Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday Afternoon Cigar

Rocky Patel Sun Grown.

Listening to Aaron Clarey's June 3 podcast as I wait for the thunderstorms to arrive.

He makes the case to skip pursuing a Masters in Business Administration.  He says there is nothing to gain from an MBA.  His message is correct, but there are benefits that may justify the effort and cost:

1) In some careers, you'll need an MBA to get through the first HR review of candidates,
2) It is a comprehensive review of all aspects of business.  You'll learn where you are strong, and where you aren't.  If you use that information to bulk up on the weak areas, you will be more well-rounded than most.
3) You will make contacts in all areas.  Lean on your HR classmates to polish your resume and interview skills.  Lean on your Finance classmates to bone-up on key Finance terms in preparation of an interview where Finance will be a core skill.
4) Got a job offer?  Bounce the offer off of classmates and be sure you're not leaving $$ on the table.
5) Get your employer to pay for the degree.  This makes them aware of when you're near graduation - and possibly leaving.
6) Hopefully, some classmates will enjoy massive career growth and will want to hire known quantity candidates to help them in their new responsibilities.  Be aware that your classmates may be your future boss.
7) You will develop a better business vocabulary, including rules, known methods and acronyms that benefit communications in high-level and technical conversations.

My experience:
-  I took a part-time program that met on weekends for 2.5 years.  It was a focused program that fit with my career goals.
- My employer paid for it.  Not a company policy, but my VP and I shared military experience that justified him requesting and getting an exception from the CEO, also a former commissioned officer.
- The HR class included all the typical HR personality tests. Despite low expectations, I learned a lot about my natural strengths and I have used that information to better select career opportunities.
- My classmates, in certain industries, were promoted 2-3 times during the program.  The company did not want to lose them.
- I negotiated a 20% increase in an offer because my HR classmates had access to salary information for my job category.  I doubled my pre-MBA salary.
- Every MBA is the same.  The challenge is getting into the highest rated program to surround yourself with the best, then develop relationships with everyone.
- Elective education like an MBA is the pursuit of dreamers.  I prefer to be around dreamers.

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