Our biggest career choices hinge upon some key factors – money, interest, passion, security etc. Some more than others depending upon your own risk aversion, importance of work-life balance, ambition and so on. Whatever the motivation, the common outcome from an MBA is expected to be ‘change’ – accelerated change. “I’m doing my MBA to change nothing in my current circumstances” – said no one ever! If change is the goal, then the measurement of success surely has to be how far you move from your current state. But not every moment in life is ripe for change and an untimely MBA won’t pack the power of a knockout punch.

In my opinion there are three distinct stages at which an MBA makes sense. First, the full-time MBA when you’ve had a few years in consulting, banking or other professions and are eager to get ahead in the corporate world. And because they have no great obligations at this stage in life, the opportunity cost of losing two years’ pay is minimal. The second is when you’re trying to make a similar change, but are a bit further along in your career and life to give up your income. The Executive MBA students, typically with a few more years’ work experience, will juggle work, family and weekend classes to change their position, a team, a discipline or try out another organization.

The third stage, is when you’re an established mid-to-senior level executive with experience in leading teams and organizations with a proven track record. So the case for change at this level is not because you ‘need’ to, but because you ‘want’ to – perhaps because you want a new challenge or want something more stimulating than what you’re doing or perhaps you simply want to see what options are available. Whatever the reason, at this stage in life the single most driving factor is realizing your own potential and pushing the boundaries of your capabilities. Unexplored, this can lead to a midlife crisis.

Enter EMBA Global. When I started the course, I was doing quite well as a revenue strategist at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, but I decided it was time to look at possibilities ‘out there’. I loved the work I did but I also had begun to realize I could do better. So I naturally wanted to equip myself with the education and network to discover other options. Someone once said to me “An MBA is a lot of money to just keep your options open”.  No doubt the case, but the reward when you pick an option can be life-changing. And so I found myself on a plane to London to start the 20-month EMBA-Global journey.

I remember sitting in class on the first day of orientation, being awestruck by everyone’s stories of how they got there, and thinking, “What am I doing here?” But as the year progressed and I got to know everyone, I discovered that we weren’t all that different. We had different backgrounds but still, being in the company of these smart individuals didn’t give me a feeling of competition, but of validation – that I could achieve whatever I set my sights on, like every one of my friends in class could. And so began a journey of self-searching, self-awareness, excitement for the possibilities and, of course, action. I can’t count the number of folks in class who have quit what they were doing when they joined to do something completely different – something they had always wanted to do. Many have chosen to change locations, professions and industries. Some like me, have taken the path of entrepreneurship, which wasn’t an option for me until I started the EMBA Global experience. With six months left to go in the program, I quit my job at Starwood and using that experience, I’m launching SuiteStory, the next best thing in online luxury hotel booking experience – one that will cater to a whole generation of affluent travelers looking for more than just a standard room and who’ve never made a booking on the phone in their life. My co-founder is a fellow EMBA-Global; the program seems to be paying dividends already.

All my classmates have similar stories to tell – a lull in the career, the desire to jump start again on to a new path, building the base of a Global MBA education, then, the leap of faith. Time will tell how the future unfolds, but you’d be hard pressed to find a single classmate who wouldn’t do this all over again. The success of an MBA program can be subjective and while many publications try to standardize it, my yardstick squarely measures how much you were able to do what you set out to do – which was change. EMBA Global has by far exceeded my expectations in that regard. It is the best way to gain knowledge, friends, networks and a new purpose to shoot for the stars. It is the perfect midlife miracle.

5 Responses to “The Midlife Crisis Miracle”

  1. avatar Venkat Reddy says:

    I am able to connect to the subject…sincerely written

  2. avatar Rahul M Joshi says:

    Nice and Very Interesting Post it is.. I Like this Post…

  3. avatar Steven Rios says:

    changes may mean a challenge, but it may also change one’s life.

  4. avatar Amanda says:

    Nice post, It is really very good style of motivating others.

  5. avatar Bonnar says:

    very well written, i had the same feelings when i had my first day in school.