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.
"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:
- 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.
- 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.
- People: To increase my network with my classmates and alumni. To build lifelong friendships and partnerships.
- 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?
- Self Confidence: To train myself how to interact with a diverse pool of individuals and how to interview (and market myself) effectively under pressure.
- Giving Back: To continue my social responsibility of giving back to my community - through student clubs, as an alumni, etc.
- 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.