What is the main reason you want to get an MBA? Career pivot? Getting a job in industry? Running a practice more efficiently? Each reason can impact what kind of program you should consider.
Like anything else, you need to understand your ROI. What will this cost you in both education costs and opportunity cost? Is it worth it?
Once you've determined the "why" it's time to choose a program that will help you achieve your goals. Some programs require standardized test scores - we'll walk you through it!
Now that you have your MBA, what's next? What kind of jobs can you obtain now and how do you go about finding them?
Cory Hakanen, OD, MBA
Author: The OD's Ultimate Guide to the MBA
There are a number of reasons why optometrists and other doctors pursue an MBA degree. Some experienced ODs want to boost their business acumen to help grow their practices. Young optometrists may want to supplement their clinical training with some business training in order to jumpstart their own practices. Then of course, some optometrists might be seeking an alternative career pathway that combines both sets of skills, or a career in an entirely different field!
The most important thing is to clarify why you want another graduate degree, what your end goal is, and what you hope to accomplish. Once you can answer these questions without hesitation, you’re ready to dive in and choose the best MBA program for your goals and desires.
You can download The OD's Ultimate Guide to the MBA by scrolling to the bottom of this page and filling out the form! ⬇️👇
There are many different types of MBA program formats. You need to understand how each format is different and how the format fits into your current schedule. You are also going to need to determine if you are going to continue working full time while obtaining your MBA, or cut back to part-time.
Here are some program formats you can expect:
There are several important factors to consider when deciding to pursue this venture:
Evaluating a program oftentimes means looking at and analyzing its curriculum. Don't be surprised if you notice the curriculum is very business heavy! You'll likely see these areas of study:
Don't fret - you are more than capable of handling classes in these areas of study, even without an official prior business experience. Hard work and working with others in your program will be enough to get you through!
I share my entire story from start to finish in the ebook; however, I will tell you that I ultimately decided to pursue a 1-year Accelerated MBA program for very specific reasons. I sought a quality program that wouldn’t break the bank, so I looked at reputable yet affordable programs near the lower end of the cost spectrum. I created a financial plan to support myself throughout schooling.
I searched for schools primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area because my goals were to immerse myself in the medical device and biotechnology environment of Silicon Valley. I narrowed my search to 5 schools and reviewed admission requirements.
Note: Having the credentials of an OD usually checks off most of those admission requirement boxes. I did need to take the GMAT for several of the schools, so I bought preparation guides, did several practice exams, and took the test after studying for a few months.
While going through the program, I decided to continue patient care one day per week between a private practice and a corporate office. This helped keep my clinical skills sharp and earn some money to keep me afloat. I did find an opportunity working part-time with a medical device company during this period which helped me tremendously after graduating.
Job hunting is not easy. Optometrists are fortunate enough to have an excellent platform like CovalentCareers.com 😎to help them in the search; however, in the professional world outside of optometry, things are a bit different. If your goal is to pivot your career using an MBA, get ready to take on the world of professional job hunting and face some other types of challenges.
Things you need to know:
Note: For more information on how to craft a resume, check out The Resume Writing Guide for Optometrists.
With your MBA, you are definitely qualified for a many types of non-clinical careers:
Although applying to job postings is important, it is often the least likely way to get a job offer. Try networking, getting an inside referral, volunteering, or being promoted or transferred from within a company to transition into your dream job. Most importantly, it will probably take longer than you expect, so be persistent and keep your chin up!
Fill out the form at the bottom of the page, and you'll receive the complete ebook that will walk you through the ins and outs of getting an MBA as an optometrist. 👇
For an in-depth overview of the entire process of getting an MBA as an OD from start to finish, fill out the form and get a copy of the ebook ! 😎👉👉