Was my MBA worth it?

Note: It has been more than four years since I started this blog. It has been a great experience with nice comments, discussions and of course readership count following a sine wave :) This post may well be the conclusive post to this blog; except that I may update it occasionally. Marketing as a subject captured the most my interest during the days at IIMB and I am planning to continue writing about my learnings and thoughts @ Digistra. Do let me know your valuable comments about it!

Time just flies! It has been more than a year since I graduated from one of the coveted B-Schools of India.I thought its a good time to re-visit and reflect on the ROI generated out of this education. To start with, here are the investments I made to gain this prestigious and envious diploma !

  • 2.5 years (or rather three years) of no weekends, personal life
  • Around 10 Lakhs as tuition fees and other expenses
Fortunately or unfortunately there wasn't any loss of salary since mine was an executive program. Otherwise there would have been another cost bullet above. Today, as I see it, this where I am after MBA and some personal changes -

  • Married
  • Joined a small company
  • Moved my career to marketing domain
  • Thoughts are more inclined in terms of monetary implications (I won't call it money oriented though :P)

If I had not joined the program, I would have saved around 15 Lakhs which I could have very well used for buying an apartment; I would have enjoyed those three years' weekend (or wasted? :)) and kept on cribbing about the software engineer's job!

This is the outside picture anyone can get if they look at me. But the real story can be told only by the person who experience it. Here is a glimpse of that --

  1. First and foremost is the change in thought process -- honestly, I would not have thought about alternative investments and NPVs and optimum solutions about my savings if I had not studied that one core subject - Corporate Finance! 
  2. Similar is the case with my reading stamina. Unless I had gone through the hundreds of HBR cases and articles and readings, I doubt whether I would have ever read a 500 page book on business models and organizational development. 
  3. Courage to experiment. I acquired the courage to do some experiments like - investing in hard-core stock markets (from short-term trading to futures and options) to contemplating the a consulting business to taking classes for kids & even professionals. MBA taught me what matters is trying out; not whether you succeed. The boost in optimism one will have is invaluable.
  4. Moving away from the comfort zone. Whether it is public speaking or trying out new things or networking; the MBA anchored to make those steps.

Of course one can argue that you need not do an MBA, waste time and money to achieve all these. I don't deny; but if you are confident that you can achieve all these yourself; lucky you! you dont need an MBA.

Coming to the core question of any MBA aspirant - did it provide what the newspapers and media boast of? A definite NO; I have to say it's just hype and myths propagated year after year. Of course there were and will be few folks in all MBA batches who get those hyped salary offers and job profiles. Its not because of either brilliance alone or luck alone; but a combination of factors like luck, brilliance, background, timing and so on.

Let me close this post by making a couple of more points. MBA is a sunk investment(Well! that's a jargon). What I meant is you cannot consider the ROI of an MBA or for that matter any education from only the salary that you get post MBA. That's a pinch you have to accept. It's the intellectual stimulation, the network and the holistic thinking ability that you should look forward to. Don't go by the media reports; do an MBA only if you really think it will add value to you (The question Why MBA in SOPs is not just there for the sake of it; consider the SOP as an opportunity to critically think about the choice you are making!).

ALL THE BEST to the MBA ASPIRANTS out there and WISH ALL DREAMS come true for the MBA grads!

Disclaimer - all opinions in this post and blog are just my own and personal!

MOOC - Lifetime learning

It has been long since I blogged something here. Lot's have been happening in life - change the personal status from single to married :) , moved to a new city and finally moved to a new company - this time to a small one working on an exciting challenge of marketing attribution. Hoo hoo! too much flux to handle. So far life has been kind enough to me with not many BIG surprise though it continues to be an enjoyable roller-coaster ride! 

An education like MBA makes you even more thirsty to continue to learn. Now that I have KINDA settled, have started to do courses in MOOCs. We very well know the number of such MOOCs have exploded recently. But this is even more good news for a learner as each of these MOOC come up with some uniqueness in terms of either the themes they offer or teachers they bring in. Some of the ones that I have learnt from and recommend are

I am now exploring one such MOOC called Open2Study; already completed few of them and currently doing User Experience for the Web

Have you used MOOCs? Which of them do you recommend?

By the way, I am planning to continue this blog by writing more about marketing and strategy topics; hope and wish I will manage it. Let me know your opinion. Read the series @ Marketing Chalk :)