Considering an MBA? Our Advice for Career Switchers
Are you looking to gain the skills and network to launch your career in a new direction? The Great Resignation of 2021 found many professionals rethinking their career and life choices. With that came the realization that a different career path might be in order. So-called career switchers can use the MBA degree to develop connections for future employment. It can also expand international job opportunities. And then there’s the potential for long-term income and financial stability.
“The great resignation is a great opportunity for business schools, which are anticipating a jump in MBA applications because of tight labor markets and changing worker attitudes that are boosting attrition rates at many employers,” Find MBA recently noted.
While business schools are quite familiar with applicants using the degree to pivot, there are some things to keep in mind as you position your MBA candidacy.
Career Switchers from Non-Traditional Backgrounds
First, does your undergraduate degree or work experience fall into the non-traditional category? Then make sure you clearly convey your long-term career goals within your application and essays. Explain in detail how you have concluded that an MBA would help you further your professional aspirations.
Business school demands a huge investment of your time, energy, and finances. Make an airtight case to the admissions committee for why you want to go into this new field. Show that you know what the industry requires, the challenges you expect to face, and convey all previous experiences that demonstrate you have the transferable skills to make this switch.
Emphasize aspects of your work experience related more closely to the new career path you wish to follow. If necessary, take additional college-level math courses to demonstrate your quant proficiency. Or, call attention to extracurricular activities that clearly support your career shift.
Maximize Your Time at B-School
Once you’re in business school, you have the opportunity to see how you fit in that new industry through coursework, student groups, internships, or networking with alumni. Self-reflection and exploration are key components of the MBA experience. Students have a chance to sample various fields and functions without making any firm commitments.
Embarking on a new career path with a freshly minted MBA tucked under your arm isn’t just about new knowledge acquired in the classroom. It’s about leveraging your existing experience with enhanced skills, and even more so, it’s about making the most of personal relationships.
All people, classes, activities, etc. in an MBA program will catapult you into a whole new sphere. You may come out with completely new ideas that help facilitate career change in ways you would never have thought of before.
The Chicago Booth School of Business has a large array of personal stories from career switchers who have used the Booth MBA to pivot into new industries. Read their stories for more information and inspiration as you think through your future career path.