Let me introduce myself: I am Alexis Melteff, PhD., Professor Emeritus at Pericles. Pericles asked me to write a few words of advice to those of you who are thinking about starting an MBA degree. This is my first column, and I encourage you to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and comments. I will answer them honestly.
As with any other career move, there are pros and cons to getting an MBA abroad, and of course you want to weigh the odds before making a final decision. You know the positive side: a degree in Business Administration is a passkey to an excellent job, with a salary that is at least 30% higher than average.
But you must also consider the downside: the road will not be easy, the tuition will be expensive, the time investment will be huge, the effort will be heroic, the pressure will be great. But – let me repeat – the satisfaction and the rewards will be nothing short of splendid. But, before you say YES, I am going to get an MBA!, ask yourself a few questions. And remember, to thine own self be true.
Are you really, really serious about completing this degree? Have you spoken to faculty advisors and people who have finished the course? Do you agree with what they say? If not, are your disagreements well founded, or are you actually just kidding yourself by ignoring the wisdom of those who have been there?
Do you have the money to complete your studies? Have you checked the cost of a unit of graduate work at the universities where you are thinking of applying? Tuitions are very high these days, and dropping out in the middle of a program for lack of funds is not something you want to do. You would regret the time and the money invested.
Are you ready to stay abroad for an extended period of time? What does your family tell you? Can they do without you for a while? How will you survive in another country? If you plan to take your family, what amenities will they need? Do they speak the language? Will they need health insurance? These are serious questions.
Do not rush into an MBA program just because Dima and Masha got their degrees; talk to them, sound them out, argue with them, play the devil’s advocate, and don’t let them talk you into, or out of, starting a program.
Listen to them, weigh the evidence, argue with yourself, make up your mind. Then argue with yourself somemore. Take a few days off from arguing, then review your decision with a clear head. I said clear, but not empty.
Go on line, visit university sites, ask probing questions, keep a log for yourself, write down the pros and cons, and of course keep an open mind. Only then make one of the most important decisions you have ever made. Whatever you decide will affect the rest of your life.
If my words here are making you nervous, you may want to postpone starting a program for a little while. This is usually a good move. If you are not certain of what will be expected of you, take the time to find out. Talk to your advisors, write to me.
Once you have made up your mind to go ahead, be sure your preparation is thorough, and you are ready to take the preliminary TOEFL and GMAT exams. Pericles offers an outstanding preparatory program for future MBA candidates, so listen to the professors, do your homework, study hard, and GOOD LUCK. I will always be on your side.