One question which intrigues every MBA aspirant always is : “When is the right time for me to go for an MBA ? ”
Most aspirants fail to realize the right reasons and things to think about to help them decide when is the right time for them to go for an MBA. Some would argue more in favor of gaining more industry experience and some would say it is when you have a right plan in mind.
Thoughts which come to MBA aspirants are usually when
- Start feeling stuck in their professional careers
- Hate what they currently do and want change
- Fascination of a Global MBA becomes too high
- Seeing peers with fancy job titles on Linked in
- Feeling like to create an impact and need big positions to do that
- Rising trend of Entrepreneurship engrosses their minds
- Fancy the roles like Consultants, Investment Bankers, Corporate Strategy etc.
It brings all of us to think
All that is fine and at least some would have come to everyone’s mind including me. These all are good thoughts and definitely show unsettlement and point towards showing that people are conscious to make a change to their careers.
However, these things don’t lead you to the right answer for when to go for an MBA or an advanced program specializing in Finance or International Business etc.
It’s good time when you start feeling like this to think about what you would like to do and how you want to take your career forward. MBA can definitely be a part of this journey and possibly the first step as well but not in all the cases. Sometimes, it can be the 2nd or 3rd step in your ladder and you got to take the initial steps to fully exploit the potential.
Talking to alumni, experienced professionals, mentors and industry experts, you can get all sorts of advice and suggestions but the real answer for the timing has a great level of dependency on yourself which you are reluctant to expose while seeking advice.
Things like your real financial status, ability to invest thousands of dollars and out of the market for a couple of years, a look back on your past career progression and the things you did, gaps between what you are doing and what you want to do post MBA, which geographic location you want to land up or spend few years at least and what’s the situation there now and 2 years later etc. These thoughts coupled with the advice you got from experts can point in the right direction and you would know what is a good time for you to apply.
Most people would think a stellar GMAT with 6 months preparation and “x” number of years of experience is enough to lead you there. Well those things are definitely needed, but what’s also important is your career, education, life events and things that you did. Think about how “You + MBA” makes you what you want to be and the You part can not always be now. Multiple things can be the first steps like changing your job, look for things you were passionate about which you never really did, think outside your industry and talk to friends about careers. Make a plan and fit the MBA piece into it and not make MBA itself as the plan.
For some aspirants even 2-3 years of experience can be enough and for some it can be 7-8 years, it all depends on “You + MBA + post MBA = Goal” philosophy. It is only you who can truly identify this. Some might argue again that it’s hard to have a clear vision or goal and how can I define all this. Well the answer is if you can’t plan that at least broadly, you are failing at the first step. Nobody or any school or anyone is expecting you to fulfill that plan or follow it exactly, but with no direction its hard to reach anywhere. It’s perfectly okay to change it later and go in a different direction but there should be a plan. Many leaders today didn’t plan for what they did but at least they had a plan when they started.
Source : www.admissionconsultants.com
Clearly current job dissatisfaction, money and seeking a big change are the biggest chunks and all are tied to what you currently have and a plan to make a career transformation. Hence it’s extremely important to analyze what you are currently and how to take it further.
A quote from www.mba50.com
“For a significant proportion, however, an MBA is seen as a stepping stone, a chance to establish a new career or a new business, even a new life. But how realistic is this, given that most employers still recruit as much on the basis of experience as they do on future potential, and that so many successful start-ups are direct products of their founders’ past? ”
Think through and think carefully about when to embark on the MBA journey !!
There is no rush !
And, you could always go for a Free Profile Evaluation .
Dhiraj Jha is the Global MBA Mentor and External Advisor of The Bootcamp. He is assisting prospective candidates with their career goals. He is a SDA Bocconi, Co2011 graduate and currently working in Samsung HQ, South Korea. Mentoring is his passion and has mentored candidates to Columbia, Rotman in the past.