Versatile Master of Business Administration Essay

By Richard Speed, associate dean for faculty resources, Melbourne Business School You’re an engineer. You’ve reached the limit of your technical job and you’re looking down the barrel of being promoted from specialist management as a chief engineer or plant manager to a leadership position as operations manager or general manager. Trouble is, these roles require skills they didn’t teach you in your engineering degree-skills like being responsible for other people’s performance, for financial and marketing issues, leading transformational change in your organisation and for managing relationships with suppliers and buyers.

You could blunder around, bluff your way through the maze, or simply rely on learning on the job- or you could seriously consider re-skilling with an MBA. Which MBA is right for you? Choosing the right MBA program is a good start. The classic, career-changing MBAs are full-time immersion programs. They take 16-months and you’ll need to put your job on hold or leave it and get a new job afterwards. The part-time MBA, which can also be done on week-ends at some business schools, takes longer but provides more flexibility.

It means you can combine full-time work with study. The Executive MBA comprises intensive bouts of residential study in-between several months off, when you return to full-time work. It’s a high-level program for senior professionals over 40, with ten years working experience, who have been identified by their employers for the next C-suite role. All MBAs require substantial investment-not just financially, but more so in time and family support. For this reason, you want to choose a school that does it seriously. Choosing the right school

Do your homework. There is so much information about business schools, including many rankings. These rankings are public and carry weight. Find out what they are, how they are constructed, and whether they resonate with you. Get out and visit some business schools. If there’s graffiti on the desk, then it’s an undergraduate school, not a business school. Ask to meet the faculty. Meet the students and sit in on some classes. What is the evidence that the school transforms people? What do alumni say about the program?

What is the evidence that this school is personal? Finally look at the size of classes, the interaction with the faculty, the flexibility and the individual support. Does the school care about the outcome of the individual or are they just a face in the crowd? Smart employers use the MBA to give their high potential future general managers the chance to improve their skills before they are tested by failure. The best business schools will provide you with a business case to present to your employer that justifies the benefits of an MBA education.

What do I get out of an MBA? The MBA was actually developed as a degree for technical professionals-primarily engineers. In fact, at most business schools, about a third of all MBA students are engineers. An MBA is a chance to acquire confidence, learn from others and to build a network of people who have similar interests, but who are not rivals. In a few years time your fellow students will be partners in accounting firms, law firms, CFOs, CEOs, CLOs and they will be friends you can turn to for advice.

And for the employer, MBAs deliver a more valuable employee with a broader range of skills that is well worth considering. Should you get an MBA after an engineering education even before you have job experience? Answer: well,it all comes down to what you plan to do after you get your engineering degree. If you would like to work in R&D (research and development) you are probably better of not doing an MBA,however it is essential that you do your masters and specialize in a specific area of your engineeringfield.

If u wouldn’t like to do the above an MBA degree is definitely very helpful as it gives you more exposure to business-related topics you didn’t come across in engineering studies. Even if u start of your career as a basic engineer,as you climb up the career ladder an MBA degree equips you with organization skills,marketing skills etc. This is also important because the role of the engineer is changing; within an industry, an engineer is likely to be a manager who has to implement new practices and new technology. so i would really recommend you to go for an MBA if you arent very specific on staying in that engineering cocoon.

Also there are a wide range of MBA degrees available. people usually only consider the usual areas of marketing and finance while opting for an MBA degree but there are several other options available like an MBA in operational management etc.. but a really important thing you need to keep in mind is to do your MBA from a good university,and most of the good universities require work experience. so i think your MBA degree can wait for a few years until you get that much needed work experience to get you into a good university.

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