Enrolled MBA Interviews
Courtesy of the wonderful world of Reddit I have been able to connect with MBA's at all stages of the game.
Today we'll hear from an enrolled MBA:
Why did you pursue an MBA?
I knew I always wanted to return to school to get a master's degree, but what led me to an MBA was the versatility of the degree. After researching many of my interests (law, policy, international relations), I figured an MBA would give me more flexibility and make me more attractive to employers.
What was your approach to applying?
I only looked at the top 25 schools and started narrowing down from there. First by cities I would want to live in for the next two years, employment records, culture of the school, and concentrations available. I was surprised at how much fit became important to me throughout my search. Some schools I visited I realized right away I would not be comfortable studying there for two years, so it became easier to do process of elimination. I applied to 3 schools in the first round and intended to apply to 3 in the second round. Once i was accepted with a full scholarship, I decided not to continue applying to schools in the second round.
How did you approach the gmat?
I took the GRE a few years ago and had that in my back pocket.
What was the most difficult thing about applying?
For me the most difficult thing about applying was crafting a cohesive story as to why a MBA made sense for me. As a "non-traditional" MBA student, it was important for me to develop my story. The process though difficult, really helped me focus on why I was taking two years out of my career. Yes a higher salary and more money will be nice, but the why of my story is ultimately what makes the super hard days in school manageable.
What was the most surprising thing about the application process?
How in depth it can be. Yea great stats are nice, but I truly think if you can craft a great story you can overcome a so-so gmat or gpa. Raw numbers can help your case, but a great story can help sell you.
Were you pleased with your application results?
Yes. Full scholarship at one of my top choices.
What classes did you find most interesting/helpful during your program?
I'm biased, but I've enjoyed all of my supply chain and analytics courses. I've personally found all the marketing classes to be a bit "fluffy" and more common sense then anything. My most enjoyable class so far has been an excel spreadsheet modeling class. Learned a lot of neat tricks.
Best piece of advice about being an MBA?
It sucks but network your ass off. My classmates who struggled to find an internship focused more on school than on speaking with alumni. I'm not saying blow off school, BUT people don't go to mba programs solely for the learning. Remember why you're there is to get a job. I made it a point to speak with someone at least once a week to learn more about different companies and roles.
What do you wish you knew about being an MBA that you know now?
Applying the MBA program is stressful, but unfortunately the stress doesn't end once you join the program. Now you have to compete against your classmates for the internships you want.
Can you detail your intern recruiting process? Target industry/company?
I didn't have a target industry, but instead a target function. I wanted a supply chain role that was heavily data-driven. A lot of my recruiting process was speaking with alumni and recruiters who came on campus to see if they had any such roles. Most of my process was driven through the off-campus process, speaking with alumni.
What was receiving the internship offer letter like?
Literally got my letter a few days before Christmas and it was the best Christmas present ever.
How do you rate your career services office?
Career services is what you make of them. Some career coaches are better than others. It is important for pre-mba students to realize that students have to drive most of the search themselves. Coaches are there to provide assistance, but there are no jobs to be handed out. It is on you to go out there and hustle for your internship and offers.
Do you feel that your MBA will be worth it?
Yes. To be honest it hasn't been easy. I've never taken a business class before, so I had a pretty steep learning curve. But I think my two year break in my career will be worth it.