How an MBA Changed My Career Path
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Strayer University. The opinions and text are all mine.
In 2010, I decided to start all over and get my MBA. I intentionally decided to pursue my graduate degree in the evenings with no idea what the outcome would be, except that I knew I wanted a career change. Getting an MBA changed my career path and that’s why I am excited today to partner with Strayer University to share my experience getting the resources necessary to succeed in the evolving market.

Why I Decided to Get an MBA

I wanted to learn about different industries.  I was working at Booz Allen Hamilton as a consultant and my main client was the military. My original goal was to get the experience to continue to be a consultant but to transition to doing consulting at a different company and in a different industry. I knew I had a great foundation for a consulting career at Booz Allen Hamilton but I wanted to take my career to a new level and really unlock the opportunities. I wanted a network that only having a well-respected MBA would allow me to have. So I attended the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego.

The Benefits of an MBA

More than anything, an MBA gave me the confidence to believe in myself that I could start a business. I had no intention of becoming an entrepreneur when I started my MBA, but, by the time I had graduated, I knew I could turn my blog into a business. My classmates were some of the best people I have ever met and I know that I can count on them for anything that I need while growing a business. It’s also great to have a network of professional women from my class who, like me, are also managing careers and now kids, too! It’s great having the support of other working moms and being able to swap advice and stories about how to get through the chaos and still have fun together!
Taking that next step in your career, changing career paths altogether or keeping up with workplace demands requires time, work, and money.

How my MBA Helps Me Today as a CEO

The classes took in my MBA program still inform and guide me in running a company. The greatest lesson I learned is to be open to seeing new opportunities, new industries, and new business models. I learned how to be innovative and creative which helped me start and grow a company. My MBA taught me how to transform my big ideas to reality and critically think about what I need to do to make those ideas a success. I learned to think through different scenarios, become a much better speaker and be able to work with so many different types of people during group projects. This has helped me work with any type of client I come across in my current role.

How My MBA Encouraged Me to Start a Business

We had a team project in our marketing class where a real company came in and our team had to figure out how to market the company’s baby clothes. My job on our team was to figure out how to market the clothes online. This meant that I got to research blogs for women online as my homework. After seeing so many other women earning a living online through blogging, I immediately knew that I wanted to do the same thing. I went home after our team project was done and started a blog the next day. I have been blogging consistently now for eight years and eventually was able to turn it into a thriving business model and quit my job.

My Advice For Someone Considering an MBA

Don’t wait until the end to start networking. Pay as much (if not more) attention to the relationships you are building with your classmates than your studies. (Am I allowed to say that? 🙂 Your network with your classmates will be one of the best networks you have after you graduate. Reach out to the alumni. Do informational interviews ALL THE TIME. Meet someone for coffee every week. Make networking a top priority. Alumni are happy to help you and give back to the community so just reach out. You’ll never know if you don’t ask.

What an MBA means to me:

Being equipped to make a positive impact in the world.
To provide Strayer students with the resources needed to be successful in an evolving market, Strayer built upon its experiences with Fortune 1000 companies to create programs that teach the skills that are in demand by employers. Such partnerships led Strayer to establish the Digital Entrepreneurship MBA with Cheddar, providing a digital-first approach to the MBA. Through Strayer’s partnership with Cheddar, students have a cutting-edge MBA delivered to their mobile device and computer that allows them to watch lectures, connect with other students via forum posts through Facebook and engage with case studies and assignments on a wide range of topics. Not only do students cultivate hard skills like data analytics, they also refine their leadership capabilities, entrepreneurial instincts, marketing savvy, and understanding of basic financial principles.
This sets students up for unlimited success – preparing today’s business leaders to succeed as digital entrepreneurs.

Hi, I'm Anna!

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