Monday, July 31, 2006

The Pros and Cons

Reasons Not to MBA

So I thought I'd start off with a little discussion of why I am not entirely convinced that I should get an MBA.
  1. I'm a cheapskate
  2. I hate debt
  3. I hate being graded and evaluated
  4. I hate paying to be graded and evaluated
  5. I want to have kids in the very near-future
  6. In my circles, 'MBA' is a bit of a dirty word (dubious respect factor)
  7. I like working
  8. I like making money
  9. I'm unconvinced that I need to attend an academic program to learn what I need for my work
  10. I prefer to stay in the Pacific NW but there are no exceptional programs here
  11. I have doubts about whether the return on investment is sufficiently high
Ok, I think a list will do. Forget discussion. That pretty much sums up my primary concerns. In prior years I couldn't seem to get past these and that's where the conversation ended - in a resounding 'No!'. But this year I'm seeing past all the negatives and am enticed by some of the positives.

Reasons to MBA

  1. I need to be around some ambitious peers or I will die of boredom
  2. I'm not sure that my career will advance satisfactorily without this investment
  3. I'd rather get it over sooner than later so I have more time to reap the rewards
  4. I know what I want to do and can structure the MBA more effectively now than before
  5. It might be a nice change to get out of the Pacific Northwest
  6. If I'm going to have kids and be the primary 'breadwinner' I want some solid job prospects
  7. I want more choice of employers
  8. Some of these classes sound really interesting (and much needed)
  9. I need more high-quality, hands on experience in analysis
  10. I'm sort of sick of working for the moment
  11. I need a change!!

Mainly, I'm just terrified of the debt although allegedly there is financial assistance out there. Hopefully, my post degree job would quickly pay off the debt but I'm very uncomfortable with feeling like I have to work and work a lot to avoid starvation, particularly since this is in my prime childbearing years. I'm very, very lucky to have a supportive husband who's willing to be the primary childcare provider but no man can be the mother. And I have terrible qualms about not spending at least a year at home with a newborn. Sigh. I can't believe how oblivious I was as a younger woman to this ultimate dilemma. I am incredibly perplexed by women who feel defensive about not wanting children. Lucky ladies, is how I see them. No children is just not an option for me, emotionally. If there was anything useful I learned in college it was that driving yourself to a nervous breakdown is just never worth it.

My husband and sister have been laughing at me, I've recently subscribed to Working Mother and purchased How She Really Does It (Wendy Sachs) and This is How We Do It: the Working Mothers' Manisto (Carol Evans). I've always been a planner :)

Well, the first thing is to study for this GMAT thing. If I can't get a decent score there all bets are off and the whole kid/MBA dilemma is greatly simplified. Turns out my Amazon order won't be arriving until late August (!) so I'm off to the bookstore to see if I can get some of those books right now.

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