A Look At The MBA Mindset

A Wall Street Journalarticle on MBAs that was published last week has some disturbing quotes from newly-minted MBAs. Melissa Korn, “M.B.A.s Sour on Strings-Attached Tuition,” Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2014, p. B6. The disturbing thoughts come from MBAs whose employers have paid for their grad degrees on the condition that they return to work for at least two years after completing their degrees. If they do not return to work, the grad school money has to be repaid to the employer, plus interest. The employers thought the agreements had teeth. Oh, poor, miscalculating souls.
Many MBAs are reaching the conclusion that they can go with another firm after graduation, make more money, and repay the money, easily, because the offers they receive from other companies include salaries that make repayment of the loans painless. (This comment came from one John Picasso, a 2012 Wharton grad, who is pictured wearing a cashmere sports jacket and Ferragamo belt — think $320 — the Barometer had Judy’s belts — $7 — when emerging from grad school in the 70s. )
Other MBAs go with another company and take out loans to repay their now-former employers the masters-education advance. One Harvard MBA noted, “The choice of what you do after business school should be based on what you want to do long term, rather than short-term economics.”
And here’s another whippersnapper’s thoughts, who feels “trapped,” because, says she, “It feels like you owe them.”
More wisdom from the Gen X, Y, Z crowd: Being debt-free does not necessarily mean that they are free from obligations. And love means never having to say you’re sorry. Another 1970s concept.
Still other newly minted MBAs who are under employer obligations say that, “even unemployment is better than doing something that you know you don’t love.” Oh, mercy! There goes the pride of the paycheck as well as an understanding that, well, they did help you get through grad school!! That notion of being poets, full insured via health.gov., has taken hold, even in MBA programs.

About mmjdiary

Professor Marianne Jennings is an emeritus professor of legal and ethical studies from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, retiring in 2011 after 35 years of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics and the legal environment of business. During her tenure at ASU, she served as director of the Joan and David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics from 1995-1999. In 2006, she was appointed faculty director for the W.P. Carey Executive MBA Program. She has done consulting work for businesses and professional groups including AICPA, Boeing, Dial Corporation, Edward Jones, Mattel, Motorola, CFA Institute, Southern California Edison, the Institute of Internal Auditors, AIMR, DuPont, AES, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motorola, Hy-Vee Foods, IBM, Bell Helicopter, Amgen, Raytheon, and VIAD. The sixth edition of her textbook, Case Studies in Business Ethics, was published in February 2011. The ninth edition of her textbook, Business: lts Legal, Ethical and Global Environment was published in January 2011. The 23rd edition of her book, Business Law: Principles and Cases, will be published in January 2013. The tenth edition of her book, Real Estate Law, will also be published in January 2013. Her book, A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success, and a Very Large Rabbit, a fable about business ethics, was chosen by Library Journal in 2004 as its business book of the year. A Business Tale was also a finalist for two other literary awards for 2004. In 2000 her book on corporate governance was published by the New York Times MBA Pocket Series. Her book on long-term success, Building a Business Through Good Times and Bad: Lessons from Fifteen Companies, Each With a Century of Dividends, was published in October 2002 and has been used by Booz, Allen, Hamilton for its work on business longevity. Her latest book, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse was published by St. Martin’s Press in July 2006 and has been a finalist for two book awards. Her weekly columns are syndicated around the country, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Reader's Digest. A collection of her essays, Nobody Fixes Real Carrot Sticks Anymore, first published in 1994 is still being published. She has been a commentator on business issues on All Things Considered for National Public Radio. She has served on four boards of directors, including Arizona Public Service (1987-2000), Zealous Capital Corporation, and the Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability at the University of Minnesota. She was appointed to the board of advisors for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators in 2004 and served on the board of trustees for Think Arizona, a public policy think tank. She has appeared on CNBC, CBS This Morning, the Today Show, and CBS Evening News. In 2010 she was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Business Ethics by Trust Across America. Her books have been translated into four different languages. She received the British Emerald award for authoring one of their top 50 articles in management publications, chosen from over 15,000 articles. Personal: Married since 1976 to Terry H. Jennings, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Deputy County Attorney; five children: Sarah, Sam, and John, and the late Claire and Hannah Jennings.
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