Executive MBA application

I’ve applied to do an Executive MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM). Long-time readers will know my advice from October 2003 to hire MBA’s rather than become one.

I fear most MBA’s are blatant credentialing, especially if the school accepts people who lack industry experience. However the AGSM is consistently ranked at the top of Australian MBA’s which in my view puts just behind the top tier American B-schools. Applicants must have 2 – 6 years experience in managerial roles as well.

MBA’s were originally designed to teach engineers, chemists and other technical people the basics of business. Therefore I saw my undergraduate degree as equivalent. However the world has changed as has the degree structure. Some of the subjects look interesting and I have both professional and academic interest in them.

I will have to do a course in Accounting and Finance Management which looks painfully easy, so the goal there is to get a high distinction.

This is an Executive program which means I’ll earn a Graduate Diploma for the part-time course work and if I maintain a credit average I can progress to the second year and take an MBA. Also the “executive” focus means I apply the work directly to the business I’m running. So there should be significant take-home value.

Some of the desire stems from discussions I’ve had with I-bankers and VC’s recently. Their job is to say no to most deals. I suspect the time has come that postgrad qualifications are another box to tick in evaluating a management team. My goals eventually lead to board roles and so I might as well get a good grade from a great Australian business school.

Of course that’s assuming my application is accepted.

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