No Conferrals on Main Street, Until Now
There are many reasons to–and not to–pursue graduate school, whether an MBA or a specialized master's degree, but the traditional delivery model makes it challenging for small-town Americans. For me, living in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and working in Grafton County, makes earning an AACSB-accredited MBA program difficult for obvious geographic reasons. Typically, you won't find a business school on Main Street, or within a reasonable commute. Still wracked with student loans from undergrad (and paying aggressively), quitting my job and pursuing full-time studies didn't seem like the most responsible option. Part-time programs or on-campus programs mean traveling 1-1.5 hours each way on top of a 40-minute commute to work. Do you see where I'm going with this? An online program from a school with local brand recognition intrigued me, I can literally sit at Wayfarer Coffee Roasters on the Main Street of Laconia and study for my MBA from UNH.
My Rationale and Careers Demand Advanced Degrees
Having worked with top-MBA programs at Georgetown and Syracuse (off the court), I knew that I'd pursue the Master of Business Administration at some point to gain a deeper knowledge of general management and finance. After moving to my hometown, I sought my next professional adventure with the University System of New Hampshire to become fluent in the struggles and opportunities of higher education in N.H. With a master's in communications, the MBA will round out my toolkit for leadership where it's needed most–outside of big cities.
New Hampshire is one of those states that's quickly going gray. The fast approaching retirement population dominates the workforce and with post-career life quickly approaching, the pool of local talent isn't big enough to backfill. Succession plans are only plans until roles are filled and responsibilities are in hand. My greatest motivation for continuing my education with an MBA is to meet the demand of filling this need and being able to see my community prosper in the decades to come.
I don't want to see Laconia, Plymouth, Franklin, or any of the cities and towns in my area circle the drain because businesses lack leaders and financially fluent managers. In August of 2017, I'll begin the program, one class at a time, and I'm eager to get started.