MBAs and Career Changes
By Nellie, IvyWise MBA Admissions Counselor
Potential career changes are one of the many reasons why business school applicants may be drawn to MBA programs. As the job market continues to change and evolve due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of young professionals are looking to business schools to help them chart a new path forward.
While earning an MBA can certainly give candidates a leg up in the job market, there are several important takeaways applicants must keep in mind when applying to business school to prepare for career changes. Keep reading to learn more about the role an MBA program can play in your professional development and how to make the most of your new degree.
Take Time to Reflect on Your Professional Journey
Whether you’re considering an adjacent role or contemplating breaking into an entirely new industry, give yourself some time to review your professional history so far. Reflect on the roles you have had, what you’ve enjoyed about each opportunity, and the challenges you faced. While it may be tempting to jump headfirst into working on your MBA applications, it’s best to consider your reasoning for getting a degree and how you hope to leverage business school before rushing to submit. MBA admissions officers will be looking for applicants who can thoughtfully articulate how the role they are aspiring towards aligns with their career trajectory, so don’t be afraid to take some time to compile a compelling answer.
Understand What an MBA Has to Offer
It’s best to go into the business school application process with a realistic idea of exactly what you’ll be able to get from an MBA program. While business school will not guarantee a seamless transition to your new profession, it can help you build a strong foundation and create a network that will set you up for success. Start by researching the opportunities that are available to students at the business schools you are interested in, such as networking sessions, internships, and on-campus recruitment. Look into the kinds of positions recent graduates have landed and the types of industries they work in to get a better understanding of how your MBA degree will be received in today’s job market.
Seek Out Firsthand Experience When Possible
Although it might feel like you’re the only one who’s navigating a career change, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Young professionals are increasingly changing their professional paths to stay competitive in today’s job market. If you have any friends or colleagues who have recently made a significant switch, consider reaching out to them to learn more about their transition. Search LinkedIn to see if there’s anyone in your professional network who has attended or is currently enrolled in a business school that is on your best-fit list and don’t be afraid to reach out to them to learn more about their experience. Many MBA programs also host information sessions, which can be an excellent opportunity for aspiring students to learn more about the business school.
Review the Faculty
In addition to learning about students’ experiences, it can be helpful to get more information about who will be leading the classes you’re interested in taking. When you’re finalizing your list of business schools, make sure to review the courses that are available to MBA students and the backgrounds of the professors who will be teaching them. Look out for faculty with experience in the field you are interested in transitioning into and see how many opportunities there will be to work with professors in your industry of choice.
Although career changes can feel overwhelming, they are also an exciting opportunity to broaden your horizons and expand your skillset. If you are interested in applying to business school to jumpstart your new profession, our team of admissions counselors can help you pinpoint your best-fit MBA program in a comprehensive MBA admissions counseling program.