The benefits of doing an MBA: An overview
Doing an MBA gives you a diverse range of technical and personal benefits that you might not already know about. This includes:
- Leadership skills
- New perspectives
- A professional network
- An understanding of new business contexts
1. Leadership skills and how to use them
Jessica Robinson was already making good progress in her career, acquiring experience working in supply chain and marketing departments. She developed a deep understanding of how departments work together to create a product for consumers.
However, one of the most in-demand benefits of doing an MBA is leadership skills. During her career, Jessica took an interest in how the leadership within her company faced different challenges, how they worked across teams, and how they found solutions to a range of issues.
With that aim in mind, she chose the MBA at Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business to “really get to understand how all the different functions of a business work together to get to that end goal.” (02:01)
Not all leaders are the same though, and nor should they be. As Jessica said, “[I was] asking myself about those questions and really identifying where in marketing I wanted to grow, as well as the type of leadership that I wanted to gain.” (02:29)
2. New perspectives on your specialty
The average number of years of experience for Gabelli School of Business MBA candidates is over five years. Thus, it’s not surprising to find people who have a vast knowledge of their industry. However, one of the benefits of doing an MBA is gaining new perspectives in areas you already specialize in.
Jessica explained one of her key takeaways. With marketing, “everything truly starts at the consumer…always keeping that in mind throughout my career I think is going to be very beneficial.” (07:46)
The MBA has also helped her gain a more analytical eye that will serve her well throughout her professional life. “Something that I’ve started to develop throughout my MBA program is always looking to see what’s happening, what different trends there are as well as what I notice that different brands are doing,” Jessica tells us. (08:41)
3. Confidence in your own abilities
An MBA is no easy feat, which is why it remains one of the most prestigious achievements professionals can gain. In the complex world of business, it’s easy to feel lost. But, with the right education, you can forget the imposter syndrome and with a deserved sense of achievement, gain a level of confidence to take your career forward.
This sense of fulfillment was another aspect that helped Jessica take the decision to pursue an MBA. She explains, “My career interests and then my personal goal really fused together really well there, so it made it an even easier decision for me to decide to go back to school.” (02:47)
Confidence often comes from the qualification itself. An MBA is always a gem on any CV, which opens doors to a vast range of opportunities. However, an MBA also works as a risk-free training ground. It allows students to make mistakes and learn from them with the support of professors.
4. A wide-reaching professional and personal network
As the classic saying goes: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. One of the greatest benefits of doing an MBA is an expansive network that spans from the classmates in your course to your professors and everybody else at the school.
But, networks can come through dedicated groups, too. As Co-President of the Fordham Women’s Club, Jessica has been heavily involved in creating a supportive network of individuals who are always willing to help each other out. “It truly is a platform and a community for women in business where we’re there to support each other, we’re there to provide different workshops and opportunities to network with each other,” she says proudly. (12:09)
The club invites well-established businesswomen to discuss their career trajectories and offer advice to MBA students. The Fordham Women in Business Club exposes students to sources of inspiration that would be hard to come across outside the MBA context.
5. Resilience in the face of unexpected challenges
Studying at Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University, is demanding, but it helped Jessica build a skill she wasn’t quite expecting: resilience. The amount of new content, as well as the pace of the course, means students have to be well-organized and strong enough to keep going when things get tough.
Studying during the pandemic didn’t make things easier. She reveals, “Going through the MBA program is naturally a very challenging process…but doing that during the pandemic adds on another level of challenges that a lot of us had to overcome this past year.” (09:40)
The reality is that there is never going to be a time where all the conditions align perfectly for you to put what you’ve studied into practice. Gaining real-world experience and working through challenging times is incredibly valuable when moving into your career.
6. Knowledge of new business contexts
Often, the benefits of doing an MBA stretch way beyond the classroom. It’s no coincidence that so many graduates choose to study in the Big Apple, where Fordham University is located. The bustling metropolis is synonymous with opportunity, symbolized by the Statue of Liberty and the classic Frank Sinatra song.
Jessica says there are “so many different companies to learn from, to experience, to network with, and just being at the hub of business in the United States is just an incredible opportunity.” (11:31)
Surrounded by this context, MBA students get to see the inner workings of a range of businesses and draw on the experience of their classmates who come from different backgrounds.
Pursuing an MBA: A gateway to future opportunities
Of course, all the advantages that we’ve seen here add up to seriously improve your employability. In their 2020 cohort, 72% of Gabelli School of Business’s full-time MBA students found employment within three months of graduating against a backdrop of the pandemic. The average full-time salary was over US$100,000 with a signing bonus of over US$15,000.
We hope that these points have given you a clearer idea of the benefits of doing an MBA. Jessica’s experience is just one of many success stories that have seen students grow professionally and personally.