Do You Need an MBA?

At one time or another nearly every student, executive or business-minded person contemplates whether to pursue the MBA or Masters in Business Administration Degree. We all hear the stories of young MBA graduate landing prestigious Wall Street jobs or thirty-somethings going back to school to change careers, but do you really need an MBA or can you succeed in business just fine without one?

What Do You Gain By Having An MBA?

The stated and obvious objective of a pursuing an MBA is to educate and teach the student a core set of business competencies as preparation for a successful career in business. These skills encompass such subjects as finance, marketing, strategy, economics, and management among several others.

Along with the academic, an MBA also cultivates students in other ways through ‘soft’ and ‘experiential’ skills such as the experience of working on group projects, leadership training, and being immersed in the intellectually stimulating environment that working along with other motivated, bright students and faculty from a wide range of backgrounds provides. Finally, good MBA programs provide in-depth networking and contact building opportunities as well as career guidance and in some cases even job placement.

What Kind Of MBA Candidate Are You?

MBA candidates typically fall into one of three groups. Depending on which type you are also dictates how obtaining the MBA is of value to you and whether you really need one.. The first group typically consists of those students who are in their mid twenties to early thirties with a few years of work experience behind them. They have decided to obtain their MBA as a way to polish their educational pedigree and use the MBA as a launching point into financial jobs on Wall Street or to various positions in Corporate America. These are the ‘typical’ MBA students and make up the bulk of the programs.

For most of this category, an MBA while desirable, might not be absolutely necessary unless the student is truly trying to change fields into a very specific and contrasting field from what they’ve done before. In that case, the MBA can be the ‘great equalizer’ and after graduation the student can then pursue a job in for instance investment banking when before they were in media. Without the MBA experience it might have been difficult if not impossible to make the career transition between two such disparate fields.

The reason why an MBA might not be necessary if the student is deciding to stay in the same field is before is quite simple. The time, typically two years, and great expense of pursuing the MBA is an opportunity cost for the student. If the student would be further ahead simply working themselves up in the current path they are in than they would be after they get out of the MBA program, then the MBA might be a waste if looked upon in a pure dollar/time cost comparison. Of course this is ignoring the other ‘experiential’ benefits already stated which of course have value.

Another popular reason to pursue an MBA are those looking to pursue an entrepreneurial route and want the academic, networking and personal experience that an MBA provides. While for some this can certainly be a valuable path to take, an argument can be made that a truly focused and dedicated entrepreneur can succeed without an MBA. Such acclaimed entrepreneurs and CEOs without MBA’s such as Steve Jobs (Apple), Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Michael Eisner (Disney) are proof of that. With that said, there is an equally long and prestigious list of those that did obtain an MBA and where it created a valuable base for their later success such as Donald Trump (Trump Organization), Laurence Fink (Blackrock) and Phillip Knight (Nike).

When You Might Absolutely Need An MBA.

The one situation where an MBA might be absolutely necessary is if your current employer requires one in order to achieve a certain level of management. In these cases, it is not unusual for the company to offer to pay for your MBA with an understanding that you will continue to work at the company after you’ve achieved the degree and with an implied promise that you will eventually reach higher levels in the organization. This is a win/win situation where you get a free ride financially and benefit both by becoming more knowledgeable and experienced through formal business school training and more valuable to your company as a higher educated and more capable employee.

As can be seen, the question one should ask when wondering if you need an MBA is…if you don’t get one, is there an alternative path to your goal and what is the opportunity cost of pursuing the MBA? Depending on what these answers are will tell you whether you need an MBA. For more great information check out

Source by Robert Levin

Famous MBA Alumni and the Schools They Went To

There are many different factors that go into deciding what MBA programs a candidate should apply to. While location, cost, reputation, and acceptance difficulty are certainly the major factors that one should consider, many students would also like to know where many of today’s most successful business leaders got their MBA’s from. Apart from individually searching one by one, it is hard to find a resource to find out this information. For this reason, I’ve compiled a collection of some of my favorite MBA business leaders and where they went to school.

With the current economic shake up on Wall Street an appropriate place to start is with Jamie Dimon, President of JP Morgan Chase. Mr. Dimon was selected as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and received his MBA from Harvard University. Staying with the same theme, Dick Kovacevich, Chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo obtained his MBA from Stanford University.

Laurence Fink, Chairman of BlackRock attended UCLA’s Anderson School for his MBA and keeping with the financial theme, Warren Buffet, ‘The Oracle of Omaha’ while not an MBA holder did receive his MS in Economics at Columbia University back in a day when MBA’s weren’t as common. Finally, Robert Edward Diamond Jr., the President of Barclay’s received his Masters from The University of Connecticut School of Business Administration.

Moving to the technology sector, no list would be complete without Meg Whitman, CEO of EBAY and Harvard MBA holder. Other tech heavyweights include Paul Otellini, President and CEO of Intel and Stanford MBA graduate. George David, Chairman of United Technologies went to The University of Virginia’s Darden School and Kevin B. Rollins, former CEO of Dell Computers attended Brigham Young’s Marriott School of Management for his MBA.

Those interested in the retail sector might be interested to know that Philip H. Knight of Nike fame attended Stanford Business School, while Gregg W. Steinhafel of Target got his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Jefferey Montie, the president of Kellogg International (the cereal maker among other things) went to Ohio State for his Masters and Indra K. Nooyi, a graduate of Yale University’s School of Management is the President and CEO of PepsiCo. Rounding out this sector, Muhtar Kent, the President and CEO of Coke obtained his MBA in London at the Cass Business School.

If manufacturing, real estate or pharmaceuticals are up your ally, some of the biggest names in these fields hold MBA’s from prestigious institutions. Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka, while not MBA holders, did attend The Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania. Peter R. Dolan, Former CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb received his MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business while the current CEO, James M. Cornelius attended Michigan State University’s Broad School of Management. Alan Feldman, a University of Illinois MBA holder is President, Chairman and CEO of Midas Corporation and Rick Wagoner, CEO of General Motors received his MBA from Harvard. The University of Michigan has another prestigious alum in John V. Faraci, Chairman of International Paper.

Finally, No list would be complete without some mention of those MBA holders that are also in politics. The first and only President to hold an MBA, George W. Bush received his from Harvard Business School while Jon Corzine, Governor of New Jersey attended the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. For more great info on this subject check out

Source by Robert Levin

Cool Plush Toys Under 20 Dollars

We all remember our favorite stuffed animal growing up. The way it felt, the way it smelled, and the way we needed to have it even on short car trips to the supermarket. Stuffed animals can be a very meaningful and significant part of any child’s life and can often help development when it comes to nurturing skills. In today’s economy, and with family’s pinching pennies, here is a short list of some unique plush toys and distinct stuffed animals that offer exceptional value and are all priced around twenty dollars or less.

Lubies are a break through line of plush toys, combining clean charming designs with the irresistible playable shape of a ball. These adorable soft ball shaped critters are insanely cute, made from super soft material and are designed for all ages. The line includes a wide variety of animals from cows and pigs to polar bears and sharks. Boys and girls will instantly take to throwing them around and they are still soft and cute enough to cuddle with. Considering you should be able to find the Lubies for under 10 dollars a piece, this makes them a great value as a plush toy.

Rad Dogs by Douglas Cuddle Toy are a relatively new line of stuffed dogs. The Rad Dogs are a bit edgy, yet very soft and stylized. They were designed with the discerning boy in mind, but girls seem to love them just as much. Each Rad Dog has a distinctive look, color and personality. These edgy, chic mongrels come in two sizes, big boys and juniors. Both sizes should be available for under 20 dollars.

If you haven’t seen the Worry Woos yet, you will soon. Created by Andi Green, the Woory Woo Monsters set themselves apart as a unique series that brings human emotion to life by personifying feelings as main characters. These characters are soft and cuddly and kids of all ages will love their bright colors, wacky looks and signature belly buttons. More importantly, kids will be able to relate to the insecurities these monsters embody.

If you’re looking for something truly unique, then look no further than the strangely cute line of Stitch Kittens by Gus Fink. Made from pose able, huggable plush, the Stitch Kittens are unusually distinct and each is packed with personality. Each kitten has a flat bottom, which may reduce its cuddle factor, but will allow it to stand on its own. From a value perspective, each Stitch Kitten comes packed with a mystery comic book that doubles as a poster, a trading card and a checklist, all for under 20 dollars.

The cool plush toy deals are out there, all you have to do is find the perfect one!

Source by Shaun Boyle

Bipolar Disorder Books – The Best Three Reads For Manic Depression

Are you flustered on how to deal with your illness? Perhaps you have a friend who has this disorder and you are looking for a book on bipolar disorder? Maybe you have a spouse who has recently been diagnosed, and you are wondering how your relationship can work. For all of these situations, you should check out your local library or bookstore and peruse these three titles.

1.) Bipolar Disorder for Dum-mies

Bipolar Disorder for Dum-mies, by Candida Fink, is one of those books that provides an excellent overview of a subject. Not only does this resource contain self-help techniques and advice on the latest medications and therapies, but this bipolar book also teaches friends and families how to deal with someone who is suffering from this illness.

2.) The Everything Health Guide to Adult Bipolar: Reassuring Advice to Help You Cope

This book on bipolar disorder is written by Jon Bloch, and includes about every topic imaginable, including how to deal with relationships if you or someone you love is bipolar, as well as symptoms and how to receive the proper diagnosis. Even better, everything is put into simple to understand terms, so there is no confusing doctor jargon to worry about.

3.) Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner

By Julie A. Fast, this book was included in the top three because of the rarity of the subject matter. Millions of Americans love someone with bipolar disorder, and many marriages are destroyed because this illness is left untreated. This book is written purely from the perspective of learning to deal with a partner who is bipolar, and includes plenty of first hand accounts of relationships. If you are searching for love and don’t know what you are getting into, this bipolar book is a must read.

Source by Alex Newman