Success Stories of Career Switchers
Have you reached a crossroads in your career where you’re contemplating a career switch? If so, you may be wondering how to go about it. Making a career change is a big—and often overwhelming—step. To do it successfully, you need to make connections, develop transferable skills, and gain practical experience. Figuring out how to do all of that can be challenging, but you don’t have to go it alone.
That’s where business school comes in. Many students have leveraged their business school education to transition into a new career or industry. Here, three of these individuals share the valuable lessons they learned in business school that ultimately helped them switch careers.
Lesson #1: The connections you make in b-school can advance your career
After six years in the military, and quickly rising in the ranks, Omri Farber had come to a turning point in his career. “I had to make a decision whether I wanted a full-blown military career, which I didn’t,” said Farber. Instead, he jumped at an opportunity to pursue a childhood passion—cooking. He decided to study at the Cordon Bleu in London. But, after witnessing the grueling hours of a chef’s life, Farber knew it was time to reassess his career plans yet again.
Farber shifted his long-term vision, and set his sights on joining a technology-focused company in the restaurant industry. To realize this vision, Farber applied to Cass Business School in London. He credits his non-traditional background for his acceptance, and once he got in, he was impressed with the opportunities to make invaluable connections. “The speed at which you meet the right sorts of people from the industry is incredible,” said Farber. “One of my dream companies sent a recruiter one day, and the careers team called me up and said, ‘you want to meet this person.’ That ended up being an hour-long interview, and I have another meeting with the company.”
And that’s not the only important connection Farber made in during his experience. Throughout the program, he developed a close-knit peer network, and learned from their diverse skill sets. “One of my classmates, who was an actuary, sat with me for a week helping me develop my financial projections,” said Farber. “We were a class of just under 70 from many different backgrounds and countries. We became dependent on each other, which is very similar to the camaraderie in the military.”
Lesson #2: Business school opens doors to a variety of careers
Following 12 years working in New York City, and a couple of career changes, Ngozi Amobi was ready for the next phase in her career. She had previous experience in the hospitality and legal industries, but she was searching for a degree that would expand her career options. “I wanted to be better prepared for that change, and provide myself more flexibility of choice in the next phase of my career. This is why I chose to pursue an MBA degree. I felt it would give me exposure to a wide array of business disciplines, for which I had no previous exposure,” said Amobi.
Acquiring versatile—and transferable—business skills was an important part of Amobi’s career-changing strategy. While those skills afforded her more freedom when choosing a new career path, her b-school education at Rotterdam School of Management also gave her direction. “It is a great environment in which to hone in on what you may want to do next,” said Amobi. Ultimately, a b-school education enabled her to successfully change careers. Amobi currently fills the role of senior global marketing manager at a logistics company.
Lesson #3: Business school equips you with marketable skills and practical experience
Despite obtaining an undergraduate degree in engineering, Stephanie Curry decided early on that b-school would help her achieve her long-term career goals. “In identifying a corporate position as my ideal post-school career, I thought business school would help build softer leadership skills that I would need in the future,” said Curry. But, before pursuing further education, Curry gained work experience in corporate retail strategy.
While working, Curry realized she wanted to transition into a more marketing-centric career—and b-school gave her the opportunity to make that jump. Once she enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management, she gained marketing skills through the curriculum and practical experience through a summer internship. This allowed her to switch careers to a brand management position in the consumer products industry. What are you waiting for?
Inspired by these career switches? You can be one of them. Take your next big step toward a new career, and explore program options by creating an account on MBA.com.