My stereotypical MBA student would be a young, ambitious person exuding confidence and competence, but in my experience and the students actually do a number of odd things that you might not expect. Yes, they generally look a lot like the stereotype I’ve described above, but they also have some unique behaviors that both undermine and accentuate this image. Here are three of the odd things I have noticed:
First, many MBA students get excited for business travel. If you have ever worked full-time and actually engaged in business travel, you know that this is not something a rational person would look forward to. But MBA students are so gung ho and so eager to become involved in the business world, that even something as mundane as business travel seems exciting to them. MBA school typically involve several opportunities to go on trips to visit businesses or interview with prospective employers. Beyond the obvious utility of such trips, I have observed MBA students expressing enthusiasm about the business travel itself. I am guessing that most of them lose that enthusiasm within the first year or so of their post-MBA job.
Second, many MBA students enjoy wearing business dress. One of the great things about being in school, is that you do not have to wear a suit and tie or any other type of business attire on a day-to-day basis. For the same reasons that MBA students enjoy business travel, however, many of them also enjoy dressing up in business attire. Business school offers many opportunities to do so, fortunately for them, and they seem to enjoy acting as if they are already in the working world. This enthusiasm for the modern working world is, it should be apparent, foreign and somewhat puzzling to me. But to each their own.
Third, many MBA students believe that a salary of $100,000 will make them rich. This too, is the result of inexperience in the business world. In the United States of America, income tax, Social Security, and Medicare make the take-home portion of a $100,000 salary significantly less than you might think. Plus, young people entering the business world should realize that living in a world requires new expenses, such as business clothing, and appropriate business car, and various social and dining events. I suppose it should be no surprise that many MBA students have unrealistic expectations for their post-MBA life. Ultimately, though, many of them will make enough money to be truly rich.
I think MBA students are generally a good group of people, and I do not mean to suggest otherwise in this article, but they’re obviously certain odd things that MBA students to. These oddities result from naivety and inexperience regarding working life in the modern business world. I am certain that students overcome such naivety quickly after graduation.