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How you can improve the world with an MBA

James Davis

Careers Commentator
The entrepreneurial advantages of MBA programs are well-documented. What might surprise you are all the ways in which it can be used to improve peoples’ lives worldwide.

Here on PostgradAustralia, we’ve discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the MBA several times, with good reason. It’s our most widely searched degree because of the job opportunities, graduate salaries and satisfaction it develops. However, surveys have shown that both students and current workers prioritise making a positive impact with their career even over things like having children or being community leaders.

It’s not always apparent how this desire can manifest as action, but if you share the sentiment of wanting to make a difference, or you’re still not sure if the degree is for you, perhaps the following two propositions can sway you.

Knowing how to run a regular business is knowing how to run an NGO

If you have a tremendous idea for reducing hunger in a remote region, getting aid to refugees displaced by prolonged wars or even just feeding local people without homes, an MBA can help. The following are practical applications for units commonly available within these programs that can bring your idea to life. Bear in mind they represent merely a few of the units covered throughout these courses:

  • Learning about accounting principles provides a rudimentary knowledge of financial management, which is essential to every business, NGO and charitable organisation.
  • Managerial economics provides students with the economic reasoning to solve often-complex business quandaries. In the context of NGOs, charities or similar institutions, this can mean anything from where to allocate funds to determining the worth of a merger or expansion into new fields or territories.
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation units provide the means to grow ideas from coffee table musings to MVPs and subsequent full-scale operations. In essence, it’s creativity harnessed creatively, which can be utilised by a charity or NGO to rapidly test and develop new idea, or pivot where appropriate.
  • Learning to conduct business in a global economy is of particular relevance to ambitious humanitarians, as the complexities of differing socio-economic climates affect one another in innumerable ways.
  • Marketing is essential to every business, with very few exceptions. It is the means by which audiences find services that may appeal to their needs. It’s no exaggeration to say this can be of life-and-death importance, as is the case for many charities and NGOs operating today.

Even if you have no intention of building your own organisation from scratch, having an MBA can help enrich an existing one. It covers such a diverse array of practical skills that it makes graduates highly employable not only in government, consulting or financial services, but in humanitarian pursuits as well.

You gain invaluable connections

It’s an in-built requirement of many MBA programs to have industry experience, preferably three or more years in a management position. This means that even before setting foot in your first lecture, MBA programs present an opportunity to meet a great deal of individuals who are already accomplished in their respective fields.

This makes them quite unlike other postgraduate courses, where it’s possible to enter immediately upon graduation from a bachelor’s degree. No matter how accomplished your classmates in other master’s degrees might be in their respective academic pursuits, little compares to the value industry experience brings.

Those who spend time actively introducing themselves to classmates will find a diverse range of skills and experiences among them, which present opportunities not only for common ground and friendship, but professional relationships put to worthy use.

The MBA isn’t for everyone, but it’s undoubtedly a useful tool in making the world a better place. The fact of the matter is global economies revolve around the administration of businesses great and small. If you’ve got the knowledge and confidence to understand them, you therefore understand one of the greatest tools at your disposal. The only question left is, do you have the will to harness it?

Our complete directory of both part and full time MBA programs can be viewed here.