Is the MBA right for me? (Why Should I get a MBA)
Whenever someone asks me for advice on getting an MBA the first thing I like to do is turn around and ask that person an important question: Why do you want an MBA? Let’s get real here: an MBA, which most associate with a better job and a higher income, tends to be a very expensive investment. On average, MBA students leave school with a $75,000 USD debt. Even graduating with a high paying job, this is a hefty amount and when you look at “successful” people, you end up realizing that not everyone has an MBA. So today, I’ll be answering that important question: is the MBA right for me?
The MBA may be right for you if…
1) You’re looking to switch and explore careers and/or industries. Most of those who apply for MBA because after years of working in the same industry or same role, we feel stuck. We want to explore beyond what we’ve learned and we’re looking for other perspectives that can hopefully, help us with that exploration. MBA programs are typically two years to be able to provide that time and space to explore by giving students opportunities to explore internships throughout their MBA. If you’re looking to switch careers or industries, then a MBA is a great opportunity to do so.
2) You’re looking to enhance your career. People tend to get their MBA as a way to switch careers and/or industry, but if you’re one of those who just wants to enhance their current career, a MBA can be beneficial through additional networking opportunities and more varied curriculum . But because you’re likely quitting your job to get your MBA, it’s important that in your application you layout your strategy and provide a compelling story for how and why you’re willing to put your career “on hold” for two years and how the MBA will actually help advance your career. If you ARE looking to expertise in a specific subject vs. a broad overview of business concepts see "Bonus" below.
3) You want to expand your network. One of the biggest strengths to getting a MBA is the network. Just like undergrad, getting your MBA provides you a community of intelligent and diverse individuals that you end up learning and growing with. It’s important while applying for your MBA to think about the program you’re applying for as your network and community for the next two years. For that community, how do you fit in? What will you bring? What do you hope to gain? Gone are the days where MBA programs pride themselves on exclusivity or competitive students - today almost all MBA programs tout their collaborative environment and strong community bonds and have their own culture on how this manifests. With this in mind, when thinking about the MBA it’s important to research which community and network is best for you
4) You want to access resources. Besides providing a network, MBA programs also provide some of the best resources across a wide array of industries. Through clubs, partnerships with top companies, and C-suite executives as lecturers - getting your MBA makes it easy to be exposed to many opportunities. While all schools have resources and connections with top companies, a higher ranked MBA will typically have stronger relationships with these top companies - making them especially appealing. But ultimately you have to look at all the resources provided and see if they align with your career goals. Each program has their own particular strength (marketing, finance, tech, etc) and based on the program’s strength, will have different resources available. Do your research on the resources available as you apply.
5) You want to develop your confidence. Getting a MBA in the USA is no easy feat especially if you want to attend one of the top 25 programs. Top MBA programs accept a diverse group of students and one has to have a strong grasp of the English language as you’ll be attending class in English with intelligent and ambitious students from all over the world. However, if you’re able to adapt to the local culture and collaborate with your peers in the 2 years, you’ll graduate with not just an education but also more confidence in your own abilities from taking on challenges and working with smart people from different backgrounds.
For more info and guidance on whether getting a MBA is right for you, questions on how to articulate your MBA goals effectively, please reach out to me for a free 30 min. chat where we can further discuss my thoughts on MBA and/or chat about your MBA application journey.
Bonus: What if I’m deciding between a MBA or Masters? For those looking to focus on a specific industry or job, a Masters may be a better choice. While an MBA does a good job at providing a breadth of different industries if you’re confident on what you want to focus on, and it’s a more technical role, studying a Master’s may be more efficient. For guidance on applying for a Masters, I can also provide assistance. Please reach out for a free 30 minute chat for more information