate to this in a lot of ways. I went to a fairly prestigious school and graduated from the part-time MBA program while working for a large defense firm. Luckily, the firm offered me a substantial amount of tuition reimbursement in exchange for a commitment of several years of work. When the defense industry started to shrink, there were massive layoffs. I had an option to leave without owing one cent of tuition support back to the firm. I took it, and I went to a much higher paying job in a completely different industry. The money is great. The people are wonderful. Our products and services are innovative and the firm and industry is poised for growth. I’ve been with it for about a year, and still feel like an infant learning to take his first steps. Frequently I wonder how I wound up here, and question whether I should stick with it or move down another career path.

    It’s been two years since I finished the program also, and I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my experiences and my life since graduation. Here are some of my takeaways:

    * The MBA program doesn’t make you “management material”. It gives you a very broad sense of how a business works (or should work), teaches you to think critically and objectively, and equips you with some great skills that you can put in your career toolbox, but you don’t come out of the program as a superstar who has all the answers. The superstar status comes from very hard work and a willingness to commit yourself wholly to your profession. It also comes from sustained, disciplined and vigorous networking. Work hard, learn your company, learn your industry and build relationships, and you’ll get ahead.

    * The MBA program won’t help you find your true calling. At the end of the day, if you want to have a stellar (not good, not great but STELLAR!) career, you have to find something that inspires and motivates you. If you find this, you’ll work hard, and it won’t feel like work. You’ll enjoy your job, and it will reflect in others’ perception of you. The MBA program is not designed to help you find this sense of passion. It helps you to become a more critical thinker and to acquire skills and knowledge in the discipline of your choice, but it will not help you to figure out what you want to be when you grow up. You have to figure that out on your own.

    * You will not get rich simply by graduating from an MBA program. Yes, you have a great education, and likely if you were accepted to a very good school, you have an excellent track record of personal successes in your life. You still have to work very hard, and if you do get a management position, you probably have to work a lot harder than you used to. Even so, you’re not going to make $500K/year or more unless you are fortunate enough to either come from a wealthy and influential family (in which case you probably don’t need a high paying job), or you are one of the few who land those positions. You don’t need an MBA to make a lot of money. You don’t even need a BA to make a lot of moeny. You just need to find out what you love to do, as well as drive, ambition, perseverance, and stamina. The MBA program will just teach you how to execute on your idea more efficiently and “smartly”.

    In retrospect, I am very glad that I went through the program. I’ve made some great friends and picked up many new skills. Having graduated with a non-business undergraduate degree, the program really opened my eyes in a lot of ways. I just hope that any MBA candidates or persons considering enrollment in an MBA program understand that graduate business education is not the “silver bullet” in advancing your career and solving all of your money problems.

    • Fantastic advice and thank you for posting. I am about to start my MBA in a couple of weeks and this is exactly the push that I needed. Thank you.

    • Thanks a lot for this advice..right on the dot! 🙂

      I especially think that these words are solid gold for all MBA aspirants..

      “The MBA program won’t help you find your true calling It helps you to become a more critical thinker and to acquire skills and knowledge in the discipline of your choice, but it will not help you to figure out what you want to be when you grow up. You have to figure that out on your own.”

      “You don’t need an MBA to make a lot of money. You don’t even need a BA to make a lot of money. You just need to find out what you love to do, as well as drive, ambition, perseverance, and stamina.”

      • I did my MBA shortly after my first degree. I did not get any prestige from it because I didn’t have enough work experience. That was thirty years ago and I am on my third career. The skills of critical thinking and analysis have enabled me to survive two recessions, work effectively on two continents and,pay the bills. I realised that I prefer lower paid work with more autonomy in the voluntary sector and most corporate recruiters could see this if I got as far as an interview with them. If I did the MBA again I would specialise in entrepreneurship. I am quite entrepreneurial in my spare time. You need to be in order to survive the funding boom-and-bust of the voluntary sector.

  22. Ok aperryman. Thanks for sharing. These are interesting points however I’m curious to know how this would have affected your decision to go to Business school (and HBS) if you had known all this beforehand. Do you regret you did? What would’ve been different had you known all these points you describe? I’m hoping to start an MBA program this Fall (at a top 10) but also weighing the pros and cons of it. For me I welcome the pros of an expanded professional network and the job versatility the MBA will bring being that I’m currently in IT and looking to secure a Senior Management position (in any industry) post-MBA.

  23. I had a different story here; already I’m an IT specialist with 16 years of experience in Databases, Applications, Systems, IT Project Management and so on. Currently I’m running MBA study at weekends and afternoons, I strongly believes that MBA is designed for me, now I have better understanding of what is organization, policies, problems, managements, market, and all different MBA subjects, simply I got the technical and functional skills now and my next step is to have my own business and with MBA at least I knew how to compete with others and have a good start.

    Thank you

  24. My company will pay 100% of my tuition if I get accepted into grad school, but I can’t take a sabbatical. So only part time programs work for me.. Despite this, not sure if I want to put up with all the time and effort studying for the GMAT, applying to schools, going to school, then studying/doing homework in the 4-5 hours of free time I have after work everyday.

    Upon first glance, I was like “OMG, I AM SO GOING TO B-SCHOOL!” Later, I realized I was falling into the same trap I fell for as a high school student. Go to school, get good grades, graduate with a $100K piece of paper, then get a high-paying job. The prospect of b-school seems no different than undergrad. Even with free tuition.. is it still worth my time and effort?

    • It is not, if you will be using the time for a greater cause i.e. build a company, launch your career in some other significant way etc. If you do not have any such plans, I would say go to B-School especially when someone else is paying for it. I personally felt what I learnt in B-School was priceless.

  25. I’m currently enrolled In a MBA program in which I will be finishing up in about 6 months. Your article is dead on about B School not being a silver bullet. Some of my classmates and I say it all the time that a MBA is not that all valuable unless you have relative work experience to compliment it. Fortunately for me I have over 7 years of management experience, in addition to have been given a promotion at the start of the program. I’m currently an administrator in HR at one of the largest employers (with an awesome tution reiumbursement package) in the western NY area. Its my goal to try and leverage this experience. A word to the wise if you decide to pursue an MBA you have to sell yourself to stand out from the pack. I very pleased with how the MBA program has shaped my critical thinking. I even dream about Harvard business case studies in my sleep lol. I wouldn’t change a thing in terms of me pursuing my MBA but as mentioned before you have to know how to leverage. Your post MBA career life will be what you make it.

  26. Its all true i completed MBA from an Indian Institute of Indore(City of MBA), i got job but after getting i left job for my last semester exam. Than after 1 month of fight with life i got another job of 40$ per month , i had not any problem from my family but i elder one so responsibilities are more on me. After 4 month of working i left job for this family member responsibility and i always want to become an entrepreneur but when i went to there i was not able to enjoy this environment after 3 year of my living outside the hometown. Than i went to Delhi to search job but 15 days , i came back again to Indore and i searched job of Marketing in my college group of company by luck.
    I want become a Business Man but after 1.5 year of working i did not get this courage but still i am finding it and learning that life is beautiful and lovely think positive and fight every movement of life never give up.
    My all friends earning now a days minimum 500$ per month and i want to earn one day 20 Lac $ per day that was my hunger about money and i always that money i am earning for my society , family and for me.
    I am owner of JMD group(Textile, education,solar energy,society welfare,entrepreneur finance,natural energy, steel) that revenue 20 Lac per minute(My vision).
    Yes risk Yes gain Yes positive yes Gain yes dreams yes gain yes confidence yes gain
    Please give guide me about my dreams….

  27. Hello,
    I require a genuine help and advice.
    currently I have completed my MBA (Finance) from London. Now m planning to do further studies in Canada or Australia with a course which adds value to my career.
    I am thinking some courses like ACCA, CIMA, CFA. Kindly provide some guidance regarding some finance courses for 1 or 2 years which help me to benifit my career portfolio, as i will be obliged to you.

  28. Really interesting viewpoints. I could relate with some. I finished my MBA last year, and it has been a struggle to really apply what I have learned. The important thing is to take action, and not wait till you are presented with an opportunity.

    My question is, have any of you really used your final thesis or Strategic Management paper for your current jobs? How? I’m interested to read your answers!

  29. Great post. I googled this exact topic and your blog came up and it was nice to find others in a similar boat. I graduated from Ohio State in August 2012 and while I did a part-time program, my plan was to change careers and find something I love. As it turns out I didn’t know myself very well and have been doing a lot of soul searching since graduation. I too have friends that landed those great consulting, PE, and finance roles with high salaries, but they never seem happy. I’m only a year out, but I do wonder if the cost was justified. Looking forward to more of your thoughts.

  30. I still have a year to go because I’m taking the 4-year part-time method with summers off. I’m glad there is someone out there to help me figure these things out. After so long of this I’ve started questioning whether there is something good at the end of it for all of the same reasons I keep reading about the 10 lies of B-school and such. It was so clear for my under-grad! Get a degree, get an entry-level job! Done! Double your pay with a degree! What do I do with an MBA, though? It’s just like people say – I still don’t have experience in where I want to switch to. People aren’t going to listen any more because of it.

  31. I am just a week away from completing my MBA – yes! When I started my MBA program, I already had a career in management and realized quickly that my growth potential was limited without a Masters degree of some kind. In fact, every person that I have hired into my department within the last 3 years has an MBA. So basically, I realized if I had not been hired five years ago, I probably wouldn’t even get an interview for the job I have today.

    That said, I view my MBA in the same way I viewed getting my Bachelors degree – it is absolutely necessary to be competitive, and it gets your foot in the door! For all of those who are considering it, take it from me…it matters! If an MBA isn’t for you, find another Masters program that interests you.

  32. I am going through the same stuff. I am on my last year of my MBA and now I am contemplating if taking MBA was a good thing. Financially, it is not as I spent most of my savings already. And to top that, since MBA opens or upgrades your level of awareness of the society and the need to do BIG things. It slowed me down. Before MBA, I was so hardworking. I make money. Without me noticing it, I slowed down because I was looking for something that sustainable. A business that will have a huge impact. Or waiting for a position from a company that befits my MBA. Its really upsetting. I thought, taking MBA will improve how I can earn more. Meaning, prepare for my future. It doesnt sad to say. It however gave me great friends but I dont make any money from them. And life basically revolves in investments, stability,etc. I hope someone can post something that will give MBA a positive rewiew. Right now, the only thing that motivates me to finish my degree is because my family expects me too.Before I know what I want to be and where I want to go. Now, I dont know. Life is harder with MBA degree for expectations from yourself and society is much higher.

  33. I need ur help . .
    Well i am final year student nd i am really confused about my MBA coz most of the top business universities require at least 3 years work experience and some of the non top class ,They don’t bother about the work experience ,So help decide that should i work for 3 years to get admission into top class uni or should i just for for uni which is appropriately good which does not require any experience.
    one more question is that does it really matter if we are graduating from Top class business university?
    Please do reply

  34. Taking risk, leading others, placing your own interest after those you lead will take you farther than any single degree (you knew that right?).

    Corporate, Non-profit, PE, Fund Managers and the rest count results more than the ticket that opened the door for you. You are over thinking the problem. Find a sector, business, emerging opportunity that is all screwed up and fix it you will gain credibility and confidence. Fix it while making money at the same time and you are in business and a success.

    Reminding everyone else that you have an MBA or where you went to school is a waste of time and demonstrates you didn’t learn much after making a big investment in your education. The MBA is an expensive toolkit, your charge is to put capital to use, so get on with it. There are thousands of opportunities/problems out there …… go out and make it happen, one success or failure at a time – – being there, doing it, making errors is what’s it’s about.

    Been there, done that, even taught MBA’s as a manager and adjunct prof for 5 years . . . most in my view are regular folks, a few are gifted, none has a monopoly on drive, persistence, or building relationships and leading others which in the long run will lead to success. Good luck with your adventure.

  35. For me MBA was fun and lots of work.

    I did my MBA in Europe which ended up being a mistake from a professional point of view as it seems (at least in Germany), MBA is not really regarded that much – meaning I have failed so far to make a switch from general management into marketing.

    Even though I went to all kinds of networking events I haven’t met the kind of people I thought I would – the kind that would help me start my career in Europe (my whole network is back in Canada).

    In my class there was (in my opinion) only one person whose intelligence I respected. But it might have been that I simply chose the wrong B – School.

    The MBA does however teach one how all the parts of the business are inter-connected instead of focusing on one’s specialization. It also gave me the motivation to work up to the strategic level of management where I enjoy performing the most.

    All in all I have no regrets. Do I have enormous stress due to debt? Yes
    Am I employed? No – might have to go back to Canada for that BUT!

    I have learned a lot and worked hard – even if other people do not value the MBA, when I look it I have a sense of accomplishment.

    I have had an amazing time in some classes, it was great to have a student life as opposed to have been working in the same routine instead.

    I travelled.

    I figured out my passion – marketing.

    But most of all all the experiences combined good and bad I am grateful for. Every choice in our life has a trade off but instead of lingering on the bad, I imagine what my life would be like had I stayed on my old path and never changed much in my life.

  36. I think part of the problem is that you’re thoughtful. Most MBAs are thoughtless, money-driven, drones with few meaningful interests (I know many–I was formerly an MBA at a similar Ivy League institution). It’s all right to not know what you want to do–it’s not an easy choice, especially if you come from a non-business background (e.g., humanities, sciences, etc), which is a guess on my part. It’s natural to develop passions for subjects like this, but I can’t for the life of me comprehend a passion in marketing, finance, consulting, etc. Just recognize that a job is to pay the bills, and don’t stress too much about finding your calling. Understand that life is often simply a tradeoff between love and money, and likely will always be.

  37. This is a refreshing perspective. It’s nice to hear someone drill down past the surface of what an MBA is advertised to look as. I am currently considering leaving my career and pursuing an MBA full-time. However, I could choose the alternative which is doing my MBA online which would be funded by my company and would not require me taking out loans.

    What are your thoughts on doing an online MBA versus a full-time program?

  38. Very sad to see you suffering because your expectations were not met.
    My advice is to be +ve in whatever decisions you take. It may not lead you where you expected but no body can take away that experience from you.

    Your first point
    1) Performance of career service – in 18 months the passout students changed their job. is it good or bad ?, i believe it is good that they got a job at the very first place and then they were able to switch as per their wish. Who enabled them to do this switch…..their prestigious MBA degree. Had there been no Strong degree or connections they would be rotting in the same job without complaint. Doing MBA from Harvard and expecting that somebody will help you with career service is shame. Even a mother of twins feed the baby who cries more……and i believe atleast harward should have taught …. how to get what you want.

    2) “No body mentions how life becomes scary after those loans….” cummon, dont you know how scary loans are….even an illiterate knows that. its all a game of cheques and balances….opportunites and threats. who should understand “money” better a business student or a man on the street ?

    3) Finance, consulting, PE or FARMING !!! every job is tiring my friend and every job stresses you out in some way or the other. Happiness and satisfaction does not depend on it. – why people chase finance and consulting job ? – because you go to business school to take a degree and make money. if someone wants to pursue arts, science or whatever they wish they will not come to do MBA. an engineering student out of college should pursue engineering job not painting job, and if they do out of their wish, they should not complain.

    4) carrer switcher and starting from scratch, is that not what you wanted ? people who are set in their job and are getting satisfaction and good salary out of it, why will they switch ? but going to an MBA has given you a perspective, of how the markets will behave in the future, what steps you can take to somewhat guarantee your future to be secure…..after some years if you take the right steps you will see your career thriving and your friends looking for a change but then change doesnt come so easy without an MBA or a higher degree. they will feel sorry that they didnt pursue a degree like yours when they had time in their hand. If they are safe and secure in their career then why to measure your career with theirs ? all fingers in your hand are not of the same size …..is it ?

    5) All learning curves are steep for people who dont enjoy learning. snap decision, wow if someone taught that and for 90% of the time you get it right then you should credit your business school for that. Thats one rason why you should have atleast 5-6 years of real work experience before you join an MBA school.

    6) Doing Amazing things and changing the world – first lecture in an MBA school, what do you expect them to tell you…..that you are a looser that you joined this school and you can not change the world ? out of the bunch smeone will truly believe this and will try to change the world (hopefully for good, and not just do an experiment). expectations from society, family, friends etc…..if they dont expect then you will never perform. good that someone tracks your progress and you are not lost. Be +ve and do what best you can. Job funnelling back to the same industry……unfortunately this how world works…..if you want a change then start your own something…..which is also possible.

    7)8)9)10) Once you are in a job nobody cares if you have an MBA- that is exactly it should be, everything in life depends on how you perform when you are given a task, not how you look or dress, or act or if you have a big MBA degree. you have to demonstrate your worth. (well let me tell you if you have an MBA from Harvard – people do notice that, and first step of the battle is already favouring you) anyone who envey you is probably because he didnt get a chance to do MBA from Harvard.

    How can an MBA school figure out what you should do in your life ??? cummon i think we are mature enough to figure that out yourself. did Harvard tell you before recruiting that they will figure out what you should do in life ? or which company you will be recruited to and with what pay package ????? – these statements not expected from a Harvard !!! Half of the people who are lauding your statements here are of the same category – they dont deserve to do an MBA !!! they should just follow theyr friends, family’s advice.

    • After reading this post I closed this thread. This is all that needs to be said. Use what tools you have to get what you want. An MBA from Harvard is a hell of a tool. If you are having trouble with an MBA from Harvard just imagine your career opportunities if you didn’t have one…

  39. Hi Sir,

    Very refreshing blog. It feels good coz I ran thru the responses of people here are almost the same feelings that I have. I’m planning on getting an MBA. Why? Simply because I feel I didn’t do well back in college so I want to start over. I guess I’ll push with my plans on getting am MBA but keep in mind the things u’ve said.. It gave me a different perspective and better expectations on things to come once I get back to school. More power and God Bless ♥ redz

  40. I have a bachelor’s in Linguistics and Anthropology with a minor in Spanish. I speak Portuguese, English and Spanish fluently and conversational Japanese(lived in Japan two years teaching English with the JET Programme). I am also a veteran and want to use my GI Bill to get my MBA. My dilemma is one, regarding the school I go to. I currently reside in Brazil, but I have the chance with the GI Bill to maybe go to schools like Berkley everything paid, nothing out of pocket. Caveat is they won’t accept GRE grades possibly until next year and I can’t get ready enough for the GMAT. I have another choice. I can go to an unranked yet reputable school, namely, Southern Illinois University, which has a top online program. I can stay in Brazil start my own business, an ESL online school while I go to school, to get a high paying job after I graduate, to further invest in my own personal business, or I can, wait until I can go to school at Berkley. It’s really something that’s bothering me to have to make this decision.
    WILL I REALLY GET A 50K PLUS PLAYING JOB WITH AN MBA DEGREE FROM SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY? My second question is, will I have any problems with the classes coming from liberal arts having close to zero experience? Does anybody have anything?

    • See my crazy post way down below. Here’s my answer and I live in California. Get a state certificate in ANYTHING. You will be unbeatable. I dunno—real estate, whatever. Out here you can’t do ANTYHING without paying the state for a certificate. Floor installation, tax preparer, Combine it with your MBA.

      I got my jobs because I did internships in college, and independent study where I could learn laboratory techniques. Nobody asked my grades when I graduated because I could do stuff my genius peers could not.

      Listen to this—in my first semester in attending my current unknown but regionally accredited MBA program though University of the Southwest Online, one of my classmates told us he worked in some rural place and worked for a flight training school. Business was down so the company owner figured out people from Europe wanted to do tourism in the US and if they could take flight school training in the US it was almost half the price of the same thing in Europe.

      So the owner of the flight training school hired some guy who spoke THIRTEEN LANGUAGES! The school was very profitable and the owner also did their own airplane maintenance. You get the idea. Go where you are wanted. Go where the market takes you and PROFIT.

      Too many people are into this thing of “I can’t find a job that loves me and that I can love back”. Boo Hoo. I majored in Bacteriology and didn’t have ANY inclination to science. WTF. Worked for me. It got me into my own apartment. You can take it from there.

      • Thanks for that, I hear you on the certifications, Ill definitely take a look at that. The reason why I’m concerned about 2nd and 1st tier school is that I have the opportunity to go to Boston university MBA, so I’d hate to have any of that kind of regret, I checked starting salary for BU is 90k, not bad, SIU is unlisted. thing is I want to start school now and SIU is more within reach at this point. Should have gone to BU in the first place years ago, I didn’t know the value of an MBA then, wasn’t even thinking about going to business school. In either case I think experience and showing your good work will count for more, no doubt, at least I would hope that’s he way it is.

        • Also , I meant to ask how did you manage to beat your genious peers? are you a genious yourself? what was your starting salary compared to 1 tier schools at the time? Flight school, I had an opportunity to learn to fly a Cessna for $500 and I passed because I got scared. I think for the same reason I passed BU MBA at the time. Im not the same scaredy cat no more.. I just need to know what to do and somebody to show me light at the end of the tunnel. This blog is not a bad start.

          • It was years ago I beat my peers as I was a Bacteriologist at U of Wisconsin Medical School and I had done an internship in Human Oncology with tissue culture and DNA stuff when it just started being hot. All my peers were straight A students; I was not. I became self-employed 31 years ago and am a financial advisor. I want an MBA and I don’t need it; I WANT it.

            If you want BU remember if you take out a loan of at least $30,000 you can amortize it over 25 years. As time goes on (time value of money, first lesson in finance) the payment will seem lower.

            I will be getting a double focus in finance and accounting. I actually LIKE accounting and I LOVE finance. I have the CFP from College for Financial Planning and the CEBS from Wharton and undergrad U of Wisconsin Madison.

            Do not forget the tax credits you
            will get from the lifelong learning credit. (20% of tuition)

            BU is majorly expensive. Could you not change to (for example) U of Indiana or (I dunno) Vanderbilt where they will give you money or Claremont where they have a 4 billion dollar endowment to give you money or Wake Forest U which has a 1 billion dollar endowment where they will give you money…you get the idea. Look up the largest endowments of Universities. Apply where the largest endowments are. They will give you scholarships.

            I am self-employed but I needed the MBA to get me where I want to go. I have many goals to achieve yet.

            Bargain with your MBA programs of interest. Enrollment is down and online schools are competing for business. Hey…I turned down Pepperdine. They wanted a LOT of money. A few good certificates can make up for it. Truly.

            I am also enrolled in a html/css/php/mysql certificate program. I want to continue being self-employed but to be a CPA in California they force me to WORK for SOMEONE for some time period. I will figure out something to give them so they can give me what I want…like a trade, you know.

            You can be a teaching assistant at BU and they can waive their fancy tuition. Just ask them. Tell them you can’t decide. They have the endowment. They can give you some partial scholarship.

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  42. I completely agree, I have just graduated with a Business degree. I have now found that all of my friends who didn’t go to University are in far better positions than I am. Recruiters now want you to have experience rather than academia, so it was a complete waste of time and money. Once again, it has become a class war, whereby if your parents have contacts in high places, you can get a job. Furthermore I believe that the push from governments to get people to go to college and Uni is merely a money making strategy. Well done for screwing the little people!!!! Nothing changes.

  43. Here goes:

    I am a pianist but figured that wouldn’t earn any money (which is also wrong as I know piano teachers making $75 an hour in California) so I got the undergrad in Bacteriology from U of Wisconsin at Madison which was second only to UC Berkeley in Bacteriology.

    I got “the” job and “the” next job and then I realized it was nowheresville even with 15% annual raises and no credit or recognition for the actual work I did so I become self-employed! In looking for job “3” I had realized it was annoying to have to explain to an interviewer why “I can do your job”. I thought “this is wasting my time;” I’ll work for myself!

    Next, I bought the book HOW TO BEAT THE MBAS TO THE TOP obtaining the Certified Financial Planner certificate from the College for Financial Planning and the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist designation (CEBS) from Wharton and have done okay now for 31 years. You know…I have renewals and property and so forth.

    But I’ve always wanted the graduate degree. Now, at the age of 59 I finally broke down to do the MBA, for which I have taken all the prerequisites over the years, but just didn’t want to spend the money. I asked myself what I wanted. It came down to:

    1. Not a horrible amount of debt. I considered the California State Universities. Oh brother. They were going to make me take Introduction to Econ for like the fourth time…I already had it at a junior college, had it for U of Pennsylvania designation, had it for the California Real Estate Broker license too. Taking a single class at a time would have cost $2500 per course PLUS PARKING AND GAS!

    2. ONLINE, BABY! But pay as you go left out Duke, Pepperdine, and U of North Carolina unless I wanted to sell stuff to get the money to attend and forget that noise!

    3. Well, there was New Mexico State online or U of Colorado at Denver….somewhat affordable….but I really wanted a private school.

    4. So then I decided since I was not going to do AACSB at a private school, I would look for a regionally accredited school with decent reviews from program alumni. (Heck–no matter what you think of Ronald Reagan, I mean he graduated from EUREKA COLLEGE and did fine!) And on the opposite end of the spectrum, Nancy Pelosi went to some school nobody ever heard of. (Course maybe that’s why she’s so resentful.) I mean so far I already had U of Wisconsin, UC Berkeley, U of Pennsylvania, and College for Financial Planning on my resume.

    Finally, at this point the only requirements I was down to was that it had to be a decent price, quality program, regionally accredited and online.

    After much searching and researching, I am now a student at the University of the Southwest in their online MBA program. You never heard of it, right? It’s super. The price is right and when I am done with the MBA in accounting I will sell my final book of biz, move to either (I dunno) Germany or Bahamas or something and do the CPA “experience” requirement somewhere and then decide what comes next. Heck…maybe i will switch to marketing. To me it’s all the same. I like it all. Hit me up. I don’t need a lot to live on.

    Most likely I’ll move to Florida or some tropical tax haven place and do online articles on finance for the tripped out crowd. Or maybe by then I’ll figure out how to fix the grammar in my articles on Hubpages I write as DOODLEHEAD. Who knows. My hope is I’ll be sitting in the sun on the sand with my schnauzer, Winston.

    Conclusion: have fun and live a meaningful life. Really. Make some mistakes….I sure did…but enjoy.

    • Wow! Karen!! Really inspiring comment! I like your comment better than anything I read on this page! While reading your comment, I realized, the true way to learn is through experiences and the thing about gaining experience is that you will go through successes and failures. People getting into MBA’s are no scared of loans, or not scared of not getting that cushy jobs, they are just scared of failure. I was thinking about getting an MBA to gain that experience, but the fact is that an MBA does not provide you the experience, but just provides you the opportunity to gain multiple experiences and fail differently. The best advice I have gotten till date was from an MBA, and this page seems to be the ideal page to post that. “Don’t take yourself too seriously” Having an MBA does not entitle you to anything, you have to earn it. However, it will add to richness of your life if you are ready to learn from your classmates experiences. How priceless would it be learning from a financial analyst who worked at Bear Sterns and learn about this opinion on the failure. Or how would it be like to talk to someone who works in subprime mortgage and get their ideas to fix the problem.
      If you are confused about if you should do an MBA, just ask yourself this, “are you the kind of person, who will learn from your classmates” They are your real teachers. The quality of an MBA class will determine the quality of your experience and your own receptiveness will determine the quality of learning. Above all else, I completely agree, you need to enjoy what you do. It applies to studies as well to jobs. Sit through 3 MBA classes before making a decision of joining (pick your fav subject), do the regular hw, ask questions, etc.. If after the 3rd class, you look forward to the 4th class, you got your answer and if you feel, it was ok, good learning, but still just ok, my advise would be to skip. Finally to add to Karen’s point, if you do not enjoy it, just don’t do it, because you cannot learn if you do not enjoy it. MBA is not a technical degree which will teach how to code, or how to design buildings, its a perceptive degree, which will give you a business vision, if you enjoy the learning! Also remember most successful people have made the biggest mistakes, so if you are afraid of making a mistake and think that putting $$$ into an MBA is a mistake, you are right, because you are. Your perception will shape your business acumen and if you are mistake averse, you are not going to be successful in business. Get a technical degree and have a safe job like me.

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  45. Just out of curiosity, what do you think of a MBA program for the working professional at a cost of $20,000? Would that have changed your outlook on things?

    • this school in France is ranked pretty high worldwide and it costs 26000 dollars. that’s for students from Southern iIllinois University who participate in the program. I don’tknow the details.

    • Don’t buy a cheap MBA unless you’re already on a decent track. To change careers, or to jumpstart your current career, you need a good school. it doesn’t need to be Ivy League but at least the best regional school.

      A good MBA should pay itself off within 3 years. That’s the ROI you should shoot for.

  46. Hai I happend to go through this blog at a very strange stage of my career…I was really feeling so much frustrated with my current job and the way the corporate crowd was responding to each and everyday crises(I am working in a service industry where every day in and out we deal with clients and their issues)..Everyone trying to protect his job,acting in the most selfish way possible on earth,trying to grab the attention of the top management even when they have not contributed anything for that..All these had made me reach a situation where I had to actually GOOGLE something like this”MBA+3 years corporate experience”…and I landed in this wonderful blog of yours….Read through all the comments and replies…

    At this point of my career ,I am really struck of not knowing where to go …The structure in our country is also so rigid that everyone is behind “relevant experience”…and I fail to understand that during our MBA course we were not being thought how to work in FMCG/BFSI/Retail/manufacturing….As my understanding after completing MBA a person should be able to work in any of the sector of his/her choice.Only bcoz the 1st job after MBA was in retail (only eg:) doesnt mean that he need to continue only in retail….But when we statrt searching for Job change we often come up with this so called”relevenat experience”

    Ok guys this was something which I thought I will also write ….still stuck in my thoughts….

    • Don’t make the mistake of blaming your country or what an MBA is “supposed” to do. Employers don’t want complaints, they want solutions. If your assumptions about success prove to be wrong, it’s up to you to change your assumptions and come up with a new plan. That’s how business is done.

  47. Hello everybody!
    I would like to thank the author of this blog for his honest writing. I a medical doctor and I was thinking of doing an MBA at some stage. The feedback that I found here is very useful.
    It is clear to me that an MBA does not equal wisdom. It is important to get a good education but more important is how theory is put into practice.
    I see poor financial practice and poor customer service across the spectrum in the UK banking system. My wife is a dentist and she makes about £70 k per year (I am a surgeon in training and I make about £50k – diffrent taxation system). She wanted to take out a loan of £10k whilst having £11k in her accounts and had been banking with them for three years. She never went overdraft or out of money. The loan was denied without further explanation given because quote “there are people who play the system”. I asked “My wife is a dentist and she cannot take out10k as a personal loan from you. How can we rely on you to some day credit us to e.g. aquire a dental practice and why should we continue to bank with you?” Answer came (very patronising): “Well, that would be a business loan!”. I do not know if the manager of that bank has an MBA or not, I do not know if the frontline staff working in the bank have any formal business training or not. Ability to pluck figures into a piece of software is something that a 10 yo could do… What I do know is that they denied themselves the oportunity of a strainght forward deal and made themselves look like fools. We both laughed and walked away.
    Again, thank you for this blog. To all the dissapointed MBA grads out there – don’t worry. Big business does not always equal good business! There are plenty of good business oportunities arround. They pay the bill and you are less likely to develop heart disease or divorce from your partner whilst running them :-).

  48. Its great and sad to know that I have many counterparts that actually went through the same delusional I went. You kinda actually took the words right out from my mouth.

    We all learned to get an MBA but never actually learned how to use the MBA for our careers. Got my MBA through an online course and the its been 2 years and all that ideas to change an organization as I did in the thesis is beyond reach. What surprises me though, I actually did kinda well with 3 years working experience but still it was not good enough to get a bump to actually administering some kind of operation.
    Now I am seeing that I actually require focused technical certificates to improve which means I have to go back studying and spending financialy. After 30 years you will think that its time to make money and current theory is enough to learn via experience but you will be wrong. I was dead wrong.

    Thanx for the blog man. Got to vent out a little.
    I dint plan out well the MBA thing and just dove in head on. There are others welcoming their rewards on it so for all you guys wanting to do an MBA. Please go ahead but plan it out well.

    Note: No regrets in doing it personaly. I have become a much more knowledgable, understanding and professional man. Something I wanted to achieved personally. But in career, so far its a load of crap. hehe

    Tip: While you doing you MBA, consider your options.
    Concentration such as Marketings and etc may boost you. Even if you have missed it out, go back and correct it before completing the cert. It is better than hoping you did it after completing the course.
    Talk to you current bosses or even your HRs about the possible bumps you can get upon completing your MBA.

  49. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on
    the video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about,
    why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us
    something informative to read?

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  51. Guys the post and the comments in return of it were very good, intresting and real….they depict the whole life and after-life of an MBA……guys i have done MBA…but i am not doing any job right now….i want to study even more….can anyone pls suggest me as to what all can i study after doing an MBA???

    • PHD in business. Most good universities all over the world will give you a stipend and tuition waiver to get your PHD.

    • ROFLMAO..yes, go do PhD in business. I am also going to do the same! After my MBA from a top tier school from a top tier…err…top country. LOL

  52. Hi. I’m 17. Just completed my gcse’s and I’ve always wanted to take up business in my future days. So i decided to do an MBA. I’d like to ask you if you can assist me or rather give me your opinion on if what I’m doing is right. Plus I have no work experience whatsoever. Do you think I should wait afew more years then apply for B-school? Or I should apply now and Hope I get accepted. I’m still young and I’m thinking probably I’ll have completed my education at the age of 23 and started working. This will allow me to gain more work experience and atleast have some papers to show that I’m educated to a certain level. Just assist me and give me an opinion to what you think. I’m also thinking I’m too young to pursue this but I’m not sure.

  53. 1. I went to school while working full-time. My co-workers who did not continue to work at the same or similar jobs, I continue to move and look for better positions. In the tech field it is not uncommon for people to move every couple of years.
    2.I was lucky in that I took my MBA later in life when I could afford it; no bills here.
    3. Being happy in life is not about what your job is or what you do. It is about your perception of where you are and what you are doing. You can be happy shoveling doo doo. How you feel is a personal choice. So, don’t worry, be happy. Yes, I agree at times it is easier said than done.
    4. Changing careers is scary and is probably the main reason we do not do that when it could be the best thing for us. So, I have continued to specialize in the IT field because I cannot afford to not pay the other bills I have nor the responsibility to my family to provide for them. Kind of a catch-22. I can go for a position where I could be fired the next month or stay where I am and stay in my comfort zone.
    5. My MBA program with the UMUC seemed to do a pretty good job about giving us a lot of tools to use in a C-level position. I have experience managing people and it was interesting to see how what I was doing compared to how things could be better done.
    6. It is a tough fight all the way.
    7. The only thing I’ve seen is “you are over qualified for this job, why did you take it?” Or, “you haven’t had management experience recently, you are not qualified”.
    8. Not sure how they really feel, don’t care I like that I have it even if I am not using it currently.
    9. I’ll admit it.
    10. How about reading, “What color is your parachute”?

  54. I seldom leave a response, but i did a few searching and wound up here Life After the MBA – 10 Things Wish I Knew Before.
    And I actually do have a few questions for you if it’s allright. Could it be simply me or does it look as if like some of these remarks come across like written by brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are posting on other places, I would like to keep up with everything fresh you have to post. Could you list of all of all your social sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  55. The career in my entire life has been working for libraries. I even have a master’s in library science. But I hate my career so much that made me start studying for GMAT and to get admitted into a top ranked evening MBA program. I have to start in fall but now I am having a second thought. Is this MBA, that will definitely sacrifice my time with my toddler worth it? Is it going to get me a new job with a higher pay? Is anybody going to hire an older MBA graduate?(I’ll be 40+ when I graduate) I am very very confused and need a lot of help in making my decision so your article came very handy. Thank you!

    • Evey, you’re in a tough spot. A diverse business career is really the best force multiplier for an MBA. Library work is going to be a drag unless you compensate with some money-focused internships AND a very good MBA. Some online degree isn’t going to get you anywhere, and is a big opportunity cost vs. buckling down and focusing on your current job.

      An MBA isn’t a cure-all. A cheap MBA is nearly always a poor option.

  56. Thank you for this extra-ordinary brave written blog.
    I realise that an MBA can be a statussymbol and a burden.
    Like in many aspects in your life it comes to your own purpose in life. When you don’t have that clear the MBA (or any other kind of tool) is nice to have but leaves you clueless about how and where to use it for.
    An MBA (and that is were your blog is helping me) is nothing more than just a tool in persuing your life’s purpose. For one it is extremely helpfull and for another it is not.
    I think that you have to be very authentic in your needs and be very honoust towards yourself. Was the MBA a statussymbol (of what?), was it the traditional and logical next stept to do? Or was it that served a much higher purpose where it helps you to get you where you wanna be.
    Thanks everybody for having this discussion, because I to have to be very clear to myself…why do I consider doing this, for what purpose to prevend being disapointed and bankrupted for life.

  57. Schools truly are terrible at teaching you how to succeed in the real world. Most real learning is on the job. But its there that you’ll build the skills to do awesome things. So how about just considering it the second half of your MBA. You know the basics. Now its time to apply, and think things through. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from other people’s mistakes, and figure out how to really get ahead: Your way.

    Incidentally, life is often happier if you simplify things, don’t take on too much responsibility. Focus on pursuing things that make you happy (what you achieve is determined by the measures you use to define success)… If happiness is what you want. Achievement and satisfaction, aren’t always the same as happiness.

    • I think i agree with Khurrum, happiness isnt necessarily always measured by what you achieve or what your status in society is viewed as. I think if your aim and purpose similar to most people is to be “happy” – then you need to specifically define what that means to you and go for that.

      I am on the approach to an MBA – thankfully i have a full scholarship to take me through it, however it isnt a very reputed school and its in a very different part of the world. Yet before i evenstep into class i cant help but think what will happen after you finish and will i hate my job after i finish up?

      • Go…..I am getting my MBA from an unknown school. In spite of this it is opening up a whole new world view for me. This world view is not being imposed on me by the program. It is happening because I am letting it happen to me.


  58. I just graduated with MBA from one of the top 25 in US this spring. I am less than a month into my post MBA high paying job which I have come to realize is not my perfect job. I am already feeling dizzy given the amount of other opportunities (number of open doors, as OP said) that I can pursue.

    As the OP mentioned, this can be stressful. I would any day take this stress knowing that your skills are in demand. I feel that no job is perfect unless you start your own company. Even then your job can take a path you don’t desire when you have to answer to your VCs initially, then to your investors.

    So, as an MBA grad I am going to be happy knowing that my skills are in demand and when I get tired of my current job, I am sure I will switch/start my company. I am going to be happy and thankful that I have an MBA.

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  61. Hi,

    May be I am not the right person to reach you as I am not an MBA.
    However I am an MBA aspirant.This blog has definitely made me ponder if I am also falling for this mad race.I have an experience in IT for four years and due to some reason I have to leave my job.I want to do an MBA to bring myself back into the system.However everything is so confusing for me as I still don’t know if I am following the right path.Any suggestion will be a great help.


  62. Great Azella…

    I am currently doing my MBA however, part-time. The decision for me was fairly easy as I realized in the Tech world if you are looking to managed an MBA is very important. An MBA by itself is not powerful as there are 1000s of people with MBA but what your undergrad degree is and where you are looking to go. I currently have an Engineering degree and an MBA is basically a must if wanting to move up in management.

  63. Luckily I did my Master’s in London and didn’t acquire too much debt as it was A LOT cheaper than what my friends in the US paid for theirs. Mine was in International Business and after relocating to the US right after completion, I have yet to find any job in my field. I’ve applied to the UN, World Bank, British Embassy etc – any global organization and have gotten zero feedback.

    Although I may have the qualifications on a certificate, I lack the actual work experience in the fields that I’ve applied to. I’ve even applied for entry level International Marketing positions and gotten no replies. I would admit that doing a Master’s has helped me in personal growth, learning myself as an individual and self-empowerment along with the ability to think a lot more critically, however the current job that I’m in is no way along the lines of what I studied. Keep pushing!!!

    • I am getting my MBA online and would choose this over an “in-person” program any day.

      No traffic, no driving, no having the prof go off on tangents as it is already on video. Online interaction with my peers is significant and meaningful and bonding.
      Keep in mind I am the old entrepreneur going to a “no -name” school. Thing is all the texts are written by AACSB profs at AACSB schools and they lectures are too. And the price is half of what it would be at an AACSB school.

      My attitude is -get the MBA and add a certificate with some hot skill in it and you have it made.

    • YES. Online MBAs do not carry the same cachet as in-class MBAs. Half the value of a top MBA lies in the gnarly-roots conversations you have with other skilled people in your class. You can’t meet the head of global ops for IBM online and have coffee with him afterwards. You can’t suffer through finance classes with the future VP of HR for Target. Finally, the placement for online degrees is a joke. A top regional MBA should offer multiple career events during recruitment season. A top regional MBA will get you face-to-face with recruiters from the best companies in your region. Online MBAs try… but just can’t match in-person MBAs. Just like in business.

  64. Reading all of these stories make me wonder myself as well. I currently just embarked upon my MBA journey and as I am going through it, I feel as though I am somewhat lost and do not know what to do. The expectations coming from my family and peers are the only things keeping me going right now. The biggest concern is the student debt compounding. Getting into the MBA program of your choice is amazing but when in it, I do not know about everyone else, but its very stressful and frustrating to think what the next step is in life. Loved the posts! Very inspirational!

  65. Terrific article. In particular, point number 4 was spot-on. Here is where getting my MBA full-time wrecked my career:

    I quit my job at AT&T to do the MBA full time. Two-years later, I am finding that:
    A) Unless you went to a top 50 B-school, the MBA has little value.
    B) being unemployed for 2 years (to get the MBA) has stopped my career COLD.
    C) Colleagues that I knew at AT&T, that have stayed there, have moved on to better positions, while I am having to look for entry-level positions in my same career field, for less pay than before!

  66. Hi all..Harvard,Stanford,IIMA,ISB….list goes on…..Opinions ,views suggestions mentoring sessions…all mushroomed …from all spheres…
    1.Common notion :Getting one of the Big Big B-school does guarantees any personal well being or grooming of better individual in any respect.
    2.Why people drove away with B school tags.fat 6 digit salaries.
    3.Mastering in business administration: yes we do master..:)but in how to arrive at solution :saying a famous quote:
    If you are not a part of problem,then you should be part of solution: oh well..my instinct says..to be a part of solution ,you should definitely be part of problem..:)
    I really didn’t understand:

  67. It has been a year since I graduated from Johnson at Cornell. I spent two years at B School learning from my choice of actions, and a year reflecting on my learning and experiences, and this is what I wish I’d known about getting an MBA before I applied to B school.
    1 – You really need to follow your heart, instead of following people that ‘look like’ they know what they are doing – they may be good at faking it because they master the concept of ‘fake it until you make it.’ Know what you want and know who you are, and carve out the type of experience you want – it is your life and you need to do this for yourself.
    2 – Money will come. You can make money in all kinds of industries. Banking and consulting are there so you can have some quick wins, but you can make money in all kinds of industries. You just need to be good at it. You have to go deep in your field.
    3 – You may not need it. I did not need to go to b-school to have my current job, but I am sure the b-school experience helps me exceed at my current job – I manage a team of 7 people and I spend half of my day at meetings. Managing my current team is a lot easier after I worked with a bunch of type-A students at a top business school for two years.
    4 – B-school goes by really fast, and you need to enjoy yourself. Life goes by really fast, and you need to learn how to give even when you don’t have much to give – it’s your only way to leave something good behind you. If you want to know what you should give, the answer is simple: time and caring.
    5 – Do not only interact with people who are good at faking it (who look like they have their stuff together). Be natural, and interact with everyone that is ready / willing to interact with you. Explore your network, and do not follow the crowd – it’s usually led by a group of people who are good at faking it, and followed by a group of people who are not good at faking it.
    6 – Do not let money change/expose you. Too many people change their character after they get an internship offer or a full time offer. Too many people change the way they interact with others and the way they carry themselves after they came back from summer internship with 3 month worth of MBA salary. These people do not realize that they are only exposing their true character after they make some money. They also exposed the fact that they never had money – if you had money, then the three month worth of MBA pay shouldn’t be able to change who you are or how you treat people.
    7 – Help your classmates when they need your help. A lot of people do not have time for people who need help – they only have time for people who can help them. You never know who will become who in 5 years. So don’t judge too quickly. And you will never know how far your good deeds can go down the road as one pays it forward. This is your legacy. This is our legacy, as a species.
    8 – There is no perfect job. Not even your own start-up company (this is too rare to be true since most startup companies stop caring about changing the world once they focus on their exist strategy). If your hobby becomes your actual job, you will not love your hobby as much. Just realize that work is called “work,” and it is not “play,” or “fun.” Of course you can have fun with your work, but that is always a choice of perception. Spend time outside of work on something you are passionate about. Do it for free, and look for deeper meaning in the activities you do. Sometimes these activities can be more rewarding than your actual work. One of my greatest accomplishments after business school was becoming a sparring partner for a Bellator MMA fighter who had a title shot for world championship – so yes, my job was to mimic the world champion during the sparring sessions.
    9 – Do not worry about job hunting as much as you think you should. You worked before. You were able to get jobs before. Remember? Focus on creating an experience that you will keep for the rest of your life. You will get a job, inevitably. It will come to you even if you don’t want a job. So don’t worry about it. Don’t back stab your classmate over it. Don’t hate others who get it before you do. Don’t put others down just because they haven’t gotten it yet. And definitely, reach out to those that need your help. Be there for them. That is why you are here.
    10 – Think about the long run. People are shortsighted in business school and everyone wants quick wins. Realize that at a top business school, you are interacting with potential leaders of tomorrow’s world. What are the kinds of impacts you want to leave behind? What are the kinds of influences you wish to see among your peers? Be that change you want to see in the world, because your classmates will be influenced by you, and they will go out and influence their employees and workers too.

  68. So amusing to see everyone try to justify their “MBA” here, whereas the truth is that all you suckers got conned. Learn to accept the truth and move on.

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  70. A very good morning to everybody. Well after going through each of the above posts, I realize that the need of an mba differ from person to person. Say if a person is not financially sound, he or she may take up mba just to earn money. I don’t think that type of person will care much about job satisfaction or stress.
    However most of the people who have done mba from reputed institutes keep on telling that job is not satisfactory and all. But according to me, those mba grads are way at better position than persons earning peanuts as a salary. This is ground reality I am talking about.

    Most of the people including me see MBA graduate as a person with fat pay package, neatly dressed and with high social status. Even I have been planing to do MBA from a good institute but the question keeps tickling me in the back of my mind,”IS MBA RIGHT THING FOR ME?”.

    I am currently working as a software engineer but not happy with my job. The salary is not good and also I am also not satisfied with the work I do there. But before entering into this industry I was pretty excited that I would be successful like others But luck came in my way, threw unexpected hurdles for me to struggle with. Now like everyone else in IT industry I am considering MBA as only hope or I would say escape.

    If anyone can put more light on my scenario, your opinions are most welcomed.

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  72. I can relate to what you have said in the article even though I am at a stage where I have to decide between finance and marketing majors, to decide what stream of career I wish to join, (which is extremely confusing in itself!). But then again, people doing their MBAs mainly do for a kick -start or a boost in their careers and not for defining what jobs they will do and how they will perform the tasks they are handed. MBAs are generalists at best I guess, but even this assumption falls somewhat flat beacuse of the compulsory choice you have to make between the different electives you are provided. A messy affair indeed.

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  74. No time like the present?
    This is a very pointed and concise view of your experience and thus a good read.
    My grade 11 child has already figured this out from seeing life with a finance father and artist mother. He will become neither. That sharp knowledge you’ve acquired clearly isn’t lost. With a hand in business and a head in reality (rare), it’s certain you can go far. Life skills are not always a finely honed quality in business grads. Now turn that out into consulting grads on how to apply an MBA to get ahead of the competetion and what they can do in the program that will give them the edge within the sea of different shark, same waters and you probably have a money maker.
    Win win, not even gets into MBA school or a great one. Change people’s minds about what it can do for others not just yourself. You’re going places, just different than the average peer.

  75. Right here is the right blog for everyone who would like to find out about this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic which has been discussed for ages. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!

  76. Pingback: Life After MBA | Indian MBA Blog and Views

  77. Frnds I don’t know who u all r but after looking all ur thoughts …. I want I say something first thing I respect u all …. U all have seen what truth is very closely …. I to have done something like that I have done diploma in mechanical and job in robot Bosch in India but they removed me from the company withen 7 days because of the way I was working … And came back to my home town and there was no job so I worked for a small company for just 2k per month I worked there for 6 months every one started telling me why r u doing all this things and good day came I started my own industrie investing around 20 laks …. For a year it ran smoothly I was earning 2 laks per year and thought ill improve …. But some other things were Weating for me ie loss due to market prob I lost everything but learnt many things but started thinking to close my factory but the question was how to recover my investment I never slept in night I have a huge lone on my shoulder and all my dores were closed due to down market and no work in industrie … No one took my machines for sale …. But I had a deep faith and hope I started connecting brokers to sell my machines … & ans was no no no from everywhere & I thought of trying till my death .. & one day came I sold all my machines for 18 laks … But took me 5 long months to this …. I cleared my Lon’s my frnds and people who know me closely told me ur a boy of 23 started a factory and u faced huge prob but u solved all ur prob this is what faith & hope is u will come up in ur life …. Then I did bcom while doing bcom I worked for a call center (bpo) and started investing money my frnds told u have some talent use it but take a master digre in MBA finance and then do all this things or any compney will give a job and now I am doing MBA in finance and doing in India not in best school but its ok …. Now am in first year …. Guys what do u say is this a good selection ….. I have a dream that once in life time I want to work at least for a year in a foreign compny I don’t know what should I do for that frnds I need ur sugession for that …( But if I have a dream I have to protect it am hoping for best) thanku lookin for ur reapply ……….. All the best to all & good bless all

  78. Interesting thoughts about getting an MBA. You would think that a Harvard MBA would be a ticket to a great job but maybe it isn’t so simple anymore. I find from my experience that too much theory can really hold us back as it overloads us with choices and information, whereas the ability to act quickly with limited information and learn from doing becomes much more practically important on the job.

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  80. hi folks!! if any one really want to start a business ,listen carefullly dont do “mba”.
    1)it will teach u fears .because we learn about the past victories and methods not future. we will confine to a particular point.
    2)if u want to become good positions in corporate do mba it will give you whatever u want.
    moreover i always fell my 18 years education taught me nothing except mug up.so iam afraid when i read in mba and get to mug up .ill hate business for sure.
    so iam not doing mba. byeee 🙂

  81. Hola Folks,

    Just happened to come across this article. I am currently pursuing my MBA from one of the top B-Schools of the country. Gearing up to face job interviews, browsing through countless websites and trying to memorize random facts that I think would impress my interviewer etc etc and all this for a job I couldn’t care less about. This is the value I have derived from my MBA till now. A few days back, I sat down and asked myself the holy grail of all questions – “What do I really want to do ? ” Pat came the reply-I’d be more than happy to be associated with Football (Soccer If you are confused) in some way or the other. Marketing, Analytics, Finance anything at all to do with football and I suppose I’d be more than happy. What, then, is the problem you may ask. Well, its a bit of a risky proposition. I applied online, more on impulse than with any conviction. That is when it really hit me – An MBA has made me risk averse. With all the loans, the expectations and the surroundings, I know I will never be able to risk it all for the one thing I want and love.

    To the author – Thanks for the article. It was a brilliant read

  82. It’s sad that people are reading this pointless column and taking it to heart. An MBA is like anything else- if you’re smart, hard-working, and motivated, you’ll make it work for you, both within the program and when you graduate. You’ll improve your work life and make more money and easily pay off your student loans. If you’re not, you won’t. If you, like the writer, expect the MBA to magically change your life and career, you too will end up disappointed and writing a depressing, unnecessary blog that discourages smart, motivated individuals from pursuing the MBA and succeeding where the writer has clearly failed.

    • Very well said, I am currently a few months away from graduating B-school, just a special program at UT Austin called MSTC which has some overlap with MBA. I’ve had many conversations with successful people and friends that know me well in my soul searching for the next step (which is scary as hell but a necessary step to driving positive change/growth).

      A couple of words of wisdom that have stuck:

      – happiness is the difference between expectations and reality (hint: try to minimize the difference)

      – B-School (especially to someone who has had a technical focus for 15+ years), opens your eyes to all of the possibilities for careers, it does not lock you into anything (it can be applied to almost anything with the right mindset)

      -the connections and networking are equally as valuable to the actual coursework (use them to help spread your wings)

      – Unless you are getting an MBA from a top school (pedigree) don’t expect our inbox filled with opportunities based solely on our degree, and if you get them based on the status associated with the degree, be very careful, the job could be setup to run you into the ground.

      -For me, it was a great confidence builder because it help me see skills that I did not realize I had because others in the program lacked them and asked for my guidance in areas.

      -When you are done remember the world is literally your playground, find a way to play that satisfies your growth goals and monetary needs (see 1st bullet), don’t expect anyone to hand you anything in today’s cut throat business world.

      -Lastly, this is something that a good friend asked me before I started the program, and I kind of blew it off, but I strongly encourage you to put together a detailed list of what you expect to get from the program before you start, so that you can seek those opportunities to create the growth you are seeking, its unreasonable to expect an institution to guess what this is for every individual…as mentioned in a previous post, you can direct conversations to areas of your interest and learn from your peers often more than your profs.

      -Also, it sounds cheesy, but have fun, its a chance of a lifetime to experience something different and enlightening.

      As a wrap-up, I would also encourage at least 5 years real world business or working experience, otherwise you will have no appreciation for what you don’t know…

      I wish everyone the best, and hopefully these insights provide a few positive aspects of a B-degree otherwise overlooked by the negative tone overriding the conversation.

      If your a money focused person, do a little research on lifetime earnings for high school grads, compared to college grads, compared to someone with a masters degree…the averages are significantly in your favor, yet at the same time don’t expect immediate gratification (again, see 1st bullet).

      Bryan Jones
      UT Austin – MSTC 2014

  83. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
    I am sitting at my desk on a Saturday afternoon having finished my MBA in 2009, I am still in the same job, doing the same things.
    The MBA has left me feeling worthless and with no confidence in myself as I thought the motivation I had and the accolades and success I had in the MBA would translate into the rest of my life and I would be in a high paying job doing what I want.
    I see my friends earning $200k + and doing what they love and I feel like a loser as I am still earning $60k but making my boss rich.
    I have applied for over 380 jobs but only had about 5 interviews. I get nervous as I feel like a fake now. I am burnt out as I have been in my job for almost 20 years, have about a week off a year and work 7 days a week most weeks.
    The MBA was sold to me as the answer to my problems. I went to a top ranked MBA school but I feel lie it was a waste of time and money. I did make some great friends.
    I think in the city where I live, an MBA isn’t really understood as to what it is and those doing the hiring don’t want to hire someone who they think is more qualified than them. I am at a loss as to what to do.
    I hope others get through their issues and an MBA benefits them in the longrun.

  84. Really comforting to read all of these comments (in the sickest sort of way), since I’ve just graduated with the MBA and felt alone in the madness of self inflicted pressure and unbelievable family expectation. I was lucky though; I won a scholarship (full fees), so I don’t have crazy American-level debt.
    The question I keep asking myself is: ‘what the hell am I going to do now…’
    As per the other posts, no (real) skills, pretty good at BS, looks good in a suit 🙁

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  86. Hi Aperryman,

    My B school is nowehere in your leage but still it is one of the top b-schools in India. The line that really struck the chord was the part knowing what to and actually being able to do it. I don;t have a humongous loan, so thankfully I don;t have to think too much in case I want to leave my job. But the thing is despite being a B School graduate, things are really scary. Taking a call on something is important but the credit is rarely given.
    One still has to work one’s way up the ladder. While I think of my friends, my passion is writing about soccer and soccer caoching. I should have pursued that with a less stressful job than doing what I am doing right now. Thank you for showing that these doubts exist for people other than us “lesser mortals”

    • I am going to start my MBA this fall and am also very passionate about soccer, VERY! I have dreamed of a job in it forever but I have realized, through a past job in another massive passion of mine, that when you work in your passion it stops being your passion. Perhaps the answer for you is to coach soccer on the side and find a job that gives you the free time to do it? I am certainly thinking of doing that now.

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  88. i am in my final year of my MBA and it seems as if i am just sitting here wondering weather it will be all worth it in the end. everyday i feel as if i could be spending my time doing something else, but i know i cant get anywhere good in life without higher education. just like the million students across the nation, i honestly dont know what i want to do with this degree, but i know what kind of life i wanna live. i have the ambition to fight and move my self in the right direction but how do i know which direction is the right one. these blog entries are awesome because i am trying to prepare myself for the crapshoot of a life that comes after b-school and knowing what others in my position have been through and still going through makes the glass seem pretty full.

    • Dear

      Stephen well noted recently done my MBA till i don’t no what should i do with my Degree . i know what are things should be important in life but i cant under stand what will do after my MBA please give me a suggestion


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  90. If you can highlight what are the feelings and conditions of people who choose being self-employed after an MBA.. who become an entreprenur

  91. I am almost done with an MBA in finance from an online, for-profit university. My undergrad was in psychology from a state school, so I couldn’t get letters of recommendation from my professors regarding business classes, and would have done poorly on the GMAT. Additionally, I work full-time (3 years of social work, 1 year of retail mgmt, 2 years as a personal banker). That being said, I am concerned that my non-AACSB accredited MBA will be useless, especially after hearing that lots of you with top 10 MBAs are struggling. I understand the gist of the article, but would still like a pretty substantial salary to pay off debt. Your suggestions are appreciated! 🙂

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  94. Interesting read. I’m currently doing an MBA right now. I did a BA in Music for my undergrad. I had intended on doing Music Education but in my last semester, student teaching, I found out that I hated it and failed the semester. I thought for a while about what to do with my life, and somehow discovered that I was really into aviation (I don’t really remember where that idea came from). Then, I found an MBA program in Aviation Management close to where my girlfriend lived and decided to move down there, do the MBA program and completely dive into a new career path. I think the fact that I feel so sure that Aviation is what I want to do now, after seeing how much more I’m enjoying learning about it than I did with music ed, has helped me get rid of those feelings of “I don’t know what I’m doing with my life” and “everyone else is getting jobs and I’m still in school”. I got a part-time job working in aviation, and I do my grad classes in addition to that. I have immersed myself in learning about this new career path, and set myself up with work experience in the field to hopefully help me get a full-time job once I graduate. Having a solid goal of what I want to do with my MBA degree has definitely helped me. I know it’s not an easy thing to figure out, but fortunately for me, the answer came, and it feels great!

  95. Great article! I’m currently a Junior in undergrad, planning to go for a dual degree (MBA/MPH) right after. What do you think the negatives would be of doing this instead of waiting a couple more years? Does the ranking of a b school really matter then?

  96. Hi,

    I would like to comment here because I have noticed a large congregation of people with or contemplating MBA’s and have a question of my own!

    Ok so, I am relatively new to this, I am 18 and will be starting an undergraduate business bachelor’s degree in Melbourne, Australia.

    -Please realise I don’t claim to know much of what I am talking about yet!-

    But I want to know how the process of getting into an Ivy League University for an MBA goes?

    Is it that I must complete my degree with a great GPA, then sit all these tests really well and knock up a good resume and essay?

    Or am I supposed to work in industry before I attempt to apply for the Ivy League university?

    Would a few of you business enthusiasts be able to help me create some sort of timeline?

    Thank you a ton, one again sorry for any offence my ignorance has caused!

    • Ensure that your GPA is at the very minimum 5.5 on a 7 point scale (assuming you are Aussie I think this is still the scale) in your undergrad.

      Seek out leadership opportunities at your University in extra curricular activities and clubs. Start volunteering in a community organisation.

      Ensure that your first role leaving University is with a global, well recognised brand name, no matter what role you choose to go into.

      If you do those things, you will put yourself in a very good position for getting into an Ivy league.

      My advise would also be to use linkedin to search profiles of people in the types of roles that you want to be in. I wish I had this when I was at University. Search for the MBA program you want to attend and look at the career of the person and how that has led up to it.

      You should be doing the first three things regardless of the MBA.

  97. I never imagined anyone to be as honest as you have been in this post of yours about what an MBA extracts as price/fee for the improved employment (read ‘enslavement’) opportunities it provides to a candidate.

    I finished my MBA in 2012. It’s been 1.5 years of apprehension, indecision and watching my non-MBA friends become ‘skilled’ assets. Some of them good enough to have their own businesses, etc. I’ll admit, I am not ambitious like them. I just want to be happy with whatever I do and to make just enough to live by comfortably.

    I am now in the same boat as you – hoping to quit my job in favor of something that brings me happiness, but perpetually stuck in fear that no one would want to hire a charlatan with a degree for anything I considered meaningful.

    I could really use a change but I have no idea how.

    Anyway, thanks for the post. I feel a bit better to know that I am not the only one feeling lost.

    • Hey,

      i know this is slightly off topic, but as i’ve posted above, I would love to hear the education process for getting an MBA, I live in Australia and I’m not sure how your system works!

      Thanks Dylan 🙂

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  99. To be honest the information on this blog left me extremely confused!
    I wouldn’t have much to contribute regarding this topic either as I’m only 20 years old and in my final year of college(actually stumbled upon this blog while researching on Gmat scores and other mba related stuff). I’m really grateful I came across this information though,and I would love to get some help regarding my situation(now that this blog made me think twice about my future).
    I’m African and I attend an American University here in Africa. I’m due to graduate in fall 2014 with honors in information systems management plus i speak 2 international languages ontop of that. My English is preety decent too considering it’s not my first language. My sisters(who live and work in US) think getting an mba after graduation would be the best option for me as I would qualify for a scholarship under the ” people from developing countries ” category. The downside is I hardly have any relevant work experience.
    so yeah, that’s basically my life story.
    Please advice me.

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  102. i guess its a lot to do about the mismatch between reality and expectations. one should not join a course just thinking about the money one can make once it is done. however , i guess its common to feel low after an mba since they teach you how to think like a CEO and then you just get the role of just another brick in someone else’s wall. MBA education does give you a holistic perspective which could be used , but the reality is that such a holistic view is not really needed for most problems that the jobs ask you to solve at the entry levels after mba.

  103. Well this blog just completely killed my mood! I’m two semesters out from my MBA, will graduate with a 4.0 or close to it and see no light at the end of the tunnel i’ve been in for 10 years. I started the MBA to get a leg up on people competing for the same jobs as me, but when I search for jobs I am interested in, I still need 7-8 years of industry experience PLUS an MBA. What’s the point? I didn’t take out $60k in loans to start at the bottom! I know I have to start somewhere, but I was hoping for at least the middle. I can’t get a management job because I don’t have management experience. I can’t get a marketing job because I don’t have marketing experience. When the hell does my education and work experience make a difference to anyone? I should have joined a utility company out of high school. My friend makes $200k a year changing light bulbs on street lights. His job isn’t fulfilling, but he can retire earlier than most and does pretty much what he wants on his free time. Unless you are going to be a doctor or lawyer, advanced education these days seems like a load of crap.

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  106. I majored in advertising/pr; but my degree says Journalism & Mass Communications.
    I thought I would work for 2-4 years and go get my MBA and live the good life.

    I got out of school into a corporate job and sunk into a downward spiral. Why was I not happy? I ran a $2 million non-profit in college for God’s sakes!

    Then I came to a startling realization when I heard this quote: business should be used as a tool to aid/foster your passion. If you look at some of the biggest business people with empires they started with a passion first (i.e. Oprah, Martha Stewart, Ryan Seacrist. They all had some sort of craft).

    I am now looking to switch into Journalism or Teaching.

    Try reading Po Bonson’s book: What Should I Do With My Life? It really helps you realize inward/outward careers.

  107. I found this post because I google searched “I’m 31 years old with an MBA and want to change careers”. I wish I had read this before getting my MBA in March 2011, because it’s very accurate. I was looking to do something different and thought the MBA would be a stepping stone into anything, and the school told me it would, but it absolutely wasn’t.

    Now I’m looking at 2 year associate degree programs in career fields I’m really interested in because they’re the only thing I could afford.

    I must have been the only person blissfully unaware of out of place I was in the MBA program, because I was voted “Most likely to leave the business work in pursuit of happiness” in our program-end mock elections. 🙂

  108. A very honest post about life after MBA. I really enjoyed reading this and find myself nodding in agreement with a lot of what you wrote here.

    I’m a MBA grad from Fall 2013 and until now, I am still unsure of what I want to do, post-MBA. Never mind that prior to MBA, I was already rather discontented with my job and thought by completing a MBA program, it would shed some clarity for me. It didn’t. In fact, it creates more confusion for me.

    Having said that, I did find my MBA program to be a life-changing year for me and I can’t say I completely regretted it. But I definitely wished I knew more about life after MBA, BEFORE I got into it.

    A lot of my fellow classmates have got into jobs and I must honestly say that adds certain pressure for me to just find a job and work like everyone else. BUT I don’t want to do that. It’s hard to stand against the crowd or the social pressures that comes from having a MBA degree. Everyone, and I mean, EVERYONE, expects you to be doing something awesome like immediately. And it’s just not what it is.

    And you have said it perfectly in this article. Thanks for writing this on behalf of us graduates who are still wandering what’s next.

    • Well said, totally agree. People do expect you to do amazing things OOTB, but you will need time to build that portfolio.

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  110. You know the whole American educational comple is such a scam- all this debt to slave for mediocrity. I truly envy and am proud of anyone who can beat the system- whether its a black teenager in Jamaica Queens who writes rhymes and makes millions or the guy who loves his hobby so much he revolutionizes it and turns it into a new concept- like the guy who started Mesa Engineering (Mesa Boogie guitar amps). I think we need a revolution and people like you are doing their part to inform people of the colored glasses the press and these cons called colleges are doing to people through social pressure, tuition inflation, and the controlled
    Media. Keep writing.

  111. If you people are doubting the MBA, you are not realizing the purpose of the MBA. It is not to get you a dream job, it is not to get you an insane salary, and it is most certainly not designed to “prepare you to do actual work.” It is however, designed to help you network, and learn how to network, as well as help you learn how to APPROACH new work. Let’s face it, with literally millions of different kinds of jobs, no MBA could realistically “prepare you for actual work,” it just wouldn’t be possible. You will of course learn by doing in your profession, and an MBA will tell the prospective employer that you can stick with a problem, solve it, and solve it well. That is the purpose of an MBA. Additionally, having an MBA generally WILL allow you to move up the corporate/managerial ladder more quickly, and also provides the opportunity of having a higher starting salary. If you didn’t network during your MBA, that’s your fault. If you feel the MBA didn’t prepare you, that’s your fault, do external learning. If you didn’t get a job in your desired field, wait, gain experience, enter later when you are qualified. Your friends at their “kick ass jobs” are kicking ass because (generally speaking) they are in highly competitive positions where they must do better than their peers, who have the very same degree as they do. MBAs, whether you like it or not, are more rare, marketable, and valuable (statistically, that’s not my opinion, no disrespect to BAs whatsoever, but there is a reason MBAs get to management more quickly and generally paid more.) Good luck to all of you, keep learning.

    • MBAs are a dime a dozen. Also, you suggested that those without MBAs are considerably more competitive by nature of their disposition in not having a MBA. Not necessarily true, and I would argue today’s employers are more concerned about what you can do with that MBA or MS/MA than simply having either degree alone.

      MBA programs teach you how to be a leader or manager. MS/MA programs teach you how to be the operator – the backbone of organizations led by those leaders. Simply because one has a MBA, as you pointed out, and rightly so, does mean one is a leader or an effective manager.

      I have a BA in a liberal arts field, MPS in a logistics field, and will be looking at a MBA program in a few years. I am 28 years old. I am a naval officer working in logistics. As a military officer, leading or being an effective manager is your bread and butter. Prior to my decision to leave the service for the corporate sector, I learned a few things: 1. Though I made roughly 90k/yr in the service, I cannot realistically expect to command that same salary out the box. Yes, I have led more than 100 personnel and have had sole accountability of multi-million dollar systems. Big Deal; 2. I would have earned the same salary without the MPS or MA/MS based on my previous employer experience in the relevant field; 3. If I had completed the MBA, I wouldn’t have been offered a job because I would be overqualified on paper – and viewed as a high dollar candidate.

  112. I received my MBA in Fall 2011, but stayed at my current job because they paid for most of it and as a result I had to give them two additional years of service. Now its 2014, and I have been applying for jobs since September 2013. I moved out of my apartment and rented a room so that I am mobile for job opportunities without being restricted by a lease. My student loans are kicking in and consuming almost half of one paycheck. I received a promotion at my job in April but it only came with a 2000 salary bump. Needless to say I am unhappy. I have been trying to transition into the banking industry because I am interested in working with credit risk or aml. The problem is that every single job requires experience that I don’t have because I have spent the last 4.5 years working in higher education. Originally I had my eyes set on Atlanta for relocation, hoping to land a job at Suntrust and since that hasn’t worked out I have opened my relocation to any state that is willing to take me. Still haven’t been offered an interview. I even paid for my resume to be done which was a waste because they only changed one section and I still haven’t gotten any hits. As far as networking, I’ve been doing that as well. I have used linkedin to directly e-mail numerous recruiters, most who never e-mail me back. I have also reached out to mentors, and friends and had my resume passed on to hiring manager directly at companies like SunTrust and McKesson and still nothing. I even opened up to taking a pay-cut that would probably make me more unhappy especially if I have to go somewhere like NY and make less then I’m making in south jersey where the cost of living is 50% cheaper. I guess I wrote on this blog because I am looking for advice. I feel like I wasted my time getting an MBA and cannot afford to go back to school again. My connection at McKesson has a BA (not an MBA) and took a certification program with three MIS classes. Within two months he went from a paramedic to a business analyst, unreal.

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  114. It’s great to see people talking so candidly about the system. For years I have felt that we are graduating way too many people who don’t have a good idea of how they want to contribute…college has become the new high school- and a very expensive one at that.
    I am in my late 30’s and have been working in small business my entire career. I can’t break into a job that will get me the earning potential I need for my family, so I concluded that the only thing left to do was to get an MBA. I am hesitant to take on more debt for my family but have also been lead to believe that no one will allow me to contribute on a higher level without one.

    All my MBA friends support my decision, but I wonder if it isn’t just a status symbol (that is until the next degree comes along and moves the academic standards even higher). Any advice out there? Is it worth it?

  115. You know, the thing that makes me upset about this post is not that you are upset about your student loans or unhappy with your job. I get that, it’s an entirely understandable situation for many other people.

    But not you. You went to Harvard Business School, and you act like you have no options. This shows a lack of individual initiative or creativity that is simply astonishing. It pains me that they turned down so many people who would actually do something worthwhile with that degree and gave it to someone who chooses to complain that Harvard wasn’t worth the tuition money. Really?

    The next time you want to “oh poor me” about your lack of options, I want you to have a good hard think about the nine generally quite qualified people who were passed up to give that spot to you. If you don’t do something better than they would have, you are wasting the gift.

    Don’t have money? Most competent top 25 MBAs could bill at $100-150 per hour as independent consultants, without even thinking about the fact that you actually went to Harvard. And isn’t the starting salary like $120K?

    Unfullfilled? Don’t feel like you’re making a life impact? Go join the board of almost any nonprofit, they’d generally be happy to have you and you might be able to actually do some good in the world. Try Charity:water, they’re a good one. Or hey, just do a fundraiser for them with all your HBS friends. Clean water at $20 per person for the developing world. Sometimes when I’m having a bad day, I think about all the people in africa drinking from the wells I helped build, instead of spending 4 hours hiking to a parasite filled river with a gas can. You know who I feel bad for? Them. You’re just a whining, entitled adcom’s mistake.

    Don’t want to work? Too lazy or burned out?

    Fine. I’m pretty sure that’s really whats going on here. Take about two months pay, quit your job and go to Costa Rica. It’s nice. Eventually, come back and leverage your HBS experience into some mellow job in a chilled out place somewhere in the south, but make sure to apply your knowledge to nonprofits so you aren’t a complete waste of a degree.

    I’d say I hope this helps, but honestly, I don’t think it’s going to make an impact. Even if it did, it sounds like you’re a featherweight and wouldn’t be able to do anything real even if you did decide to stop feeling sorry for yourself and contribute to society. Prove me wrong.

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  120. Hello,

    I’ve currently been working for the US Federal Government for almost 5 years now since attaining my bachelor’s degree and have found myself stuck with a boring job. This comes from the fact that there’s very little room for advancement at my workplace and the work has just gotten dull and repetitive. The pay isn’t bad, but it’s not great either (make $50k a year). I am really considering to apply for an MBA program, nothing top tier, but nothing at the lowest tier…I’m mainly looking for MBA programs costing $20k to $30k after all tuition n fees. I’m not the best student at school also. I came from a family that didn’t really go to college as well, so I’m one of the first siblings to finish college. I’m at best a B student, but a majority of times a C. I always stride for the best but dang are some subjects complicated to fully understand. But I was taught never to be a quitter.

    Right now I’m at a crossroad of wanting to try the private sector as the public has gotten stale…or maybe it’s just the agency I work for. Regardless my ultimate goal is to increase my chances of getting a higher paying job, whether it be in government or in the private sector.

    My question is, how has all your current/post-MBA journey been? I want to increase my earnings potential and my marketability. Right now I’m 28 yrs old, turning 29 and so I want to pursue a path that will lead to long-term financial success…whatever it may be. Money is my motivation as I’ve grew up in poverty all my life. When you start off with nothing, you grow up wanting nicer and nicer things once you have the financial status to support it. Not to mean that I solely just want money and nice things, but I also want to extinguish my family’s trend of being uneducated and not fully utilizing the resources available to us.

    I also live in Minnesota, if that helps with knowing the best job market here and what’s best to pursue.

    Looking forward to hearing about your daily journeys and any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

  121. Here is my advice:

    1) Only go to a top bschool. Otherwise you are wasting your time. (Mine is ranked 14th and I seriously question its worth)
    2) Only go if someone is footing the bill. If you take out loans, be prepared for a miserable post-MBA recurring checking account balance. My student loans are $1,100/month. Two rents basically (and I’m single, which makes it worse).
    3) Get a CFA, CPA, MD or something that actually qualifies you to do something. An MBA is smoke and mirrors.

  122. I am so happy to have come across this post… I have finished my MBA from Melbourne BS (Australia) – yes, the expectations are very high, I have been applying for jobs for months and since I’m changing careers I find myself applying for “Entry level” jobs… that comes with the tag line.. “Why are you applying for this role”… “Wait but you have an MBA”…. “Don’t sell yourself short”… Experience counts more these days. I’m overqualified for entry level jobs and not enough experience for the roles I’m targeting (which mind you are not GM type of roles!) I can’t imagine myself going through another course in order to get the “desired skills or experience for that matter”… wondering what comes next!!!

  123. Alright, I have to admit that the article has its valid points. However, are you guys living in Paradise? Why do you all think that companies will fall on your laps just because you have/are going to/are thinking of getting MBA degree? Stop crying, roll your sleeves and OPEN your own companies! Didn’t you learn how to be creative? Didn’t you learn about financial statements? “Climb the corporate ladder”…. Why not OWN this ladder (quoting Robert Kiyosaki). MBA degree i alike a family – doesn’t guarantee your success. Yes, I am a current MBA student. Yes, my job is not that fancy and I am terribly tired in the classroom after working hours, but I know that I am not going to climb anything, I am going to create my own place under the sun. MBA will be just a tool in my hand. Corporations already filled their important positions with their own people, with people they trust and befriend. Nobody is going to promote us before we spend countless hours faxing/copying/scanning unnecessary paperwork.

  124. Wow. I guess I’m not alone.
    I have more than 20 yrs in IT from functional roles to sr vp mgmt. I’m still fairly young and have another 20-30 yrs maybe working. I felt that if I got the MBA it would give me license to continue up the ladder or change ladders all together. I agree with an earlier post, get the best b-school (Stern, LSE, HEC) you can get into because of the brand equity. Yes, it is expensive as HELL, but it will encourage you to take “massive” action. People who have an issue with the MBA and the price, basically have the idea that they are entitled to success and that they don’t have to earn it. They are idiots. Hard work entitles you. In life, you get what you deserve. The MBA is just consolidated information and knowledge, that can help any hard worker, start climbing a ladder that they wouldn’t have had access to until they reached a level of competence at or near the 10,000 hours line, 10+ years on.

    I’m an American, but I think generationally we’ve lost sight of some basics. Those before us succeeded because of hard work, nothing else. Until my generation gets their pompous and self righteous head out of their own ass, you won’t be able to understand why the MBA works.

    I’m in debt because I chose this path, but I have faith in myself, that I, with God’s divine wisdom, will a create the vision I have seen for my life and that of my family. You have to invest, change, and expect great things in order to move forward.

    If you can’t do that, then yes stay on the porch.

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  126. Yes and no, an MBA is important and a drag. However, learning is a thing of the future. Giving up is a thing of the past. Yes you and I Have debt at an early age… But we already have an MBA. That is fantastic. Yes, I don’t have a grand job yet but I have an MBA out of the way. I can focus on new certifications…. I can focus on my student loans as well. Yes there are multiple people successful with just a high school diploma. Congratulations to them! Not everyone is as lucky as they are. An MBA is just an MBA and it requires the student to present the MBA so it illustrates that they deserve it. With an MBA, your new job is to network more than an undergrad. Yes!!! It’s more work to do. Remember, the next step after an MBA is a doctorate. A doctor works harder in business than we do. Sometimes, they take the PhD off their resume because they have issues getting a job. The title is what causes recruiters fear. Fear for More pay to be given. An MBA, and PhDs are confusing…. But once you have them you have them!!! Regardless, if you are entry or professional, you have acquired something many choose not to get… Then in their 40s, 50s, or 60s, they decide to get it. By then, it’s harder to get there…I don’t see a wrong or right to get an MBA, I see a stepping stone I have already gotten.i pray I find a great job with a good company soon. 😉 I am in two certification programs right now to be a retail analyst and a buyer and seller for a vendor. 😉

  127. Hi, I came across this article as I was searching what Master’s program to enter. I have a BBA in Marketing, but I chose to forego my management position for a math teaching position at the junior high level. I see so many of the comments asking about “purpose” and “meaning” in life. I am from the other side of the coin. I went into teaching thinking I’d make a difference, thinking I’d help students in the classroom and in their lives. I can’t deny that I have reached some through my now 8 years of teaching; however, after 8 years of stress in the public education system and the decline of behavior every generation, I find myself questioning why did I choose “purpose” and “meaning” instead of sticking to my degree. Molding young minds is very fulfilling IF the kids actually GAS what you have to say. Otherwise, I feel like day in and day out, every year, I’m wasting my talents and not even getting paid for it. I started taking cosmetology classes, I started my own online boutique, I do hair/nails here and there on the side. I am having a ball, but my day job still nags me. I am 30 years old and I make maybe 39k a year after taxes. I am a single mom and my salary just isn’t enough. I have been thinking of pursuing an MBA or a few other Master’s options just so I can join the business world again as I have no recent experience to offer on my resume. I understand all of your questioning about purpose, but coming from “purpose” and “meaning”, I’d rather have more money to provide for my son and I and move on from the “purpose” I’m dealing with everyday. I want adult interaction. I want an hour lunch, instead of the 30 minute (not even) lunch I have to scarf my food down. I want to have some disposable income. I want to be able to afford a house and a car for my son and I like my old classmates who are now District or Regional whatevers since we graduated. I feel like I’ve made the wrong choice. And while you guys have the money and complain about fulfillment and purpose in the world, I’m just the opposite. I have had some wonderful purposeful moments with my students that I will never forget, but it’s time I get my sh– together and give my son the opportunities I had growing up and still do because my parents STILL have to help me every now and then because of my lack of extra income past bills. I know I’m late on the convo, but hopefully someone can see this and realize it ain’t all bad in the corporate world from the outside looking in. And it ain’t all good in the meaningful career choices, doing a job that sounds more purposeful and meaningful than it really is lol.

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  129. Hey there!
    I’m Kartik from Mumbai, India and I am 22. I’m doing my MBA from one of India’s top b-schools. I chanced across this article and I agree with every point mentioned here. I am doing my Summer Internship and I’ve learnt some incredible stuff that my MBA had not taught me at all.

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  131. Hi,

    I want to know if the graduation stream matters after MBA while searching jobs ?
    I am perusing my BA Geography and now applying for MBA colleges. Many of my friends told me that graduation stream mater the most if u are doing an MBA, and MBA recruiters will surely approach the guys with Commerce background or with BBA background. I Don’t want to get confused in the said but want to straight ask you if it really matters

    Waiting a positive reply from your side.

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  133. Its been one year and few months since i passed out as a MBA. My MBA specialized in Apparel/Fashion. I was the first one to get placed from campus in a high fashion garment export house, and then after a year i was fed of it and switched to a company that had a better brand name and was more famous but this one deals in home furnishing, and now that i am here, i am thinking of changing as I am the only MBA here and people are expecting me to understand everything and become a pro in 2 days of joining. Thats a lot of pressure.

    I was a content writer before my graduation and now i think if i had continued doing it, I would have been great at it by now. Instead i just have a heavy degree and am overly confused about my career and on top of it, have to worry about my education loan.

    All I am doing is living monotonous life tying to push my financial liabilities down with zero savings, and living a life full of hardships and expectations.

    To all the MBA aspirants “Dont fall for it! Its a trap!”

  134. I am seriously considering getting an MBA and just wrote the GMAT a week ago (under performed, but thats a different story.) I feel like I am considering an MBA because Ive got no idea what else I should be doing. I am 25, nearly 3 years out of university and unemployed. My inner voice is telling me that an MBA is just not for me and is not an easy way out of figuring out what to do with my life, but I truly feel as though I’ve got no other option. Anyway, great post! I will keep reading and hopefully I will find some answers in your posts and comments.

  135. Hi there. I am from India and 22 yrs old. I graduated in engineering wherein my final semester I decided not to do an Mba. Although I took up a job in corporate, I knew that my real passion was entrepreneurship. I had succeded withh a small startup in college nd now I wanted to do something big. So I launched a website with a unique idea in jan 2014. It did not get the response I expected. Or I should say it hasnt yet.

    its hard and painful to run a business. Buti love that pain. My fb is full of friends going to premiere bschools. Sometimes I get demotivated and become jealous of their secured lives. But after realising that I want to make a life and not just a living, I get back.. your post was a boost to my energy.
    I would like to congratulate u to have start thinking abt what u really want to do. As steve jobs said” do what you love, if u havent found it, keep looking, dont settle” Kudos

  136. I’m B.com graduate and absolutely going for mba, but i’m not that rich, who’ve expensive university’s in option.i had limited option with very limited money to invest in mba. i feel i’ve no other option to left. but i don’t know the life after mba bcoz it is a big risk. i know i will regret, if i do mba, but what to do? everyone pursuing mba today. I’m confuse about colleges and institute’s. but guys plz tell me, in north india there is a Lovely professional university, plz tell about this university is good for mba or not? this is a private university..

  137. Hi guys. First let me say that it is wonderful to know that there are other people out there who share the same worries about doing an MBA.

    I’m an arts graduate and i was a journalist for three years. However, after those 3 years, i realized i did not want to pursue journalism as my career. Due to personal and educational reasons, i ended up taking two sabbaticals (one before and one after my second job).

    My dad was suggesting i look at doing an MBA. But looking at my skills and talents (which are more towards Arts) I knew that MBA wouldn’t really help my career. i’m looking at doing corporate communication now. What i am planning to do is first try to work in corporate communications before i look at getting my Masters degree. That way, I will have hands on experience and i will know whether this is the career for me.

    So basically, i would always suggest that if you are interested in a particular field, try seeing if you can get some hands on experience. do an internship in college. work part-time if you have the time. See if the work allows you to use your skills and talents to a great extent.

    Most importantly, ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE WORK? I left journalism because the basic satisfaction i was getting from the job had disappeared. It just became something for me to do every day and i would a get paycheck at the end of the month. For me, that is not a good way to live. we work because we want to feel we are doing something productive, adding our two cents to the pot if you know what I mean.

    So don’t rush to finish your degree just because everyone else is doing it. Find out your strengths and weaknesses. See if you can find a job that allows you to use them. If the job pays well, then that would be fantastic! Once you have got a certain amount of experience, then you can look at getting a Masters degree. That way, you will be sure that “This is what i want to do.”

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  142. Some great posts! Two months from finishing UK MBA. I took the part time 2 year route . As a career changer, the course has left me with more questions than answers, but I see that as a good thing – it has certainly expanded my horizons. I’m quite sure more doors will be open to me
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    Negatives: Keeping all aspects of life going at once.

    No regrets. Felt the fear and did it anyway!

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  144. Well, your blog has certainly made me re-evaluate my idea of an Ivy Leage MBA! I have done my MBA from a local college in Mumbai, (India) by gaining admission through a state-based competitive exam. I always wondered as to why all premier institutes like Wharton, Harvard, Stanford, IIMs, etc. are given so much preference than your average non-Ivy Leage MBA grads. Initially, even I believed that we would be change agents, make a difference in the world and that all it take is your decision-making ability. But once you get a job your perceptions are challenged and you learn that there’s a long way to go ahead. I was therefore, stunned to read that everyone goes through these problems, which are more or less the same once you get out of college. The only exception in my case is that I don’t have any student loans to take care of.

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  146. I must say, your article is very much as my life now stands. I graduated with my MBA in May 2014. My biggest question is – What do I do now? I have all this time, but have no idea what to do with my time. Is there anything worth while to study after MBA. I don’t think studying DBA of PHD will help me much in the corporate environment. I thought of studying something that I like, such as programming or photography but decided it would not be beneficial as I will probably never go into another direction other than what I am doing now (Construction). Although the MBA makes you feel that you are now ready for the world and can do anything, it is actually very hard to make a difference now that the expectation of your peers are higher. I am very glad I did my MBA, but it now makes me feel alone and indecisive over my future (not sure if that makes sense)

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  150. Thanks for sharing so candidly about your experience. I am an MBA student in Oklahoma wrapping up in May (hopefully).

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    Thanks again for sharing!

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  152. Found this article through Google. The fact that this ranks #2 when you type in “I have an MBA now what?”, and the stories that have been written in the comments, leads me to believe that the MBA education is incomplete. I graduated from Georgia State with my MBA in 2010 and started a company. I got an entirely new MBA over the next 4 years – the hard-earned, no-cash-in-checking-at-payroll kind.

    I wish there was a way to prepare MBA students better for what happens after they graduate.

  153. after passing two semester of mba i am very much disappointed . nothing special in this course only investment of bunch of money . waste of time as well. i have to take loan as well. now i am thinking that i have done a mistake. should i continue or quit,because i am aint sure that i will pay the study loan.pls suggest!

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  156. Thank you for your post. I have just completed my MBA and before I walked across the stage I had the same thoughts. I work in healthcare and have always been on the administrative side. I was determine to cross the line and do more. Now, what? I’m prepared technically but emotionally, I’m not seeing myself as moving forward.
    I am scared as hell and really would like to start my own business offering the same services that I do on my job. I hate going to work now because the expectations and pressure I’ve put on myself are ridiculous and I am crashing and burning. My co-workers hate me because management has made a big deal about my graduating. I feel like I can’t make a mistake and if I do….well Its rough right now. I thought I was the only person with and MBA still trying to figure t out.

  157. Hi all,

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  158. I just finished up my MBA, literally like a week ago. Took me 3 1/2 years to do it, while working a full time job as well as lots of overtime. Through out the 3 1/2 years I had 2 kids, and bought a house. It has been a crazy road. Now that it is done, I look back and think to myself – what did I get out of this, and what doors are now open for me? It took away time from my family and other hobbies I could have enjoyed spending that time on. True, I feel more articulate with business terminology and have a better understanding of finance. But I’m no expert in any one thing now. I took several classes that took my knowledge a step further than my undergraduate classes did. But it doesn’t replace experience that others have in the real world. I feel a bit lost because after spending the money on the MBA, I feel like I’m still stuck at the same job I’ve been unhappy at, and there is nothing out there that I can that doesn’t require specific years of experience with a specific skill. It’s not like my job will suddenly give me a big raise for having the MBA. I feel this nagging question repeating in my head over and over: What now?

    • I had exactly the same feelings when I finished my MBA in 2013. The weight of expectation can be too much sometimes- from other people, but much more from yourself!
      Change will occur if you keep the faith- it took me over a year to move on from my loathed past profession (teaching), to management. Not a huge leap, (nor a huge pay check), but forward motion nonetheless. Keeping looking and be positive. You can make a change- I’m living proof!

  159. What are the chances of getting a job in U.K of atleast of 22000 pound after doing a M.B.A from Cardiff Met. Please do reply

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  169. I have stumbled across this blog as I am looking for some insight into other experiences and I am about to start my MBA course. I am currently 28 and have 8 years experience in Big box Store management.

    I have always believed that I would be able to climb the “ladder” without any formal qualifications as I am an incredibly hard worker and ambitious. SO…. yes I am currently on 6 figures, have a team of 25 staff and I am running an extremely profitable business,, BUT.. can I do this same job for the next 20 years???

    I feel that without a further qualification I will continue to be overlooked for all internal and external job openings as I am “just a Store Manager”. I really do not know what area of business I want to pursue. Maybe HR, Marketing, Products etc..

    The dilemma follows.. I know that once I complete my MBA I will STILL be a Store manager. I know that there will be no magical elevator that puts me in a top corporate position with a great salary. Although I do know that if I am serious enough about changing my career path, I will need to be ready for a massive pay cut to then go into the area of business that suits me, as a trainee, and start all over again.

    After reading a lot of negative posts about life after MBA I feel I am ready for this next phase. My beautiful wife and son will support me. its not the money I am after any more , I have realized that its happiness that I am after, and what better way to stay happy then to chase the dream job and not give up till you catch up to it.

    Maybe those 3 letters won’t do any thing for me.. Or maybe they will. Its up to us to do something with the degree, not the employer.



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  171. I don’t see a point in u regretting about the step u have taken, life is always about learning if u say its waste of doing MBA then ya its really waste of schooling also you don’t need to go to school for the knowledge what u have gained over there many famous scientists and artists dint learn from their education. what i want to say is no matter what u study all those can be gained without going to an university. the MBA degree which u hold gives u name in your organisation and helps u climb up positions. EOD its all about the position u earned in society and how you live. please be positive and stop worrying 🙂

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  174. Wow. Your post was truly a glimpse into the future that could be mine someday. So i’ve just finished my bachelors in engineering in Information Technology(IT). And all through college i remember not knowing what to do with my life or what career path to get into. After college it just happened i landed a job in Amazon, in their retail department. I still wonder whether to go back into the IT field because its now or never.
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  177. Really clear and real post! A must read for anyone pursuing to do an MBA.
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  179. So I have read what you said, and I think you missed the point of the MBA program. While teaching one time for a community college, I had a student come in and say he was there to learn how to become a computer repair person. The class I was teaching was about computer hardware. He thought he was going to take this class and walk out ready to open his own company. I worked in Information Technology for a big bank for about 20 years prior to getting my bachelors in IT. I got the degree from University of Phoenix which is clearly not an application school but is a school designed around management. One of the people in my class was thinking not knowing anything about IT was going to just come out of this and get herself a job in IT and be an IT manager. I kept trying to tell her that she needed fundamentals and hands on training prior to trying to be a manager but she didn’t get it so by-gons. The point here, is the MBA is about the theatrical. It is about learning how to think yourself out of the box and to think outside of the box. At least the good ones are. I don’t consider myself a lifelong student as I only have one more to go, but I have the BOS in IT, MBA, Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology, and the Masters in Accounting, I am going to top it off with the DBA. Why? I want to teach among other things. Do I need all of that to teach? Nope, however, to teach masters level classes you do need the Doctorate. Anyone reading this, if you thought you were going to take the MBA program and walk out with a better job, you missed the point. The degrees are what you make out of them. If you didn’t have anything going in, you certainly would not come out with anything. I have said all along, that going into college right out of high school is a terrible mistake of unbelievable proportions. While you can do it, most people are not mature enough to do it. Meaning, the priorities are not in place to take it seriously enough for it to mean anything useful. You need several years of real working experience and then when you decide what you want to do, the money you are spending will be meaningful enough for you to take it seriously and you will get a better understanding of what you are doing in school with the experience behind you. I did not get my MBA until I had lost a million in a business venture. Would the MBA have helped me to not lose the money? NO. But, what it would have done was and what it did do, what help me to look critically at everything in a different light and that would have made all the difference in the world, and the reason behind the forthcoming book on business.

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  181. I am SCARED. I got my PHD almost two decades ago, and I went to B-School (just graduated) to add SOMETHING to my resume. I have always wanted to have and MBA, it seemed to like the MOST AMERICAN degree you can have–BTW, I was born in a “poor” country. Now that I am PhD and MBA, I just lost my job and I am SCARED. I wonder if I REALLY REALLY wont to work in finance or management. I am a story teller, I love COM stuffs, but now I am in the middle of nowhere: MBA recruiters see me as a COM guy and COM people see me as an MBA Grad who is on his way to ” a job with numbers.” I wonder where I go from here.

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  184. B-school is an oxymoron: If B-school teachers knew what it takes to be succesful in business then they all would be well off people(which is not the case). All they can do presumably is help you to find a better job (which in most cases does not happen at all). My contention is the following: Get a serious degree in some exact science related field (maths, engineering, physics etc) and learn foreign languages (preferrably Mandarin Chinese included) and start working in business.

  185. Hi All, like the others, I stumbled upon this page. So I have just filled out my MBA application to set course on a long 2 year journey. (waiting for an admission letter, which I don’t think will be an issue). I have a B.S in Computer Science been working in IT for the past 10 years and making over 100K. Now my question is, how will it really help me by getting a MBA in Information Systems or what have you. I would like positive comments and def not negative ones. I just need a different perspective and want to see things differently. Where can I go from here? Your replies will be helpful!


  186. Ok. I’ve decided to do an MBA too. Unlike most of you, I will be funding this myself from my and my wife’s savings (using 14% of our current savings). I certainly will not be taking a loan. No Ivy League MBAs either and I will not be giving up my job. I’ve opted for an online program from a Triple accredited institution with regular residential schools i.e. face to face interactions. I currently work in oil & gas as a technical professional, earn a decent salary and I’m passionate about the work I do. With kids to care for, there is no way I will be giving up work to do an EMBA. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    I do not expect an MBA to change my life. Neither do I expect to change careers on completion of my MBA. I simply want to learn about how corporations are managed and business in general. I opted for an MBA because I wanted to learn something new. Prior to this, I had been busy on edX following courses that were remarkable.

    I know an MBA will be tough and challenging but I’m looking forward to it. I also hope to meet some exciting people, though with an online program, there’s less interaction than in the traditional campus-based program. However, at my age (38) an online program fits my lifestyle better. I decided to wait till I could comfortably fund an MBA to do it. I could pretty much have written GMAT and gone for an Ivy League MBA in my early 30s but having graduated with a PhD in my late 20s , I felt it was best to gain some experience in the real world.

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    Six years on after B-school, I am at cross roads. I feel that I have done my fair bit of marketing and sales. I look to other careers such as consulting my batch mates are into. But I shudder at the thought of restarting the whole process. Hell, I have even considered doing another MBA!

    Most of the thoughts I read seemed to resonate with me. For the Indians reading this, the IIMs are wonderful institutions. I owe my career till date to my alma mater.
    However, being fresh from an engineering school, I was perhaps not as mature as an MBA aspirant perhaps needed to be. Hence the 10 points make sense.

  189. For some of us, getting an MBA has to happen in order for us to make the career change. My undergrad was in education and I even taught for a few years. However, when I wanted to go into industry, even at an entry level, management trainee kind of thing, I was unable to do so because of education undergrad. So for me, the MBA has been different. I am sorry that your experience has been bad, and for the most part my is a bit blah, but it is the only game in town and that is what you have to do sometimes

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    that service? Thank you!

  191. Hi,
    I graduated in MBA from a Suisse school. I learned a lot in accounting and nonesense in banking , etc…I think what I learned in school didn’t help me in getting job, neither in Switzerland nor in Iran, my country. Nobody care that I hold an MBA. They ask me about my experience, skills and talents…and in fact theses three are more practical than having MBA. I’m in doubt that maybe my school was not a good one and if I had studied in London bschool or Standford University, Could be completely different. But from some of your posts I got it’s almost the same and the problem with MBA is that you learn too many subjects but not enough to be professional in any. If I open my small, favorite business for one year I can learn more than one year MBA course, as I did before and I learned a lot. Am I wrong?But I’m wondering about doing management consulting as MBA holder, if it is really useful and help companies or just they spend too much money in non smart way? For me working as marketing consultant is interesting and challenging, my question is that without MBA and just with some studies, experience in a special market and intelligence can’t we do the same job? I like guys who have such experience give me some guidance in this case! Thanks

  192. I completed an MBA because my undergraduate degree was not business related. I have read many stories by idiots (so called experts that say an MBA is a waste of time). I learned a lot of great knowledge on my MBA and yes, if you are lucky and skilled enough you may have been found by someone who will mentor you and teach you what you need to know, rather than completing a 2 year MBA. My thoughts are; for those lucky and rare people who are found by someone looking to spend a couple of years mentoring you; these opportunities are few and far between.
    Getting the MBA education hands you the opportunity to gain exceptional insights into the business and management world. Sure you could hand pick a hundred great books and say you know a lot about business and management; the difficulty is adding those read books to your resume; this is not really going to work for you.
    I gained a lot of knowledge on my MBA and along with the knowledge comes confidence in your new knowledge and abilities. You are rewarded with these skills and can proudly place the MBA on your resume. Is there value in the education; for the life of me I cannot understand how any of these MBA haters (those who say it is a waste of time) can say the things they do about an education and be taken seriously.
    Getting the MBA will not be the only required tick in the box in your search for success. You need the personality and skills to harness the knowledge presented and learned; and to help guide you in it’s productive use in your chosen field. An MBA will help you understand yourself better and guide you towards learning how to harness your newly learned skills, to better prepare for your career .
    How valuable the MBA is depends on what you can capably do with the degree and the knowledge gained.
    I can say that the MBA was only part of my education. While completing the 2 year MBA I also read several dozen business and management books on specific topics. Education is ongoing and yes there is plenty to learn inside the MBA, and there is plenty to learn from other sources. The MBA provides an opportunity to grow and stand out from the larger crowd. If you are lucky and someone takes you under their wing and is prepared to handle the presentation of the business management knowledge to you, great. You get paid to gain this experience.
    I don’t think there are enough of these types of opportunities out there; sometimes we have to forge the way on our own. It is an investment for the future, your future.
    I know that what I learned in my MBA was valuable. Is searching for the perfect job still difficult, absolutely.
    The work does not end on graduation; it just begins; but the MBA presents an opportunity to grow, and to help you get noticed. If you know what you want to focus on pick an MBA with a specialization, not just the general MBA. It will add to your worth when it comes to successfully getting that job, and the valuable key to gaining the experience you will need to savoir success as an MBA graduate.

  193. I agree with Troy,

    I’m about half way with my MBA and its the hardest thing I’ve ever done. (I’m 100% self funded and working full time) – but having said that, it’s well worth it and rewarding beyond words. As Troy said, I simply can’t understand why someone would say an MBA is not worth getting. Very very strange if you ask me! Sometimes think it’s people that can’t afford and MBA, failed students or general “university-of-life” average Joe’s who think they know what they’re talking about.

    Most alarmingly, I find it quite surprising that some MBA graduates feel “nailed down” after completing it. I thought strategic management is part of the curriculum … surely you can apply it to your lives too ?

    My 2 cents: If you’re like me and know the you are not interested in a career of Finance or Strategic Operations etc – use your MBA as a foundation to whatever you love doing. To me it’s cutting-edge software engineering.


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  195. Hi,

    I recently moved to US, after my marriage since my husband lives here. I have a MBA from India and I thought that irrespective of the country, the degree is the same. It’s been 7 months since I moved here and I am still trying to figure out things to do. I might have to do another course to get a job here.
    I am a Computer Science engineer and I was passionate about working in the Finance industry, which meant that I had to do a MBA. I worked for 2 years as a Financial Analyst, in India, post MBA, and I agree that it was quite challenging to learn the job since I changed my career with the degree. MBA teaches you more interpersonal and soft skills than anything else. But these skills can only get you to a certain point beyond which technical knowledge is extremely important!


  196. I am sorry for guys that didnt get much out of their MBA. I am studying for GMAT and trying to get into a top school. I started doubting my decision about going for MBA after reading these posts about ‘MBA is a waste of time’ “MBA has lost its prestige’ and blah blah blahhh. But actually think about it, if you are getting a MBA from a top school who would not want to hire you, sure you will not start in a top role [depending on previous exp.] MBA is not a magic wand where you become Director or HOD over night. MBA helps you start 3-4 levels lower than that and after that its all your skill that matters.
    i agree the prestige that MBA used to carry is not present anymore. But here is the difference a MBA from any of the top 10 schools in US is only worth it [NO OFFENCE] In my opinion if you cant get into a top school its not that you are dumb but its financially and practically not for you then [i m not changing your dream, change the path] Yes its gonna be a little struggle without a MBA or but there are still so many other technical skills and management, project, finance etc certifications you can get and then rely on networking [which MBA graduates highly rely on as well].
    If I cant get into a top school, screw it, NOT gonna do MBA, will find a new path or moreover new dream if I really had to just because a piece of paper cannot tell me if I can live my dream or not.
    let me know what you guys think?


  197. This is very interesting post, and I can relate to those who have an MBA and lost in their career path. I have found the MBA to open doors for interviews but getting employers to tell me that I am book smart with lack of experience. For four years after graduating, I have found myself taking positions that does not require my skills learned in school. To make a living, I have taken jobs beneath me and face in having the lack of experience to match and present the MBA.

  198. I do accept as true with all the ideas you’ve presented to your post.
    They’re really convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very brief for newbies.
    May you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  199. I stumbled upon this blog while doing an Internet search for a career in consulting. I chose to do the MBA for its prestige and also to challenge myself. Also I belong to a professional accounting association that requires its members to do certain number of PD hours every year so I thought why not hit two birds with one stone by taking the MBA.

    While I agree that some employers/recruiters would overlook those “letters” beside your name, never let it affect you. Education is an investment. It is something that you have (own) forever that can never be stolen. Let’s face it, nowadays, institutions offering MBA are a dime a dozen however in my opinion no matter where you earned it, it is still up to you how you use the knowledge you learned. Also, like any other investment, one should weigh the cost/benefit of pursuing an MBA. In my case, the accounting designation that I possess is highly regarded in the North American country where I am so it did not matter so much where or how (mine was online) I got my MBA.

  200. I really enjoyed reading this post, it was entertaining yet bitter. I graduated with a BA in Prof. Biology 16 years ago. To make a long story short, 14 years ago I opened a business and we’re still going strong. We had many situations where having a MBA would have been real useful, but nonetheless I just decided to go back and get my MBA simply for the knowledge. I wouldn’t suggest going to graduate school right after undergrad, take some time off, reevaluate and be true to your self. Taking some time off is a must, so you can find yourself, find your passion and every experience you have should lead you in the direction where you should be. Another thing, to those of you that went straight to Graduate school from undergrad,, you don’t deserve more simply cause of the initials MBA after your name. MBA, helps to open doors but that’s it, you still have to work hard and start from the bottom. Everyone wants to live in a big house, drive a nice car, have nice,,ect, but very few people are willing to work for it. I see potential and talent in so many people but lack of ambition creates a roadblock in their careers.

  201. I come across this post in midst of googling career options after MBA. I have done my MBA from no.2 business school in UK and 5 -6 months down the line, I am still searching for that coveted offer. Apart from UK’s closed immigration policy, the negligible presence of Alumni network in my country (developing) is not helping the cause. Recruiters here gives a damn about my academic credentials. They are more concern about the transferable skills (Hearing it for the 9712346 time) and even if they are convinced about the presence of those skills, they would still go for a non-mba or a local mba candidate who has lower expectations.In nutshell, till now the # 2 UK school is far from a game changer and on the contrary acting as a negative influence on my CV.

    However, I still feel that this is just a matter of time till I get that coveted 1st offer post my MBA, as I have seen alums literally running up the ladder after their 1st job which I feel their academic credentials are responsible. Hopefully this gut feeling comes out good.

  202. This article is so helpful! I believe these are questions that are there on the minds of most MBA aspirants. It’s not just a search for the best B-school for marketing or finance. In fact, there are so many other questions, for which students are always searching for answers. Unless and until one knows what to do in life, no degree can help.

  203. Getting a “real job” when I finished my BA and working for a handful of years before getting my Executive MBA was the best decision I have ever made. I got to know what the real world was like, and I could focus on practical matters while pursuing my MBA. I worked closely with traditional MBA students while I was pursuing my Executive MBA, and all I could think was “these kids have absolutely no idea what the real world is like.” And to make things even better, many companies will fund or at least partially fund your Executive MBA. It’s a win-win-win, win.

  204. Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after looking at many of the articles I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyways, I’m certainly pleased I came across it and I’ll
    be bookmarking it and checking back often!

  205. Great thread with lots of good arguments, but it appears that more people are seriously questioning their MBA decision as opposed to those who are convinced they made the right choice. I graduated from a top 10 program, which I will not disclose (yet). I worked very hard in my program and trusted the process from the career services office and drank all the kool-aid that was served, but almost two years since graduating, the credential has done nothing for my career. I feel cheated and duped. In my last conversation with career services, the advisor suggested that I look through my linkedIn network and reach out to my classmates from my UNDERGRAD school. I found this laughable and insulting because if I could have successfully leveraged my available non-MBA resources BEFORE embarking on the MBA voyage, I would have never gone!! Career services is a joke, and after much thought, research, and reflection, I’ve developed a firm opinion on what is happening in higher ed.

    Just think about the basics of the MBA application process and the talent of your incoming class on day 1. Everyone is a rock star (e.g. high GMAT, GPA, work, leadership, personal, etc.). If we weren’t superstars at the time we applied, we would not have been accepted. So there is the crux of the issue. You are not great because you graduated from a top MBA program, but rather, you graduated from the program because you are great. The difference is critical. These schools aren’t creating leaders or increasing capacities that were not already expanding, but they are just cherry-picking the people with the most potential, charging them exhorbitant tuition (for publicly available knowledge of general principles), and arrogating credit for their graduates’ success. I am confident that every single one of my classmates would have gotten to where ever they are now headed, without the MBA. I hate to use the word SCAM, but neither can I rule out that possibility.

    Technology is having a huge impact on higher ed and I predict, as does a leading strategy professor at HBS, that people are quickly learning that they can aquire the knowledge and skills of a higher education from alternative sources FOR FREE. See: http://www.businessinsider.com/clay-christensen-higher-education-on-the-edge-2013-2. These sources are picking up steam and even the most prestigious schools are now giving away their curriculums for free. See Coursera, EdX, Udacity, (just to name a few)

    For better or worse, the internet has disrupted many industries and higher education is no exception. Gone are the days of the knowledge monopolies of brick & mortar wisdom and slow-moving information trapped inside the heads of professors. Now, everyone whose business model is based on selling publicly available information (or wisdom–for the professoriate), is going to have to find another way to make money because even the fools know how to google on their smartphones nowadays.

    If you want to wisley invest your time and money into your repetoire of skills, learn data science and programming. Every industry will be fundamentally impacted by the explosion of big data, and while being a data scientist is not for evryone, you still need to learn about the increasingly digital environment that is quickly forming all around us. Ask yourselves how the job you are doing now will be altered by big data, and if you don’t see how it could possibily be effected, you should probably take a closer look.

    That’s my two cents worth…(my last pennies after B-School 😉

  206. MBA is great to boost your already existing career success. That’s probably why schools want experienced people entering MBA program.

    However getting an MBA right after an undergrad degree is also not a bad investment which will only reap rewards 5-6 years later once you have learned the ropes within your expertise. MBA WILL help you move up the ladder faster.

    BUT beware!!!!

    I know engineers who have MBA’s and it took them nowhere.
    An MBA is great if you know the ropes, office politics, as well as managing up, as well as being socially outgoing and great networker.

    I have developed a business team from scratch, and manage 14 engineers. I have increased sales in companies that I had worked for. I have started my own business. All this without an MBA. Experience! absorb it as much as you can. MBA is just a tool and it is only as good as how you use the tool.

    Give me a paint brush and I might make an awful drawing but give it to me after I take 2 years of art classes then I may do wonders with the paint brush. Or good chance I already have a paint brush and as a hobby have become a great painter on my own.

  207. Couldn’t agree with you anymore. So refreshing to hear someone else who feels the same way I do. I’m finishing my MBA up right now and I thought that while I was in grad school I would figure out what I wanted to do with my degree and with my life, but if anything everything has become more complicated and confusing. I feel as if a MBA qualifies you for little bit of everything, which makes it so much more difficult to actually decide what to use it for.

    • I’m the opposite. I knew exactly what I wanted to do before my MBA program and now that I’m done, my entire mindset is changing. Still trying to figure out if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. :/

  208. I finished my MBA in May 2013 at the age of 25. It took me three semesters to complete and I finished with a 3.78 GPA. I didn’t go to Harvard or anywhere like that, but I did attend an accredited state school (Montana).

    Upon graduating, I was under the impression that it would be relatively easy to find a job. I was incredibly wrong.

    I’m now nearing two years post-MBA and I can’t even get an entry-level job. Now it seems like I’m ineligible for employment. I don’t have enough experience to land an MBA-level job, and apparently having an MBA means I’m too experienced to be accepted for an entry-level position.

    The worst part of it all is that I’ve lost all confidence in my ability. I have no idea what I should be applying for or where I should be focusing my attention. It’s depressing.

    • Hey, you are what you think you are. You have skills and talent. Go find a place that needs them. Help somebody, or some group achieve something remarkable. The money will come.

  209. To be honest, this article scared the hell out of me! I hold a bachelor of engineering degree in computer engineering & Information Technology. I have worked like 4 years, most of the time in project management but on a small scale. I am about to start my MBA and specialise in Project Management. But all these comments really scared of me! I have managed to save some money that I was going to use to pay my MBA education while working part time! Any advice? Thanks!

  210. I graduated with an MBA from University of Houston in December of 2015. I am still in the same job and have applied to be anything from a consultant to an entry level financial analyst. I have had no prospects, only sales jobs.

  211. Not eligible to work either.
    Just wanted to share. I also have graduated….I have a corporate communication and marketing double major MBA, and just a small job experience. I Speak fluently 3 foreign languages, but still, I can’t to find a job. I feel that I am not hired because of too much MBA-qualifications for an entry level type of job and not ennough for a MBA level.
    should I pretend to only have an undergraduate degree?
    not sure what to do next….

  212. Change of perspective.
    I started an MBA online in 2012. It took me over two years to complete all the modules. During this time I was not able to do anything else other than completing the weekly essay papers and keep up with the reading. I left a fairly good job to take on a less demanding role that gave me more time to study 20 hrs a week on top of my 40 hrs job. It took great effort for my family to manage without me particularly my husband.

    I now have come to the dissertation period but I have loss the drive to continue the MBA. I feel burnt off financially and physically. My life took a turn where I no longer feel the need for an MBA.

    The MBA did not satisfied my quest for self-actualization at a personal level. Nor did I get any new skills or change my attitude to risk.

    My advice to those considering an MBA is to think about the financial re-coup time. It can take several years achieve a significant pay scale. Consider your age and the age of your dependents as well as the inflow and outflows need it for the family group.

    Remember that knowledge and ability cannot be measured by a piece of paper. Once thing I learnt from my MBA is that most great business creators did not have an MBA.


    • Well said.

      Although this is a sad MBA story I still believe that there was a spark within you that started the MBA Journey. Do not forget what the spark was.

  213. I have completed my MBA in London and it was like dream come true, but the dream started fading and i landed up in the real world, i was ambitious and wanted to do lots many thing, but my parents were more carrying for society then me, i got married as i was in love and then the life started with a JUST TAG OF MBA. I was job less for almost 8 months and now working as a DATA Analyst in Weather ford oil company,
    basically as secretary to OPS manger Drilling.Now i feel why i did my MBA just to be secretary and doing admin jobs which i could have done without a Degree too.
    yes but MBA made me learn how to Handel People only with words.

  214. i haven’t pursued mba till now, just thinking till now, i have passed my 12th this year.
    has mba have left scope now? i want to do mba in hr, should i opt for it ? m confused..plz do suggest me something soon.

  215. i have never been so confused like i am now after doing my MBA 9 months ago.
    its made my life the hardest and my decision making on what jobs to apply for is so bad. what am i doing wrongly?
    never have i got an interview after getting my MBA. i have my first degree in information technology, i didn’t have much passion for it and so i decided to do some thing that i thought would give me my fulfillment.
    unfortunately, i am floating in the job market like some one who never went to school at all.
    some one please give me an advise that can make me do things right and stop regreting already

  216. Are you lost? Trapped in an existence of uncertainty, questioning your reason for existence? Do you feel unaccomplished with your MBA? Let me share my story.

    “Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.”

    ― Heraclitus


    I don’t know why the prevalence for doom among so many of these posts.

    I remember, wearing 78lbs of body armor and weaponry on a particular 120 degree day. I was completely filthy, covered in flea bites, dirt filled every crease in my skin. I was terrified, and I was watching a very well liked, husband and father of two, breath his last breaths, as he laid there in the dirt swath that separated a four lane divided highway, passersby in their busted ancient cars jeering and laughing at us, his blood turning the dust into dark mud. He wasn’t one of mine, but we had been the closest unit when they called for help, we were there in under 10 minutes. The sun was high in the sky. His face was an image of an athlete in the midst of a tough race, and then it relaxed and faded. By the time the medevac arrived, he had expired, but the medics were still furiously doing chest compressions and putting air into him.

    I’ve served 24 years, I’m 45. Next year I will begin my MBA, and I know why I want to do it. I’m a leader, it’s a gift and a curse. God gives us talents, the best thing a man can do is find his talents and spend the rest of his days in pursuit of perfection of those talents.

    It’s not easy being a leader. I never cried, I never backed down, I never lost my cool, while I was deployed. I was there for my guys. I put up a picture of strength, but on the inside I wanted to shrink back in terror. When the incoming rifle fire cracked around us, I kept an even tone and gave clear instructions, and I moved towards it. They followed. I brought all of mine home.

    But when I came home, after a couple of months I finally got to see a doctor. I was no longer in charge of anyone but myself at that point. In the doctor’s office like a flood, came every tear, every wail, that for so long had remained buried and sealed up inside me. That is the burden of leadership.

    An MBA is an experience to try and give you some tools to help navigate tough choices; choices that effect the lives of many people, or generations of people. Don’t play small with your talents. God gave you a big brain, and the focus to finish. You know how many people are counting on someone to show them the way out of the darkness they’re in? Stop worrying about yourself, it’ll sort itself out. Worry about applying your talents to the greatest benefit to your slice of the mankind pie. Never take credit for the success of the team, recognize the hard work that was completed by those you enabled. Use your power, wisdom and authority to identify talent and hard work and propel it forward. Lead from the front, take action and they will follow. Be kind. Be humble. Be considerate and decisive.

    Let me share with you my story. I don’t know how it ends. But I know I’m not going to quit.

    In the last two years my wife left; she moved her boyfriend in my house and filed for divorce; sold the boat that my children and I would spend our summers on; the court mistakenly set child and spousal support higher than my actual income – with the judges apologies, he could not waive any arrears that had accrued because of the mistake; my paychecks got screwed up; I couldn’t pay my attorney – he fired me; I had to represent myself to fix the judges error – in the meantime arrears compounded; her attorney asked and the judge encumbered me with all of her attorney’s fees – I could not pay them, and until I do, the judge will not allow me to hire an attorney; my car broke down; I lost my security clearance because of the size and delinquency of the debt; my most recent military promotion was revoked; I was not selected for retention in my military career and given a mandatory retirement date – “adios mf’r”; valuable belongings were stolen; the promised VA benefits were delayed for months on end, and then mistakenly paid at a far lesser amount ($135/mo vs. $3,132/mo.); because I had been awarded so many semester hours for my years of military service (88 semester hours), suddenly I was not making satisfactory progress in school – I had acquired more units than required for my degree – and thus was suspended from receiving financial aid; I had applied for a veterans scholarship and disclosed the income I was supposed to be receiving from the VA (which didn’t materialize for over a year) so that although I was awarded the scholarship it was reduced based upon my “need” – I was supposed to be pulling down $3,132/mo. from the VA, so of the $12K scholarship I won, they actually gave me $3,000 for the entire school year – but I couldn’t receive a penny of it because I was suspended from financial aid. I scraped and borrowed to pay rent and eat, or get the gas to see my kids, I had to borrow a car to go and see them. I became that pitiful sucker that was borrowing money from friends. In the meantime, she and her boyfriend paid not one mortgage payment. She drove drunk with the kids in the car and got in a fight with her boyfriend – punching him as my kids got involved to break it up – she admitted to all of it under oath. I sought custody, the judge determined that it wasn’t domestic violence and that since she hadn’t been convicted of drunk driving that there was no issue to resolve. More months took place to correct one error after the next, and still more months to actually receive any money; other terrible disasters and insults too great to mention. “A grateful nation.” Please don’t thank me for my service, it’s so plastic. I didn’t embellish a word of my story. I’ve aged more in the last two years than in the 15 years before it. I’ve isolated myself, I struggle with completing homework and showing up on time at work, but I keep going forward.

    22 veterans a day kill themselves.

    But not this one.

    Bad times have come to PASS. With every dirt sandwich I must eat, I am that much closer to a big run of good things. In part, these things my country in its war on males has bestowed on me; in truth I was very bitter, it was killing me. A certain amount of this is the result of depending on government to provide what was promised – I honored my oath, certainly government will do the same – that’s how I used to think. Another amount of it is choosing the wrong creature to reproduce with. All of it was eating me from the inside. But I will not give them that too, we choose how we handle tragedy.

    There are two things I have dominion over: My Attitude and My Effort, everything else is largely a game of chance. Trusted loved ones will betray you, they can humiliate you too. Foundations of support will crumble. Those of you have earned your MBA or are working on it, know that you are the person everyone looks to when bad shit happens, you have talents, those talents are gifts. They don’t pay you big money for the good times, they pay you big money to keep the bad times at bay or rescue them from disaster. You may not need to make strategic decisions every day, that’s okay, you’re standing by for the day you do.

    I could kill myself. But what example would that be to so many others? If I can endure this, anyone else can too. A leader sets the example not when it’s easy to do so, but when it’s “impossible” to do so.

    You have something others only dream about: ability, talent. From where you sit, it may not seem all that great, you might be tempted to bemoan the weight of student loans, all that debt. But if M.W. could trade your debt for his death in the dirt, I’m sure he would. Go out and help somebody, the world needs champions to look after people. I’m after that MB, because my story will not be about defeat, it will be about overcoming. It will send a message that bad things happen to good people, great people keep going. Somewhere else somebody has a much worst time in life than I do. But I have talents, I can help that person or those persons. I can focus on helping someone else, and then my own road isn’t so bad.

    I know why I am going to earn my MBA, because coupled with 24 years of military leadership, in a wide variety of assignments, I have the credibility I need to lead people.

    • Brother JA.G,
      I can feel you and I thank you for your words. I am also a proud veteran of the Kosovo Campaign, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Two tours of Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). I am still on active duty as a non commissioned officer and I have completed a Masters of Science in Management with a concentration in Information Systems Security and I am currently enrolled in a MBA program with a concentration in Technology Management. I came to this site because I was wondering if I am overdoing it with a full time Army career, family and young Soldiers to look after. Your words though have compelled me to stay the course and double down in my belief that the degree is not for me but for the people I help by using the tools I am adding to my toolkit. I will not say that I know how you feel. I do know the problems that bureaucracy can cause in your personal life. (i.e. ) I was injured on active duty and was treated by an Army Doctor at a Civilian hospital and am being charged 90% of the bill. $78,000 I am on TRI-CARE Prime non the less. That is only one of the things I have been subjected to over the years. I know what it like to have a clearance suspended, revoked and facing chapter. I have been through hell abroad in combat as well as dealing with paper pushers who hate knowing they made a mistake. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors and godspeed. I hope to meet you on the high ground. Again, thank you for your frank and passionate words if no one else tells you they have found fertile ground in my soul.

  217. Guys I dont know what to do – I’ve been accepted into the 12th ranked MBA in the world, and Ive secured a Loan and scholarship and it will only mean having to cough up EURO15k. I got promoted last December and have been on the steepest learning curve of my life and I fear taking the MBA and giving up this opportunity, but I also fear not taking the MBA and then regretting it in 10 years…. My ENTIRE family has told me that for me to leave this current position (which is not the path I had planned or wanted for my life) would be CRAZY!!! I want to work for a Major Movie Studio or Music Label, and IE seems like the best way forward, but to have 10 yrs of debt over my head once done? Need perspective from MBA Grads about the wise path to take here………. urgently!!!! Hope you guys can help – Matt

    • A number of points to consider here:
      If you don’t do the MBA now, you can always do it later. Business schools will always be there, you can always apply again in the future. The particular job opportunity you have now will not always be there. So in this sense and to a certain degree, the job is more valuable than doing an MBA is. But since you don’t care that much for your job, you could just think of it as a temporary stepping stone to something else. Regarding what you’d really like to do, I don’t see how an MBA will necessarily give you a big leg up on getting a job at a movie studio or music label. Have you looked into the jobs that exist within music labels and movie studios? Have you looked at LinkedIn profiles for people who work at those types of companies to see what kind of work experience and education they have? That’s the first thing you should do if you haven’t, regardless of the industry you want to get into. As for me, I didn’t do my MBA until I was 41. I went to school part time while I worked full time. This allowed me to continue working while also going to school, so I didn’t have to give up my job to do my MBA. If that is an option for you, and if you’re still interested in doing the MBA, then that would allow you to do both instead of being stuck in an either/or situation. Also, 15K euros is NOTHING as far as an MBA degree goes. I owe US$120K.

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  219. I have stumbled across this blog as I am looking for some insight into other experiences and I am about to start my MBA course. I am currently 28 and have 8 years experience in Big box Store management.

    I have always believed that I would be able to climb the “ladder” without any formal qualifications as I am an incredibly hard worker and ambitious. SO…. yes I am currently on 6 figures, have a team of 25 staff and I am running an extremely profitable company owned business,, BUT.. can I do this same job for the next 20 years???

    I feel that without a further qualification I will continue to be overlooked for all internal and external job openings as I am “just a Store Manager”. I really do not know what area of business I want to pursue. Maybe HR, Marketing, Products etc..

    The dilemma follows.. I know that once I complete my MBA I will STILL be a Store manager. I know that there will be no magical elevator that puts me in a top corporate position with a great salary. Although I do know that if I am serious enough about changing my career path, I will need to be ready for a massive pay cut to then go into the area of business that suits me, as a trainee, and start all over again.

    After reading a lot of negative posts about life after MBA I feel I am ready for this next phase. My beautiful wife and son will support me. its not the money I am after any more , I have realized that its happiness that I am after, and what better way to stay happy then to chase the dream job and not give up till you catch up to it.

    Maybe those 3 letters won’t do any thing for me.. Or maybe they will. Its up to us to do something with the degree, not the employer.



  220. After reading the article on this site and then reading the comments I figured that I would ask this community a few questions. Any responses are appreciated.

    1. Does the school you go to really matter? As much as I would love to get into one of the more prestigious colleges, I’m quite sure I wouldn’t get accepted. I’m fairly smart, but not that smart.
    2. Is it really worth it? I’ve read a lot of comments debating this question in general, so I’ll give a quick background. I’m currently not working anywhere that provides a career path worth taking and I still have one year of GI-Bill remaining that allows me to go to school 100% free at the most expensive state school, or up to that price at a private school. That one year should pay for about one and half to one and 3/4 of the MBA program.

    Thank you so much for any advice given,

    • The school does matter to a certain extent but it isn’t for the level of education that you receive. It is mainly for the contacts and connects that you gain and the brand. Of course, some schools will hold different levels of accreditation and that will need to be examined if you plan to further your education beyond the MBA. Much to what Rabeen said, schools that offer a concentration within the MBA are much more sought after.

      Being prior Navy, I am utilizing the Post 9/11 and It is well worth it to use the benefits. Even if it will not cover the entire length of the program, you can save the BAH that you will get every month and put it towards paying out the remainder of the credits that you will have to take.

  221. I’m in the same boat. Graduated with an MBA, soo much expectation from everyone including myself but no job. I feel soo lost. I am planning on starting from scratch.

  222. Any advice for a 24 year old MBA student in his final year ?. with 2 years experience ?. just to note i am employed

    I am blessed to have mentors, but whats next for me ?

    i feel like i will be over qualified and may not move anywhere else.


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  224. I’m in the same boat as so many of you. Had higher expectations of what was available after I got my MBA. I also got an MA before that. I can’t find the right people to help me along with my vision, or convince people I have skills to help them. Its kind of discouraging.

  225. I’m almost finished with my MBA. (Hopefully, IF I don’t fail Business Finance)

    I have a haphazard history of employment, working at jobs that were completely unrelated to my undergraduate degree (IT), although, it helped with the knowledge that I had. I did well at these jobs, but could never get a promotion or seem to go anywhere, only twice I had a $200 or $300 salary raise, for 10 years prior to my MBA.

    Then I decided to do an MBA, hopefully to graduate to get into a job I can finally say would be a career for me.

    I casually work as a retail worker, and there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel. Just dark, lonely, hopeless.

    setback at $48,000, and no future.

    I really don’t know what to do!

    • I too work the retail struggle. And YES, it is completely frustrating. But I wouldn’t say there isn’t a future. It just stinks knowing that there is so much more work to be done. Don’t feel alone. There are other MBA’s out there trying to find their “amazing” in the world of retail. Perhaps try using your experience as a parallel when applying for other jobs.There is life beyond retail. At least there better be 😛

  226. It looks like this was written 2.5 years ago – I won’t be surprised if I don’t get a response but will be happy to have a quick chat about what you’re up to now and current thoughts about getting an MBA.

    It takes courage to put your thoughts out there for the world to see. Thanks for sharing your experience and opinion. It seems however that you may not have put much thought into getting an MBA and you may not have had the chance to be challenged with what you expect to get out of having it. I’d be surprised if many people expect an MBA to help them figure out what they want in life. It’s normally to check a box, give them a credential that will open up additional opportunities or in some cases some skills to further learn but not the answer.

    I too have an MBA and I think it has opened a couple doors, it gave me a broader network many that are at the top of their company or industry. I often compare myself to my network – a big mistake no matter how I compare. I sometimes question the debt that I took on and wonder whether I’ll ever be without it. I imagine my son will be in college (more debt) before I pay off my own.

    Again, it would be interesting to see a follow up and a complete timeline (if it’s on your site, I’ll find it. I navigated to this article from an internet search).

  227. I completed my MBA a year ago. It was the triumphant “completion” to a promise I made to myself over 13 years prior. I promised that I would turn my life completely around. I was a high school drop-out that decided my crazy party life was not what was meant for me. SO, I made a promise to change. And I did. But, here I am stuck again. 5 days after graduating I was let go of my job of 6 years. The only company that would respond to my applications was a book store. Granted, in less than a year I am running the highest volume and most profitable store in the company, yet I still feel more than slightly frustrated that I am not using my glorious education. It really helped stumbling across this blog. I was beginning to think there was something seriously wrong with me but, I can see I am not the only one in this boat. I guess this only thing I can say at this point is, this is where the real work begins. Don’t give up all. We completed this degree because we have guts, because we have will-power, and probably because we are all too darn stubborn to let anyone convince us that we couldn’t do it. We are a rare breed and even in our own little ways, we will change our worlds even if it is one little world at a time.

  228. Hi- just want to comment. I am 38, finished my MBA in March, 2015. I have been an RN for 17+ years (right out of high school to nursing school). Over the years leading to my MBA graduation, I have held roles as an RN that have allowed me to save lives, allow people to pass on to the next life with someone by their side, and have also been there to teach, treat, and be there for the uglier side of nursing where nurses are treated like garbage because there’s a stereotype that portrays nurses as hand maids not professionals. Nonetheless I pursued the MBA while raising 4 children and maintained a GPA of 3.8 throughout.
    Why am I telling this? The post focuses on what’s missing from the MBA experience and I don’t disagree entirely- schools have objectives and strategic action plans like every other business right? However, what the person posting doesn’t see is that too much emphasis was put on the education putting oneself on life’s path to prosperity, happiness, etc, instead of the fact that experience in life + education helps with finding a balance to happiness and that may be why MBA grads switch jobs so soon. Not because the MBA failed them, the skillset they have may be unrecognized or underutilized and they know they need to move onward and hopefully upward. In my opinion,
    I don’t see that a balance was ever struck with the person who posted as to expectations & outcomes. Yes having an MBA means people have opinions about you good or bad but who really cares? What one thinks of oneself matters first. Thanks!

  229. This is a true story. There is a lady who failed high school and did not have a bachelors degree. In her forties, she somehow got a job as director of development in an independent school. She decided to take her MBA at a private college (for profit) while working. She slept with the President of the board and became the Principal/Head of school. She claims it is because she got her MBA. Nope. She slept around and got the top job. She claims it was her MBA.She is totally useless. However, the President of the Board is happy many times!

  230. At the end of the day, was it not worth it at all? Like, doesn’t a HBS MBA have so much more value than a regular MBA from a half good school?
    What do you think? Should I actually get work experience and keep trying for Harvard or simply go study somewhere cos it’s pretty much all the same?

    Would love to hear your thoughts.

  231. Think of an MBA as icing on the cake. As in, I have all this experience, plus I bring a deeper understanding of business earned through my MBA.

    If you are an employer faced with two job candidates with virtually the same experience, but one has an MBA but the other one doesn’t, wouldn’t you rather go with an MBA who offers extra knowledge and perspective?

    Be willing to accept lower than expected pay just to get your foot in the door, then work hard to apply yhe knowledge and skills learned through your MBA to shine. You will eventually get to “the Promised Land”.

    The worst thing you can do is set yourself up for disappointment by expecting a six-figure income right out the gate without any effort.

    It seems one skill that most in here didn’t learn with their MBA is how to manage expectations.

  232. Really nice post. I think this blog will help for many students, who want to pursue MBA, but due to some financial reason, they faced many troubles. I like the way you mention these important 10 things, these will definitely helps for many before taking loan.

  233. Great ideas..
    I’m about to finish my MBA major Marketing in 4 months, As I’m in a business field for15 years; and I’m now an art director at the http://www.bibalex.org , I think the MBA works well if you already have many years of work experience, so you can match what you have learned with what your work experience and go forward for a new horizons and apply it in reality. It really opens doors but which doors if you don’t know the nature of business doors. It makes you talk with business language and business terms that it can be easily recognized in your interviews. Good luck for all of you.

  234. Hi
    First I’m not English. And can’t speak English very good.
    Good article , but I’m not agree with you .
    I am from Iran . Here we have a rich man who have great salary. He was not so rich before, he was a simple teacher with low salary, but he tried MBA and now he have one of the very great business in Iran.
    You see?? One man can get a lot of money with MBA and it means everyone can do this . But not everybody who don’t have rich mind.
    Try to get your own business. Don’t wait to someone heir you in a medium job, like nursing!!
    the nurses should work a lot of years for paying their loans.
    Thanks for read my writes.
    The man I mentioned in my writing is : Mr.ghalamchi

  235. Hi all,
    I am interested in getting my MBA via an online self-paced course since my job does not allow for any true schedule when I can go to classes. Some of the options I am looking at refer to a graduate certificate instead of the term degree. If I complete the program will I still “have an MBA”?

  236. Cool blog and congratulations of even finishing B school from such a prestigious school- no easy feat at all! I just finished last month. I’d like to add #11: that empty feeling that some of us experience when we realized that after learning all that we did about corporate greed and the rat race. I have no idea what I want to do- only the desire to make a difference. I was a late bloomer, so now that I’ve got my M.B.A., I have to complete with much younger people with more professional experience (I was a homemaker for a number of years). I’m unemployed at the moment, so life is…… Let’s just say it’s an exercise in faith and mindfulness (see, my education taught me to be somewhat eloquent in my speech/writing as well). Truth be told, I’m a capitalism hating hippie so I’m trying to look for opportunities in the not-for-profit sector (more competitive than I thought to get into- even for crap pay). Meh! Cheers to us. I wish you the best.

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  240. A really honest post, which made me question myself!
    There are millions of people in the world who work tirelessly just for one thing – to survive and to support their family. I have witnessed my parents do that. This is what happens in most of the under-developed nations of the world! But here I am – I am going to quit my well-paid laid back, intermittently interesting corporate job for a debt of a hundred thousand $ & an MBA in return – all with little or no clue of what I want to do post MBA. But the way I look at it is – everybody around me is in debt – some for real-estate, luxury, personal loans, etc. Isn’t an education from a reputed school a relatively bigger asset in comparison to a house you may never live-in? Out of the post MBA options I want to choose the lesser of the evils and excel in it, while paying off the debt – as an international student in US, I should may be pray real-hard for the lottery to spin in my favor!! 🙂 But everything in life is a gamble, so yeah I am going for it and would put in all efforts, keep an open attitude, accept challenges, learn ‘hard’ skills and experiment in the process. Finally, debt is not ON your head it is IN it , isn’t it?
    What do you advise me friends?

  241. I want to say things too.

    1. Economy is all about cash flow. You creat a turf. Anyone passing that turf pays you. You spend it somewhere else. So what does it matter what you do? You can be a real estate manager. Or sell lemonade.

    2. If you don’t know where to put your energy. There are a lot of places you can put your energy. You can find where if you let your mind flow freely be creative. Create a Star Trek type of vision. Or if you don’t just find the troubles from the newspaper and make small fixes.

    3. It is all about energy. If you have it. Everything is free. The truth is that it is free actually.

    4. I witnessed the birth of mobile technology. The internet as well. It is not important. I see pictures from 1900 and see how much space people had and how empty the world was. 1920 so much smart people. 1960 people could experiment freely. 1980 is started sucking. 2000 shed some light. If you look at major changes you may see where the next wave goes.

    5. Those people that were smart. Trust me. Some of their ideas were forgotten. You can find those.

    6. MBA is great if you don’t know anything about business. Because then it is just interesting matter. If your dad owns a big business and you are to go in his footsteps. For sure, you need to do an MBA. If you like to switch fields, sure there are always managers needed. But a manager is not a specialist.

    7. Specialitsts. Think. What you are doing now is important for the world. Even if you are good at what you do. How good are you really? You can be much better at what you do. Your comfort zone may be in the comfort that you think you know all about what you are doing now. Your MBA is not going to help you with getting better at it.

    8. It is true that in a hierarchy of a company you need to eventually talk to the owner of the business and make sense. Being a specialist and bridging your specialty to people who don’t have a clue an MBA can teach you the in-and-outs. Of communicating precisely that. You will be better.

    9. I know people who studied business fresh from highschool. Just like everyone else coming fresh from a university they have to make their carreer. Actually they ended up in a specialist field of one of the curriculum taught classes. As an assistant in accounting. As an assistant in marketing. And-so-forth.

    10. You studied an MBA? So did everybody else. And believe it. Everybody else is a top dog too. Their track records aren’t lying too. So you did great doing one. But it’s just your ticket to the next game.

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  243. Iam fresh MBA graduate in market… i have applied for many jobs on line and even went to job fair….nothing has happened yet … no one called me for interview… i don’t know why i enrolled for MBA… because in my country every other university is producing MBA in some barbie dolls in factory… market is so much saturated with MBA graduates with low quality that finding and getting a jobs seems impossible… i thought MBA would change my career but in actual i don’t feel any change in my self.
    all i now is how to make presentations on power point and reports on word…
    I am depress… i don’t know what to with my MBA… life sucks…. and my parents are looking forward to me do earn thousand per month…. i really wanted to be a doctor and i regret that why i did’nt take Biology in my high school….

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  246. Hi,

    So while searching for the most difficult answer, I stumbled on this really amazing blog. I am a Mechanical Engineer with 6.5 years of experience with an Engineering conglomerate. I am trying to pursue 1 year MBA degree from last 3 years but somehow it’s not happening for me so finally I have decided to quit my job and concentrate only in the GMAT preparation.

    My reasons for MBA are : first of all I feel that my graduation was not from a good university and I want to boost my CV with an impressive school name; secondly I feel that growth in the corporate is at a very slow pace even after considering that I am a consistent Top Performer so to accelerate my career and also to change the domain an MBA degree is becoming must these days. Many MNC’s are not even ready to hire only a graduate. They have the prerequisite of MBA from a premier B School so you can notice how disabled I feel without an MBA.

    Funny thing here is when finally I have decided about quitting and preparing for exam, I have received a job offer with an attractive salary from a not much known company and here again I am in the dilemma of what should I do now. Can anyone experienced help me here!!

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  248. After reading the article on this site and then reading the comments I figured that I would ask this community a few questions. Any responses are appreciated.

    Q. I’m currently pursuing my MBA program from a B-School with Marketing as a major and HR as minor. I don’t have any prior work experience and my graduation marks are not that so well. So I want to ask you guys what are the things I should now concentrate on to gain a very good job?

    Thank you so much for any advice given,

  249. Hi!

    This is a fantastic article, and I find your blog extremely good. However, it scares the sh**t out of me, because everything you say is so true. I have graduated one of the best B-schools in the Eastern Europe for undergrads, and now am going to pursue my MBA. My choice for MBA was Smurfit Business School in Ireland, which is not among the top MBA providers, but I managed to get a full tuition scholarship there. I have 5 years of work experience in a multinational and a GMAT 750. Some friends I spoke to (some of whom graduated Harvard, Oxford, Insead for their MBAs) are saying that I should strive for a top business school. On my question about the debt, they say that I will pay it off within few years.

    I am sticking with my choice, even though I can admit that I have a big personal conflict of not going to a “cool” school, even though I could. I am sticking with my choice, because the truth is I want to get back to the Eastern Europe after my studies, and the salaries here are not close enough to the ones you need to pay off your debt. I don’t want to live in London or New York. What is more, I might want to join a nonprofit or to start my own business, and I honestly don’t think that many graduates have courage to do this with a 100K+ debt in their bank account.

    It was very refreshing to read that top school programmes are not that cool, as they are PRed, if you dig deeper.

    • I think you were smart about this one! Smurfit is not a bad school and an MBA is only as good as what you do with it. Also bear in mind that these top 10 MBA programs like HBS have classes of 900+ students, not sure if it’s such a great learning experience. And the finance argument you point out totally makes sense!

  250. Hi!

    I just got accepted into Berkeley’s MBA program yesterday and am having a tough time making the decision to actually GO. I’ve been growing very quickly at my current job, and have been for the last 5 years. My current company is offering me ~100K salary (Miami, FL), and a Sr. Management role if I stay.

    Do you have any advice on whether I should accept the invite to go to Berkeley, or continue my career path, max out my potential at this company, and re-apply in the future?

    Thank you in advance,


  251. Thanks for the above information. Can anybody please provide me the information regarding the scope of online MBA? I have completed LLM degree with 5 years of experience in corporate job in good MNCs. But, now there is less opportunities for legal job in Pune and I am interested in HR career. Can I get good opportunity in HR job if I pursue online/distance MBA in Pune as I can’t move anywhere else as I am settled here. or regular MBA is must. can PGDM also provides good opportunities?

  252. Not to mention that if you were to default on your student loans you can get garnished by the department of education and they don’t even have to get a judgement against you. There are many resources to help with student loan default and student loan garnishment and resources at americanstudentloanaid.com as well.

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  254. Good Morning:
    I received my MBA 2009 through University of Phoenix. I thought I was going to have all these job offers and have none. I can’t even get a head hunter to call me back. I feel now that my skills are a waste and I do continue to re-read the papers I wrote and researched. UOP doesn’t have a job placement program or they didn’t when I left there. I work processing payments where I am the only one who has a degree. When I was up for a review the manager gave me a meets because of my degree. She didn’t say it but in so many words she did. She is a new manager and asked the senior staff member below her what grade I deserved and that is what I got. Please help me to find a job field or IT classes I may need to get a decent job. I want to work with others who have degrees. Maybe there is a job site?? Any help is appreciated.

    • University of Phoenix , DeVry, Kaplan and the likes are considered degree mills. It has absolutely no credibility. Better not to get a degree at all than getting one from such crappy 5th rate degree mills.

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  256. do you really expect that having an MBA is gonna solve your all problems and answer all your questions in life? it is just sicence of managing a business its your own job to find what is your passion or get real world experience on REALLY DOING work. think about it as a science.

  257. Well…I am one of the ones who felt the need to increase my value as an employee after having been a clinical nurse manager for 20 years. I returned to school to complete my MBA in only a year and now find myself stressing due to lack of movement with my resume. It is now creeping into the sixth month of no real job offers. The city I live in supports a population of around 100,000 and is dominated by two competing hospitals who wildly undervalue their employees. When I contemplated returning to school to take some time to “think”, I felt like my decision would be extremely impactful to my future career. But I find I am always behind the curve when trying to get into a different industry. There is always another certification, license, or specific # of required years of experience even to be considered. I never thought having a Master’s degree would be a detriment to my job search, but I was wrong. Those individuals with only a high school diploma are finding employment at a reasonable rate even in this economy. I wonder if I have educated myself out of the market? I have been willing to move and have even gone national with my search, but none of the larger corporations are even acknowledging my existence. I don’t want to feel like I have to return to nursing just to make a living, but unfortunately, that is the way it is heading.

  258. If you are paying for your school, and not going to a top MBA program (top 25, maybe top 40??) you are throwing your money away. If your company or some other source/program is paying for school then get that MBA. Just dont be surprised is after graduation no one cares that you graduated with an MBA from Phoenix University

  259. Pingback: Why I opted out of an MBA for Grad School. – Vish Gupta

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  263. Great post because this is exactly how I feel and I haven’t even started school yet. Everyone says getting into a good BSchool is the toughest part… but now that I’m past that hurdle… I have realized that the tough times haven’t even begun!
    Hopefully I won’t spend the next 2 years as lost as I am now.

  264. Hey. I graduated with my MBA back in 2012. I appreciate you writing this because there are many points I can relate to from this post. I got my MBA mostly because I wanted to increase my job prospects. When I got out of school with my undergrad the economy was at it’s lowest. I don’t regret getting the degree but I feel I could have spent more time and resources figuring myself out. With this degree I still don’t know what I want to do. Going traveling and doing personal work have done more for me than anything I could learn in school, and ironically, I learned that I work life balance is one of the most important things to me but isn’t what is associated with the higher ranked positions I’m expected to get with an MBA. Now that I’m back looking for a job that’s something I have to take into account. Definitely makes things trickier.

  265. I am curious about your statement that the MBA ” most certainly did NOT help me figure out what I want to do in life, how to find my passion and purpose or give me any clarity on HOW I’m going to change the world”. I respect your thoughts here, but I don’t understand why it’s a short-coming of an MBA program that you have no direction. Most respectfully, should one not undertake an MBA education after he’s decided on a path rather than before?

  266. For those with questions about the MBA, this is a good but simple reference.

    In terms of being field specific, most MBA programs are a core class unit, and additional program classes can be added on anytime after completion, such as a finance or accounting specialization. I was an honor graduate of my program, and I have to tell you I learned to work harder and smarter than I knew I could. You will be smarter, you just have to want it. Sleep is over rated and you can lose those terrible eating habits you’ll develop later on. Having said that, this doesn’t mean hiring managers are any smarter, but that is the way it goes. Completing the program was a definite highlight, and the skills you grow are lifetime benefits. Enjoy your fight, and never believe you don’t deserve to be there. Claim your ground, and defend it as assiduously as called for. The main advice I can give is to spend as much time as you can spare developing contacts, both from fellow students and faculty – they will come in handy.
    Best of luck and God speed.

  267. Wow, this article just appears at a critical time for me and makes me even more hesitant to pursue an MBA. I am really at a crossroads in my life right now. I graduated with a Master degree in Political science 4 years ago, after working a year in a non-profit organization and being accepted in a (supposedly) competitive and top-notch graduate program in a big agribusiness firm. I joined a new department in HR doing talent acquisition and training but find myself just stagnating professionally. I got loads of international experience and lived in 9 countries but for the past year, I haven’t grown at all professionnally: my manager is on and off so there is no leadership whatsoever, apart from Coursera courses I haven’t learned anything new and all the projects I suggest are killed in the egg because of budget. I find myself bored at work most of the day. Additionnally I am based in a country that I just don’t really like and that is very expensive, so all of that just decided me to get a change. I started looking for jobs but realized that in 3 years I worked partly in sales, HR and communications but was not specialized in anything. That’s when I thought of doing an MBA to get more business acumen. So I wrote the GMAT, got recommendation letters, etc and just got accepted in a good Canadian B-School. Now that I got in and am about to sign my 100k loan next month, I find myself panicking and wondering if I am doing the right thing. When I read about MBA graduates struggling to find work (lately MBAs are losing in recognition), repaying their loans until their forties and hating the constraints of the corporate world, I am reconsidering my decision. Alternatively I was thinking of doing a specialized master in oenology and wine management, it’s less recognized and very specialized but I wodner if it wouldn’t make me happier without having to sell a kidney to pay back the bank… Still a month to make this huge decision…

  268. I read this and it was so true! I went to Stanford for my MBA and didn’t finish (finished 5 of 6 quarters) primarily because I felt all these reasons you listed. However now with 7 years of work experience after the MBA program I am still getting questions about why I didn’t finish. And it’s making me reconsider going back to finish – but we all know you can’t just go back and finish the last quarter – it’s essentially re-doing the entire program from scratch…right?

  269. First of all, thank you so much for writing this.

    I’m about to finish the first of two years in my MBA at Johns Hopkins. I worry that I jumped into this too quickly. What you mentioned about feeling like we HAVE to go for consulting (for the transferable skills…) was eye-opening for me because I got turned down this week at my first choice boutique firm for my summer internship. I think that’s what I really want to learn with this post: what do you do during the summer when many of your friends have internships and you feel totally lost about what to do next?

    Thanks in advance.

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  272. Very good read.
    I’m mid MBA right now and I find myself reading these sorts of blogs/ articles constantly.
    Important to keep feet grounded no doubt… to me MBA is about competitive advantage… although it is not an immediate pay back..
    Everyone i work with is here because they have X amount of school and Y amount of Experience… you’re right most don’t care that you have an MBA… YET.

    The MBA gives you a knowledge base that is a mile wide and foot deep. It up to you to apply it and build your resume POST MBA… this gets you consideration in the future. to me MBA is about competitive advantage between me and peers and creating a personal succession plan for myself.

    I”m excited for the MBA and knowledge gained… but the day after it is done… will be just another day in the life.

  273. Really nice article. I totally agree on all points. The real test is not passing and getting the degree. The real test is what you will do after having that degree in real life. Not much guidance available once you cross the college. You are on your own.

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  277. I wish I had a magic 8-ball to tell me what it is and who I can work it with after the MBA degree. I’m half-way through my IU MBA online, really enjoying it, but it definitely takes a lot of my time; even one class at a time. Working as a full-time physician and rearing a 4-year-old son, and a wife who is a stay-home mom, they already see me with limited time. Albeit she is excited about my potential career development, just potential, I feel guilty spending time away from the family and spending more $$ on tuition while I already have a 6-figure student loan. So, I have decided to stop halfway after completing my core classes. I really appreciate everyone’s candor in this post and especially gracious toward “aperryman” for posting this thread. The reason I’m posting is I feel my situation is a bit different.

    I absolutely agree with the notion that “it’s not the letters behind your name that matters, it’s what you do with it”. I actually tell that to others often. So to determine whether if the cost/time of an MBA is worth your while, the best thing to do is to discover your passion and see if getting an MBA will help you realize your goals. By having my medical degree, it does not make me any smarter than others, just that I have the means/tools to accomplish certain things. Same with the MBA, I feel it’s actually more intuitive to learn-on-the-job and get involved, but you have to work in a job you are passionate about first then see how business skills can elevate you. While the core classes I took gives me the tools necessary to venture into business, I feel finishing my MBA with a bunch of “useless” electives did not make sense, since most of the remaining classes have nothing to do with healthcare IT. If you are in a field that networking is important, and you have joined the right group, whether virtually or in person, a title of MBA is less convincing than your resume highlighting your accomplishments in your passion; assuming the networking group has the same career aspirations.

    Just my two cents into this whole MBA thing, I hope my message helps you reflect on your evaluation of an MBA’s worth. I would be delighted if anyone care to shed light on my situation; I welcome any criticism:) Best.

  278. Your writing is so very validating. Thank you for your courage in revealing yourself like this.

    I am going to share your writing with my wife so that she knows my agnst is not simply my beinb agnsty.

    Earned my MBA in 2012 with 4.0, inducted into two international honors societies. Felt very good and confident coming out of that, and gained a much greater understanding of the how and why things work as they do in the world. Worklife and career advancement have not been as much fun, nor as rewarding as i had hoped. Folks should be very careful when considering the additional debt load of an MBA… maybe find an employer who will pay for it 😉

    How have things gone for you since you started blogging? Would love to hear.

    All Best,

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