Not to be confused with “Why MBA” or “How will School X help” … I wanna focus on the questions that ask some variation on “Why is now the best time for you to pursue an MBA.” One of my favorite approaches to THINKING about this is to play pretend for a second. Imagine three separate time periods:
1. Five years ago
3. Five years from now
(I’m saying “five” for simplicity sake. Really, it could be 3 or 7 or whatever.) Imagine wanting to go after your MBA 5 years ago. Imagine how you would have attacked it. Imagine how much you knew back then… and more importantly, how much you DIDN’T know. Presumably these past 5 years have DONE something positive.
Now go the other way with it. Why not wait another 5 years? More work experience, more opportunity to get some leadershippy stuff under your belt, toss in some tight community service stuff… right? Well… maybe, but hopefully there will be some serious diminishing returns happening there. HOPEFULLY, that 5 years from now picture should look very close to what you look like “now” … rendering that option (to wait) not so hot.
We need you to be hitting some sort of ceiling right now that NECESSITATES getting an MBA. (After all, if nothing is standing in your way, why on Earth bother?) The “Now” scenario needs to be brimming with potential energy. You’re on the cusp of something, but you NEEDED those X years after school in order to learn ABC about your field of choice. To bring it all into focus. Learn the ropes and know HOW to take advantage of a wide-open MBA program. And… if you wait, you’ll just be beating your head against a wall because you want to go up up up, and at the moment, the only thing preventing that is “the thing” an MBA will provide. If you can make THAT case, you will CRUSH the “Why Now” questions.
Lots of folks blur the lines here with Why MBA or How will our school help you. You’re not thinking 4th dimensionally, Dr. Emmit Brown would say. Identify the temporal component and build your argument around that word “now.”