If you’ve spent time considering whether or not to pursue a master’s degree and even more time choosing which type of degree and decided you might want to pursue an MBA, chances are you have already asked yourself some pretty tough questions. But you probably still have many more to ask on your journey to an MBA. Here are some of my thoughts to help guide you as you begin your journey.
Is an MBA right for you?
An MBA is an investment. As any investor, you want to choose the option with the best ROI, provided it fulfills your personal interests and aligns with your career goals. Some critical questions to ask yourself in determining if an MBA is the right next step for your career include:
- What are my career goals?
- What kind of industries and companies seek MBA graduates?
- Would an MBA help me start my own business?
- What will be my expected return on investment from pursuing an MBA?
You may not be able to answer these questions with total certainty. What can you do about the uncertainty and complexity in the “mini-quest” of choosing a master’s degree? The answer may be quite simple – leverage it. A degree that allows you to keep your possibilities as broad as possible is probably your best bet. An MBA does exactly that – its approach will help you stay on track and allow you to confirm (or discover) your next step in life.
Now that you have decided to pursue an MBA, how do you choose the right program?
Now you are faced with choosing an MBA program from among several business schools. Remember, you can only earn your MBA once and you want your investment to count. Here are some important questions to help narrow down the wealth of information that exists:
- How is this school differentiated from other business schools?
Learn more about the school’s competitive advantage. Is it ROI? Is it community? Is it faculty? Find out what makes that particular school special.
- What is there to know about this school beyond just its ranking?
Although it is important to review business school rankings and be aware of the variables being measured, it is also important to determine if the school’s differentiator is something that is not measured within the rankings. Consider these factors based on how they relate to your specific goals.
- What is the community like?
One critical thing often overlooked by applicants is business school community. That is, how are one-to-one relationships built during the MBA program? Some questions to ask yourself may include: How closely will professors work with me during classes? How well will I know my cohort? Will I have personalized attention and coaching when seeking a job? What resources can I leverage and how easily can I tap into them?
Why I chose Georgia Tech Scheller for my MBA
Here are some of the reasons I ended up at Georgia Tech.
- High ROI: An MBA is a sizable investment and Scheller’s MBA had the best ROI of the schools I was considering.
- Integrated community: The openness and friendliness of the recruiting team is something that has continued on into my experience as a student. Professors, second-year students, alumni, and the Jones MBA Career Center team make the experience worthwhile. You can always reach several people who will provide guidance to you in the most detailed ways.
- Competitive advantage in technology: High-tech products and services are going to become more and more relevant in our lives. I’ll be able to hit the ground running after graduation because of my strong understanding of the direction the world is going.
Always remember – keep an eye out for things that future-proof your career. Best of luck in your MBA journey!