February 21, 2009

MBA?

When I decided to pursue an MBA, I was on a promising way to a pretty safe career path at Intel. On the other side, my intuition implied that I will not be able to achieve my career goals to lead large scale processes and companies by just walking on that safe path. In addition, I felt that without a meaningful business knowledge, experience and skills I will forever carry the 'techie' tag. And, since I believe that highly talented people will follow a leader or a manager only if they can trust him or her, I chose to build myself into such concept. As an employee this is very important for me. I need to know that the managers above me make wise decisions and 'did their homework' to be able to take these decisions.

Back in my army time I heard from a friend that there were Israelis who studied MBA abroad, but it was like a science fiction for me. Especially from the financial perspective. Raised in pretty 'unsafe' neighborhood, I just couldn't believe that I will ever be able to take such step. It all started ~3 years ago when I heard that a colleague of mine is going to the US to study MBA. I was absolutely amazed that my dream is within a feasible reach and was ready to do whatever it takes to get there.

Let's go down to the basics. What is MBA? According to the
Wikipedia: "The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a master's degree in business administration, which attracts people from a wide range of academic disciplines. The MBA designation originated in the United States, emerging from the late 19th century as the country industrialized and companies sought out scientific approaches to management. The MBA degree has since achieved worldwide recognition." But.... besides reading the formal definition and brochures, I like the following approach, and I think it works for every career choice in life. Look at the people who choose similar path. Do you admire them? Do you like their approach to life? Will you 'bet' on their success? Will you enjoy just hanging around with these guys? If the answer is yes, then you are probably one of them (whatever 'them' refers to).

I read about the people in the top MBA schools, and discovered that these programs are a must-go-through milestone for those who see themselves as people who wish to bring a true change to the way the world looks.
So how about YOU? Are you ready to take the challenge? Pause your career progress, take huge loans and live far away from your family to become an MBA grad? I like to think that these hurdles by themselves do most of the screening work for the admission officers. When you start this process, make sure that you know what you are getting into, and that you are ready to make the 'sacrifices'.

Now, don't get me wrong... I truly believe that a person can reach all his/her goals without an MBA, and there are great example for paradigm-shift leaders who don't have business education - the question is what's the right way for you. What path will give you the feeling that you are doing the right thing? I think this is very much like Dumbo's 'magic' feather :)

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