The Opening Decision: Do I get an MBA?
Half a year ago, there didn’t seem to be anything small-scale I could do to advance my career, but it was time for me to move forward… somehow. It looked like the MBA path would get some gears moving and open great big metaphorical doors with expensive handles. Other than the prevalent statistics and conventional wisdom saying that an MBA is good for business people (pretty much by definition…), every job posting that’s interested me for the last few years has had the all-too-common “MBA preferred” line.”
I genuinely want to learn about the background and processes of business. I would like to understand my work in a larger context. In abstract and concrete ways, I expect to get a better framework for decision making in unfamiliar territories. Maybe I should have gone a couple of years ago. Going, or not, may be a harder decision for a lot of people. There are a zillion articles about the merits, but it seems to be fairly obvious that I need an MBA if I want to be flexible in my career while having some security.
Being in grad school reminds me of what I liked so much about college. No matter what I did, it was going to result in a degree, and that’s what I had been taught to value: Get the liberal arts B.A., then head into the world, knowing that I would be highly talented at, well… at thinking about stuff. It never occurred to me to worry about a resume, and I’m glad not to have felt that pressure at the time.
Now, a decade after college, I’m more pragmatic. I actually want my degree to be directly related to vocational skills. Given the nature of the degree, I tried to be ruthlessly logical about the process. No glossy pictures of sunbathing co-eds for me, and I knew that there would be sadly few campus visits or ego-stroking “you’re on the road to success” information sessions. If you’re going full time, and if you’re willing to move, then hopefully you’ll have a lot of fun visiting campuses and such. I’m going part-time, though. This was my second decision after “Do I go or not?”