Don’t Get an MBA, Go Network

Posted on December 22, 2015

Last week I had the pleasure of going to a Halifax Fusion networking event. It was designed to reach out to students and give them the chance to listen to some amazing speakers. While a lot of what they said was excellent, there was one piece of advice that really stuck out for me. It was something that I’ve always privately thought, but I’d never heard the words said out loud before.

The advice was this: Don’t go and get an MBA. Now I will clarify since I have probably annoyed someone.

Do not go from your first degree directly into the MBA program. This will leave you no time to build your experience in your field. The reason for this advice is that is the starting job postings are still postings that require 1-3 years of experience. The sooner you can get hired is the sooner you can start building a real professional history. So how do you get hired? The rest of the advice centered on this question and the idea of “Networking Your Face Off”.

If you aren’t sure where to begin networking, look for a local group dedicated to it, or volunteer with an organization, maybe using your business skills to help public works groups. Anywhere you can meet the people who can make you. I always hear a tone of disdain in someone’s voice when they say the phrase “It’s not what you know, but who you know”, and I feel it’s undeserved. In order to earn my position at Equals6.com, I made sure to know the people in my industry. I went to every networking event I could during my last 2 years at SMU. I shook every hand I could, I researched companies, topics of interest, and I followed every CEO I met on Twitter. Just because you know someone doesn’t mean you didn’t earn that contact through hard work.

I do believe that MBA’s have a place but that place is not right after a Bachelor’s degree. Get out there early so you can meet the people that can help you get a job sooner and get to work.


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