December 4th, 2014

planet

should I get an MBA?

Here's how my life has gone so far:

I started preschool in 1983. I went immediately from there to Kindergarden, grade school, high school, college. I finished my bachelors' in 2002, went to work and almost immediately enrolled in pilot ground school. I wasn't ready to get a pilot's license though, so I took some backup classes to start graduate school in 2003. I got my masters in 2008. In 2009 I started flight training, and in 2010 got my license, and a month later I had Josie.

It is now almost 2015 and I haven't been in any kind of formal educational program since 2010, and I feel ITCHY.

I just got another promotion at work, I manage a department of 20 people, I have supervisors reporting to me. I feel like leadership could be a strength for me. Many people do quite well on this track. I am enjoying it, when it's not crazy.

But my education is all technical. I totally shunned business classes in college. Early in my career when I was working on my engineering masters, a supervisor told me "People look to you, your leadership skills could get you ahead, you should get an MBA. Where you'll go, it'll be important." And being totally self-defeatist I fired back "Screw you I'm a scientist!"

So I want an MBA for the prestige, and to make me better at my job, and because I just have to be in school again. My company even pays for it! Not being in school is like totally passing on thousands of dollars in fringe benefits, right?

The conflict of course is that I'm also a mother, I have an 18 month old and a 4 year old at home and when I look up MBA programs, my head starts singing "AND THE CATS IN THE CRADLE AND THE SILVER SPOON, LITTLE BOY BLUE AND THE MAN IN THE MOON... WHEN YOU COMIN' HOME MOM I DON'T KNOW WHEN... WE'LL GET TOGETHER THEN..."

(or)

"AND THE SEASONS, THEY GO ROUND AND ROUND. AND THE PAINTED PONIES GO UP AND DOWN. WE'RE CAPTIVE ON THE CAROSEL OF LIFE. WE CAN'T RETURN WE CAN ONLY LOOK BEHIND FROM WHERE WE CAME..."

I already emailed some programs and found one that a few coworkers recommend, it's made for 18-24 months but I can spread it out to up to 5 years. So I'd take an eight week class, then not take a class, take a class and have a summer off, that sort of relaxed pace. Nothing crazy.

And hell my mom went back to school when I was a kid. Well, she at least waited until my little sister was like three... but I think it was a good influence on me, knowing that my mother valued education and was one smart lady. She went on to get several more degrees. In fact maybe I inherited some of this school itchiness, when you think of it.

When's the right time for this? Should I shake off the urge, go home and spend my off-work hours with my face buried in Olive's golden curls, not a care in the world? Are ambition and motherhood designed to be opposed? Would a father have qualms about going back to school with little kids in the house? Is it bad to get it now, because the kids are changing so fast, or is it bad to get it in a few years when it might mean missing more dance recitals and school plays?

Are MBAs worth it, or are they bullshit? Will I learn things that will really help me at work, or is it just paper so I can be respected by other MBAs?

Where are the answers?