It’s common for business professionals to get stuck feeling plateaued and unappreciated. Others may be considering a career change to follow an entrepreneurial venture.
One of the best ways to resolve these issues or initiate a mid-career pivot is to boost your skills. And one of the most reliable ways to do that is with a Master of Business Administration degree — an MBA.
This is the path Eric Luongo took. “I was looking to advance my career,” said Luongo, a quality control microbiologist at Moderna, a biotech company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he has worked for about two years.
Diversify and Expand Knowledge
To expand on the knowledge he already had, Luongo enrolled in the online Master of Business Administration in Management from Massachusetts-based Fitchburg State University. He was expecting to complete his degree in May 2020.
“It’s rare to see a business degree in a biology field,” he said. “It’s already helped me communicate with other departments and realize how other roles, like human resources and information technology, affect my job.”
Build 5 Main Skills
Luongo’s experience illustrates why many students pursue MBAs — to learn skills they otherwise might not gain as quickly. Even before Luongo completed the degree, he had improved his communication abilities, one of the five main skills that MBA programs help students boost, according to Princeton Review:
- Interpersonal skills – being able to collaborate and work efficiently with others
- Strategic thinking – understanding what organizations must do to succeed
- Entrepreneurial skills – setting bold goals, assessing markets and thinking creatively
- Communication skills – conveying core values and strategies to others
- Leadership skills – motivating team members to make meaningful contributions
Putting New Skills to Work Immediately
Another Fitchburg State student shared similar experiences to Luongo’s. After taking just two courses in the online MBA in Healthcare Management, Madeleine Bossou was applying new leadership skills in her position that would transfer into a managerial role she expected to get.
Bossou, a clinical lead at Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center satellite unit in Boston, enrolled after she was recommended for an eventual management position in the geriatric ward. She said the Organizational Behavior and Development course was particularly helpful.
“It showed me all of the information I need and what I needed to focus on in my clinical lead role; also, I learned how to organize, lead and manage to create an organizational citizenship behavior and listening skills for better decision-making,” she said. “I am learning new skills that will help me improve the community.”
Even just potential results from MBA skills can lead to better days. That’s what happened for Fitchburg State student Stephen Ferreira, a student in the online MBA in Management program, which he expected to complete in October 2020.
“I believe the degree has already created opportunities for me,” he said. “I left a company after 15 years because I wasn’t advancing in my career. When I told interviewers that I was getting my MBA, the whole conversation changed. It was a major reason why I got the job I have.”
He has been a regional sales manager for Paragon Furniture since September 2019 and works from his home in Ayer, Massachusetts. But Ferreira aims higher, and he believes the degree will help him transition into executive leadership.
“It’s funny because when I tell people my goal is to become a chief executive officer or a chief operating officer, they think I’m reaching too high,” he said. “For me, it is the only career goal that matters. I would rather reach too high and miss than reach low and hit.”
Learn more about Fitchburg State University’s online MBA in Management program.