What’s My MBA Worth?
Posted at 1:15 p.m. on Jan. 23, 2014
Thinking about graduate school? Sure, you could join the ranks of the JDs seeking employment, but what if you want something less traditional for government, like an MBA? Hill Navigator discusses below.
Q. I am a former campaign staffer who is going back to school for my MBA. Will this help me secure employment on the Hill or other institutions in DC?
A. Short answer: No. Pursuing an MBA will provide lots of things: a valuable education, an expanded network, a better chance at landing a business-related job. It won’t hurt your chances of getting a job on Capitol Hill — where there are a handful of MBAs — but it’s not the straightest route to Capitol Hill.
(For that path, the campaign experience you mentioned might help, as would an internship or fellowship on the Hill).
But if you’re pursuing your MBA, presumably it’s because of your interest in business, not government. Perhaps both are your passions; perhaps you want to put your MBA to great work on Capitol Hill. Start networking now. See if your graduate program offers opportunities to connect with government offices in D.C. If you worked on a winning campaign and have some friends in Congress, reach out to them and see what opportunities you can take on while in school, so that when you graduate you’ll have a better understanding of the job landscape.
Hill Navigator is a strong proponent of grad school: you can learn a great deal, you can expand your network and you can increase your professional qualifications. You cannot, however, go to grad school as a means to guarantee a Hill job. There is no such guarantee. Not now, not ever.