The MBA Experience (with more than 10 years of work experience)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The MBA Experience (with more than 10 years of work experience)

I was recently asked about my personal experience in the MBA program, especially from the perspective of someone that decided to work for 10+ years before starting the Part Time program.  The question made me realize and reflect that everyone makes the commitment to start their MBA in their own time, for different reasons.  

I personally wanted to explore my career (and take a professional headshot!).  While I was intrigued by the idea of pursuing an MBA after my undergrad degree, it was important for me to have conviction in what I was doing professionally before I made the investment in further education.  I used this time to compete in athletics, solidify my interest in a banking career and most importantly, marry my wife!  I needed to build a strong foundation in my personal and professional life before I was ready to start the degree.   

Dan Motoyoshi's Headshot

I always had the MBA on my bucket list.  I knew that I was going to do it eventually, but time also has a knack of slipping away, quietly.  Before I knew it, I was 10 years into a busy career and I wasn’t sure how “school” was going to fit back into my life.  As I considered if the timing would be right, self-doubt also started to creep in.  “Do I remember how to study?  Am I going to be able to add that workload and not sacrifice my career?  Can I manage a work-life balance?  Did I wait too long?”

Then I had a moment of clarity.  “What if I don’t do it??”  I knew that I would always have a regret if I didn’t pursue this for myself.  I would have had to ponder what life could have been like if I had pushed myself out of my comfort zone and stepped towards a dream that had continued to grow.  

Benefits of My Experience

Now that I am half way through the program, I have realized that having my experience has been a great asset.  The professional background provides more perspective when reviewing cases.  Presentation skills certainly came in handy for the first time I presented in class.  Working has taught me time management as well as communication skills, just a few of the abilities that an MBA program has pushed me to continue developing.

Personal Advice

There is some advice that I can share from my personal perspective:

Reflect on your priorities and what an MBA means to you.  If you have this goal in heart, you will find ways to rise to the challenge and grow into the person and professional that you want to be.  (or just remember how to study!) 

Be open for a journey.  I had a perception of what the experience and process was going to be like, only to find so much more.  Some of my best friends have been made in the program.  Professionally I was acknowledged as one of 2015 Twin Cities Finest by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, all due to a connection that I made with a fellow classmate.  There are many doors that will be opening for you, embrace them.

Dan Receiving Award on Stage

Enjoy the process – even if it means that your spouse will make you post a ridiculous “First Day of School” picture on Facebook!

Dan Smiling and Dressed Up for First Day