When 36-year-old Simo Dragicevic began studying for an MBA qualification, it looked like he was on track for a corporate career. However, he eventually decided to terminate his career as a director at a major bank to start his own business. The bank had been financing his studies, which meant he had to start paying the tuition fees himself. Nonetheless, he still feels everything worked out perfectly.
He said: “I have and continue to make some large personal sacrifices. However, we can pay ourselves and invest in the business, and this is an incredibly satisfying feeling.”
Dragicevic is the founder and owner of Bet Buddy, a company that supplies analytics software to gaming companies to help them manage user data. His experience in using technology in the fields of marketing, risk management and finance comes in very handy in his new career.
He remembers that a throwaway comment made by one of his lecturers about MBA students being perfectly capable of going out there and starting a $10 million business was one of the reasons he eventually decided to become an employer instead of an employee.
Although the majority of MBA students are not likely to follow in Dragicevic’s footsteps, he is one of a growing number of entrepreneurs with MBA qualifications.
A professor at the renowned Harvard Business School, Noam Wasserman, said that many of these individuals are driven by the rewards of starting something of value, not because they are disillusioned with their career prospects after completing an MBA degree.
He added that the idea of addressing unmet needs excites many MBA students and went on to say: “Far more of our students are running to entrepreneurship, rather than running away from the non-entrepreneurial job markets.”
Professor Wasserman presents a course called “Founders’ Dilemmas” for MBA students. Around 28 percent of his students choose to start their own businesses. Five years ago, this figure was only 20 percent.
Dragicevic said the MBA course taught him valuable skills that he uses in his business on a daily basis. He added that he often meets scientists or engineers who have excellent technical skills, but without an MBA, they find it difficult to commercialize their ideas.
An online business degree could open doors to a career in the corporate world, but it could also form the cornerstone of a future as a business owner.