Don't like my job, but don't know what I would do otherwise. Is getting a MBA the right place to 'figure it out'?

Reasonhall's picture
Rank: Chimp | 15

I'm currently in consulting but know that I don't want to do this for more than 2-3 years. Unfortunately, I am no closer to figuring out what I actually want to do afterwards (not interested in banking either). Business school seems like the 'default' option but I don't know if it's a smart decision to pay for 2 years of MBA and not really know what I want out of it (yet).

Does anyone else have the same feeling? Or do most go into bschool knowing what type of career they want afterwards?

Comments (6)

Jun 27, 2013

I just finished my first year at an M7 business school. There are certainly people that choose b-school as the "figure it out" path, but most that I know came in either wanting to advance in their existing professions or switch careers altogether (usually banking / consulting).

You may not have figured out the exact "job" you want to do, but I'm sure you must have some idea of what your interests are. You've probably worked with clients in certain industries you found particularly appealing. Skillset-wise, there are probably certain things you know you are good at doing (financial, operational, analytical, process-improvement, yada yada yada). I would consider all these things and see what careers fit the bill there.

Based on what you find with this, you can decide if the best path is to go to b-school or not. Among my consulting classmates who switched careers, I usually saw them a) go into banking b) go into VC / PE with an operational focus or c) go into an industry role (product marketing, business development, general management, strategy).

I know this is a very vague answer, but hopefully it helps you in your thinking.

    • 1
Jun 28, 2013

Sure...It's a great idea if you want to spend $100K+ and end up with the exact same type of job 2-3 years from now. The fact that the MBA is the "default" option for people who are clueless and just want to quit their current jobs is a shame. It's probably a major reason for why so many people end up unemployed post-MBA and why so many questionable MBA programs have popped up (to cash in on the demand).

If you're going into B-School without a clue, hoping to find yourself, then you're probably just wasting time and money. Figure out what you want to do and IF a MBA even fits into the plan. If not, then what's the fxcking point of getting one? Using school to hide from "the real world" isn't going to help you, and it sure as heck isn't going to look good on an admissions application.

Jun 28, 2013

Going to business school opens up a lot of doors in terms of the obvious: networking, recruitment events, expanding one's skill set through coursework etc. It also allows for the less obvious: meeting a professor working on something that spurs an interest, a general networking event that leads to a deeper conversation about an new industry or function or niche opportunity. B school is not necessarily the place to formally 'find yourself"; it happens organically. And you will have fun doing it!

Carol Grayson

Jun 28, 2013

One thing to think about, schools typically start early September and recruiting/company presentations start in October. There is simply no way you will have time to go to every recruiting event in every industry while you figure out what you like. You need to have at least some general idea what you want to do with your life going in or you will find yourself behind the curve. Now from what I've gathered banking and consulting start the recruiting cycle earliest and you said you don't want to do either of those so that takes some pressure off. But you shouldn't go to school thinking it will give you a year or 18 months to figure out where you want to go with your career. If you take that long to decide you are going to have a tough time competing with people who have been networking and recruiting for a year longer than you.

Jun 29, 2013

I'm interested in joining a corporate strategy group at a tech or retail/CPG company but from looking at schools' employment reports, it doesn't seem like there are that many opportunities. Does anyone know if it's a matter of few opportunities, or rather that MBA students prefer to go for banking/consulting?

Jun 29, 2013