Why you should do an MBA in your 20s

Leonard Mahlberg is a student from Frankfurt, Germany, currently working on his MBA at the Hult International Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After completing a master’s degree in Canada and moving back to Germany, he realized he was ready for his next big adventure. He tells us how his MBA at the Hult International Business School provided the perfect opportunity for him to do just that and why he’s glad he’s doing it in his 20s.

In short

Don’t be afraid to do an MBA when you’re young

Many people believe that they need a certain amount of professional and life experience before doing an MBA. Indeed, the average MBA student spends about five years in the workforce before starting their program.

Nevertheless, Leonard explains why he thinks more people should do MBAs during their younger years.

First of all, people in their 20s are normally more open-minded and willing to learn new things. They also don’t have as many commitments like professional or family obligations, which allows them to prioritize themselves and pursue the best opportunities that come along.

Leonard explains that at the beginning of his MBA program, his younger age “was definitely a fear at the beginning.” He was worried that it would “lead to people not respecting [him because of his lack of experience].” (04:54)

Since completing his first semester, he’s realized that his age has only been an advantage. “I think age is not a problem because it’s more about experience and what kind of knowledge you bring to the table. An MBA is such a cool thing because there are so many diverse backgrounds and people from different ages from different industries that all [bring this one unique community together],” he says. (04:31)

How to find the perfect MBA program for you

Leonard used a set of criteria to choose the right MBA program for him. He admits that he looked at MBA rankings like so many other students, but he has a bit of advice: Rather than focusing solely on rankings because “there are so many different outlets doing so many different rankings and every single one of them is different,” (05:34) focus on two key factors.

First, consider what kind of experience an MBA program could offer you “based on location and program approach.” (05:54) In Leonard’s case, he’d already had the experience of being an international student at a North American university. He ultimately chose the Hult Business School because he wanted something different and to be “thrown into a big mix of people.” (08:07)

Leonard also admits that cost is a big factor when it comes to selecting an MBA program. However, he takes an interesting approach and thinks about it as an investment.

He explains, “An MBA is expensive and it’s an investment, right? But, with investments, you’ve always got to look at [returns] and [possible risks] and [whether] it makes sense overall…For me, it was important that when I looked at Hult’s program, [it made me] feel comfortable [and] sleep better at night.” (06:03)

An academic community with campuses all around the world

Leonard is a man who loves experiencing new things and pursuing new adventures. This is one of the reasons why he was so attracted to the MBA program at Hult International Business School.

He applied to the Boston campus because he originally wanted to study somewhere close to the Canadian border so he could visit his friends and old colleagues easily. However, he loves how Hult is made up of a global community of campuses that students can rotate through if they choose.

“We are allowed to rotate in the summer…we’re allowed to take electives…[and] we can take them on any campus we want,” he tells us. “So, there’s one in New York for example, so I could go there and take my electives there and [stay for a few weeks]. I could also go to San Francisco or Shanghai, London, Dubai.” (13:44)

Overall, Leonard explains that students love the opportunity to study at other campuses because “that rotation [is] basically like another student exchange on top of international exchange.” (14:20)

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