Every now and again (actually, quite often if I’m honest) I get yet another confirmation of having made the right decision in choosing to attend The Wharton School to get my MBA and focus on building a company.
While I’ve never looked back or even so much as wondered about my having chosen the best fit for me, it is always nice to get hard cold data that supports my choice. The Wharton Entrepreneurship Blog recently published a couple of info-graphics on the sharp increase in the percentage of graduates who are starting companies after getting their MBAs.
In a post long, long ago I talked about the fact that the MBA was something that I had traditionally been advised AGAINST investing in by many of the actual entrepreneurs that I have known and looked up to over the past 13/14 years or so. While I have loved to have been clued in at around 2005 about the turn in this tide (especially in the tech sector that I had been ceremoniously laid off from and pushed out of after the dot com bust and 9/11), one of the info-graphics provided (shown above) illustrates how the trend at Wharton (indicative of a larger trend at many top business schools) has been aligned with my own awareness that things were drastically changing.
The year 2011 (when entrepreneurship suddenly doubled among Wharton MBA grads) was actually about the time that I caught wind of the sustained buzz of activity in hotbeds like the Silicon Valley, New York, Austin and Boston. I say “sustained” because after experiencing the tech bubble of 2000/2001, it took a few years of positive headlines for me to really trust that things were “good again” in the tech business space.
My first reaction, however, didn’t involve looking into MBA programs; it involved going AWOL from a company and industry that I had literally been stuck in for 8 years as I patiently waited through 2 huge recessions for the winds to change. I moved over to a much better fit within an industry and company culture that I had always belonged in but had forgotten even existed after all those years of wearing a suit and being subjected to exhausting company politics for jobs that I didn’t want among people who I neither wanted to follow or even be around (with some exceptions, of course. I met some smart people and made a few great friends at my old company).
Fast forward one year and nine months that have included a complete tenure at a new tech marketing/ops job, 4 months of GMATing, 4 more months of writing apps and essays (and editing each at least 100 times), 2 months of waiting in agony with interviews in between, a phone call (or two; or three), some pontificating, scholarship/fellowship offers, admit weekends, networking, denial that it was even happening and finally acceptance that I will be FUNEMPLOYED in 5 days. Needless to say, waking up this headline this morning felt more than great.
NOTE: If you’re applying to top business schools and are interested in entrepreneurship, check out this blog.