Story by Matthew McConnell.
In my first post, I mentioned I had decided soon after graduating with my undergraduate degree I wanted to return to school and earn my MBA. If all went according to plan, I hoped to be back in school with two years of work experience and have earned my MBA before turning 30. But earning my MBA is the only part of my post-graduation plan that’s stayed consistent over these last two years. The specifics surrounding my plan have changed (many times), but my adjusted path still has me on my way towards earning my MBA. And the next big step on my journey requires me to narrow the focus of my MBA and choose a degree concentration I want to pursue.
I should probably provide a quick bit of background though. I earned a Business Administration degree with a concentration in Finance while studying at Chapman University. I didn’t have a specific career goal in mind when I chose Finance; I just knew the material challenged me and I had interests in investing and the stock market. So I naturally assumed my MBA concentration would eventually be in Finance. But I’ve learned a lot more about myself since graduation, and have opened myself to the realization that Finance may not be the best fit for me.
I have a huge variety of interests, and that partly contributed to my decision to earn an undergraduate business degree. Although I was focusing on Finance, I knew my degree would exposure me to other business fields, like marketing and management. For me, the business degree provided the flexibility to change careers if I wanted to undertake new challenges.
Since graduation I’ve also come to realize that numbers are not my favorite method of communication; I prefer using words. I enjoy public speaking, and do so as a volunteer for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. In addition, I’ve found I really enjoy sharing my MBA experiences on my Orange County MBA blog, and I relish creating new posts I think other students will find useful. Thus, I’ve begun realizing finance may not be the best focus for my MBA and I’ve started considering the other options CSUF offers.
I need to choose an MBA concentration before this coming fall semester begins, so I recently sat down and examined all the MBA courses CSUF offers. I wanted to see which classes piqued my interests, hoping that would signal to me which concentration might be my best fit. Not surprisingly, I found several classes I was interested in from a variety of disciplines. These courses included Entrepreneurial Finance, Electronic Commerce, New Venture Leadership and Management, Strategic Marketing Intelligence, and Comparative Management. As I continue my research, I’ve come to realize I want to dabble in different disciplines, especially Management and Marketing. Lucky for me, CSUF offers a General MBA concentration, which will allow me to explore various MBA topics I’m interested in with my electives while earning a well-rounded degree.
One day, I’d really like to own my own business. I’d relish the challenge of starting something from scratch and building it into a successful enterprise. But before that can happen, I want to learn how a successful business operates. I ideally want to work my way into a management position within a successful organization and develop skills that will help me succeed both as a manager and future entrepreneur. The General MBA will allow me to study topics that will help me with both these immediate and long-term goals. Granted, I realize that the details of my MBA plan changed soon after my undergraduate graduation. However, having learned from that experience, I realize a General MBA will provide me the flexibility and confidence to pursue my goals no matter what path I may end up taking to achieve them.