Why the MBA Still Matters to Entrepreneurs
These days, prospective students might not find much use in an MBA.
Most recently, the Graduate Management Admission Council found that 70% of two-year full-time MBA programs in the United States saw a decline in applications. And that even includes top b-schools like Harvard Business School, Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and Wharton.
But Jatin Bhandari, founder of InterviewNinjas (an information e-commerce platform for MBA aspirant) and PythaGurus (an MBA admission consulting firm in India) view the value differently.
In a new article for Entrepreneur, Bhandari argues that an MBA can make an “already entrepreneur” more resourceful and capable of creating success in a venture or any business he or she wants to start.
“Although [an] MBA independently cannot shift someone’s mindset, they need to start depending on your own actions to create a livelihood and gain success,” he writes. “But it can significantly help the existing entrepreneurial genes in a person and help them in creating a huge success out of their venture.”
Developing Rock-Solid Business Plans
One of the most important benefits of an MBA is its ability to teach entrepreneurs how to develop rock-solid business plans, Bhandari says.
“Everyone has an idea and everybody’s neighbor has an idea to, but one needs a strong structure and a plan to put that idea and make an enterprise out of it,” he writes. “An MBA helps one understand how to build a strong business plan that can measure the effectiveness of the actions the teams will take in order to scale an organization.”
An MBA can also teach people how to lead and motivate their team, Bhandari argues. And that’s especially important for entrepreneurs.
“People tend to look focus on early-stage companies in the wake of financial uncertainties,” Bhandari writes. “Not just employees but even the founders tend to chase easy money at the cost of long-term goals, and it can hamper the growth plans or the whole purpose of the existence of the organization.”
In b-school, Bhandari adds, MBAs are exposed “to a wide variety of chaotic cases and situations, and train entrepreneurs to deal with these situations in a simulated environment.”
B-schools have also crafted entire programs out of teaching students leadership skills.
For instance, at IMD Business School, leadership training is integrated throughout its MBA program.
“This means that students get a lot of very practical experiences relating to both formal and informal leadership skills,” Mansoor Iqba, QS TopExecutive, writes in a Washington Post article. “In addition to this, they get a lot of feedback – from coaches, psychologists and peers, as well as from the whole MBA team. They can then put that feedback in place right away so as to try and create something different tomorrow.”
Credibility and Network
Perhaps one of the greatest assets an MBA can provide is the ability to network and gain credibility.
And that door opens even more if you attend a top b-school, Bhandari argues.
“If you go to a top school, the view of the world changes,” he writes. “Although I wish the world did not operate like this, the reality is that – Just because you are associated with a top school, the world thinks that you are very likely to make the right decisions. Investors become more open to meeting you, people become more open to working with you, and customers tend to believe you more with a rock-solid MBA.”
On top of that credibility, Bhandari says, it also opens the door to an exclusive network of connections.
“An MBA also brings a solid network of people who graduate from your school, and you get to find business partners, mentors, friends, and customers from this network,” he writes. “You also get access to a very premium club that can bring a lot of resources in this world to your doorstep.”