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How to Leverage Your MBA and Chart a Unique Career Path


MBA programs are famous for teaching leadership, management and communications skills. Here's how to leverage your MBA to maximize your potential.

As the market continues to be flooded with business school graduates, you'll face stiff competition, but don't get discouraged because there are ways to make it work.

Consider other skills you'll gain from an MBA program and how you can leverage them into a career that's unique and satisfying.

Skill: Networking

Potential careers: Entrepreneur, Human Resources

It's unlikely you'll take a "how to network" course in business school, but it will be one of the most important assets you'll gain from an MBA program since you'll have plenty of opportunities to connect with your classmates and professors. Having a strong network of colleagues and friends can help in several job settings, not to mention everything you can learn from your classmates' experiences.

While most people use their networks to find a job, those connections can also come in handy on the job too.

Consider this scenario: You have a great idea and an entrepreneurial spirit so you want to start a business. At the same time, you'll probably want to seek out possible employees or partners who can help you grow your idea. One of the best ways to find these people is tapping into your professional network, many of whom you'll meet while in business school.

What you can do while you're earning MBA:

  • Keep in regular contact with colleagues
  • Build relationships while in school with faculty and classmates
  • Build a reputation as reliable and trustworthy while in school

Networking and building a list of contacts can come in handy in a human resources career as well. Meeting people at conferences and maintaining a professional social media presence are just a few of the ways an MBA graduate can work toward a career in human resources. Having the ability to put together a quality team can make a human resources manager incredibly valuable to their company.

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University of Saint Mary MBA in Human Resources Management (Online) Request Information
University of Scranton MBA in Human Resources (Online) Request Information

Skill: Technology

Potential careers: Information Technology Manager, Small Business Owner

Some MBA programs are specifically geared toward information technology careers, but MBA students in most programs will leave school with a strong understanding of how technology and security play a role in any kind of business. From knowing how to develop security policies to protecting corporate data, technology skills are vital.

For MBA students with prior IT experience, it's possible to leverage your MBA technology skills into a career in management.

People often think of large corporations and Fortune 500 companies when they consider an MBA, but small businesses can benefit tremendously from employees with a combination of business and technology skills.

With so many transactions done electronically, small business owners often need guidance on keeping their company data secure and the type of software and hardware they need. As an IT professional with an MBA, you can determine the impacts technology will have on a business and develop plans to improve its systems.

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Utica College MBA in Cyber Policy (Online) Request Information

Skill: Social and Environmental Awareness

Potential careers: Nonprofit, International Business

Your time in an MBA program is likely to include lessons on social awareness and possibly sustainability. As public service and environmental awareness become a larger focus in society, MBA students learn how to think strategically about topics such as:

  • Natural resources
  • Global warming
  • Poverty

Because these issues affect the entire world, MBAs with an interest in international business can leverage their knowledge about green issues into work at government agencies or the private sector. You might find yourself identifying solutions and drafting plans that are specific to a certain region of the world.

Some MBA programs require their students to collaborate with active businesses as part of their learning experience. In some cases, this could also mean working with nonprofits and learning how to run an organization successfully. You might address unique challenges, such as fundraising and membership growth.

It may seem like just about everyone has a business degree, but not everyone will use all their MBA skills to their advantage. It's important to remember that an MBA can take you in many directions.

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