Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Why MBA

Marina's post got me thinking: Why did I start this blog? Is it because I wanted to be a Top Ten BoB alongside amazing bloggers like MBA Jackass? (Thanks again to Clear Admit and all you voters out there! I really appreciate your constant support.) Or is it so I could connect with other bay area bloggers for a fabulous night out?

Looking back, I decided to start this on-line journey in hopes that posting my experience could aid other applicants towards our shared goal of an MBA.


THE BEGINNING

"I want an MBA. I need the degree to do great things - to be someone great one day!" I declared 5 years ago. And thus, I began to plan.

1) Finish college
2) Work 2 years
3) MBA (2 years)
4) Graduate and get married
5) Pop out the kiddies
6) Be like Elastigirl - Super Career Woman, Super Wife, & Super Mom

One by one, I worked to execute my plan. Now as I prepare myself for step #3 (the MBA) the 19-yr-old me and the soon-to-be-24-yr-old me still have the same desire: "I want my MBA." But the 19-yr-old me didn't quite understand the true value of the MBA. It wasn't until this long process began when I finally understood what I was getting myself into.


Why Do I Want An MBA?

This is the most important question you need to ask yourself.

The 19-year-old me declared, "Because I want to go into management!"

"What type of management?" you'd ask her.

"Umm... there are different types? I thought you just managed people and processes and things... and everything would be all fine and dandy," she would reply, scratching her head.

(College Seniors: This is one reason why work experience really helps. Not just in the experience you bring, but in helping you focus on what really interests you career-wise and having a real-world understanding of how businesses operate from experience. If you're intent on going to b-school straight from undergrad, even a summer internship will help. My 2 cents.)

As Forrest had also pondered: But do we need an MBA to reach our final goals? Answer: No.

So "Why B-school?" Everyone needs to discover this for oneself, because our answers will probably be different. For myself, I believe the following:
  1. Academics: To learn finance and accounting - to be able to speak the language of business. To gain an understanding of the "big picture" through operations, HR, marketing, org behavior, etc.
  2. Career: To add more value to my company through marketing. To step beyond my engineering mind and utilize my creativity with the challenge of product/brand management.
  3. People: To increase my network with my classmates and alumni. To build lifelong friendships and partnerships.
  4. New Opportunities: To open more doors with recruiters for greater job opportunities and growth. To explore new areas that may bring out other interests or lead me down another job path - who knows?
  5. Self Confidence: To train myself how to interact with a diverse pool of individuals and how to interview (and market myself) effectively under pressure.
  6. Giving Back: To continue my social responsibility of giving back to my community - through student clubs, as an alumni, etc.
  7. Respect: To gain respect through the higher reputation and status that having an MBA brings. Just being honest here. :-) At a conference in 2002, a Marshall alum began his speech humorously:

    "The reason I went to business school was because I thought it would be really cool to have my name read 'Jerry Lin*, M.B.A.' on my business card. It wasn't until after I graduated that I found out we don't put 'M.B.A.' after our names, like the J.D.'s and M.D.'s do. I felt gyped!"


* - Name has been changed.

45 Comments:

Blogger vatsa said...

IWMI, you rock!

April 25, 2006 3:20 PM  
Blogger mba jackass said...

Great post! I wish I had gone through that thought process.

Thanks for the props - but that was at least as good as anything I've written.

April 25, 2006 3:47 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

5 years?! and i thought those two days id spent thinking about it taxed my brain too much!!

unfortunately, my reasons for blogging have never been quite as noble as guiding other applicants. it's been more about guiding myself through life.

MJ, MBA

April 25, 2006 6:11 PM  
Blogger Bschool Diva said...

So we're going to Chicago. It's cold there, but the chances of meeting Oprah are pretty high. For that reason alone Chicago rocks!!! ;-)

April 25, 2006 6:14 PM  
Blogger Forrest Gump said...

nice insightful write-up...and now we know how the "5 year long term thinking process" helped you win the BSchool game.

Good to have you back.

April 25, 2006 6:35 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

its truly impressive to see you got your thoughts and life charted out so well!
though i must confess, that my blog is just a way for me to keep a diary albiet not personal, would be nice to read it years later and reflect on my thought process and see the people i connected with
cheers
ash

April 26, 2006 2:40 AM  
Blogger MBABlogger said...

Nice post and it gives we the prespective applicants lines to think upon.. Would be grt if you could being out more such thought processes you went thru..

April 26, 2006 4:49 AM  
Blogger Meru SAVARNI said...

>>>"So "Why B-school?" Everyone needs to discover this for oneself, because our answers will probably be different. For myself, I believe the following: "


Don't want to whine a lot, but i guess these answers alone are not sufficient.. I think there probably is ONE more step of matching those answers with the educational philosophy of a given b-school. Can this school help you en route ?

And the reality is known to everyone...how many schools really help us reach that career goal we so passionately wrote about in the essay ? And how many of us really manage to hang-on to that long-term, mid-term goal we so earnestly stated in the career essay???

April 26, 2006 5:32 AM  
Blogger Marina said...

Nice post! And great to see you back and alive! I hate your IT department. Have you tried www.meebo.com?

April 26, 2006 9:11 AM  
Blogger hokidoki said...

Wouldn't you agree that the application process itself has given us a terrific opportunity to reflect upon ourselves and our goals? Have you decided where to go?

April 26, 2006 5:29 PM  
Blogger Meru SAVARNI said...

dear i_will_make_it

(i used to recite your blog id almost on a daily basis through out Feb./March :) )

Further to your comment, i couldn't agree with you more on the "we do need to keep an open mind that even our interests/desires may change once over time" part....

..i sincerely beleive that an inter-disciplinary training on the b-school does open up more career options..and one should pursue it..

..my problem is that if a critical mass of students start discovering "new interests/career goals" suddenly after entering the b-school...what does that speak of the school, it's selection process, of the student in question, the faculty and the curriculum etc....

again, don't want to start a flaming discussion but the b-school application process is an amazing FLIP-FLOP..when you are on the FLIP side, so to say, you see the whole world full of happy, shiny people, anything can be done as long as you can "explain it" and questions like the above might sound naive and even silly

...but when you are on the FLOP side,particularly as a re-app, there just does not appear to be any method to this application process madness...i've met many successful applicants who have time and again stated that their success was based on completely random factors..and that they are not in a position to give any advice on the "winning application"...

..it's like you just put your app together..with all the usual ingredients and then just hope the guy on the other side finds you suitable....and after that it's jsut a free ride...

April 26, 2006 11:40 PM  
Blogger AynRand2008 said...

Have you decided to go to Chicago?

April 27, 2006 9:20 AM  
Blogger wheresmydessert said...

Great post! Have you made your final decision yet??

April 28, 2006 6:39 AM  
Blogger Anuj said...

You are so young !!! And how did you make it to all these great schools with only 2 years of work ex???

I thought we need a lot of work ex and stellar career growth and achievements to make it to a good B school

April 28, 2006 11:00 AM  
Blogger Marina said...

well, due to the horrible judgement calls when it comes to boys the hotel plans are being revised. Want to come party? :)

May 01, 2006 9:23 PM  
Blogger Forrest Gump said...

thanks. couldnt have had a faster response ;) as if you have a special agent monitoring me 24/7 :))
[work doesnt give me the luxury of gmail - and hence i have resort to this mode of replying]

May 02, 2006 12:37 AM  
Anonymous Stacy Blackman Consulting said...

Your “Window” for Applying: How your Life and Career Impact the Choice & Number of Potential B-Schools.

http://blog.stacyblackman.com/2006/05/23/your-window-for-applying-how-your-life-and-career-impact-the-choice-number-of-potential-b-schools/

I_Will_Make_It wrote last month in Why MBA about her MBA plans and how her values, goals and desires have shifted a bit through the years. It’s important to be aware of where you are in life and how this impacts your school decisions.

May 23, 2006 12:52 PM  
Blogger Asian Kid A said...

would you recommend someone who is going for their CFA that an MBA is also a good idea?

April 25, 2007 7:53 PM  
Blogger Abhi said...

Awesome thought... I liked the comparision between the 19yr old 'you' and the 24 yr old version of 'you'. Nice way, and nice points in there to back your decision...

Good one.

October 11, 2007 4:39 AM  
Blogger GlobeTrotter said...

Today, I'm 24 and I've started applying for MBA..
I stumbled upon your post.. and it looked like my own thoughts :)

Wishes for you to be a SuperWoman, Super... i wish the same for myself!

Hope to see you sometime, somewhere :)

November 23, 2007 12:38 PM  
Blogger "tHe bAla$" said...

its a great post..

its really gotten me thinking ..im 21 with no work experience and have received a call from a reputed insti..

great post

January 17, 2008 11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome post!!

I have been thinking about why I should consider doing an MBA. I have thought about couple of points you mentioned, but I was never clear. So, I just kept thinking more and more without reaching an end point.

Your post really helped me nail it.

Thank you so much!

June 03, 2008 8:43 AM  
Blogger ricka said...

your blog really helped me a lot....

I never thought that i would ever see such a blog...really fantastic work@@@...Thanks
but i want to talk to you and get my doubts clear,so if u could help me....my email id- ricka_shah@yahoo.co.in

August 26, 2008 4:56 AM  
Blogger Anand said...

hi.. came across ur post while searching for answers for Why MBA ? infact the first post I read.. liked it but lacked some things like suggestions to others so that they can actually get to their answer for Why MBA ? as I feel everybody has got his/her reasons..if possible tell me do you get to this answers... clear thought process and all... email: anand.tuli@rediffmail.com

October 10, 2008 3:17 AM  
Blogger Vishesh said...

I want to talk to you for clear mba vision, do you think you can take out some time for me.

Thanks in advance.

February 06, 2009 1:00 PM  
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