Education

All posts tagged Education

No, I haven’t abandoned my blog. I’ve just been busy packing up and moving to Los Angeles and settling in to my new digs in Westwood, which is close to UCLA. And it’s incredibly difficult to pack (or even sleep for that matter) when you’ve sprained a back muscle, especially the serratus posterior superior muscle. Don’t even know how I sprained it. Probably from too much partying around the Labor Day Weekend.

Anyway, I’m all settled in and I start pre-term Math, Accounting and Excel courses tomorrow followed by week-long Orientation and Leadership classes. After 3 weeks of this, the the regular MBA courses start and it’s going to be an incredibly hectic first quarter where I’ll be taking 5 core courses in just 10 weeks.

So I’ve been spending the past couple of days front-loading my recreation and have been hanging out at bars and pubs, networking with my future MBA classmates and other friends. One such networking event entailed going to a bar and drinking imported beers for nearly 7 hours! While I stopped drinking after 3 hours, one of my friends (who’s actually a medical doctor) kept on going. Around midnight, after he had been drinking and flirting with another drunk chick for several hours, he convinced her to pepper spray him! Luckily, it didn’t get as bad as it could have, but it made for a hilarious near-riot. So if you’re prone to thinking you’re invincible when you’re drunk, you might not want to flirt or get into argument with other drunks! (There, that’s one thing they won’t teach at business school!)

And while drinking in bars and pubs is a lot more expensive than drinking at home, it is definitely a lot more fun! Looks like business school is going to end costing a lot more than I expected!

I managed to get accepted in the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Since I applied in the third round I think thats quite an achievement. Of course, applying so late virtually guarantees no funding or fellowships. This kind of sucks since I did get a 740 on my GMAT which typically helps in getting MBA fellowships (unless you’re going to the top 5 schools). But on the other hand UCLA is ranked #12 for the full-time MBA program.

I was looking forward to not having any student loans when I graduate, especially after receiving a fellowship from UCSD. But UCLA’s program is much more highly ranked so the question is whether its worth spending the extra $60,000.

Of course, if we go through a period of hyperinflation (which I think we’re already in the beginning stages of) then in 10 years, $60,000 might only seem like $10,000! In which case, going to even the most expensive school will look like a good investment in hindsight.

In the worst case, I’ll take out a tax-deductible student loan to cover the costs of my education. Well actually thats not the worst-case scenario. Having to sell off my investments and gold & silver coin collection would be the worst case! But I’m hoping the passive income generated by my investments will help provide me with living expenses for the duration of the MBA program. Or maybe someone will buy my blog for $50,000! 😉

Today I got a letter from the University of California, San Diego’s Business School. They’ve offered me a full fellowship for the MBA program! I think it was based on my GMAT score.

It consists of a complete waiver of all tuition and professional fees for both the years of the course. Getting this means I won’t need any student aid, nor will I have to sell any of my investments to fund my education. Considering that I have a very pessimistic outlook on the direction of the US economy, I believe the unemployment rate will be a lot higher when I graduate in 2 years time. I’d rather save up my money for the rainy days ahead (which means they’ll be more opportunity for good investments at that time). Not having to sell my investments also means I’ll be able to use the income they generate for living expenses.

Not having to worry about student loans or money when I’m going to school will be a great relief. The last time I went to school, lack of money caused me a lot of stress. I’d rather not have to worry about my finances and solely focus on maximizing my experience and enjoying the whole process.

I read an article in Businessweek about a Harvard MBA student who had dreams of working on Wall Street. With the current layoff and poor economic outlook (and with huge student loans looming) he prudently settled for a job working at Mattel. But I can’t help think that he must be very disappointed that the best job he could get after spending $150,000 on a Harvard MBA was working for the makers of Barbie dolls.

I also have an interview with UCLA’s Anderson School of Business lined up. I’ll give it my best shot since its an awesome school. But unless I get some sort of financial scholarships/fellowships, it’s going to be tough to beat the financial attractiveness of UCSD’s offer. In fact, the fellowship makes this MBA the cheapest possible way to get a business education, putting its cost on par with that of the Personal MBA program which costs $1,267.

If I go to any other good school, the education is likely to cost me around $100,000. Since my wife might be in another city, thats twice the living expenses plus traveling to meet each other. If I go to a private school, the cost might escalate to over $125,000. By living in San Diego, I might be able to work part-time after the first semester, so that’ll further decrease the loss of income during that time. Instead of working part-time, if I want to set my own venture, being local will again help since I have a lot of contacts here. Of course, a less expensive route is to enroll in the online MBA programs, although the quality of education is not the same as the traditional programs.

However it plays out, my desire to go to Business school will be fulfilled in September!

As regular readers know, I’m quite keen on getting my MBA. I gave my GMAT late last year and when I scored 740, I thought getting into a top MBA program seemed feasible.

The only problem is that a top MBA program costs about $100,000 plus living expenses. Also there’s the opportunity cost of lost wages which increases the total cost of the MBA program to nearly $250,000!

With the country looking like its heading in to a severe recession, I’m wondering if there will be any jobs when I graduate and have all these student loans to pay. I’ll still probably go for the MBA program , but hopefully, I’ll get some sort of scholarship to defray the expenses. Also, if we see hyperinflation like I think we will, in 15 years $250,000 will be worth only $25,000 in purchasing power and it might not seem like a big deal at all!

But for the more cautious among you, there’s a way to get a great business education for only $1,267.00 Compared to $250,00 that’s almost nothing. Josh Kauffman created a program called ‘Personal MBA’ which is a self-study program where you read great management books. Of course, you don’t get a classroom environment and there’s no career center to help you get a job, but thats what you get for saving $98,733. He also has an online forum where you can discuss the books so there is some level of interaction. Check out the books included in the MBA in a box program. Pretty comprehensive. Definitely a good option for those of you that already have a business and just need to work on your functional skills.

I’ll probably grab a few books on the list and get a head start on my MBA education!

I’d like to thank Lazyman for bringing this to my attention.