Gaining insight

A little over a week into the MBA program, I am gaining insight into many aspects of business. It is also a little amusing to observe how the academic world excels at systematic solutions to 30-year-old problems. While most professors seem to delusions of granduer regarding what is covered by their concentration, I am begining to see the broad ideas.

In the realm of marketing, a business needs determine what customers consider valuable (and hence desirable). In some cases, the business causes customers to consider something valuable. Clearly a business must have customers.

In the realm that includes supply chain management, the business needs to create this aforementioned value. Traditionally this has been done by manufacturing a product or via retail, but rendering services and manipulating information also create value.

I am less sure of the third realm, but it seems like finance fits in by providing a method to measure the value and allowing the comparison of alternatives.

I have been investigating venture capital firms recently by developing a list of VC firms that invest in technology and Internet firms and going to their websites. Incidentally, nearly every VC firm has the same website except for the name, logo, and team bios. Virtually none of them accept resumes for their firm, even fewer advertise openings. From reading the team bios, it looks like everyone has an MBA from Stanford. While I am much happier with the price of MSU, it is definitely not the doorway to the VC world.

One very cool thing about business school is the status that comes with it. At the library, I can check out books for 180 days; undergraduates only get 3 weeks. Business undergraduates can get into investment banking analyst internships. MBA students can get into I-banking associate internships probably even without a finance or accounting background. Finally, because of the emphasis on networking, being an MBA is like joining a special social club where you’re instantly popular You are cool just for being in the program.

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