[Update: I got in! Class of 2019!]
I am in the process of applying for admission into the MSU Broad College Executive MBA program (fingers crossed!) and one of the requirements was an essay on my goals. Specifically: “Describe your professional goals, how you expect the Broad Executive MBA to impact these goals, and why this is the ideal time to pursue an MBA.” Since I’m finally on the other side of a transition period (we’ll discuss that otra vez) this was perfect timing for me to put my goals into writing.
I was once interviewed by BDPA about my career path in the years since I participated in their High School Computer Competition. One of the things I mentioned was my regret that I had not been more strategic in the early stages of my career. At the time, I focused more on the job at hand than I did on what should come next and the path that I should take to get to that next level. The lesson I took away from those early steps was this: While it is very important to work to be effective in my current role and valuable to my employer, it is of equal importance that I always look toward the next phase and broaden my skillset accordingly. This thinking is what brought me from being a team member to a senior subject matter expert to a manager in my own right. At mid-career, having recently experienced a job and geographical transition, I believe this is the perfect time to begin thinking of what comes next.
I have always relied on my technical background for success in my career, regardless of role or employer. While that background is still invaluable to me, I believe that the addition of serious business acumen is required for me to take the next steps and continue to grow. The Broad program is one with deep roots in Michigan in general and with my current employer in specific, and also possesses a faculty and alumni network which would go a long way towards showing me what it takes to lead and to grow myself professionally. In addition, I have a long-term goal of becoming a teacher and mentor in order to pass on the unique career experiences that I have had to younger professionals and students who would like to get to where I have been. I believe that an MBA from Broad would serve both of these needs quite well.
My achievements to this point in my career would be sufficient for many to choose to stand pat, rest on their laurels, and enjoy the stability that their expertise allows. However, I got to this stage by never resting, always reaching and seeking to improve where I could in order to make myself more knowledgeable and valuable overall. To this end, I would very much like to enter and complete the Broad MBA program in order to expand my abilities enough to take the next step: To evolve from a technical manager into a true business leader.