Multilingual + MBA?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Maniac Craniac, May 2, 2012.

  1. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I'm so close to finishing my Bachelor's that the wait is killing me. A few months and you will finally get to see two major I'M DONE posts from everyone's favorite Maniac.

    Of course, no matter how many times I think I have settled the matter, the thought of obtaining a Master's degree just won't disappear from my indecisive mind. The reality facing me at the moment that I might have to change careers more quickly than I would have liked also fuels this contemplation.

    I'm just wondering- fluency in 4-6 languages plus an MBA sounds like an amazing resume in the making, but for what? Does anybody have any ideas about what a person could possibly do with that combination?
  2. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    Marketing, International Banking, Human Resources, Sales, Tour guide, translator, consulting, the list goes on. The question is, what do you want to do.
  3. MichaelRea

    MichaelRea New Member

    Are you already proficient in 4-6 languages? If so, which ones? And if not, how are you going about learning them?
  4. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    pm scarlet on the "other" board, I think her MBA is actually a bilingual program- her classes might be taught in Spanish if I remember correctly. As to what to do with it? I don't know, I'm impressed and jealous just thinking about it. :)
  5. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    A friend who was a Buddhist monk in Japan (he is non-Asian American) then went on for his MBA at Haas, and found that, with his "only" four languages, he was hugely in demand among international consulting companies. He earned big bucks with Arthur D. Little for a while, then went over to McKinsey & Company (the biggest; where he is well into six figures, and travels forty weeks a year, typically a 4 or 5 day assignment in one country, then on to the next one. (Side benefit: he was Chelsea Clinton's boss for a while when she worked at McKinsey.)
  6. Julie1014

    Julie1014 New Member

    I just wanted to give an early "congratulations!" How exciting!
  7. Paidagogos

    Paidagogos Member

    Maniac, first off, congrats on your upcoming accomplishment.

    I would say that if you are planning on having a proficiency in several languages, try to find a MBA program that has an international business focus.

    Investment bankers typically travel the world over trying to get new clients interested in new investment products. I could see you be in high demand in an area such as this.

    Also, if you can get in with a good, big company, they'll often help you pay for your MBA, and then ask you to share your ideas. I think the general trend has been moving away from paying the whole thing, but some companies are at least helping to pay for the costs of an MBA thesedays. Good luck! Bonne chance!:arms:
  8. rebel100

    rebel100 New Member

    I was thinking this too. Far as I know she speaks english/spanish but has managed to leverage that quite well in. She is genuinely kind and happy to really invest her time in trying to brainstorm stuff like this too.

    Oh, and big CONGRATS on earning the Bachelors. Where did you go? What is your major(s)?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2012
  9. Sweetowski

    Sweetowski Member

    What is the "other" board? I just now this one...
  10. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    MC congrats. I am one of those that believes multi-language fluency is not that big of a deal. Sorry to disappoint. Lets say you can speak English and Persian. How does that help you? Or perhaps English and one of the 100s of languages in India? I just don't see how it matters to most people. A specialized language is a niche skill so you might be able to find a specific job where they don't have people who have mastered English and know a bit of language X, but I can't imagine one other than intelligence agents looking for terrorists who speak Arabic.
  11. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    I'm going to disagree strongly with ryoder. If all you want to do is to stay in the US and work here, then he is correct, foreign language skills are usually not critical (but even that is changing).

    However, foreign language skills have HUGE benefits when you are doing international business. Everyone SAYS that English is the language of business. However, I have discovered from personal experience that if you speak the local language you have an EXTREME advantage over competitors who do not, even if they hire a translator. I work in both the US ad Latin America, and quite honestly, I would not have been able to access the Latin American markets so quickly and so deeply without my language skills. Even when I work with American companies that have offices in Latin America, my Spanish skills are very valuable.

    Ryoder gave two examples, speaking English and Persian and Speaking English and some random Indian Language. The only thing the second example shows is that not all languages are equally valuable. If someone spoke English and Persian, that wouldn't be much use UNLESS they were trying to do business in Iran, then it would be critical. Lets say that you wanted to do business in Japan or China. Does anyone here doubt that speaking Japanese or Chinese would make the process easier and provide you an advantage over your monolingual competitors? Of course not.

    I went to undergrad at a university that has extremely strong international relations programs. A lot of my friends got jobs paying ridiculous amounts of money because they spoke English and some other EU or emerging market language and became an analyst for major financial firms.

    The one thing to remember is that language skills alone aren't as valuable as language skills with some kind of specialized business or technical skill. When you combine the two, you become awesome. If you want a taste of what multilingualism can do for you, just go to, type in some foreign language as a keyword, and do a search for the type of jobs offered.

    Even in the US, multilingual skills are valuable. Back when I was working as a database guy for a large bank, the bank would make a note of the languages every employee claimed to be proficient with and tested them on it. If something came up requiring that skill, you got the call. Also, even a language such as Spanish can have HUGE financial benefits. I have known of nurses that get up to 50% hourly pay increases if they are proficient in Spanish. One of my best friends, who works in politics, is begging me to help her learn Spanish because it has become so important in local politics.
  12. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Is that a rhetorical question? I have more answers to it than I imagine most here would consider tolerable to read.

    That's an interesting twist... I was thinking that it is the degree that could be potentially worthless. That's what's really in question in this thread.

    Honestly, all of my sensibilities tell me that I shouldn't get a Master's degree, but then there is an annoying little voice inside me that keeps shouting at me to do it. The voice sometimes gets so loud that I feel the need to at least attempt to give it validation :hypnotized:
  13. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Get an MBA in International Business.
  14. Cardinal Biggles

    Cardinal Biggles New Member

    Google is pleased to announce that it will henceforth direct all keyword searches for ....Imagination Ignorance Inverse Relationship.... to the above quote.
  15. BobbyJim

    BobbyJim New Member

    If IRRC MC does interpretation work, so I’d agree the "multi-language fluency is not that big of a deal" is at least irrelevant in this case to this thread.:tongue-tied:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2012
  16. BobbyJim

    BobbyJim New Member

    MC - another early congratulations!
  17. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Actually, this thread is about my need step away from being an interpreter, maybe permanently. That is a long story that does not belong on this board, but it looks like starting this summer interpreting will be relegated to a side-job for me. It could be a lifelong side-job, which would be a rather nice situation since its high paying and easy to work for one day in one location then have no further obligation.
  18. BobbyJim

    BobbyJim New Member

    Sorry about that MC. Mea culpa, maxima mea culpa for not realizing your objective. Multi-lingual abilities with an MBA certainly would be useful in international business development, banking, etc. :smokin:

    Wish you much success in whatever route you decide to take.

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