Archive | December, 2012

On the Value of an MBA

20 Dec

After 3½ years of evening classes, I have completed my MBA studies at George Mason University.  I am aware of the many arguments for (career advancement, higher salary, network building) and against (cost, time, doesn’t prepare you to start/run a business) this advanced professional degree.  I had intended to address some of the more popular pros and cons, but felt that there was already enough rhetoric on the subject.

So there are two points I want to make (and they don’t just apply to getting an MBA):

  1. I did it for me:  I had a strong background in leadership and program management from my time in the military, but I wanted to gain a better understanding of all the functions required in business.  My Mason MBA provided me with a strong foundation in a myriad of business subjects – finances, marketing, organizational behavior, operations management and entrepreneurship (just to name a few).  I was also able to spend two weeks in Singapore and Malaysia learning about aspects of international business.
  2. I got out what I put in:  There are limits to what you can learn reading books and discussing case studies in class.  So I augmented classroom learning by starting a management consulting company and working for a non-profit that helps start and build small businesses by proving training, counseling, financial services and facilities to the business start-ups.  As a result, I was able to apply theory to real world situations.

To paraphrase an old saying: those who can, do; those who can’t, teach; and those who can’t teach, write blogs.  I’m lucky – I get to do all three.