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Old 11-30-2011, 09:16 AM
 
Location: NC
9,984 posts, read 10,352,650 times
Reputation: 3086

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Quote:
Originally Posted by drsmiley06 View Post
You actually want to know how to get ahead? Listen carefully! I went to dental school and graduated in 2006 from Temple University in Philly. Did a one year residency and then headed back upstate. Worked at a low-income dental clinic that serves only the poor, working poor and others on welfare. Because I worked in that type of environment the state of Pennsylvania helped pay back a good portion of my loan. Because the clinics I've worked at fell into a health shortage area I qualified for loan reimbursement. That's how you get ahead! Amazing how many of my friends wanted to rush right out and start making the big bucks, interesting how some of them contacted me a year or two later and asked me about my program. Same with medical doctors, they have the same types of programs in all states. Remember the show "Northern Exposure" with Rob Marrow? Well if you do, you'll remember why he was sent to Alaska, it's because the government paid for his education and he had to give them back a certain amount of years. Believe it or not that's one of the biggest ways to get ahead, have someone else pay for the education if you can. Can't tell you how many years I've shaved off my student loans because of doing it this way. Hope this helps.
That is basically one plan I am considering only with law instead of dentistry. If I am able to put in my time with legal services or a rural DA all my debt evaporates, because of a nice rule about federal loans. Meanwhile cost of living is low so that also makes up for a lot and by the time I am done I will have the skills to start my own practice.
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:55 PM
 
127 posts, read 199,789 times
Reputation: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
I spent 30 years working in a Big 4 public accounting environment so, from that point of view, here is my 10c worth.

First .... your educational attainments merely get you a ticket to the dance. They get you into the corporation but, once in, they are generally pretty worthless. It is what you do at work that matters then.

Second .... you need to be good technically. In other words, you have to be excellent at the job you have been hired to do. That, alone will not get you ahead but not being good at it will get you marked down.

Third .... you need to be good with people. You need to be personable, popular and articulate. You need to be able to manage down ... and up. In other words, learn to manage your bosses. Corporations are social entities as well as being commercial entities. Learn the culture, play the game and network with a vengeance.

Fourth .... you need a good business head on you. In some corporations that means being able to sell while in others it means a very strong awareness of what makes the corporation successful. Understand the strategy and be able to articulate it. Understand who actually runs the corporation (e.g. IBM has always been run by sales guys while Altria has always been run by marketing).

Fifth .... work ethic matters to the baby boomers who are actually running the business. While they will tolerate and pay lip service to work-life balance, they don't really mean it. As they are in control you need to play by their rules.

Six .... pay attention to detail, ask questions once and get it right first time. Make yourself the person that managers want to have working for them. Always operate at the level above your pay grade.

Seven .... don't be shy about detailing your achievements but do it in a way that does not make you sound arrogant. Make sure you work a lot of hours and charge every hour.

Finally .... most organizations wear business casual. That is not the same as business sloppy. Pay attention to what you wear and how you are groomed. Always look professional and always wear a jacket. It really does make a difference.

Hope the above helps.
Wow, thanks for the invaluable advice

Quick question, though, if you were to do it all over again, would you have gone into your profession, or would you have wanted to pick something else?

Last edited by aspiring_natural; 12-01-2011 at 06:18 PM..
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:55 AM
 
2,017 posts, read 5,624,430 times
Reputation: 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
When I said "you best be at the top of the ranks", I meant as an individual you best be a top student. I did not mean that all students should attend top-ranked schools.

That being said, decent schools do offer part-time MBAs (NYU Stern, which is where I am looking, for example). This allows you to get close to the best bang for the buck compared to lesser quality schools.

I have been admitted (and accepted the offer) to a Top 20 MBA school and will begin shortly. NYU Stern is a Top 20 school and an excellent program!


With that said, I really pondered where I wanted to go, the method, and all of that for my MBA. I had a Masters completed via online through a RA state university. The program was solid-- the coursework challenging and I found it very worthwhile and has been tremendously beneficial in my career (MS Information Systems).

With that said, the true value of an MBA comes from the reputation, professors, administrators, alumni, and networking abilities. I don't believe you can get that through an online experience unless there are some immersion weekends, residencies, etc. Even then-- I am still not 100% sure it is possible.

Part of my research when selecting a program was 1) Career placement 2) Median and Mean salaries 3) List of companies who recruit from the programs 4) Data of how many students were hired at which companies 5) Concentrations 6) Institutes or think tanks at the business schools and a few other things.

Personally, I opted to do a weekend program for a few reasons:

1. Most students are NOT completely 100% self sponsored. They may be financially self sponsored or have a portion paid for by their employers but all of them hold one thing in common-- their companies supported the employees to spend time away from the office, on the company dime to attend the program. This is NOT insignificant-- every other Friday, 2 full weeks, 2 additional weeks for international learning experiences, and a smattering of full day Thursdays as well. In my case, if I remain with my current company-- they will pay a certain amount for the program-- a fraction of the total cost. If I go to my current job offer-- they are a young start up but can't offer any tuition assistance but are FULLY supportive of any time commitments.

2. There is something about "bonding" through a common experience. My school offers evening part time programs too. However, having been in experiences that were life changing with other people (aka experiencing a common challenging situation with a handful of people) I know you end up developing closer knit bonds. It is that whole "team" concept that I know will be much harder to develop if I were rushing to class after work and only there for 3 hours. In a weekend program, you socialize, sleep, eat, attend class, at times carpool TOGETHER with your class. Even if you are local there is NO going home. I could tell during my interviews that both students and professors and administrators were a tight unit. It was fascinating and palpable. The weekend class sizes fluctuates each year from 35-45 people. That is 35-45 new and close knit network members-- plus you have another 35-45 members in the second year class or the 1st year class when I move into the second year class. Very tight cohesion and networking ability.

3. Since there is significant time and at times financial commitment from sponsoring employers-- these people are not just their general employees seeking tuition assistance. These are their top notch trusted employees-- the ones trusted to still manage their work, life, and school balances. My current class-- is pretty impressive. Many VPs, Directors, etc. We receive a list of companies represented by the program-- I reviewed these-- and many are places I could see myself working for: Apple, Google, Booz Allen, Vanguard, Fidelity, Janus, Credit Suisse, Duke Energy, SAS, Cisco, IBM, Accenture, Deloitte, Bain, Johnson and Johnson, Proctor and Gamble, and the list goes on.

4. Most students I interviewed stated that their employers have really allowed them to apply learned principles in their jobs, take on special projects when the MBA coursework required, etc. Other than that-- I have been able to review lots of data about salary information, bonus information from alumni measured after completion of the program.

5. The school is pretty picky about who it picks for this program. They can't afford to bring in folks who will not be a success, who will lower the standards of the program, and who will not be a "good" story.


There were other reasons I decided but to me-- the risk and decision to go is a wise one. True it may not pan out-- I may not achieve all of the goals I have planned-- but it sure is beyond helpful to broaden my network with senior leaders and decision makers that I would find it a little more difficult to engage from other companies that I would have found difficult to do completely on my own.

Would I have this same experience from a lower tier ranked MBA school? Or a non- AACSB accredited school? Maybe-- I imagine it would take A HECK of a lot more work. Even my company for certain roles recruits at only select business schools-- if I really want to work for the likes of a Boston Consulting Group-- almost the only way to get an interview is to have a certain pedigree-- and yes they recruit at my chosen school. Not to say I couldn't do it elsewhere- I believe in myself and my career path has shown that I have been successful at it-- BUT I would prefer in this economic environment to prep myself for the most absolute outcome I can.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:03 AM
 
2,017 posts, read 5,624,430 times
Reputation: 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip T View Post
Maybe those who chose to actually DO something? How hard is that?

Seems a bit circular and silly. Education is just a tool. You think it is a path to suck up to some US corporate path, or what?

Look back at any "get ahead" folks and the formal education portion was minor in the mission.

(not an MBA in this mix . . . )

Steve Jobs -- had to look up his education on Wiki . . .



Henry Ford -- more per Wiki . . .



Wright Brothers -- again Wiki . . .




Bill Gates -- Wiki . . . .




Could go on and on. But you get the idea by now? Again -- It is what you DO -- not what paper shows or what you think you may know that makes the difference.

I have nothing against college nor advanced degrees. Have some myself.

But school ain't where it is at.

Jobs, Gates, and others like them are mostly outliers.

Just like you could have the HBS grad who completely bombed out and is now homeless--- I mean I guess it COULD happen!

But just like that-- the HBS grad is an outlier.

Even though I personally never liked Gates-- I know like Jobs he is unique. Just like most kids are not going to be Mark Zuckerberg. Just not going to happen. Most folks are not going to be Michael Jordan. Most people are just going to be average.

This is true even in a corporation. A lot of people are going to work hard and do their jobs-- and go to work and be well... average. Not everyone is going to be a leader. Most will never be.

I know I am not a Jobs or Gates. I know I am not a Michael Jordan. I do know this-- I know and have proven that I usually end up being a leader-- not just a manager. Happens in school, happens in professional committees, happens at work. Will an MBA make me all of a sudden Jobs? No, but it will give me more tools and resources than I would have on my own.

Do I think everyone should get an MBA? Absolutely not. I know someone who their MBA has had no utility and there is a reason-- he is just.. well.. not EVER going to be a leader. Honestly-- I doubt he will progress more in his career than he has today. The MBA was an expensive lower ranked degree that has not really removed any barriers for him.
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:52 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
27,273 posts, read 28,339,813 times
Reputation: 24781
Quote:
Originally Posted by aspiring_natural View Post
What is the best thing that someone's who's pursuing a PhD, MBA, JD, MD, trying to climb the corporate ladder, or beyond, should know and incorporate into their plan of action to get ahead of the millions of others that are doing just the same?
In my experience, no single factor alone is likely to put you ahead of your competition. But rather, it's a combination of things such as:

Academic background

Grades/GPA

Work experience

Good resume/cover letter (that is proofread)

Knowledge about companies

Networking/knowing people

Job-hunting skills

Interview skills

Appearance

Articulateness

Enthusiasm

Being the right fit for the job, etc.

Therefore, working on all of these to the extent possible will increase your chances that an employer will pick you for the position.

Last edited by BigCityDreamer; 12-04-2011 at 07:24 PM..
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Chicagoland
5,749 posts, read 10,333,259 times
Reputation: 7010
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovetheduns View Post
I do know this-- I know and have proven that I usually end up being a leader-- not just a manager. Happens in school, happens in professional committees, happens at work. Will an MBA make me all of a sudden Jobs? No, but it will give me more tools and resources than I would have on my own.
I don't think an MBA can make someone a leader if they do not have the innate skills for it, but it can provide one with the tools to lead more effectively. Like you, my spouse and I always end up being leaders in organizations and we now run our own business. One thing we have in common is that we were always active in team sports growing up. I think this is great training ground for skills in leadership and competition. I read a statistic somewhere (can't find it now) that, while 33% have participated in team sports in the U.S., over 80% of those in elite leadership roles participated in team sports.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:08 AM
 
16,433 posts, read 22,112,075 times
Reputation: 9622
Those that can lie without conscience and smile as they kill.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:39 AM
 
Location: In a house
21,956 posts, read 24,208,265 times
Reputation: 15030
Quote:
Originally Posted by drsmiley06 View Post
You actually want to know how to get ahead? Listen carefully! I went to dental school and graduated in 2006 from Temple University in Philly. Did a one year residency and then headed back upstate. Worked at a low-income dental clinic that serves only the poor, working poor and others on welfare. Because I worked in that type of environment the state of Pennsylvania helped pay back a good portion of my loan. Because the clinics I've worked at fell into a health shortage area I qualified for loan reimbursement. That's how you get ahead! Amazing how many of my friends wanted to rush right out and start making the big bucks, interesting how some of them contacted me a year or two later and asked me about my program. Same with medical doctors, they have the same types of programs in all states. Remember the show "Northern Exposure" with Rob Marrow? Well if you do, you'll remember why he was sent to Alaska, it's because the government paid for his education and he had to give them back a certain amount of years. Believe it or not that's one of the biggest ways to get ahead, have someone else pay for the education if you can. Can't tell you how many years I've shaved off my student loans because of doing it this way. Hope this helps.
I personally have a great respect for you and would love to find more people like you around! I'm sure they are around it's just not easy to find them! I'm in NC and my DH and myself have been working 9-12 hours a day 7 days a week trying to make enough to pay for my periodontist work that I need to get done soon. My husband is retired and we live on a limited income as is common with us older folks. We both work online trying to make ends meet--and then something like medical or dental problems arise or even things like tires, insurance payments or upkeep on our home and it throws us into a tailspin......at least we are capable of working but there is no time for play anymore sadly. I had to get some dental work done--my fault because I moved here to NC from my home in CA and had had the same dentist in CA for 40 years so finding a new one was difficult and I kept putting it off--found one--went and didn't like him so went 2 more years before I found another dentist and then had to get some dental work done--root canal and crown, get another crown replaced and a filling but now I have periodontal disease. The lasar work is $4,000 so I'm still paying off my credit card for the dental work and then I can afford to get the perodontial work done. It's been a couple of months now... Meantime I am so worried about my gums so I'm keeping them exceptionally clean, flossing lots, mouthwash, brushing lots hoping to keep everything ok for one more month. Hopefully I can pay off my bill by then. It sure would have been nice to find a place that could have made this easier and more affordable so I would not have had to go through the waiting and the stress that this has created not to mention it being unhealthy for my entire body!. Thank you for being the kind of person that gives back and if helped you at the same time I think that is wonderful!
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:07 PM
 
8,276 posts, read 11,841,506 times
Reputation: 10075
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
All this talk about being the best, getting ahead, being on top, etc. It's a sad commentary when a 20-year old has no better things to consume her mind then on how she needs to "beat" the next person. Have we done this to our youth? It's pretty sad. Compete! compete! compete! Give it a rest already!

Life isn't going anywhere, and you can't take 'things' with you. Be who you are, do your best at what you seek to do, and you will meet success at every endeavor you pursue. Stop measuring yourself by what other's have accomplished. It's useless, you are not them.
Amen.

A 20 yo will become a 35 yo burnout if his/her mindset is set at "ultracompetition" at such a young age....
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:23 PM
 
912 posts, read 1,327,639 times
Reputation: 468
In a world where everyone goes to college ,how is someone without a degree to get ahead ?This is question I'd like to know ,makes me wonder how an employeer tells all the degreed people apart from the next.
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