But you have to agree that an MBA is on the 'tick list' for some jobs?

A. Yes. Sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly. If you do really need one, get one as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Show you are top MBA material at the interview but never assume anything: check that an MBA really is mandatory for the job/career you want. Maybe the company just wants people with great presence, self-starters, people who have done the work themselves. Someone like you, maybe? Then it's not about the formal MBA, it's about selling yourself. You can do that.

Here's an idea for you…

Ask your local business school if you can do some research which you will happily share with them. You would like permission to email their MBA graduates from five, three and one years ago, and you would like to ask two simple questions. The first is this: 'Before you started your MBA what did you see as the top benefit?' and the other is 'With the benefit of hindsight, what do you see as the top benefit?' Keep it really simple as you'll have a lot of qualitative results to go through. From experience, my prediction would be before: money; after: thinking and reflection. Something for you to think about!

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