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Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Message Board

  • Rickson9 Rickson9 Aug 13, 1998 2:57 PM Flag

    open question: benefits of an MBA

    Anybody have any opinions? I'm just talking about
    straight pros and cons of the degree. Opportunity cost of
    losing 2 years of work + income and such.

    If you
    are making $50K a year, is it worthwhile to sacrifice
    $100K in salary and pay an additional $60-120K to get
    the MBA designation?

    JimC

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    • thanks for the help

    • It seems to me that your best bet to find annual
      reports, etc. for companies that are 20 years old would be
      a large library, either a public library in a large
      city or a large college/university library. Many times
      libraries like this have large areas for business reference
      materials and collect annual reports or 10-K reports. If
      they don't have annual reports or 10-K's, see if they
      have MOODY'S INVESTMENT MANUALS. These are large books
      which come out each year and give information somewhat
      like that you find in annual reports. I hope this is
      helpful. Best wishes.

    • And you have time to post on this board?!!! Just kidding.
      Good luck to you.

    • I am getting a (Law) J.D./M.B.A. right now. It is a four year program. The contacts are much more worthwhile than the classes.

    • ... although you save a year of tuition and
      earnings I think it would serve one more to get the
      experience and then decide the course of action. Many
      Wharton undergrads find they don't need a MBA after
      entering the workplace. In fact the biz undergrad program
      cover a lot of the MBA course work.

    • Almost all good B schools have an executive MBA. In that program you meet one day a week - all day - usually Friday or Saturday. No opp cost.

    • I might be slightly bias, but I would encourage
      anyone to get an MBA from a top school. The quality and
      "brand image" of a business school is far more important
      than that of a law or medical school in my opinion.
      Not necessarily in the quality of education you
      receive, but in the doors it opens up. I am a recent
      graduate of an ivy league business school. An alumni gave
      me a very important piece of advice during
      orientation that turned out to be quite valuable....he
      said,"this will be the only 2 years of your life when you
      will have virtually a free pass to meet and receive
      advice from some of the most powerful and intelligent
      people in the world." The reason I am stating this is
      that I saw many individuals do nothing but course work
      in business school. I would say that I concentrated
      equally on both course work and my job search/meeting
      people. I believe it really paid off and would advise any
      prospective MBA student to do the same. All one needs to do
      is buy an alumni directory and contact any graduate
      of interest. Ninety-five percent of the time I found
      they would be more than happy to give you 15-30
      minutes of their time. Even some of the most well known
      individuals on Wall Street. One more piece of advice...as a
      long time student of Buffett, Munger, Graham, Fisher,
      Ruane, Tweedy-Browne, etc. I was in the tiny minority in
      school. This was, perhaps, the most frustrating aspect.
      My investment discipline and philosophy were
      instilled before I entered the MBA program and it differed
      greatly from that of other students or professors.

    • One other thing. I found the edge made a bundle and then while I was knapping just a little lost my shirt.....A lot of us did....in 1990.

    • Sorry I missed Univ. of Pa. in my listing...As I
      am thinking now it seems to me a degree in Finance
      would be a whole lot better than an MBA. Penn is famous
      for Econometrics and one of my other favorite
      investors except he got caught. The odd thing for me is
      that when both Milken was rising I was working at 70
      Pine Street, NYC and a few years later at P.O. Square
      in Boston as Lynch was growing rapidly. I literally
      worked for 10 years within 100 yards of these minds. Its
      too bad I did not have my eyes open. I actually
      thought then that hard work, making truck loads of money
      for my employer and showing up everyday made a
      difference.

      I later found out when I started an underwriting
      business that you have to have an edge, but most of all, a
      lot of friends when the going gets tough and just a
      little luck.

    • I actually called Coke with this question a while
      ago.

      They said that they did not have much beyond 10 years
      back.

      Also, they said that really old Coke reports (from
      1920s etc) are a rarity and there are collectors' clubs
      who could help me buy them. (as if I would want to
      spend my $$ on them:)

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