Post #2 as promised Community!
Leaving a stable career to pursue an advanced degree, in a new field, in an ever-increasingly shaky economy…what could go wrong?!?! I did not make this decision lightly; however, I was confident that the skills I had gained in the classroom were transferable (confidence from an MBA, shocking I know). But in all honesty, no one works harder than a teacher who is invested in their school; you can work AS hard to be fair, but not harder (right kids?).
These are the skills I honed teaching that were relevant to my MBA program. I’m sure I’ve missed something (attention to detail?):
- Communication: In person, over the phone, through email, notes home, I communicated in a variety of formats. Verbal and written communication skills cannot be understated in an MBA program. First-year teams are formed at random, and most programs include many international students (my class was split about 50/50). This makes effective communication a little tricky, but honestly, the trick is to over communicate effectively.
- Cultural Sensitivity: Like communication, having worked with many different cultures, teachers have a “below the iceberg” understanding of how important flexibility is, and more importantly, when it is important (sometimes your teammates need tough love). This played a big factor into declaring one of my concentrations, Global Management.
When in Croatia you wear a Cravat and post with Drazen
- Presentations Skills: Being comfortable in front of an audience comes (almost) naturally after 6 years in front of a classroom, not to mention coaching speeches on awards night. Prep is still needed to really nail it, and nerves do happen, but all my previous exposure was a huge asset in this ever-important MBA category.
- Organization & Time Management: Lesson planning FTW!!! Using these skills to breakdown projects and assignments, all while keeping track of due dates, basically made me a rockstar. Planning unit after unit really gives “big picture” views that become second nature when looking at the scope of work in a course syllabus.
- Work Ethic: Working hours as an educator are long. Because of this I had the confidence to jump into a program that involved working with vastly more quantitative objectives than I had ever been exposed to. I’ve treated my time in the MBA like a job and I owe the work ethic I gained in education some big thanks for this ability.
After 6 years in the Education Industry I surely have my 10,000 hours to qualify me as an expert in some things; and to all you “Outlier” naysayers, let me assure you that these were quality hours. I was lucky enough to have the support of my friends, family, and mentors throughout my application process, along with an understanding Principal who gave me his blessing. Telling my students I was leaving was one of the more challenging moments in my career and I appreciate their understanding (my Facebook has since been flooded with friend requests).
Next up I’d like to make a similar post about transitioning from teaching in the classroom to working at Blackboard. Of course there will be some parallels, but I promise to keep it as Bb specific as possible.