Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community polls, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

MBA + no experience + low tier school =?

thermo1thermo1 Posts: 264Registered User Junior Member
edited March 2009 in Engineering Majors
So I have a friend who is graduating from life science this year. He doesn't have the greatest grades (around a B average) and no real work experience.

While everyone else was busy trying to get an internship he usually goes back to his country for the summer. After he goes back to his country this summer, hes planning to do an MBA.

Most the MBA schools around here require 1-2 years of work experience as a requirement which of course my friend doesn't have. Therefore, hes going to a pretty low school.

I've read that an MBA will make you compete with a different class of people; people with years of work experience. Would getting an MBA be a bad move? Also, hes not very bright so he won't do too well in the program. I mean I'm sure he'll pass but he won't be top of the class or anything.

what do you guys think?
Post edited by thermo1 on

Replies to: MBA + no experience + low tier school =?

  • G.P.BurdellG.P.Burdell Posts: 2,294User Awaiting Email Confirmation Senior Member
    Why do you care about what your friend is doing?
  • ken285ken285 Posts: 3,883Registered User Senior Member
    The question you should be asking is what does this person hope to get out of an MBA.
    Why do you care about what your friend is doing?

    Because that's what friends do?
  • G.P.BurdellG.P.Burdell Posts: 2,294User Awaiting Email Confirmation Senior Member
    Ok.. (and I'm not sure why this is in engineering but...)

    I classify MBAs as being one of two types: career changers and career builders. Career changing MBAs are the ones where you can have little or no experience in an area, earn an MBA, then immediately start working in another area with good pay. This sounds like the sort of degree your friend wants. The problem is that career changing MBAs really only work if they're from the top programs (probably top 10, but at least top 25). Beyond that, companies won't hire you as a career changing MBA student, they'll view you as a career building MBA student.

    A career building MBA student is someone who already has a career and a position, but wants to improve their standing in that career or position. For example, an established electrical engineer that wants to move to electrical engineering management or a middle manager that wants to move to upper management in the same company. For these people, it's not so much about the flashy degree as much as it is learning the skills and signaling to their employer that they're willing to learn and advance. These MBAs are the ones you frequently see at night or at the lower tier MBAs (though you could go to HBS as a career builder).

    The problem with you friend having no experience and a low tier MBA is that the companies that could give him a career change won't come to his school to recruit - it'll be the people looking for career builders. They want the 5-10 year experienced engineers with the management skills, which he won't have. So he's starting off in a huge hole compared to other MBA students. In addition, if he tries to "go back" to interview for the Life Science positions (which makes his MBA almost pointless, at least short term), he runs the risk of being overqualified for those positions.

    So at the end of the day, if he's going to go straight through to an MBA, it really needs to be a top school. At a second tier or even lower school, he's going to hurt himself more than he helps himself.
  • thermo1thermo1 Posts: 264Registered User Junior Member
    ya, my friend is definately looking for a career changing MBA. He original wanted to use life science as a way of getting to med school but that didn't turn out too well. Also, he doesn't really like science.
  • hmom5hmom5 Posts: 10,882- Senior Member
    I low rated MBA program with no work experience is usually not worth the time or money. No employer is going to get excited by the profile you give.

    He would be much better off working for 3-5 years (average for decent programs) and the getting a good degree. If he does well career wise, his experience will trump his GPA.
  • thermo1thermo1 Posts: 264Registered User Junior Member
    his GPA isn't too bad, its around a B. The thing reason he can't get into a better MBA school is that the ones around here require work experience. It'll be tough to find a job in this market, especially with no experience so I'm not sure what the right thing to do is.
  • toblintoblin Posts: 1,862Registered User Senior Member
    I've always thought of an MBA as a nice addition to a professional/technical degree, but only after a few years of practicable experience. Unfortunately most MBA's are awarded to people who simply forgot to major in Business as undergrads.

    Almost without exception B-school is nothing more than a glorified rehash of any decent Business undergrad program.
  • JapherJapher Posts: 1,350Registered User Senior Member
    ya, my friend is definately looking for a career changing MBA. He original wanted to use life science as a way of getting to med school but that didn't turn out too well. Also, he doesn't really like science.

    But he doesn't have a career to change. I would definitely advise your friend not to pursue an MBA. Sounds to me like it's a "I don't know what to do, so I'll get an MBA" move. And, that's a bad move. What if he gets a job and 10 years down the road hates it? The MBA career change route is closed. He'd be best to figure out what he wants to do, and what he wants to gain from an MBA, before pursuing it.

    Life Science degrees doesn't mean he has to work in life science. Maybe he should get a job in the medical device field or do some field work, or teach for a while. Everyone seems to be in a rush these days, and those who don't plan out their career will be the ones who are hurt the most in the future.
  • Dr.HorseDr.Horse Posts: 1,289- Member
    If you arent going to big MBA school, its not really worth it. My dean of engineering told us this when we graduated.
  • G.P.BurdellG.P.Burdell Posts: 2,294User Awaiting Email Confirmation Senior Member
    Almost without exception B-school is nothing more than a glorified rehash of any decent Business undergrad program.

    You don't go to B-school for the academics.
  • toblintoblin Posts: 1,862Registered User Senior Member
    Aye. But the sheepishly misinformed are so happily deluded.
Sign In or Register to comment.