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The MBA Thread

taktikz

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Originally Posted by why4009
Finally, something where I can give advice vs asking for it! I attended Chicago and the most valuable thing I got out of it were some solid friends, improved my ability to think through problems and work with people and deal with their bs. I know I wouldn't have done or seen what I have without my MBA but it can be over rated.

I think you got to know why you want to go to B-school. What do you plan to achieve with it. If it is to continue to do what you're doing maybe it won't matter much or you could go part time and have your employer pay for it. I think it is very useful if you want to chance careers go in as an accountant and come out a brand manager.

If you want to work in strategy consulting/i-banksing it would pretty useful to graduate from a top school. Hate to say it but it is about pedigree (like a dog show). Banks and consulting firms want to say "hey look we hired the best and that is why we charge 500/hour for them."

It may not be fair, or whatever, but that is the way it works. In a booming economy firms will go lower into the b-school rankings to find talent, but when times are tighter they can just stick with the Top 5.

IMHO, don't do it just to check the box on your career, really know why you want to go so you can get the most out of it.

For the person who runs his own business, there is a book called something like the 10 day MBA, not a bad place to get introduced to concepts. Figure out from there if you want to self-learn or go to school.

If you are applying to B-school soon do the following, don't bitch about the economy or say it is about time I got my MBA, etc in your applications or interviews. B-schools will see a lot of those applications. If you say something stupid they'll write it up on a board (sort of a wall of shame). All B-schools have this. I saw some pretty funny sh*t that people write in their applications. Great, got it trying to stand out, but excercise some discretion.

And no offense to the i generation (i-phone, i-pod), I say this out of support, don't come across with the entitlement, disrespectful, all about me MTV attitude that I sometimes come across. Be humble, mature, eager, respectful, and confident. Also do the interview on campus, show how committed you are to getting into the school, have people read your essays, and show that you really thought about why you want to go. Tell the schools why you will bring a different flavor to the program and how your classmates (humbly) will all benefit but also how you are a giver and not a taker. Space is limited at the top schools so you need to convince them why they should take you and it can't be because you happen to dress nice!

If one of your friends is currently attending get them to throw in a note to help you out, they have some influence. Apply early, don't wait. The sooner you know, the sooner you know if you need to apply to other schools.

They look at the complete package, so make sure you present yourself the best you can.

I wish all of you the best in your decisions on where to apply, etc.

Why4009


Great advice.
 

beny

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HBS grad here... I agree with most of what WHY4009 said, but I will say something else... IF your only goal in getting an MBA is to get into banking/consulting/PE/VC/HF then you absolutely must go to, at very least, an M7. The MBA isn't about the education, it's about 1.) the network and 2.) the pedigree.

In fact, in my Wall St. sheltered world, only Harvard and Stanford are considered formidable programs, Wharton is considered a decent step down, and Columbia, Chicago, Tuck, Sloan, Kellogg are all considered safeties. Many people at top PE/HF firms say H/S or bust and encourage juniors to only apply to those 2 programs.

You can always get into "typical" places from a place such as Sloan or Kellogg (i.e. Lehman, pre-collapse; Merrill, pre-sell-out, etc.) but to get into the top places (i.e. KKR, Blackstone, Och Ziff, Citadel, etc.) you really want to be at Harvard.

If your goal isn't to get into something where pedigree consitutes 90% of admittance requirements, then my advice may not be as applicable.
 

don_andomo

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Originally Posted by beny
I searched and couldn't find any threads.

I like the look, but I'm going to be an investment banking analyst (bottom of the totem pole) and contrast collar + French cuffs would scream "pretentious". It's a luxury reserved for the VPs and MDs. I was hoping that I could get away with barrel cuffs, so that it doesn't come off as formal, while still giving me the contrast collar look that I like.


Originally Posted by beny
HBS grad here... I agree with most of what WHY4009 said, but I will say something else... IF your only goal in getting an MBA is to get into banking/consulting/PE/VC/HF then you absolutely must go to, at very least, an M7. The MBA isn't about the education, it's about 1.) the network and 2.) the pedigree.

In fact, in my Wall St. sheltered world, only Harvard and Stanford are considered formidable programs, Wharton is considered a decent step down, and Columbia, Chicago, Tuck, Sloan, Kellogg are all considered safeties. Many people at top PE/HF firms say H/S or bust and encourage juniors to only apply to those 2 programs.

You can always get into "typical" places from a place such as Sloan or Kellogg (i.e. Lehman, pre-collapse; Merrill, pre-sell-out, etc.) but to get into the top places (i.e. KKR, Blackstone, Och Ziff, Citadel, etc.) you really want to be at Harvard.

If your goal isn't to get into something where pedigree consitutes 90% of admittance requirements, then my advice may not be as applicable.



Originally Posted by beny
I work for Merrill Lynch and have seen Thain speak a number of times... never in a black suit. It's unfortunate what's happeneing to the firm...

That's funny . . . graduates of those "safeties" get jobs at Wall Street firms as ASSOCIATES, not ANALYSTS. You're just an analyst bitch (at a commercial bank!) pretending to be an HBS grad.
 

JohnRov

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Originally Posted by Tarmac
From my understanding, the exorbitant value (and cost) of top programs is both networking, and recruiting. Many top firms don't even recruit outside the top 20, some not even outside the top 5.

someone tell me if this is poppycock or not


Top 5 is relevant depending upon what you want to get into. Wall Street Journal's rankings will differ significantly (they have Harvard down at #14 as of 2007) from Businessweek's and others. The criteria can vary greatly.
 

Flambeur

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I have an MBA from a pretty good private school.

That said, I would not recommend an MBA unless you are going to one of the top 10. You don't have to go to HBS to get into Citadel or KKR, but one of the top 10 is definitely a good place to start, unless you are already a certifiable genius, have amazing connections, or very specific and valuable skills/degree.
 

dshin

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Originally Posted by Flambeur
That said, I would not recommend an MBA unless you are going to one of the top 10.

This is my train of thought as well. I have to go PT and the choices around where I live were UofM (Ross), MSU (Broad), and Wayne State. I only applied to UofM b/c if I'm going to shell out $20K/yr and bust my ass over the next 3-4 yrs, only a top school is worth the effort.

And BTW, I have an interview with UofM tomorrow. Wish me luck!
 

JohnRov

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Originally Posted by Flambeur
That said, I would not recommend an MBA unless you are going to one of the top 10.

I don't see how this is valid. At my company, you aren't eligible for many mid/upper level positions without an MBA. It needs to be legitimate but certainly not top 10. It depends on where you are in your career and what you are trying to get out of the MBA.
 

Flambeur

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Originally Posted by JohnRov
I don't see how this is valid. At my company, you aren't eligible for many mid/upper level positions without an MBA. It needs to be legitimate but certainly not top 10. It depends on where you are in your career and what you are trying to get out of the MBA.

A company that would encourage you to get a non-top10 MBA is not a company you want to be working for...



But seriously, it makes sense to at least try to get into top 10, not necessarily for the current position, but for your future prospects. It makes a HUGE difference in what doors will be open to you in your future.
 

Flambeur

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Originally Posted by JohnRov
Top 5 is relevant depending upon what you want to get into. Wall Street Journal's rankings will differ significantly (they have Harvard down at #14 as of 2007) from Businessweek's and others. The criteria can vary greatly.


rankings shmankings..

Ask ANYONE in the top business echelons, and HBS will be THE #1 choice regardless. The next 5-7 or so come really close.
 

Tarmac

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What makes top 10? Is NYU? Columbia? Tuck?

Its problematic because there are basically 7 in 1 tier, and another 7-8 in the next tier, and then the proverbial precipitous drop-off
 

Tarmac

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The lower level MBA is definitely justifiable in some instances, as long as it is heavily subsidized.

Regarding top schools, you have to understand the staggering cost, it is about $160k plus 2 years lost salary. Most people are looking at 260-300k total opportunity cost. Obviously, it better get you something.
 

Flambeur

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Originally Posted by Tarmac
The lower level MBA is definitely justifiable in some instances, as long as it is heavily subsidized.

Regarding top schools, you have to understand the staggering cost, it is about $160k plus 2 years lost salary. Most people are looking at 260-300k total opportunity cost. Obviously, it better get you something.


To me, a lower level MBA has an opportunity cost of not getting a top MBA. You really only get one chance.

Another way to get around it when your employer subsidizes it is to get a masters. A lot of times a masters from an average school can propel you forward a bit and move you towards a better MBA if you play it right.
 

Davidko19

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So how would one get into a prestigious school without having prestigious grades or a big extra curricular rap sheet? I want to go to a great school like ucla or usc and know I would bust ass there, but am afraid of not getting in since i never really tried or cared about getting good grades in college or HS. Now Im just a working bum...
 

Flambeur

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Originally Posted by Davidko19
So how would one get into a prestigious school without having prestigious grades or a big extra curricular rap sheet? I want to go to a great school like ucla or usc and know I would bust ass there, but am afraid of not getting in since i never really tried or cared about getting good grades in college or HS. Now Im just a working bum...

You reap what you sow.

Not to say you can't make it work.. if you turn around and work your ass off towards a goal.
 

Tarmac

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The closest friends I have who got an MBA say it was a waste of money. We are talking about 1 Stanford, 1 Kellogg, and 1 HBS, and Wharton.

Inexplicably, I'm applying right now
 

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