Starting an MBA.

UnixGuyUnixGuy Posts: 3,795Registered Members ■■■■■■■■■■
So I got admission into one of world's top 20 MBA programs, on campus, part time, self-sponsored

I'll be starting in few weeks...very excited!


Short term goal: Finish the MBA and juggle work-life.


Long term career goal: move to Management.


This means, no more technical certs for me anymore!



I don't want to post too many details in this post for the sake of personal privacy, but if you're curious or want more details shoot me a message...
Goal: MBA, March 2020
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Comments

  • EANxEANx Posts: 896Registered Members ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congratulations! Keep your options open though, often moving to management is a process, not binary so you might have a few years where you need to be adept at both sides.
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
    After that: MBA, OSCP
  • roxerroxer Posts: 130Registered Members
    Fantastic UnixGuy!! Congratulations on acceptance. You'll knock it out of the park.
    2018 Goals:
    To Complete: CISSP-ISSAP | CCSP | CAPM
    Start Master's Degree: WGU - MBA.ITM

    B.S., Business Studies in Computer Information Technology | SNHU
  • cbdudekcbdudek Posts: 67Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congrats! This is just what I did. I was an infrastructure manager and I started on my MBA part time. It took me a little under 3 years to do. After that, I got a job as a Director of IT. I was in that role for a little under 6 years, and I learned a lot. I have since left that to do sales engineering. So I am back in the technical world again, but this time I am helping other Directors out with security related problems in their organizations.

    If I could impart any advice, it would be to take some of your classes in seat. I networked with hundreds of professionals in my in seat classes. Those people helped me find my Director role and this role I have now. Networking is key, and by going after your MBA, you are going to meet a lot of people. Network like crazy man!

    Good luck!
  • gespensterngespenstern Posts: 1,242Registered Members ■■■■■■■□□□
    Huge congrats! Report back to us when you are a CISO or CIO of a huge transnational corp with a huge half a million pay! Or even higher!
  • TLeTourneauTLeTourneau Posts: 613Registered Members
    Congratulations and good luck!
    Thanks, Tom

    B.S: IT - Network Design & Management
    M.S. - CSIA (Started 3/1/2017)Progress T1: C688, JIT2; T2:TFT2, C700, VLT2; T3: C701, C702; T4: C706, FXT2, LQT2
    Black = Not Started, Blue = In Progress, Red = Complete
  • supafish9supafish9 Posts: 34Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations on the acceptance! For the program that you entered, did you have the take the GMAT/GRE? I know some requirements don't include that for the executive programs but it seems like the professional programs typically do.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 Posts: 2,711Moderators mod
    Congrats on the acceptance!!!
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: eJPT, Learning: Linux/CLI, Git, Python, Pentesting
    Next Up:​ eJPT, eCPPTv2, OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (CLI, Git, Python), eLearnSecurity PTSv3
  • scadascada Posts: 48Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    Probably the most challenging thing I have ever done. Well worth the effort and heartache. Congrats
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Posts: 3,795Registered Members ■■■■■■■■■■
    EANx wrote: »
    Congratulations! Keep your options open though, often moving to management is a process, not binary so you might have a few years where you need to be adept at both sides.

    Very good point. I'm trying to avoid exactly that, I feel that if I keep getting pulled to do technical stuff I'll never leave. Next position should be either sales or management..but yeah things take time so we'll see :)
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Posts: 3,795Registered Members ■■■■■■■■■■
    cbdudek wrote: »
    Congrats! This is just what I did. I was an infrastructure manager and I started on my MBA part time. It took me a little under 3 years to do. After that, I got a job as a Director of IT. I was in that role for a little under 6 years, and I learned a lot. I have since left that to do sales engineering. So I am back in the technical world again, but this time I am helping other Directors out with security related problems in their organizations.

    If I could impart any advice, it would be to take some of your classes in seat. I networked with hundreds of professionals in my in seat classes. Those people helped me find my Director role and this role I have now. Networking is key, and by going after your MBA, you are going to meet a lot of people. Network like crazy man!

    Good luck!


    Excellent story and thanks for the advice! that's the reason why I opted for on campus rather than online, to network, but I also figured I'm not the most motivated person to do online studies. Thanks mate
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Posts: 3,795Registered Members ■■■■■■■■■■
    Huge congrats! Report back to us when you are a CISO or CIO of a huge transnational corp with a huge half a million pay! Or even higher!


    haha I'm sure i'll be reporting back way before
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Posts: 3,795Registered Members ■■■■■■■■■■
    supafish9 wrote: »
    Congratulations on the acceptance! For the program that you entered, did you have the take the GMAT/GRE? I know some requirements don't include that for the executive programs but it seems like the professional programs typically do.


    I didn't have to do GRE/GMAT in my case, but I was prepared to do it if needed
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Posts: 3,795Registered Members ■■■■■■■■■■
    scada wrote: »
    Probably the most challenging thing I have ever done. Well worth the effort and heartache. Congrats


    Did it help your career? care to share your story/progress with us? :)
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • scadascada Posts: 48Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    Yes for sure. here is a small writeup.

    The contacts I made in the program were great. But more so the quality of people not necessarily their positions. I usually get asked in every job interview “Oh, we see you have an MBA blah… why didn’t you get an MS in cyber like all the other IT security people” or something to that effect right. I like to point out that cyber in and of itself is not a profit center (usually) it helps drive profit centers speaking in terms of value added. My current role as an ISSE/M the MBA doesn’t help to much but it will help more once I hold more FaceTime with project managers. At the end of the day everyone’s job is to add value in a way which helps protect or increase profit. I took a director positon in one of my X-wife’s companies during grad school. This helped a lot with learning out to build teams and lead people outside of a military environment. MBA programs help you learn how to communicate effectively and how to speak in universal terms which most business understand. I started my MBA at the University of Hawaii in 2014 and finished in May 2016. I will probably be going back for a MS or PHd (funding dependent).
    Timeline as follows:
    2007-2013ish Active Duty enlisted 25B It analyst / Satcom SME Looking back I should have went to OCS right out of the box. . I attempted OCS in 2015 but ended up getting hurt and was forced to drop from the program.
    2014- 2016 Grad school and Work in x wives company. More of an advisory role I had a general manager and two other location mangers who reported up to me. During this time Divorce kicked off which made things even more challenging.
    2016-2017 Security Analyst I though III at US PACIFIC Command. Here the MBA helped because everyone in my office had an Engineering background with MS degree in cyber or a business background with an MS in cyber. My day to day position required lots of analytical work trend analysis, burn rate adjustments. Cyber scorecard kind of stuff. The MBA helped with these kinds of efforts. During this time I picked up CASP,CISSP,CSM,CEH in that order back to back. This combo of certs helped at work to meet standard of my office (everyone was required to have IAT III) I just took it upon myself to go above and beyond. At the same time, I was working in a NOC full time as well. In the NOC the MBA actually hurt me some because people always wanted to know when I would be leaving and why on earth someone with an MBA would be hanging out in the NOC. The management there knew that the position was to a way to add extra money to my bank account. All in all, the management was happy because there was a butt in seat and I found a backfill when I left. I was happy because I was getting an extra check.
    2018-Current Moved from Hawaii to Texas and took an ISSE position. Here the MBA helped also mainly during the interview. I think it added some value and spoke to work ethic combined with holding two full time positions. I also leveraged the MBA during my interview and that helped me drive and control the interview into a direction I wanted it to go. Focusing on my strengths etc..

    If you want to eventually go into management then the MBA can only help. The key is going to be finding a position where you can utilize the skills you took two years to learn. Help drive policy / strategic plan, data analysis balh balh .
  • scadascada Posts: 48Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think the key is that the MBA is a force multiplier which becomes more powerful as time goes on.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Posts: 3,795Registered Members ■■■■■■■■■■
    @Scada thanks for sharing your story, inspirational
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • scadascada Posts: 48Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    Also, you don’t want to think of the MBA as “Oh I don’t need tech certs anymore …. That’s what added value to your current situation. Those tech certs keeping one or two current will add value when you have to ask your techs under you to do something. You won’t be “just the manager” you will also be a practitioner ( you probably know all this already brother…)

    I like it when the guy with GPEN and GCFA says I am in inspiration. After CISM is done in August I will attach GCIH and GPEN. Paying out of pocket….

    Ok so back to your MBA …. Make sure you leverage your team members and learn what makes them tick…. The higher your emotional intelligence is going into the program, the easier it will be to bring everything together. Soot me a PM… I would love to know which program you will be attending.

  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Posts: 3,795Registered Members ■■■■■■■■■■
    @Scada: points taken with regards to cert. However, I think once you have a strong technical foundation (in my case well over a decade of hands-on experience, many certs, trainings, jobs, challenging undergrad degree, seminars), then it gets easier to keep your knowledge up to date. For example, I'd opt to attend AWS seminars, workshops, trainings, rather than studying for the cert. I'd still read and study, but not necessarily to pass an exam. Also, I'm worried about being pulled into technical work forever, this will prevent me from moving up the ladder. I've seen it happen...

    SANS certs are always good value, good luck with your studies. I'll send you a PM now
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • supafish9supafish9 Posts: 34Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    @unixguy and @scada, thanks for your input and thoughts. I have a mentor that's suggesting the same thing to study and apply for an MBA program instead of a MS.
  • jdancerjdancer Posts: 472Registered Members
    I already have a bus admin degree but I hope you find the Finance class a blast. Really explains how organizations handle capital needs. Was lots of homework but I did sure learn a lot.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Posts: 3,795Registered Members ■■■■■■■■■■
    @supafish9: go for it! I don't recommend technical MS, you can learn most things (in a much more efficient & up to date way) through experience & certs.

    @jdancer: can't wait! those are the stuff that I want to learn
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • mzx380mzx380 This site changed my life Posts: 444Registered Members ■■■■□□□□□□
    congrats UNIXGUY
    Please keep this thread updated on your progress, we're rooting for you
    Currently Working On: Microsoft 70-761 (SQL Server)
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Posts: 3,795Registered Members ■■■■■■■■■■
    I'm starting in two weeks......


    Guess what, I was offered SANS work study for 660........ I had to frekkin reject it because I can mandatory intensive classes.......


    Anyway, decision has been made, no going back now :)
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Posts: 3,795Registered Members ■■■■■■■■■■
    mzx380 wrote: »
    congrats UNIXGUY
    Please keep this thread updated on your progress, we're rooting for you


    Will do sir! Appreciate the support :)
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • supafish9supafish9 Posts: 34Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    mzx380 wrote: »
    congrats UNIXGUY
    Please keep this thread updated on your progress, we're rooting for you

    Second this!
  • thedudeabidesthedudeabides Posts: 86Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congrats! There's a shortage of good technically qualified managers out there.
    2018 Goals: CCNP Route
    2019 Goals: CCNP Switch & TS
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Posts: 3,795Registered Members ■■■■■■■■■■
    3 Months later.. I finished my last final exam for this term..it was quite a ride!

    I learned SO much in those 3 months, it's insane! Now I understand why MBAs from top school have value, so let met explain few things I concluded during my firs term.


    - Don't do an online MBA. Serious. You don't NEED an MBA so unless you get an opportunity to do it on campus from a reputable university, don't do it. Why?

    Because the real learning happens in the group work. Your assigned a group of students, where you get to work under pressure on a weekly basis. Regularly we were asked to read a case, prepare a presentation, and then present to a room full of people competing with you. Good luck. This stuff can not be learned online. You also get to discuss everything in the classroom, and the students are from different fields. The stories you hear are priceless.

    Networking! Now I know what this means. Networking isn't just meeting people in an event and adding them on LinkedIn, the kind of Networking that happens in the MBA is when you get to know your cohort, work with them for two years, develop REAL connections with them, work together on projects. This is Networking. You also know if someone graduated from your school, they're solid (or at least have a minimum base of competency).

    Now if you can't do on Campus MBA, there are plenty of options! For online degrees, you can do Masters of Management, masters of finance/commerce/accounting, or you can do a technical masters. Honestly, certifications have more value for technical careers than masters. If you want to learn about marketing, finance, accounting, strategy, etc...you can read a book and learn everything, this is not what an MBA is for to be honest.


    The MBA is good if you want to change careers, move to management, or move to consulting (for IT consulting you dont need an MBA).



    I was under pressure throughout the entire 3 months. Every week I had home work, group work, then we had mid terms, and finals. I mean literally every week. I did slack when it came to studying, so my grades aren't that good, but I kept my sanity and didn't ignore my social life/exercise/relationship. I went home at midnight few nights a week because I had to deliver group assignment that was due 11:59 pm..assignment was given to us a 9:30 pm. This is pressure. Specially after a long day work + 3 hours lecture. They really test how you work under pressure, and you get better at working under pressure.


    Anyway, I have a week off as of today, and then a homework due next week for the new subject icon_rolleyes.gif


    Feel free to ask me anything (except personal questions, I can answer those in PMs)
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • NavyMooseCCNANavyMooseCCNA Stand-up Philosopher ZZ9ZZAPosts: 501Registered Members ■■■□□□□□□□
    cbdudek wrote: »
    Congrats! This is just what I did. I was an infrastructure manager and I started on my MBA part time. It took me a little under 3 years to do. After that, I got a job as a Director of IT. I was in that role for a little under 6 years, and I learned a lot. I have since left that to do sales engineering. So I am back in the technical world again, but this time I am helping other Directors out with security related problems in their organizations.

    If I could impart any advice, it would be to take some of your classes in seat. I networked with hundreds of professionals in my in seat classes. Those people helped me find my Director role and this role I have now. Networking is key, and by going after your MBA, you are going to meet a lot of people. Network like crazy man!

    Good luck!
    Congrats on being able to pivot your MBA into something meaningful. I earned mine in 2004 and I never figured out how to use it. Now, it is just wallpaper....

    'My dear you are ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly' Winston Churchil

  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Posts: 3,795Registered Members ■■■■■■■■■■
    Congrats on being able to pivot your MBA into something meaningful. I earned mine in 2004 and I never figured out how to use it. Now, it is just wallpaper....


    How did you want to use it if you don't mind me asking? Or what career goal do you have at the moment that you think the MBA would've helped you reach?
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • NavyMooseCCNANavyMooseCCNA Stand-up Philosopher ZZ9ZZAPosts: 501Registered Members ■■■□□□□□□□
    I started it in the Fall of 2002 and the job market was more than tight, especially for newbies to IT, like me. I started the MBA program to set me off from others.

    'My dear you are ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly' Winston Churchil

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