So I needed an MBA. Cool.
But now what? How was I going to accomplish that goal?
The Truth: I had only a faint idea.
There were a number of questions floating around in my head:
Where should I try to go to school?
Am I ready to apply?
How hard is the GMAT, really?
Who is going to pay for this?
Is online school a thing?
If I go part time, how do I get the company to pay?
Should I just go full time?
Should I target schools near my friends and family?
So. Many. Questions. And I had no answers. This is how things played out:
I took my first, ever practice GMAT. Cold. I had no idea what to expect. That test shook me to my core because 1) I hadn’t done simple math in years, 2) I wasn’t supposed to use a calculator, and 3) I have the attention span of a 5th grader. It was not a fun experience. So much, in fact, that I closed that web browser and decided to put it all out of my mind for a while. I clearly was not ready.
Spring / Summer 2016
Life was happening all around me. Work was crazy, my relationship was rocky, and I was traveling all the time. Needless to say, I had little time to contemplate the future of my career. It was all I could do to hold on and not fall off the 100 mph train I was riding. But that would all change.
Many things happened this season. Many. Things.
For starters, I walked away from my relationship. It would take an entire new blog series to unpack that fully, so I’ll just sum it up quickly by saying that I had to take a step back to be better for myself, and to allow him to be better for himself. Only then could we be okay for each other. (TBD on what God decides to do with that.)
I also turned 26. For me, that was an age where I no longer had the excuse of being 25, or in my early 20s. To me, 26 meant that I had to take better control of my life, and own the fact that everything that occurred to me in my adult life was a result of my choices and God’s overall plan. That’s it. I can’t change God’s mind, so it was on me to really try to do the best I could with my choices. In light of that…
I began bullet journaling. My bullet journal required that I get up close and personal with 1) my goals, and 2) how I was going to achieve those goals. I needed to be results oriented with my life, and this was the tool that was going to help me get there. Getting all up in my own business led to…
A refreshed dose of motivation to not put off business school any longer. I decided in September 2016 to re-open that page I’d closed months ago and accomplish my goal. In a conversation with my confidant, advisor, and forever friend Christina (yes, your Christina), I was told that I would be a fool to try to do this on my own, and that the best thing I could do for myself would be to apply for MLT. So I did. At the very last minute (because procrastination was my thiiing, child.) Let’s put a pin in this.
[Now, let me tell you the truth: I had no idea what MLT would do for me, but I trusted Christina. As it turns out, applying to MLT was probably one of the most worthwhile things I could have done for myself. I’m eternally grateful to Chris for the push, and will fill you guys in on all the things MLT does in my next post.]
At this point, work was insane. One of my product lines was going through growing pains, my boss was stressed and traveling nonstop (meaning my load became heavier), and I had this nagging thought in my mind of needing to do something different to 1) gain the additional experience I wanted before school, and 2) change my environment. Being the communicator that I am, my senior leadership knew I wanted to try something new and they allowed me to explore what that could be.
I ended up getting an internal job offer to move to the sales team and by December, decided to accept. Not even a week after I did, my boss quit. I was happy for him and his next step, but was a bit stressed out about how I was going to keep our value stream running while I transitioned to a new role. Not to mention, things were brewing in the background on my pre-MBA journey. (We’re taking the pin out now.)
By now, I’d learned that I made it to the final round for MLT and just had to take a final GMAT to officially be in the organization. Not having the time (nor the desire) to study for the test, I signed up for the latest possible date for the exam that would allow me to get my results into MLT by their deadline, and just prayed that my engineering degree would get me through the quant section with little pain. (The other thing to note about MLT is that, to be involved, you have to commit to a full time MBA program. So with this, that decision (part-time vs full-time) was pretty much made. I will say, full-time is the best thing for me for many reasons. The biggest is that I knew I’d have trouble giving my all to both work and school simultaneously. So it’s better for all if I focus on one or the other.) Anyway, December was wild. Here’s how it looked:
- New Job Offer
- Accepted New Job (with the unfortunate condition that I had to leave the apartment I loved in Oakland to relocate to Los Angeles)
- Boss Quits
- Christmas in Chicago while I rolled myself off of my old role
- Cold GMAT December 30 in SF
- Partied like I had no responsibilities on December 31 in SF
But God is good. I’ll tell you why:
- I negotiated a 3-month delay on my relocation
- My old boss and I left things on good terms (this will be important later)
- Jesus covered my tail in the GMAT and I got a 640 from that exam (the first of many)
By the end of 2016, I was spent, but I was so excited for 2017. I had a new job, a new adventure, and one of the best MBA prep programs to look forward to. I was on my way to accomplishing what I’d set out to in September.
In my next post, I’ll take you through most of 2017, my “year of rejection”. I’ll cover MLT and how they got me together, and also how I was made stronger through random seasons of adversity.
I look forward to our time together next month! For now, let me know what questions you have.