20+ yrs of experience..which way now?


RMS
Hi there,
I would love to hear your advise on the following:
I'm 45 years old, have an MBA in Brazil, more than 20 years of working experience on leadership and managing positions in local and global organizations in the pharma industry.
But it seems for about 3, 4 years my career has come to a dead end : no developments, not being able to grasp the relevant opportunities, etc. I personally didn't invest much on education on the last years, so I'm totally aware. Now I feel the urgent need to recover the time lost.
Hi there,
But on the last 3, 4 years my career has come to a dead end: no development and not being able to grasp great opportunities.
I personally didn't invest much on education on the last years, so I'm totally aware. Now I feel the urgent need to recover the time lost.

Therefore, considering the greatest impact on the career, I would love to hear from you what do you think would be the best option
1) A DL MBA (Warwick or Durham)
OR
2) Specialization courses from multiple institutions (MIT, Stanford, etc)
OR
3) A Master degree DL MSc
Thank you so much for the help!
Hi there,
I would love to hear your advise on the following:
I'm 45 years old, have an MBA in Brazil, more than 20 years of working experience on leadership and managing positions in local and global organizations in the pharma industry.
But it seems for about 3, 4 years my career has come to a dead end : no developments, not being able to grasp the relevant opportunities, etc. I personally didn't invest much on education on the last years, so I'm totally aware. Now I feel the urgent need to recover the time lost.
Hi there,
But on the last 3, 4 years my career has come to a dead end: no development and not being able to grasp great opportunities.
I personally didn't invest much on education on the last years, so I'm totally aware. Now I feel the urgent need to recover the time lost.

Therefore, considering the greatest impact on the career, I would love to hear from you what do you think would be the best option
1) A DL MBA (Warwick or Durham)
OR
2) Specialization courses from multiple institutions (MIT, Stanford, etc)
OR
3) A Master degree DL MSc
Thank you so much for the help!
quote
Duncan
Focus on making your career goals more concrete. Do you want to change role, country, industry players or just learn?
Focus on making your career goals more concrete. Do you want to change role, country, industry players or just learn?
quote
RMS
Career goals are
1) Changing role within my organization - bigger scope and responsibility
2) Change to other industry players

Learn and update the knowledge - this is a goal that goes on top due to the situation described on my previous post.
thank you!
Career goals are
1) Changing role within my organization - bigger scope and responsibility
2) Change to other industry players

Learn and update the knowledge - this is a goal that goes on top due to the situation described on my previous post.
thank you!
quote
Duncan
Given Boston University's leading position in life sciences, its new online MBA could be the best choice: https://www.edx.org/masters/online-master-business-administration-mba-bux
Given Boston University's leading position in life sciences, its new online MBA could be the best choice: https://www.edx.org/masters/online-master-business-administration-mba-bux
quote
laurie
Johns Hopkins also offers a part-time degree that can be completed online or online with a mix of in-class sessions.

Are you also open to EMBA programs? If so, IMD's EMBA program might be worth considering.
Johns Hopkins also offers a part-time degree that can be completed online or online with a mix of in-class sessions.

Are you also open to EMBA programs? If so, IMD's EMBA program might be worth considering.
quote
RMS
I took a look at JH but the cost is too high compared to the options in Europe.
Only DL works for me at this point.

Great thanks for the reply!
I took a look at JH but the cost is too high compared to the options in Europe.
Only DL works for me at this point.

Great thanks for the reply!
quote
Trying to be realistic here. I am assuming since you have a "leadership role" that you are at least at the Director level. If so, I don't believe that moving up within your organization is realistically achievable just because of an additional online MBA. You already have an MBA - you already checked the box. Rarely are promotions to C-level based on 2 MBAs. I am sure you can already see within the organization what types of people reach those C-level positions. What do they have that you current lack. Is it really a second (and online) MBA?

For your second goal, joining and leading industry associations might give you the visibility you need to jump to your industry competitors. An online MBA will not really help with your second goal.

The one thing an "extra" MBA will give you is a refresh of your previous MBA. In other words, you will get new knowledge that wasn't available when you did your first MBA (think AI and Data Science). However, as you already implied, you can gain the same knowledge by carefully selecting coursera or edx courses. The huge plus there is it is free. I leave it to you if spending thousands of dollars is justified purely based on your thirst for knowledge in a structured environment. Only you can decide what that is worth.

Lastly, I think you are doing nothing wrong with your career. What you are going through is something common that every high performer has faced or will eventually face. Most people in the corporate world will hit a ceiling at some point in their careers (mainly in their late 40s to 50s). The reason is simply there are fewer higher level positions available. Think about how few C-level positions are available compared to managers. Hitting that ceiling feels you are doing something wrong compared to earlier in your career when it was easier to get promoted. But in reality, that's just how it goes for the majority of employees (even graduates of elite MBA programs). You can check Linkedin to verify what I am saying - there are many elite Wharton/HBS/INSEAD etc grads who never make it past Director level.

[Edited by smartcanada on Nov 28, 2019]

Trying to be realistic here. I am assuming since you have a "leadership role" that you are at least at the Director level. If so, I don't believe that moving up within your organization is realistically achievable just because of an additional online MBA. You already have an MBA - you already checked the box. Rarely are promotions to C-level based on 2 MBAs. I am sure you can already see within the organization what types of people reach those C-level positions. What do they have that you current lack. Is it really a second (and online) MBA?

For your second goal, joining and leading industry associations might give you the visibility you need to jump to your industry competitors. An online MBA will not really help with your second goal.

The one thing an "extra" MBA will give you is a refresh of your previous MBA. In other words, you will get new knowledge that wasn't available when you did your first MBA (think AI and Data Science). However, as you already implied, you can gain the same knowledge by carefully selecting coursera or edx courses. The huge plus there is it is free. I leave it to you if spending thousands of dollars is justified purely based on your thirst for knowledge in a structured environment. Only you can decide what that is worth.

Lastly, I think you are doing nothing wrong with your career. What you are going through is something common that every high performer has faced or will eventually face. Most people in the corporate world will hit a ceiling at some point in their careers (mainly in their late 40s to 50s). The reason is simply there are fewer higher level positions available. Think about how few C-level positions are available compared to managers. Hitting that ceiling feels you are doing something wrong compared to earlier in your career when it was easier to get promoted. But in reality, that's just how it goes for the majority of employees (even graduates of elite MBA programs). You can check Linkedin to verify what I am saying - there are many elite Wharton/HBS/INSEAD etc grads who never make it past Director level.
quote
Duncan
My Brazilian friends say will be a big gap between an MBA in Brazil and a top global MBA in many ways. Don't underestimate the lift in management effectiveness.
My Brazilian friends say will be a big gap between an MBA in Brazil and a top global MBA in many ways. Don't underestimate the lift in management effectiveness.
quote
RMS
@smartcanada your assumptions are more or less correct regarding my current situation and position. You made solid points on creating my own learning path but considering what Duncan just replied, its absolutely true as well. An MBA in Brazil has no comparison with a top global MBA. The question to me is: What's real effect a global MBA can have on my CV compared with individual courses - to be considered for higher positions - also thinking on other organisations.
@smartcanada your assumptions are more or less correct regarding my current situation and position. You made solid points on creating my own learning path but considering what Duncan just replied, its absolutely true as well. An MBA in Brazil has no comparison with a top global MBA. The question to me is: What's real effect a global MBA can have on my CV compared with individual courses - to be considered for higher positions - also thinking on other organisations.
quote
@RMS - wish you the best of luck with your decision. I am sure you have the wisdom and experience to choose what is best for you.

By the way, I am not an MBA consultant/expert so my understanding of all MBA programmes across the world is limited. I am just a regular director-level strategy professional in Toronto who likes to help people based on my past experiences. It is my way of giving back to the online MBA community that helped me with advice in the past.

Your original post reminded me of a colleague I have who faced the exact same problem 3 years ago. He did an online MBA with IE (a really good, ranked school) to help break out of that ceiling. It did nothing for his career. It did not make him any more valuable than he already was in the company. He also told me how difficult it was to move to another company. A lot of them were asking him to take a pay cut given his age and current seniority in the organization. At an older age, pay is usually much higher. Other organizations might find newly-minted entry level MBA graduates from elite schools as "cheaper" for the same set of skills.

Not saying the same will happen to you. But you have to look at all possibilities.

[Edited by smartcanada on Nov 28, 2019]

@RMS - wish you the best of luck with your decision. I am sure you have the wisdom and experience to choose what is best for you.

By the way, I am not an MBA consultant/expert so my understanding of all MBA programmes across the world is limited. I am just a regular director-level strategy professional in Toronto who likes to help people based on my past experiences. It is my way of giving back to the online MBA community that helped me with advice in the past.

Your original post reminded me of a colleague I have who faced the exact same problem 3 years ago. He did an online MBA with IE (a really good, ranked school) to help break out of that ceiling. It did nothing for his career. It did not make him any more valuable than he already was in the company. He also told me how difficult it was to move to another company. A lot of them were asking him to take a pay cut given his age and current seniority in the organization. At an older age, pay is usually much higher. Other organizations might find newly-minted entry level MBA graduates from elite schools as "cheaper" for the same set of skills.

Not saying the same will happen to you. But you have to look at all possibilities.

quote

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