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PhD/MBA, school matter?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 7:32 pm
by Mark
I am currently studying to optain my PhD in a life science related field and am considering taking night classes for a MBA. I have read that when getting an MBA you should only get one from a top 5 school. Does the business school you graduate from really matter if you have a PhD? I would like to get into business development for biotech companies and eventually try to break into venture capital.

PhD/MBA, school matter?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 11:03 am
by Don
Mark,

The B-school you attend absolutely matters, especially in VC. Dont take my word for it though. Go to the web sites of the big bio-vc funds and check out the biographies of the people on the team (most of the web-sites have a "team" section that contains the bios). You will find a very high proportion of people in those firms have attended top schools. In addition, you will find that most of the people have a lot of experience in real companies as well.

My advice, forget the night MBA, finish your PhD and get a job in industry, work your way into BD, then go to B-school at one of the top schools - who knows, you company might pay for it. An alternative might be to go to a start-up where you will have the opportunity to wear many hats (i.e. some BD and management experience) early. In that case, you may be able to pass by B-school. There are a number of people in VC who have gone that way. Please note however, that route has high risk.

Cheers,

D

PhD/MBA, school matter?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 6:34 pm
by Val
Don wrote:

> I am currently studying to optain my PhD in a life science related
> field and am considering taking night classes for a MBA.

If you are really serious about your PhD, you would not have energy for anything else. If you still take MBA night classes, you will get lousy both PhD and MBA. If you are not good at any one thing, you will have a tough time in the job market trying to convince anyone to hire you. Get one thing right, and then build up another thing on that.

Regards,
Val

PhD/MBA, school matter?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 7:07 pm
by Andrew
Getting an MBA in this way almost will negate the value of your PhD. What entry level job do you think you will be qualified for after? You'll never be hired as a bench scientist and you have no experience so senior level business positions are out too. You ought to get a job in science first and get your MBA later. After you've proven yourself in industry, you can then make a transition to the business side.

PhD/MBA, school matter?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 4:56 pm
by DWG

FYI, you ay be interested in this link -
http://www.wfubmc.edu/graduate/phdmba.html

PhD/MBA, school matter?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:45 pm
by M
Do you learn how to make budgets, assess markets, make hiring decisions, manage employees, write a business plan, etc. in business school?

These are very useful skills! I wish I had bothered to learn some of these things when I was a student. Now I have to pick it up "on the fly" as a new assistant professor. Lucky for me, there is some-one in my department - our department "business manager" - who has an MBA and knows how to do these things!

I'm betting that some-one with a PhD *and* an MBA would not have too much trouble finding a job, even at a university. Some-one who understands the science and the business aspects would be welcome in many organizations, including academia.


PhD/MBA, school matter?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 9:14 am
by Anna Wheatley
Hey guys:
I've just been contacted by an old friend who is heading up a new one-year MBA for scientist only at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. I am trying to get a feel for the subject. What are you looking for in an MBA program? Do you think there is an advantage of mixing traditional buisness students with scientists or is the scientist only approach attractive to you? I would appreciate the feedback. Thanks,
Anna

PhD/MBA, school matter?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:16 am
by Don
Truth be told, there is a lot of an MBA that is "ticket punching". As a scientist who eventually went on to an MBA, I did learn a considerable amount, but not more than I learned in an actual company.

A good MBA should teach you the basics of business (finance, econ, accounting, marketing, etc.) and give you lots of chances to practice business problem solving (i.e. cases).

A very good MBA should also give you lots of exposure to other high achieving students so that you can learn from them.

A great MBA gives you all of that, plus a marketable name on your resume. Just like many institutions are looking for first author pubs in Cell, Science, and Nature, many companies are looking for school names like Havard, Kellogg, and Stanford.

D

PhD/MBA, school matter?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 11:23 am
by Brian
Anna,
I think it boils down to what your career focus is. As a current MBA student, I had the option of the traditional or scientist route. I decided to go through the traditional route. The advantages are a better mix of views (you learn as much from your classmates as you would from your prof), an opportunity to pursue an internship before graduation (traditional 2 year program; internships will help if you are seeking a career switch in job functions) and the option of more "specialization" during the second year (marketing, strategy, etc.). Usually in more specialized MBAs such as the ones for scientists, the MBA is typically a general management "major" though this varies from school to school. On the other hand, the advantages of being in an all-scientist class are the network you can form almost immediately and the relevance of curriculum and case studies (probably on biopharma companies). I would suggest looking at Alabama's curriculum and then deciding if it offers what you want in an MBA.
To add on to what has already been said about the brand name of MBA degrees, the location of the school also matters. If you are looking to get into industry, the closer you are to the biopharma clusters, the better your chances of getting jobs there.