Key Decision: Pursue my MBA

Decision

The key decision I made is to pursue my MBA degree. I’ve been wrestling with this decision for several years now. I’ve always enjoyed learning and studying but it just seems like there are so many reasons not to do this. I have two children and a wonderful wife that I want to spend time with, I just started a new job, I coach hockey, I’m heavily involved with uTest, etc.

There are also philosophical reasons pulling me away from the MBA. Is an MBA really the best way for me to learn? I’m mostly interested in testing so why not focus on testing courses from AST or personal mentoring and training from some of testings leaders. I should also quote Will Hunting :)

…you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a f@#$% education you coulda’ got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the Public Library.

So why did I make this key decision? Well… because it wasn’t an easy, comfortable decision. Whenever I find an uncomfortable situation, I try to force myself through it. I don’t know if this is the right decision but I know I’m a bit scared so I know I will learn plenty whether my MBA related goals are met or not. Also, the financial risk is tolerable at UNCG.

Expectations

  • Develop a more complete understanding of business – I know plenty about IT and testing, but other aspects such as finance and marketing are mysteries to me
  • Gain experience working with people from different business areas and different cultural backgrounds
  • Influence the education and growth of others
  • Learn new ideas and new ways of thinking
  • More challenging and rewarding career options

Strength and weakness exercise

“What are your greatest strengths?” “What are your greatest weaknesses?” Two of the most common and dreaded interview questions. Most people think they know the answers to these questions, but I’m pretty sure most people are wrong; especially when it comes to their strengths. The things I’m not good at are fairly obvious, but discovering what I’m truly good has proven to be more difficult. I think this is because what I think are my strengths are what I want to be my strengths.

I’ve found that unbiased self-reflection is a difficult thing to do well, so in attempt to better identify my strengths and weaknesses, I’m going to try to document key decisions I make and what I want and expect to happen as a result of those decision. A year or so later the plan is to revisit these decisions and see if I was able to achieve the desired outcome.

I unknowingly started this exercise in March of 2012 when I decided to join uTest. I documented the reasons for making that decision as well as my goals and now, 18 months later what I expected to happen – develop a reputation as an expert tester – is starting to develop (at least within the uTest community).

I’m excited to see where this exercise takes me. To kick it off, my first key decision is to…. start keeping track of my key decisions :)