Halloween And The MBA: What Do They Have In Common?

What does trick-or-treating and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) have in common?  Think about it for a moment – maximizing your gains, equations for efficiency, and opportunity costs.  Are you seeing the connection yet?

Maximizing Your Profitability

I was watching a report on CNN last week about the strategies of maximizing their acquisition of treats on Halloween.  Instead of just taking a “dash and grab” approach, some people take a more economic approach to their quest for sweets.  The people at Zillow.com have done some research on five major cities to identify the “best” neighborhoods for trick-or-treating.  While there is a common belief that wealthy neighborhoods are the prime place for harvesting the most Halloween treats, it is only a part of the equation for efficiency.  To provide a more holistic approach to Halloween trick-or-treating, the Zillow Trick-or-Treat Housing Index was calculated using four equally weighted data variables: Zillow Home Value Index, population density, WalkScore (point to point distances), and local crime data. Based on those variables, this Index represents neighborhoods that will provide the most candy, with the least amount of walking and safety risks. 


Some may find Zillow’s index to be an unnecessary approach to the trick-or-treating adventure, but for others it is just the kind of thing that makes the holiday even more enjoyable.  After seeing the report on CNN, I saw this holiday as a great time to teach my kids about economics, finance, and getting the highest revenue with the least amount of input (revenue = candy).  What makes this even more of an economical and financial teaching opportunity is that a local dentist is offering $1.00 for every pound of candy brought to their office during the week after Halloween.  What made this offer even more interesting was that CNN also reported a statistic that the average child gathers 17.1 pounds of candy on Halloween.  So, if my kids want to use Halloween as a chance to have fun and make money, there are strategies to do so.

If you ask parents today if they want their children to go through the higher education system, the answer is predominantly, “yes.”  I believe preparing young people to be ready to receive a college education is as important as actually obtaining one.  The same is true for anyone. There are opportunities for education and skill development all around us, just like this “trick-or-treating” example.

Education To Make A Difference

For those of us who are college age or older, but still have a desire for gaining more education, there are diverse opportunities available.  There are accelerated masters programs, online degrees, and Mini-MBA Workshop.  The Mini-MBA Workshop is a great way to learn the fundamental concepts taught in a traditional MBA program, but at much less costs and in a much shorter time frame.  I attended this fantastic course offered by CMOE, developed and Columbia University, and taught by David L. Buckner.  It helped me to understand the key concepts of economics, finance, and accounting, helping me to be more affluent in the language of business.  Knowing more business acumen key terms and concepts has had a great impact on my contribution to our organization.  While I didn’t earn a Masters degree, I have the ability to apply valuable concepts to my everyday efforts and decisions.  As the writer and scientist, Carl Sagan wrote, “Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone but also judgment, the manner in which information is collected and used.”

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About the Author

Matt Fankhauser

Matt began his career with CMOE and is a Regional Vice President. Matt has experience in management, marketing, advertising, and sales. He has developed and delivered personnel performance reviews, been involved with hiring, interviewing, and training processes for different employment positions. He has participated in market research and conducted interviewing involved with the research. He has delivered keynote presentations at various association meetings for SHRM, ASTD and others. He has facilitated groups in training sessions involved with the skill development of Coaching, Leadership, Team Building, Facilitation, and Strategic Thinking. He has also been involved with the design and development of Executive Team Retreats, organizational case studies and training materials, as well as the translation of organizational training materials.