Source: Originally written and posted by Brian Shay on Linkedin
It’s hard for me to believe that it’s already been a couple of years since I got my MBA. No doubt, it was probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.
When I was deciding if I should go back to school or not, my main concern was how I was going to balance getting an MBA with work, kids, wife, and life. I wanted to go to school locally. There are some great universities near me, but then I got to thinking about online. As I was researching the best online MBA programs, I hate to say it, but I didn’t want to take an entrance exam. I did NOT want to take a GMAT or GRE. After being out of school for about 18 years, I’ve probably forgotten more than I retained from school.
Was I ready to get an MBA? Was getting an MBA going to be worth it?
As I searched, I came across several major universities that offered online courses. However, many of them had part online and part on-campus. That would not work for me because of my current career. I looked at the US News’ Ranking of Top MBA Programs, and I noticed an ad for the Jack Welch Management Institute (JWMI). I thought to myself, Jack Welch? Jack has his own college now? So after researching more about the Jack Welch Management Institute, I realized that JWMI was Strayer’s online MBA program.
I continued to research more about getting an MBA from the Jack Welch Management Institute. I saw an ad for Princeton Review’s Top MBA Programs. JWMI was 20 at the time, and currently, I believe they are ranked 16th in the country for best online MBA programs. So I thought I would check out their website. I surfed around, and one of those annoying chat boxes popped up on their website “Chat Now” I did so thinking that it was going to be a fake person. To my amazement, it was a real person named Jessica; trust me, I asked her 2-3 times if she was real. I fired so many questions at her. She really made me feel comfortable with what I was asking. She emailed me information, didn’t pressure me at all.
The Advisors and Professors
So after a few weeks of contemplating, with the unbelievable support from my family, I decided to go for it. The experience I had with Jessica, I can honestly say it continued throughout my two-year journey. Each professor was caring and passionate about their subject. We did Skype, one-on-one video meetings, and phone calls. I was absolutely amazed. EACH professor really cared about ME. Have a question? Call them, email them, Skype them; they were always accessible. They were so easy to work with. It was like they had been in my shoes before. Juggling Kids, Work, Wife, and Life. The professors truly made the journey as painless as it could be, and the subjects interesting too!
Getting an MBA? Yes, I did Graduate!
Fast forward 2 years. I graduated with Honors. I attended my graduation ceremony in Washington, DC. When my name was announced, hearing my family yell for me was awesome. As I walked across the stage, I was able to meet the man himself. Jack Welch. Mr. General Electric. What an honor. I had the opportunity to thank him for an amazing experience and a great MBA program.
Back to my Kids:
While meeting Mr. Welch was awesome, the biggest memory for me was having my kids see their Dad walk across the stage… I mean… that right there, at that very moment carried a lot of weight with it. It gets ya right in the feels, ya know!?! I got a little choked up as I walked on that stage. Right now, my kids don’t realize how hard the journey was… and IT was HARD!… Won’t lie about that… but when my kids go get their degrees or MBA, I will be happy to remind them…
Yea it is hard! Remember, I did it when I was 38 working and both of you had dance practices and recitals and other extra-curricular activities and I still managed to get it done with a 4.0! I don’t want to hear your bellyaching….
I’m Joking!! Or am I?