One man say that life is divided into three stages: before the MBA, during the MBA, and after the MBA. And each of these stages brings its own unique experience that changes you completely.
1. An MBA is not about knowledge, it's about networking and connections.
No, of course you can learn to read a balance sheet or calculate NPV of a project, but you won't become a finance guru if you didn't have the slightest idea about financial management or accounting before. What you will get is very basic knowledge necessary for your overall understanding of the business picture of the world. Well, or at least the business picture of the company in which you will then work. If you want in-depth knowledge - look for a master's program in the specialty you are interested in. But what is better to spend time on, besides the constant work on cases and group projects, is networking. Networking with new people, getting to know professionals in your industry, attending lectures and master classes, constantly expanding your network of contacts - this is what can really help you in the future. You never know who and when can help you with a recommendation or make an interesting job offer.
2. MBA - it is not about leadership, but about competent management.
You cannot be taught to be a true leader, to inspire people to do heroic deeds or to lead a crowd of your own classmates. This comes with experience and over the years. But you can be taught to listen to others, to stop being arrogant/aggressive/ pompous "know-it-all" and to respect others, to appreciate differences of opinion and accept people as they are and work with it, to be able to defend your interests and interests of your team with dignity, to settle conflicts in the group. Not bad qualities for a future leader, don't you think?
3. MBA vs EMBA, or When Age Matters.
I have great respect for those guys who get an MBA at 25 (we have some of them). But when you are 35 and have 10 years of experience in a major company in senior positions, the interests and opinions on a number of issues do not always coincide. Sometimes they simply do not exist. But it's also an experience worth going through. My advice: pay attention to the age composition of your future classmates. And if you feel that you can handle the EMBA program because of your experience and age, you can. I wish I had listened to my inner voice.
4. The MBA is a club for a select few. But it still doesn't guarantee employment.
An MBA diploma is a pass to the corporate world. For the employer it is a sign that you have certain skills and knowledge, since you have already been enrolled in this program. You have already been selected and joined the cohort of the lucky ones, for whom the doors of certain positions in top companies are open. But you will also be going through all the hell of interviews and long waits, sending out resumes to HR managers on LinkedIn and being actively searched. In essence, you are still the same specialist with an already formed baggage of knowledge and skills. But with an MBA degree.
5. MBAs are not about employment. It's about being super busy.
Before entering the MBA program, I thought I was a super busy executive with scheduled hours of business meetings and events. I was wrong. Now I plan everything by the minute because the MBA is a crazy study load coupled with extracurricular activities, volunteer work, constant networking and looking for internships or part-time jobs. You'll be doing something all the time, either for your own benefit or for the benefit of the school. Of course, you can do nothing but attend lectures and do your homework. But then you "by default" will not have access to any "extracurricular" activities, whether it be an exchange program, or a study trip somewhere abroad. You need to figure out now how you are going to help the school. I, for example, work as a freelance photographer and help them design the official website. It's my contribution, and it's how I earn my credits. Think about it before you apply, too. Especially since this is a very common question in admissions essay topics.10 things I wish I had known before I got my MBA.
A friend of mine once told me that life is divided into three stages: before the MBA, during the MBA, and after the MBA. And each of these stages brings its own unique experience that changes you completely.
The decision to get an MBA was one of the most important decisions in my life. I was not only expecting a major financial investment in my future education, but also a complete change in my personal life and career. Of course, I was mentally prepared for such drastic changes: I read about other students' experiences, asked their opinion on my studies, and talked to business school alumni. However, each of them had a different experience, and now I want to share my impressions about what I learned after the long-awaited invitation to become an MBA-student of the business school at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
6. An MBA is not a vacation. It is a full immersion in a foreign environment and culture
Every country has its own customs and traditions, recognized norms of behavior and communication. Everywhere has its own culture, which is sometimes very difficult to "penetrate" for a person from the outside. And all of this should also be kept in mind when you choose a city for your future residence for a year (or two). It's one thing when you come to a country as a tourist, and everything seems nice and friendly for two or three weeks. But it's quite another thing to live permanently in a society with a different culture from your own, deal with everyday issues and communicate with the locals on a domestic level. And here things can be far from rosy and promising. My advice: Never choose a country or city to study in if you have never been there. Expectations and reality coincide very rarely. Personally, I knew where I was going, so I was OK in that regard.
7. MBA: quality vs price
Spoiler: the more expensive the better. As a rule, these things are done by schools with impeccable reputations, excellent ratings and world-renowned brands. And you will pay not only for the name of the school, but also for the opportunities that the business school will give you, namely the opportunity to learn from the best professionals in their business, attend lectures by Nobel laureates, go to master classes from world gurus of finance/marketing/politics/economics, etc., be a member of the famous alumni club and much more. Although now the business education market is developing so rapidly that it is possible to find a good alternative to Western business schools with good value for money. For example, Asian
8. MBAs are often about performance. But not always
I will speak for my own business school, although I know that other business schools may not pay attention to this at all. I'm talking about grades, grades and GPA. At NUS it's very important to the extent that even in the diploma they write GPA. GPA is important for further scholarships, applying for international students and exchange programs, getting a job in Singapore. In general, you have to study in any case, if you do not want to be expelled after the first semester. You can not sit back.
9. MBAs are about the transformation of consciousness
Because your ego will constantly tell you that you constantly have to keep up or even be better than your classmates. And for some immature individuals, this need to live up to the generally accepted standards in this environment can be a real test of strength. Because all of your friends have long since found an internship for next year at your dream company, and you still haven't received the coveted offer. Because some of your friends got invited to a private party at Goldman Sachs or McKinsey, and you, for some reason, didn't. And this is when the rat race with your own classmates begins, the goal of which is to prove to those around you that you are as good as anyone else and worthy of being in that cohort.
10. MBA: do you really need one?
This is probably the most important question that every prospective student should honestly answer for themselves. Personally for me an MBA was the end of my academic and career path. I also very much wanted to get work experience in an international company. Ordinary master's program did not suit me, I even did not think about EMBA because of financial opportunities, but MBA was just right. And I got there, where I really wanted to go. Some things I like, some not so much, but in any case, now I understand my friend.