MBA at Willamette University: A Solution to a Career Dead End – Part 2

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 ideas.

 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.

Willamette MBA: A Solution to a Career Dead End – Part I

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

5 Reasons You SHOULDN’T get an MBA.

We get it. Life is busy. Families are important. Time is as limited as most people’s budgets. The decision to enroll in the MBA for Professionals program at Willamette can be a tough one for many working professionals.

We decided to help those of you who may be on the fence of enrolling. We have put together five reasons that perhaps may mean you SHOULDN’T get an MBA with Willamette…

1. Becoming your bosses’ boss

You’re busy, you know that. Your boss is busy. With the knowledge and tools, you gain while earning your MBA at Willamette, you will not be taking your bosses’ position, but your bosses’ bosses’ position. With an MBA from Willamette, you might end up stuck with that big fancy office, YUCK! Imagine in two years from now having to sit your current boss down to talk about their performance? Phew, are you ready for that?

2. That pool boy though

With all of those promotions, you will be making a lot more money. So much so that you will buy your own pool. That pool will require regular maintenance of course, which is no problem because you will have the money for it. Then your family and friends come over to swim, and they will be talking about your new pool boy. Are you ready to be the type of person who has casual conversations about their private pool?

3. All of those rejection letters

Moving up that quickly within your organization has to have people talking… about the awards and recognition that you deserve. So much so, that other organizations will be interested in having you work for them. You will be getting job offers for things you didn’t even apply for. Can you handle turning down people for positions over and over again?

4. What would your future self tell you to do?

Doing an MBA program is a lot of work, especially while still working your current job. If you met your future self who didn’t do an MBA they would probably say “No, don’t challenge yourself. Everything stayed the same and that is how I wanted it to be. Oh, besides a machine will take your job in 3 years.”

5. Could you handle it?

A Willamette MBA is ranked consistently as the best MBA in the state of Oregon. That in turn means you will have the best educators, with the toughest classes in the state. This prepares you to be the for any and all types of business. Are you ready for that?

Still not convinced? You are in the right place then. Check out the endless other posts here on the SocialMBA, all written by current MBA students. Your future network of alums!

Oh and that reminds us.. one more reason you might not want to to enroll in the MBA program for professionals..

Bonus Reason) All those lifelong friends you make…

After spending two years with your cohort you undoubtedly will walk away with at least a few (if not 15-20+) life long friends. The benefits of your new expanded network are obvious.. But not everyone likes friends. If you are the type that hates having good friends cheer for you and help you along in life for years to come… then maybe were not for you..