When to go for MBA, just after your graduation or after some years of professional experience, it depends on your goals and motivation. It depends really on you. Some people are very perceptive and learn a lot by simply keeping their eyes open. And some people are self starters.
The MBA will give you some foundation, but you’ll need a lot of practical experience to tie it together quickly and make it useful before you lose it. MBA is a post-graduate program that teaches management with or without specializations. It is mainly better for those with considerable work experience.
If you go straight into an MBA program, the education will mostly flow over you because you’ll lack the context to tie it to. But, it could be a stepping stone to an intern program where you’ll receive your real education.
If you’re trying to get the most out of the education itself, get a few years under your belt to give you context. Many employers will even provide you with time and/or subsidies to continue your education. If you get lucky, they may even pay the entire cost. Of course, you’d be in a situation where you’d be balancing work and school, but you’d also find that the material makes a lot more sense and the practical application would be apparent.
Most MBA schools would look for experience, in terms of professional, volunteering, and others. If you went there straight from graduation then your academic records would have to demonstrate substantial initiative and creativity on your part.
Another consideration is that if you don’t already have experience, and need to get that initial entry-level exposure, that MBA may actually work against you. Employers may assume that you’ll be a flight risk as soon as you find something more inline with your education, so they won’t give you that entry level opportunity. However, you may not be able to get that MBA position without experience.
The risk with delaying is that you may lose your motivation to go back to school. You’re hungry and motivated right after your graduation. Once you start your career, a lot of that motivation can evaporate. You really need to know yourself to know if that’s going to be an issue.
Once you experience the cash flow, you get into some commitments and then it becomes extremely difficult to take a break and then you end up in some distance mode (Distance Programs) which has comparatively very less value.
If you are planning to go for a direct MBA after graduation, then make sure you pursue MBA from a reputed approved university. Nowadays almost everyone is a MBA but from where you did it make a lot of difference.
If you are not able to get into some good university, take a break of one year and take professional experience, prepare again and give a try. Believe me, this one year of preparation and experience will be helpful for many more years in future.
As for the school issue; where it will make the most difference is in the network that you build. It can also be a differentiator when competition in your field is heavy. If you’re applying for middle management position in any organization then the pool of candidates will be smaller and where you got your degree isn’t likely to be used to screen you out of an interview. The more experience before your MBA, the less that your alma mater is going to matter.
An MBA won’t make you a businessman but will give you the “numbers” knowledge – a valuable skill in an ever increasingly complex world. An MBA is not a guarantee of success. MBA will be more useful to you after you get some years of field experience.