Saturday, March 15, 2008

quick MBA notes

During last 3 months after graduation I became very sensitive about all MBA talks anyone can read in blogs and news discussions. Here in Russia we have and MBA-blaming wave among business people. Most of them don't have an MBA degree and still think they have enough information to judge the topic.

I'm not idealizing MBA, cause I know the program inside. I know that professors are just normal people and they make their professional path among people - mistakes may happen. I know that if you have a course of 240 people it is hard to provide professors of equal quality to every group. E.g. we had 2 awful marketing professors and 1 perfect bitch who was very exigent and at the same time he was balancing at the edge of roughness. Many of us hated him, I still beleive he was he of the best. People are diferent.

MBA teaches how to present your thouhts. My first course was about presentation skills and I still beleive most of our professors should be obliged to take it as well. Later I took one more course of this professors just to enjoy his style. MBA alumni are perceived as people who put format behind the content. Something like put a lot of graphs and smart words in your presentation - and you're a winner! Well, some of MBAes are stil like this, but not all of us. I always idealize content, then I spend several hours (if I have them) to put it in the best form to give it to my audience. But first is the content. Distill and deliver, as my favourite entrepreneurship professor told us.

Sometimes people think that CEO shouldn't take MBA because after the program he start to manage finances or marketing himself. MBA is an overall course, it is not specialization. It gives a width, not a depth. MBA knowledge is enough to ask smart questions to your CFO or Marketing Director. If CEO goes directly to financial management, if he can't trust his CFO, either he has a bad CFO or he is a bad CEO.

People also blame MBAers ask for a huge money for no value. I know the value I can bring to a company (I will make a separate post about that). And during my interviews I always show the company exact things I can do for them. And I know it costs a lot. My experience, sharp and quick mind, problem-solving skills, my loyality and the fact I care about my reputation - I tink I can ask a lot for this. If MBAer asks for big money only because (s)he spent a lot for the program and needs to pay for a credit - that's a reverse logic.

Just to finish the post. MBA now is something between semi-closed club to make business connections, extension courses for those who wants to change from industry to business sector, lifestyle camp and a lab where smart person can make his experiments about different business situations (I mean communications within groups, project management of case solving, but not cases themselves). It is not a panacea from all the business problems, but it gives you a good practice how to act in a situation of time and information shortage and huge peer pressure (as any group for problem-solving is temporary and everyone has his/her ow intersts). And MBA is a Master of Business Administration, that is equal to general management specialist. Not marketer, not financial guy/girl. In Russia there are a lot of programs of MBA:marketing or MBA:finance. They just mix two or more master programs. And people eat this. Cause everyone wants to buy a piece of a dream to become a good CEO just paying for a program.

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