Yesterday we talked a little bit about how more and more, companies today are seeking out candidates with an MBA degree — even for positions that historically have had no such requirement.
A great case in point is the Advertising industry. Traditionally, this creative-driven field has been concerned primarily with results not credentials. But, as clients have begun demanding a stronger business case and quantifiable results for their advertising and marketing programs, so have agencies started demanding business backgrounds for virtually all positions outside of the creative team.
In this short interview, former Advertising Media Planner and Buyer and Forté Fellow, Angel Davis, discusses why she decided to pursue an MBA and what you might want to consider as you start planning your own career path.
Name: Angel Davis
Undergraduate Institution, Major & Graduation Year:
Stanford University, Economics and Communcations, Class of 2006
Business School & Anticipated Graduation Year:
NYU Stern School of Business, Class of 2012
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Pre-MBA Work Experience: Media Planner/Buyer, Advertising
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
I’ve always been interested in business, and advertising was a great way to understand how companies position themselves in consumers’ eyes. I felt anxious, wanting to understand how business works holistically and what strategies go into making the decisions that trickled down to my clients as marketers. Business school was the best place to gain an analytical foundation of this knowledge. Through classes in strategy and operations, I’m beginning to understand these business essentials. After business school, my plan is to work in consulting and further this knowledge by working on a diversity of projects.
What advice do you have for women who are considering business school?
Traditionally, business school has been a male dominated graduate degree. I am happy to say that this statistic is rapidly changing as the business industry itself changes. At Stern specifically, I find myself surrounded by the most outgoing, intelligent, and motivated individuals I’ve ever met and it’s inspiring. For anyone considering business school, make sure you have a clear sight of where you see your career in the long-term.
What’s the most surprising thing you learned about business school during the application process?
I believed that business school was full of bankers and consultants. Through the application process, I really got a sense for the value that a lot of schools place on attracting individuals from a diversity of backgrounds. So at the heart of your application, do some self assessment and hone in on what value you could add to a class environment. Make sure it shines consistently through your application.
Do you feel prepared for business school? Why/why not?
As with any new venture, I am uneasy with this change of pace. Transitioning from one routine to another has taken some time, but I’ve found solace in the fact that my classmates are going through the same thing. The majority of us are learning how to be a student again and it’s exciting! If anything, I am relying on my time management skills.
What do you do in your free time?
Network! Before school, my free time was spent taking on new hobbies such as training for half-marathons or scrapbooking. Now, I spend my free time getting to know my classmates better. I’ve gotten to know such a dynamic group of people and it’s been fun!
Please share something about your experience with Forté.
The Forté Forum was one of my first experiences in the recruiting process. I attended my first in Atlanta, GA right after I graduated from Stanford and was immediately comforted by the supportive network that Forté embodies. Closer to actually applying to schools, I attended one of the forums held in New York. Talking through my reasons for wanting to get an MBA with some of the speakers and other attendees helped confirm my interest in business school.
Feel free to add anything else you would like to share about yourself, your goals, or business school that may inspire others.
Good luck to all of those beginning to think about the application process and/or beginning the application process!! For me it had its ups and downs, but all of the trials and tribulations were worth it. I learned so much about myself and now that I’m beginning a new chapter, I’m able to see the rewards of my hard work and it’s fantastic!