MBA or MPA: Lauren Bogner

[Continuing from our MBA of MPA series].

Future Leaders in Philanthropy (FLiP): Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?

Lauren Bogner (LB): I chose to purse an MBA for several reasons: 1. To advance my education and particularly develop areas and skill sets that I had not developed in my undergraduate studies (quantitative skills, strategic thinking, etc). 2. To allow myself the opportunity to explore a career in the for-profit sector in the short-term.  3. To build skills I had identified that I lacked, and needed, to lead a nonprofit organization in the long-term and provide better volunteer leadership to organizations in both the short- and long-terms.

FLiP: Why did you choose the program you ultimately attended?  Describe it for us.

LB: I chose the top MBA programs in the country to apply to because they offer the best education, network and career services. The MBA is not a degree needed to do anything; it is optional, therefore I found the school’s ranking and name to be extremely significant.  I am seeking access to a network for life and that network is only strong for certain schools. Additionally, I preferred schools that would have more qualitative programs (some MBAs are much more quantitative), however the name recognition being at the top of my list led me to stray a bit from this distinction.

FLiP: Did you consider an MPA instead?

LB: Very briefly at an earlier point in my career I considered Wagner.

FLiP: Why did you ultimately decide against it?

I wanted my investment to be in a broader education that would be applicable to any and all fields.

FLiP: How do you think your program will help your future career prospects?

LB: It will allow me to move into another field for a brief time, or possibly a lifetime. It will advance the level at which I go into a job in another industry outside the nonprofit sector and/or it will allow me to advance to the head of a nonprofit quicker than I would have had I stayed in the work force.

FLiP: What standardized test did you have to take for your program, if any?

I took the GMAT.

FLiP: Are you attending part-time or full-time?

LB: I  will attend full-time.

FLiP: How many schools/programs did you apply to?

LB: Five.

What advice, if any, would you give to someone who was considering getting an MBA or an MPA?

LB: MBA: Know your strengths and weaknesses (i.e. what you have to contribute to an MBA class, why the institution should admit you and what you plan to get from the education). You can not begin an application without outlining those things. Have a general idea of where you see yourself in the workforce after graduate school (in your mind) and have a specific idea of where you see yourself to write in your application.

FLiP: Are you happy with your decision?

LB: Very.

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