So I’ve done my first week of my MBA, which consisted of lectures on:
1. Organisational Behaviour, i.e. how the shape and behaviour of organisations change as they grow.
2. Management Skills
3. Managerial Accounting
4. Marketing Management
5. Quantitative Business Methods, i.e. statistics
The lecture on statistics involved a certain amount of maths, and I saw a quadratic equation for the first time in years. Happily, it’ll not be a patch on the maths I had to tackle for my engineering degree. There will be no matrices or complex numbers, for a start. So far, I’m finding it all quite interesting, even the accounting. Yesterday a classmate nudged me and asked whether I was genuinely paying attention or just faking it. I replied that compared to sitting through French meetings, this was like watching an action movie. Things will have to get an awful lot duller before I start to regret coming here.
On Wednesday one of my classmates asked whether he thought our MBA was worth the money (about 32k euros). I ran a few numbers and worked out we get around 480 hours of lectures over the academic year, which works out at 65-70 euros per hour. A lawyer will charge 300 euros per hour, and a plumber around 100. Unless the lecturer is a complete moron, this is pretty good value even if you’re in a class of twenty students. On top of that, we get guest speakers, company visits, and all the informal interaction with the professors. Whether the MBA will land you a job which pays enough to justify the outlay is another matter.
In my final term I’ll need to write a dissertation on a subject of my choosing, although it ought to be related to HR and add to the sum total of academic knowledge. It must be between 15k-20k words, which having written a 76k word book doesn’t worry me much. But what about the topic? I’m tempted to address one of the subjects I bang on about on here. Perhaps a study into the effects of affirmative action regarding women and minorities on young men (or women) in a multinational? Does it make them re-think their future with the company, or dissuade them from applying in the first place? Or maybe the contradiction between a company’s commitment to diversity and their embrace of local content laws? I could even look at the effects of local content laws in some manner. I’ve got no idea how I would even begin to research any of this – my biggest worry is I don’t think companies would share data or allow me access – but they’d be interesting topics of study, and I need that. Has anyone done anything like this before?