1Y MBA value for networking
I am thinking about potentially doing an MBA next year, but I keep going back and forth on it and would apppreciate any input the WSO community might have about: BSchools (specifically UCLA / USC / NWU), 1Y MBAs (like the ones at USC and NWU), and the value of an MBA for building networks.
Currently considering the following programmes (not thinking about feasibility yet, happy for inputs): UCLA 2Y MBA, USC 1Y/2Y MBA, NWU 1Y MBA.
My current profile is quite atypical, as I hope to be able to jump to the Communication & Media sector in a few years down the road:
- Entry-level MBB grunt in Europe (~1Y tenure)
- Advanced degree holder (PhD/MD/JD) - no brand name unis
- mid-30s already
- mix of work experiences, none relevant to Comm & Media
The plan would be to use my firm to sponsor the MBA, taking into account I would have to return to my home office afterwards.
My current pros & cons list stands as follows (please do weigh in with any insights / disagreements you may have about the below, I am looking for more food for thought):
- Building up some extra skills I likely won't be able to while at MBB with regards to specialising in Media & Entertainment (hence my focus on UCLA / USC schools) > like basics of product management, etc.
- Building a network to potentially leverage later on, ideally in that sector
- Allows me to get promoted to C for "free", so to speak, as I'd leave an SAC and come back a C, while having spent the time at school
- Adds a brand name to my CV on top of MBB and some capabilities in my targeted field later on if I decide to make the jump
- Will take time away from actually gaining work experience at MBB (esp. a 2Y MBA)
- Will lock me in for 1 to 2 years at my firm post graduation (depending on length of MBA I opt for)
- Not all that useful for Europe, if I cannot move to the US later on, and even in the US, unsure about value added given own advanced degree already
- this is actually a big point for me, as I have no intention on doing this if the value add is super minimal
- should caveat saying none of my universities are well-known, so a good MBA name could help later on in addition to MBB if I jump back to industry while in the US (again, I hope so)
- If I go for a 1Y MBA, unlikely to be able to do an internship in my desired field to make said transition later (say 2-3 years afterward) easier
Thanks a lot to anyone taking the time, I'm usually good at making decisions, but I am legitimately 50/50 at the moment.
Of course, this ignores completely any GMAT score I may get in the future (which could be bad and lock out some schools or even MBAs altogether), what kind of projects I will be working on at my MBB in the next 2-4 years, and a long list of other factors.
Why not FEMBA at UCLA? It's a good part time 3Y MBA. Solid networking and don't have to give up the MBB job. You're already on the older side but a bit light on experience so perhaps an avenue worth exploring
That's actually very interesting, I''d never thought of this.
For that scenario, I would first need to transfer over to the LA office (permanently, I suppose) and then explore that option. That could be good, as you said I could keep working no problem (big plus there), gain that MBA from UCLA (which would be my preferred school), and potentially reduce commitments to my firm afterward (as I would not leave and would require much less financial support, i.e. only tuitions with no stipend or housing or anything else).
That could also line up with my timeline to eventually leave my MBB, if I manage to transfer in the next 2-3 years, gain this over 3 years, and leave after a total of 6-7 years.
Thanks a lot! That was super helpful!
If USC / UCLA provide really strong opportunities / branding in the sector you want to work in that's one thing - I am not familiar enough with the media / entertainment space to comment here. But ignoring that, personally, I don't think the value add from any of those schools (esp as an advanced degree holder in your 30s) is worth it. MBB is already a "gold star" business credential, comparable to M7 level schools at least in terms of the credibility it grants. If anything I think an MBA from outside the M7 would dilute your brand and cause some to assume you couldn't hack the GMAT, had a poor GPA, or something else keeping you out of a M7 school.
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