Survived Cyber Monday – Who Needs an MBA?? Experience!

In business by Michael Michelini9 Comments

Feel like I’ve passed some kind of test. Retail site New York Bar Store survived a rough couple weeks……internal employee issues…operations….chargebacks….but we manage…regroup…and move on.

I remember I was thinking of getting an MBA…but you know what?

1) I never liked school – I like to study what I want to use in life.
2) I don’t want to pay to go to school –
3) The time studying for GMATs – prep classes, weekend studying
4) The time applying to different MBA schools
5) The 2 years of full time school.

So you add all that up, the VALUE OF TIME and the HARD DOLLARS spent….

then you figure what I’m doing

Learning to build a business…reinvesting my savings into myself to build a business…

Sure I’m getting ROCKED….each day struggling to learn more and more, to adapt to changing environment, tech issues, customer issues, employee issues, sourcing issues, supplier issues……

But I would say that 100x more valuable and effective than an MBA…at least for me….but hey, in the 7 months of full time entrepreneur…add up all the learning, building, and personal growth – as well as networking – and yea…I’m making money at it too…

My case for going entrepreneur vs. MBA

been meaning to write this post….would love to hear feedback.

Maybe it depends if you’re trying to move up in the corporate world vs. the small business world?

I remember when I was in Wall Street still, and I wanted to challenge myself more and add to my personal development. So the company I was working for, Deutsche Bank, endorsed my time to prepare for the GMAT tests at a Kaplan course right in Manhattan.

The first day we went around in the classroom, state your name, the company you work for, and what you want to do with your MBA. Almost all were “i’m john, i work at citibank (or another financial bank) and I want to use my MBA to get a raise and management position in a bank”

When it came to be my turn, I said, “Hi, I’m Mike Michelini and I work at Deutsche Bank in trade support. I want to use my MBA to network with entrepreneurs and start my own company”

The whole room looked at me strangely ……like am I crazy. Then I realized I was in the wrong place, and an MBA was not the best investment for me. I would rather invest in learning “on the ground”, the man in the arena and to go out on my own and hustle.

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  1. So here it is: your argument for experience vs MBA is great. Valid points. One goes to get an MBA to get started in something that you already do. Basically an MBA is a document that shows that you’ve proven yourself. that you have been through school and you’ve proven that you can get things done. Tons of work, upcoming deadlines, working with variables, such as other people. So you have this document that says you’ve got an MBA that shows others OK. NYU or BU or whatever gave this kid an MBA. He is serious, not some joker, not some scam artist, I can give him a loan, I can give him a job managing, I can risk this and this to take this kid on, give him a chance because he has a degree.

    You are getting all this experience through NYBS. I don’t know if all of it but you are getting a lot of it. You are dealing with. Your workload is like tests. Except where someone gets a bad grade for a mistake, you can lose $$$$ – those are your incentives. You don’t need an MBA cause you don’t need a loan for NYBS. You don’t need to get the job of CEO of NYBS cause you’ve already got it. You don’t need teachers to guide you because you’ve got mentors and friends (although – who knows how good they are 😉 )

    the things that you don’t get are:
    – friends and connections made at MBA program that lead to business or personal relationships
    – some of the lessons that you will have to learn the hard way – legal issues, opening up yourself to liabilities, figuring out where your liabilities lie and how to best prepare yourself for those liabilities, so when they come to sting you have a plan. – dealing with stress, learning from peers

    other than that – experience is just as valuable if not more valuable than an MBA

    with that said – no experience to start with – I’m going to study for the GMAT ;). you – you don’t need to

  2. thanks for that Piotr. I can see your point and I do think MBA is neccessary for some…

    wonder if we’ll get some more perspectives!

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  4. Now I’m going to have to write a lengthy entry myself on the issue. I have a lot buried around the issue of education vs. experience.

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  7. I also gave up the thought of pursuing an MBA after taking few classes at GSB Stanford. Now I have my own business and am doing OK. Exactly the same situation.

    1. congrats Charles. cheers to us. but many of my friends have gotten an mba and are happy with it

      so to each is own

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