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Thinking about leaving the agency world. Will an MBA help if I’d like to eventually get a high ranking job client side?

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Strategy Director 1 is right. Even if you don’t “need” it, clients look for that sort of credential. Additionally, having worked both sides of the table, I can say that being in an agency really enhances one’s sense of urgency, which many client folks lack, but it will also mean that you are seen as more of a “comms” person and less of an operations/finance based person, which is ultimately what clients spend most (but certainly not all) their time on. An MBA will help round you out, and give you a license to “reinvent” yourself. However, I’d recommend that if you get an MBA, get it from a school where the reward is worth the effort - not from an online only school. It should be a credential vs just a certificate.

Of course, all this varies based on the caliber of client you are thinking about & how high you want to shoot for.

likehelpful

If you want to be a client (CMO or VP brand marketing) most big brands require them or prefer them. Even if they don’t ask for it, many of the candidates you’re going against will have MBAs.

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agree with @SD1

The other thing to consider is the company you’re applying to. Old school CPG companies like P&G, Unilever, General Mills, 3M will require them.

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start ups (who ironically often lack the operational bench strength of bigger more conservative co’s) aren’t typically choosing their cmo based on mba style credentials—they’re more interested in what you’ve done & how you can help them

likehelpful

@CSO - What about the brands in between?
We know the blue chip packaged goods brands always will, and the teeny tech startups may not. But what about startups-gone-or-going-public?

Saw a job post for Airbnb the other day with “MBA preferred.” Imagine all the fast-growing hot brands, the Uber’s, Casper’s, Warby Parker’s, Headspaces are all trying to level up.

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CSO1: which is fantastic till you realize you can't actually operationalize any of your solutions bc they understand enough to know they probably need a marketer but not enough to allocate an actually functional budget to marketing. not that I'm a lil ptsd about this or anything. *twitch*

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If you are a GSD you are probably more skilled than 99% of the people in the marketing/strategy departement of the company you will apply with. So an alternative to spending two years on an MBA would be to go for a position a step lower than you are currently aiming at and spend two years working your way up.

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Yes

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MBA will most likely be a waste of your time and money. Especially if you have over 10 years exp.

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@strategydirector1: when they’re going public the i-bankers groom them to clean up their optics.

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I think it will be helpful. But it really depends on the job you want and the kind of company you want to work for. In my experience, while we spend all day talking about advertising, brand managers and marketing directors (our clients) so TONS of other stuff that’s not directly related to advertising - pricing strategy, channel planning, distribution, upstream product development, and tons of number crunching for sales forecasts, sales reporting etc. if you’re going in house to oversee just advertising, probably don’t need the mba

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Make sure that you understand opportunity cost. A typical MBA can run you 150 or 200,000 after all expenses and it depends on if you’re going to take time off of work or do the part-time route.

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Depends what you want. MBAs definitely help but some bigger companies require it (little less for insight roles). If you want to eventually move to a high ranking role in a big company, you'll still need that MBA eventually. Also, you'll have to be ok with moving to a much smaller title to make the transition for larger companies. Client-side Associate is akin to Director on the agency side. Much smaller companies won't care as much about MBAs and you can easily be their head of marketing but they'll pay significantly less $, you'll have little if any room for promotion and you'll most likely be expected to fulfill sales duties as well (yuck).

likehelpful

Have you ever met a client...

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Depends on the role you want client side and how much of a stretch it would be for you based on your experience. Do you have category experience in your work history that you’d like to leverage to a client side role?

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What roles should planners look at client side if they like letters better than dumb numbers? Seriously.

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I think its helpful for client side. Ppl like papers it gives them comfort

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100%

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What about insights roles? I don’t want anything to do with finance

Yes

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