I just wrote about many MBA graduates taking entrepreneurial journey, instead of or after consulting, banking and corporate.

A few TLD readers wrote in, saying that they have been pondering an MBA for a while, but are not sure whether this will help, or hinder, their journey to become a successful entrepreneur.

In fact, many of Momentum Works’s rising stars have put MBA in their own career planning, and have been wondering the same.

I would say, go for it, if it is a good school. How to decide which one is good is highly subjective, but the top 20 in the FT MBA rankings is usually a decent gauge.

What would you get out of it? As I mentioned in the previous post, diversity of students, ideas and cultures will make it much easier for you to deal with many of the challenges later on. In addition, take a lot of practice-driven entrepreneurial activities, such as bootcamps and simulations, which really reduces your risks in managing your own entrepreneurial journey.1

As we mentioned, entrepreneurship is all about risk mitigation isn’t it?

Another thing an intensive MBA programme will teach you is to better manage your time, as you will be constantly be juggling with many competing priorities, making sacrifices and living with FOMO (fear of missing out).

Alumni network

About the alumni network, for good schools it can be very useful (as it has been for me personally). However, it is only useful when you have an actual, specific need – that allows the network to give you specific help if they are able to. It is not wise to ask others to do the thinking work you should be doing yourself.

Again here INSEAD and Harvard are particularly good because they have larger classes. You might think larger classes dilute the prestige of the MBA, but to me it is quite the contrary – it gives you a larger network to tap into.

Strategy is important

To succeed in building a company, having the right strategy is as important as sound execution – the last thing you want is after running super fast for half a year only to realise that you have been running towards the wrong direction.

So if you do not have any particularly exciting entrepreneurial activity that will be gone if you take one or two years off to study, you can perfectly go to school.

By the time you are out, you will be much better prepared, with an army of friends who can help you and push you along.

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].


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Jianggan Li is the Founder & CEO of Momentum Works. Prior to founding Momentum Works, he co-founded Easy Taxi in Asia, and served as Managing Director of Foodpanda. The two years running Rocket Internet companies has given him a lifetime experience on supersonic implementation, and good camaraderie with entrepreneurs across the developing world. He holds a MBA from INSEAD (GMAT 770) and a degree in Computer Engineering from Nanyang Technological University. Unfortunately he never wrote a single line of code professionally - but in his first job he was in media, travelling extensively across Asia & Europe, speaking with Ministers & (occasionally) Prime Ministers. Apart from English and his native Mandarin, he is also fluent in French and conversational in Cantonese & Spanish. He tried to learn Latin (for three years) and Sanskrit (for six months) as well. In his (scarce) free time, he reads, travels, hikes and dives. Pyongyang, Tehran & Chisinau are among the interesting cities he has been to.