How Valuable is an MBA

The value of an MBA lies on the person who carries the MBA and not the MBA itself. Many people especially new undergraduates believe than obtaining an MBA will make them more competitive in the corporate arena. There is no question that having an MBA will have an edge over those who do not, it, however is more eminent in the initial stage and not a passport to the top of corporate ladder.

A couple of years ago, I have a chance to talk to a new friend who is the Managing Director of one of the top advertising consultancy company in Singapore, he related a true story that happened in one of his job recruitment exercise. One that occasion, he spotted an applicant who fitted to the qualification that he wanted for the new post created. In order not to lost this applicant, he arranged for a job interview the following day and thinking to himself, how lucky he was to received an applicant with high academic achievement from a renounced university.

On the day of interview, my friend and his panel of interviewers was waiting patiently for their ideal candidate. They were having a rude shock as someone with a sling bag on her back stormed into their office without knocking the door. Not only she is grossly oversize, her hair stood up like an African lion (actual description with expression) and was not properly dressed up for a job interview. Being professional, they nonetheless carried out the interview. To their astonishment, the candidate was unable to express herself clearly, she was just mumbling despite her excellent academic qualification. Of course, with disappointment, they cut short the interview.

The case mentioned might be an isolated and odd case. What’s important here is, and need to emphasize again, “The Value of an MBA lies on the person who carried the MBA and not the MBA itself.” A person may have an MBA, that only proved that they understood the course they took and passed the examination and thesis that were required. It doesn’t mean that they will be able to apply their new gain knowledge in the marketplace. Capability does not equate competency.

In today competitive environment, things are changing so fast that what we have learnt in a year ago may become obsolete now. The business world has evolved constantly with new ideas; methodology and strategy sprout out every now and then. The long tail business model may outshine the best seller chart. Small enterprise may suddenly outgrow fortune 500 companies. Thus, MBA graduates must be able to abreast with up to date knowledge, information and skill and not contented with their past academic qualification. Continuous Professional development is a buzz word for today professionals.

Thus the value of MBA is very much depends of the persons with an MBA on how they are able to create and add value to the organization and the society they are with, it doesn’t matter whether the MBA is from an IVY league university or elsewhere. What is important is the value they created with their MBA not the value of the MBA!