Tyler Ford, MBA grad of The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, describes why he chose to pursue an MBA and gives advice to future applicants.
Name: Tyler Ford
School: MBA, OSU Fisher College of Business
Lives in: Columbus, Ohio
Profession: VanTrust Real Estate, LLC
What were some activities you were involved with outside of class? How do you balance your time?
While in the MBA program, I was the treasurer for the Fisher Real Estate Society and the vice-president for the Black MBA Association. I also was involved in several local real estate associations and organizations as this was the career path I was pursuing. Because I wanted to change careers, it was important for me to be involved with professional associations in the desired industry and hold leadership roles on campus. Instead of balancing my time, I found a way to integrate these activities with school work.
What were the biggest challenges of pursuing your MBA?
I found that the biggest challenge for me was staying motivated throughout the second year. I was fortunate enough to have a position in my desired career waiting for me at graduation as long as I finished strong. I found it important to keep this goal in mind when making my way through long stretches of the semester.
How did you decide that an MBA was the next step for you? What advice do you have for students considering an MBA on how to make that decision?
Deciding to get an MBA was an easy choice for me because I wanted to switch careers. I did not have a business background and wanted to pursue a career in real estate. Defining this role clearly helped make my decision. Because real estate development is very relationship orientated, it helped me narrow down my list of potential schools. Ohio State helped get me name recognition with many development companies in the Columbus area. Additionally, the Fisher College of Business hosts many opportunities to connect with professionals in your desired field. It is important to know the details of a school outside of its academics.
When applying for jobs, how did you highlight your personal and career achivements on your resume?
As a person changing careers, it was important to show that I can solve problems and successfully work in a team. To highlight these attributes I included leadership roles in organizations outside of school as well as list my student involvement. This helped to show that I was willing to take extra measures to reach my goals. This skill is important and applicable to any organization you wish to join.
Did you have an internship during your MBA? How did that experience influence your education and career?
It is important to have an internship during your MBA experience. I also believe it is important to get involved in an organization on campus. These positions allow you to gain leadership experience that is invaluable when you return to the workforce. During my education I worked for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion helping to organize large and small events. Between my first and second years, I worked for Nationwide Insurance in a leadership development program. My second year, I interned part-time at my future full-time employer. Each of these roles helped provide a much broader education where I gained management experience.
Advice for Future Applicants
What was it like to transition back to school after being out for a few years? What advice can you offer students returning for their MBA?
I think it is important to have a very focused goal when returning to get your MBA. I knew that I wanted to transition into real estate development when deciding to pursue my degree. Additionally, I think it is important to do a complete self-assessment before starting the process of studying for the GMAT and completing the applications. Understanding your strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes is critical to your future success and how you approach the program.
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