This is a post I've wanted to make for a long time, but I think it took me actually going through the process to gain a better understanding of what I meant. It allowed me to more clearly articulate how I arrived at the decision to get my MBA. Essentially, I'm answering the Why MBA question, after the fact and without the limits of a normal essay.
My undergraduate experience was different than most students. I spent two years at one school then transferred into another; however, while I received time credit for what I did at School A, I didn't receive course credit. That meant I would need to retake English, foreign language, math, etc. And I was paying for it myself. I didn't have four more years to restart college! So, I doubled up my course loads, did full summer sessions and managed to finish School B in two and a half years. That's good, but I missed out on a lot of stuff. I never got to go abroad, never took spring break or summer trips, or had the opportunity to take a class for FUN! I missed that.
Cue to that first job, that first paycheck and a sense that college paid off. Cue to a worried feeling of being typecast into a certain job function. Cue to panic over the sense that, despite a degree in business management with a focus in marketing, you find yourself writing SAS/SQL code for eight hours a day with little responsibility or management potential. Cue the fear of being stuck.
In late 2007, that fear grew into a desire to change myself, to step out of the rut I found myself in and do something about it. I spoke with family, friends, work associates, crazy drunks at the bar. Over time, the thought of going back to school and getting my MBA crept into my head. I started looking into it more, reading up on the GMAT, selecting a wide range of schools that interested me, narrowing down that list once I realized they were pipe dreams. By January of 2008, I knew the MBA was the right path. Each little nugget I read, each website I scoured, the lights would flash in my head: MBA!
I felt an MBA would serve two purposes. First, it would allow me to have a real college experience, albeit one a bit more structured. I would start on the same level as everyone else, striving to the same goal at the same time. I'd have the opportunity to go to China or Japan or wherever, visit companies and learn about things I was actually interested in! I'd meet people with common interests yet diverse in their backgrounds. The social and cultural implications fascinated me; I couldn't get enough of reading about the experiences of people already in school and how much I wanted to be a part of that.
Second, an MBA would help solve my career crisis. I could spend two years refining what it is I'm meant to do. Should I be a brand manager? Is corporate strategy more interesting? Does the nomadic lifestyle of a management consultant strike my fancy? Can I actually handle quant-based courses? I'd leave with my masters, with a new set of skills and the knowledge that would allow me to succeed in whatever venture I so chose.
All of these things piled up on me and kept me focused throughout the application process. An MBA almost made too much sense, it solved all my problems in one fell swoop. I couldn't NOT go. I couldn't suppress that desire. I HAD to make it happen. And happening it is.
So, that's my MBA story. The time is right, the desire is there, and I'm ready to get started.