Where are all the MBA’s?

While walking around logan airport in Boston today after spending a few days at the Affiliate Summit, I noticed the cover of US News – America’s Best Graduate Schools. This issue resounded with me, because although I have a Masters Degree in Direct Marketing from NYU, I feel that there are still some gaps in my education that I know I’ll need as my career evolves.

Then it dawned on me.

We’re in an industry with so much money being pumped into it by advertisers. The affiliate channel has become a legitimate venue for companies to generate new users online in a cost efficient manner. We’re all still making money during an economic downturn, and still I don’t see the MBA’s? Why?

There are CEO’s in our industry that have MBA’s from top Universities, but are our companies recruiting from top schools? There are very smart people in our industry for sure, but take one lap around the floor at the Affiliate Summit, and you will quickly be able to select the top tier executives, and the publishers that just don’t have the depth of experience to enter the board room.

Why? Is it our fault for not recruiting properly, or is it because there is a certain type of person that does well in this business, and your traditional MBA just isn’t it? I think in order for our industry to continue to grow we will need leaders that can make that transition from meeting and interacting with the young gun internet guys to the MBA’s that may be more attracted to the VC firms than the actual companies themselves.

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