Not all MBA Aspirants choose Happiness as a factor for Business School Ranking but if you ask MBA Alumni about one aspect of MBA programs that would have added greater value in Business School ranking, they would immediately say – Happiness.
Robert Prentice, professor of business law at the McCombs School of Business had mentioned about Happiness as a parameter for Business School ranking in this 2009 article.
“Any sensible person would rather be happy than rich, although many people often confuse the two—business students among them. Those who choose to attend business school on the assumption that an M.B.A. will help them change jobs, make more money, and therefore be happier are very likely misinformed”
Princeton Wordnet Defines Happiness as a state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
Webster Defines Happiness as a state of well-being and contentment
See the common words there – Well-being and Contentment.
MBAs are not known to be content. They are ambitious and driven. They set goals on a regular basis, achieve them and create better goals. It is the constant goal setting and focus that makes them successful but are they ever in a state of well-being and contentment.
They might be, momentarily.
A better question is - Can they improve their state of well-being?
It seems that they can:
1) After Basic Needs – Purpose
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, after realizing the fundamental needs, people strive to reach the next level. For MBAs, the need would be somewhere between Esteem and Self-Actualization. Getting into a top MBA program is part of our need to get the respect of our peers and others in the community. Earning higher salary builds our confidence. But true happiness or self-actualization can come from reaching the top level.
Unfortunately, Post-MBA Salary growth after 10-15 or 20 years becomes irrelevant. What drives MBAs after 10 years is their purpose.
The purpose for Steve Jobs (although not an MBA) was to “put a dent in the universe”. He accomplished that by introducing innovative products to the market. What drive a Senior Executive might not be the Bonus at the end of the year but the problems that he solved, the reputation and respect that he earned and the legacy he leaves.
2)Spending Money on others
Business Schools are doing a great service to humanity by using community service as a key component in MBA Admissions. Aspirants who never intend to help others are forced to think about Community service. This not only helps MBA Aspirants with Admissions but creates a habit for happiness.
In this amazing Ted Talk At TEDxCambridge, Michael Norton shares fascinating research on how money can, indeed buy happiness -- when you don't spend it on yourself.
3) Daily Tasks
OK, I have figured out my purpose and I am ready to participate in community service. Now how should I do Business school research?
Aspirants who are using MBA as a tool to switch job functions have to be careful when choosing post-MBA jobs. Ask Alumni who made the switch about the daily tasks in that job function. We have heard first-hand accounts of terrible dissatisfaction with post-MBA jobs, mainly due to lack of knowledge on what the daily tasks were. What you see in paper might not be the real tasks that you have to do.
For instance one MBA switched from IT Technical Function to IT consulting after his MBA. You know what he did for 1 year? Read emails of client companies and create summaries – A job that a high school student can do without an MBA.
The Journey is important than the destination but if the $50000/Year that you invested in MBA leads you to jobs with little creativity or problem solving skills, the Post-MBA Salary growth will have no relevance.
4) Be Flexible
You had a clear post-MBA job in mind. You wrote about it in essays and affirmed about it in Interviews. But on working in that field, you realized that the post-MBA job was not meaningful. Maybe the job market was down and you were forced to choose a different job function(Read Switching Industries after MBA – Not Easy!) . But soon you found happiness in that new job.
Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness says that our "psychological immune system" lets us feel truly happy even when things don't go as planned.
So Happiness might be in the new job that you accidentally chose or the new post-MBA job function that you have chosen during the course of the MBA program.
Don’t blindly follow the ROI in Business School Ranking. Contact Alumni and learn every aspect (Career Path, Daily Tasks, Work Environment and Satisfaction) of the Post-MBA Job Function, Industry and Company. Be open to the idea of choosing a different career path once you have experienced the courses and experiential learning in the MBA program.
2019 MBA Research Guide - Choose your MBA
F1GMAT's Comprehensive MBA Research Guide will teach you how to select MBA programs through a bottom-up approach.
Articulating your Post-MBA Goals and Career Path is the FIRST step. Which program will give you that hike in Salary, Switch in Career, Change in Location or Job Satisfaction?
We cover them all through our extensive analysis.
+ How to Choose the Best MBA Program: Factors to Consider
Define Post-MBA Goals
Pick your Path: Generalize or Specialize
Use Moral Algebra Method
Use Multi-Attribute Utility Theory
Understand the Top 5 Risks
Measure MBA Career Service Team's Effectiveness
Use Bookending to Calculate MBA Admission Chance
Use Net Present Value to Calculate MBA Return on Investment
Don't Fall for the Mere Exposure Effect
Best Practices to find the truth in MBA Information Session or MBA Tour
Comprehensive MBA Research Guide: Includes Top MBA Programs by 19 Specializations:
+ General Management
+ Operations Management
+ Supply Chain Management
+ Luxury Management
+ Information Systems
+ Hospitality Management
+ Leadership Development
+ Military &
+ Top MBA Program Ranking
Top 20 MBA Programs - Tuition Fee (2018)
Top 31 MBA Programs in United States – Total Cost & Salary (2017)
Top 60 MBA – GMAT and GPA (Average & Median)
Top 20 European MBA Programs - Tuition Fee, Total Cost & Salary
Top 20 European MBA Programs (Based on Actual Salary Increase)
Top 20 European MBA Programs (Short-term return on investment)
Top 20 Affordable European MBA Programs
Top 10 MBA in UK – Salary & Fee (2018)
Top MBA Destinations Based on Happiness Index
Top MBA Destinations based on Innovation Index
Top 10 MBA Job Markets based on Cost of living and Purchasing Power
Top MBA Destination: By Economy
+Comparisons - Top MBA Programs
Wharton vs. Columbia MBA (2018)
MIT vs. Stanford MBA (2017)
Haas vs. Ross MBA (2018)
Kellogg vs Ross MBA
Booth vs Wharton MBA
MIT Sloan vs Tuck MBA
IMD vs. INSEAD MBA (2017)
IIMA vs. ISB (2017)
+ MBA in France (2018)
Top Industries in France
Top MBA Programs in France
+ MBA in the UK (2018)
Top Industries in the UK
Top MBA Programs in the UK
Scholarships in the UK