People going through MBA programs usually get a chance to make invaluable social connections. Indeed, it is often said that the real value of an MBA is not in the ‘education’ you get, but rather, in the wide array of valuable social connections that you make. The question before us pertains to how you can use the social connections you make while going through a MBA program, to enhance your financial well-being.
Firstly, there is the scenario where you can use the social connections you make while going through a MBA program to learn about career openings, which you can then take advantage of.
Secondly, there is the scenario where you can use the social connections you make while going through a MBA program to learn about business opportunities, which you can then take advantage of.
Thirdly, there is the scenario where you can use the social connections you make while going through a MBA program to access the capital you need for your businesses to take off. Let’s say, for instance, that you are contemplating starting to manufacture the best over ear headphones under 100 dollars. Or lets say that you are contemplating starting to manufacture Bluetooth headphones. Your analysis reveals that you need half a million dollars to get the venture going. Now you can use the connections you made during your MBA program, to marshal that much capital. This would be possible if, for instance, some of your MBA colleagues went into finance or into venture capital – both of which are indeed common paths for MBA graduates.
In many universities, people who have registered for MBA programs are required to submit theses, in order to be awarded the MBA degrees. Normally, for you to be in a position to submit a thesis, you need to have carried out some sort of research. Now there are two ways in which you can undertake the research for your MBA thesis.
In the first instance, you can undertake research for your MBA thesis through library reading: this being the sort of research referred to as ‘literature review’.
In the second instance, you can undertake research for your MBA thesis through field work: like where you go around carrying out studies, interviewing people and so on.
Whichever form your research for MBA thesis takes, you need to have a way of submitting the final work to your academic supervisor. In some cases, this can entail documenting your findings and then printing out the document and submitting it your supervisor in paper format. In other cases, it can entail emailing ‘soft copies’ of your findings to your supervisor and the members of faculty at your school. To do this, you may need to sign up for an email account at, say, a site like www.sbcglobal.net. That would culminate in you getting a Sbcglobal.net email, like that which is described at www.sbcglobalnetemail.org. With such an account, you can submit your thesis to your faculty members. But then, if you are enrolled in a prestigious school like, say, at Harvard University or at the London School of Economics, you may be lucky enough to have an email account based on your school’s website domain allocated to you. In that case, that would be the email account for you to use, in submitting copies of your thesis to your MBA supervisor and other faculty members.
Selection of an MBA specialization is not something you should take lightly. At the very least, it is not something to be taken as casually as, say, going to a website like Logmein123 (that is www.logmein123.com) and making a request for IT support. On the contrary, selecting an MBA specialization is something you should take seriously, especially if you are studying at a relatively costly school such as, say, the Stanford Business School. There are three major considerations which you need to make, when selecting MBA specializations.
Firstly, when selecting MBA specializations, you need to consider your interests: that is, the areas of business where your interests lie, the areas where you’d love to work. If you align your choice of specialization well with your interests, you will subsequently find the work you do after graduation to be interesting (and fun-filled), and this will enhance your chances of success.
Secondly, when selecting MBA specializations, you need to consider your aptitude: that is, the areas of business in which you have the aptitude to perform well. Like, for instance, if you are gifted in working with numbers, you may take specializations such as Finance or Accounting.
Thirdly, when selecting MBA specializations, you need to consider marketability: lest you opt for the less marketable specializations, and end up facing difficulties getting a job after graduation.
As a marketing professional, you may be approached by a company that makes vacuum cleaners, with a request for you to designing an advertising campaign to market the vacuum cleaners. Faced with such a task, there are four critical decisions you have to make.
Firstly, you have to make a decision on which specific advertising media you will be advising the client in question to use. This will, of course, depend on the audience that your client (the vacuum cleaner maker) will be trying to reach. It will also depend on the model through which your client will be actually selling the vacuum cleaners. Like if, for instance, the client will be selling the vacuum cleaners mostly through brick and mortar stores, it would perhaps be a good idea to use traditional mainstream media – such as radio, TV and print newspaper ads. Conversely, if the vacuum cleaners are to be sold online, then online advertising would probably make more sense. That is like where the manufacturer can market the machines on websites like http://www.bestvacuumcleanersonthemarket.com/ which are frequented by people seeking to buy vacuum cleaners online.
Secondly, you have to make a decision as to what market segments to target. If, for instance, your client is trying to sell a model of the best handheld vacuum cleaner, then you may be inclined to target the high-end market, which is often willing to pay more for a quality product. That is the same market segment you’d target if, for instance, you were selling a high-end Toyota vehicle model.
Thirdly, you have to make a decision as to what targets (in terms of tangible results) to aim for, in the marketing campaign.
Fourthly, you have to make a decision on the parameters through which the effectiveness of your advertising campaign is to be gauged. This is critical, as many business scholars from various reputable schools (including Columbia University) have averred in various peer-reviewed scholarly articles on the subject.
Enrolling for a MBA is usually a good idea. That statement may sound counterintuitive, especially in an age where the MBA is attracting more and more bad press – with some people opining that the MBA is useless, that the MBA adds no value … and so on.
The first reason as to why enrolling for a MBA is usually a good idea is in the (often cited) fact that the duration for the MBA course makes for a good lifelong networking opportunity. There is no controversy about this point, and indeed, if you go to a publication like the Harvard Business Review you will find numerous scholarly articles supporting the view that the MBA course is a good opportunity to network.
The second reason as to why enrolling for a MBA is usually a good idea is in the fact that the training given within the course of the MBA is indeed quite useful. People argue that it is just common sense stuff, which may be the case, but it still makes a great deal of difference nonetheless.
The third reason as to why enrolling for a MBA is usually a good idea is in the fact that the MBA gives you an extra (weighty) bullet point in your resume. That can make a difference when hiring decisions are being made. For many positions, employers given a choice between someone with an MBA and someone without an MBA will normally choose the one with the MBA. That is because, if nothing else, the people in the HR departments have to justify their hiring decisions: as in, they have to show why they chose one job applicant over another.