I earned a college degree decades ago and went on to lead a successful management consulting career, during which I cultivated a reputation as a subject matter expert for small businesses.
As a management consultant, I was frequently frustrated by not being able to solve complex problems with my team. I knew there was a missing link in my own knowledge and skills, but felt I was “too cool for school.” After 25 years of consulting, what could I possibly learn that my career hadn’t already taught me?
As local business becomes more global, and global business becomes more local, I realized I would have to fill my toolbox with advanced skills and knowledge to remain a resource for business owners. At first, going back to school didn’t seem practical – not only was I not college-aged, I was old enough to be a college student’s parent.
After talking to the team at Herzing University about pursuing an advanced degree, however, I quickly felt welcomed and realized that education is timeless.
People often ask, what was the one factor that made you to decide to go back to school?
When the firm where I had worked for more than 20 years announced it was closing, I knew I would have to determine the next chapter of my career. As I considered what it would be, I decided that a new degree would be the best way to quickly develop new skills so I could be competitive in a late-stage career change.
An MBA program geared toward developing advanced business acumen and transformative leadership skills became the next stepping stone on my career journey. I felt that pursuing my MBA would equip me with the knowledge I needed to begin writing my next career chapter.
So, what did I accomplish?
I started the MBA program with the hope that I could create scalable and sustainable solutions to complex business problems, all while maintaining a top-tier income. Now, here I am with only one class left. Aside from all the knowledge gained from the degree program, I also learned many life lessons I could have only discovered by continuing my education.
I learned that it’s worth it to invest in your education, whether it takes you a few years or several years to complete your program. The investment you make in yourself is more than restored when you earn a degree that is with you for life. I often wonder what I did in the past with my spare time, and now I have renewed appreciation for time management and what can be accomplished by simply getting started.
If I were to look back and make different decisions, I would have earned my MBA when I was first starting my career. Having an advanced degree would have allowed me to continue at the top of my game and would likely have allowed for career diversification when I needed it most.
Letting go of the “too cool for school” mentality allowed me to be part of a new family – the Herzing Family – and jumpstart a new career. I hope my story inspires others who are debating their own return to the classroom, for it really can make a pivotal difference in your career.