I'm a fairly impulsive person. If I have an idea in my head I usually do it, that might be why I love improv comedy so much. I often don't bail, I commit the the impulsive decision, and I charge onward; and much like improv, my decision to go to business school started with a suggestion from the audience. The audience in this case being my family.
Let me give you some background. Like many single female millennials that graduate college I was faced with the question of "What the crap am I going to do with my life?" After the 4 hellish years of studying graphic design I was completely burned out and needed a break. I said "yes" to a job at a retail store and quickly was promoted to a management position. I liked this job. I got to talk and interact with strangers all day, got a great discount on clothes, and I really like the people I worked with. After a year away from design I began to miss it, but I also liked the work I was doing. Crunching numbers, reaching sales goals, interacting with customers, managing sales associates, etc. I reached out to my audience, I asked "What should our main character do?" The first response I heard was "Business School" from a powerful woman in the corner of the audience, my Aunt Stacey.
So begins the process of applying. I purchased a GRE book, took the test, filled out my application, and got accepted all in a matter of a month. It was simple. Too simple. I started a new job as a graphic designer for a non-profit, and begun taking my intro courses in the MBA program. And just like that BAM, I was slapped across the face with how difficult this was all going to be. Up until that first semester of the MBA program, I had been fortunate enough to get through most things in school without studying. I'm naturally pretty smart (yes, i am confident enough to admit that) but this was a whole other venture. I had spent my college career painting, sculpting, drawing, lettering, branding, and looking at pretty paintings and posters on slideshows. BUT NOW, I had to purchase a text book and read the darn thing. I have read a 500 page text book on financial accounting, and yes it was TERRIBLE. Going through business school seem to require shopping for a completely new brain.
The biggest learning curve is just the vocabulary and ALL THE DANG ACRONYMS. EBITA, ROE, ROI, ROA, P/Q Ratio, P&L, WACC, CPU, FIFO, LIFO........... this list could literally go on for an eternity. It seems like it should be common sense, and it sort of is to an extent, but it is complex and takes a lot of time to learn. I had begun to grow frustrated that I had to get a master’s degree to learn something that I believed everyone should know and have the opportunity to know.
With all that to say, I'm the only person (that I'm aware of) in my MBA program that is in a creative field. I've had no prior business education or experience other than my retail job, and I could feel that disadvantage in my classes. I resorted to being quiet during class discussion. I felt small so I acted small. I wanted to quit several thousand times, but my Aunt Stacey (who is a literal saint, God has confirmed it) would talk me off the ledge. And bit by bit I began to learn (mostly with her help). With every passing week in the program I could feel my confidence in the information steadily growing. I slowly started to see how creative business really is. Once you break the shell of boring numbers and dry terminology, you need ideas, and ideas are where creativity comes and the fun begins. "Business needs ideas, not just numbers!" is my mantra for whenever I’m bored to tears in my accounting class.
For the past 23 months I have worked my tuchus off (with the help of countless hours on the phone with my fabulous-tutor-and-business-school-spirit-guide Aunt Stacey) and here I am a week away from graduating with a Masters of Business Administration still with the daunting question, "What the crap am I going to do with my life?" It's the same ol' song and dance, I'm just a little bit older and a little bit more educated. So, here's to the next suggestion from the audience, "What should our main character do?" Anybody?