Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Is an MBA Right for You?

Are you thinking about an MBA? Approaching a career transition and not sure whether the MBA is the right next step? This blog will focus on the MBA journey—from that first conversation that sparks your interest in a career in business to the realization that an MBA might be the next step in order to advance in your dream career. I’ll call on our experts to advise you on the MBA maze and answer those pressing questions that keep you up at night. If an MBA is right for you, I want this blog to confirm that. But if another path makes more sense, then I hope that will be revealed as well.

Start with a little introspection. What do you want to be when you grow up? Read the Wall Street Journal—which section draws your attention when you only have time for one? Pick up Fast Company and see what people are doing in business that’s new or different. Talk to friends, colleagues, and family—some who have an MBA and some who don’t. Ask them about their experience. What do they think about getting an MBA?

Be honest with yourself about the job you want and the work environment where you’ll be happy. Maybe achieving a better work-life balance is a priority. Or are you searching for a career that intersects with your passions and interests. You want to travel, but you don’t want to work 80 hours a week. The list could go on, but taking time now to answer these questions will provide a strong foundation for making decisions in the coming months.

Then, join Forté at our MBA Value Proposition Forums this September and hear the personal stories of MBA women alumnae who are successfully pursuing business careers. The top B-schools will also be on hand enlighten you about the MBA application process. One past attendee said the Forums are unique because of the “support” and “encouragement” she experienced and the “abundance of valuable information provided.” Take advantage of this great opportunity to learn more about the MBA.

Do you have questions about the MBA? Concerns? Any roadblocks to pursuing an MBA? Let us help. Share your story here.


  1. This seems like a forum that I have been seeking! I have almost 15 yrs of experience in weireless technology area. As the days go by, the work seems like more and more of inegrattion rather than any development. Needless to say that makes the job less challenging.
    It also seems that I am notenjoying getting stuck at one place. I changed technical areas, but it just seems that I can not be the expert in the new area and that forces me not to claim an expert in that area.
    That is when I started thinking about a changing the domain to business.
    And now, of course, I am stuck with questions like:
    --Do I have to reset the experience to zero?
    --Should I change the area altogether - like finance or something?
    -- If do change, do I have to start as a junior all over again?Would my experience be a negative point?
    --How about compensation - Will I have to take a pay cut?
    --How do I know if I would like that kind of a job? I have never seen a day in life of those people

    I was wondering if anyone who experienced a similar dilema would throw some light here..


  2. All great questions. Making a switch after gaining expertise in a particular field can be unsettling. Charting your course for business, however, might be the answer. Getting an MBA will provide you with the framework you need to build on your experience in the wireless industry.

    You don't have to reset your experience to zero. Your previous work experience should provide you with examples and experiences to apply in your classroom learning. When you seek employment post-MBA, you will want to use your work experience to tell the story of why an MBA was important to you and how you want to use it in your future career.

    In order to determine what field to choose, you should examine your own personal interests and match them with career options in business. One great place to do this is at

    When changing careers (from say wireless to finance) it's hard to say at what level you'll enter a company. If you returned to the wireless industry but in the finance group, your level might not change at all. However, if you make a move to another industry, your experience in wireless might not count as much in determining your entry point. The best thing to do here is to identify what you want to do post-MBA and then interview people in that industry/company to determine the best steps for you to take in order to get where you want to be.

    On the compensation, this is also difficult to predict. Check out the average salaries of MBA students from the schools you are considering. Talk with a Career Services professional at that school--have them evaluate your resume to better determine what type of pay you might expect post-MBA.

    And when considering a day in the life of business, I would encourage you to read some of the articles on the Forte web site, have coffee with people in your network who are in business (this may take a couple of calls through friends or family members). Ask them questions...perhaps they'll let you shadow them for a day.