Friday, August 10, 2007

Why an MBA?

As I (we) go through this exciting, scary, and anxious time deciding about pursuing a sustainable MBA, I find myself asking the question, "why do I want to do this?". It's a reasonable way for my mind to wrap itself into a knotted mess of neurons, serotonin, and adrenaline; sometimes called "self-doubt".

Well, despite the grim reality of the financial implications of an MBA, and the sure-to-be difficulties associated with the endeavor, the meeting of the Cleantech crew of NetImpact Boston did nothing but reinforce my desire to GO.

OK, so not everyone around the table was in the midst of an MBA or even thinking about it, but the ones that were (or had) were overtly enthusiastic about the experience and the possibilities it could open up. There were so many ideas being thrown around the table, so many concepts and examples of what companies were striving for with sustainable business, so much (to me at least) out-of-the-box thinking that I could hardly contain myself. In fact, given the selfish nature of all of us (human nature, or am I projecting?) I did my best to talk about what I thought I knew and what I wanted to talk about. Our fearless organizer for the evening, Asheen, did a admirable job keeping us on task, discussing Interface's and Timberland's differing yet fundamentally similar tracking of sustainable business and CSR metrics in their corporate operations.

Back to the initial question posed at the top of this posting, here is what I came up with for reasons to pursue a sustainable MBA:
  • I would like to develop a deeper and more rigorous understanding of how businesses operate and apply this knowledge to my own work
  • I would like a place to pursue the intellectual challenge of "sustainability" and organize my personal sustainable education into a usable form
  • I would like to commit to a program that will help me move my career toward sustainability related professional activities; to align my core values with what I do
  • I would like to share my business experiences and be part of an innovative community of like-minded people working to create a restorative economy based on a pragmatic understanding of where we are right now
  • I would like to help change the way we educate the coming generations such that sustainable efforts today are taken to a higher level
Does this pretty much cover it? If you want to do something, you'll figure out how to do it. In closing, the quote I was thinking of earlier this evening and could not remember (a bit trite, but appropriate),
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead (1901-1978), American Anthropologist

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