How To Use An MBA For A Career Switch

Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

The Global Hub at Kellogg School of Management will host Northwestern’s VentureCap student startup competition finalist showcase tonight. Courtesy photo

Why Pursue an MBA? Here’s What a Kellogg Student Has to Say

The cost of an MBA from a top business school can easily exceed $200,000. For many prospective MBA students, that cost may be a deterrent but for some, it’s worth it.

Yesuto Shaw, an MBA student at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, recently sat down with Fortune and discussed why he thinks an MBA is worth it—and why he gave up a six-figure salary to pursue one.


For Shaw, one of the main reasons why he pursued an MBA is to intentionally explore other career opportunities.

“I wanted to find something I was more passionate about and give myself the opportunity to really spend that time exploring,” he says.

Shaw, who earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Dartmouth University, says towards the end of his college experience, he decided that he wanted to pursue more business-oriented roles.

“I was able to get a job at a strategy consulting firm and then move into business strategy roles, but I still felt I would benefit from getting a more well-rounded understanding of business topics,” he says.

So, an MBA made sense.

“I thought I would really benefit from getting a more solid understanding of marketing operations, finance, and the range of other elements of business that are out there, especially since I hadn’t studied them in undergrad,” Shaw says. “It was definitely a big part of my motivation.”


One of the biggest benefits that an MBA provides is leadership training. Shaw says he was primarily drawn to Kellogg because of the school’s focus on developing a leadership style that incorporates empathy and a focus on team success.

“I felt like I’d seen a lot of different leaders who were really smart people but weren’t good managers and weren’t effective leading their team,” Shaw says. “I thought going to a business school program which emphasizes leadership skills would be a way to ensure I would be the type of leader who would be really effective at inspiring a team. I felt that Kellogg really has that clear focus—on leading with empathy—and it would be something that would allow me to strengthen my leadership skills and to be a more effective leader.”

Shaw is on track to graduate Kellogg this spring—and he already has a job lined up as a product manager at a major tech company.

“I’m going to work part-time on my startup, while working full-time,” Shaw says. “In terms of my earnings potential, the new role is going to be paying me about a 30% increase in my salary over what I was making before. There’s a $30,000 signing bonus as well.”

But money is just one of many benefits Shaw says an MBA has provided him.

“I think the MBA has also pushed me to be willing to take on more risk and to consider other options, like founding a startup and taking on more innovative endeavors,” he says. “Over time, I expect the financial return to be even greater. If I do stay in this new role for the long run, I think an MBA will help me to reach senior roles more quickly than I would have without it.”

Sources: Fortune, P&Q



Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.