“Was the MBA Worth It?”

No.

Nein.

Nee. Não.

Non. Niet. Nil. Nah.

It was definitely NOT worth it.

The group work. The sleepless nights. The tests and point grabs. The neverending facepalms when someone had no clue about foreign politics or the subject matter. We were all guilty of a faux pas, especially the impatient know it alls in the cohort which made the ambiance feel more like high school, on occasion. Not sure if it was the mostly Millennial make up or just a symptom of the times. – Just Google it! – It was hard to remain a cohesive unit when pitted to compete against each other for grades, accolades recommendations and most importantly, jobs.

An apprenticeship or rotation program would have been a better use of my time and resources.

The only thing of value were the connections made with the other humans in the room despite our differences in ages, race, gender, interest and skills. Overall the knowledge and experience gained unfortunately wasn’t up to my expectations. I felt like a monkey that needed to dance to a particular tune to get good grades. Truth be told I didn’t need the degree; I got it to stay ahead of the curve and not hurt future me from opportunities because she was underqualified. The same applies to my husband who, against his will, completed the program as promised to me when we got married. Our contract looking vows included helping each other complete two master degrees and any certifications that would be paid for by our employer. Thus far, we’ve checked all the boxes to maximize company benefits.

We got grades and feedback two days before the quarter ended. The goal wasn’t to grow or test your mettle, it was to avoid withdrawals and refunds!

Might feel hypocritical to complain about scoring a free ride to a prestigious university to earn a degree but if my place of business was a person, they may ask for all our tuition payments back! I don’t think we learned what we needed to learn; I’m not sure the technology track we choose will help the corporation succeed. Beyond getting a paycheck and knowing we now qualify for managerial positions, the newly minted degree won’t be worth much more than the piece of paper it was printed on.

Sitting for almost 4 hours of lecture time, listening to adjunct professors talk about what they thought I needed to memorize, while attempting to juggle 5 teams for 3 classes on a 12 credit coursework load is not empowering nor pleasant. I rather read Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Kahneman and others on my spare time and come up with my own conclusions. If the diploma will open doors for you or get your entrepreneurial juices flowing, ignore my rant and apply. If you need temporary help with a particular portion of your business idea or plan, your money is better spent hiring experts than attending college.

Resilience, leadership, communication skills, fairness and compassion can’t be learned in 18 months, in this manner. Hopefully time proves me wrong, but I doubt it!

My two cents…


Word to the wise:

Not all programs are the same. UW Bothell went through a shake up and my group, the Class of 2019, took the brunt of the damage thanks to disconnects caused by the erratic program management changes. New mothers and fathers were not accomodated as advertised, and those going through personal crises (like my family’s loss of my mother to cancer) did not receive the proper assistance to make good choices that would place their learning on a hiatus of more than a year. Courses weren’t available all the time and the electives were narrow. Check multiple sources, including those currently enrolled, to get a true feel for the commitment and resources allocated for your success.

If you need quick knowledge, opt for certificate programs instead of the full MBA. At a pricetag of 50k+, going through a program that doesn’t fit your needs is a very expensive lesson to learn.

 

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