Good reasons to pursue an MBA while working full-time
In January 2018 I kicked off my MBA journey with a jolt of excitement but also a little apprehension. Attending a classroom course felt different than 10 years ago during my university studies, and it wasn’t only because I had already spent a full day at the office. Many of my fellow students were working professionals, each with their own distinct personality, education, motivation and experience. My professors also had equally diverse backgrounds. This made for a culturally enriching and intellectually stimulating setting. Two years after my first course, I am pleased to now call myself an MBA alumnus from Sacred Heart University in Luxembourg and earned my degree while continuing to work full-time.
In case you currently consider pursuing such a degree yourself, you probably have a good idea what you aim to achieve with it. However, in case you are a working professional, you may still wonder if the commitment to spend uncountable evenings and weekends studying will eventually be worth it. Let me give you three good reasons on why I believe the answer is “yes”.
Aside from the academic content and leadership takeaways of the MBA, the curriculum allows you to obtain an exclusive sneak-peak into businesses and industries that are outside your day-to-day professional context. Just one example in my case, was the study trip to the United States, which extended my horizon beyond what would otherwise have not been possible. The week-long course not only consisted of sit-in classes, but also of corporate visits, ranging from meeting established investment bankers to interacting with dynamic start-up companies. This invaluable experience helped to translate my classroom studies into what happens in the real world, closing the circle for me in terms of what I learned at SHU.
Remind yourself of your capacities
The second reason to take on the challenge, is to remind yourself of your capacities. Besides spending time and money, the MBA will also be an intellectual investment. (Re)acquiring and perfecting specialized knowledge, such as Accounting or Finance, within intense and challenging timeframes may not be your usual pastime. However, after successful completion of assignments, you will feel proud of your achievements. This goes without saying that you will need (or learn) to have a healthy amount of self-discipline and organizational talent to balance your work/private/study life.
Lastly, as a working professional you will also have one significant advantage over non-working students: the opportunity to apply the following day what you learned the night before – and bring back your experience to class. This holds especially true for the Leadership classes where you can better internalize your learnings by applying the concepts in real-life settings.
The decision to pursue an MBA while also working full-time is one that should be well pondered, considering what you are willing to invest and what you want to achieve. For my part, I am proud of this achievement and thankful for the invaluable support my family has given me throughout the journey. Thanks also to my fellow classmates from whom I have learnt as much out of class as in class.
Patrick Zangerlé, Alumni 2019
Manager Insurance & Claims @ Cargolux Airlines International S.A
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