Power Pointers Make Cake

I like to bust on MBAs. In general, they lean too heavily on books, and often end up sounding like it when they write and speak. What is worse, MBAs never learn to trust their gut–a key to success in advertising, a semi-rational science, at best. There is a growing rate of programs, like the ones found on the online MBA rankings, so this means more graduates in the future. Lucky for them, corporate institutions don’t feel the way I do about them.

USA TODAY: Salaries and signing bonuses of fresh graduates took a double-digit jump in 2005 to a record average $106,000 and signaled an end to the “perfect storm” of sour news this decade that included the dot-com bust, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and a subsequent recession, said Dave Wilson, president of the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) that oversees the test for aspiring graduate students in business.
Corporate recruiters had disappeared from campuses. But, Wilson reports, “The MBA is back as the currency of intellectual capital.”
More than 100,000 MBA degrees are awarded each year in the USA alone. That’s likely to rise. Prospective students who took the Graduate Management Admission Test rose to 228,000 in 2005 from 213,000 in 2004. And this year has started strong, Wilson says.
There are 1,500 schools worldwide offering MBAs, a number poised to explode, Quacquarelli says, as programs in China, India and Russia take off.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I’m with you on your MBA thoughts. Even apart from advertising, any time I meet a business person who really impresses me they are sans MBA. And whenever I’ve met someone who rambles on in meetings but can’t get anything done, they’ve got one. I don’t know why some companies are back to thinking this degree is so valuable. Put someone with a few years of hand-to-hand business combat on my team and they’ll give that MBA grad with the sense of entitlement a healthy dose of whoopass.

  2. David Perks says:

    I agree with all the comments about MBAs. I’ve wasted more time in meetings listening to someone with all their notes neatly tucked into a folder emblazoned with the logo of their second alma mater than I care to remember. One thing an MBA is good for, though, is regurgitating what someone else said, yet making everyone else believe it was your idea. The longer I stay in the business world, the more apparent it becomes that this is an essential skill for upward mobility.