Business school students have to decide their course of study from day-1 … and the choice makes all the difference. The first decision almost always comes down to: operations vs finance:
- The allure of finance is working with money to buy and sell companies. Success is when a small stake in a large transaction generates a healthy payday in a short time.
- The attraction of operations is working with people to build and run something of value that is eventually realized through a sale, financing, or public offering.
Finance looks like the fast track to great wealth and has attracted top MBA students students for decades. Operations looks like a long, hard road with a massive payday only for the few with enough dedication, talent, time, and luck to pull off a successful start-up from scratch.
While the economy needs both financiers and operators, the promise of quick and large returns has left the world short of the talent it needs to drive growth and scale of quality organizations.