You think you want a business education? Do you know what getting an MBA entails, or why you want an MBA in the first place?
In March 2017, I was happily working in Tokyo as a market researcher. By April, our office had been closed down and I was out of a job. Shit.
With no immediate job prospects, and no real reason to stay in Japan, all options were on the table.
My savings were alright, and it looked like I'd get paid unemployment, which was good, but I needed to start making some strategic moves. Find another job? Leave and go back to Canada? Sell my body in the seedy part of town? So many choices!
Maybe it was time to take that MBA and get the professional business education I had always wanted.
I spent that weekend with my friend J. Daniels and together we made lots of great and totally-not-regrettable decisions. I won't go into great detail, but between trips to the fried dumpling place downstairs and my local bar, I researched what an MBA in Tokyo would cost for tuition.
MBA Tuition Breakdown
An MBA education isn't cheap. Beyond basic expenses like rent and groceries, the following universities around me offered 2 year MBA programs with the following tuitions (USD):
Plus 8% Tax
Plus 8% Tax
Plus 8% Tax
When compared to Stanford's (now record-setting) $185k MBA program, the cost in Tokyo may seem paltry, but there are other factors to take into account.
Just with bare minimum expenses, I am looking at $23,400/year in essentials before I pay for tuition, books, etc...
The simple answer is that a university business education can be an investment in your future. You can project increased earning potential based on that, and taking on some debt to cover the process can be acceptable an acceptable risk to some people. However, when you run the numbers and look at the overall talent market, it may not work out the way you expected.
In my case, I couldn't justify it. Let's look at why.
More than anything else, though, the means of distribution have become democratized, and educational institutions no longer hold the only keys to the vault.
Before the internet, you actually had to go to a library and find physical books to learn about a new topic (I know, right?). Fast forward to today, and all the information of 100,000 libraries is right at your finger tips. Sure, some of it is behind paywalls, and there's certainly some crap out there, but if you do your due diligence everything you need is available somewhere.
Institutional education has become bloated. The service being marketed and sold to hundreds of thousands of young people is valuable but is it unique? Nope.
The cost of getting an MBA in Tokyo at this stage in life looked daunting and I couldn't justify the investment. I believe in the power of bootstrapping anyways, so when Donny and I decided on the idea of a Real World MBA, I was immediately sold on it. An accessible business education can benefit anyone, so I seek to build and document it here for you.
2. Here's the special sauce: the document where all learning is recorded! (Check tabs at the bottom for months)
I still live in Tokyo. In fact, I work in marketing, and I deal with the ins and outs of corporate business as a consultant everyday. I will learn how to build something from zero this year as part of the course, and I 100% believe the knowledge required to be successful is there if you are willing to track it down. Let's learn and execute together and make this project a success.
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