Your MBA journey is unique, launched by a set of experiences and aspirations that belong to you alone. But if you’ve been asking yourself, “Why get an MBA?”, chances are you’re thinking about the pursuit of meaningful and rewarding work—and what that even means to you.
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 even more to business school than your next career move. Here are 8 of our favorite reasons to get an MBA:
1. Become the best version of yourself
Business school is a great place to learn more about what you're good at. Even better, it’s an opportunity to discover strengths you didn’t yet know you had. You learn deeply, gain exposure to new ideas and perspectives, take risks, receive feedback—and come out the other side transformed.
2. Tackle some truly challenging problems
Step into an MBA classroom, and you’ll see why we value diversity. What is the future of the sharing economy? The business case for hiring more women? The potential impact of artificial intelligence on work? To address large scale challenges, we’ll need diverse perspectives. Business school is an invitation to add yours to the mix and be part of moving the world forward.
3. Make friends with a few (future) CEOs
Two years at a place like 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, founder of startups that became Google Earth and launched Pokemon Go; 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. Surround yourself with people that inspire you both professionally and personally.
4. Gain inside perspective on global cultures
When will you have another five-week stretch 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. By experiencing other ways of being, you not only learn more about how business works, but how the world works.
5. Make mistakes and learn from them—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, jump into the student-initiated culture at Berkeley-Haas by taking on a new leadership role or a class in a new area. This is the time to step outside of 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 with a backstage pass.
7. Get taken (even more) seriously
Business school will give you a chance to consult with 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—learning a lot in the process (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 possibilities offered by this experience—for two action packed years and for the rest of your life.
We’ve updated this post, first published in July 2014, to keep everything as fresh as possible.