I always see MBA programs coming under fire these days. Are they worth it? Are you better off spending your time and money somewhere else? I am going to begin by saying I am a big fan of MBA programs under the right circumstances. A lot of people ask me if an MBA is worth it when trying to pursue an entrepreneurial route. My answer? Absolutely.
More recently people have been asking if an MBA is valuable in a sales job. For me, it was an invaluable asset in my career in sales.
Now, I am the first to say the actual education in an MBA is not a big deal. Sure, you’ll learn something about economics and business (especially for people with technical backgrounds) but it’s nothing you can’t pick up from a few blog posts or textbooks. In many cases I would argue that the content in an MBA is typically outdated. However, when it comes to sales, I believe there is still value.
An MBA can help you get a sales job in two ways:
1. It opens doors
An MBA is all about the network and doors it opens for you. I graduated from Computer Engineering and had no clue about the world outside engineering. I graduated from my MBA and networked my way into a job in equity sales and trading at a major investment bank. Was this possible without an MBA? In my case, probably not. The point is, an MBA opened doors into opportunities in sales that I didn’t even know about. If you go to the right school, you’ll have a incredible alumni support system.
There is something about MBA alumni, they support each other through thick and thin.
In sales, I continue to lean on the alumni network which has proven to be invaluable.
2. It teaches you how to present
If an MBA does something well, it is that it teaches you how to give compelling presentations.
I was a debate team geek in high school, which was surprisingly good training. An MBA takes it to another level and teaches you how to present in a business setting. Presenting in front of your peers and professors on a regular basis builds not only your presenting skills, but also your confidence.
I cannot stress enough how valuable presenting is in a sales job.
I hear the arguments all the time. Why should I spend upwards of $80k on my MBA? Well, the way I look at it, an MBA is something you’ll have forever, so amortize the cost over 40+ years. The benefits you’ll gain will outweigh the initial cost. It’s a good investment in a career in sales and elsewhere.
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