Graduation Musings and the Value of an MBA

June 25, 2013
by Anna Lucia Roybal

Making my way to work on a Saturday isn’t high on my bucket list.  In fact, I don’t think working on my day off is on there at all.  I love my job, but I’m only human. 

However, this past Saturday was an exception.  My “job” was to help the class of 2013 get ready for graduation, and I couldn’t have been happier as I helped them with their regalia.  Their excitement in the day was infectious, and you couldn’t help but get caught up in the momentum.   

Not to make their big day about me, but it was personally rewarding to see this amazing group of people accomplish this milestone.  I remember talking to them at the beginning of their MBA program research, and helping them through the anxiety-ridden summer before they started classes.  Flash forward two years, there they stood…ready to take on the world.  Of course, it was graduation day so there wasn’t anyone standing around saying, “Wow, that wasn’t worth it – there goes two years of my life that I’ll never get back.”   What I saw was a confident group of folks who had grown, personally and professionally, in so many ways over the past two years.  

This moment reminded me of an article in the GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) newsletter.  I’ll confess that their graphic initially drew me in to the three dimensions (personal, professional, and financial) of MBA worth – big, flashy numbers get me every time.  It was amazing to read the averages based on 11 years of MBA alumni survey results.  If this was a question on the Family Feud, I probably wouldn’t have answered the following statistics correctly:

  • 93% agree that the degree was personally rewarding
  • 86% say that their promotion came faster than or when they expected
  • 4 years is the average time to recoup full return on investment.  
For those of you still in the research phase of deciding if an MBA is the right path, you may also be asking if the investment is worth it.  While this is a personal question whose answer varies from person to person, I believe that our recent graduates, as well as the rest of our Rady alumni, would answer that with a resounding and completely unbiased, “Yes!”  

Anna Lucia Roybal is the Assistant Director of MBA Recruitment and Admissions at the Rady School of Management. A southern California girl through and through, Anna is a UCSD alumna – class of 2002. When she isn’t providing her calming presence in the fast-paced world of admissions.