Archive for MBA

What does Australia know about the MBA?

Posted in MBS Careers with tags , , on July 22, 2009 by edcook

Yesterday I was speaking to a recruitment consultant about a role that I thought might be suitable for an MBA graduate from MBS.  The role involved giving advice to franchisees with regard to improving the performance of their franchise.

When I had finished explaining the background of MBS graduates the recruiter said “The MBA is by-the-by, what my client is really interested in is the person’s experience.”

This wasn’t the first time I’d heard this dismissive attitude towards a life-changing degree that I, along with several thousand other MBA students and alumni, have invested so much time in.  It was frustrating and disappointing – especially because I know first hand that the degree makes a huge difference to the overwhelming majority of students who study for it.

I think it’s fair to say that in Australia – and particularly compared to the United States – there is still a much lower level of awareness of the MBA.  I believe that this problem could potentially be overcome with greater collaboration between local business schools, increasing advertising, and alumni themselves helping to strengthen awareness of the degree through advocacy with colleagues, in the media and even, very simply, on their business cards.

Another challenge I think the MBA faces is that in Australia perceived high-achievers can be cut down to size, rather than encouraged or promoted.  We all know about the “Tall Poppy” syndrome, and I wonder whether this will hinder the country’s attempts to become the academic powerhouse of Asia?

Ultimately, the concern that experience is valued more than potential, might see talented Australians (and potential migrants) looking elsewhere for career advancement and growth opportunities.  None of us want this – it would be detrimental to the nation as a whole not just us, as MBA graduates.

I wonder how as a School, and as alumni, we can begin to grow awareness in Australia of just how powerful an MBA can be for us as individuals, for the organisations in which we work, and the communities in which we live?

I don’t have all the answers.

Perhaps you do.