Why I want to get an MBA

I’ve always wanted an MBA since my days in high school because I thought it distinguished yourself from others but now that an MBA degree is no longer as “sexy” as it was before my reasoning have definitely changed. One of my goals was to get accepted into a top 10 business school, MIT being my focus, but the reasoning behind it was a little naive and selfish. Part of me just wanted to go through because it was MIT!! And also a top 10 which the big Wall Street companies love, apparently. As I’ve gain more knowledge I can see that the opportunity costs are not worth it and now that I have a family, do I want to sacrifice 2 years of watching my daughter grow up to chase a goal that was built on a weak foundation? Also, the end game would most likely result in an increase in my salary but also, most likely, a substantial increase in my hours. With my certain circumstances, I’ve found a perfect solution in pursuing a part-time MBA at Portland State University. This will allow me to stay with my family and also continue working for Turner at the same time, who happens to have a tuition reimbursement program. But the question still remains as to WHY I want to get an MBA and HOW it will benefit my company and my career. It’s also good to write things down so this is my thought process and reasoning behind those prompts.

Here at Turner we don’t sell a product or tangible assets, what we sell is the knowledge, abilities, experiences, and skills of PEOPLE. Therefore if you can improve your staff then you’re only increasing your potential for profitability and ability to sell work. There are a lot of things you can learn on the job and from training but there is also a tremendous amount to learn through course work and interaction with professors and fellow peers in an academic environment. I want to take the holistic approach and add the regiment of academic study to my lessons on business behavior and how a business is ran. By learning about strategies and business theories, I believe I can apply this to my company to find ways we can innovate and improve our processes. The data has shown that construction grows a lot slower than other industries and gaining further knowledge of other sectors and businesses can only help to set my company apart. I believe the knowledge I gain through a graduate business education will give me more perspective and tools to increase the profitability and potential of my company.

Business Relationships
One of the biggest part of business is building relationships and strengthening them because it’s always more fun to do business with someone you know and like and gives you ability to brace and plan if you’re going to do business with someone you might not like so much. From my short time in the construction industry, I quickly found that eventually everybody will know everybody – it’s a small world and there are only a few big players. Being a business class will give me the opportunity to create business relationships with people outside of the construction industry and most likely we’ll be in upper management at our respective companies over the dozen years. Who would you trust building your $40 million office building? Someone who you studied with for countless hours and shared beers with or just some general contractor off the streets? When at business school I’m going to try and create as many relationships as I can because it’ll make the experience more enjoyable and memorable along with providing with a great sound board for the future.

Public Speaking
Without a doubt, if you want to be a big shot at a company then you will need to be a veteran and expert in public speaking. For example, the general manager at my business unit is an amazing public speaker. He never has unnecessary pauses, flows eloquently, uses his hand gestures perfectly with the words, and speaks crisply, cleanly, and very coherently. Every time he speaks I take mental notes to what he does and how he does. I’m sure other people can relate to when you see and hear an excellent speaker talk in front of a large audience – it’s truly a skill that one must master and practice over many hours. Pursuing an MBA will give me many opportunities to practice public speaking whether it’s in large or small groups and will be invaluable experience in my future business career.

Exploring Other Business Industries
My undergraduate degree focused on construction and civil construction and I never really had a chance to learn about other business industries. The MBA’s curriculum will give me a taste into other business industries like finance, private equity, business logistics, global business, product manufacturing, and so many more. I’m very happy being in the construction industry however I would love to delve into finance and private equity a little bit further. I’ve always loved all aspects of business and I think the education will make me more well-rounded by giving me a glimpse of how other industries handle processes/procedures and perhaps I can translate those into the construction industry. I’ve heard many people get an MBA to switch careers but that is not one of the focuses on why I’m getting an MBA – I just want to see what else is out there and if anything else sparks my interest.

These things are what I’m striving for when I go to pursue my MBA – my plan is to apply to PSU before the February deadline and then begin taking my first classes in September 2016. This will also include studying and taking the GMAT which will be difficult with my the current schedule I’m on trying to get debt free but if you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way! I also plan on discussing my goal with my supervisor and upper management this week to get their buy-in for the tuition reimbursement program. The plan actually flows quite smoothly as I’ll just be done with getting debt-free as I enter business school.

One thought on “Why I want to get an MBA

  1. Khang – enjoyed my visit. Have you considered (or even heard of) Toastmasters? A great way to learn public speaking – as well as meeting new friends and networking. Best wishes!

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