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The OD's Ultimate Guide to the MBA


This 11 page ebook will help you determine if an MBA is right for you, and how to go about obtaining one that will provide you with the best return on investment!


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Why do you want an MBA πŸ€”

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.

Understand associated costs πŸ’Έ

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?

Choosing a program and applying πŸ”

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!

The aftermath 🏁

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?

"Getting an MBA as an Optometrist is a great way to complement your clinical skill set with a business one, which helps round out any doctor's professional proficiency."
cory hakanen

Cory Hakanen, OD, MBA
Author: The OD's Ultimate Guide to the MBA

Download The OD's Ultimate Guide to the MBA ebook by filling out the form at the bottom of this page! ⬇️

Reasons Optometrists Pursue MBAs

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! β¬‡οΈπŸ‘‡

The Different Types of MBA Programs

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:

  • Traditional – In-person program that typically takes 2 years to complete with classes held on Monday through Friday. Often three years of post-undergrad working experience is needed to apply. Some schools offer an accelerated 1-year program as well.
  • Nights & Weekends – Classes are held in-person, on weeknights and Saturdays. This option is good for those working professionals who wish to continue working full time. These programs last from 2 to 6 years, often because a student determines his or her own pace.
  • Online – The newest format. These programs vary across the board and can take between 2 to 6 years to complete. Some programs are excellent, offered by prestigious institutions, while others are offered by programs of ill repute. You really need to be careful when choosing an online program.
  • Executive – This is a hybrid program, usually for skilled professionals. There is marked variability across these programs, and they vary in timeframe, cost, and commitment level. Usually, the purpose here is to offer an expedited track for experienced professionals to get their MBA degree.

Choosing the Best MBA Program For You

There are several important factors to consider when deciding to pursue this venture:

  • Timeline – Obtaining your degree can take from 1 to 6 years!
  • Cost – From my own experience, you can expect to pay from $20,00 to 170,00! Three's marked variability in costs - so you will really need to do your homework when it comes to choosing a program and determining your ROI.
  • Location – Are you willing to relocate? Or is online the only options for you? Did you check with your local university to see if they have an MBA program?
  • Face time – This can be extremely valuable. With online programs you will forfeit this. Is that okay with you?
  • Accreditation – The β€œgold standard” for accreditation is an AACSB accreditation. After this comes ACBSP and IACBE accreditations, which hold less weight and focus on different aspects of a program. Do your research – just because a school claims it is β€œaccredited,” it might not be the accreditation you’re after.
  • Concentration β€“ This goes back to your career goals. You can pursue concentrations in areas such as Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Finance, and Healthcare Administration. Programs that do not offer concentrations are not bad programs.
  • GMAT – Yes, many programs require you to take the GMAT. The GMAT is a computerized exam that tests your critical thinking in writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative analysis, and reading comprehension. Good news, however! Many programs also let you opt out of the GMAT if you have a number of years of work experience.

How to Evaluate an MBA Program

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:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Operations and Supply Chain
  • Communication
  • Management/Human Resources
  • Law & Ethics

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!

The ebook will examine these topics in full detail. I'll also share my story from start to finish that will provide you with a roadmap you can follow. Scroll directly to the bottom of the page to start the download! πŸ›£

My Story

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. 

BTW: These are some really great resources on strategies for paying off optometry student loans, and understanding the basics of finance for optometrists.

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.

Increased Salary vs. Opportunity Cost - This is a major factor and something discussed in-depth in the ebook to provide you with some considerations and viewpoints.

Download the full ebook by filling out the form at the bottom of the page. πŸ“–

So What Kind of Jobs Can You Obtain Now?

Job hunting is not easy. Optometrists are fortunate enough to have an excellent platform like CovalentCareers.com πŸ˜Žto 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:

  • Job hunting in other industries can often take 6-9 months
  • There are usually multiple interviews
  • Job postings online will likely receive hundreds of applications
  • Don't assume that your optometry and business degree will garner a response from HR personnel
  • You will need to craft a strong resume

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:

  • Medical Writer
  • Clinical Consultant
  • Medical Science Liaison 
  • and too many others to list

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. πŸ‘‡

The OD's Ultimate Guide to the MBA πŸ‘©β€βš•οΈπŸ‘¨β€βš•οΈ


The many reasons ODs get MBAs

  • Practice owners want to understand business metrics
  • Aspiring practice owners want to be better prepared
  • Some ODs are interested in nonclinical careers
  • Some ODs want to pivot careers entirely


Choosing a program

  • Know about the different types of program formats
  • Understand differences in accreditations 
  • Consider programs that offer concentrations
  • Know the opportunity cost vs cost of the program


Preparing your application

  • Know if you need to take prerequisites
  • Does your program require the GMAT
  • Check on waivers for certain requirements 
  • Know if your program requires an in-person interview


What can you do with your degree

  • For those pivoting careers, there are many options
  • Understand the job hunt is different than for an OD job
  • Know where and how to look for jobs
  • Be patient: it can take a long time

Download the ebook 

ebook mock up - The OD's Ultimate Guide to the MBAFor 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 ! πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰