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Is the MBA program still worthy?

After gaining a master’s degree in Luxury & fashion management and working in the luxury retail industry for three years, I decided to go back to school and join an MBA program in Grenoble Ecole de Management. My study started in September 2018 and was qualified for an MBA diploma successfully this July. During this journey, I have explored a new lifestyle and extended my knowledge of business, and also faced different kinds of challenges. Before choosing a further study program, people need to understand that the MBA is a general program providing a comprehensive vision of the business industry, helping candidates establish an overall viewpoint of management, and progressing management skills. However, master programs are focusing on specific categories, which are more beneficial for candidates who want to continue professional study and research. I currently heard a point of view which argues that an MBA degree is “a diploma bought at a premium” which is a learning process with no academic value, and it is the reason that an MBA is less popular now. Is this true? Do I just pay for a diploma? Is the MBA program still useful and worthy? Have I learned relevant knowledge and skills? What is my opinion about the MBA program? Read this article and you will have some ideas about these questions.

What I have learned from the MBA program in Grenoble Ecole de Management

1. Organize opinions logically

As an art student, my previous academic education mainly concentrated on creative training and graphics expression, rather than logical thinking and data analysis. Therefore, my first challenge is switching my fixed way of thinking and establishing rigorous business logic. During the program, I was trained to build a standpoint supported by data analysis, which is relevant in the business environment. Expressing ideas logically is more professional and persuasive.

2. Share different opinions

I have valuable experience to cooperate with candidates from different cultural backgrounds during the study journey. It is an effective opportunity for us to progress communication skills and adapt to the international work environment. According to my culture, raising objections at work is a sensitive behavior, especially in the presence of a leader, even well-thought-out ones are often considered rude. Therefore, in most cases, people choose to acquiesce to the ideas of others in order not to arouse the dislike of colleagues.

However, this MBA program required a large number of group discussions, and candidates were encouraged to share different opinions. It made me feel uneasy in the beginning but learning how to represent the personal points of view in front of people objectively with respect improved my critical thinking ability and self-confidence. I realized that giving useful advice at work is also a way to show my value.

3. Do not put limits on yourself

As a woman, I have heard all kinds of gender biases in my life. The most common one is “Stable life is the best option for women”. When a woman is pursuing a successful career especially in business or politics, the public usually judges her as a “horrible” person, and “ambitious” is always a negative description of women. Luckily, in my study experience in GEM, everyone was encouraged and supported equally. People are more concerned with creativity, perseverance, learning ability, and teamwork than with gender, age, or race. I was here more to be encouraged to try different possibilities than to doubt myself. I now think that when one has an idea, taking the first step to try it bravely is more important than preparing for it all the time.

4. Power of time management

MBA is a program that covers all categories of business management, which means candidates have to deal with different projects at the same time. The academic year was intense and stressful, we all needed to learn how to allocate limited time to study and personal life. It is not easy to find a balance, but a clear time plan can be helpful to avoid panic before the deadline. A successful manager will never work on only one project at a time. Effective time management is a necessary skill.

5. Enjoying life is also important

Although a high GPA is important, it is not the whole of life. We need time to care for our families and hang out with friends. We also need time to relax and explore the world. Grenoble has an amazing natural environment, which is great for hiking, mountaineering, rowing, cycling, and skiing, and everyone can find suitable sports to do here. Exercise is not only good for health; it can also enrich social life. The time of life is limited, people should cherish and enjoy it.

Overall, I learned professional knowledge and essential skills from this MBA program also made new friends and extend my vision. Therefore, I am satisfied with it. For people who are confused about the further study plan, my suggestion is figuring out your priority first. If you want to gain a wide range of business knowledge and practical management skills or be an entrepreneur, an MBA program is useful. On the other hand, if you want to specialize in a particular field, a master‘s or Ph.D. program is more suitable.


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I'm Sylvie WU, the founder of Étude Boundaryless

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