Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

MBA Life-cycle

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2010 at 4:46 am

I frequently encounter coaching requests from ambitious people trying to find their way. Excellent engineers want to change careers and become marketeers, operations leaders, and a handful few aspire to be engineering leaders. In order to accomplish this, the typical route taken is to go to B-School. Most people I know go to school part-time or start with a full-time program but end up taking a job in the middle of the MBA program. The observations here are primarily about the first category of people who start with the part-time program.

One of the key things that I have observed is that the students are forced to utilize their time effectively to manage work, school, and home. This often implies less hours at the office than before. In my line of work, fewer office hours should not matter as long as the employee produces results. However, quite often the candidates find themselves in turmoil. Some managers perceive fewer hours as less work and soon this turns into a performance improvement conversation.

Another observation is that the candidate often loses interest in the current line of work since it no longer aligns with their future goals. This impacts their performance at work while their performance at school is impeccable.

Third observation: While some candidates enter the MBA program with clear career goals, others are still finding their way. Often someone in the middle of the MBA program is still trying to decide the right career. This makes it very difficult to have meaningful career development conversations with the management, rendering the management team helpless in the candidate’s development goals.

Is there an existing study / finding that points to the MBA life-cycle? This will help the MBA aspirants to know the risks before taking the plunge. What are some of your observations?