Kalli Ringelberg, an MBA applicant and MBA Tour Montréal attendee wrote a blog post for us about what lead her to attend one of our events and consider an MBA with a creative writing and literary background.
I have a double B.A. in Creative Writing and English Literature, and a Master’s degree in Media Studies: Comparative Literature and Literary Theory. I try to stay as close to the storytelling world as I can. I have worked mainly as a Senior Editor, Copywriter, or what I am now, a Digital Content Manager. That wasn’t always possible, so I have pursued different roles that could put my high-level admin, attention to detail, and research to good use. I have worked in recruitment, communications, and done some project management as well. I try to stay around creative teams and people as much as I can, but I have recently, become quite interested in the Business and Entrepreneurial side of things. I worked for several startups and saw a lot of rising (and falling), and I believe that sometimes the ‘think-outside-the-box’ side of things can really help, and people don’t realize how useful being creative and resourceful can be. I started my own company a few months ago with what I have learned so far. It’s really just to have one place to go for the services I can offer, but also, to add some legitimacy to work I was doing anyway.
I have worked for three different companies that either lost their funding, or had to close an entire department and couldn’t keep investing in their employees. Some of the signs were there very early on, and I paid a lot of attention. The world fascinates me. At the same time, my motivation to pursue my MBA came from adding legitimacy to what I do. It’s not really a field that people tend to take that seriously, and it ends up being one of the first departments to be let go. I haven’t really seen this kind of mixture that often, someone in a more creative field, also have a strong business background. I wanted to work both sides, and I think it’s time to take that step.
It started with signing up for The MBA Tour. It was a big boost when I spoke to some of the people in charge, because at first, I was worried that they wouldn’t take me as seriously with my background. I saw a different side than I dreaded. I knew that statistically there weren’t many applicants from my field, so I was a bit concerned that I would be at a disadvantage. Luckily, I went through with attending the Tour. I ended up spending a good amount of time talking to the recruiter from UBC. It was a university I had always been interested in because they have a great Creative Writing program, and at the time I was studying, they were gaining a great reputation. I didn’t expect to also be interested in their MBA program. It was partially the recruiter that I can give kudos to for sparking my interest. I was right between an engineer and a lawyer and I felt I would probably be out of my element, but the recruiter reassured me that it was much more about experience and that they would be lucky to have a different perspective. That there were many things I had done that could bring value to the program. The other component was the course itself. They had a more ‘a la carte’ style program. One you could sort of, nudge more into the direction you want to go. I felt that the mixture I was bringing could end up being a bit more than I could handle, but with a course that could allow me to also take on courses that I knew I liked and was good at, I felt a lot less discouraged. I love school, academia is truly where I shine, but I didn’t want what was great about me and what I can bring to the table, to be lost in an ocean of a whole entire new experience.
Right now, I’m focusing on getting a high GMAT score. It will help me to figure out where I am and where I need to improve. I am going to classes and studying to get a better idea of what I will be up against, and where my experience can help me or hinder me.
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