Never Stop Learning: Why I’m Getting an MBA

I’m going back for my MBA! This week marks the end of week one at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business MBA orientation and so far, it’s amazing. When I announced on Instagram that I was returning for my MBA, I was met with a lot of personal stories of people who just finished or are still in school and a few who had a few questions about what an MBA was. I thought I’d put together a post answering all the questions about it, why, how much, and what’s the point of an MBA in this post! 

Ultimate Guide to Tailgating

First things first, I want to share that I didn’t always intend on going back to school. I truthfully left college saying I was going to climb the corporate ladder, be VP of a company by the time I was in my mid-40’s and that would be that. I’m smart, capable, and good with numbers, why do I need to spend a hundred thousand dollars to go back to school when I could ride horses now and be VP later? P.S. I’ve already had this conversation with my career advisor, so they know all about my trajectory to business school. 

That being said, I have been on this MBA journey for a while and I almost quit because we were gaining so much traction for the brand I figured stopping now would be a detriment to growth. But then I realized, my personal growth is equally as important as my brand growth and I know that an MBA would help me get to my next echelon of growth. Now for some reader questions all about the MBA! 

What is an MBA? 

An MBA is a Masters of Business Administration. You may have heard people refer to it as b-school, business school, but it is never referred to as just a “masters”. An MBA is a collection of classes that an institution puts together to help polish an individual’s business acumen so that they can go off and be stronger managers, leaders, or help equip them to start and run businesses. There are typically three categories: Full-time, Evening, and Executive. Full-time MBA’s (my MBA program) lasts for 2 years, while evening (or part-time) typically last 3-4 years (you do these in conjunction with working full-time), and executive MBA’s are 1 year. 

How much is an MBA? 

MBA costs vary from school to school. Generally, your full-time public MBA is going to be about $30K a year (including housing, meals, and fees). Private institutions are much more expensive, charging anywhere near $200K for the entire program (think your Harvards, Yales, etc). 

Why would you pay for an MBA, can’t you learn everything online for free these days? 

Here is the best question and the hardest one to answer- yes and no. Learning from a book (or in this case, online) and learning in real life are two entirely different approaches to retaining the information. While it works for some (think your Bezos, your Jobs, and your Gates), it isn’t necessarily a safe place to learn and apply complex business scenarios without putting your business at risk. At an MBA, you gain valuable opportunities to network, polish your interviewing and pitching skills in real-time, learn business concepts and apply them to real scenarios. MBAs also help those who are looking for credible ways to switch career paths (like Finance to Marketing) or expand their knowledge of a certain career path and enter a more elevated role when they return to the workforce. Ultimately, the decision is yours to go back to school, but choosing more education is NEVER going to hurt you in any way when looking for new opportunities in life. 

What’s the point of getting an MBA if you’re already working your dream job? 

It’s true! I absolutely LOVE being editor and creative director of Darling Down South and it has been my dream to be EIC of a magazine since I was a teenager. Although this is my dream job, I have other avenues of business that I would like to explore and hone in on so that I can continue bringing you guys top quality content, new products, and new services in the future. I’m all about expanding your user experience and I know that my experience with MBA will help make that happen. 

What’s going to happen to Darling Down South? You’re not quitting are you??! 

No, rest assured, this platform isn’t going anywhere but we are bringing in some help. I have a few contributors who are going to be writing some content for you guys and I will pop in about 4 times a month to say hello. You can still find our snapshots of house life over on Instagram and you can stay in touch with our newsletter as well! 

I’m thinking about getting an MBA but am afraid of telling my boss/ quitting my job, what did you do? 

Well, I was my own boss for the last year so it was easy to let her know about life changes. But my MBA journey did start while I was working full-time and navigating that conversation with my boss was easy but also hard. She was one of the reasons I wanted to go back for my full-time MBA but I knew that if I told her I wanted a full time MBA, I may risk losing advancement opportunities at work. I gambled and told her anyway, she was extremely supportive and constantly checked in on my work and school progress. She also wrote my recommendation for Tech which I really appreciated. I will say, not all bosses are receptive to hearing you want to quit to go back for school. It could be a huge risk to ask your current employer because it may be an issue when it comes time to receive a bonus/promotion/ whathaveyou, so if you feel that way, make sure to ask your co-workers for confidentiality and a recommendation. Or you can always talk to HR! 

Can anyone go to MBA, I don’t have a business background? 

Absolutely! It’s open and available to everyone who has completed an undergraduate degree. Each school has it’s own set of requirements revolving around undergrad GPA, GMAT/GRE scores, and work history. I would advise you to get in touch with the admissions program and if you personally know anyone who has gone to an MBA program that you want to go to, then reach out to them for an introduction to the admissions council. Remember, you are a potential customer, while yes you are doing this to better you, they also have so many slots they need to fill each year and are trying to impress you too! 

I don’t like taking tests, do I really have to take a graduate exam to go to an MBA program? 

Most likely, yes. There are a few programs that allow you to waive the test with either executive sponsorship or work history, but that’s pretty rare. There are a few programs that don’t require you to take a test at all, but I’m not familiar with any of them. I highly recommend if you haven’t been in school for a while to take the GRE. I found this test much easier than the GMAT as the GMAT has a lot of subjective questions to the quantitative and verbal sections and I don’t do well with those types of questions. The GRE was just math with an on-screen calculator and verbal that mimicked an advanced reading level. 

What do you plan on doing after the MBA? 

Ultimately, I would love to be the CMO or CEO for an emerging food or drink brand whether I create it by myself or join it after college. I don’t plan on moving out of Atlanta, but I think helping drive the market adaptation for a lifestyle food/drink brand would be the most fulfilling job. 

You guys had some great questions, so thank you so much for asking! I hope this helps you understand what an MBA is! Whether you are just starting, not sure if you want to start, or just curious, I hope you learned something here! P.S. Go Jackets! 

Author: Cynthia

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