5 Things an MBA Offers That You Can’t Get From Work Experience


5 Things an MBA Offers That You Can’t Get From Work Experience

Ah yes, the old-age debate of whether to spend 2 years pursuing an MBA, or to head straight into a career and work your way to the top. While there are different benefits for each, there’s no escaping the fact that there are definite skills, assets and trinkets of knowledge that can only be acquired through education.

That’s why in this article, we list 5 reasons why an MBA (in most cases), triumphs over work experience. Ready?

1. The ability to hear and learn from accomplished executives, presenters and guest speakers.

I was fortunate enough to attend a talk from the CEO of CPA, Alex Malley, at Kaplan Business School earlier this year. It was an absolute pleasure to hear about his incredible life, laden with success and mistakes. It was evident that their students got a wealth of information out of him. Here are a few quotes I managed to squeeze out of the attendees:

Kaplan Business School students hanging out with Alex Malley after his informative presentation

“The biggest thing which stood out to me was the encouragement to pursue your passions, and eliminate any fear or embarrassment that could hold you back – that you are in control of your choices and pursuits.”

“Attitude was another key point that I believe resonated with students – a reminder to use positive communication, smile and be friendly.”


These opportunities to hear and learn from the greats are a rare occurrence in most workplaces, but commonplace in tertiary schools and colleges. You’ll even get the opportunity to meet and greet with them, and hey – potentially even form a super-connection!

2. The opportunity to make lifelong friends and connections who will accomplish great things over their careers.

In a student environment, you are allowed (and even expected) to make mistakes. This allows a student to learn experientially.

MBA graduates talk about this one a lot. And I mean a LOT. If you’re committing 2 years to anything you’re bound to make a few friends along the way, but the bonds you form with your fellow students often end up becoming some of the most cherished relationships you’ll ever have.

Together, you and them both will likely go on to become successful in your respective specialties of business, and a strong network is built in the process. Even friends of their friends can potentially become invaluable contacts for you down the line.

3. Learning how to work together as a team under pressure in hypothetical environments.

The MBA in recent times have been revamped to include a whole selection of practical subjects that involve group work that simulate real-world scenarios. This is becoming increasingly important because great business leaders have to be able to know how to effectively apply theoretical knowledge to practical situations.

In the workplace, there is rarely any room for error. A lapse of judgement can cost you your job. However, in a student environment, you are allowed (and even expected) to make mistakes. This fosters personal development and gets you to learn from trial-and-error.

4. The chance to interact with professors who will really challenge you and your way of thinking.

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.”

– Carl Jung

For success to happen to you, you’re going to need to find and nurture a few good mentor relationships. Yes, even if you decide not to study.

Doing an MBA makes it all that much easier to find mentors whose job it is to dedicate time to guiding and supporting your quest for success. At a business school, there’s a good chance that you’ll meet a wide variety of lecturers and tutors. There may be a few who will be an influence on you in class, but who also go on to influence your success beyond your studies (given that you put in the effort to keep in touch with them).

Remember, “book-smart” people won’t ever get as far as those who also know how to be “people-smart”! Students learn how to build mentor relationships, and it’s one of their most powerful secret weapons.

5. Learning how to present like a professional.

You probably already know this but a big part of your success in business will depend on your ability to present. Not many people can do it well, and it is usually those who have had some sort of formal higher education that prosper when it comes to getting up to talk.

The MBA student population are particularly more speech-savvy than the general population, due to the number of opportunities they get to improve their presentations throughout the course. If taken proper advantage of, the MBA can train you to become a powerhouse behind the microphone. You’ll be surprised at how far, that alone can take you.


Still unsure about the MBA? Need more resources to help you make up your mind? Why not grab our prospectus? In the meantime, you can also check out our other articles:

Which MBA is Right for You?

5 Reasons to Study An MBA in 2015

At Kaplan Business School, our MBA programs are designed to create the business leaders of tomorrow. Our graduates have gone on to become entrepreneurs, directors and managers all across Australia and the globe.

Click here to find out more about our globally recognised MBA program, delivered online or on-campus, full-time and part-time. FEE-HELP approved.