An MBA is what you make of it. But the most important element of it is to seize all the networking opportunities. Who you knows, and not the text books and thesis' you have written, will get you a whole lot further. If I had my life to live again, I'd have swotted harder at my GMAT and got into Harvard. But I was so traumatised by the mathematics that I wasn't about to get fussy about my GMAT scores. Now I know I could have done it, got a higher score, and gone to Harvard or one of the other top MBA schools.
But regardless of whether you get into one of the top twenty or not, just make the most of every one you meet along the way. An MBA course will throw you up against some very hot and keen minds. In later years you'll look back on how much you learned that wasn't in the syllabus.
Great comments on this subject. I am not one from academia but have experienced great success in business. My own business start ups and as an executive working for others. One of the most common things I share with MBS's is the paradox that most professors in business have never started one, had their own money at risk, never gone out and drummed up venture capital, never been sued, lost money or gone bankrupt. Yet, due to their academic titles and accomplishments, they qualify to teach you how to run a business? How absurd.
The greatest lessons I've leared in business was from starting one and successfully running one until selling it. Nothing teaches you as much as doing it. I was smart enough along the way to surround myself with the RIGHT PEOPLE, some degreed, who captured my passion and helped fulfill my vision of the future.
Degrees are over-rated. Most of the Phd's I've met were more enamored with themselves than what they could offer. Some professions require degrees. Starting a business and being successful at it requires vision, passion, resolve, dicipline, etc.
In fact, I have a book coming out later this year on it. Stay tuned!
At 26 it's not realistic to think you should have business management experience. But you can work under other business managers and learn from them...take what you like, disgard what you dislike.
Soulex mentioned his confidence came when he proved to himself that he could achieve good academic marks. Your confidence will come in time with hard work, and each success...be it high marks, making major deals, building a successful company or 2 or 3...
If you have the drive and ambition, you will make it happen.
I think the two greatest things to be gained from an MBA are the networking opportunites and the confidence you gain in your own abilities. I found a good deal of the papers were rubbish; academic bollix delivered to you from people that had ensconced themselves within the hallowed halls of academia and had never never ventured out into the business world themselves, however I learned so much from my classmates; we were able to share real world experiences and I was able to take numerous ideas away that I now uses in my own businesses. Does an MBA make you a better business person..hmm I'm not convinced that without the theory that I learnt that I would be doing anything different in my businesses from had I not done it' however what it do do is I did really well with my grades so it gave me a lot of confidence; I came out thinking I was not as stupid as I thought as I'm not a great academic so struggled with the GMAT but once getting onto the course was able to use my real world experience and was able to ace many of the papaers. The confidence allowed me to go on to start businesses in 3 continents.