Why Get an MBA? It’s a Long Term Game

“I think I could’ve gotten the job I’m in now had I not gone back to Business School.”

Kevin’s answer to my “Do you think you needed an MBA to do what you do now?” question was the same as mine. So then, why did we go back to school again? Kevin followed his initial statement with this response:

…but I think it definitely helps that I have an MBA. You shouldn’t view getting an MBA as help for your first job after school. I view the MBA more of a long term thing, where it enhances my skill set. Regardless of whether that’s true or not, employers will look at it in the future and think, “Oh, you have the capability to successfully perform many business functions.”

In addition, if I want to get another job out of tech or in a different city, having lesser known companies on my resume may make it harder without an MBA. The MBA hooks me up to a network. Whenever a recruiter looks at my resume now and sees that I have an MBA from a quote unquote top school, it’s an index of how good of a candidate I am.

Still, many leaders don’t have one. What do you think about that?

Let’s use a sports analogy: say you’re a basketball player, right? If you want to be a three-point specialist all your life, you can do that. There’s some industries where you don’t need an MBA to move up. If that’s an industry you want to be in and that’s a role and a niche you want to carve out for yourself, that’s fine.

I think going back and getting an MBA gives you the other skill set. With it, you’re a player that can drive, defend, play point guard, all these things… it will open you up to more opportunities. As your career goes along, it helps you out in the long run. That’s how I view it.

So speaking on these skills, what was the most important one you acquired from your MBA?

There are three things that come to mind:

  • I think I got better with my analytical skill set. Not that it was bad before, but I think you do enough of it in the course of two years that you really hone in on that skill.
  • The two years really allowed me to get a better understanding of what I’m looking for in a career. Going into Business School, I just wanted to be in Tech. that was a blanket statement. But experiencing classes, talking to classmates who went through recruiting, having an internship, having all those experiences allowed me to figure out what I enjoyed doing and what I didn’t enjoy doing. It allowed me to really focus in and narrow down.
  • I got a lot better at networking. I’m not a good networker by nature, but just by having done it so many times, having gone on so many calls…I just got a lot better at networking and making connections.

Life-long benefits, right?

If you would like to participate/be interviewed for the blog, contact me at nkem.nwankwo@lifeafterschool.co. Also, if you haven’t already, check out After School: Is Getting an MBA Really Worth It? here.