Should I get an MBA? 4 Success stories to inspire you
For most, the decision to pursue a master’s degree is thoughtful. It’s often paired with late nights of extensive research, a notebook’s worth of pros and cons, countless conversations with confidants and afternoons spent envisioning all of the professional possibilities that could await.
But even if you’ve read all the statistics surrounding the benefits of going back to school to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, it can still be difficult to make the commitment. Why get an MBA if you aren’t sure the investment will be worth it in the end?
While modern science has not provided a way to peer into your professional future, hearing from grads who have found success after earning their MBA can be helpful. Brandman University, in particular, prepares its MBA graduates to lead and manage successful organizations. Take a look at some stories that prove it.
Why get an MBA? 4 student success stories
1. The accounting professional who doubled her salary
When Brandman University alumna Brandi Cruz first graduated from college with a B.A. in liberal studies, she had every intention of becoming a teacher. But things didn’t go quite as planned. She found herself working a string of dead-end jobs with no true career path in sight.
It took some urging from her husband and mother, but Cruz eventually decided to go back to school to earn her MBA. After hearing some coworkers rave about their experiences with Brandman University, she enrolled with the hopes of earning an MBA in accounting—a move she’s never regretted. Cruz was surprised by the culture of support she encountered at Brandman. The combination of on-campus and online courses also worked well for her lifestyle.
“Since starting Brandman to now, I went from a dead-end job to an accounting manager making more than double my [previous] salary,” Cruz says. She credits her family for keeping her motivated while in graduate school, but adds, “It was nice to get the promotions and raises while I was in school, because it helped show me that all this hard work was going to be worth it.”
What words of wisdom would Cruz offer to other professionals considering going back to school? “It is never too late to go back,” Cruz enthuses. She adds that her MBA has allowed her to pursue a life that she truly loves.
2. The railroad worker who achieved his decades-long dream
Terry Tate never intended to make a career out of working on the railroad, but that became his future when a friend encouraged him to take a job with Union Pacific when he was just 19. Although he had every intention of going back to school, advancement opportunities kept Tate’s focus on his current job.
He had always planned on earning an MBA after obtaining his bachelor’s degree. Before landing at Brandman University, Tate had actually attempted to complete graduate school, twice—once in the 1980s and again in 2009. But life continued to get in the way, and both times he put his educational goals on hold.
Tate’s roles at Union Pacific ranged from checking the mechanical function of trains to managing business development. And he did well for himself in the railroad industry, continually climbing the ladder until he finally felt like it was the right time to make his MBA dreams a reality. When he discovered the MBA in finance at Brandman University, he realized he could earn his graduate degree online while keeping up with the demands of his job.
“Now with the access of online education, there are no excuses to not pursue your degree,” Tate explains. “I wrote papers on airplanes and in hotels while traveling for work.”
Tate completed his MBA in 2014, after just two years in the program. He retired from Union Pacific three years later, but his dedication to the railway hasn’t been stunted. He recently started his new role as the assistant vice president of RailPros Field Services, and he remains a firm believer that you can never get enough education.
3. The project coordinator who brought her career full circle
After graduating from college with an English degree, Donna Sayed planned on teaching. Surprisingly, she ended up in the medical device field as a project coordinator for Medtronic. But Sayed began to feel somewhat stifled in her career after just a few years.
“I didn’t know what direction I wanted to go in,” she recalls. “I felt limited in my options at work, and I always wanted to continue my education.”
Sayed was exploring her options when she found Brandman University’s MBA program. After attending an information session, she soon enrolled. The program was a far cry from her undergraduate degree in English, but she was surprised to discover all of the ways strong business acumen could help her pursue her initial dream. Sayed landed her first teaching opportunity at a local community college after graduating.
“They liked that I had experience in both business and teaching, and that I had an academic background in English,” Sayed explains. “I really enjoy teaching business because it is relevant and teaches students things that will impact their lives.”
Sayed is excited to continue her career as an educator, to grow as a professional and to continue contributing to the lives of others. But her ultimate goal? “I would love to return to where it all started and teach at Brandman someday,” she says.
4. The healthcare leader who is making a difference for seniors
Keith Freeman is no stranger to changing vocational paths. His storied career includes positions as a director of business development, a branch manager at a nurse staffing agency and a top turnaround specialist for mergers and acquisitions. But after launching his own consulting business in 2010, he felt that continuing his education would be the best way to prepare him for success.
“After 10 years of experience, I knew I wanted to pursue a master’s degree,” Freeman recalls. This led him to earn his MBA and a graduate certificate in organizational leadership from Brandman University in 2015. “Going back to school helped me get out of my comfort zone. It helped me get past the ‘we’ve always done it that way’ mentality.”
Throughout his time in the program, Freeman learned about the importance of innovation, professionalism and attention to detail. What surprised him the most, however, was the challenge he faced in transitioning back to life as a student. But he prevailed and will carry those lessons with him for the rest of his career.
“Learning about organizational behavior and why people do the things they do was really eye-opening for me,” Freeman explains. “I learned to challenge my own assumptions of why people make certain decisions.” He adds that it’s empowered him to ask hard questions and get to the root of a problem.
Freeman’s consulting business, Sixth Sense Solutions, has found success working with small organizations in the assisted living, hospice and home health field in the Orange County (California) area. He is also one of the founding members of the Brandman University – Chapman University System Alumni Association.
Start writing your MBA success story
Why get an MBA? As you can see, professionals across the spectrum of job titles and industries have accomplished great things after earning an MBA degree from Brandman University. The skills these alumni gained are helping them make a profound impact in their corners of the world.
If you’re ready to learn more about how an MBA could help propel your career forward, take the next step. Visit Brandman University’s Master of Business Administration page to learn more.
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