Basic MBA questions


Karl182
Hi FindMBA community,

I'm sure you read your fair share of these types of posts, but I really am in need of some advice and input.

I'm at a career cross-roads at the moment, and I want to make sure I am making the right decision, and not daydreaming and making misinformed and wrong conclusions about what effect an MBA might actually have on my career.

I'm a 30 years old, currently working as a Marketing & Communication Director at a small company (think <10 people) who deals a lot with startups, accelerators, incubators, investors, VCs, etc. I've been at this position for the past 2 years, and prior to that I was a Project Manager for a year at the same company. I also hold a Master's Degree in Public Relations, and Political Science. I do not like what I do, at all, and I have to do something to not get stuck in a position I don't not want, and gain experience in something I am not interested in.

I am, however, very interested in business, business development and management, and looking at different universities and their respective MBA curriculums, that's exactly what I want to study and do. I would use this MBA to pivot my career closer to business, business development and management, and move away from marketing/communication work. The positions I would ideally end up in are General management/strategy/consulting potentially tech innovation and entrepreneurship.

My question to you is, being a PR/PolSci major, is it a pipe-dream to think an MBA will significantly contribute to me changing careers? I'm asking because as you all know, an MBA is both time and money intensive, and the programs I'm looking at right now cost anywhere between 22k (Durham Business School) to 35k (Warwick Business School) euros. I know it can't hurt having an MBA on your CV, but for 35k euros, I'd want a bigger effect on my employability. It is worth mentioning that only online options work for me since there isn't an MBA available in the city I live in, or even the country (there's one that offers an EMBA, but wasn't even ranked globally), and I can't really afford moving and not working 1-2 years to attend the full time version. Doing Bachelor's in BA, and a Master's right after that is also not an option since I can't really afford quitting my current job and be unemployed for at least 3 years while I'm studying.

The schools I'm considering right now are Durham (as the cheaper option), Warwick and maybe Vlerick (wasn't ranked in The Economist's rankings). I'm using FT, The Economist and QS rankings to determine which would benefit me the most in terms of value and reputation. I'm also open for other options, but my absolute top budget is 35k euro.

I've read a lot of articles and forum posts that emphasize the networking aspect of doing an MBA as the most important thing, and subsequently the biggest negative of the online version. I do not seek to be employed by a huge company right out of the gate. What I am hoping this MBA would do is help me acquire knowledge and skills necessary for pivoting my career and opening doors towards more business/management related roles.

Am I being naive here?


Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Hi FindMBA community,

I'm sure you read your fair share of these types of posts, but I really am in need of some advice and input.

I'm at a career cross-roads at the moment, and I want to make sure I am making the right decision, and not daydreaming and making misinformed and wrong conclusions about what effect an MBA might actually have on my career.

I'm a 30 years old, currently working as a Marketing & Communication Director at a small company (think <10 people) who deals a lot with startups, accelerators, incubators, investors, VCs, etc. I've been at this position for the past 2 years, and prior to that I was a Project Manager for a year at the same company. I also hold a Master's Degree in Public Relations, and Political Science. I do not like what I do, at all, and I have to do something to not get stuck in a position I don't not want, and gain experience in something I am not interested in.

I am, however, very interested in business, business development and management, and looking at different universities and their respective MBA curriculums, that's exactly what I want to study and do. I would use this MBA to pivot my career closer to business, business development and management, and move away from marketing/communication work. The positions I would ideally end up in are General management/strategy/consulting potentially tech innovation and entrepreneurship.

My question to you is, being a PR/PolSci major, is it a pipe-dream to think an MBA will significantly contribute to me changing careers? I'm asking because as you all know, an MBA is both time and money intensive, and the programs I'm looking at right now cost anywhere between 22k (Durham Business School) to 35k (Warwick Business School) euros. I know it can't hurt having an MBA on your CV, but for 35k euros, I'd want a bigger effect on my employability. It is worth mentioning that only online options work for me since there isn't an MBA available in the city I live in, or even the country (there's one that offers an EMBA, but wasn't even ranked globally), and I can't really afford moving and not working 1-2 years to attend the full time version. Doing Bachelor's in BA, and a Master's right after that is also not an option since I can't really afford quitting my current job and be unemployed for at least 3 years while I'm studying.

The schools I'm considering right now are Durham (as the cheaper option), Warwick and maybe Vlerick (wasn't ranked in The Economist's rankings). I'm using FT, The Economist and QS rankings to determine which would benefit me the most in terms of value and reputation. I'm also open for other options, but my absolute top budget is 35k euro.

I've read a lot of articles and forum posts that emphasize the networking aspect of doing an MBA as the most important thing, and subsequently the biggest negative of the online version. I do not seek to be employed by a huge company right out of the gate. What I am hoping this MBA would do is help me acquire knowledge and skills necessary for pivoting my career and opening doors towards more business/management related roles.

Am I being naive here?


Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
quote
mba hipste...
These are good questions to ask the schools you're interested in.

In general, the online programs are designed for students who want to make smaller career shifts - perhaps they want to stay in the industry they're in and just move up the career ladder. For those who want to make larger shifts (industry / function / location) the investment of an in-class program is worth it.

Ultimately it depends on your actual goals. What firms do you want to target? Do these firms recruit managers from the schools you're looking at? If so, which ones?

I do think an Online MBA, especially one from a 'name brand' school, can add a lot to a CV.
These are good questions to ask the schools you're interested in.

In general, the online programs are designed for students who want to make smaller career shifts - perhaps they want to stay in the industry they're in and just move up the career ladder. For those who want to make larger shifts (industry / function / location) the investment of an in-class program is worth it.

Ultimately it depends on your actual goals. What firms do you want to target? Do these firms recruit managers from the schools you're looking at? If so, which ones?

I do think an Online MBA, especially one from a 'name brand' school, can add a lot to a CV.
quote
Manchester Global MBA program can be another good alternative in Europe. It is the similar cost as Warwick distance MBA.

[Edited by Bincheng Jiang on Apr 18, 2019]

Manchester Global MBA program can be another good alternative in Europe. It is the similar cost as Warwick distance MBA.
quote
Karl182
These are good questions to ask the schools you're interested in.

In general, the online programs are designed for students who want to make smaller career shifts - perhaps they want to stay in the industry they're in and just move up the career ladder. For those who want to make larger shifts (industry / function / location) the investment of an in-class program is worth it.

Ultimately it depends on your actual goals. What firms do you want to target? Do these firms recruit managers from the schools you're looking at? If so, which ones?

I do think an Online MBA, especially one from a 'name brand' school, can add a lot to a CV.


Thanks for the reply mba hipster. I am not targeting any specific company, but rather positions. Ideally, business development/managerial positions. The city I live in (<200k people) doesn't have huge companies that recruit from campuses (other than engineers), and I am not based in the UK, so I think the component of companies recruiting from specific schools is not there.

Yes, it's quite a shift, but I can't wait for too long, otherwise I'll be stuck on the position/industry I am in now (marketing, communication).

On a different note, do you know anything about HEC's Online Innovation & Entrepreneurship program?
[quote]These are good questions to ask the schools you're interested in.

In general, the online programs are designed for students who want to make smaller career shifts - perhaps they want to stay in the industry they're in and just move up the career ladder. For those who want to make larger shifts (industry / function / location) the investment of an in-class program is worth it.

Ultimately it depends on your actual goals. What firms do you want to target? Do these firms recruit managers from the schools you're looking at? If so, which ones?

I do think an Online MBA, especially one from a 'name brand' school, can add a lot to a CV.[/quote]

Thanks for the reply mba hipster. I am not targeting any specific company, but rather positions. Ideally, business development/managerial positions. The city I live in (<200k people) doesn't have huge companies that recruit from campuses (other than engineers), and I am not based in the UK, so I think the component of companies recruiting from specific schools is not there.

Yes, it's quite a shift, but I can't wait for too long, otherwise I'll be stuck on the position/industry I am in now (marketing, communication).

On a different note, do you know anything about HEC's Online Innovation & Entrepreneurship program?
quote
Duncan
If you are not leveraging a school network with your degree, you might be better off looking at something heavier on content and skills, rather than something more lightweight. So perhaps more Illinois than HEC?
If you are not leveraging a school network with your degree, you might be better off looking at something heavier on content and skills, rather than something more lightweight. So perhaps more Illinois than HEC?
quote
Karl182
Hi Duncan. Because of the nature of the degree (online), the networking aspect is quite hard to leverage. Maybe if I don't stay in Norway, I would be able to, but right now I'm operating under the assumption that I will be staying here for a longer period of time. Since HEC is so widely recognized in EU, wouldn't be wiser to try to leverage its 'brand'?

I've read your profile pic, and I see you are very experienced when it comes to these types of things. Referring to my original post. Would getting an MBA be significant enough for me to be considered seriously for the positions I'm aiming for, which are in general management/strategy/consulting potentially tech innovation and entrepreneurship, and finally switch away from the industry I'm currently in? Or maybe it's an overkill? I'm trying to wrap my head around the significance and the benefit of getting one, in my particular case.

If not, what would one need to do to maximize one's chances to change industries? I've even considered quitting and restarting my education from scratch, getting an BBA, and then MBA later, but unfortunately that is not sustainable for me since I can't be really out of work for 3 years, and just study.

As you can see I'm wracking my head on what to do next, but I am extremely set on getting away from marketing and communication.

Thanks in advance.
Hi Duncan. Because of the nature of the degree (online), the networking aspect is quite hard to leverage. Maybe if I don't stay in Norway, I would be able to, but right now I'm operating under the assumption that I will be staying here for a longer period of time. Since HEC is so widely recognized in EU, wouldn't be wiser to try to leverage its 'brand'?

I've read your profile pic, and I see you are very experienced when it comes to these types of things. Referring to my original post. Would getting an MBA be significant enough for me to be considered seriously for the positions I'm aiming for, which are in general management/strategy/consulting potentially tech innovation and entrepreneurship, and finally switch away from the industry I'm currently in? Or maybe it's an overkill? I'm trying to wrap my head around the significance and the benefit of getting one, in my particular case.

If not, what would one need to do to maximize one's chances to change industries? I've even considered quitting and restarting my education from scratch, getting an BBA, and then MBA later, but unfortunately that is not sustainable for me since I can't be really out of work for 3 years, and just study.

As you can see I'm wracking my head on what to do next, but I am extremely set on getting away from marketing and communication.

Thanks in advance.
quote
Duncan
I think you can get a better vision of your career goals, and then the choice clarifies a lot. If your future is in Norway, well I don't know if HEC is a powerful brand. HEC is known in francophone countries, and more widely by large scale recruiters from business schools. In the rest of the EU, and of course Norway isn't in the EU, it's more limited.
I think you can get a better vision of your career goals, and then the choice clarifies a lot. If your future is in Norway, well I don't know if HEC is a powerful brand. HEC is known in francophone countries, and more widely by large scale recruiters from business schools. In the rest of the EU, and of course Norway isn't in the EU, it's more limited.
quote

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