When I decided to go back to school, I didn’t know where to
start. I made the decision in 2011 but at that point, I haven’t attended
college since 1998 and was not familiar with “college culture”, and application
requirements. After learning about where I stood in terms of existing college
credits, and my GPA, I found out I had to start from the beginning. Community
college was the most logical and cost-effective option for me. I attended
Portland Community College (PCC) before transferring to Portland State
University. PCC was a long and slow process since I was paying for my classes
out-of-pocket and took one class at a time until I decided to apply for
financial aid to expedite my time in school.
At Portland State, I majored in English with a minor in
writing. I chose English due to my interest in the subject. I understood the
subjects and majors in the STEM field is in demand and well-compensated, but I
was never a math whiz. Math and algebra were always my worst subjects in
primary school and community college, so I felt the STEM door was closed for
me. During my time at Portland State in the English department, I contemplated
what I would do career-wise when I was done, but always came up short with
Let me rephrase that: I came up short with careers ideas where I would be compensated more than when I was working as an admin in San Francisco in the early 2000s. Remember, I will have student loans to pay back. Looking at local career options, I ran the risk of taking a hugs loss in compensation despite having a college degree.
After meeting with a few counselors regarding career and
graduate school, I realized business was where I wanted to go, and an MBA would
be my method. One year before my
graduation date from Portland State, I started researching MBA programs
nationwide and eventually in the local area. In the third post in this series,
I will focus on Willamette University MBA and why I made the decision to all of
my eggs in their basket.
The entrepreneurial path begins with a genesis of an idea. A mysterious unicorn lurking full of adventures, the ebbs and flows test anyone to their limit. It brings into question the sanity of anyone brave enough to embark on such a path, many have attempted few will succeed. Luckily there is help to better the odds, and one would be wise to utilize as many resources as possible.
An academic institution can serve as the proving grounds to test entrepreneurial theory and put into action both in personal and professional development. According to Bloomberg Businessweek global rankings the top 10 Entrepreneurial programs in the country are:
Stanford University – The premier entrepreneurial experience rich and diverse, with deep ties to Silicon Valley and regions around the world.
Utah (Eccles) – Globally recognized for enabling students to experience entrepreneurship in both theory and practice.
Babson (Olin) – Focuses on the creation of social and economic value by developing core capabilities of idea generation, opportunity recognition, resource acquisition, and entrepreneurial management.
UC Berkeley Haas – Integrates entrepreneurial thinking into the student experience by launching new ventures.
MIT Sloan – The program is about invention. It’s about ideas made to matter. Here, they discover solutions to tomorrow’s interesting and important challenges.
Carnegie Mellon– Turns researchers, hackers, hustlers, and designers into successful entrepreneurs.
USC – Sets a vision where others see risk, they see opportunity. Forget status quo. They thrive on change and imagine new possibilities, solutions, products, and the next big idea.
UT at Dallas (Jindal) – Utilizes world-class academic education, industry-leading experiential training, and venture mentorship to support the launch of new businesses.
Willamette (Atkinson)– An opportunity to plan an entrepreneurial venture and activelyparticipate in the process of angel investing.
Colorado at Boulder (Leeds)– Provides opportunities for students, faculty, staff, industry partners, and the community to engage in innovation and the entrepreneurial mindset.
This list can help narrow down a decision when reviewing possible programs to embark on the entrepreneurial journey.
When I look back ten or even five years ago, I never thought I would ever pursue an advanced degree to advance my career. Before June 2018 I didn’t even have my bachelor’s degree. Before going back to school to finish my degree, I spent the past fifteen years in jobs that I enjoyed for the most part, but I wasn’t advancing. I worked in the information technology, science, finance, and architectural industries and enjoyed what I did, but quickly got bored. I felt my experience qualified me to do more, but I didn’t have the education to back it up.
My resume begins in 2000 when I worked for Microsoft in Mountain View, California. I was the administrative support for WebTV Networks. Before that, I worked for a law firm in San Francisco, but I decided to leave that off my resume since I was no longer interested legal support at the time. In the years that followed, I had positions at companies that allowed me to learn about various industries, but I was stuck.
When I moved to Portland,
Oregon in 2009, my career prospects got smaller. I was no longer in an area
that afforded me a variety of cities and industries to work in. I quickly realized
that I needed to at least finish my bachelor’s degree if I want to get ahead.
In my next post, I will share with you the first steps I took to get to where I am now. Thank you for reading! -Carla Rose Allen
• Do you feel stuck in your career? • Do you want to be in a leadership role? • Do you feel discouraged when looking at job requisitions that require an advanced degree?
If your answer is “yes” to the above questions, Willamette University MBA may be your ticket to advancement in your career. Willamette University MBA is designed for individuals starting out in their career and working professionals like you. The skills you may have learned in your undergraduate program may no longer be relevant in today’s growing industries. Demands are higher and it’s easy to get left behind.
You may ask, “how can I go back to school, work full-time, and care for my family?” Willamette University MBA for Professionals, or MBA-P, is designed specifically for you. Here are seven reasons you should consider Willamette University MBA-P to expand your career:
Working Professionals – The program is designed for busy personals, so classes are held in the evenings two nights a week.
Great Locations – You can opt to attend class at the main campus in Salem, Oregon, or at the urban campus located in the heart of Portland.
Support – The classes are intimate, and the academic and personal support from the faculty is vast.
Streamlined Enrollment Process – The enrollment process is extremely fast and easy. Whenever you call or email the MBA for Professionals staff, you should expect a response within 24-hours, if not immediately.
Peer Support – Unlike in a traditional university setting, your cohort will be made up of individuals in a similar life/career/family situation as you.
Dynamic and Progressive – The curriculum offered is current and relevant to today’s business environment. Classes such as LEAD: Leadership Effectiveness and Development and Politics and Public Policy for Managers will give you the skills you can immediately use at your job. See the complete list of MBA for Professionals Course Descriptions.
Willamette Foster’s Lifelong Learning – Graduation day doesn’t have to be the end of your time at Willamette University. “Willamette MBA alumni may register for select courses in the Early Career/ Career Change MBA or MBA for Professionals program free of charge … for life.” See more about the Willamette MBA for Life.
In the next post in the MBA for Professionals series, we will explore in greater depth the benefits of earning your MBA from Willamette University!
While I received a solid ‘business’ base in the core courses, I was also able to satisfy my cravings for the social, philanthropic, and environmental realms through the great variety of courses and certificate programs offered. The opportunity to explore within my MBA changed my mind about the business world, which I previously viewed as stuffy and (yawn!) boring. – Caitlin
I loved the rigor of instruction with a strong emphasis on collaborative work and enjoyed the opportunity to apply in-school instruction with real-world situations.- Ezra