In my morning wave of email was this query from my friend Rob McNealy of Startup Story Radio, via LinkedIn Questions: “Do you think it is cheesy to put MBA on your business cards and in your online profiles? I am a recovering MBA. I have never put the letters MBA after my name or on my business cards. However, lately I have been seeing more and more people putting their MBA’s in their profiles. Is the MBA making a comeback?”
I’ve thought about this on and off too, as I also have an MBA and an Masters Degree in Education. I think it would look pretty spiffy to have Dave Taylor, MSEd, MBA on my business card, but I think the issue is whether it’s right for your target community or not.
In some of the communities I’m in, having those initials would be clearly pretentious and I think detrimental to the intent of my card reminding people of me later, when they’re cleaning out their briefcase / wallet / purse. If I were more in academic circles, however, then I would definitely include these credentials, just as if I were in the healthcare industry I’d list other certifications too (did you know I was a certified Reiki master, for example? Not really relevant to blogging, is it?)
Let’s open this up, however. Do you have credentials, initials, degrees on your business card or in your email signature? Or do you eschew it all?
By the way, I’ve written about business card design in the past, if you’re curious about my thoughts regarding best practices in this area.
Oh, and in terms of whether the MBA is making a comeback, quite the opposite. The recent coverage in publications like BusinessWeek and the Wall Street Journal suggest that there’s a great dissatisfaction with the quality of contemporary Masters in Business Administration studies. Indeed, some of the very biggest business schools (Wharton, Stanford, etc) are busy re-examining their entire curriculum to ascertain whether they really prepare managers for success in the “flat earth” 21st century.