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Coming to an MBA from a non-business background

By Sophie Kirtley, MBA Class of 2025
Monday, June 24, 2024
Sophie Kirtley headshot

Sophie Kirtley, MBA ’25

The decision to come back to school for an MBA degree is not one to be taken lightly. Leaving a great job, forgoing a salary for two years and uprooting your (and possibly your family’s) life to move to a new place is daunting. While everyone who chooses to pursue an MBA has different reasons and goals, we have all had to weigh the trade-offs of coming to the program.

Personally, I had been out of school for five years before I began my MBA. Coming back to school was a weighty decision on a personal and financial level. Although I was steadily progressing in my career in the third-party logistics industry, I wanted to pivot slightly and learn more about other strategic areas of supply chain management. I also wanted to move my career into a more strategic space. Unfortunately, coming from a non-business background (B.A. in Political Science), I felt that I was lacking in business acumen in relation to many of my colleagues. I realized that the next step towards building a career that I wanted was to pursue an MBA.

As I wrap up the first year of my MBA, I am happy with my decision to join the Broad MBA program. Although I was initially reluctant to give up an income and leave Chicago, and as I even doubted my academic ability, I feel that the benefits of the program outweigh any of these negatives. I have been presented with opportunities for case competitions and internships that would have never been in my reach before. Despite the program being overwhelming at times, I ultimately feel that my classes have taught me to analyze and solve business problems from a variety of different angles. Finally, I have had the opportunity to meet classmates and friends from diverse backgrounds, with whom I would have never crossed paths had we not met in the program. Reflecting on my first year of my MBA, I am grateful for the opportunities I have had and look forward to seeing what my second year will bring.

In Other News:

Student Resource Group Meeting
Broad’s Consulting Club aids in the development of practical consulting experience through innovative case studies.
The front vestibule of the Minskoff Pavilion, part of the Business College Complex at Michigan State University and home to the Broad College of Business.
First-year MBA student Tyler Korber recaps his Broad education abroad experience in Munich.
The grand staircase inside the Minskoff Pavilion, home of the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.
MBA student David Ahyong reflects on the concept of time while working on an MBA several time zones away from home.