Is an MBA right for you?

When, where, why and how to decide

SHARES:

Anyone who is pursuing a career in business or technology may want to consider an MBA. I loved getting my MBA, so I’m pretty biased.

I finished my MBA about two months ago, and it’s been a few weeks since I started at Microsoft. The road here has been a bit of a whirlwind. Why? Because an MBA is a really intense personal experience. You take time to do a lot of soul searching, a lot of socializing and a lot of learning. At the same time, this career change can have an impact on your personal life.

To make the decision, I asked myself:

  • Why should I consider a master’s in business?
  • When would be the right time?
  • Where/What university would be right for me?

There were three main reasons why I wanted to do an MBA:

  • I wanted to learn more, always more.
  • I wanted to accelerate my career and change industries.
  • I wanted to meet brilliant people from all over the world who shared common ambitions and interests.

Here’s how the degree helped fulfill my objectives:

  • I had fun learning and meeting people from a variety of industries and international backgrounds.
  • I managed to change from the cosmetics industry, working at Procter and Gamble, to technology at Microsoft.
  • The MACH program (Microsoft Academy for College Hires) offers experience that’s unique and key for career development.

Now comes a trickier point:  When to attend. Some factors:

  • An MBA is a huge investment. Tuition fees, living expenses. If you study abroad, your expenses are even higher. If you go to school full time, you have no salary. And if job security is an issue, quitting your job is a decision point. So you have to choose timing wisely.
  • Many MBA students have about five years of experience. The five-year mark is a good time to make a change: You’ve learned a lot and have something to show for your experience.

I loved my MBA program. There are a lot of good schools and they offer different things. Do your research and see what’s right for you.

My MBA helped me land my top choice: Microsoft. I wanted to join an industry that’s growing at a fast pace. I knew an MBA would provide me with the exposure, the network and the skills to make the leap to IT.

While earning my MBA, I learned from case studies across many different fields. I worked side-by-side with people from industries related to IT. I wanted to join the field even more. I gained insights that helped me in interviews. Still, academics aren’t enough to land a job. You need contacts.

Business schools are a place where recruiters look for talent. Networking was especially important for me because I was making a career change.

When I applied to Microsoft, I presented myself as a consumer marketer who could help the company in the devices and services world. I used the knowledge gained at INSEAD to show I had an understanding of industry challenges.

I’m really happy I joined Microsoft – and even more so after having earned an MBA. The program gives you perspective on how a company’s strategy aligns with day-to-day execution. I’m ready to contribute to my team and our subsidiary. I’m looking forward to it.

 

Meet more MACH participants, learn about the program, and apply. Find more opportunities on the Microsoft Global Careers site.

Find related stories on the JobsBlog:

MACH, MBA and intern candidates: A recruiter in Central Europe tells you how to be a star

Three MACH women share their paths to Microsoft

One MACH alum shares How to succeed at Microsoft: 10 keys to success

Check out Microsoft Careers on YouTube.

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