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2013PETS阅读:商学院炮轰MBA
Mariana Zanetti had been working as a product manager for Shell (RDSA) in Buenos Aires when her husband got a promotion to a new job in Madrid. One of her colleagues, a Harvard Business School graduate, suggested that the Argentina native go to business school for her MBA while in Spain.
丈夫升职调任马德里从事新的工作以前,阿根廷本地人玛丽安娜?萨内蒂一直在布宜诺斯艾利斯担任壳牌公司(Shell)的产品经理。一位从哈佛商学院毕业(Harvard Business School)的同事这时建议她,到了西班牙之后应该去商学院求学,攻读MBA学位。

She took his advice, enrolling in the one-year MBA program at Instituto de Empresa (IE) Business School In Madrid. Zanetti borrowed money from her family to pay for the degree. And when she graduated in 2003, it took her a full year to land a job as a product manager at a Spanish version of Home Depot, at exactly the same salary she was earning three years earlier, without the MBA.
萨内蒂采纳了那位男同事的建议,在马德里一家名为企业学院(Instituto de Empresa)的商学院报名学习为期一年的MBA课程。她向家人借钱付了这个学位要负担的学费。2003年,萨内蒂从商学院毕业,然后花了整整一年时间才找到一份和自己三年前没有MBA学位时收入完全相同的工作,在一家类似美国建材家居零售商家得宝(Home Depot)的西班牙公司任产品经理。

For years, Zanetti says, she wanted to write a book on her experience but didn't out of fear that it would hurt her career, which included stints as a product manager for Saint-Gobain and ResMed, a medical supplier. Now that she has left the corporate world, Zanetti says, she can tell the truth about the MBA degree.
萨内蒂说,这些年来,她希望能写一本书,讲述自己的亲身经历。但由于害怕影响自己的职业生涯,比如可能在应聘建材业巨头圣戈班集团(Saint-Gobain)和医药供应商瑞思迈(ResMed)的产品经理期间被视为职业污点,萨内蒂并没有将这个愿望付诸行动。如今,她说既然自己已经离开了那个企业圈子,就可以道出MBA学位的真相。

Her take, in a self-published book called The MBA Bubble: It's just not worth the investment. "There is an education bubble around these kind of degrees," she says. "I don't think they have much impact on people's careers. There are exceptions, of course, in management consulting and investment banking, where the MBA is always valued. But for the rest, it's a nice-to-have degree. It's not that it is harmful to you, but every market expert I interviewed for the book says that what is needed today is specialized knowledge and skills, and an MBA is generalist training."

萨内蒂给这部自行出版的个人作品命名为《MBA泡沫:并非货真价实的投资》( The MBA Bubble: It's just not worth the investment)。她解释说:“它是与这类学位有关的一种教育界泡沫。我认为这些学位对大家的职业道路没有多少影响。当然也有例外,MBA在管理咨询业和投资银行界一直是价值不菲的金字招牌。可在其他领域,这个学位只是锦上添花。它对人没害处。但我为写这本书采访的所有市场专家都说,今天需要的是专业的知识与技术,而MBA是培训通才的。”

Zanetti, now 40 and living in France, says it's not like the degree had no value. "I met wonderful people. I met brilliant professors. I learned some interesting business concepts that gave me a global vision about business. It just wasn't worth the cost in time and money. MBAs get high salaries, but the degree has nothing to do with it. I was hired because of my previous work experience at Shell."
萨内蒂如今住在法国,已届不惑之年。她坦言,巴黎的生活和毫无价值的学位截然不同,“我和一些非凡的人见面,还见了一些有头脑的教授。我在这儿学到了一些别有深意的商业概念,它们让我对商业有了全球的视角。不值得为学位投入那些时光,付出那些金钱。MBA毕业的人可以拿到高薪,但他们的薪水和这个学位无关。有公司能聘请我,那是因为我以前有在壳牌的工作经历。”

She is even advising people to apply to a top school, get an acceptance, and then decline to go. Put the fact on your resume and Zanetti thinks it will have nearly the same value as going to an MBA program for two years. "It's like being an Academy Award nominee instead of an Academy Award winner," she writes. "But the difference between the two is mortgaging our future and accepting the risk of getting stuck with a monumental student loan." When an employer asks why you didn't go to Kellogg or Yale for your MBA, she advises, just tell them, "I preferred to use that time and money to develop strategic skills to benefit my employers' competitive advantage…."
萨内蒂甚至建议人们申请顶级学府,争取高等学府录取,然后再主动拒绝入学。如此一来,这份求学经历便会成为个人简历的一段真实记录。萨内蒂认为,这其中的价值几乎与学习两年的MBA课程不相上下。她在书中写道:“就像是获得了奥斯卡金像奖提名却没拿到奖项一样。得到入学认可后去上学和没上学的区别在于,前者是将我们的未来做了抵押,同时还要承担背负巨额学生贷款的风险。”萨内蒂建议,如果有雇主问起为什么没去读美国西北大学凯洛格商学院(Kellogg)或者耶鲁大学的MBA,只需要回答:“我更愿意利用念MBA的时间和资金开发有战略意义的技术,它们会有利于今后雇用我的公司占据竞争优势……”

Of course, Zanetti's complaint about the MBA is hardly new. It falls neatly into the growing genre of anti-higher education tirades that decry the rising cost of education and the lack of any guarantees. But what makes her MBA bashing somewhat different is that she has a degree from a prominent European business school and has decided to write a 232-page book trying to convince others to pass on the MBA, the most successful degree in the education industry in the last 60 to 70 years.
当然,萨内蒂对MBA的这种怨言并不少见。它们与一些越来越抵制高等教育的反对人士不谋而合,那些反对派谴责高等学府一方面不断提高教育成本,一方面缺少对学生未来就业的任何保障。而萨内蒂对MBA的抨击与他们有所不同。差别在于,她拥有一家欧洲名牌商学院的学位,却又决定写一本232页的书,设法利用这本书说服他人放弃过去60-70年来教育业经营最成功的学位——MBA。

She believes that other business graduates would fess up to the same conclusion, if not for the fact that their views would endanger their careers. "There are few people criticizing MBA programs because it makes no sense to say anything bad against their brands," Zanetti says. "I will not make a lot of friends with this book, but I won't make enemies, either."
她认为,如果不是出于表露反对立场会危及职业发展这个现实,其他商学院的毕业生也会坦率地表达与自己相同的结论。“很少有人批评MBA课程,因为说什么对自身学历品牌不利的话没有任何意义,”萨内蒂说。“这本书不会让我交到多少朋友,可也不会给我树敌。”

Asked if she thinks her opinion would apply to MBAs from Harvard, Stanford and other elite business schools, Zanetti says she has no doubt. "The same would apply to Harvard or whatever school because Harvard is three times more expensive," she insists. "The benefits would have cost much more. It breaks a tie if you're competing with someone who doesn't have the degree, but people who have scarce skills an employer needs will get the job over you."
问起是否觉得自己对学位的看法同样适用于哈佛、斯坦福(Stanford)和其他顶级商学院的MBA,萨内蒂回答说,毫无疑问是一样的。她坚称:“哈佛或者其他任何一家学院,因为哈佛的学费比一般的还高三倍。得到这座学府的光环需要付出的代价大得多。假如你和一些没有学位的人竞争,学位会成为你打破僵局的决定性筹码。可要是有些人虽然没有MBA学位,却具备雇主需要的某些稀缺技能,他们就会战胜你,赢得工作机会。”

Zanetti says she harbored these doubts and concerns about the degree, especially after being unemployed for a year after graduation. But she largely kept them to herself until leaving the corporate world a little more than a year ago. "I always wanted to have my own business and to teach," she adds. "I didn't intend to write this book."
萨内蒂透露自己以前就对MBA学位怀有这些猜疑和担忧。从商学院毕业后,她有一年时间失业赋闲,那期间她的疑虑更重了。可她把基本上都这类心思都深埋于心,直到离开商界一年出头之后才吐露了心声。“我一直希望经营自己的事业,拿起教鞭,”萨内蒂接着透露。“我以前并没打算写这本书。”

Then, she published an article in France about her ideas. The opinion piece seemed to resonate with a lot of people, so she wrote The MBA Bubble, which will be published in France next year and was self-published in English this week. She has built a website to promote the book, but she does not openly identify herself as an IE MBA. "My school is not a secret," says Zanetti, who lists her diploma on her LinkedIn profile.
后来,她用法语发表了一篇文章,表达自己对MBA的看法。这篇评论文章似乎得到了很多人的共鸣,所以萨内蒂后来又写了“MBA泡沫”这本书。本周,这部作品的英文版已经问世,法语版将在明年出版。她建了一个网站为这本书做宣传,但并没有公开披露自己获得企业学院MBA学位的教育背景。“我读的学校不是秘密。”萨内蒂对此解释,她已经在个人LinkedIn简历页面列出了自己的学历证书。

Her primary arguments against the degree? It is oversold by business schools with slick marketing campaigns. Most people enter MBA programs without really understanding the limits of the degree. The education costs too much and delivers too little value. And graduates are often saddled with so much debt that it limits their ability to follow their true passions. They take jobs they don't want simply to pay off their student loans. Even the value of the network a graduate acquires with the degree is exaggerated.
萨内蒂主要有哪些反对MBA学位的看法?她认为,在一些圆滑的营销活动推助下,商学院过分自卖自夸。大多数人修习MBA时并没有真正认识到这种学位的局限性:教育成本太高,产生的价值又太少。这些得到MBA学位的毕业生常常因此负债累累,这类沉重的债务包袱又限制了他们追求心中真正理想的能力。到头来,他们不得不为了偿还学生贷款从事自己并不喜欢的工作。甚至一位MBA毕业生获得学位后拥有的人脉网络也掺了水分,夸大了价值。

She's unimpressed, if downright skeptical, of data that shows MBAs get average increases ovetheir pre-MBA base salaries of between 120% to 46%. And those averages are for all business schools, not just the prestige brand-name places. Zanetti is also skeptical of surveys that show widespread satisfaction with the degree. One recent survey, based on the opinions of 4,135 MBA alumni, including 963 members of the class of 2011, found that three out of four alumni of the class of 2011 with jobs reported that they could not have obtained their job without their graduate management education.
有数据显示,得到MBA学位后平均收入会比得到学位以前增加46-120%。而且这是指所有商学院毕业生的平均薪资水平,并不是取样于那些名牌学府的精英。面对这样的数据,就算萨内蒂还没有彻头彻尾地怀疑,起码也是无动于衷。而一些显示毕业生普遍满意MBA学位的调查确实引起萨内蒂怀疑。最近一项调查采访了4135位MBA校友,其中2011年毕业的受访者就有963人。调查结果发现,每四位已经找到工作的2011年毕业生之中就有三人表示,如果没有接受这种管理学位的教育,就不可能找到工作。

"Everybody is doing it and everybody still goes," Zanetti sighs. "They take for granted that it is a good investment. Business schools manipulate the statistics.... In France, one school hired a company to make fake [positive] comments in Internet forums. These schools have this university halo around them and talk about the labor market as if they are impartial, but they are not. They continue selling things that do not have value because it has profit."
“大家依然如故,趋之若鹜,”萨内蒂感叹。“他们想当然地觉得这就是项不错的投资。商学院在玩数字游戏……在法国,一家商学院会聘请公司在互联网论坛上发表正面评论。这些学院顶着自己所在大学的光环,谈到人才市场的时候简直好像自己是解决就业问题不可或缺的功臣,可事实并非如此。他们还在兜售那些一文不值的东西,因为那么做可以让他们财源滚滚。”

Zanetti says her experience at IE was not satisfying. "Business schools don't treat you as a customer," she says. "Applicants should not forget that they are customers and are buying something. We were even insulted. One day we were in a meeting room and the professional career director said to us, 'Get out of here you scum.' It was funny to him. I told him, 'What's so funny? I am paying your salary.'"
萨内蒂对自己在企业学院的求学经历并不满意。“商学院没有把学生视为客户,”她说。“申请入学的人不该忘记自己的身份就是客户,学MBA就是在买东西。我们甚至还受到了侮辱。有一天,我们来到一间会议室,那里有位专职的职业规划管理主管对大家说:‘滚出去,你们这帮渣滓。’他这席话可真够逗的,我当即回敬他:‘干嘛开这种玩笑?你拿的薪水可是我给的。’”

She says that IE's director of career management also told students it was really hard to change industries with an MBA. "Yet they use it as a marketing claim," she points out. But it is really not true. You really have to fight to change industries. I did change industry but in the same job function."
她说,企业学院的职业管理主管还告诉学生,很难改变各行各业对MBA学位的看法的。“可他们用这作为一种营销宣传,”萨内蒂指出。“其实根本不是这样。你确实不得不为了转变业内看法而奋斗,我也改变了业内的成见,不过是利用同样的工作职能做到的。”

Zanetti estimates that she uses no more than 20% to 30% of what she learned in her one-year MBA program. As for networking, she shrugs. "You spend time with great people, but you can spend time with great people in many places. It is not unique. You can build your own brand in less time than it would take to pay back your loans."
萨内蒂估计,自己那一年商学院学习MBA期间掌握的知识最多只用上了20-30%。至于人际关系网,萨内蒂耸耸肩不置可否:“你花时间和一些精英打交道,可你在很多地方都能花时间结交一些了不起的人。这没什么特别的。有时间还读MBA的贷款,还不如用来打造自己的品牌呢,而且需要花的时间更少。”