What’s a Degree Really Worth to You (and Your Company)?


MBA. MIS. Getting a certification. Updating your certifications. Should you invest your time and money in getting a higher degree? Or is it smarter (not to mention cheaper) to spend that time gaining work experience?

Our Twitter #careerchat wanted to know what companies really think about your education level. Anna Oakes (@aoakes), Lead Organization Development Consultant and Recruiting Manager for Manpower, joined us as our guest expert.

Quick takeaways from the chat:

  • An MBA is like a marathon: There’s no guarantee you’ll finish or even win.
  • Know your goals before starting an MBA or certification program.
  • Pick a school with a network of people who can get you where you want to go.
  • Experience can do more than a certification if you work hard and get good references.
  • Online or not, it’s all in how you articulate what you put into it and what you got out of it.
  • Educate yourrself by reading, listening & being active. Want to learn about social media? Do it. Want to learn about finance, listen to experts. Find out what people you admire are reading from LinkedIn booklists. Copy it!
  • You need to be able to apply what you learned and your MBA into real life situations.


Special thanks to @Kblennon, @aoakes, @ASQ_Trish, @KyleMcShane, @SaleStart, @CaSuPe15, @davecarhart, @KyleMcShane and @WomensAlly.

Full transcript:

What are the key considerations when deciding to go back to school for MBAs vs. working?

  • CaSuPe15: If you can afford it and if it will enhance your career options/benefits later down the road
  • bizMebizgal: A huge consideration is your career path, knowing if a MBA is going to help or hurt you.
  • cometbranding: Make sure your goals are set on what you want to accomplish after receiving your MBA.
  • Jill_Perlberg: A key consideration for me is work life balance. If you work a ton of hours it may be hard to fit going to school
  • ASQ_Trish: What about the cost?
  • SaleStart: consider whether 2 go get MBA on ur own or 2 hire on w/ company that is willing 2 make that investment in you
  • bizMebizgal: I don’t have an MBA but thinking of going for a professional cert instead. I’ve been out of school for 6 years
  • ASQ_Trish: I think either shows that you still want to learn & grow – always a good thing
  • SaleStart:  What certificate to get depends on what ur goal is. If it’s 2 advance w/ current company ask mgr what would b best.
  • Jill_Perlberg: And don’t expect to be paid for the job you’re already doing just because you have an MBA
  • CaSuPe15: It’s probably good to find out if your current company offers tuition reimbursement for part time classes
  • davecarhart: Also, learn about what companies have tuition reimbursement. Many will help pay for MBAs for high potentials
  • Jill_Perlberg: Agree! Some companies will pay for the entire degree–just make sure you read the payback clause, etc.
  • davecarhart: I did a lot of talking to people in the types of positions I wanted to be in after 3-10 years and learned about their path
  • KyleMcShane:  If u do decide to get ur MBA, make sure u have enough time to fully take advantage of all of the resources not just the classes
  • ASQ_Trish: We have a new program at ASQ that your certification will give you credits towards your BS or BA degree at RIT
  • bizMebizgal: Wow that is interesting. I might have to look into that.
  • ASQ_Trish: You do have to be an ASQ member…but hey – it’s credits
  • bizMebizgal: Good to know! I am confused on what certificate to get.
  • ASQ_Trish: management is transferable – also a CQIA…but very basic – not as many credits
  • bizMebizgal: You have to be confident what you are going back to school for before you jump in. Jill_Perlberg: I’m actually considering it now. My main considerations: money, time, and do I really need it.
  • aoakes: That’s why research is important – pick the program that will work best for you.
  • Kblennon: I am in a fast track program at QU and some grad classes counted as undergrad as well towards my BA n PR
  • Jill_Perlberg: In some cases your experience is better than any schooling–depending on what you want to do.
  • aoakes: Agreed – put the extra effort of an MBA into maximizing your time/exposure at work. Seek out unique projects.
  • aoakes: I am not a night person, so I chose a weekend program so I could best focus on the courses.
  • KyleMcShane: I think everyone should be always working towards building their skills & qualifications. Better yourself every day!
  • Kblennon: agree..I’m constantly trying to broaden my horizons
  • bizMebizgal: Great insight, challenging yourself to a great way to also get ahead.
  • KyleMcShane:  yes. if you want your personal brand to become the best it can be, you have to put effort forth every day!
  • KyleMcShane: You need to have a burning desire to improve urself & increase ur abilities. Don’t go a day without doing this
  • SaleStart: in our experience, most companies value solid experience. For most MBA is nice to have but not necessity
  • davecarhart: Know yourself and your goals before starting an MBA
  • davecarhart: It depends on what you are trying to go into. Some roles/companies/etc don’t do heavy recruitment of MBAs
  • KyleMcShane:  yes, you need to have an end goal in mind and make sure that all of your actions help get you to that goal
  • davecarhart: Regarding cost, go for the loans. The payback is there on the back end
  • ASQ_Trish: I know – but I also have 2 in college
  • davecarhart: Very different story then… I admit that I sometimes forget about those with children. Will company support?
  • ASQ_Trish: they will after the fact…might be worth it though

CaSuPe15: Could an MBA hurt you?

  • bizMebizgal: It depends, if you are looking for sales and never did sales before an MBA is going to price you out of an entry level.
  • WriterChanelle: That is so often the problem with getting extra education. You become overqualified based on knowledge but not exp
  • Kblennon: How quickly you can finish it/how long you will be out of the working world
  • Jill_Perlberg: I agree. Going to school part time may be the only option, and that could take a million years
  • WriterChanelle: I’ve seen many differing opinions on the worth of an MBA. Some say it ruins a career
  • bizMebizgal: MBAs are great if you know your path and have done the research to know if it will benefit
  • Kblennon: I feel like that is becoming increasingly harder to come by these days :
  • aoakes: An MBA won’t hurt you, but it could cause an employer to question what your career path is if it’s different from the job.
  • WriterChanelle:     That’s when some would consider leaving it off the resume
  • Jill_Perlberg: thinking…what do they really want to be when they grow up
  • CaSuPe15: Never thought about that
  • aoakes: It makes employers think what your real motive is. Will they be happy with the job I’m giving them or leave in a yr?
  • WriterChanelle: I think I’ve been burned by that. Answering that I really want to be a screenwriter interviewing for office job

Jelfster: I’d love to do an MBA but cannot afford it – neither in a financial or temporal sense.

  • WriterChanelle: LOl…if you found a company that paid for it, would you do it?
  • Jill_Perlberg: Financial concerns are big for me– 40-50k is huge investment &some companies just can’t help out as much as we’d hope
  • ASQ_Trish:  no kidding. And how far is it really going to get you? What’s the true ROI?
  • aoakes: Do your research on companies that offer tuition reimbursement. If you can wait out the repayment agreement-do it
  • MyPath_MP: If you don’t have the $$ or resources for an #MBA, try a certification program. Or even free webinars online.
  • MyPath_MP: Of course @Jelfster that doesn’t solve the temporal problems…

WriterChanelle: Can you list webinars on a resume? That’s the pickle I’m in. No $ for extra education

  • SaleStart: wouldn’t recommend listing webinars
  • bizMebizgal: If they are credible and have a following. Do the research on them.
  • aoakes: I would be selective to only list webinars that show very specific interest/experience directly related to the job
  • Jill_Perlberg: I would, but only if they tie to your area of work & R legit.Create ur own learning portfolio-great initiative
  • MyPath_MP: Even webinars can make up a kind of portfolio to showcase skills you’re learning.

When you are picking a school what should you consider?

  • KyleMcShane:Pick a school that has a network of people that are willing to help u get where u want to be. The people r the best resource
  • Kblennon: going along with what @KyleMcShane said:take advantage of student organizations, events, speakers, networking opportunities etc.
  • aoakes: Just don’t overcommit to too many activities – chose a select few and do them well or hold leadership positions.
  • aoakes: Ask people who have received their MBA’s what their perception is. And when networking, ask ppl what they’ve heard
  • aoakes: Your classmates and people will be a great support. However, if the school’s rep is negative, it won’t get you far.
  • Jill_Perlberg: When picking a school, look at class times, attendance requirements, and school rank/reputation.
  • aoakes: Agreed – start with your balance first, what program suits your schedule. Then go by reputation.
  • WomensAlly: choose the institution that meets both your personal and professional needs.
  • Jill_Perlberg: You don’t want a degree from a degree mill
  • NicoleElise: the phrase “degree mill” irritates me. online masters programs have their place — people that need to work etc.
  • NicoleElise: as long as you know what you’re getting into, and what exact education you’re getting, it’s valuable.
  • aoakes: But, if a school will give a degree to anyone who will pay tuition, it loses credibility
  • Jill_Perlberg:  We’re not saying that all online programs degree mills, just some universities aren’t as reputable as others.

bizMebizgal: What is everyone’s take on getting MBAs online?

  • Kblennon:  price, quality of classes, connections they have, school reputation, class sizes, online classes available..
  • KyleMcShane: yes these are all things people forget about or r too lazy to take advantage of. You’re paying lots of $. Get involved!
  • jim_horrell: I investigated taking a class at a local technical college then found out it looks like they don’t offer it anymore.
  • MyPath_MP: Oh, that’s a shame! Maybe if enough interest is shown, they’ll bring it back?
  • jim_horrell:  Maybe the college decided other technology is more important. I guess colleges can’t offer everything.
  • MyPath_MP:     That is very true. Hope you can find what you’re looking for in another nearby college.
  • Kblennon: online classes can be great if the professor knows how to run it and get ppl involved
  • MyPath_MP: Agreed. You’ll still have “team” assignments and people’s emails/phone #s to connect.
  • Jill_Perlberg:     Alumni connections. Where are the alumni and how well do they support the school.
  • SaleStart: cost, reputation, location, & resources
  • Kblennon: I personally like “real” classes because I do better learning in a classroom setting CaSuPe15: same
  • streetmapp: And harder to slack off
  • MyPath_MP: I think I would too, but online seems so convenient in some ways.
  • Kblennon: oh it’s extremely convenient
  • Kblennon: probably because that’s what I grew up doing and online classes are relatively new to me
  • SaleStart: also check out the connections they have with businesses in the region.
  • bizMebizgal: I think reputation has a lot to do with picking your school. Make sure it has a similar reputation like your undergrad school
  • KyleMcShane:  rep is import-but the kid who went to Harvard & networked w/ no1 is going to be behind the pro netwkr at a 2nd tier
  • Jill_Perlberg:  I’m actually considering an online program through UWW-traditional state school that took their progr. online for working folks
  • KyleMcShane: Yes Syracuse University has done that in some programs for working professionals as well
  • sarahklein_PHR: #uww has really created a good online mba  one of the top business schools in the midwest
  • Jill_Perlberg: Thanks. Great school for undergrad too.
  • sarahklein_PHR: @SarahHofmann don’t forget too has. I did the organizational communications program, great experience at uww!
  • WomensAlly:  #MBA promote working in teams. a combination of on/off would be best. all online cannot replicate the team interaction|conflict
  • aoakes: However, there are a lot of jobs out there these days where you work with an entirely virtual team. So online exp=+
  • bizMebizgal: no matter what knowing people and experience are going to take the furthest. Education is great.
  • KyleMcShane: I agree!
  • aoakes: Online or not, it’s all in how you articulate what you put into it and what you got out of it.
  • Kblennon: agree. you will get more out of it based on the amount of effort you put into it
  • sarahklein_PHR: my learning team from university of phoenix added great diversity to my experience
  • bizMebizgal:  Online does get away from the face to face interaction and building those relationships with classmates, professors etc
  • KyleMcShane:     being able to work virtually is a very important skill & will become more valuable in future yrs as jobs become virtual
  • MyPath_MP: So you see the trend going that way too?
  • aoakes: Just be able to articulate what skills/competencies you have that make you good at virtual work/schooling.
  • SaleStart: online classes r widely accepted as =ly credible as “real life” courses, but check reputation 1st. some do it better than others
  • Jill_Perlberg:     Also look at credit transferability–you may want to go finish it somewhere
  • SaleStart: absolutely! Good point

Jill_Perlberg:  What about schools that are for-profit? Do they have the same clout that trad. schools do?

  • sarahklein_PHR: @Jill_Perlberg for profit don’t ask for donations for years after graduation  they tend to be more business oriented vs academic

Jill_Perlberg: For anyone who’s been through it, how bad is the GMAT?

  • WomensAlly: GMAT is torture,as you would expect. Some programs (incl hi-end) will admit u with company endorsement (no GMAT)
  • Jill_Perlberg:     Great to know on the co. reference. I’ll definitely look into that.

bizMebizgal: What is your opinion on certificates vs. MBAs?

  • aoakes: Same question = know your motivation for the cert or MBA…where is it going to get you, why do you need it?
  • bizMebizgal: I am starting to do a lot of corporate training and really don’t have anything to back it up.
  • MyPath_MP: So you’re missing the actual cert that says BizMeBizGal Has Mgmt Training?
  • bizMebizgal: exactly! I am not sure if I need it or if my experience can carry me through.
  • aoakes: References and hard work will go a long way. Work your network and you shouldn’t need an official certificate.
  • bizMebizgal: That is how I am doing it right now, it is working but I need it to work harder!!  haha
  • aoakes: Patience and persisitence. Then when you reach your next plateau, you’ll know it’s time for something new – MBA?
  • genblu: Resources on career changing after 60? ROI on further training.
  • Jill_Perlberg: Depends on where you want to go and what skills you’re missing. Experience might be the way to go.
  • Jill_Perlberg: For some, getting an MBA is a personal goal vs. needed for career growth. I commend those folks!
  • ASQ_Trish: For a QA professional and some others – Engineer, Oper – an ASQ Cert could be much more helpful than an MBA.

What do companies think about #MBA or prof certs?

  • KyleMcShane: If it can be executed efficiently, it will save companies tons of overhead $ and I know they want to do that
  • davecarhart:  Have to run–meeting for a career work group with 1st year MBA students. Talk to everyone later!
  • SaleStart: w/ belt tightening is harder 2 find companies willing 2 pay 4 advance schooling but they’re still out there
  • aoakes: There are few roles that I can think of that ask for specific certs. Many higher level roles do like to see the MBA
  • Jill_Perlberg: Depends on the position. For engineers or IT profs, certificates might be more applicable–Mktg exec–MBA….
  • KyleMcShane:     Yes. And the experience of working in a virtual team in a college class would definitely build your virtual competencies
  • Kblennon: since I am getting my MBA I’m very interested in response
  • Jill_Perlberg: what are you focusing on? What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • Kblennon: traditional track for my masters in biz admin. and not sure haha. one of the reasons why I am still in school
  • Kblennon: I got my BA in PR but didn’t feel prepared for the biz world whatsoever, so I just stayed in school
  • bizMebizgal: Are you currently working while going to school?
  • Kblennon: twice a week yes
  • bizMebizgal: are you working for a PR agency?
  • Kblennon: marketing communications firm
  • bizMebizgal:     Great, so you still are gaining the experience!
  • SaleStart: schooling doesn’t necessarily prepare u 4 business world just have to jump in & do it nothing beats solid experience
  • sarahklein_PHR: i’m so glad i got mine, great connections and learning and i do certificates too, i love continuing education
  • SaleStart:  many companies paying for advance schooling 4 employees not blanket policy anymore~selective based on individual
  • ASQ_Trish: many that post on ASQs job board, specifically ask for our certifications – like Quality Engineer

Jill_Perlberg:  Do you need an MBA to move into a Director or VP role or can you show the same qualification with experience?

  • ASQ_Trish: not at a lot of companies. I know several who only have a BS but have worked for years at the company
  • ASQ_Trish: I think they should have a MBA though
  • aoakes: You don’t need the MBA, but it can help IN COMBO with experience. It shows diligence and relevance in todays biz
  • SaleStart: as noted earlier, most companies see certs & MBAs as nice 2 have, not absolutely necessary. Strong exp can still win out
  • KyleMcShane:  yes budgets are being tightened and tuition is becoming more expensive. companies need to be selective
  • SaleStart: absolutely makes sense that they have to be more selective.
  • MyPath_MP: That’s good to know. What about companies that _think_ they need that MBA for the job? Can you talk them out of it?
  • aoakes: If they say in the posting they want a MBA, you may not even make it past the screening to be able to sell yourself.
  • SaleStart: we have been able to do that for our candidates. you just have to be able to sell your experience.
  • jim_horrell: I know a guy who made it to a VP role without an MBA. I think it just depends on the company’s expectations.
  • SaleStart: can differentiate u from competition, but if comparing MBA w/ no exp vs indiv w/ strong exp., most likely exp will win
  • WomensAlly:  Depends on the companies. Larger organizations that I’ve been associated with unofficially require #MBA for execs.

Jill_Perlberg: Many people went straight to MBA from undergrad & will all grad soon, for those who worked but no MBA, who’s at the adv?

  • sarahklein_PHR:  i’m glad i had some experience going into my MBA program, i took 3 years inbetween
  • Kblennon: this is what I did, but am working twice a week on the side so I guess I get best of both worlds so to say?
  • aoakes: I believe that ppl who have worked will still be at the advantage as their skills/experience are fresh.
  • ASQ_Trish: a lot of companies are only paying for more classes IF you stay with them
  • KyleMcShane: Yes, I would not blame them. No reason to spend $ educating an ex-employee
  • SaleStart: absolutely don’t want 2 make that investment then have u jump ship. Makes sense 4 company
  • CaSuPe15: I got my BS in Marketing/International Mgmgt, working now to gain experience and find out if I want an MBA
  • MyPath_MP: Good choice there. #MBA is a lot to invest in without being sure!
  • bizMebizgal: That truly is the best way to do it. Chances are your path will change as you get to know the industry.
  • CaSuPe15: That’s what I’m anticipating will happen
  • Jill_Perlberg: The reason I’m looking now at MBA is because I think I have work experiences to apply to the learning we’ll get.
  • KyleMcShane:     I am currently getting my masters, but feel like I got the education of an MBA by starting @dreamfetcher
  • MyPath_MP: I’ve seen @dreamfetcher, very very nice!
  • KyleMcShane:  thank you. we are getting ready for a site relaunch hopefully by the end of september
  • Kblennon: I knew nothing of the biz world though and felt very unprepared,now I’m gaining more confidence and knowledge eachday
  • KyleMcShane:  keep working while in school. show future employees that u r a go getter. make them wonder how u balanced all the work
  • Kblennon: that’s what I have been doing my whole life..balancing 39034902 things 😛
  • CaSuPe15:  I think that’s what every ambitious student has been doing! it’s competitive out there! I know I did that!
  • KyleMcShane:     haha. well your hard work will not be overlooked. keep grinding!
  • SaleStart: great keep up the good work. Always good 2 get real biz experience under ur belt 2 show on resume
  • SarahHofmann: the working have adv for five years, after the MBA has adv. The combo gives you an adv, not one or the other.
  • Jill_Perlberg:     agree.. getting the degree and then doing nothing with it at work is a waste
  • ASQ_Trish: I think one thing about getting your MBA – it the time. We’re a society of ‘now’- I don’t want to wait 3-4 years
  • aoakes: Either way, when you’re done it’ll be fresh and you may have a better idea on how you want to use it?
  • WomensAlly: I worked FT, MBA at night. While I had experience, the MBA opened different doors and changed the discussion. Right thing 4 me.
  • aoakes: Many MBA programs won’t let you in without the biz experience, as they believe it takes that to make it through
  • streetmapp: for me prof certs are big. the IT field changes so fast so the best way in my eyes to keep learning is with certs
  • MyPath_MP: Excellent point about certs, depending on the industry.
  • SaleStart: in IT certs r big but b selective on which u get. They change so often & some better than others depending on path
  • streetmapp: definitely. right now the one i have is because of the path my job wants me to go on. some are even worthless to some
  • CaSuPe15: I felt prepared for the biz world through past work/internships, school was great for terminology/basic know-how
  • Jill_Perlberg: Certs: If you want to dip toes into continuing ed, certifications might be a good option without the huge pricetag.
  • aoakes: Certs are big for IT, for sure!
  • ASQ_Trish: Quality folks too
  • Jill_Perlberg: And having a co pay for a cert or a IT class may be easier than funding an MBA–and you apply it to work immediately
  • sarahklein_PHR: UWM Cont education has a great variety including Spanish, Chinese, Adobe, Project management, PHR and more!
  • aoakes: Project Mgmt is a great one, as it’s applicable in a lot of careers
  • Jill_Perlberg:     MyPath has PMP and PMI cert. books in our knowledge center for free!
  • SaleStart: project mgt is huge. good choice to get. Lots of demand still out there for that
  • buzzandrea: I don’t have an MBA, but I also don’t feel as if I am lacking anything; found other ways to stay current within my industry.
  • aoakes: Perfect – either way…be relevant!
  • buzzandrea: I also think it’s worth mentioning that the MBA itself isn’t the “golden ticket.” What you do with it is important.
  • Kblennon: very true!
  • WomensAlly:  u are right. MBA is like practicing 4 marathon. Doesn’t guarantee you’ll qualify, finish or even win.

bizMebizgal: What about for entrepreneurs? If you run your own company, it becomes more about what others think.

  • KyleMcShane:     If u own your own company, I think the connections would be the most important. u gain most biz experience by doing
  • ASQ_Trish: true
  • aoakes: Unless you know someone who can help sell you

ASQ_Trish: Can your personality, work experience and self taught skills get you as far?

  • buzzandrea: Yes they can. They’ve always worked for me.
  • bizMebizgal: I totally think so
  • Jill_Perlberg: In many cases yes. But if you are working on nuclear power, you may need to prove through cert U know what UR doing
  • KyleMcShane:     educate urself by reading, listening & being active. want to learn about SM-do it. want to learn about finance-listen to experts
  • bizMebizgal: You need to be able to apply what you learned and your MBA into real life situations. otherwise a waste.
  • Jill_Perlberg: Sites like Bright Talk have webinar channels based on categories like IT, Finance, etc. Great place to start.
  • KyleMcShane: Yes there are so many free resources that u can take advantage of from your home. these wont put you in debt lol
  • aoakes: Find out what people you admire are reading from LinkedIn booklists. Copy it!
  • Kblennon: start projects with the skills you already have to add to your experience/portfolio

CaSuPe15: What happens if you think an MBA is worth it but halfway thru you realize it’s not? Do you quit or stick it out?

  • aoakes: If your personal or career goals have changed, you should take time off to reassess. If it’s the program, give feedbk
  • ASQ_Trish: depends – how much have you invested? how close are you to finishing? It’s not going to be a bad thing to have
  • CaSuPe15: Right now nothing – just graduated undergrad but thinking about what if it happens down the road
  • Jill_Perlberg:  look at how your skills transfer. A diff. program might be what you need. Key consideration for eval. up front
  • bizMebizgal:     having work experience before u enter should help w/ that. U have a better understanding of how to apply & importance

Jelfster: If job ads specify an MBA requirement, are there ways round this to still get the job?

  • ASQ_Trish: IF you can get into the interview…
  • sarahfracek:  Great discussion on MBA degrees/certificates and their importance today on . Thanks @bizMebizgal. @CUWisconsin – check it out!
  • Jill_Perlberg: in similar fashion, if it prefers a green belt or black belt Six Sigma, do you really need it?
  • ASQ_Trish: yes
  • aoakes: You probably won’t get through the auto screen ?’s online or w/recruiter. Network internally to help make connections
  • SaleStart: yes, working w/ recruiter can help
  • aoakes: You may need to go deeper than the recruiter – they are trained to screen out based on hiring mgr requirements
  • SaleStart: yes but if already have relationship w/ recruiter they can pitch ur experience 4 position
  • SaleStart: 3rd party recruiter can get u in the door w/ hiring mgr if ur experience is strong enough we’ve been able 2 do it
  • Jill_Perlberg: Join a prof. association for networking & 2 see what types of certs/degree the members have–they are your competition
  • MyPath_MP:  I can think of @ASQ for one!
  • ASQ_Trish: ASQ offers many different certs – from engineering to Six Sigma BB
  • ASQ_Trish: Most asking for Six sigma experience want that because it shows you have worked through a project & saved $$
  • aoakes: Do a search on LinkedIn to see who does the job you want – do they have their MBA? Certs?
  • aoakes: Anything that can show you dedicated time/resources will be helpful – but like everything else, it’s how you sell it
  • ASQ_Trish: Certifications do show that you know what you’re doing in a very specific area

Jill_Perlberg: So, did we help anyone make any decisions or give you the right things to consider?

  • Kblennon: well my decision is made b/c i’m already in 😛 but very interesting convo!
  • aoakes: Best of luck in your program!
  • Kblennon:  thank you very much!
  • sarahfracek: Great info on MBA. I’m holding out for a company that will reimburse! Til then, real-world exper will have to do!
  • MyPath_MP: Get the experience while you can!
  • sarahfracek: I agree. But those three letters after your name can really boost your pay sometimes. Tempting…
  • jim_horrell: I learned something new. Interesting and thought-provoking conversations.

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Adapted from my post on MyPath.

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