Defining MBA Success

How do you define success in an MBA?

The last couple of days had led me to really question about how success can be portrayed in an MBA. How do you know that you’ve really maximized your MBA experience?

It really depends on how much jump your salary enjoys on your first job after MBA,” a practical friend cited when I asked him this question. “I’ve sacrificed so much to get here, so I really expect a fast return on my investment.”

Another friend mentioned that she’d like an amazing MBA experience. “For me, it’s a phase in life to be enjoyed. Grades are not to be disclosed anyway, so it’s really important that I actually get to socialize and party as much as I can.”

The only consistency here is that everyone’s definition of success is different.

I like my other classmates had sacrificed quite a bit financially and time-wise just for an MBA. As I’ve mentioned earlier, an MBA is a personal choice. I still hold that it’s not a necessary degree. It’s a nice to have, but not a must have for most industries. And yet, we choose to do it because we would regret it if we didn’t make that move now.

Personally, my definition of success lies in excelling in academics and surviving the extra-curriculars. Socializing and networking form a secondary priority for me.

In my belief, if you are qualified for a job then you will get that job. However, if you are not qualified for that job, networking won’t really get you too far (as how many people would stick their necks out for an unqualified applicant). In short, you have to be ready for the job you want to maximize your chances. And one way to do that is to equip yourself with maximum skills from your MBA program.

However, I think I’m slightly different.

As mentioned, everyone’s motivation is different.

A friend of mine is seriously considering going for an MBA after hearing that the male to female ratio is almost 60-40. For her, an MBA is equivalent to finding eligible males.

Another classmate think of an MBA as a break from the mundane worklife he’s had before. He had enough of consultancy and would like to have a good break and think about his future. An MBA is the perfect avenue to do so.

Another classmate wants to have a career change from engineering to banking. An MBA is a better reason to make that switch. If he was to remain in his previous job, he would never had made that switch.

For me, I quit my previous job because I was no longer learning. I felt that I had certain gaps in my knowledge base and despite availability of finance courses elsewhere, I felt I could get maximum efficiency in the MBA program, and I was right.

So everyone’s motivation is different.

What’s important is that one remains true to the motivation.

Honestly speaking, I do feel bad when I cannot join my friends in their festivities in LKF or Wanchai. In a way, I feel that I may be missing out of a fun experience.

However, maybe it’s the age but the one-hour commute back to the dorm doesn’t really appeal to me. Paying HKD180 for a taxi ride back home on top of my other drinks expenses do not really make sense especially since I’m already unemployed. Besides, socializing is not limited merely to nights in LKF. There are millions of opportunities to interact and spend time with your classmates in the daytime.

So yes, I am human and I do feel at times I am missing out.

However, in a way, I do justify this missing out with the real fact that after a busy week of academics, groupworks, career services events, I am just freaking tired and exhausted.

Going home in the dorm after a nice meal holds more appeal than to stay up till 3am. At this point, sleep is indeed a luxury and I do thank my lucky stars whenever I do get to enjoy them.

So to each their own. And I am happy either way.

Btw, Trader is off to Germany and New York now for two weeks. I do miss him. 🙁

Bastard, leaving me alone in Hong Kong. Hahahaha, but then again, I feel that he felt that way when I was also vacationing in Eastern Europe. 🙂

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