To School or Not to School? That is the question.
Penned by Christina
“Should I go back to school to do a sustainable MBA program?”
I hear this question a lot. And by a lot, I mean A LOT. People are not just wondering about sustainable MBA programs but also whether they should enroll in a part-time program, certification class or just enroll in classes on a one-off basis in areas such as renewable energy, green/social marketing, engineering or environmental science. If you are finding yourself in this position, remember that making educated decisions about educating yourself are made by educating yourself! In other words, arm yourself with as much information as possible to make the best decision based on YOUR situation.
For example if you are interested in pursuing some sort of management or MBA program, consider:
Are you interested and in a position to pursue a full- or part-time program?
a) If you are interested in doing a full-time program, do some research and get on the email lists of programs you find interesting so you at least start receiving their announcements. The Aspen Institute’s Beyond Grey Pinstripes Global 100 rankings is a great place to begin.
b) If you feel that you are more inclined to pursue a part-time program, you need to look around and find out what’s available in your area. Here at BGT, we were very excited to see UC Berkeley Extension’s spring schedule that included a number of classes within the Environmental and Sustainability Management program.
Do you NEED to go to school or not?
Tricky to answer, I know. The best way to determine this is to talk to as many people as you can who currently work in what you want to do and ask them what they think. The more of them you talk to you, the better overall picture you should be able to paint to determine how necessary schooling is for you.
It’s also important to talk to people who are in the programs you are looking at. (The administrative or admissions offices should be able to connect you to those people.) Why did they choose that program? How do they feel now that they are in it? What are they going to do when they are done? Do they feel that they couldn’t have done that without enrolling?
Finally, if you were to go back to school, will you be motivated, excited and capable to get the most out of the experience?
No matter what type of class or program you enter, you will get out what you put in. Will you be excited to be there or will you just be “going through the motions?” As a good friend of mine who now works at GE within Ecomagination recently told me, going back to do the dual MBA/MS program at U of Michigan was the, “best decision of my life. I never thought more clearly…the program gave me a second chance at life…though it is only what you make of it.”
I understand that answering these questions could potentially confuse you even more, but I also know that avoiding them will certainly not put you in a better position!