Thursday, February 21, 2008

Laying the Groundwork for the Road Ahead

At the ripe old age of 27, I have come a long way. No, I haven't created an internet start-up or made a fortune investing in some nifty new environmentally friendly fuel, or been elected to anything. But for me, where I am now is something I'm very proud of.

I am only the second person in my immediate family to finish college (my parents dropped out to get married). I'm the only person in my family with a graduate degree. When she was my age, my mother had just had her first child and my parents were struggling to put together enough to buy a real house. She worked in the only job she could get, and made very little, and my folks had to be very frugal.

In contrast, I've finished graduate school and now make more money than my mother currently does, even though she has thirty years of experience on me. I have already laid down the foundation for a long and successful career.

Last night I went to an information session for the MBA program at Simmons School of Management. It's an idea I'm still toying with. I know that if I do go for an MBA, Simmons is where I want to do it. I wrote my M.Ed. thesis on women's colleges and this would be my only chance to go and experience an all women's program. It's a good program; my mother-in-law is an alumna. There are lots of other reasons, but in short, I know that's where I want to do it. If I do it.

I really liked the session. There's a lot of work I'd have to do if I applied. I'd have to take the GMAT, which would involve a lot of prep work. They offer two part-time programs, a three nights per week, 2 year program, and a two nights per week 3 year program. It's a big time investment.

In the session, we engaged in a basic case study with one of the marketing professors. I really enjoyed it; I thrive in a classroom setting. I could have stayed for hours discussing the case.

There are a lot of things to think about in this; aside from time investment and would I wear myself out doing a degree and working full time? How would I pay for this? I'd need a scholarship. How would it affect my marriage? What would the benefits be of having another degree?

Next week I'm going to an informational interview. I'm hoping to clear up some of these questions then.

4 responses:

Angela said...

Kate, I definitely understand what you're going through. I recently applied to (and got in) graduate school for a Master's. (I, too, would be the first in my family to receive a Master's.) And, although not nearly as intensive as your potential MBA, I'm definitely having the same kind of feelings and questions. Keep us updated and good luck.

WorkingDefinition said...

It's important to take time and congratulate yourself... as you know, we are all too often our own worst critics. You have done well and I look up to you, not just regarding your professional accomplishments but also the lovely relationship you have fostered over the years. Regardless of whether you decide to pursue the MBA, I'm sure that with the passing years you will continue to thrive.

Milena said...

Kate, your post inspired me to write a long, eloquent response highlighting the benefits of further schooling and the ways you can work out quality time with your husband...but to be honest I am in the middle of studying for an exam and I think this post more accurately expresses how I feel...

Beth Dunn said...

It was great to meet you at the Simmons MBA info session - glad to hear you are seriously considering Simmons! Keep in touch as you go through the application process -- I'd love to know how it's going.

Me, I'm pretty sanguine about the fact that I'm going to see even less of my husband than I already do (he works nights, I work days) and that I'll be too exhausted to think. I think the ROI of a top-notch MBA makes it all worthwhile.

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