Was the MBA worth it?

I graduated one year ago, so I guess it is time to take a small step back and ponder on the use and return on investment of my MBA (but the heat of  Tunis where I am now writing is not really helping).  I have read a couple of articles lately on the topic and of course their answer is more or less “no” (otherwise it is not an interesting enough article): you can train on your own, you can network on your own, you can all have it with hard work and good will, you will save money and this is what our statistics show on the post-MBA salary bla bla ba. Of course, the reader with such articles feel comfortable with the status quo, he can do it all on his own, far from the business school rip off. But one thing you learn once you start your MBA program is that all these statistics and studies do not mean anything because every candidate has his own story, his own ambitions, his own assumptions, his own constraints!
After few years in France, I wanted to gain some experience in US, get exposure to new fields and new profiles, and get some tools to switch my career into private sector development related jobs. Of course, I went, like many of my MBA colleagues, through lots of downs, frustration, doubts etc. And it starts from week one: have I really made the right choice of country? program? school? etc. No wonder that some of the students drop out after a couple of weeks. And I had different ambitions and limits from the married Indian candidate’s who left his family in Mumbai, and the investment banker’s from New York City who wanted to boost his salary. This is why you need to keep your focus, and you cannot do it while you are already working in a company you do not like, or while you are “training on your own”. The MBA was for me a 2 year track to explore various topics, discuss with as many people as possible and to be involved in different projects. Gradually, I became familiar with topics I found out I am really interested in (was it luck?), I gained some “professional” experience in different areas and countries, which was all concluded with a credible MBA degree that looks good on the resume. Of course, it is annoying to be in debt. It is annoying to look around and see that some of your friends had moved on during the two years you were back to exams, homework  and student parties. But I am very happy with the outcome and I do not regret it a single second. So yeah, you can do it on your own, and take as less risk as possible. It is just a tool after all, but something that can be very enriching, challenging and effective. A worthy tool.
Of course, please visit this very nice link : http://msb.georgetown.edu/mba 🙂

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