So now that I’m a year and a half into my 2 year MBA program I now know that I have absolutely no interest in getting an MBA. Funny how that worked out isn’t it? Not only have I confirmed that numbers give me anxiety but I could care less about Porter and his 5 forces and more importantly I can’t stand MBA students. (obviously not all of them….) It’s that “MBA attitude” that gets me. MBAs love to hear themselves talk. Talk about anything. Throw ‘core competencies’, ‘competitive advantage’ or ‘SWOT analysis’ out there and watch out, you’ll quickly be in the throes of an all out brawl of the egos.
The worst part is 99% percent of the time no one is actually saying anything at all. What are we really learning about in these classes? We read these ridiculous Havard Business School cases that were clearly written by the same breed of long-winded overzealous students I find in my classes and we waste precious hours of our lives working on group assignments with people who all think that they are the smartest group member, so actually most of the time is spent negotiating a hierarchy of control where the loudest and most obnoxious usually reigns. MBA programs are almost always male dominated and my program is no exception. The men dominant class discussions, make far too many sexist remarks and roll there eyes when the few outspoken women participate.
So you’re probably asking why in the world am I getting an MBA then? Good question. I did always consider going for my masters it just happened a bit sooner than I expected. Once I met Sebastiaan and decided I was going to move to Amsterdam, I needed something to legitimize my move to my parents (any maybe myself too) so I decided to apply to graduate school. The only work experience I had, outside of teaching dance and working at a few after school programs, was in marketing, and I liked that enough so, MBA it was.
So as you can see, my decision to go for an MBA wasn’t exactly an inspired one. I can finally see the light at the end of the MBA tunnel and will probably be glad I did it when it’s over, but I wish that I really thought about what I wanted to do before investing in a degree I’m less than passionate about. If I hadn’t decided to go for an MBA I wouldn’t have made many of the friends that I now have and probably would have even less of an idea about what I want to do. I think this is precisely the reason many business schools prefer applicants that are a bit more seasoned, with more work experience, rather than inexperience lost souls like myself. To be fair, I have enjoyed a few of my classes, met some interesting people and gained a bit of useful (?) knowledge.
So now that I’m over 25, I feel slightly more authorized to give advice. Don’t rush into going to graduate school. Wait. Wait until you find something that excites you, that you read about in your free time and wouldn’t mind giving up a year or two of your social life to learn more about. For me, business strategy is not it. But that’s the problem with MBAs. Most people are just there to increase their paychecks or eventually take their boss’ job. I won’t pretend that the salary increase didn’t faze me (I mean come on, like designer clothes as much as the next girl) , but there’s just so little passion in an MBA… I mean really financial accounting? I’d rather not thank you. If you already have, like myself, pursued a degree that perhaps isn’t for you, take what you can from it and try something else. Who knows, maybe I’ll go back to school again some day and study something that interests me; journalism, sociology, fashion?
OK, so maybe not…just the thought of taking one more exam gives me chills. Oh well, one can dream…