If your reason for pursuing an MBA is to spice up your career and give it a new direction, vigour and vitality (is that sounding like one of those shady ayurvedic aphrodisiac advertisements?), it would help if you spend some time to decide which way you would like to take it. And do that before you start your MBA application, so Admission Committees (Adcoms) know you’ve done your homework. If you have no clue about it, here’s a general framework that you can use to structure your thoughts.
Essentially it comes down to three parameters – a change of role / function, industry or geography.
1) If you’re planning for a change of function within the same industry, you could decide between:
2) If change of industry is what you’re targeting at, you could check out if you are interested in any of the following:
*Media – Just a word of caution for the enterprising few who are getting creative ideas of combining their passion and their careers. Though the multi-billion dollar adult movie industry broadly falls under this category, it is generally not considered to be the hottest post MBA career option for top MBAs….yet.
You may or may not retain your previous role within a different industry. For eg: If you’re happy being a marketing manager, you can just change your industry from retail to manufacturing or from IT to financial services without changing your role.
3) If you’re looking for a change in geography, and have a choice of a particular region where you would like to work, you can choose your B-schools accordingly. Choosing a business school in a particular region makes the networking and job hunting easier within that region, though it does not guarantee a job placement. A lot would depend on the economy and the job market scenario.
Of the three variables: function, industry, geography, would you like to change any one of the three, or maybe two or even three? You should be able to take a stand on that and the best way to facilitate that state of nirvana is simple – Research. Find out more about options, read about industries, read about roles.
If you aren’t looking for a change in any of the above three categories, rather than spending a bomb on an expensive MBA, the easiest option program would be to simply change companies i.e. join a competitor in the same industry.
Once you are able to identify your post-MBA career option, the next step is to choose business schools which provide you the right platform to facilitate this change.
An MBA from a good school can provide you with a broader canvas to work with – you get perspectives on various industries and various functions. If you are lucky, you may also land an internship in your chosen field – a fantastic way to gain hands-on experience in your chosen field and build a network that can get you that dream job with mouth-watering salaries. But more on internships later.