IESE MBA: The Highway to Your Passion

What motivates someone to apply for an MBA? My experience during my first term at IESE shows that for most MBA candidates (excluding sponsored students) the main goal is a career change. There are three predominant ways of changing careers towards something that is more fulfilling.

Location: People see an MBA course abroad as an opportunity to diversify their networking circle (making it more global) and get in touch with multinational companies that might offer them a position worldwide.

Function: I’ve seen people move from supply chain management to marketing, from auditing to finance, from sales to human resources, and many other examples. The MBA helps them develop the necessary skills to work in these new functions, as well as gain a deeper understanding on how other departments are managed.

Sector/Industry: The third change people look for is a sector change. Here the trendiest change is to move into banking and consulting, but there are also a significant number of people who migrate from the corporate world to the entrepreneurial environment, or switch to a different industry.

Finding your passion is a difficult task that demands difficult changes, and studying for an MBA seems to be where people go to undertake it. But what makes an MBA the right path for all of these changes? Students would be wise to avoid some classic fallacies when considering an MBA.

“The MBA shows what career will be the best fit for you”

It is very risky, not to say unintelligent, to rely solely on your business school to tell you what would be best for you. The MBA offers the perfect environment to consider a professional change because everyone is open to talking about their career plans and sharing their experiences, fears and expectations. Using a business analogy, your career is your venture, your start-up, and the MBA is an incubator. The incubator gives you the tools–self-assessment workshops, career fairs, career treks, career counseling. It is up to you, however, to take a leadership role, do the research, talk to people in different industries, and attend as many career events as necessary. When it comes to career management, you are the CEO.

IESE MBA: The Highway to Your Passion

“Your business school will get you an interview for your dream job”

Depending on your dream job and how close you are to achieving it, it might so happen that the MBA will get you the interviews that you want. Top MBAs have leading companies from the most traditional industries (consulting, banking, healthcare, etc.) recruiting on their campuses. However, if your dream job is completely atypical—for instance, working in a marketing role in the music industry—then finding an appropriate interview requires much more effort. Along the same lines, if you previously worked as a human resource specialist in the healthcare industry in Nicaragua and hope to work in investment banking in London, you should consider lowering your expectations on getting an interview/offer. Your career move needs to make sense.

“My mother said to me ‘if you become a soldier, you’ll be a general, if you become a monk, you’ll end up as the pope’. Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”

– Pablo Picasso

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