Added an MBA to Your Resume? Now What?

Gene Wright Gene Wright March 6, 2020

You’ve earned your graduate degree, and your career is going well. But now what?

Since graduating your forum to share and learn with people outside work is no longer available to you. Graduate school was certainly a lot of work as well as a huge time commitment. The assignments, deadlines, schedules and inevitable conflicts were always present, and you felt you could not wait to graduate so you can get on with your life and your career. Yet, you miss it (many do). You miss the opportunities in class to learn with others in different businesses, different roles and different industries. You might even miss reading the case studies, the articles, the textbooks.

So, how do you continue to quench your thirst to learn, fuel your career and balance your life? You could start reading books, articles and case studies again, watching videos, perhaps attend a few conferences. Or, maybe go back for more education, start teaching or guest lecturing.

What you really need is a group of people who have different experiences, different skill sets and a unique point of view, who are constantly learning and challenging themselves and are willing to help and be helped by others who are also on a career and life path of growth. You need a group of professionals who know you and care about you and your path. You also need a professional, executive mentor, not unlike your graduate school professors, who will ask the questions to make you think, to pose the situations to challenge you. You need other people to set the learning in motion — perhaps like your best classes and study groups to help you see your forward. 

You need an executive mentor and business peer advisory group. You need Executive Agenda (EA).

EA’s executive mentor will work one-on-one with you to help you discover the issues standing in your way and the opportunities to career growth and then help you shape your career and balance your life. Next, your executive mentor/coach will assist you in taking the issue to a group of peers who know and care about you, who can share multiple points of view to help you decide what the next step is – and then, allow you to bring it back to the group after implementation for all to learn. Your professional peer group can act as your personal board of advisors to guide your decisions and help you learn. With your “board” you can share experiences, successful and otherwise – real-life case studies to learn from and develop innovative solutions to real-world opportunities and challenges in real time. Your group members and your executive mentor can suggest additional reading or viewing material to allow you to dig deeper and explore more outside your firm or industry.

Peer advisory groups evolved out of the need for executives to not only learn, but to address the need to work with others for personal development in a non-competitive environment. One of the most famous “peer-advisory” groups was the “The Junto” of Benjamin Franklin in 1727, where “Franklin organized a group of friends to provide a structured form of mutual improvement.”  And now since its inception in 1987, we have Executive Agenda whose business is to provide the structure for peer-advisory, and I am proud to be one of the executive mentors.

About the Author

Gene A. Wright is director of graduate management programs at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) where he serves as a lecturer. His classes focus on engineering management, new product management, marketing and strategy. Gene has been an Executive Agenda Group Chair since 2018 and serves one EA group (EA 15).  He also leads Wright Innovation, a consultancy dedicated to serving businesses at the intersection of business and technology for the purpose of innovation and growth.


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