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MBA Academic Experience and why MBB love MBAs ?

Anonymous A asked on Jan 06, 2019 - 4 answers

Hi Guys

Question 1: Why do MBBs love MBAs?

I'm an engineer from europe and the people here study undergrad + master in business administration for around 10-15k instead of MBA's for 100k+. But they get into MBB's at lower positions.

Question2: So i know the MBA's have work experience but I cant understand how an MBA Student (lets say who studied history or arts in undergrad) can gain the same knowledge lets say at Insead in 11 months if you compare the knowledge of the undergrad + master student who went to a top business school in europe for 4.5 - 5 years?

Question 3: So i heard that an MBA is for networking and people who want to switch careers. And i heard that the academics are not so deep. You will just get a broad knowledge in business (general management). Is this true?

Question 4: If Question 3 is true how can this people work at MBB's at higher positions and consult big customers with only 11 months business school, where the main goal is to network and not academics?

Question 5: I know the undergrad + master student doesnt have work experience and this is important but lets say that this undergrad + master student works at mckinsey. After 2-3 years at Mckinsey this guy must be much better than the Insead MBA Student who studied arts before insead? Because the knowledge of the undergrad + master student must be much deeper and broader. This is just a logical assumption. Please correct me if I understood something wrong.

Question 6: So when I'm just more interested in the academics (business knowledge) it would make much more sense to do a second undergrad in business for very low cost instead an an MBA where people just want to climb the corporate ladder or switch careers or get a raise and network and party :-) ?


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replied on Jan 06, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
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1) First, it's the Network. As a partner, you will have MBA alums in major companies and will be able to sell the projects. Second - it's the prestige of the MBA brand for the client. Third - MBA makes you more well-rounded and helps you to lead the conversations with the clients

2) It's a curated business knowledge with the relevant basics + the subjects of your choice. Re Insead it's a 1-year school and academically it's worse than the 2-year programs.

3) Depends on the school. My leadership professor at Harvard was the highest paid CEO in the US and now he is the CEO at General Electrics. My Sales professor was Head of Sales at Hubspot. etc. I believe the quality of the 85% of the professors and thus academics at Harvard is extremely high.

4) I think you are wasting your own time trying to understand these things. Pls concentrate on prep / studying

5) It really depends on the person. Again, it's unproductive for you personally to contemplate on that

6) Your choice. Depends on many factors. I would personally recommend TOP3 US schools


Anonymous B replied on Jan 06, 2019


Your perception of MBAs is biased. Your focus on academics is narrow-minded and not strategic. Think about where the future is headed. We will have robots doing most of the technical/objective skills within the next few decades. Unless you plan on doing a PhD in a highly specialized STEM subject that very few others have mastered (Statistics/ML/AI), soft skills and problem-solving in ambiguous environments are the way of the future. This skillset (leadership, creativity, critical thinking, sound judgement) is what is taught at top MBA programs. This is the glue that holds together MBBs and will provide value for future businesses.

The MBA goes well beyond academics and into more important contexts, such as leading teams, building relationship currency, and driving impact. The importance of these soft skills is substantially greater than an individual course selections and how smart you can be. When you graduate with an MBA, it opens doors to not just MBB, but product management at top tech companies (Amazon, Google, Microsoft, facebook), investment banking, and management roles at startups. Your impact is exponentially multipled. You will have learned how to communicate with diverse people. You will stop discriminating against liberal arts majors and learn from them. You will value different perspectives. You will build a network of the next generation of future leaders. These will be your closest friends and peers, and people you can trust to support in your career you well beyond the 1-2 year MBA program.

Side Note: MBB actually pays very little compared to post-MBA roles in investment banking and the tech industry.

Final Note: I disagree with the notion that you need to go to a Top 3 business school. You need to go to a decent business school (measured by the corporate partnerships at the firms/companies you want to work).

Meaning, unless you're on scholarship, don't go to Harvard for $150K in tuition and 800+ class size when you can go to University of Michigan for $50K and get the exact same interviews at McKinsey.

Think critically about what you want, and then decide on an action plan to get there. If it's the textbook knowledge you're looking for, you're better served by coursera.

Anonymous B

Anonymous A replied on Jan 06, 2019

Dear Guennael

your answer doesnt help me so I would be very happy if someone else could answer my questions thanks!

replied on Jan 06, 2019
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The key thing you seem to overlook / dismiss too quickly is that MBAs already have 2-3 solid years of work experience on average.

Focus on what you can control, and don't get upset with the rules - they are what they are, doesn't take anything away from you or your own qualities.