By Jean-Philippe Odunlami, Senior Consultant at The MBA Exchange
Are you planning to someday lead your family’s business? Attending a top business school could be the perfect way to accelerate your progress, add maximum value, and ensure long-term growth and success for the company.
For those with a career plan focused on a family business, here are 3 scenarios in which pursuing a top MBA education is the right move. Which of these best describes your situation today?
1. Heavily Involved in the Family Business
You’re currently working in your family’s business full time, and have had exposure to one or two aspects (e.g., finance, marketing, strategy, etc.). You are expected to lead the company within the next 5-15 years. However, to do so, you need a broader, general-management skillset that spans all aspects of the business. Only an MBA curriculum provides the academic, yet pragmatic, immersion you’ll need to fully understand all functions of a company and take it to the next level.
2. Lightly Involved in the Family Business
You’re on the board of directors of your family’s business, advise it from time to time or work there only part-time. Your current focus is a full-time job somewhere else. If you intend to lead your family’s company someday, you must learn how to think like a CEO who faces a wide range of opportunities and threats each day. A top MBA education will broaden and deepen your management perspective by simulating the feeling – and challenges – of being in the CEO’s shoes.
3. Not Currently Involved in the Business
You’re not involved in your family’s business today, but are considering it as a possible career option in the future. By pursuing an MBA education, you can develop relationships with peers who are already involved in their family businesses and can share their experiences. These real-world stories can help you make a more informed decision about whether this career option is right for you. If and when you do choose to pursue a leadership role in your family trade – whether it’s 3 years or 33 years from now – the MBA alumni network will be an incredible source of support.
Though all top MBA programs can provide a strong foundation for business managers, some b-schools offer resources, curriculum, faculty and events ideally suited to the needs of future family-business leaders. These schools offer classes, conferences, clubs, etc., that will equip you to become an effective CEO, teach you how to manage the unique challenges of being an owner-manager, and introduce proven strategies for dealing with family-shareholder dynamics.
Having advised hundreds of individuals from around the world connected to family businesses ranging from mid-size companies to global corporations, The MBA Exchange can help you choose the best schools for your background and goals. We can also help you overcome hurdles – such as demonstrating daily accountability or choosing credible recommenders – that are especially challenging for MBA applicants from family businesses. Our unparalleled knowledge of the admissions process, our experience with a wide range of applicants from family businesses, and our staff of professional career advisors make The MBA Exchange the most effective partner you can have in your journey.
We’d love to get to know you and share our expert view of your candidacy via a free evaluation of your candidacy.