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Subject:  Re: On our way Date:  12/9/2006  1:56 AM
Author:  sailrmac Number:  3930 of 5232

You both mentioned MBA's and I have considered entering an MBA program. I think I know the answer, but are the education and opportunities as great as I hear? It becomes evident in my investing that there are so many things I don't know about business. Is the MBA the place to learn what I know is out there?

Actually I'm guessing my answer won't be what you expected. Yes, getting the MBA was definately worth it for me. Having that particular degree opened doors, quickly leading to more interesting work and a doubling of my income. If you get a top 20 program MBA (mine was not) this is even more true. A top 20 MBA opens a whole lot of doors, more important doors, doors that can lead to the executive suite.

But no I did not necessarily learn a whole lot about business which I didn't already know. The degree mostly gave me just that, a degree many others didn't have and thus an advantage in getting jobs and assignments, not business knowledge to actually accomplish tasks. It opens the door, the chance, but you still have to figure out how to step through and perform.

Unfortunately, many classes in an MBA program are taught by PhD's who have never worked in the real world and thus have limited practical experience. For example the professor who taught my MBA investing course taught and believed you couldn't beat the market (unless you had illegal insider knowledge) because the market already reflected all known knowledge. Thus you should invest in index funds. Lots of theory and mathmatical proofs of why this was so, very little useful information.

However, a few classes, too few, were useful and sometimes very useful. Also, sometimes I learned from fellow students. Generally the useful classes were taught by lecturers, people without PhD's but with lots of real world experience in their specialties. For the most part they didn't teach theory as much as practical skills and knowledge. For example the retired CFO who taught accounting 101, the retired VP who taught negotiation skills (he had to actually name the course something more politically correct but it was a negotiations course) and the guy who owned over 300 rental units who taught real estate finance (OK that particular guy did also happen to have a PhD). Those were the useful classes. The knowledge they imparted have made me literally hundreds of thousands of dollars. But you had to pay attention and be proactive. Sometimes the most important knowledge was given in no more than a couple minutes during a lecture or even after a lecture in response to a question from me.

So I guess you are going to get out of it what you want. I didn't give a shit about my grade, I wanted knowledge and skills and when I wasn't getting it from the PhD I got it from my classmates. I was dissapointed in many of the professors but squeezed every ounce out of the program that I could.

I do recommend getting an MBA.

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