3 Reasons to Pursue an MBA
There are many reasons why one might pursue an MBA—from developing leadership skills to making a career pivot.
Patrick Mullane, executive director of Harvard Business School Online and HBS Executive Education, and Vai Schierholtz, director of marketing for MBA Admissions at HBS, recently outlined a few of the top reasons why an MBA might make sense.
TO BE AN EFFECTIVE LEADER
An MBA education can be useful in developing key leadership traits, including emotional intelligence, communication skills, and problem-solving.
“Business leaders today need the skills to face integrated problems that span not only functions within a company, like engineering, supply chain, and human resources, but also big picture issues of macroeconomic conditions and geopolitics,” Schierholtz says in a recent article at the Harvard Business School Online blog. “An MBA will help you think about all those things when making decisions.”
B-schools can create an ideal environment for leadership development with plenty of resources and support for students to learn and practice key skills.
“At IMD Business School, for example, we have integrated leadership training throughout the MBA program,” Martha Maznevski, MBA program director at IMD Business School, says. “This means that students get a lot of very practical experiences relating to both formal and informal leadership skills. In addition to this, they get a lot of feedback – from coaches, psychologists and peers, as well as from the whole MBA team. They can then put that feedback in place right away so as to try and create something different tomorrow.”
PIVOT YOUR CAREER
If you’re looking to change careers, an MBA may also make sense.
“It provides an inflection point, particularly if you go to an in-residence, two-year program,” Mullane says in the HBS Online article. You stop a job, meet a whole new network, and then recruiters come to campus and you have the opportunity to do something else. If you want to pivot your career, that’s a great opportunity to do it.”
Experts say B-school can be particularly helpful in helping people clarify their career goals and provide them with the tools and opportunities to make the switch.
“People often come to business school with the hypothesis that they want to work in a specific industry,” Schierholtz says. “Then, they learn something in business school—whether through academics, classmates, or professors—and they set a new path for their career.”
MAKE A BUSINESS IMPACT
Whether you’re a business leader, entrepreneur, or innovator, B-school can equip you with the perspective, skills, and network to make a real business impact.
“You get two years to reflect on what impact you want to make on the world,” Schierholtz says. “Because you’re exposed to so many ideas and so many people from different backgrounds, you leave the program feeling like you have a more developed sense of who you are, what’s important to you, and what you want to prioritize in the future.”
Sources: Harvard Business School, The Washington Post
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