Thursday, March 30, 2006

Career Options for MBAs: Leave it on the shelf

A couple weeks ago, I ordered three books from Barnes & Noble: ABCs of Getting the MBA Admissions Edge (reviewed in a previous post), Applying to a Top MBA Program, and Career Options for MBAs. After covering Applying to a Top MBA Program, let me warn you away from the Career Options book. This book, which retails for about $15.00 despite its mere 124 pages, supposedly offers a look at the different career options that MBA graduates have. In actuality, it only looks at three different areas: management consulting, VC/private equity, and investment banking. Each section contains a few paragraphs by two or three leaders in that field. I believe the head of IBM's consulting practice was one, and a Sequioa Capital partner was another. Despite the ostensibly interesting careers that these people have, the writing is possibly the most vapid I've ever come across. One of the first passages talks about 'retaining and leveraging key assets'; another talks about trying to 'find new overlaps in your circles.'
Now I don't think of myself as the kind of person that dislikes the phrasing that some people refer to as 'business speak' per se. If I was, I probably wouldn't be interested in getting an MBA in the first place. But there are certain words that are so vague as to be almost meaningless. I understand what a 'paradigm shift' is. But the word 'asset' can refer to almost anything that a business has, from intellectual assets to human assets to financial assets. Some people even refer to a revenue stream as an asset. Of the three books I ordered, this was the only one that I didn't purchase, If you're looking for a small, expensive, but still useful book, try Frank Singer's How to Value a Business. At around 28 pages and $20.00, it's possibly the most expensive book per page that I own, but it provides interesting insights in valuing new ventures that are worth the reading time and money.


Blogger bstheeo said...

This reminds me of a great book I'm currently reading, "Why business people speak like idiots." I highly recommend it. Check it out on Amazon.

11:00 PM  

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