An Introduction to Online Higher EducationSuzanne Shaffer
When your student first announced an intention to go to graduate school, you were excited for them. You pictured them working on Wall Street, or becoming CEO of a company (down the road, of course). The path seemed clear and the future looked bright.
But now they say they plan to start their own company, going even further into debt. What could they possibly be thinking and how do you talk sense into them??
It’s a great idea to talk with your student about their career goals, but before you begin that conversation you may want to do a little research into the possibilities. A graduate management education offers bountiful opportunities for your student to pursue their passion, and not all those options follow the traditional route one thinks of when picturing life after an MBA degree.
For example, in addition to the “typical” jobs such as financial analyst and investment banker, new graduates can also pursue careers in:
Regardless of their interest, students pursuing an MBA will learn the management skills they need to be successful in a variety of leadership roles within numerous industries. Which means…they have a lot of options available to them and may need some guidance in understanding how their passions and interests intersect with their education.
This is where you come in. Have that talk with your student, but instead of sharing with them your vision of where an MBA might take them, start with some questions. Ask:
As your student begins to narrow down their options to what really interests them, you can discuss more specific career paths and share your own ideas about where their advanced degree could lead. Your perspective might spark new considerations for your student.
Throughout your conversations, keep in mind that your role is one of support. The graduate school decision is quite different from applying to college. Your student is four (or more) years further along the road to adulthood and full independence — they know themselves better, are more competent and self-aware, and are used to making decisions on their own.
Regardless of your student’s ultimate decision about how they want to apply their graduate management degree, remember they’re the one who will need to perform this job each day — not you. And while you may be excited about the vast opportunities in finance, if your student’s passion leans toward working with small start-up companies on the cutting edge of new technologies, assessing the performance of stocks and bonds may soon lead to career burn-out for your entrepreneur-at-heart.