It's perfectly possible that you're considering enrolling in an MBA. If that's the case, perhaps you may want to consider some of the following options and create your own MBA using mainly social media and the Internet.
Note: in the best-case scenario, you'll save yourself 2 practically irrelevant years and paying for the course with a considerable loan to be paid off in 4 or 5 years. In the worst-case scenario, you'll ignore this post and enrol anyway.
Creating your own MBA
- Study the best MBA programmes you can find in depth: who are the teachers? Analyse them and connect those you're most interested in through LinkedIn or Twitter, look for their work, reports, cases, etc.
- Find out whether these teachers have blogs and follow whatever they publish, their work and projects. If you can't find anything of value of theirs online, you're lucky you didn't enrol in that course!
- Connect with former students, chat with them and exchange knowledge, share your thoughts and reflections. Try to collaborate with them, make the most of the experience and value everything you obtained from it.
- Read blogs related to the topics you want to learn about.
- Read books from the most renowned authors regarding the subjects that the course comprises, learning the most important concepts, putting them into practice and seeing what happens!
- Create your own blog and write about what you're doing, what you want to do, how you're doing it or want to do it, what you'd do or what you're going to do. Write also about what you have in mind and don't dare doing.
- Look for MBA practical cases in Google, study them in depth and learn how to solve them with any help you can find in blogs, books, from colleagues, a mentor, your boss or your connections.
- Gain any experience that an MBA has to offer by being out there working, launching, trying, experimenting, failing, correcting, doing, and repeating the project during a couple of years (what a part-time MBA would last.) Create the experience you need.
- Think about what you really want to learn, identify it and look for training modules that specialise in what you want to learn.
- Teach yourself to train yourself using the connected economy: LinkedIn, Youtube, blogs, Twitter, Quora, Udemy, Inbound University or Kickstarter.
- Create the scarcity with which the MBA tries to seduce you through your own interpersonal development. Go against the flow, work on projects or ideas that might not work, seek strange ways of thinking, don't await instructions, seek out a job and if you don't find one, create it! As Seth Godin says in "The Icarus Deception" "Pick yourself, be your own brand."
- Connect anywhere else. On the brink of a new order, you can now create connections and resonate with people anywhere in the world without having to share a table (or a 15,000-euro fee!) Seek out the people you wish to contact and resonate with them by earning their attention in the most valuable way possible.
- Invest those 10,000 / 15,000 / 20,000 / 40,000 / 60,000 / 100,000 euros (depending on the institution and their renown) to launch your idea, get that start-up running, investing on a new project, creating your own portfolio, starting a blog, website and brand or, even better still, travelling round the world. You'll learn more from that than from enrolling in an MBA!
- Try to work -even for free- for those from whom you may learn as much as you'd learn from an MBA programme (and gaining some experience to boot!)
- Create an MBA timetable that suits you; for instance: 2 hours a day destined to explaining, theory, strategy and methods; 1 hour to dialogue and feedback; 1 hour to work on other people's projects; 1 hour to work on your personal projects; 1 hour to tactics and manual aspects; and 4 or 5 hours to living, observing and listening, doing and connecting.
- Focus your strengths on doing something that will be worth talking about, such as Sally Hogshead did in "how to fascinate" or Scott Stratte in "Unmarketing."
- Make the most of the opportunity cost this type of programme will take from you (one year full-time or two years part-time).
- Picking up the phone, making the decision, drafting your plan, signing the agreement, push, publish, advertise, launch. Dedicate most of your time to this. Every morning, push something so that you exceed what you did the day before. That's growth!
A model outside the future
The great news is that if you use properly the Internet you'll manage to follow each of these alternative steps to an MBA with determination, consistency and passion, the result of your experience will exceed any of my wildest expectations by far.
No MBA will probably do any of this. However, you'll spend lots of time reading irrelevant case studies and even more time creating financial models that go beyond the scope of your understanding. The thing is, now you can hire someone to create such financial model for 60 euros/hour. You'll need at least a week there to do what you need. Any remaining time is for launching, motivating, leading, connecting, visualising and emotionally bonding. So that's what you need to be working on!
I find it amazing that MBA students continue to accept such a programme. How can business schools and large institutions justify a 10,000 / 15,000 / 20,000 / 40,000 / 60,000 / 100,000-euro fee teaching everything they shouldn't be teaching when there's such a tool as the Internet and social media to take if for free and 24/365 available?
Photo credit: Hofstra University.