Has anyone studied for an MBA?

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  • Has anyone studied for an MBA?
  • DT78
    Member

    Looking into MBA’s (part time), likely I will have to self fund, though work may subsidise slightly. I’d be doing it mainly for personal development & interest but also with an eye on the future.

    Have you studied an MBA?
    Did you find it worth it?
    Does the ranking of the school greatly matter? (as I will not be able to afford the astronomic costs of the top schools)

    webwonkmtber
    Member

    Yeah, I did one part-time and it was a good but costly experience. It hasn’t revolutionised my career, but it has been useful – perhaps your sector would value it more highly? Met some great people, learned some interesting things and played World Class amounts of bullsiht bingo.

    I think the ranking of the schools is a bit oversold – it’s all marketing to sell more copies of the FT and their “value add” services.

    The Fopster
    Member

    I did one, though a long time ago now (early 90’s). I did it to enable a career change, and it worked out for me. If you are simply aiming at self development then most courses should be suitable, but if you have a long term career ambition on the back of it then sadly IME the choice of school makes a big difference. I went to one of the astronomically expensive schools (self funded) and spent some years paying off the loan but it opened a lot of doors. My parents had to put up their house as security on the loan, so no pressure….

    Broadly speaking it was a good experience, and chances are you’ll enjoy it. I’d definitely push your employer to help pay – they will benefit from a more qualified employee.

    ianv
    Member

    It was interesting but made no difference to me in terms of career. I would say the school ranking matters if you go for a really good one otherwise, probably not. Part time will be hard work, you will not have much spare time after job and studies.

    poly
    Member

    Has anyone studied for an MBA

    If the job candidates I’ve met with MBAs are representative then i’d say most of them haven’t studied for it – although they might have attended and handed in the course work! From what I can see the better the institution the better student is likely to be that comes out the end. Whether that is because of better teaching, or higher entry levels I’m not sure. It may also be that higher fees = better commitment to get a positive outcome.

    I’d definitely push your employer to help pay – they will benefit from a more qualified employee.

    Unless like most people who want to do an MBA its to move up the career ladder and possibly to a new employer!

    Did you find it worth it?

    Be aware that whilst blue chips, public sector and large charities may think MBAs are great many smaller businesses will not. Partly that might be fear that the new ‘smart arse’ will know more than the owners, but mostly I think it is because MBAs tend to think like management consultants. And everyone hates management consultants.

    sugdenr
    Member

    I didnt do one because I came to the conclusion you have to be a high flier, or run your own business with ambitious plans, for it to be worthwile – else you just learn a load of stuff that you will never be in a position to do/try out.

    I did something else instead which led to career change, however my main motivation was actually personal development.

    iDave
    Member

    Mediocre But Arrogant?

    TooTall
    Member

    Do you want to study it, is it of interest and do you see the gains?

    The wife of a good friend used to lecture on an MBA course at one of the top 5 MBA schools. She felt that the MBA didn’t do any single area enough justice to be worth the effort overall and you got far more (knowledge and value) from a more focused MSc.

    Make sure you can afford the time, and make sure you get to see the timetable for how the 2nd year pans out. A mate has just stepped away from a very good MBA part time because the 2nd year was nearly twice the 1st year in attendance and work. It was not going to be possible for him with the way his work is going.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    Yes (but FT and twenty odd years ago)

    Yes (but expensive)

    Yes – the quality of the experience (and I like your sensible motives) will depend on the quality of the teaching staff and your fellow students. There is a big variation in quality and frankly only a handful of UK B Schools are worth the money IMHO.

    Don’t underestimate time and commitment required. But the best thing is that you have the correct motives. On my course, there was a large number doing it merely to get better job/more money. They contributed less and got less out of it. DONT do it at a third rate Uni – you would be better off buying the core texts and working on your own. Otherwise you might get an “airport book” MBA rather than a true learning experience.

    Ingore comments like IDave’s – as in most things in life, MBA students are not a homogenous group.

    Good luck and enjoy (the hard work!!)

    DT78
    Member

    Thanks for your comments, food for thought. I was considering southampton uni, anyone with first experience? Fees are approx a third of the London schools, and I wouldn’t have the costs/ time drain of commuting.

    Premier Icon valleydaddy
    Subscriber

    I am currently studying for one, I started a few years back and dropped out due to work/family commitments, back doing it again know but still struggling with it all.

    Is it going to benefit me I don’t know, but thought it was a good idea to get some qualifications as the last thing I got was a BTEC 😯

    slackalice
    Member

    Jeez people….. Management is about people, not numbers and certainly not theory. However, it has proved itself as a valuable money-spinner for various institutions….

    Save your time and money and find yourself a ‘Listening Skills’ course through Adult Ed. Stages 1 to 3 would undoubtedly increase your effectiveness as a leader, inspirer and developer of people than any understanding of forecast modelling.

    The real issue here is that we have developed a status culture, whereby people are promoted to levels of incompetence and unfortunately, the MBA has given us a dirth of inexperienced, over paid, incompetent and IMHO, dangerous management teams.

    Apart from that…. The days start getting longer in less than a week 😀

    don simon
    Member

    Management is about people, not numbers and certainly not theory. However, it has proved itself as a valuable money-spinner for various institutions….

    +1 and is only really useful if you want to be a number cruncher in a large organisation rather than do business.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    As an interviewer I’d say the institute is more important. Their value has been eroded by every other Poly offering them to any old half wit with a few grand spare, so be careful not to waste your money. INSEAD yes would look great on your CV, an MBA from Loughborough Poly just says you had more money than sense.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    DT – others (above) obviously have low opinions of MBAs and you should reflect on what they say. I differ although would concur that in itself it doesn’t necessarily make you a better employee/manager/leader etc. But there is enormous value is the combination of theory (yes!), case studies, practical work and above all the interaction between tutors and students. This is why I believe that you should push as much as possible for one of the top UK or Eu institutions. As footlfaps said and maybe the others allude to, spending less on a poor course would be a false economy. Twenty years on and I still go back to some of what I learned on my MBA course.

    One word of caution – there is IMHO a massive gap between theory and practice and it can be enormously frustrating to re-enter the work place and watch people making a hash of things. Perhaps, this is where some of the ‘know-all’ reputation may come from, but it is hard not to point things out when they conflict between theory, experience and global best practice.

    Good luck with the decision and do not underestimate the time commitment.

    GJP
    Member

    ootflaps – Member
    As an interviewer I’d say the institute is more important. Their value has been eroded by every other Poly offering them to any old half wit with a few grand spare, so be careful not to waste your money. INSEAD yes would look great on your CV, an MBA from Loughborough Poly just says you had more money than sense.

    What is wrong with Loughborough? May not be LBS or Lancaster but I believe it has a pretty reputable business school. I am little biased mind as I did my PhD at their business school 😳

    Gowrie
    Member

    Jeez people….. Management is about people, not numbers and certainly not theory.

    But surprisingly enough there is a lot that can be learnt on an MBA about people management, power, leadership, organisational behaviour that is both useful and not just “common sense”. That was what I gained most from my MBA, understanding how organisations could work, why people did what they did and how effective management styles could be affected by the type of business you were managing.
    But managing is really about making decisions, and although most decision affect people, knowing that the Payback Method is generally rubbish for assessing the return on an investment, but that the Net Present Value method, although more complicated, is a good way to assess that return can be very useful indeed – although no people are involved.
    I really enjoyed my MBA. It was hugely insightful – truly life-changing, although I’m still doing the same job as I was when I started it nearly 10 years ago. I was ready to give up on my business, sell up and move on, but it gave me the insight to understand what was happening, stick to my guns on some issues – its stopped my from making many mistakes. I went from being frustrated and unhappy to genuinely looking forward to going into work.

    They’re right when they say its generalist – but I can still find the right page in the book if I need more information. I would agree with others about going to a good school if you can. Also I think I got more from it because I’d been managing some sort of business for 20 years before I did mine – you’ll get less from it if you do it too early in your career.

    Colin

    vdubber67
    Member

    slackalice – Member

    Jeez people….. Management is about people, not numbers and certainly not theory. However, it has proved itself as a valuable money-spinner for various institutions….

    Save your time and money and find yourself a ‘Listening Skills’ course through Adult Ed. Stages 1 to 3 would undoubtedly increase your effectiveness as a leader, inspirer and developer of people than any understanding of forecast modelling.

    The real issue here is that we have developed a status culture, whereby people are promoted to levels of incompetence and unfortunately, the MBA has given us a dirth of inexperienced, over paid, incompetent and IMHO, dangerous management teams.

    Apart from that…. The days start getting longer in less than a week

    I’d say management is about people, numbers, theory and a lot of other things actually. I know all the good MDs and GMs I’ve worked for haven’t been successful managers just because they’ve been good listeners!

    I think management is about using a variety of inputs, filtering them through your own approach etc. Have to say experience counts a lot though.

    project
    Member

    Did Gerald Ratner, Alan Sugar, Richard Branson, etc all have MBA,s or just god buisness sence, something that needs to be learnt by hands on experience, not from a classroom.

    Gowrie
    Member

    Did Gerald Ratner, Alan Sugar, Richard Branson, etc all have MBA,s or just god buisness sence, something that needs to be learnt by hands on experience, not from a classroom.

    It doesn’t have to be learnt in a classroom, some will get by with experience. But some of it can be learnt. It certainly helped me.

    And do you really rate Sugar and Ratner?

    project
    Member

    Ratner,sugar, branson, multi millionaires and no mba, and there are more out there.

    Its experience that counts in running a buisness, and getting the customers to spend, its also about employing the right staff,with the relevant experience and trianing them to do what you want them to do.

    You can sit at a desk listening and reading every book you can get, but if you dont have that buissness spark youll fail, having a personality and a unique selling point also help considerably.

    don simon
    Member

    Its experience that counts in running a buisness, and getting the customers to spend, its also about employing the right staff,with the relevant experience and trianing them to do what you want them to do.

    The difference is, project, that the MBA is designed for climbing the corporate ladder to a particular level. Sugar, Ratner etc are entrepreneurs and different animals by nature.
    The corporate animal is unlikey to reach millionaire status as they are driven by different motivations.

    project
    Member

    The corporate ladder is just a ladder to climb as long as the buissness exists, and without the sales and marketing it fails and you can sustain serious debt by falling off that lader.

    Did Gerald Ratner, Alan Sugar, Richard Branson, etc all have MBA,s or just god buisness sence, something that needs to be learnt by hands on experience, not from a classroom.

    Mark Lawrence – no MBA
    Gerry Rice – no MBA
    Steve O’Mahoney – no MBA
    Edward Palgrave – no MBA

    I think that makes rhe point clearly

    druidh
    Member

    Anyone I’ve worked with who was doing an MBA was either in it because they were bored or thought it would help in their career. The folk who actually succeeded in their career were the ones that applied themselves in the workplace, not outside of it.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    One thing that you may learn on an MBA is that for every Ratner (really??), Sugar (property spiv) and Branson there are 000s who didn’t make it. It is sloppy thinking to quote the very few entrepreneurs that succeed as a reason to dismiss studying to enhance what natural business talent that you may have.

    Don’t be put off by the nay sayers!

    Yes there are MBA students who do it for the wrong reasons/don’t succeed but there are also many who do the opposite.

    mudshark
    Member

    I lived with some Warwick Uni MBA students whilst I was there doing a Manufacturing MSc. I think Warwick is one of the top places to do an MBA and they had a pretty high opinion of themselves – to be fair they came across well and went on to get very good jobs.

    My wife did an MBA at Nottingham Trent Uni or whatever it’s called, you wouldn’t know she’d got one and it was a waste of time IMO, she got into accountancy afterwards and that got her into a reasonable career.

    I’d only bother studying at one of these:
    http://www.economist.com/whichmba/full-time-mba-ranking

    If you want to be a high flyer in business the institution is everything. If you want to switch to business then an MBA from a lesser place is better than having no business education but it won’t get you anywhere special.

    geetee1972
    Member

    Good lord the arguments on this thread are so utterly fatuous and could only be made by people that have neither an MBA or experience of the corporate world 🙄

    project
    Member

    as consumers we all have vast experiences of the failed corporate world.

    (smilies and quotes not working again).

    One thing that you may learn on an MBA is that for every Ratner (really??), Sugar (property spiv) and Branson there are 000s who didn’t make it. It is sloppy thinking to quote the very few entrepreneurs that succeed as a reason to dismiss studying to enhance what natural business talent that you may have.

    Yes, exactly what i was trying to say.

    Premier Icon bakey
    Subscriber

    I completed my MBA in 2000, studying part-time with the Open University Business School. I chose them on two key criteria: (i) accreditation – AMBA being the key one – and, (ii) the ability to tailor the degree towards my specialisms – in my case, finance. The organisation, study cohort and quality of the course was outstanding.

    I did it not for the corporate ladder thing, but to enter an industry for which I was only partially qualified. At the time I was working iin a 10 person outfit and even now, in another organisation, there are only 11 of us – so its not all big corp. The learning is applicable across all corporate endeavors, large and small. There were, interestingly, a number of NHS staff on the course I did, and not just NHS managers, but senior nurses and medics too.

    For me it was life and career changing (I had to study the hard way, having not been able to go to uni for a first degree) and I was extraordinarily lucky to have been sponsored by my employers.

    konabunny
    Member

    Management is about people, not numbers and certainly not theory.

    which is to say

    eeh, lad, it’s life, not book-learning, that’s taught me what I’ve learnt.

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