Guest post! Brennen Ricks (Class of 2015) wrote a 4-part series on his blog, 1personsexperience.blogspot.com, to answer the question: “Was the MBA worth it?” We’re featuring an abbreviated version of the 4th and final part of the series here. For the full version of the article and more from Brennen, be sure to check out his blog!
The Benefit of an MBA
This is my last post of a series on if an MBA was worth it, even though there is still plenty more I could say.
This isn’t going to be a ‘tooting-my-own-horn’ essay. It’s an objective list of what I got out of the Foster MBA program that I could not have received through my own self-directed learning from books or online tutorials.
Let’s also be real and acknowledge that a formal upper-tier MBA program gets you access to some things that self-directed study just can’t…such as (brace yourself for buzz-words) access to networks of people, certain hands-on experience, job-placement systems, friendships, and a unique way to learn about yourself.
I have 4 main topics, and if you read any of them, I hope you read the last section.
Flashback to June 2015: We had just finished final exams and final projects for Spring Quarter…which meant that we were done with the first year of our MBA program. We were officially second years! A couple of students from the Class of 2016 were asked to talk about what the first year of our MBA program was like, and if we had any advice for the Class of 2017.
Today we have a superb guest blogger: Anika Gupta (Class of 2016)! Anika had the opportunity to spend the summer at TripIt as a Senior Product Marketing Manager intern. Anika is already an accomplished marketing maven, but this was her first experience in a tech startup. Read more about her experience below!
This Summer 2015, I had the amazing opportunity to intern as a Senior Product Marketing Manager at TripIt by Concur an SAP company, in their Channel Sales team. My main objectives of this internship were to understand how to maximize the B2B sales channel for growth in user acquisition, get a better understanding of the company structure and culture post acquisition by SAP and make the most of my first summer in San Francisco.
This was my first full-time stint working in the US and to be honest, I had no idea what to expect. Coming from a career in high stress agency and corporate work, I was completely thrown off by the tech start-up scene in San Francisco. I had never known what it was to work in an employee-driven market, where companies really understand that their people are the key to their success, and therefore, take REALLY good care of them!
Today we have a great guest post by Dan Tadiarca (Class of 2016)! Dan had the opportunity to spend the summer as a MBA Finance Intern at Nordstrom, one of the best fashion retailers in the world. Read more about his experience below:
If you enjoy shopping for things (clothes, food, tech, you name it) as much as I do, it’s easy to see how landing an internship at renowned retailer Nordstrom over the summer can make you giddy with anticipation. Known for its best-in-class customer service and a generous return policy, Nordstrom embodies a culture of collaboration and diversity. So when I received an offer for the MBA Internship in Finance this summer, I jumped at the chance, despite some hesitation around returning to a Finance role. That decision to keep an open mind and take on challenging opportunities led to one of my best summers in recent memory. Ever, perhaps.
We have a great guest post today! Brennen Ricks (Class of 2015) wrote a 4-part series on his blog, 1personsexperience.blogspot.com, to answer the question: “Was the MBA worth it?” We’re featuring one of his articles here on the Costs vs Benefit of the full time MBA. Read his answers below, and be sure to check out more from Brennen on his blog!
Was an MBA worth it financially? What about all those costs you have to make up?
Tomorrow is the deadline for my very last payment in the MBA program: my graduation robe & hat. It makes me think about the total cost of doing this.
Going back to school was the financially riskiest thing Christine and I have done together so far, because the costs are relatively certain but the reward can be influenced by a lot of things outside of our control… a classic Cost & Benefit, or Risk & Reward story. I want to define what the costs and benefits were for Christine and me, and tell how those costs and benefits played out.
That’s the career advice I’ve heard countless times. Follow your dreams, and the rest will come. If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. When I was in the Air Force, I thought about life on the outside and imagined how great it would be to be your own boss, to be in control of your own destiny. I devoured stories about people starting their own companies, and learned how veterans can be amazing entrepreneurs.
Trouble is, I didn’t know what I was passionate about. I didn’t have one singular problem that I wanted to solve. So I was hoping that a full-time MBA would help me find that problem, and lead me on the path toward becoming the next great entrepreneur. I dove headfirst into the Seattle entrepreneurship community, and went to all the events that I could find through the University of Washington’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.
Interested in using your MBA experience to be a force for social good? It’s my pleasure to introduce this guest post by Phoebe Lipkis (Class of 2016), our 2015-2016 Net Impact Club President. She’s a truly inspired leader and an amazing classmate. This is her guide on all the resources available to Foster MBA students who are interested in maximizing their social impact.
The Pacific Northwest is a hotbed of social entrepreneurs, environmentalists, outdoor enthusiasts, and do-gooders. New Foster students looking to use their MBAs for social or environmental good will find an abundance of resources at their fingertips. Here’s a guide to make it easier for you to navigate these resources and create new opportunities.
It’s my pleasure to introduce Marcus Dover (Class of 2016), our new Diversity Initiatives Coordinator for 2015-2016! Prior to the MBA, Marcus was in Accounting and Finance, and hopes to go into Marketing or Strategy. He’s also a huge 49ers fan and is active in the Foster Marketing Association, Diversity in Business, and many other clubs!
Marcus Dover, Class of 2016
What led you to pursue an MBA?
I decided to pursue an MBA because I wanted to switch gears and do something completely different with my career. I was no longer interested in accounting, but also wasn’t quite sure what type of career I was interested in pursuing. I knew an MBA would allow me to explore new career possibilities while gaining a new skill set that would allow me to successfully make the switch.
About Inside the Foster MBA - A blog by University of Washington Foster School of Business students that gives you an inside look at life as an MBA student, whether through the Full-time (day) Program or Evening (night) MBA Program. What's it like as a student? How is family life affected? Networking opportunities? Global, entrepreneurial options? Internships and mentorships? It's all here.