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  1. #1
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    Aug 2016
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    Getting an MBA and skiing as much as possible

    Started my first salary based job this year. Recently graduated with a civil engineering degree from CU Boulder. Of course, like any sane person, I'm trying to get out of the technical realm of things, and into management as soon as possible. I'm currently working for a mid sized general contractor and I enjoy the world of construction/development.

    Anyone have any experience with getting an MBA in a ski friendly area? Thinking of maybe taking night class and working a typical ski/resort town job/s (shops, restaurants, patrol, guide?)in town to make ends meet. Would have some savings set aside from a few years of work before heading back to school.

    Input, experience, and advice is appreciated! Also thinking of outside of CO

    TIA

  2. #2
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    First I'd note that jumping out of the technicals too early will make you less useful as your knowledge to inform decision making will be limited.
    Second: what's your goal with the MBA? Management consulting? Corporate exec track? Local management?
    Depending on that you'll want to target different schools. I'd also argue that going back full time for an MBA only makes sense for the MGT consulting/exec crowd as you can usually get employers to pay some of it if you go part time.

  3. #3
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    If you consider Boulder a ski area, I qualify (although it was 10 years ago now). I managed to ski about 30-40 days during my first year, and then when I could make my own schedule the second year I got in about 50-55 days. I was in the full-time MBA program and had a business background going in- undergrad in Econ w/ 7 years of real-world experience- so the first year was just a lot of busy work. The second year I got somewhat lucky and a lot of my classes were on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or at night. I got a LOT of powder days in at A-Basin and Loveland that year.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, I don't know many better places to go to grad school than Boulder, if you're a skier that wants to get a respected degree.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
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  5. #5
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    I can't say I really respect anyone that gets out if technical and into management. Those are usually the worst people to work for. My favorite manager ever was what I call a "working" manager. Two PhDs and still doing real work on the chip design team he was the manager for. The more technically competent a manager is the more likely they are to push back on upper level corporate insanity, in my experience. A manager that says no to his manager is a manager worth working for.

  6. #6
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    Go to UVA and ski Wintergreen

  7. #7
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    MBA's and law schools are pretty similar. You need to go to a top tier school or you are wasting your money. Skiing is a nice bonus but if you are going to spend a 100k+ on a master's degree, you should probably focus on getting the best degree possible.
    Live Free or Die

  8. #8
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    Pretty much everyone I went to grad school with, (MBA U Texas at Dallas 1998) either kept working or had a solid internship lined up. MBAs aren't worth much out in the wild without solid resume experience that shows upward mobility. There are basements full of twentysomethings who decided to focus on grad school and a hobby or two instead of working full time at a job that matters on their resume while finishing grad school. In a good job market you can bounce back after a break that includes college. But, you're always in a better career place if you keep in the game the entire time instead of dropping out for 3 years.
    Go that way really REALLY fast. If something gets in your way, TURN!

  9. #9
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    Aug 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by schuss View Post
    First I'd note that jumping out of the technicals too early will make you less useful as your knowledge to inform decision making will be limited.
    Second: what's your goal with the MBA? Management consulting? Corporate exec track? Local management?
    Depending on that you'll want to target different schools. I'd also argue that going back full time for an MBA only makes sense for the MGT consulting/exec crowd as you can usually get employers to pay some of it if you go part time.
    Thanks. I haven't even gotten that far as I'm fresh out of school. But the owner of my company went the same route and now owns his own business so that's my motivation. Good points - thank you!

  10. #10
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    Aug 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    If you consider Boulder a ski area, I qualify (although it was 10 years ago now). I managed to ski about 30-40 days during my first year, and then when I could make my own schedule the second year I got in about 50-55 days. I was in the full-time MBA program and had a business background going in- undergrad in Econ w/ 7 years of real-world experience- so the first year was just a lot of busy work. The second year I got somewhat lucky and a lot of my classes were on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or at night. I got a LOT of powder days in at A-Basin and Loveland that year.
    We've talked before about the Ripmo! I'd love to talk more about your experience in CU's MBA program if you don't mind I'll probably drop you a PM

  11. #11
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    Aug 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by SumJongGuy View Post
    Pretty much everyone I went to grad school with, (MBA U Texas at Dallas 1998) either kept working or had a solid internship lined up. MBAs aren't worth much out in the wild without solid resume experience that shows upward mobility. There are basements full of twentysomethings who decided to focus on grad school and a hobby or two instead of working full time at a job that matters on their resume while finishing grad school. In a good job market you can bounce back after a break that includes college. But, you're always in a better career place if you keep in the game the entire time instead of dropping out for 3 years.
    Truth. Looking at definitely getting several years of experience before going back. Thanks for the solid point.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by riser3 View Post
    I can't say I really respect anyone that gets out if technical and into management. Those are usually the worst people to work for. My favorite manager ever was what I call a "working" manager. Two PhDs and still doing real work on the chip design team he was the manager for. The more technically competent a manager is the more likely they are to push back on upper level corporate insanity, in my experience. A manager that says no to his manager is a manager worth working for.

    There's totally two sides to it. I would argue that in the Civil/Construction world as opposed to product development you could go further. You're right - in tech/product development, the techy guys are the ones who do well and end up at the top.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by riser3 View Post
    I can't say I really respect anyone that gets out if technical and into management.
    Yeah, I really don't understand his point about that being the "sane" thing to do. There's nothing about management that seems appealing to me.

  14. #14
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    .......

  15. #15
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    If you want to go into civil engineering “management”, don’t get an MBA, do the following:

    Work for current employer for two years
    Work for another employer for two years
    And another for two years

    Then start your own business - if you are observant, by then you will have figured out the business aspects of civil engineering - what works and what doesn’t - without dropping $100k. You can then get a PHD in business from the school of hard knocks.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBS View Post
    If you want to go into civil engineering “management”, don’t get an MBA, do the following:

    Work for current employer for two years
    Work for another employer for two years
    And another for two years

    Then start your own business - if you are observant, by then you will have figured out the business aspects of civil engineering - what works and what doesn’t - without dropping $100k. You can then get a PHD in business from the school of hard knocks.
    Yep,ideally a mix of large and small firms doing both gov and private work. MBAs aren't terribly useful in construction IMO, I'd sooner spend the money on a PMP.

  17. #17
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    Mar 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Berg View Post
    Started my first salary based job this year. Recently graduated with a civil engineering degree from CU Boulder. Of course, like any sane person, I'm trying to get out of the technical realm of things, and into management as soon as possible. I'm currently working for a mid sized general contractor and I enjoy the world of construction/development.
    LO-Fucking-L. Nothing like a manager that has no idea what his (or her) subordinates do or how to do it. And since when is being a corporate manager (AKA babysitter) fucking sane? You like sitting in meetings most the day? You like spending the rest of your time sitting at a desk forwarding emails?

    Not to be too harsh, just echoing what others have already said. A good manager is proficient at the jobs of his or her subordinates. If you skip the step of learning how to do what the "technical" people do, good luck with that.
    Last edited by Tamburello Rouge; 03-12-2019 at 05:46 PM.

  18. #18
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    Skiing as much as possible
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  19. #19
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    I am going to be the voice of dissent apparently. I would agree on the keep getting experience part of the advice if you want to stay in the construction world. An MBA has certainly been beneficial to me in my career though. Several of the mid size to large companies in Salt Lake will send employees to Westminster College who happens to have an excellent after hours program set up to where you can keep your day job and earn your MBA with real life examples. That paired with my engineering degree has given me a pretty fucking cool career. Just my $0.02, I am sure the dentists on here know better than me though.
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  20. #20
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    Iíd rather learn how to run a business from someone running a business than paying someone who doesnít run a business to teach me how to run a business.

    Or like Teleeís example, Iíd rather learn from someone running a business who is also willing to pay for me to get an outsiders perspective.

    Iíve also heard the skiing out of SLC is okay.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conundrum View Post
    I’d rather learn how to run a business from someone running a business than paying someone who doesn’t run a business to teach me how to run a business.

    Or like Telee’s example, I’d rather learn from someone running a business who is also willing to pay for me to get an outsiders perspective.

    I’ve also heard the skiing out of SLC is okay.
    The top MBA professors really only teach part time. Most are the highest paid consultants in just about every industry that CEOs bring in. Others serve on big money corporate boards. If your program is full of ivory tower recluses you picked the wrong MBA program.
    Go that way really REALLY fast. If something gets in your way, TURN!

  22. #22
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    I did not know that. I looked at the cost of an MBA in time and money and the return wasnít there for me so I didnít look much further.

    Serious question. Would earning an MBA help more for owning a small business, immersing in big corporate culture or either/both?

    Carry on.

  23. #23
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    Oct 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by teleee View Post
    I am going to be the voice of dissent apparently. I would agree on the keep getting experience part of the advice if you want to stay in the construction world. An MBA has certainly been beneficial to me in my career though. Several of the mid size to large companies in Salt Lake will send employees to Westminster College who happens to have an excellent after hours program set up to where you can keep your day job and earn your MBA with real life examples. That paired with my engineering degree has given me a pretty fucking cool career. Just my $0.02, I am sure the dentists on here know better than me though.
    This is the program I went to and my employer paid about half. Overall itís paid off for me, but it was nowhere near $100k. I typically got 30-40 ski days a year while working full time raising minions and getting decent grades. The problem with Westminster is that itís pretty well respected in Utah, no one outside of Utah has ever heard of it. Probably looks no different than a degree from University of Phoenix outside of Utah.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by teleee View Post
    I am going to be the voice of dissent apparently. I would agree on the keep getting experience part of the advice if you want to stay in the construction world. An MBA has certainly been beneficial to me in my career though. Several of the mid size to large companies in Salt Lake will send employees to Westminster College who happens to have an excellent after hours program set up to where you can keep your day job and earn your MBA with real life examples. That paired with my engineering degree has given me a pretty fucking cool career. Just my $0.02, I am sure the dentists on here know better than me though.
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  25. #25
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    Teleee has it right if you're going non Corp exec MBA. You want inexpensive and at night/your schedule. Then again I'm just a filthy ba/bs holder, but I work with many more degreed folk

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