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The Freedom That Comes With an MBA from a Top School

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Welcome back to our 10-part series, in which we share an excerpt from the recently published book Becoming a Clear Admit: The Definitive Guide to MBA Admissions, with added commentary from its author, Alex Brown.

In this eighth part of the series, we look at one of the benefits of an MBA from a top business school, the notion of “freedom.”

Book Excerpt:

In general, an MBA degree from a top school will offer you more independence, more control over your career, and the ability to make your own choices, rather than being at the whim of the economy or an employer. MBA graduates can make bold career choices, be more risk tolerant, and have more confidence in their career choices; the degree can be considered akin to an insurance policy. MBAs have the freedom to step away from their careers, perhaps to pursue an entrepreneurial goal, or to have a family, knowing that they have access to re-enter a career through the resources and network of the MBA. The MBA also allows for career switching, within reason, long after the MBA and not just at the time of the MBA.

Author’s Commentary:

While this excerpt is short, I think it makes a very strong point regarding how gaining an MBA degree from a leading school can really enable a candidate to take control of his or her career. It also emphasizes the notion that the degree has value long after a graduate leaves the MBA program.

This part of the book—which appears in the first section, entitled “Why a Top MBA Program?”—helps reinforce why this book is different from other books that focus on helping candidates craft their MBA applications. The book is written from the mindset of someone who passionately supports the idea of gaining a top MBA. (Having spent seven years in the Wharton admissions office, I witnessed many people benefiting from this opportunity.) Because of that, I wanted to spend some time addressing why the MBA is an appropriate path forward for many potential candidates.

Of course, the MBA degree is not for everyone. Another section in the book, aptly titled “Not for Everyone,” highlights some of the reasons why an MBA from a top school might not be appropriate for some candidates. Essentially, someone pursuing a top MBA degree needs to be ambitious, have a strong focus on goals in order to maximize the two-year opportunity, and be realistic about the opportunities that the MBA degree can provide.