A Reflection of Getting My MBA and How I See the World

They say you go to college not to learn a bunch of facts, but how to think. In many ways I can directly relate to this and see that college will train your thinking to be more analytical and objective. I have also found that there is a distinct difference between bachelor’s level and master’s level and how broadly you think.

It’s really hard to realize this until you have personally experienced it. Because of the cost of college and rising student loan debt, there’s a movement that tries to discredit the value of a college education. While I do know college isn’t for everyone and see just as much value in skipping college and learning a skilled trade, I do not want to discredit any of the value a college education provides because I am personally benefitting from it now.

When a mentor of mine really pushed me to get a master’s degree, I didn’t see where I would use it and kind of saw it as a waste of my time. In many ways I see doing the infrastructure side of IT as a skilled trade and having a bachelor’s degree being complete overkill to do this work. I’m glad I ignored my own thoughts and trusted his advice to move forward with pursuing an MBA.

After I had went on full time with TABC, I started looking at my options. I decided I would go through Herzing University again, just like I did for my bachelor’s degree. My bachelor’s degree is in Technology Management with a Concentration in Networking and Network Security, so I thought it would be appropriate to pursue an MBA in Technology Management. While I can write an MBA-style thesis on the value of an MBA, my main focus is on my travels, building this blog, and how I generally see the world.

As I started my MBA, I also started to travel a lot for TABC. Additionally, I had never worked in the government and law enforcement sectors, so I was learning a new industry. In many ways the travel, being in a new sector, and going back to school was the perfect compliment for each other and created a virtuous cycle of learning. This experience really shaped my insights and ultimately how I see the world.

When it comes down to pretty much anything, there is some sort of economic element you can measure. These economic measures can then be translated into mathematical equations that allow you easily calculate what you want to know. For example, I am able to use Y = mx + b to do the majority of project planning on the road.

When you can break things down mathematically, you can start to see patterns. This is where I gained insight while traveling. I started noticing patterns on how infrastructure was built and began to understand why everything is clustered together like it is. Realizing these patterns, it makes it much easier to travel and plan trips on the fly. You will see this as I publish more of my travel tips.

Another, less numbers-based thing I learned from my MBA was market segments and having a strong understanding of my own demographic. I have a strong understanding of my own preferences and have an idea of what market segments I fall under. I realize the preferences that make up the market segments I belong to is one of many. Other people have often widely differing preferences and make up their own distinct market segments. Knowing this, I can be objective with my own personal criteria, but also be objective in regards to different market segments.

I realize that each market segment has its own grading criteria. Trying to use a different market’s grading criteria would be inappropriate and not give you an objective answer on how good something is. I mean if you compared a Motel 6 by the Ritz-Carlton’s grading criteria, every Motel 6 would look horrible.

Knowing I have to use a different grading criteria for different places allows me to be as objective as possible. To do this, it does really take a conscious effort. You have to think beyond yourself and it’s something my MBA has trained me to do well.

A final thing my MBA made me realize is the games many corporations pull to maximize profit and just how bad some places can truly be to work. While there is a definite purpose for corporations and I’m not anti-corporate by any means, there’s some tactics that are pulled that I believe can be harmful in one way or another if left unchecked.

Even in government positions, which are structured like any corporation would be, there are still issues. My reasons for leaving TABC was because I was being pushed to work too many hours and it was taking a negative toll on my health. I needed to make a change and that change was following my passion to strike it out on my own to pursue this blog full time.

The same passion to pursue my blog is what I hear echoed in many of the small business owners I talk to. These people often share the same sentiment and their stories are similar in terms of their corporate experience. This is why I am so adamant about buying local products. I find the quality is often better and there’s something to be said about supporting the local economy and the passionate people behind it.

Without what I learned from my MBA, I may have come to the same conclusions eventually. My MBA has brought me here a lot sooner. I am now way more analytical and objective in how I see the world. In many ways, I see the world completely different than I did prior to getting it.

With this increased insight, I will continue to move forward with this blog. Not only can I see the world in a more objective light, but what I have learned with my MBA has allowed me to start really focusing on what I need to do to build this blog. Hopefully through continuous improvement, you will start seeing some major changes. It is going to take some time, but I’m hoping to build the best blog I can for my readers.

I am glad I took the leap and went back to school for an MBA. It is one of the best decisions I have made in my life and without it, I’m not sure where I would be.

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