MBA STUDY: Beware the MBA syndrome

By bne IntelliNews October 31, 2011

bne -

While an MBA will give the holder more awareness of business skills and - as in Iva Ivanova's example - may boost confidence in both professional and personal life, working professionals invariably warn that it is, of itself, no talisman guaranteeing a successful future career.

And that includes MBAs from even the most costly, highly ranked schools, as Mladen Fogec, chief executive of Siemens in Croatia, relates to bne - though stressing that he was speaking for himself, not Siemens' company policy. "Theory is one thing, and practice is another. I prefer practice; I think the best way to learn is experience," he says.

Yes, he admits a professional needs a good foundation - and an MBA can help with that - but "experience is something on top, which makes you successful, or not," he says.

Fogec's own experience has been greatly influenced by an encounter with one of the more loathsome types of MBA graduate. "I want to tell you a story. I won't comment; it's up to you to draw a conclusion. Seven-eight years ago, I had a colleague who came back to the company as a fresh MBA graduate from a famous French school. He sat in as part of a team on a career review board. After one hour with him in this team, I asked him: did you finish an MBA in Paris or a modern inquisition studies in Spain? I don't want to express any more," he says.

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