Quit Job and go for the MBA??

Any ideas on this?? I am currently employed, making about 35k/yr in the midwest. I’m a fresh graduate and still pretty ambitious. Anyways…I am interested in going for an MBA but unsure if I should stick with the job I have and do night classes at a school that is on a list of the top 50 or quit this job and just be a student for a school in the top 5. Would it be too much work to work at a job & study for school??? Would I screw myself over by leaving this job and have the problem of no income and no place to return to after I graduate??? Any help or opinions on this would be much appreciated. Maybe from some current MBA students or alumni???

Dude, how many grillions of posts are there from designers wanting to look into an MBA. Do some homework and read up on older (yet remarkably relevant) threads.


actually, I was just curious what the opinions of others would be as to which is the lesser of two evils, so to speak. To be honest, it’s researching these forums about an MBA that led me to this question and has me curious about pursuing the path. Since my question is custom tailored to my personal situation, i doubt other forum posts have as accurate of feedback. Thanks though.

Dude, this question seems to be the new “where to live in Brooklyn?”

My 2¢: You said it, you are a fresh graduate. Focus on being a great designer. If you nail that, then add another log onto the fire. I might be slow… but after 8 years out here, I still feel like I’m learning a ton and having fun doing it.

So who’s using a Mac and who’s using a PC by the way?

Yeah, this topic is getting old…

With that said, you’re a fresh graduate of design. Get out there and design some things, get your feet wet in the industry, and hold off on the MBA. Adding an MBA on top of a weak portfolio will get you nothing. You’re better off gaining project experience in the field.

yo, where’s a good place to live in brooklyn?!
i’m curious?

basketball anyone?

miss dr. j and magic johnson, ac green and byron scott,…and oh yeah james worthy!
damn, those were the days.

Those “top five schools” will only accept your application if you have at least 3 years of experience. Than you need two solid references, and you should be able to show “strong leadership skills”. (Ididn’t even mention the GMAT) If you’re a fresh graduate, you’'l probably don’t have all of those ticked…go tick them and look back into it when you got more of a feel of what business and corporate culture is like.
(you won’t learn that by sticking to just one job over the next years either)

Just be a designer for a while, we all have to climb that stairs. There’s not much shortcutting in those first years…

I agree with the posts above. You need to get your design experience first. You need to go through those first 1-3 years of what I call “design boot-camp.” It’s where, many times, recent grads take a position that isn’t their dream job. Far from it sometimes, but it gains you valuable experience in the real world of design. If you prove to be a very successful designer but want to be more involved in the business and marketing side of things, then for for the MBA. I’m at 6 years of experience now and am only now considering the MBA.

Good luck out there. There are a ton more jobs out there now than there were in 2000.

Yes. 3 years and into an MBA program.

anyone going to pratt next semester?

Just to finally settle this for everyone: ( I apologize in advance for the all caps )





MMJohns…as you have probably seen in the related threads, I’m deeply considering the MBA route, though I would still stay employed as a senior designer for a flippin’ huge watersports company. And they pay for it. The degree would be from Clemson, which I believe is a reputable university. It’s the evening program, but nevertheless, it’s an MBA.

So my question to you is if it’s worth it. In all seriousness, I simply want the degree so that I have more backing and more say in things when I go up against marketing. I want to be more involved in the financial aspects of the company so I can make key decisions on product development before they trickle down (generally without much direction) to the design department.

Besides, if things go south, I can find another job pretty easily with an MBA under my belt. I’ve already begun studying for the GMAT.

So what are your honest thoughts? Very interested.

I looked into the MBA for a while and it isn’t worth what it used to be unless you go to a top program. If you don’t beleive me you can check out the b-school section of the business week website and others to see all the talk about this.

There have also been a lot of complaints that the current programs are outdated at a lot of schools. Many of the upstarts focus too much on traditional areas like accounting and not enough on ethics, e-commerce, marketing, and other more modern studies.

Most of the schools today also want people with significant work experience. If you haven’t had a real, fulltime jobs for several years then they really don’t want you to even bother applying. People coming straight out of school generally have little or nothing to contribute to serious business and operation discussions and because of this the schools see recent grads as a drag on programs.


If your company is paying for things you are in a better situation than most. If you like your company and plan to stick with it for several years into the future then an MBA might be a good path to take. It will help you get more involved in business decisions and may help you convince your employer to let you in on more business meetings and initial client contact.

You could also try to push for higher pay but you might find your employer hesitant to give you anything significant seeing as how they just paid your tuition. Some employers also make you guarantee not to quit and to stay in your current position for X years. After that time they might move you into an upper level design position or move you into business development / marketing division. Don’t expect an instant corner office and a company car just because you have an MBA.

After careful consideration and because of comments from my older sister I ultimately decided against getting an MBA. She works on Michigan Ave. in Chicago and has a lot of professional friends with MBA’s and many of them have found them to be pretty useless. Some were very disappointed that they spent so many years and so much money getting them only to go nowhere with their jobs. Others she knows have actually lost their jobs and have had trouble getting new ones even with the MBA. I saw that as further proof that no one really cares about the degree anymore.

Unless you get your degree from Harvard, Stanford, U of Penn, MIT, Northwestern, Columbia, Cal Berkley, Dartmouth, Michigan, or another top 25 school no one is going to care and come chasing after you with job offers. The schools also have notoriously bad placement and career centers. The attitude is “you’re a top MBA grad - you can do it yourself”. Washington U. here in St. Louis is #39 on the MBA charts and their new dean just set his top goal as “getting more reps to even VISIT THE CAMPUS”. That says a lot.

I guess the big point I’m trying to make here is that the MBA is not a miracle worker and too many young grads tend to see it that way. If you really want it and are driven to succeed then I say go for it, just be prepared to actually work. hard.

Way too many students see it as the rubber stamp that will land them their dream job, it just doesn’t work that way.

I agree with mmjohns on this. I also have been looking around to see what the actual value is of an MBA. Also working on preparing for the GMAT, even if I’m not sure whether I’ll actually take on an MBA. It’s just not convincing enough to pay the price.

Times are changing fast these days, and I even believe there’s much to learn from sources on the internet: published papers, blogs and the like. And there’s a whole lot of books out there too. So why not learn the stuff on your own, and practise your skills on dedicated blogs? It’s as good as for free, and you can pretty much put your own course together, at your own pace, tailored to your own needs.

On the other hand, doing the GMAT might be handy, if your score is quite good off course, to sell your “aptitude” for an MBA. This way your future employer can gauge whether you have the “brainpower” to deal with complicated business situations or not. So, in my eyes a good GMAT score on your resume might be a nice “booster” and probably has more value compared to its price then the actual MBA.

Anyone has experience with this?

MMJohns : Excellent post and summary of the pros and cons of an MBA. Every point is valid, I personally picked the U of Pitt’s one year program over Kellogg et al (GMAT 710) at the age of 34 after 10 years of working. As you rightly say, if you have work experience under your belt, brand doesn’t matter. There’s an interesting discussion we’re having on www.cph127.com on grad design education issues under “runway” if you wanna take a look