MBA explorations are often rooted in a desire for even more meaningful work—whatever that means for you.
It might mean deepening expertise and advancing in your current field. It might mean a completely new line of work or launching your own venture. It likely means seeing yourself as a leader and growing your impact.
We know you want to make your career count, and that’s an excellent reason to go to business school.
But here at the Berkeley-Haas Full-time MBA Program, we believe there’s a lot more to business school than your next career move. Here are 8 of our favorite reasons to get an MBA:
1. Reinvent yourself
One recent grad said, “I feel like people go to business school to find a job, but you come to Haas to find yourself.” Business school is, in fact, a great place to spend some time figuring out what you're good at. Even better, it’s an opportunity to surprise yourself with strengths you didn’t yet know you had. Plus, you'll find opportunities to seek and receive feedback necessary for growth. This is your chance to be inquisitive; learn from what others do and ask them how they got there.
2. Debate some large scale issues
We value diversity, and one of the first places you’ll experience just why that is—is in the classroom. Your fellow students bring with them a variety of professional experiences and personal backgrounds, enriching their perspective—and yours—as you tackle some large scale issues. What is the future of the sharing economy? What is the business case for hiring more women? What is bitcoin, exactly? Engage in lively discussions with a diverse group of people you won’t find anywhere else.
3. Make friends with a few (future) CEOs
Two years at Berkeley-Haas will solidify lifelong friendships with people whose plans are as big as yours. You could be on a winter break trek with the next John Hanke, Haas alum and founder of the startup that became Google Earth; or you could be on a group project and find the co-founder of your future company, like Berkeley-Haas students Danae Ringelmann and Eric Schell, creators of IndieGoGo. At Haas, you surround yourself with people that inspire you both professionally and personally.
4. Gain an inside perspective on global cultures
When will you have another five-week break to explore the world? Semester breaks give you the chance to join classmates in home countries from Israel to Ireland and from China to Chile, to glean insights, both business and cultural, and even to catch a little rest and relaxation. Trust us, you’ll have earned it!
5. Fail without getting fired
While business school prepares you for the real world, it is not the real world; Take a risk, make a mistake—and you won’t lose your job. With that in mind, take on new leadership roles, try classes that seem challenging, and step outside your comfort zone.
6. Gain some C-level Wisdom
Top execs are extremely generous about sharing their insights with students. (We hope that someday you'll do the same.) When leaders come to campus, it presents a great opportunity to learn how executives handle leadership challenges. This is business school as the backstage pass.
7. Tackle big problems, and be taken seriously
Business school will give you a chance to consult for world-renowned firms on real-life business problems. How do we expand into an emerging market? Which competitor should we acquire? How should we price our new product? You will help firms answer these questions—and feel (almost) ready to do so (See #5).
8. Have the time of your life
It's true. Most MBA grads will tell you their two years in business school were some of the best years of their lives. That’s a pretty bold statement, but speaks to the potential of this experience you are considering. Reflect on what is most important to you in a program, and go for it.
Need more reasons? Hear from the class of 2016 on highlights of their Berkeley MBA experience.
We’ve updated this post, first published in July 2014, to keep everything as fresh as possible.