Monday, October 16, 2006

My take on MBA's...

Ok this may offend those who think very highly of their education, and I am sorry. I am sorry if my blunt comments offend you but reality is rather different than most MBA's see it. The collegiate brainwashing that occurs as you begin to apply to B-school is just the tip of the iceberg. Then you are accepted, further elevating your screwed up perception of yourself, then you attend and think you now know more than all us schmucks schleping to work every day while you review another case study with your professor. Case study's are great - you know in advance how the problem worked out so you can envision all kinds of great ideas that also contribute to the same end result. It's a lot harder to come across a real problem and based on your "gut instinct" you determine something needs to change, so you bravely work it out to the point it makes the company so much money you achieve CEO because of your smahts. This is rare. The worst are the MBA's who graduate having never had to work anywhere, never wanted something so badly they could taste it, passionless empty degrees earned with the hopes that they could insert themselves into senior management without ever having to earn it. Big salary to compensate the *investment* they made in their education.

How is it an MBA is more valuable than real work experience?

I have worked with, interviewed and dated many people who have MBA's. All knowledge and hearsay - no action or individual accomplishments. On dates, it's just not romantic to tell me how amazing you are for attending business school. You either ARE amazing or you aren't. If you need to tell me you are then that's ten demerits right there.

Now, there are many folks who have MBA's and don't tell anyone. This is interesting to me. A humble approach perhaps? Or an attempt at ensuring a higher salary "just in case" it comes down to you and some other candidate.

What I am getting at is the complete misconception of MBA's from both the student and the employer. Students think they are more qualified for achieving these degrees. Employers often agree. Yet what is the end output? Does that MBA person in fact hit the ground running faster? Do they make the company wealthier? Do they contribute more intellectual capital? Do they have the ability to execute their own ideas without the help of others?

This article, titled "The path to the corner office" has me all fired up. It addresses everything I have mentioned before. I think it's high time students stop falling for the perception that an MBA will get them where they want to go. Think about it. You pay $40K per year, yes you should in fact have expectations for doing so. I would hold the schools accountable. Did the school in fact provide you with the equivalent of the $100K investment you made? Has your experience and accomplishments for the two+ years you spent attending school placed you higher than if you had worked in a roll learning hands-on at a company, putting in your time? If you bought a house for $100K you expect to earn equity on your investment, that's a given. So it makes sense that these MBA students expect to earn more based on the size of their investment.

Yes, it's obvious I am jealous of the MBA grads. Most are placed on a pedestal without ever knowing how humiliating it is to be called "the temp". I have been overlooked for positions I had the experience for only to find out someone with an MBA was offered the job. It's a slap in the face only when that person is a MORAN and cant deliver on any of the ideas they come up with. Most likely they didn't starve while earning less than $30K per year and paying their own bills. Trust me folks, many companies hold a lot of weight on promoting those who have worked in their factories and shittiest jobs. Those types of people really understand their business. If those folks then go on to complete advanced degrees they eliminate the competition by combining hands-on industry experience with advanced degrees. Which brings me to my point. Employers should expect more out of those with MBA's and no experience. Employers should heavily reward those with lots of experience who obtain their MBA. Employers should hold b-schools accountable.

Anyone catch the Amazing Race? Now there's some hands-on experience you can really use. Not to mention the life changing confidence those racers are gaining.


Now that I have clawed my way to my perch here in middle-management with years of experience, I can say with 100% confidence that I would have very high expectations of my professors at B-school if I attended.

this quote comes to mind:

"Never hesitate! Amateurs built the Mayflower and professionals
built the Titanic."


Anonymous said...

Maybe if you spelled "moron" correctly, you wouldn't feel so far behind.

Anonymous said...

I have had 15 years of management experience and ran a hotel as a G.M. for over 8 years. I dealt very closely with a couple of M.B.A.'s and have to say that they had risen to the peak of their incompetancies. No real world applicable solutions. The idea of employees were never given a thought. The other comment to your blog is a prime example. You had a lot of interesting real world things to say and someone (M.B.A.) decided they were best at being a spell checker instead of a thought leader! I liked to your site through myspace great posts!