How does an MBA benefit my career?

What is the value of an MBA degree? Many people believe that studying full-time for their MBA means dropping their jobs. However, the MBA program doesn’t slow down your career, but actually enhances any professional skills you may lack. With the skills I’ve developed here, I aspire to create innovative tech products to help improve people’s lives. Before studying at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), I graduated from National Chengchi University with a Master’s Degree in Management of Information System in 2005. I worked as a project manager/business analyst for over 5 years in the IT industry. During this time, I accumulated experiences in project management and business analysis. An MBA personally benefit me by introducing me to new product development and product marketing skills that I had little exposure to prior. UIC offers the experiential learning programs such as a new product development program, as well as product planning and marketing courses. Over the next few years, I hope to continue the exposure with other areas of product management and corporate information technology.

Even more importantly, I aim to learn about other areas of business—particularly product development and product marketing.

In the two years at UIC, I took courses in Social Entrepreneurship, Interdisciplinary Product Development, Product Development and Planning, Marketing Analysis, and International Marketing. These courses helped leverage my career path because I had little experience in product idea creation and product marketing plans for launching businesses.

In addition, the essential business knowledge I learned from classes like management, accounting, corporate finance, and operation management enhanced my overall thinking about business and product strategy.

In my Entrepreneurship course, I understood how to start up a new business and how many new businesses start up from the development of new products. Therefore, creating new, successful products is a necessary to have a competitive advantage in business. The success of the business depends not only on the product features, but also the business model, marketing research/analysis, product launching plan and financial management. In this course, we were assigned an online business project with feasibility analysis that helped us recognize the importance of each perspective.

In my Interdisciplinary Product Development course, we did a real-world project for a company and delivered the solutions that our clients could implement in their businesses in the future. Each team focused on different industries including industrial design, graphic design, mechanical engineer, and business.  In our team, I was responsible for product marketing issues, including marketing research, segmentation, targeting, and positioning. I also helped organize our team to make sure team members could maximize their efficiency in performing their own tasks.

In my Product Development and Planning course, we learned about analysis tools that help to solve problems in marketing, including segmentation, positioning, and targeting. We discovered conjoint analysis, which figures out the perfect combination of product features. In this class, we created a new product concept with product features. We used the information from a marketing survey we made to analyze the segmentation and discrimination to make decisions in positioning and targeting. We then conducted a market segmentation analysis and evaluated different market segments to determine a proper target market for the new product.

Outside of classes, I’m enthusiastic in serving others. I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to be a student ambassador for the Liautaud Graduate School of Business and the president of UIC Net Impact. As a student ambassador, I assist at UIC Liautaud conferences and socials by networking and promoting the UIC Liautaud Graduate School of Business to interested students. Net Impact is an international non-profit organization with the mission of using the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world. As president of Net Impact, I encourage people to join our group and inspire them to contribute their time and effort back to the community. For example, we cooked a meal for homeless at Lincoln Park Community Shelter. With more people getting involved with Net Impact, we have more power to improve our community. With these experiences, the most important skills I have learned is how to be a good leader, how to communicate effectively to accomplish a goal, and how to work with people as a team

I graduated with an MBA from the UIC Liautaud Graduate School of Business, with a concentration in marketing in May 2013. The MBA program taught me business skills, such as marketing strategies and tactics, to promote effective solutions. I really enjoyed sharing and exchanging experiences with a diverse student. This diversity not only expands my global view and foreign experiences, but also helps me learn how to collaborate with diverse people. These experiences widened my horizons and were critical for me to have in order to become a competent product manager in the future.