Saturday – the day on which we play football. We rent a pitch, organize an event on facebook and enjoy football for 2 (sometimes 3) hours every week.
Last Saturday after the game, one of the fellows offered to give me a lift in his nice blue Volkwagen Golf. When I got into the car and the car got to move, I said:
“I have to thank you for your advice about MBA and GMAT. After our talk I made some googling and figured out that GMAT is a crucial admission requirement to business schools that I want to study at.”
“That’s right. Besides, GMAT is crucial for getting a scholarship as well,” he said.
“When did you start preparations?” he asked me as we were driving out of the parking lot.
“Do you have a tutor?”
“I purchased an online GMAT course. I can’t afford a personal tutor. A course at the GMAT center costs 2000 euros.”
“If their course is really effective, why don’t you invest in it? It will pay off afterwards.”
“I am highly satisfied with my current course. I am doing a lot of practice, lessons are just great. Moreover, I can ask a question through the platform if I don’t understand anything.”
This guy has over 12 years of management experience. He did his MBA at an American school in Prague and he has been successfully running his own company for the past 5 years.
“When did you do your MBA?” I asked him.
“Ehmmm… it was in 2012” he responded very slowly as if not being sure about the year.
“Did you have experience before that?”
“Absolutely. Before that I worked for 7 years on executive positions. I believe MBA is for those who have extensive experience in management. Otherwise, MBA is not going to benefit you very much.”
He talked mixing three languages at the same time: Uzbek, Russian and English. It is so typical for people who grew up in an Uzbek home, went to a Russian school and to English university. I guess I tend to mix the languages myself too. When he was talking English, he used sophisticated English phrases and business terminologies, although he had a clear accent. I thought “It must be easier for him to express his thoughts in English.”
“Did MBA benefit you?” I asked him.
“Of course it did. It contributed immensely to my career development,” he responded.
“May I ask in which way it benefitted you?” I asked despite I felt that I was being a little too nosey. My curiosity took over.
“I benefited from those 18-months program in two ways,” he claimed with his hands in the steering wheel and his eyes on the road. “First, I met incredible people. My groupmates were absolutely smart; they had great time management skills, soft skills as well as hard skills. They then became top brass of the society. One of them, for example, is now a Chief Financial Officer at Tesco. Another is Senior Director at HP. We bacame good friends. During studies we used to go to a bar to chitchat and to make fun of each other. I remember one of them once cried on my shoulder because his girlfried had left him [he laughs]… And we still sometimes meet to chill together. When I see those crazy friends of mine soar high in their careers, I get a kick on my ass [I laugh]. Then I start to think “Why can’t you work harder and be equally successful as them? How are they different from you? You know what I mean?”
“Yes, I do… What about the second benefit?”
“I founded my own company immediately after graduation. We have been successfully operating in Czech event management market for 5 years now. During those 18-months of MBA, I developed a business plan for my company, with the help of business professors and experts at the school. I did a start-up.”
“Did you work during the studies?”
“Yes, I did. I never received financial help from anyone.”
“How busy were you during studies?”
“I was extremely busy. I had to remove all my profiles from social networks like facebook,” he said smiling.
I could not agree with him on that one, but did not want to divert the subject. But he responded to my confusion as though he read my thoughts: “If you want to achieve something, you have to sacrifice something else.”
“I figured out that I don’t qualify for a real MBA,” I said. “Because I don’t have much of management experience (in fact, I don’t have management experience at all)”.
“There are Management courses, though, for fresh graduates. They are hardly different from regular MBAs. The thing is, I want to start my Masters right after graduation from Bachelor studies. Because I want to get over with all the degrees and start working as soon as possible.”
“That is smart of you,” he concurred. “In fact, I highly encourage you to stick to that plan. Because as you get older, degrees will become a much lower priority. Moreover, you will just not have time for it. Especially after you get married. You can trust my experience [he smiles].”
Then we winded up talking about GMAT.
“GMAT is a really effective gauge for measuring the management skills of a person,” he stated being quite excited about the topic. “I rectuited over 500 people throughout my career. I can tell you that those who achieved a decent GMAT score absolutely have the skills to do business successfully. They say, GMAT is the most difficult test ever. By getting a decent score on GMAT, you also prove your commitment to a business school that you are ready to study hard and make necessary sacrifices in order to study at a reputable business school. Have you noticed that you develop business mentality by practicing GMAT problems?
“Yes, I have. And I absolutely agree with you,” concurred I.
Successful people with extensive experience have always impacted the way I think, the way I look at the world and the way I do things. Those people have always inspired and motivated me.
After this talk I made necessary conclusions. Here are they. You should consider MBA if:
1. You want to recieve deep theoretical business knowledge.
2. You want to make friends with like-minded businesspeople that will constantly motivate you to work hard throughout your life.