Monday, May 28, 2012

Do I need an MBA? Final part

I'm neither rich nor smart enough. I still need to count how much money I have as oppose a real rich person does not know how much money he/she has in the banks, stock markets or properties. And I don't have an MBA. The below opinions are purely based on my observations on people over the years. Other than speaking my minds, I do not have any other authority - so take it with a pinch of salt.

Having quoted some articles recently must make you feel that I’m against having an MBA.  I do not have a particular bias against MBA holders. I’m only feeling uncomfortable with people who are abusing others with MBAs.

Come to think of it, I’ve met people from Harvard or MIT(sorry for showing off here), yet they are down to earth and humble. Many of us think the rich are like those in TV drama that they are stuck up but many times they behave the opposite – frugal and humble. Surprisingly, it is easier to encounter nasty and abusive people who had just tasted a bit of power or money.  It's more likely they will want to show off or flaunt by showing their outward appearance, mostly by incurring debts.

When come to abuses, some of them think they’re a class above others. Or they think they’re smarter than others. Personality asides, B school mold them to be too stereotype, keep drawing same text book solutions to real life business problems.

They’re others trying to hide their insecurities with an MBA blanket. Just like many professionals in Singapore having a taxi license, many think they can go to business school to teach when they’re unemployed.

When you look into the 10 top college dropouts that I posted earlier, you will notice one thing. The obvious common thread is these people were already successful of what they were doing. They were so successful that they were having a hard time to concentrate full time studying. Their businesses are flourishing so much that causing them to dropout.

There are many reasons to do an MBA but there are also reasons of getting by okay without an MBA.

  • You have done a basic business degree. If you’re already done a BBA or Management course, I think an MBA is waste of time and money. It will add more value to those with a technical degree.
  • The key value to MBA is learning from your peers. Unless you are enrolling in a business school that attracts top talents, it’s unlikely that you are benefiting much other than killing time and earn you a paper qualification. I was once met with an MBA student from a prestigious B school in the US, she told me that most of her classmates are already highly successful and holding many important posts. The friendships and networking that come along with MBA are really valuable. Having a group of peers who are critical that come along with real experience running business will sharpen a person considerably. I was once heard a story some students pretending calling sick to avoid questioning time presenting their cases. Oouch!.
  • A type who prefer to self-learning rather than going through a structured course. Once you enrol in an MBA, the world will not wait for you. The train will have to keep running according to schedules. Don't do it when you feel it's a burden and not a joy!
  • You’re already highly successful in your career. Don’t get me wrong that a successful one should be conceited that they don’t need education. What I’m saying it is better to focus on your strength rather than diluting your resources.
  • You work with organization that focus on results and you do not need any impressive paper qualification to sell yourself. There are organizations who will want to use your education to throw a bit of weight to get them consultancy contracts, etc - then an MBA is a must - non-negotiable.
  • You work with bosses that like chairman Mao who does not care whether you are a white or black cat as long as you catch a mice. If you work for people who are full of themselves - it's either you find a new job somewhere or play along.
  • Having insights of what motivate you to get an MBA is important. Technical skills enhancement? Security blanket? Insurance? A pass to climb corporate ladder? Peer pressure? A wrong motive may make you a worse person after earning an MBA. 

Last words, having reading Ben Graham Security Analysis will not guarantee us to be another Warren Buffett. Reading Job Steve biography will not help you to create another iPod, iPad or iPhone. It does help us to have more intelligent conversations, that's all. Able to carry out an intelligent conversation is not equal to results. Having an MBA will not guarantee us to be a better business person, analyst or manager. Search our heart and getting the right motive is probably the most important step before we start.

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