Earning an MBA degree is a wise decision for many adults who may be looking for additional career options, an increased salary, or even new skills to offer clients within their own business. We spoke with several MBA students currently enrolled at SNU and got their feedback on what they are learning, skills they are gaining, and tips for students who may be on the fence about enrolling.
What Can You Do with an MBA?
While it’s true there are some underrated benefits of earning an MBA (hello expanded professional network!), ultimately the main reason to attend is to improve the trajectory of your professional life. When you earn an MBA, you are setting yourself up for increased career potential because you are expanding the amount of knowledge and expertise you have.
“I have gained a better understanding of what all goes into running your own business. A lot of people forget or don't even know about all the back end work that goes into running one,” said Kennyon Willis who is set to graduate this year.
Dorsey Ramsey, also a 2020 graduate, said he has “learned the ins and outs of how a business operates,” which is important since he plans to use this knowledge to turn his passion into a business of his own.
What Skills Do You Gain?
In addition to understanding how a business functions, there are many other skills you can gain with a graduate business degree. Since business is multifaceted, you may gain an understanding in things like conflict resolution, team-building, economics, strategy, and more.
Byron Crouch, set to graduate in 2021, said he has already gained “the ability to recognize leadership and decision making styles.” Because of this, he will be able to better lead a time.
“[I have learned] to pair individuals who will work well together as well as prevent conflict between individuals who will not work well together,” Crouch said.
In addition to team building, Paris Singleton said she has learned about a broad array of topics, including “rules, regulations, marketing and human resource management.” This is sure to give her a boost on her resume when she graduates in 2021.
Leadership was another area students agreed was emphasized in their MBA program. Although it's a difficult skill to teach, Dorsey Ramsey said that he has learned about servant leadership, and John Ross, a 2020 grad, said leadership has been the main lesson for him.
What If You’re Afraid to Start?
Going back to school as an adult student can be daunting, especially when combining graduate-level study with a full-time job and raising a family. You may be remembering life as an undergraduate, juggling multiple courses at once or struggling to get by on a part-time income. Graduate school is a completely different experience, especially in programs that allow you to take one course at a time and attend class one night a week or completely online.
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Ross’s main piece of advice is to “take it one class at a time.” Worrying too much about future classes may discourage you from something you are completely capable of doing or will work up to.
Having a strategy as you begin your program and using effective time management tools will help you balance the workload as you complete your program. Willis suggests students “be prepared to set up some kind of plan for studying and writing papers.”
Don’t let the content deter you either. Students from all disciplines and interests have taken MBAs to grow their business acumen.
“You do not have to have a business background to succeed in the program, just a desire to learn,” Ramsey said. “It is doable and the professors want you to succeed, if you want it you can do it!”
Mindset is also an important piece returning to college. As you go back to school, you need to be one of your biggest supporters, because you are sure to face challenges on the way. However you are also likely to find significant successes and growth. Sylvia Lott, who expects to graduate with her MBA in 2021 says, “Measure your benchmarks based on where you started from, not against your classmates.”
If you’re wanting to begin an MBA program, SNU has excellent options available online or one night a week in Bethany, Tulsa, and Del City. Contact us today to learn how you can enhance your existing knowledge base and skillset with an MBA.