What’s your MBA Motivation?

While preparing to take my GMAT, I was often asked why I was applying to business school. My response usually involved being a positive role model for my children. I wanted my daughters to know that women can be business leaders.

Professional Ambitions

Beyond my personal motivations, I was uncovering my own professional ambitions, which involved being respected for hard-earned leadership skills. I wanted to be promoted but most of my leadership experience had been volunteering for different groups. Somehow that wasn’t translating to growth opportunities at work. Plus, I wanted to stand out in my career. I wanted to be a decision maker, not just someone at the receiving end of other people’s decisions.

At one point the year prior to me enrolling at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, my boss pointed his finger at me and said, “You’d better get a master’s degree  in order to be promoted any higher.”

That was one of those life-changing moments that I will never forget. Fortunately, I had finally learned to speak up for myself, and more importantly, to say yes to new career-building opportunities. I looked back at my boss and calmly and confidently said, “I want my MBA.” It may have been the first time I said it out loud to someone else. It was the right time and right place.


But how would this MBA happen? I wanted balance between career and personal life. I had no choice about that balance. I was a single mother at the time, with two kids to feed and a house and big yard to manage.  It was a lot to juggle, but I found that the Sacramento MBA program scheduled easy to fit into my busy life. Because I was clear about my motivations at work, I was able to match my vacation time with time needed to study. I was grateful that UC Davis Graduate School of Management offered different pathways to an MBA degree.

It was a sweet moment when both of my daughters came on stage with me at graduation. They had been by my side throughout the program and learned with me that hard work, focus and determination can lead to success. They came with me to many group project meetings, in person and online, and juggled my schedule along with me. I keep a photo of graduation with my girls on my desk.

There are many reasons to pursue an MBA. What are yours? 

Take a few moments to take the survey below, created by the Graduate Management Admissions Council, to determine what your motivations are. Of course, the Admissions team is happy to discuss your ideas with you, and help find the program that works best in your program.


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