Completing the Curriculum & Making it Work for You
When nearing completion of the MBA curriculum, you inevitably start to evaluate what you can do with the attainment of this new credential and perhaps try to calculate the potential career-long ROI on the fulfillment of your two-year business school commitment. With the addition of the three-letters after your name, if you so desire to exhibit on business cards, email signatures and your online professional platforms, you anticipate garnering a heightened level of professional respect and the prospect of more senior career opportunities in you field.
Certainly, you want to first celebrate the achievement and the long academic road you traveled to reach the new distinction. You may wonder, “Wow, I have conquered a program that many of my colleagues (and probably supervisors as well) haven’t.” Soon after you savor the moment of graduate commencement, correspondence beckoning you to register with the alumni association will start arriving. Similar to when you may have been besieged by your undergrad alumni office, it is as if you want to wait until you deem yourself to have demonstrated some concrete in-the-field success before you jump on board as a proud ambassador of your alma mater’s program.
For full-time students, there are full-time summer internships during the summer after the first year to explore the managerial track at the blue-chip corporations. For evening students working in full-time careers, the summer break is usually devoted to catching up on life, family and social activities that were neglected.
Regardless of the program format, discipline emphasis or school’s prestige or cache as a corporate feeder, gaining the MBA credential may be a very personal milestone that can be supplemented and articulated through networking, on-the-job leadership demonstration and a commitment to continuous professional development. Just as young grads with bachelor degrees face an unfavorable economy for hiring in many sectors, having an MBA offers some competitive differentiation. However, the dearth of new senior-level jobs in some fields coupled with a large inventory of MBAs can make one wonder if it is the guaranteed gold ticket to an executive position with a lucrative salary that it once was in the 1980s and 1990s.