Young entrepreneur thinking about a MBA


Hi everyone,
I'm nearing my senior year right now at UC Davis in California. I'm a little lost right now on what i plan to do. I would greatly appreciate any advice i can get about my personal situation.

Currently I am starting an online retail store, which sells underground urban clothing. I'm not just THINKING of starting the business, I actually have thousands of dollars of stock ordered. The website should be done within a month. I have very high hopes for the company, but realistically it will become more of a side job than a full-time job, unless it really hits it big.

I've been thinking of a MBA because I am honestly very interested in business, but also to network and to build my resume. Right now I have a 3.38 GPA, majoring in Communications. I have done 2 very mediocre internships. I have no idea what i can get on the GMATs.

So here are my questions:

What are my chances getting in a business program straight out of college? What constitutes "work experience," do internships count, does my own business count?

SHOULD i get a mba? Many big entrepreneurs have basically said that you don't really learn too many useful things through a mba. Networking and building the resume is important to me, but I'm wondering how useful a mba really is.

Advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hi everyone,
I'm nearing my senior year right now at UC Davis in California. I'm a little lost right now on what i plan to do. I would greatly appreciate any advice i can get about my personal situation.

Currently I am starting an online retail store, which sells underground urban clothing. I'm not just THINKING of starting the business, I actually have thousands of dollars of stock ordered. The website should be done within a month. I have very high hopes for the company, but realistically it will become more of a side job than a full-time job, unless it really hits it big.

I've been thinking of a MBA because I am honestly very interested in business, but also to network and to build my resume. Right now I have a 3.38 GPA, majoring in Communications. I have done 2 very mediocre internships. I have no idea what i can get on the GMATs.

So here are my questions:

What are my chances getting in a business program straight out of college? What constitutes "work experience," do internships count, does my own business count?

SHOULD i get a mba? Many big entrepreneurs have basically said that you don't really learn too many useful things through a mba. Networking and building the resume is important to me, but I'm wondering how useful a mba really is.

Advice would be greatly appreciated.
quote
jona

Hi felixdacat,
Many people have similar questions as you...
I guess mostly asked on this board is if it is advisable to go for an MBA without professional experience.
Yes, it's possible to get admission, but general idea is that an MBA targets people WITH some professional experience, so in order to fully benefit you better work a bit before. You should already know more precisely which direction you want to go, where your strengths and weaknesses are in work, where you lack knowledge - things you'll find out only once working. If you got a clearer idea about your career plans than now, it's a good idea to go for an MBA.
Besides, it's true that know how is not the only goal of that kind of program, but networking, and other aspects are important too.

Hi felixdacat,
Many people have similar questions as you...
I guess mostly asked on this board is if it is advisable to go for an MBA without professional experience.
Yes, it's possible to get admission, but general idea is that an MBA targets people WITH some professional experience, so in order to fully benefit you better work a bit before. You should already know more precisely which direction you want to go, where your strengths and weaknesses are in work, where you lack knowledge - things you'll find out only once working. If you got a clearer idea about your career plans than now, it's a good idea to go for an MBA.
Besides, it's true that know how is not the only goal of that kind of program, but networking, and other aspects are important too.
quote
G3XL

To Felixdacat,

You need to focus on your startup, and learn business as you go along. Bschool will be an option for you later on after the experience of doing this on your own. At which time, MBA programs will actually want you to apply. And in the end, you may not want to, especially with upside potential for blockbuster success. I'm glad to have found a useful topic on these boards, considering that there's a kid with a "High School" mentality (who's doing an undergrad at NYU, with no work experience or aspirations on your level) trolling on these threads, giving advice about which bschools to attend at the grad level (what's scary is that other posters are actually listening to him). The key thing in your post is that you're looking at the situation of MBA vs. Startup from its proper perspective.

You won't be able to do both, even though the online retail concept has significantly lower operating costs than beginning with an offline storefront, for essentially the same items. But there's a whole different type and set of marketing, operational, and financial challenges related to systemization and scale, coming out of the gate. Positioning it as a side job multiplies the chance of failure, as success in this situation can only occur if this is what you're committed to doing (you should burn the bridges, and not give yourself an excuse for failure). You know that markets in urban design are highly fickle, and become more fluid in their unpredictability, over time. Perhaps, you can use your academic background to establish a portfolio-based communications strategy to bring out target buyers/site users through highly integrated, but cost-effective media. Then you can create and exploit off and online market feedback loops to correctly forecast and select design styles for upcoming seasons and events (let the market design the product). And if your selection can narrow optimally (Yes, treat it as an optimization problem), then you can save on scaled volume purchases with discounts of original urban designs. You don't need an MBA to do this, but the experience of handling market uncertainty through strategic adaptation and growth through tactically applied "will" is crucial.

Network with suppliers, designers, investment sources, etc., and build your resume through your own startup experience. Even if you decide to go to bschool later on, a letter of reference from a business source in your supply chain or a potential investor you've periodically negotiated with (or better yet invested in you) is far more impressive than one from a direct supervisor at a large company. You can obtain what you're seeking through your own efforts in building your startup. Remember, MBA = Option, while Startup = Undertaken Risk in the pursuit of upside and blockbuster success.

To Felixdacat,

You need to focus on your startup, and learn business as you go along. Bschool will be an option for you later on after the experience of doing this on your own. At which time, MBA programs will actually want you to apply. And in the end, you may not want to, especially with upside potential for blockbuster success. I'm glad to have found a useful topic on these boards, considering that there's a kid with a "High School" mentality (who's doing an undergrad at NYU, with no work experience or aspirations on your level) trolling on these threads, giving advice about which bschools to attend at the grad level (what's scary is that other posters are actually listening to him). The key thing in your post is that you're looking at the situation of MBA vs. Startup from its proper perspective.

You won't be able to do both, even though the online retail concept has significantly lower operating costs than beginning with an offline storefront, for essentially the same items. But there's a whole different type and set of marketing, operational, and financial challenges related to systemization and scale, coming out of the gate. Positioning it as a side job multiplies the chance of failure, as success in this situation can only occur if this is what you're committed to doing (you should burn the bridges, and not give yourself an excuse for failure). You know that markets in urban design are highly fickle, and become more fluid in their unpredictability, over time. Perhaps, you can use your academic background to establish a portfolio-based communications strategy to bring out target buyers/site users through highly integrated, but cost-effective media. Then you can create and exploit off and online market feedback loops to correctly forecast and select design styles for upcoming seasons and events (let the market design the product). And if your selection can narrow optimally (Yes, treat it as an optimization problem), then you can save on scaled volume purchases with discounts of original urban designs. You don't need an MBA to do this, but the experience of handling market uncertainty through strategic adaptation and growth through tactically applied "will" is crucial.

Network with suppliers, designers, investment sources, etc., and build your resume through your own startup experience. Even if you decide to go to bschool later on, a letter of reference from a business source in your supply chain or a potential investor you've periodically negotiated with (or better yet invested in you) is far more impressive than one from a direct supervisor at a large company. You can obtain what you're seeking through your own efforts in building your startup. Remember, MBA = Option, while Startup = Undertaken Risk in the pursuit of upside and blockbuster success.
quote
york

I'm glad to have found a useful topic on these boards, considering that there's a kid with a "High School" mentality (who's doing an undergrad at NYU, with no work experience or aspirations on your level) trolling on these threads, giving advice about which bschools to attend at the grad level (what's scary is that other posters are actually listening to him).


Who do you mean?

<blockquote> I'm glad to have found a useful topic on these boards, considering that there's a kid with a "High School" mentality (who's doing an undergrad at NYU, with no work experience or aspirations on your level) trolling on these threads, giving advice about which bschools to attend at the grad level (what's scary is that other posters are actually listening to him). </blockquote>

Who do you mean?
quote
G3XL

There's a nut-case with vendetta against a specific bschool (St. John's Tobin College of Business), about which I give accurate and verifiable information, from an objective and qualified standpoint. He has no affiliation or other type of connection with the institution, but he's on some personal rampage against it, for some unknown reason.

There's a nut-case with vendetta against a specific bschool (St. John's Tobin College of Business), about which I give accurate and verifiable information, from an objective and qualified standpoint. He has no affiliation or other type of connection with the institution, but he's on some personal rampage against it, for some unknown reason.
quote

[..]College can teach you ?science of entrepreneurship?. But the art, ?application of principals of science?, is very much individual attitude. This is where the difference lies between management graduate and street smart entrepreneur. Why?? In decision making, the graduate will heavily rely on historical events, index patterns, market data or future predications, but later one will just rely beats of the street, people day-to-day problem and his vision to tap it.[..]

[Saurabh Kaushik]
Blog: http://www.nanosaka.com

[..]College can teach you ?science of entrepreneurship?. But the art, ?application of principals of science?, is very much individual attitude. This is where the difference lies between management graduate and street smart entrepreneur. Why?? In decision making, the graduate will heavily rely on historical events, index patterns, market data or future predications, but later one will just rely beats of the street, people day-to-day problem and his vision to tap it.[..]

[Saurabh Kaushik]
Blog: http://www.nanosaka.com
quote
PoPo

Hi everyone,
I'm nearing my senior year right now at UC Davis in California. I'm a little lost right now on what i plan to do. I would greatly appreciate any advice i can get about my personal situation.

Currently I am starting an online retail store, which sells underground urban clothing. I'm not just THINKING of starting the business, I actually have thousands of dollars of stock ordered. The website should be done within a month. I have very high hopes for the company, but realistically it will become more of a side job than a full-time job, unless it really hits it big.

I've been thinking of a MBA because I am honestly very interested in business, but also to network and to build my resume. Right now I have a 3.38 GPA, majoring in Communications. I have done 2 very mediocre internships. I have no idea what i can get on the GMATs.

So here are my questions:

What are my chances getting in a business program straight out of college? What constitutes "work experience," do internships count, does my own business count?

SHOULD i get a mba? Many big entrepreneurs have basically said that you don't really learn too many useful things through a mba. Networking and building the resume is important to me, but I'm wondering how useful a mba really is.

Advice would be greatly appreciated.


I suggest you wait a while. While it is admirable that you are starting your business, that business still has a ways to go. And, your time would be better spent building that business rather than applying straight to B-School.

There are certainly people that enter MBA programs straight out of undergrad, but those that enter top programs are usually - to be quite frank - exceptional. This means starting a relatively successful company. While your online clothing store may turn out great, right now its simply a small startup with small networth in terms of both learning experience (you are at the very early stage of probably one of the easier businesses to get into - online presence has no physical overhead to worry about besides your basic stock) and value (your stock is worth thousands - which is nice for your age - is still minimal when compared to many others).

You rightly pointed out that it will be considered PT experience, and because of that you should definitely get more full-time experience. MBA is give and take. Yes, it is about networking with some learning on the side, but you need to bring something to the party too - and right now, you don't.

<blockquote>Hi everyone,
I'm nearing my senior year right now at UC Davis in California. I'm a little lost right now on what i plan to do. I would greatly appreciate any advice i can get about my personal situation.

Currently I am starting an online retail store, which sells underground urban clothing. I'm not just THINKING of starting the business, I actually have thousands of dollars of stock ordered. The website should be done within a month. I have very high hopes for the company, but realistically it will become more of a side job than a full-time job, unless it really hits it big.

I've been thinking of a MBA because I am honestly very interested in business, but also to network and to build my resume. Right now I have a 3.38 GPA, majoring in Communications. I have done 2 very mediocre internships. I have no idea what i can get on the GMATs.

So here are my questions:

What are my chances getting in a business program straight out of college? What constitutes "work experience," do internships count, does my own business count?

SHOULD i get a mba? Many big entrepreneurs have basically said that you don't really learn too many useful things through a mba. Networking and building the resume is important to me, but I'm wondering how useful a mba really is.

Advice would be greatly appreciated.</blockquote>

I suggest you wait a while. While it is admirable that you are starting your business, that business still has a ways to go. And, your time would be better spent building that business rather than applying straight to B-School.

There are certainly people that enter MBA programs straight out of undergrad, but those that enter top programs are usually - to be quite frank - exceptional. This means starting a relatively successful company. While your online clothing store may turn out great, right now its simply a small startup with small networth in terms of both learning experience (you are at the very early stage of probably one of the easier businesses to get into - online presence has no physical overhead to worry about besides your basic stock) and value (your stock is worth thousands - which is nice for your age - is still minimal when compared to many others).

You rightly pointed out that it will be considered PT experience, and because of that you should definitely get more full-time experience. MBA is give and take. Yes, it is about networking with some learning on the side, but you need to bring something to the party too - and right now, you don't.
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