Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Have you considered an MBA?
Thread poster: Anil Gidwani

Anil Gidwani  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 18:07
German to English
+ ...
Jan 29, 2009

The word MBA evokes many different images. A secure and successful career path, a cushy trajectory into the top echelons of the corporate world, a job away from the dust and grime of the trenches....

An image the MBA would generally never conjure up is.. that of a translator!

Nonetheless, when I picked up a copy of "The 10-day MBA" by Steven Silbiger, I was fascinated to find that many of the topics covered by an MBA are of immediate practical importance to a freelancer translator as well. And well might they be. After all, don't freelance translators belong to that the gritty group best symbolized by the MBA - the entrepreneur?

The 9 topics of a core MBA program according to this book -

Marketing (don't we all discuss this animatedly)
Ethics (numerous issues here, also discussed off and on)
Accounting (obviously important to all of us)
Organizational behavior (no. of employees in the organization = 1 )
Quantitative analysis (our source/target rate calculations and discussions)
Finance (a must for all professions)
Operations (Trados or DV?)
Economics (why rates differ across regions)
Strategy (overlooked but could be useful)

I wouldn't be inclined to undergo formal schooling in an MBA at this stage, but certainly find the book interesting enough to refer to often, and the curriculum fascinating enough to merit self-study.

If you had the chance, would you take up an MBA? How do you feel it would benefit you as a freelancer?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:37
English to German
+ ...
What for? Jan 29, 2009

Hi Anil,

a translator with an MBA doesn't make sense to me.
If clients are hesitant to pay a professional translator, how could they afford a translator with an MBA?

Best,
Aniello


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:37
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Makes total sense to me... but don't have the time! Jan 29, 2009

Anil Gidwani wrote:
If you had the chance, would you take up an MBA? How do you feel it would benefit you as a freelancer?


I think this makes total sense Anil. Very probably many people would not have the time to make an MBA, but if a young translator has a chance to do an MBA at the same time as some other MSc, it would be a good idea. We very often lack the ability to market and sell our services properly, or managing our backoffice and our taxes adequately, for that matter.

Besides, some solid business and financial know-how could eventually help build a company if you eventually get bored of just translating.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 08:37
English to Spanish
Yes Jan 29, 2009

I've been seriously considering studying either an MBA or a Master's Degree in Marketing (very similar programs, but not quite the same) at some point, so I might go for it a couple of years from now.

The problems are:
1) Such degrees are really expensive, and
2) Since I have no background in Economics, I worry that it might be too much for me...

[Edited at 2009-01-29 18:45 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 13:37
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Sometimes that's just what you need Jan 29, 2009

Aniello Scognamiglio wrote:
a translator with an MBA doesn't make sense to me.
If clients are hesitant to pay a professional translator, how could they afford a translator with an MBA?


Ah, but we've got some here on ProZ. One of them even has a Ph.D. from MIT, and he's a great translator. Maybe it's a cannon for hunting sparrows if you need a driver's license translated, but if I need a complex business plan for a startup involving state-of-the-art metallurgy technology, I can't see not hiring a translator like that who will understand every damned line of the document without stopping to catch his breath.

MBAs are a dime a dozen anyway and highly overrated sometimes. There are worlds of difference between a Pepperdine MBA and a Harvard one (though not what you might think). Given all the layoffs occurring these days, don't be surprised to greet a new horde of MBA translators in the next few years, who will be eager to take on the translation of restructuring plans, layoff notices, plans for cutting benefits and all the other corporate documentation with which business translators are blessed. At least I doubt they'll be selling themselves at two cents per word, and they might encourage a few to raise their games.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Craig Macdonald
United States
Local time: 07:37
French to English
+ ...
I have one Jan 29, 2009

I have an MBA, and it's from the top-rated MBA program at the time. I thought I would use it to move out of (or go higher up in) IT. When my fellow MBA students were getting job offers in 6 figures (US$), it became clear I could double my IT salary by taking such a job, but, like many jobs for attorneys, those jobs would involve working about 80 hours per week. So twice the salary for twice the hours. Heck I could have just kept the IT job and found a second job and been as well off!

Now I translate, and the MBA has only minor direct application to running my one-person business. It's more valuable to me for all the concepts and vocabulary I learned. Now I understand financial accounting, annual reports, the financial pages in newspapers, marcoeconomics, banking, marketing, business plans, organizational behavior, and so forth.

But the cost of that form of education was huge. If you don't need the diploma or those three letters on your resume, I'd suggest getting those parts of that education that you want through self-study.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Miroslav Jeftic  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:37
English to Serbian
+ ...
Yup Jan 29, 2009

Few years ago I actually entered an MBA course, with the focus on the area of International Marketing. And dropped out after a couple of years; I guess I never liked marketing too much.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Master's in Marketing Jan 29, 2009

ariffo wrote:

I've been seriously considering studying either an MBA or a Master's Degree in Marketing (very similar programs, but not quite the same) at some point, so I might go for it a couple of years from now.


[Edited at 2009-01-29 18:45 GMT]


Before becoming a freelance translator, I worked in Marketing. In order to be hired for that marketing position my BS in Business Administration and the rest of my working experience wasn't enough, so I studied a Master's in Marketing that got me the job.

Now, as a translator, I think some clients do appreciate my business and marketing education and of course, my working experience, and thus, pay for it. Probably, only the master’s (without the working experience) would also open some doors for me, but I’m not 100% sure about that.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
MBAs Jan 29, 2009

[quote]Kevin Lossner wrote:

Aniello Scognamiglio wrote:

MBAs are a dime a dozen anyway and highly overrated sometimes. There are worlds of difference between a Pepperdine MBA and a Harvard one (though not what you might think).


What do you mean with this? Is there anything wrong with a Pepperdine MBA???


Direct link Reply with quote
 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 13:37
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Pepperidge Farms Jan 29, 2009

Penelope Ausejo wrote:
What do you mean with this? Is there anything wrong with a Pepperdine MBA???


That was the nickname my professors used to have for the institution.

The degree is considered inferior to the Harvard MBA by most, but the former Getty accountant I knew with an MBA from there could hold his own against most of the Ivy League hotshots, if only because he had such a strong sense of ethics. But I think that was developed long before he made it to college.

There are differences - many of them. But which degree is better? The answer to that would depend on what you need. And the individual who got the degree, of course.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Nadejda Vega Cespedes  Identity Verified

Local time: 14:37
Spanish to Russian
+ ...
Practical knowledge vs. business school certificates Jan 30, 2009

I have a few friends holding MBAs from very respectable schools and boasting years in top management roles, and I can tell you they don't know nearly as much about running a business as we freelancers do. Their problem is, they have always been part of teams built by somebody else. They function all right as a link in a chain, but when on their own, they are pretty much helpless.

To be sure, the sample is far from being representative, but... How many wildly successful business owners with an MBA do you know? I can readily remember a few college dropouts whose estimated net worth is now in billions of dollars, and a few high-fliers with university degrees, but no MBAs who started a company with $2,000 and can afford a $200 mn yacht thirty years later.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Free MBA materials from MIT Jan 30, 2009

http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/courses/courses/index.htm

Money need not be an issue for anyone who wants, not a degree, but to learn. MIT has an amazing program (link above), offering all the course materials, lecture notes, videos, PowerPoints and so on for every course offered by the college. This is free and on line.

Those interested in MBA studies can check out the Sloan School of Management, listed among the other course offerings at the link above.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Relevance issue Jan 30, 2009

I guess I'm not sure I see the advantage of an MBA to translation work itself or to running a sole proprietorship or small partnership. The issues faced as a self-employed contractor just don't seem to me to be so complex as to require two additional years of education and a world of debt (in some countries).

I have thought about getting a law or finance degree. Those are subjects I translate very often, and I feel the degree gained would not only be significant for some prospective clients, the actual knowledge gained could also be practically applicable to the actual translating and would be personally interesting as well.

As far as other practical knowledge, taking tax courses is always a plus when you're running your own business, and an accounting degree or certification wouldn't be a bad bet for accounting and financial translators either, apart from the practical knowledge as a benefit for the contractor.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:37
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
It depends on various parameters Jan 30, 2009

How practical the MBA education - this depends greatly on the actual school/program.
Some schools are doing more academic/research type stuff, others are more hands-on. Some schools are involved with various companies in various industries where the students work on real-life projects. Some schools require internships, others don't. Some schools require X number of years work experience before admitting people to the MBA program. Some schools put a great emphasis on case studies, others on teamwork, or languages/international experience, or entrepreneurship, or a combination of these.
Even then, the individual result depends on the individual graduating from the program, so I would not dare to generalize in any way about "MBA's".

Nadejda Vega Cespedes wrote:

I have a few friends holding MBAs from very respectable schools and boasting years in top management roles, and I can tell you they don't know nearly as much about running a business as we freelancers do. Their problem is, they have always been part of teams built by somebody else. They function all right as a link in a chain, but when on their own, they are pretty much helpless.


Perhaps the program they attended did not focus on entrepreneurship, or their personalities are not like that. Don't forget that people attend MBA programs after their personalities are pretty much formed, and there are things that cannot be taught/learned without a specific attitude/ability.
So, again, I would not generalize - I myself have seen MANY entrepreneur-minded people with an MBA degree.

To be sure, the sample is far from being representative, but... How many wildly successful business owners with an MBA do you know? I can readily remember a few college dropouts whose estimated net worth is now in billions of dollars, and a few high-fliers with university degrees, but no MBAs who started a company with $2,000 and can afford a $200 mn yacht thirty years later.


Well, then read this article, particularly the part about Samuel Garvin (step down 5 people from Bill Gates):
http://www.slate.com/id/2112692/
Here is more about his education:
http://www.azcommpro.com/PDF/SamGarvin04.pdf

He got his MBA at the same school where I got mine.



[Módosítva: 2009-01-30 00:56 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Anil Gidwani  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 18:07
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The MBA mindset more than an MBA Jan 30, 2009

Aniello Scognamiglio wrote:

a translator with an MBA doesn't make sense to me.
If clients are hesitant to pay a professional translator, how could they afford a translator with an MBA?



True, acquiring an MBA may be overkill for a translator, except if one intends to specialize in the translation of business and management documents. What I was trying to suggest was that the MBA mindset is of tremendous importance in running a business, even one as small as a freelancing sole proprietorship.

Craig Macdonald wrote:
If you don't need the diploma or those three letters on your resume, I'd suggest getting those parts of that education that you want through self-study.


That would be ideal, I would think.


Janet Rubin wrote:
I guess I'm not sure I see the advantage of an MBA to translation work itself or to running a sole proprietorship or small partnership. The issues faced as a self-employed contractor just don't seem to me to be so complex as to require two additional years of education and a world of debt (in some countries).


The issues may not be as complex, but the MBA mindset helps in running a sole proprietorship or small partnership. As just one example, accounting and finance come immediately to mind. The importance of monitoring your balance sheet and profit and loss statement to drive and grow your business cannot be underestimated. Some study of the various facets of an MBA curriculum (preferably by self-study, and not necessarily through a two-year degree) and the development of an MBA mindset could help enormously.

Besides, it's pertinent that we ARE running businesses, and proper management knowledge and strategy, even if at a very simplified level, are essential. What better source of knowledge to tap than an MBA curriculum.



[Edited at 2009-01-30 10:51 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Have you considered an MBA?

Advanced search


Translation news





PDF Translation - the Easy Way
TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation.

TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation. It also puts your translations back into the PDF to make new PDFs. Quicker and more accurate than hand-editing PDF. Includes free use of Infix PDF Editor with your translated PDFs.

More info »
TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs