Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mrs. Love Bird, MBA?

I was thinking about how life is going so incredibly fast and how a few short years ago that I was enrolled in a GMAT class in hopes of applying to Stanford and Harvard for my MBA. Since I was undergrad at Wellesley College I had dreams of pursuing my MBA but was cautious about going into debt to do so. Stanford had a wonderful MBA fellowship program I was excited about applying to and I even considered going PT at Babson (the very first school I ever looked at thanks to my dad when I was in junior high - he knew I was entrepreneurial from a young age!).

So this is what happened in the midst of me making all my plans . . .

In 2006 I was at the end of my rope at my job and was in that GMAT class I mentioned but took a visit to NYC to see my sister run (part of my timeline here). Something clicked and I felt the strong urge move to NYC and to put my resume out there to see what would happen. In 4 short weeks I went from just thinking about moving to NYC to 3 job offers, 2 of which had a 42% pay increase from my salary in Boston and an amazing 1 bdrm apartment all to myself on the top floor of a doorman building with a washer/dryer (practically unheard of in NYC), outdoor space and an amazing view of downtown Empire State building and all.

When I weighed this against getting my MBA at that moment it just didn't make sense to pursue it any longer. 

Another deciding factor was that right before I left Boston someone mistakenly left a salary document behind on the copy machine when I was about to use it and I took a look and saw that my salary at that time was just shy of my company's minimum for an MBA employee. This really put things into perspective for me!

At times I think about getting my MBA online, but I know part of what made it appealing to me was the thought of networking and being attached to the brand of the schools I was applying to. 

Overall, I'm very happy with my choice not to pursue an MBA. Being part of the NYPL's StartUp! competition and coming out of it with a business plan and the self-education I've garnered and lots of reading and networking on my own has been immensely helpful in pursing my own business. Plus when I see peers who have gone to business school and come out in debt and still trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up, it makes me even more confident in my choice. Yes, an MBA could've provided those networking opportunities and "credibility," but I've learned how to build that on my own without the financial expense and for me, it's worked out just fine.

Have you ever had a "coulda been" scenario that you're now glad worked out differently? Please share!