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Is business school a waste of time?

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RajenBP 2007 Beat The GMAT Scholarship Winner! Default Avatar
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Is business school a waste of time?

Post Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:17 am
I was thinking about it the other day.

Business school, especially elite business school, is pretty expensive and costs two years of your life.

Since I'm not too interested in Finance, would my time and money be better spent starting a company with the money I'd spend in business school and reading whatever books are required in b school?

Even I ran the company into the ground, I might gain more experience from doing this and I'd still have had exposure to the books. If the company is successful, then I become an instant CEO without having had gone to business school.

Even if I was interested in Finance, couldn't I read a bunch of books in Finance, take the money I'd spend in business school and see what I could do in the stock market? Again, it seems like I'd learn more that way than simply going to B-school.

Anyone ever had any doubts of this kind? I mean, will B-school at an elite university really trump the experience you'd get running your own company?

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givemeanid Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:43 am
Business school is not just about learning experience. Its also about networking. I like to compare these top ranked schools, especially the Ivy league ones to an exclusive invite-only social networking website. The group of people that you come to know at these schools quite often end up higher in the corporate hierarchy. As soon as you graduate, you suddenly know people all across the board at a lot of companies. A few years down the line, you might even be investing in your friend's company or vice-versa. Your idea of starting your own company or learning stock market on your own is definitely a good one. And if you are smart/hardworking/lucky then you will be successful no matter what, MBA be damned.

But, to give you an example of networking, after I graduted and started working, my company put me through a 10 week rigorous bootcamp with 35 other people. I do not remember ANYTHING that was taught during those 10 weeks. However, I distinctly remember my first week after the bootcamp was over. It was just the third or fourth day and my boss had to get some quick little work done that involved another group. Now, remember that my boss had already been an employee for over 23 years at the company and he was trying to find a way so he can get a quick answer without going through the corporate red tape. It wasn't anything illegal/wrong that he was trying to do. He just wanted somebody in a different group to give him some input on a report (quick thumbs up/down). I was standing around as my team was talking about it and as a matter of coincidence, a colleague of mine from the bootcamp had joined this other group. A quick call to my buddy and 15 minutes later, I was a hero. I remember going back home that evening and could not stop thinking about how the whole sequence of events played out. On one hand was a smart/hardworking buy with 23+ years and on other hand was a tyro with barely 3 days of work experience on his resume'. I realized then and there the value of networking. Mind you that I am a geek with a BS and MS in computer science. So, networking is not really my cup of tea but it was an epiphany that I have to get better at it and should start looking at it differently than I had done before.

Now, I am not implying that the education at these schools is secondary but that networking plays an equally important part, if not more. The business school definitely cannot trump the experience you would get by starting/running your own company but it sure would give you one hell of a head start. And if you are an eternal pessimist like I am, an MBA from a good school is a backup. You can still start your company after getting the degree and just in case, Just In Case, JUST IN CASE, the company doesn't do well, you can still get a good job Smile

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aim-wsc Legendary Member
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Post Tue Jul 31, 2007 2:49 am
hahaa Laughing
Should I make it sticky for the discussion/debate?

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