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 Post subject: Re: Elite MBA Worth the Cost?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:28 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:21 pm
Posts: 89
Since it has been 8 months since I posted, I thought I'd provide an update to anyone who is interested.

I have migrated almost fully from engineering to commercial roles. I'm doing Value-of-Information studies, economic analysis, and business planning. It is interesting work and impacts hundred-million-dollar projects. I still work 40 hours per week, and got an 11% raise in this hot market. My wife quit her job because it was miserable, and also because we are expecting our first child.

So with career success, a pregnant wife, and increasing prosperity, I have decided... to go back to school.

My philosophy of life has changed tremendously over the course of working my first year, and I'm willing to get out and experience life a little bit for the cost of $200,000. I'm still very frugal, but I realize that when I'm 45-50 years old, $200k will be fairly insignificant. At the risk of sounding pompous... I see people save that much in one year if they are working overseas.

If I stay here, we will buy a house, stay a few years, then move to Houston and settle down. Nice, but not thrilling. If I go, we will spend 2 years experiencing the northeast, meeting lots of interesting people, and fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine. Afterwards I'll likely join my company's MBA development program and rotate through 2-3 different regions of the world in a short timeframe.

Even at high cost, the adventure, enjoyment, and leadership development are irresistable. I'll work an extra couple of years later on to pay for it - retiring in my late 40's versus my mid 40's is not so bad in the end. Besides, would I really retire with kids still in high school? Based on my own savings and a generous boost from my Dad, I expect to come out debt-free and with a large pool of retirement savings, so I won't be starting over from scratch.

I appreciate all the informative and engaging comments people have given.


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 Post subject: Re: Elite MBA Worth the Cost?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:38 am 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 810
I think you look through life through the optimistic glasses of a young person in the oil industry. You're "hot stuff" b/c you already make six figs and the world is your oyster. Coming up and working a bit in the industry myself, I don't want to quash your dreams, but rather say, don't be surprised when things don't work out the way you just described them.

A couple of points:
1) "Major" oil companies don't need people with MBA's. They need people with real life experience. Having worked on major international projects in the 10's of billions of dollars, very few people I have worked with are "snot nosed" young whipper snappers and even fewer have MBA's. I am doubtful that they would put you in an MBA program and rotate you around internationally, because the people on the ground in the international scene need real life experience, not more schooling. I've help start a new company's offshore development program from scratch in West Africa. And I've worked in South America and Asia. People with MBA's I have worked with while overseas....Zero. Perhaps some people had them, but they didn't mention it and you certainly couldn't tell any difference.
2) I have a good friend who was a Petroleum Engineer and made a good wage. He got accepted to Harvard's MBA program and decided to go. Employment offer to return back to the ol' ponderosa...same job. Needless to say, he doesn't make significantly more money and works for a "major international" bank.
3) I hear of the rumored "fast track" or MBA programs in these MAjor Oil companies, but I don't know anyone who has come out of them any more successful than when they came in. I know of young people who thought "planning" was the way to the promised land, then they wiggled their way into what many people referred to as the "Manager's Bitch" working for a unit's drilling manager or facility manager. They then saw technical positions to be "step backwards," but no one wanted them in their "leadership" positions b/c they didn't know their a-hole from their elbow on the technical side. In effect, they were stuck b/c they didn't focus on what was important in the beginning, technical experience and knowledge.

Do an MBA b/c you want a career change, not b/c you think it may propel your current career forward. These are just my thoughts, observations and opinions on the matter, based on my actual experience in the same industry as you. If I were the person who was "assigned" as your mentor/coach, my advice would be to get back into the technical side, work hard, enjoy it and eventually, 10-15 years down the road other opportunities will open up. They're not going to put you in a leadership position with 5 years experience and MBA, especially overseas. Perhaps, you can become the "manager" of pylons in timbuktu, but that isn't very interesting either. I know people have done contrary and there quite possibly could be a couple people who walked the path you just described, but for Heaven's Sake, ENJOY your job for once instead of always thinking about the future. If want to do something else, go do it.

To answer the question if you want to retire while your kids are still in high school, the answer is YES. They grow up fast, and they are only with you for a very short period of time. Their teenage years are the best time to be able to spend all the time you can with them.

As the great Fred Schwed said, "Somethings cannot adequately be explained to virgins, either through pictures or words."

Bon chance!

_________________
Bichon Frise

"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."


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 Post subject: Re: Elite MBA Worth the Cost?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:21 pm
Posts: 89
Bichon, thanks for the thought-provoking and detailed reply.

The impressions you've shared fit very well with what I have seen and been told. The attitude in the industry is certainly one of "shut up and go do more technical work... come back and talk to me in 10 years". I actually got to speak for an hour with the former #2 of XOM (not my company, BTW), and he told me that he never hired "Ivy League brats, with their nonsense silver-spoon attitude." His words, not mine.

I'm under no illusions that I'll gain financially if I rejoin my company. The international rotation program, however, is real and quite accessible to me. I'd be happy to share details via PM if you're curious - it is a fairly unique opportunity among the majors. However, once you get 'pooped out on the other side' of the fancy rotations, you are just a normal employee like anyone else, often times employed as a manager's b**** as you described. The highest pay available to an engineer is unlimited, whereas as a business-type professional the ceiling is much lower. All this being said, I have no willingness to sit around and twiddle my thumbs in the technical world for 9 more years, and I'm willing to give up earnings and potential to do something else.

There are two other benefits of the MBA. One, I am interested in Private Equity as a possible career change. Oil pays well, but not THAT well. I've heard that engineers-turned-MBA's are in high demand, and I sure wouldn't mind buying and selling companies, sitting on boards, and just generally participating in the turnaround of a company. I'm put off by the hours, but also very tempted by how interested I am in the work and the chance to try and prove myself in the world of high finance. If I could land a job in this industry back in my home of Texas it would be all the better.

Second, if oil goes back to $30, I trust that being a top brand MBA would help with finding a backup job in the distant future. I could be wrong, but it can't hurt...


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 Post subject: Re: Elite MBA Worth the Cost?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:33 am 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 810
To answer the question in the thread title, for someone in your position, No, it is not worth the cost.

Of course that doesn't make it a bad decision if you should do it for the right reasons. You seem to chasing money as you alluded to you picked a field with a high starting salary. I LOVE what I do. And resist any proposition to put me into doing what you want to be, the big Dick. And I was at one point, Iwas compensated very similar to my boss, if not more. I've gone away to never never land to die a slow death, doing simple drilling on land. It is fun, a lot easier, a lot less stressful and I love where I live.

Also, you should become familiar with expat life. It is rarely a 9 to 5 deal. And it consists of a lot of extra hours, as you're training nationals and trying to get a job done. JME.

I would encourage you to find something you love to do. You youngins want all the power right away. It takes time.

I certainly do wish you luck with whatever you choose to do and hope it lands you wherever the hell it is you want to be.

_________________
Bichon Frise

"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."


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 Post subject: Re: Elite MBA Worth the Cost?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:53 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:12 am
Posts: 4
Location: Khanna, Punjab, India
Sonja wrote:
I'd actually put some Asian schools on the list as well. especially indian as there won't be as much of a language barrier.


Good luck with your choice!



Even i am also put a Asian school list, bcoz i am from India and their is no language barrier...

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Gulzar Group of Institutes Best engineering colleges in the Punjab to do the Automation and Robotics,Civil,Electrical and Electronics,Automobile and Mechanical Engineering.


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 Post subject: Re: Elite MBA Worth the Cost?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:58 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:21 pm
Posts: 89
Good luck with your goals, Gsingh.

I'm currently in a weeklong "crash course" at the start of my MBA, designed to give engineers and poets, etc (non-bankers) a fighting chance in Accounting and Finance courses when the real semester starts.

I'm very happy with the decision to come here and have done a lot of research about Fortune 500 MBA rotation programs. The career paths are very exciting, even at my home company. It seems that multiple major American companies hire people into these programs, where work-life balance is a real possibility and the opportunities to go abroad are plentiful. They are quite competitive - there might be just a few dozen slots nationwide for the particular types of jobs I'm looking at, if I had to guess, but I think I'll have a fighting chance to get one of them.

I don't think the MBA is adding top-end earning power to my career for the long-term, but it does shift me into a career area that I am more passionate about. It also accelerates the opportunity to get overseas. 2-3 years overseas, done shortly after finishing my MBA, will pay for the investment I'm making in my schooling.


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 Post subject: Re: Elite MBA Worth the Cost?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:36 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:25 am
Posts: 777
I think you are focusing on the wrong things - forget the money. It will take care of itself..(you are and will do well)
1. Do I love what i am doing
2. Do I see myself doing it for 20 more years
3. Would that elite MBA potentially lead me to something I really want to do?
be an entrepreneur? overseas? whatever?
4. Will I Learn and have an enriching experience?

if answers are all yes ..enroll.

I think you need to focus more on what I want to do with your life rather then the money... 30 years working is a long time. You would be wasting you time if you don't enjoy what you are doing.

Chances are that elite MBA will open doors to exciting and presently unknown opportunities...I suspect you will regret not availing yourself of the opportunity to attend...

In my humble opinion... There are no sadder words then what might have been...

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RayinPenn

“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain


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 Post subject: Re: Elite MBA Worth the Cost?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:19 am
Posts: 2
If I were you, I would stay put. If global MBA [SPAM REMOVED] doesn’t help you in your career why go for it? If you’re looking for some excitement plan a road trip with your wife, it would be money spent better.


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 Post subject: Re: Elite MBA Worth the Cost?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:45 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 8:14 pm
Posts: 1953
nichel09 wrote:
If I were you, I would stay put. If global MBA [SPAM REMOVED] doesn’t help you in your career why go for it? If you’re looking for some excitement plan a road trip with your wife, it would be money spent better.

Gee, I don't know if I'd want to go to a school whose graduates are too dumb to know that they're responding to a question that's 2½ years old.


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 Post subject: Re: Elite MBA Worth the Cost?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5398
VinTek wrote:
nichel09 wrote:
If I were you, I would stay put. If global MBA [SPAM REMOVED] doesn’t help you in your career why go for it? If you’re looking for some excitement plan a road trip with your wife, it would be money spent better.

Gee, I don't know if I'd want to go to a school whose graduates are too dumb to know that they're responding to a question that's 2½ years old.



Non now Vintek, don't judge the whole program by the marketing majors.


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