Monday, August 20, 2012

The Continuing Adventures of the MBA

It is a guest article of Christina St-Jean,  a Canadian English teacher and freelance writer with She spends much of her time chasing after her two young children.

Getting any master's degree, let alone a Master's of Business Administration, is exciting stuff. Think about it; you have decided to work amongst the elite and go for an advanced degree. That's not a mission undertaken by the faint of heart.

However, these are tricky times we live in, and getting an MBA is no longer a guarantee of getting that ticket to corporate glory. While the recession is not likely to last forever - economic forecasters have already seen something of a bounce-back in the economy - competition is still incredibly fierce for a job. So why bother getting that paper that shows how much blood, sweat and tears you've shed?

It's simple, really. You've already worked towards part of your dream in getting the paperwork. It's time now to broaden your horizons even more:

1. Remember, dreams aren't realized right away: While anyone will rightly be impressed by your achievement, you aren't going to walk in and snag the Chief Executive Officer job right away. With every management job you take that's out there, you gain extra experience that you can pair with the experiences gained in pursuing your MBA. That makes you more employable, and puts you one step closer to achieving your dream.

2. Don't sweat the debt: Employers are looking for candidates who are willing to pursue continuous education. What better candidate than someone who has already pursued further education? By pursuing your MBA, you not only look more eager to achieve in the corporate world, you make yourself more marketable because you're hungry for further education. The debt will eventually be paid off - look at it as an investment.

3. Keep moving forward: There will sometimes be stumbling blocks on the road to that ideal job after you've received your MBA. It will be easy to get frustrated. However, remembering the challenges you've encountered throughout your pursuit of an MBA will go a long way in removing the sting of any obstacles you may encounter. You won't start at the top right away; be patient and keep working hard. The opportunities will eventually present themselves.

4. Be willing to work AND learn: Look for the opportunities which continue to challenge and stimulate you. You've spent some time working towards that master's degree. Going for a job which ensures continued drudgery will only depress you, so why pursue it? Instead, look for something unexpected; you may not start right in management, but if there's something unique about the position that draws you, why not go for it? Ultimately, it's important to continue working towards your dream job, but there will be opportunities to continue learning throughout the pursuit of your post-MBA career.

In short, there are several possibilities open to you when you finally obtain your MBA. It's important to keep in mind, though, that your first employment stop after achieving this educational goal is not necessarily upper management. It's necessary to keep an open mind throughout your career - both pre- and post-MBA - in order to achieve your corporate employment goals.


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