MBA Stereotypes: True or False?

Written by: Kaitlyn He, MBA ’24

Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs have long been associated with a myriad of stereotypes, some grounded in truth, others not so much. In this blog, I will debunk some common MBA stereotypes based on personal experiences and research. Hopefully, by shedding light on this topic, it will provide you with a new perspective on the MBA degree.

  1. An MBA is an easy degree. (Verdict: False!) An MBA is not a “fluff” degree. It is a Master’s degree intended to challenge and stretch you as an individual. It takes time, money, and effort to commit to an MBA program, which typically ranges between 1-2 years of rigorous studies, tight deadlines, numerous group projects, and working at an internship part-time. At the UB School of Management, pursuing a Master’s of Business Administration requires zeal and tenacity. 
  1. MBAs are super uptight and demanding people! (Verdict: False!) In order to be successful in the MBA program it is imperative to have good time management skills. This means getting work done ahead of schedule, planning events and meetings in advance, and so forth. In the School of Management MBA program, this was drilled into us with our Corporate Champion project, a semester-long consulting case competition. I believe that someone can be organized with good time management skills without being demanding and uptight. In my MBA cohort, I have the pleasure of working alongside some of the most fun, compassionate, and intelligent individuals. Yes, we are driven, but not uptight. 
  1. Getting an MBA guarantees you a job. (Verdict: False!) No degree guarantees you a job. While an MBA is a valuable degree, it is still important to develop soft skills and technical skills on a personal development level to entice recruiters. Networking increases the chance of recruiters noticing you, but even then, that does not guarantee you a job. 
  1. Networking in an MBA program is all about developing professional connections. (Verdict: Half-false.) A fellow MBA in my cohort loves to say, “Your network is your net worth.” As a Master’s student, it is crucial to take advantage of networking opportunities. While most networking opportunities will be professional by nature, networking is also an opportunity to form long-lasting friendships and personal relationships. In my experience, making personal connections gets you further because you build trust, and it feels less transactional. 
  1. My MBA degree is worth it! (Verdict: True!) Pursuing my MBA degree is one of my greatest investments to myself. I am building upon my technical skills, in addition to my “people skills” and managerial skills. When I graduate, my degree will be a testament to my grit and achievements and I will walk away with fond memories and people I can call my lifelong friends. 

Bio: Kaitlyn was born in New York City and grew up in Puerto Rico, Hong Kong, and New York. She is the oldest in her family. In 2022, she graduated from the University at Buffalo School of Management with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, making her a first-generation college graduate. She joined the School of Management MBA program shortly afterward to develop her leadership skills. Currently, Kaitlyn is a second-year MBA student, on track to graduate in the Spring of 2024. In her free time, Kaitlyn loves to travel, cook, and exercise. Doing the things that she loves allows her to decompress from school and work.

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