Stanford Grad’s Pros & Cons to Graduate Business School
I recently came across a piece by Tara Sophia Mohr–coach, writer and Stanford Graduate School of Business alumna–on the pros and cons of getting an MBA as a female. Although most of her advice isn’t incredibly gender-specific, Ms. Mohr does shed some light on what it’s like to approach B-School as a “nontraditional candidate.” Going into the program, she had only previously used Microsoft Excel four times and her academic training in economics largely consisted of watching Wall Street as a high schooler. With her poetry experience in tow, Tara Sophia faced the odds and completed her MBA in 2006.
After citing pros such as balance, perspective and credibility, the Stanford graduate ventured into “myth-busting” territory. She seemingly hopes we all know: (1) Business school doesn’t innately answer “What should I do with my life?” and (2) an MBA isn’t necessarily prerequisite to accomplishing your goals. To me, both are valid reminders. Having any graduate degree doesn’t automatically answer life’s great questions–nor does it inherently pave the way for every possibility you could ever want. Maintaining realistic expectations concerning what a business degree can do for you is helpful in knowing whether you actually should work towards earning one or not. In the end, Ms. Mohr was pleased with her decision to go back to school, but she realizes the same conclusion isn’t for everyone.
You can visit Forbes.com to read Ms. Mohr’s own words: “To M.B.A. or Not to M.B.A.”
MBA Journals from Bloomberg Businessweek
If you’re looking for more real women to tell what graduate business schools are actually like, Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s MBA Journals are another great resource. Allowing us to “follow current students as they experience business school,” BusinessWeek hosts a variety of diary-like entries from first- and second-year MBA students who attend various universities. The B-School journaling section features a variety of female perspectives for your reading pleasure, but potential candidates can obviously gain insights from all of the current and previous students regardless of gender.
Clearly, the question of should you or shouldn’t you get an MBA is a personal one. We all come from different backgrounds, with different goals and objectives. For some, the costs outweigh the benefits of going back to school. For others, getting a graduate business degree is what will make dreams come true. Recognizing that business school students need not fit a cookie-cutter mold can help you honestly gauge if a graduate degree is for you–even if you are a “nontraditional candidate” that still doesn’t quite know what Excel is for.
“MBA Journals: B-Schools BusinessWeek.” BusinessWeek.com.
Tara Sophia Mohr, “To M.B.A. or Not to M.B.A.” Forbes.com.