Business class

For many, the daily work grind can become monotonous. If that’s the case, it might be time to refocus.

Though there are many ways to breathe new life into one’s career, David Chatfield, director of graduate programs in business and assistant to the dean at the college of business administration at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, and Elad Granot, dean at the Dauch College of Business and Economics at Ashland University in Ashland, suggest studying for an MBA.

Before starting a program, Chatfield said individuals should consider career goals. If one wants to start a new career following an MBA experience, that’s fine. But Chatfield said sticking to your “current knowledge” is a better use of an MBA.

“By earning an MBA, one polishes the skills they already had before,” he said. “But besides gaining those skills, you practice in the classroom the very same behaviors that are more likely to make us successful in the workplace and communication. This is something that translates very directly into the workplace.”

Granot said refocusing one’s career is a lot like when a GPS is recalculating a route.

“You’ve done this career for a few years, but what else can you do?” he asked. “Now, you’re getting more responsibilities that you haven’t necessarily been trained for but you’re still within your industry and that’s exactly what an MBA is for. An MBA is designed to give you an overview of the business disciplines and the tools to not only understand them but also operate within them.”

Both professionals said using an MBA to revitalize one’s career is a common practice.

“It’s very common,” Granot stated. “There are many segments within the MBA and one of the prominent ones are people who are recalculating their course. Within this segment, there are subsegments of people who want to get more responsibility or go to a higher position. They see people with their MBAs and get the hint.”

Chatfield added, “The MBA is and has been the most common graduate degree in America. It runs neck and neck with education (degrees). So, yes, it is very effective and a very common transition experience that adults turn to or have told me is a goal they want to achieve.”

Chatfield said many of the students he oversees are in their mid to late 30s, so they’re poised at the perfect opportunity to refocus. 

“All these students are looking for a personal growth experience and to reach their personal best,” he said. “It opens up options in careers that they have and that could, in turn, be a new role or experience. It’s about clarifying those goals and what you want to aspire to.”

Additionally, the professionals said students can glean many skills from an MBA experience. These skills can be directly applied to finding a new career focus.

“An MBA group by definition is a group of people with experience,” Granot explained. “It’s maybe not business experience, but specific field experience. And imagine the kind of richness in the class because of this. So, you have more of an opportunity to interact and learn from your colleagues.”

The skills can apply to upwards mobility in one’s field of expertise. For example, Chatfield said he had a student who had certain responsibilities at work but when it came time for important internal discussions, they weren’t invited to these meetings. 

“After they were enrolled in an executive MBA program, they did get invited to these committee meetings,” he said. “They were able to discuss these important things and the opportunities began to open up. That is another part of career success. As individuals, we have to be open to seeking out new career responsibilities. That is what comes along with success and growth.”

Publisher’s note: Elad Granot is a member of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company Board of Directors.

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