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Should I pursue an overseas MBA?

Question :

I have been working in the government as a permanent civil servant for 4 years. I got around 30K per month and get a salary rise every year. It sounds pretty nice actually.

But I consider myself more a business person and the government job is quite boring for me. I got accepted from a MBA in Canada (Schulich to be exact). I have my BBA in HKUST. I would like to pursue a management career in a MNC. In order to make a better informed decision, I would seek the advice from all of you out there. Is the risk of quit a job for an MBA worth taking? As it does cost a lot of money. And is there any other way that I can realize my aspiration?

Posted by Vic on Monday, 01 Apr 2013

Comments :

Sidney Yuen - Career Doctor

Posted Sunday 21st April 2013 07:43:00 PM


Dear Vic From your posting, I assume that this is your first job when you graduated from university. It has been 4 years and you realize that, except the salary, you would be happier to work in a more dynamic fast paced business world. In general, if you stay more than 5 years in Civil service, the chance of leaving will be small as the complacency and comfort ability outweigh any external opportunities and uncertainties. I would like you to write down on a sheet of paper about what you have learnt during the time with your job so far, and map this learning to what you will do differently in another context. For example, if you learned about negotiating, how would this skill be useful in a business environment? You also need to understand what truly motivates you to be happy. What can the private sector offer you that your current job can’t? A friend of mine has been a civil servant for over 10 years. Every time we meet, he always talks about changing his career, and he is still talking about it even as he is entering his 18th year this year. In other words, how committed are you to step out of your comfort zone? Let’s get one thing straight, you do not need a MBA to get a management career in a MNC. Or, put it in another way, MNCs are not looking for MBAs, they are recruiting talent who can contribute to their goals; May that be sales, marketing, operations, logistics, finance, HR etc. You need to understand what they need, then you need to be specific on what you can do and want. Which position are you looking for? What type of MNC? What value would you bring? What is your vision? When you said you are more of a business person, what do you mean? Would you take a position with less salary in order to change your career? Who is your dream employer? And why? These questions are meant to explore your “true north”. Once you have a clear direction, then you stand a better chance to achieve your goals. Steve Job, ex CEO of Apple once said:” If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” Good luck!

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