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Is a full time MBA worth it? thinking of Queens, Ivey or Laurier

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  • Aug 3rd, 2020 3:43 pm
[OP]
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Feb 1, 2020
220 posts
79 upvotes

Is a full time MBA worth it? thinking of Queens, Ivey or Laurier

I am in my late 20s from Canada. Studied engineering in undergrad and been working in supply chain since graduating 5 years ago. Been thinking of making a career change and think maybe I could do an MBA. Not sure yet what i want to switch to.

Started looking at these 3 universities. I am based in toronto and want to get out of the city as i already did my undergrad in Toronto.

Which of these 3 universities do you recommend for an MBA? I heard good things about queens and ivey but laurier is much cheaper. I heard also the Lazaridis school has a very strong reputation.
13 replies
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Aug 9, 2010
1338 posts
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Waterloo
Late 20's MBA student here at McGill - I really think you should sit down and figure out where you want to be in 3-5 years before committing time and money for an MBA.

The whole value of an MBA is the networking opportunities with classmates, Professors and the Alumni network, alongside recruiting events; if you're not sure what you want to do or where you want to be then there's no value in it for you. Depending on the program you may be able to have different focus areas during your studies, like Supply Chain Management or Accounting, but again I highly recommend you think long and hard about what you want to do before committing. MBA programs generally have strong networks with employers in their geographic location, so you would want to go to an institution that has access to the kinds of companies you would want to work for.

Why do you want to get out of Toronto? Are you open to other places in Canada? What about other places worldwide? Is price your main decision factor? Will you work during your MBA? Once you leave Toronto will you stay in that new city for a long time?

As a Waterloo native who's still living there, it's a nice town but quite boring (COVID aside). Lots of (undergrad) students coming and going and a decent bar scene with some good restaurants, but nothing on the level of Toronto. Housing here is relatively attainable compared to Toronto although we'll probably see prices continue to shoot up...

Laurier is... not bad. It's not good, either, to put it nicely. I'd look elsewhere if I were you.
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Jan 1, 2017
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OP, given your other thread I don’t think you have the personality to succeed with an MBA. Dealing with ambiguity and lack of direction is not for you. Just dropping some tough truths here.
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Apr 14, 2017
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DT Calgary
An MBA isn't some magic pill that'll fix what ails you. An MBA also ain't what it used to be. I'd consider a more specialized Masters than doing a generic MBA, at a generic Canadian University.
[OP]
Member
Feb 1, 2020
220 posts
79 upvotes
FreshCo wrote: An MBA isn't some magic pill that'll fix what ails you. An MBA also ain't what it used to be. I'd consider a more specialized Masters than doing a generic MBA, at a generic Canadian University.
I was actually thinking of doing a Masters of Management Analytics at McGill, Queens or U of T.

But i dont think analytics is for me as i hate ambiguity
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Nov 2, 2013
5617 posts
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Edmonton, AB
The MBA doesn't have many direct applications in Canada... most senior positions are filled from promotion from within, and/or value experience before credentials. A MBA is often acquired more so for the connections/networking.

Where the MBA is then an asset or requirement, those positions are far and in between, and much more likely to be filled by an internal candidate. Kind of like trying to be a queen of an ant colony, where there can only be the one queen amongst many ants. Or if you are desirable, you're likely to be viewed as an expensive liability.

Though a characteristic of higher responsibility, higher pay positions in general: If you do get hired, then you're constantly being hated on for earning more than others, and become a target for others to make you lose your job. When the company struggles (or even if it thrives, but your boss(es) are cheap), then your boss(es) are constantly eyeing dropping your pay or finding out how to most effectively get rid of you.

As an educational exercise, you can look at the management teams of publicly traded companies to see what credentials they have.

There are a lot of politics involved in the workplace, especially with being promoted up the ladder. Doesn't matter how good or bad you are - if your colleagues/bosses don't see you there, then you won't be. Conversely, you'll have some kid who is some guy's son, where the guy is one of the bosses's buddies, and ends up in that higher position with no actual education, or got sent to the local university to have a degree at the minimum just to put abbreviations on a business card.

That being said, networking aside: you're better off spending your money and time on a more focused program that is catered (or even required by) to a specific field you actually want to get into. For example, a specialized Master's program as some of the other posters mentioned, or a specific graduate program that's actually required by specific roles, such as CPA, CFP, CHRP, CAIRP, etc.
Last edited by FirstGear on Jul 27th, 2020 9:25 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Sr. Member
Sep 28, 2013
792 posts
553 upvotes
For the love of God, don't choose an MBA because it's cheaper than the next option. I went to Ivey and it may have been 100k cheaper than Harvard but I would seriously question anyone's decision who decided to go to Ivey over Harvard to save 100k. A couple people in my class got into Wharton but didn't go because they got a sizable scholarship from Ivey - and I think they were batshit crazy.
Jr. Member
Dec 1, 2006
113 posts
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angrybanker wrote: For the love of God, don't choose an MBA because it's cheaper than the next option. I went to Ivey and it may have been 100k cheaper than Harvard but I would seriously question anyone's decision who decided to go to Ivey over Harvard to save 100k. A couple people in my class got into Wharton but didn't go because they got a sizable scholarship from Ivey - and I think they were batshit crazy.
I'm curious what their career outcomes were? And if they were deadset on staying in Canada, I could somewhat understand.
VanillaIce1992 wrote: I was actually thinking of doing a Masters of Management Analytics at McGill, Queens or U of T.

But i dont think analytics is for me as i hate ambiguity
If you want to get paid, you gotta go where the ambiguity is.
Anything that's unambiguous and straightforward will be automated
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Jul 13, 2009
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angrybanker wrote: For the love of God, don't choose an MBA because it's cheaper than the next option. I went to Ivey and it may have been 100k cheaper than Harvard but I would seriously question anyone's decision who decided to go to Ivey over Harvard to save 100k. A couple people in my class got into Wharton but didn't go because they got a sizable scholarship from Ivey - and I think they were batshit crazy.
Two of my old coworkers were in the same Wharton class as Sundar Pinchai, it's about networking and calibre. Although at the time of their MBA class they were all panicking how to pay for it as the dot com crash happened...they felt it built character and learned to hustle harder.

However like others said, it's not a magic pill and if you have no idea what the MBA will do for you and your career now, you won't know what to do after you complete your MBA and $80k in the hole, on top of not earning income for the time so $160k-200k would be your cost.
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Jan 19, 2007
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Torontario
MBA yes, where not in this environment. For late 20s I would recommend Ivey 1YR one
Sr. Member
Sep 28, 2013
792 posts
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fingroll wrote: I'm curious what their career outcomes were? And if they were deadset on staying in Canada, I could somewhat understand.



If you want to get paid, you gotta go where the ambiguity is.
Anything that's unambiguous and straightforward will be automated
I mean, they're all doing well - not really a question. I'd say if you needed to stay in Canada for the 1-2 years during your MBA, maybe it would make sense. But a top MBA in the US is generally very welcome by employers in Canada. I know my company definitely keeps an eye out for them. Not in the US, but i anecdotally hear there are as many Canadians who went to INSEAD at Mckinsey in Toronto as there are Ivey MBA grads. Not knocking Ivey at all, loved my experience and very happy where I am as well. I was just saying that cost shouldn't be a consideration for something when the difference in opportunity cost over the remainder of your life is potentially much greater.
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Jul 20, 2016
1134 posts
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Toronto
@angrybanker is right ... honestly the education side of MBA is pretty fluffy and somewhat BS... it's the networking and more importantly recruiting opportunities that you are after, and based on that no Canadian MBA programs really stack up with the M7 in the US or even intl programs like INSEAD. Given this is something that you'd only do once in life, and I know it's highly unfair for me to say this without knowing your situation OP, but go for the best possible program and not the "cheapest". You said you wanna get out of Toronto, if it's a non- Canadian career change you are seeking, you def should take a look at the elite US schools. Ivey 1yr has its advantage in terms of (opportunity) cost but you do miss out on an internship so if you go make sure you have some idea on what you want to switch to afterwards.

For what I do, (sales and trading).. value of MBA is close to nil unless you are a career switcher, campus recruiting is conducted for undergrad and MBA together and as a MBA recruit you may get a token bit higher in base comp but nothing to get excited about unfortunately. Differentiation is higher on investment banking side where you would be hired as associate (vs analyst for undergrads). I do have a Q&A thread somewhere in this section feel free to dig up if it's front office finance job you are interested in!
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Nov 13, 2010
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Scarborough
After pandemic, nah
Dont waste your money dude
There will be tons of mba looking for jobs in near future. Global economy is **** already

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