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General Category => Going Pro => Topic started by: nateo on June 05, 2012, 01:01:24 PM

Title: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: nateo on June 05, 2012, 01:01:24 PM
Anyone working in the industry with an MBA? I can get the program paid for by my work, but I'm wondering what the most useful concentration area would be if I wanted to own/run/work at a brewery/brewpub/something someday.

The program that I'm looking at has concentrations in the following. I've added my impressions after reading the course descriptions for the electives in the areas:
FINANCE - Mostly financial planning, looks tailored for people who want to be a CFA
MANAGEMENT - looks like operations and HR
MARKETING - logistics, supply-chain management and the usual "marketing" stuff
COMPUTER INFORMATION SYSTEMS - IT systems? I'm not really sure.

I wasn't a business major, so I have about a year of "foundation" courses before I need to decide on a concentration, so no big hurry.
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: micsager on June 05, 2012, 02:28:16 PM
Anyone working in the industry with an MBA? I can get the program paid for by my work, but I'm wondering what the most useful concentration area would be if I wanted to own/run/work at a brewery/brewpub/something someday.

The program that I'm looking at has concentrations in the following. I've added my impressions after reading the course descriptions for the electives in the areas:
FINANCE - Mostly financial planning, looks tailored for people who want to be a CFA
MANAGEMENT - looks like operations and HR
MARKETING - logistics, supply-chain management and the usual "marketing" stuff
COMPUTER INFORMATION SYSTEMS - IT systems? I'm not really sure.

I wasn't a business major, so I have about a year of "foundation" courses before I need to decide on a concentration, so no big hurry.

I would think marketing.  With all the new craft, micro, nano breweries out there, a good marketing exec would be invaluable.
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: nateo on June 05, 2012, 02:31:40 PM
I would think marketing.  With all the new craft, micro, nano breweries out there, a good marketing exec would be invaluable.

I think you're right. And since they lump logistics into the marketing concentration, I was thinking that would make the most sense for a manufacturing-type job, and would probably be useful even I didn't end up working in brewing.
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: jmcamerlengo on June 05, 2012, 02:36:57 PM
The thing with any business degree is that you're going to get all of those courses. My major was was Business Information Systems(IT). And before I took any real IT courses I had to take Business 101, 201, Accounting 101 and 201, Finance 101 and 201, Marketing 101 and 201. So you're going to get a little bit of all it and honestly that little bit of accounting and finance is probably good enough for what youll need to have an idea of finances when running a business. Your focus is going to be the courses you take 301, 401 etc and get really proficient at. So ask yourself what you want to be most proficient at. Do you not want to hire an accountant? a business lawyer? a financial consultant? a marketer?

If it were me and I had known that I was going to own a brewpub back when I started college I would've probably taken business law or accounting, since my SWMBO is a marketer. But  you may not have that luxury and marketing is as important as the product itself.
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: nateo on June 05, 2012, 02:42:41 PM
Yeah, the "foundation" courses I'll need to take are all 600-level, but from what I understand, they're basically condensed courses of what I would've learned if I had taken an undergrad business major. They include stuff like "accounting for managers" and "finance and capital for managers." There are a lot of practicums involved too, so I'm hoping it will be a pretty pragmatic, and not dogmatic, approach to business.

My wife is studying to be a teacher right now, but between high school and college she worked her way up to be a sous chef at a pretty good restaurant, so she can run a kitchen competently, but she has absolutely no patience or enjoyment for all the boring business s*** I think is fascinating.   
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: Joe Sr. on June 05, 2012, 03:11:18 PM
Finance was/is the most valuable part of my MBA experience.

IMO, regardless of the business at the end of the day you're dealing with income, expense and debt coverage, so the ability to comfortably work with numbers is important.

That said, I had a dual concentration so you could probably do a finance/marketing concentration and get the best of both worlds.
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: tubercle on June 06, 2012, 01:26:37 AM
Finance.

 I got management but finance is more desirable and the knowlege learned will spill over into your personal life as well.
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: nateo on July 05, 2012, 08:10:20 PM
Well I got accepted to the program, so I'm almost a grad student! Would anyone be interested in me posting my class notes as I go through the program? I might throw them up on my blog as they're not super pertinent to brewing, though I know of lot of people who want to "go pro" don't have a formal biz background, so I dunno.
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: tschmidlin on July 06, 2012, 06:51:09 AM
I would stick them in your blog, but post a link here when you update it.  Best of both worlds. :)
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: redbeerman on July 13, 2012, 04:06:16 PM
Finance was/is the most valuable part of my MBA experience.

IMO, regardless of the business at the end of the day you're dealing with income, expense and debt coverage, so the ability to comfortably work with numbers is important.

That said, I had a dual concentration so you could probably do a finance/marketing concentration and get the best of both worlds.

I have an MBA with a concentration in finance and marketing.  Both play a large role in any business.  Finance helps you keep your ducks in a row and with the business plan and marketing helps with demographic research, business plan, product placement, logistics, advertising, market research, competitive analysis, etc.  Having a bachelors in engineering doesn't hurt either. ;)
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: nateo on July 13, 2012, 04:08:46 PM
I ended up not needing as many foundation courses as I thought I would, so it's more feasible to do a dual concentration in a reasonable time-frame now. Finance and Marketing were the two I was having trouble picking between, but now it looks like I won't have to.
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: nateo on August 20, 2012, 09:03:41 PM
First day of class is tomorrow. Super excited but nervous. School is going to eat into my AHA forum time, but I'm hoping to be able to get notes up on my blog (or I'll probably make a second blog for class notes.)

I'm taking a few courses that might be of interest to people looking to 'go pro,' including marketing, accounting, and quantitative decision-making.
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 20, 2012, 09:33:30 PM
Good luck. 

I thought that going back to school would reduce the amount of beer I drank and help me get back into shape, but then I found out that they gave us free beer and pizza as a social mixer after class...

Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: nateo on September 07, 2012, 11:52:52 PM
Finance was/is the most valuable part of my MBA experience.

I think you're right. It's already completely changed the way I think about my personal finances.
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: Joe Sr. on September 08, 2012, 12:01:32 AM
Glad to hear it.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: nateo on September 08, 2012, 12:56:06 AM
I realized that just checking my bank account every couple weeks isn't exactly the best way to manage my finances. Once I applied some basic accounting practices to my finances, I realized I had no idea how wrong I was about how much money I was spending on some things, and how little on others.
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: redbeerman on September 11, 2012, 04:58:43 PM
I realized that just checking my bank account every couple weeks isn't exactly the best way to manage my finances. Once I applied some basic accounting practices to my finances, I realized I had no idea how wrong I was about how much money I was spending on some things, and how little on others.

Funny how that is!  You can't control what you don't measure.  Glad to see it's paying off already!
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: tschmidlin on September 17, 2012, 05:27:22 AM
I realized that just checking my bank account every couple weeks isn't exactly the best way to manage my finances. Once I applied some basic accounting practices to my finances, I realized I had no idea how wrong I was about how much money I was spending on some things, and how little on others.
That kind of thing should be taught in high school.
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: tygo on September 17, 2012, 10:35:48 AM
I realized that just checking my bank account every couple weeks isn't exactly the best way to manage my finances. Once I applied some basic accounting practices to my finances, I realized I had no idea how wrong I was about how much money I was spending on some things, and how little on others.
That kind of thing should be taught in high school.

It should.  I'm pretty sure it's taught here.  It wasn't when I was in high school.
Title: Re: Free MBA, what concentration would be most useful in the industry?
Post by: nateo on September 17, 2012, 11:29:08 AM
I had one home-ec class in 8th grade where we learned how to balance a check book, fill out a W2, file taxes, etc., but we never went over any kind of money management. From talking to others about home-ec, that course was unusually practical. I know a lot of people with decent, even good incomes that are always broke, and I'm pretty sure ignorance of how money works is mostly to blame.