Many people asked me how the MBA experience at Stern has helped me career-wise. In my past one and a half years at Stern as a part-time student, I keep thinking about this question and I found my perspective has changed over time.
It is widely agreed that an MBA from a top school like Stern would open the door to the top-tier career options and help us advance our career path tremendously. For many students, full time or part time, the most important goal out of the MBA program is to land with a dream job offer upon graduation.
As I proceed with the program, I found my MBA experience has brought me more than just a potential opportunity to switch a job. Rather, it helps me tremendously in shaping the way I view my current job and how I can explore and advance my existing work responsibilities to the next level. The various classes I have taken, the panels, seminars and group discussions I have attended over the past semesters have benefited me from both a technical and soft skills perspective. Out of all the skills, I found strategy, leadership, effective business communication and negotiation the most helpful as I advance my career at the manager level. In addition to the skills learned, the MBA experience has also equipped me with a sense of responsibility and a big picture view to look at things.
One of the key highlights of the MBA program is the use of case studies in teaching and discussions. Each case presents a true business story and showcases the lessons we would learn when we look at the business events backwards. Such experiences accumulate and they eventually form a vision for MBA students. Once after I have been through over a 100 cases, I start to develop my business acumen subconsciously. As time goes by I have forgotten the details of many cases, however, the lessons I’ve drawn keep popping up at work when I encounter similar scenarios, and such experiences have helped me gain a unique angle to deal with the issues.
As a business person, I hold long term career aspirations and I understand that I need a long term vision and strategy to accomplish my goal. Gradually I came to understand that what we get from the MBA career-wise is way more than a job offer at the end of the program. It is a training to help you realize the resource constraints, and to find ways to expand your share. It helps you not only to avoid a problem, but also to know how to solve it. It encourages you to gain a vision and develop responsibilities to lead and change. With all these skills, one can succeed in both current and future positions and can lead others to succeed along the way.