Four Ways to Use a Full-Time MBA for Career Change
Aug 19, 2014
B-School, Choosing the Right School, MBA
Submitted by Aimee Akimoff, director of Recruitment, Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University.
Making a career change and transitioning from “where you are to where you want to be” is an exciting opportunity. Career transitions can be dramatic, as they were for two recent Willamette MBA alumni: one moved from being a sports anchor to a management consultant for a major consulting firm, and another transitioned from the Peace Corps to a financial analyst for a noted technology company. Career transitions can also achieve less dramatic goals like finding more challenge in your work or taking on increased opportunities in your chosen career area of interest.
Attending an MBA program designed for career change will help you:
- Build an Area of Expertise and Your Strategic Understanding of Organizations: A good MBA program will develop your general knowledge and functional expertise. This combination is important for developing the functional and strategic decision-making skills needed for successful careers – and is a major benefit of the MBA over the Master of Accounting, Master of Finance and other narrowly focused master degrees.
- Build Your Professional Experience: Choose an MBA that emphasizes experiential learning, client projects and internships – then actively participate in these resume-building opportunities. Knowledge, alone, can’t support the change you want to make. Employers want to know that you can apply what you know to help their organization move forward.
- Refine Your Career Goals and Career Management Tools: Pursuing an MBA is the one time in your life when you are expected to take time to really focus on your goals and personal development. From understanding your strengths, to refining your career goals, to networking, to interviewing and negotiating for salaries, an MBA program can prepare you for a lifetime of successful experiences and transitions.
- Develop Your Soft Skills: Your future success depends not on the MBA degree itself, but on the professional you become while you earn your MBA. The MBA can help you develop the soft skills needed for success in today’s global work place: confidence, strong communication skills, presentation skills, the ability to really listen to others, and the skills of leadership and teamwork.
So, if you are at the place in your career where you know it’s time to take a step in a new direction, move forward with a plan and embrace the opportunity to pursue a full-time MBA program.