Business

The value of business work experience in enhancing your MBA journey

There is nothing like real-world experience to enhance any degree program. When you are working towards your MBA, it is highly beneficial to work for a business. 

You can put your degree to work faster

As you learn skills and concepts in the classroom, you can immediately apply them to your job. This helps you to get the most out of every day. Your employer gets the benefit of a more educated and highly trained team member, while you get to practice your skills and build your resume.

If your company is aware you are working towards your MBA, they might start to give you more responsibilities and consider you for various roles and positions throughout the company.

A better understanding of the realities of business

There is a difference between how business seems on paper and what you experience in real life. Concepts and strategies on paper are somewhat impersonal. When you are working in a real business you see and experience the daily challenges and triumphs. This is very helpful as it gives you a more realistic view of the business world while completing your MBA than someone who has little or no experience. 

Working in a variety of industries over the years can offer additional perspective. 

The personal interactions and human dynamics of business are difficult to mimic or truly experience in a classroom. People are not always polite, nor do they always do their part. In business, there are likely going to be times when you need to clean up after someone makes a mess of things or take on more responsibility when someone neglects to do their job.

There will also be times when you are not able to achieve your goals or fail to achieve them as quickly as you would like, and that may be through no fault of your own. Learning to do the best job you can while also going with the flow can be difficult because you are working so long and hard on some projects it can be hard to manage when they do not turn out the way you want. 

Reassessing situations and making the best of them is a very valuable business skill that can make a huge difference in your career and how others perceive your work performance.

Leadership and management 

Depending on the position you hold at a company, you may have the chance to work on your leadership and management skills. If you have the opportunity to take on a project and lead it and feel confident in your other skills, then you should do so. Volunteering to lead shows initiative and tells others at your company that you want to go above and beyond. 

Helping orient and train new employees is a task that not everyone is up for, but if you want to be a business leader you should take any opportunity you can to train and lead others at your company. Training an employee one-on-one is a chance to use your management training and skills without taking on too much at once. There is a big difference between training or managing a single employee and managing an entire department or team. Starting small and working your way up also shows higher management that you have the experience and skills to take on more challenging leadership and managerial roles.

Working and going to school increases networking

Many people underestimate the value of networking. Not only does networking offer a support network of like-minded business associates and friends, but it also opens up doors to future positions, collaborations and more. Networking helps businesses succeed and make the most of their resources over time.

It is a good idea to take any chance you get to network with others. This includes participating in forums, online conferences, seminars and attending speeches and talks. Networking events that require travel or in-person appearances are important. While online attendance may be easier, there is nothing like meeting other people face to face. If your company needs to be represented at a conference, then you should consider volunteering.

Job fairs and recruiting events are another excellent place to gain skills. Talking to others about your company and answering questions improves your communication skills while allowing you to network with those around you.

Hands-on real-world experience increases confidence

Your manner means a lot in the business world. It is to your advantage to appear confident and relaxed during the course of the workday. This type of confidence comes more naturally to some than others. If you struggle with confidence, then it is likely it will improve as you gain skills and experience both on the job and during the course of your studies. 

Better written and verbal communication skills

Business requires a lot of communication, and while we live in a digital world where pen and paper are not used as often, there is still a ton of written communication. In fact, due to the popularity of texting, there is more communication done via writing than many people realize. From emails to work platforms such as Slack and AirTable, there is a lot of writing to be done in any business field.

Correspondence is important and must be clear and concise in order to prevent mistakes and misunderstandings that cost time and money and impact the reputation of your company.

Of course, speaking skills are just as important. You must be able to clearly articulate what you mean to both individuals and groups. Presentations and group meetings are excellent times to practice your public speaking skills. This will also help you gain confidence and be more inspired to speak up when you have a great idea or some insight into an important matter.

Being better at writing and presentations will also serve you well when going back to school to earn an MBA. Writing will help with exams, papers and other assignments. Good communication between you and your professors and advisors will make the degree process go a lot smoother.

Organizational skills

Staying organized and prioritizing tasks is important in the academic and business world alike. If you work for a business, then you will have gained some organizational skills, but it is likely that you can improve them at least a little bit. 

Prioritizing tasks is something that a lot of people struggle with. Creating a schedule and a system for what needs to be done first is important. While priorities can sometimes change and you need to be flexible when this happens, most of the time a good schedule won’t change that much.

These skills will help you a lot when you are creating study schedules and balancing classes, work and home obligations. With good organization and prioritization skills, you can avoid becoming too stressed and overwhelmed while earning your degree.

Better classroom discussions and case studies

If students are gaining real-world experience working for a business, then all that expertise can be shared during classroom discussions. When many students combine their experience then everyone receives a highly enhanced educational experience.

Sharing real examples as much as you can while respecting the privacy of your company is a major help when dissecting concepts and brainstorming ideas. Others will appreciate your insight and share what they know with you as well.

When you are completing case studies, it is impossible not to benefit from the insight that comes from taking part in day-to-day business and decision-making.

More experience by graduation increases job opportunities

The more experience you have the better the odds of landing the job you want. Some jobs are more competitive than others, so anything that you can add to your resume that sets you apart from the rest of the applicants is important.

Internships are an option to consider

An internship at a major company can look impressive on a resume and help you while earning your degree. This is helpful if you have a job that is a far cry from the one you want to have in the world of business. Younger students with fewer monetary obligations often pursue internships while in college or during the summer months.

One should also consider that a successfully completed internship can sometimes open the door to a full-time position with the same company after graduation or as soon as a position opens up. Completing an internship has been used in the past as a way to get a foot in the door at companies that are difficult to be hired by due to the competition between talented candidates.

Degree programs

If you are currently working, you may want to consider an online MBA degree program through a reputable institution such as St. Bonaventure University. The online nature of programs such as this one makes it easier to work into your schedule. Prospective students may wonder ‘How long to get MBA online degree?’ This degree can be earned in as little as 20 months and offers the option of concentrating on business analytics, finance or marketing. The degree is 100% online with no residency requirements. It is a program truly designed for the working professional who wants to take their career to the next level. During your studies, you will take courses on analytics, business ethics, marketing, management and more. 

Choosing a specialization makes a lot of sense if you see yourself wanting to enter a specific type of role at a company. Marketing is particularly in demand due to the intense competition due to the globalized and internet-based nature of business today. Today, you need to compete with domestic competitors as well as those in foreign markets.

Business experience can help you learn how to play to your strengths and work on your weaknesses

No one is perfect. We all have our strengths and weaknesses that affect how we do practically everything. In the world of business, it is important to know your strengths and weaknesses so you can learn to work with them and improve whenever you can. 

If you are in a management role and know that another person on your team is better than you at something, then you might consider offering them a task and complimenting them on their strength. This can help them understand their own strengths or, at the very least, reassure them. Even better, you can learn from them and they, in turn, can learn to strengthen their talents in areas where you excel!

Business experience teaches you how to be humble and own your mistakes

Have you ever worked with someone that rarely if ever admits when they are wrong or make a mistake? If you have, then you know how frustrating that can be. You need to make sure that you are not this person. While you should do what you can to avoid errors, the fact is that everyone makes them at times. When there is a problem, it is better to admit it and present a solution regarding how you will take care of it or simply fix it quickly if it is not likely to cause a future problem. 

Employees will respect a manager a lot more if they admit when they make an error and then take care of the problem. This is a far better option than if a manager makes their employees do extra work because they will not admit they messed up.

Conclusion

Getting your MBA is a smart decision if you are committed to a long-term career in the business world. Working at a business while earning your degree is the best of both worlds. Not only can you use your skills to do a better job and be a more valuable employee, but you can also use your prior business knowledge to excel in your classes and grasp concepts more easily. 

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The Author

Faisal Sheikh

Faisal Sheikh

Faisal Ur Rehman is the content editor of ForkliftRevolution.net and stewcam.com. Faisal is a Passionate blogger. He has been sharing his knowledge and expertise on Various Topics through articles.

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