Skip to comments.M.B.A. Pop Quiz: Are You Employable?
Posted on 01/03/2013 6:57:32 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Want to get into business school? Be employable.
As schools focus more attention on their job-placement numbers, several M.B.A. programs are now bringing in career-services staff to evaluate candidates for admission and set expectations for prospective students on what the school can, and can't, do in an uncertain job market.
Business schools have long considered applicants' career goals, though admissions staff rarely sought input from the career office on whether a particular candidate's aims were realistic. But when the financial crisis upended the banking sector and sure-thing jobs on Wall Street disappeared, schools began formally tying input (applicants) to output (graduates). The change also comes as prospective students are weighing the potential return on an M.B.A. investment, and seeking assurances that a chosen school will propel them on a desired career path.
Leigh Gauthier, the director of careers for the full-time M.B.A. at University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, last year began sitting in on committee meetings to help assess applicants.
Ms. Gauthier said she's looking to match student skills with industry need. For example, for an applicant with a stated interest in consulting, she may pay particular attention to whether he or she can manage ambiguity. She also seeks out candidates with strong interviews and leadership potential, a plus in both classroom and corporate realms.
While she doesn't have veto power over an admissions representative's suggestionabout 10 people are involved in each discussionMs. Gauthier has pushed the committee to "think more critically" about borderline candidates, said Niki da Silva, director of recruitment and admissions for Rotman's full-time M.B.A. She said Ms. Gauthier's input has bumped some students onto the wait list, or rescued others from that no man's land. "There is some give and take," Ms. da Silva said.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
I want to bag and sell unicorn poop.
Don't tell me it's unrealistic. Obama got elected TWICE.
In the science and engineering groups, one well known relationship is that a company’s ability to compete is inversely proportional to the number of MBAs on the staff.
And the number of off-shore developers that causes code to have to be re-written when it is discovered it does not work.
An MBA is really a very simple thing. A couple of basic accounting classes, a couple of classes on financial math, a class on elementary statistics, a little bit of economics, and cursory looks at marketing, at personnel management and “strategy”.
Any or all of that can be somewhat useful in business, but none of it is a magical power.
Somehow, though, the degree has created in the people who possess it the belief that they actually know something tangible about a specific business, and they don’t. They know something abstract about business in general, that can be applied, by a wise person, to running a business.
The degree is marketed by the schools as a silver bullet, because it is a VERY profitable type of grad school for them to run, but it’s false advertising.
Looking back over 40 years, here is my Greybeard advice to the young:
1. Forget paying a mint with student loans for an Ivy League education. The only exception would be going to a military academy and getting PAID to go to school. Note that the CIA will also pay your way through a four year degree if you will work for them after graduating. An academy degree will open many doors.
2. Get a good technical undergrad education. Community colleges are cheap and you can get most of your basic courses there. Then switch to a HARD school for the tech courses. You will spend the same amount of time getting a degree from a HARD school that you would waste in an easy school. You will learn much more in the more difficult school. I cannot recommend an MBA. They teach a lot of things that are not true in the real world. You can learn more on your own.
3. If you want to make a lot of money, your choices are professional (CPA, doc, dentist, geologist, etc.), sales, or entrepreneur. I highly recommend entrepreneur. If you own the company you are the captain of your fate.
4. To become an entrepreneur you must: A) Be technically proficient. For example, I had an opportunity to become a back country surveyor in a Western state after I got out of the Army. I could learn the business by working for an older surveyor and then buy him out at retirement.
It was a great opportunity that I passed by. Remember, you gotta learn the business before you take the plunge and invest.
B) Learn the skills that are critical. That means you MUST understand accounting, tax law, government regs, and personal leadership.
C) Develop a Master Mind group of like minded entrepreneurs, friendly competitors, and older mentors who will share their wisdom. You don’t need to hire all the geniuses and you cannot afford them.
D) Hire great employees. Flush the deadwood before they drain your budget.
A company is not a list of customers and a building full of equipment. A great company is a TEAM.
E) Never stop learning and never stop marketing.
In summary, don’t give up on the USA. Our country will go through the pain caused by making bad decisions and come out stronger on the other side.
The only bits I’d quibble on with that are:
1) Passing on an Ivy League education if you have the opportunity—e.g., the doors to serious entrepreneurship open up far wider and far earlier with such a credential;
2) The need to know tax law on more than a cursory level. You really need experts on that if things start to get complex anyway; and,
3) Only the technically minded should really pursue a technical education. Far better to play to your strengths and genuine interests.
My most successful friend ($100M+) only had a high school education. I asked him what the secrets of his success were.
“I know accounting. I can tell you to the fraction of a penny what I make selling an auto part. Then, I hired the BEST people in the business. I gave them impossible goals tied to huge bonuses. They made me rich.”
And I know several Ivy League entrepreneurs at that level who milked their degrees to the hilt—from connections to credibility in winning investors and customers.
Your pal did it the hard, old-fashioned way, which is all the more to his credit.