Class of 2020: 12 Reasons Why I Chose An MBA

University of Michigan’s Shivani Gupta

5) Needed a Broader View of Business: “During four years at Flipkart, I was part of a team that sold 100,000 smartphones in 10 seconds, successfully launched multiple brands, and delivered 50 percent of the company’s revenue. Having launched various new and established brands and witnessing their rise and fall, I developed a keen interest in understanding how each brand is able to position and market itself differently and yet cater to such a disparate consumer base. I needed an MBA to enhance my marketing skills and supplement my knowledge in other functions. In order to do so, the knowledge that I gain during my MBA and the experiences that I am exposed to during projects, internships, and then recruiting will help me grow as a global marketer and a strategist.”

Shivani Gupta, University of Michigan (Ross)

“Because I jumped straight from majoring in political science to working at Bain, I’ve often had to learn on the fly (side note: there’s way more carryover from political science than you’d think!). And because I’ve worked with awesome people, I’ve learned a ton. But I also know there’s a ton I don’t know. As I continue through my career, I need to know I don’t have major blind spots. I’m getting my MBA to fill in the gaps in between what I’ve learned on the fly.”

Anna Sturkey, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University

6) Wanted To Gain Influence: “Prior to getting my MBA, I worked in design and engineering. I worked closely with quick-service brands to create their restaurant interiors, and I was surprised and disappointed to learn that I didn’t hold as much influence over the final product as I wanted. I worked under the directives of corporate brand managers and operations and the bulk of my work was implementing decisions they already made. I was unhappy with that position and was exploring ways out of it. I was interested in the reasoning behind their decisions and I wanted to wield the same level of control over products and the consumer experience, so I decided to pursue an MBA.”

Cynthia Latortue-Brooks, Georgia Tech (Scheller)

London Business School’s Tyler Hughes

7) Answered The Big Questions: This was a very hard decision, as interrupting one’s career to pursue an MBA can lead to many unique opportunities but also comes with plenty of sacrifices, both immediate and delayed, and personal and professional. I called on a lot of family and friends, both within and outside of the B-school world, who I knew would give me honest appraisals of my ideas and decisions. Ultimately, the two questions I asked myself were  these: “What are the short- and long-term career paths, whether established or unchartered, that are most appealing to me at this moment; and what would those journeys look like with and without an MBA?” I learned about the professionals in the roles I admired, by reading about them and arranging conversations when possible, and tried to get a sense of the direction their field was heading and how relevant an MBA would be for me to succeed and accomplish my goals in that sector.

Tyler Hayes, London Business School

8) Experienced the Power of the Network: “I was part of the 2017 cohort of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Emerging Leaders Institute, which aims to equip and empower the civic and business leaders of tomorrow. During this program, I was exposed to and learned from local Latino CEOs of thriving business. After hearing their stories that resonated with my background, I was inspired to pursue a C-Suite level position in a Fortune 1000 company. I determined that access to powerful alumni networks, the relationships I would build, and the skills that I would gain from attending a top-tier MBA program, such as Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business, would be invaluable in maximizing my chances of achieving the newly set career objective. Lastly, my ability to become a business executive role model to young Americans who, like I did, come from low socioeconomic backgrounds is priceless.”

Ever Isaac Hernandez, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

9) Wanted to Balance Skill Sets: “I wanted to sharpen my data analytics skills. Although I consider myself to be a creative at heart, I realize more than ever that data has the power to spark creativity and tailor branding in ways that could never be done before. It’s mandatory to embrace data in the world of media and entertainment, and it’s a language that I surely want to be fluent in.”

Christina Charlery, Columbia Business School

10) Took the Long View: “As an introspective person who journals almost every day, I thought of myself at the end of my life looking back and wondering if I’d regret not doing an MBA. When evaluating the worth of an MBA and whether it warranted the high cost, it became obvious to me that I had to get an MBA or I’d regret it the rest of my life.”

Justin Gordon, USC (Marshall)

University of Oxford’s Christian Nattiel

“Since moving into finance after my undergraduate degree, I always thought of pursuing an MBA at some point in my life and I told myself that I will do it the day I feel my learning curve on my job flattens. Then, after 5 years of work experience in valuations and investment banking, I reached a point of comfort in what I was doing. I also spent my entire academic as well as professional life in India, so I was very keen to have global exposure and learn how business is done outside India. I knew there would be a lot I could learn by doing an MBA especially being in a diverse classroom like we have in Oxford.”

Vivek Elluru, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

11) Needed To Be Around People Different Than Yourself: “After graduating from West Point and integrating into the civilian world here in Oxford, I began to realize that much of what I had practiced and learned about leadership was within the context of the people around me having a near-identical set of values that were inculcated in us by the Army for strategic reasons. When it is time for me to transition into the civilian world after leaving the Army, however, it is necessary that I have sharpened my skills at leading more diverse groups and organizations if I truly want to affect large-scale change. With that goal in mind, it was clear that SBS was the place to be.”

Christian Nattiel, University of Oxford (Saïd)

12) Let’s Make More Money: “It is difficult to find someone that did not receive at least the full amount spent during the MBA in wage in the first year of employment (before tax).”

Miguel van Zeller, New York University (Stern)


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