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.

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2 Responses to “On the Value of an MBA”

  1. recrais 12/20/2012 at 14:32 #

    Your last line is priceless or in your case, 3 1/2 years of hard work. Congratulations Charles! Once again, you are The Man!

    • Brian Lindholm 01/29/2013 at 16:24 #

      Charles, I felt the same way about my MBA studies at GMU. Some classmates just did it to punch a ticket. I did it to learn and grow. Like most things in life you get out of something based on what you put in to it. Go all in or go home.

      Just like you I am grateful for the opportunity to get a MBA from Mason.

      I’m not so sure about the blogging comment! 😉

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