By Christina Laemers
Stetson University Executive MBA Cohort 9 student
Walt Disney Co. Communications Manager
“It was the most difficult and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.”
This was the sobering, yet optimistic testimonial I collected from Darcy, a long-time colleague and friend who, only a month prior, had donned a cap and gown and accepted her diploma as an official graduate of the Executive MBA program at Stetson University. I had just been accepted to the program and I was searching for a sign that the time was right to embark on such a major life event, and Darcy was in the perfect position to share some advice on the matter.
To back up a bit, I should explain why I sought advice on such a personal decision. I am someone that consistently struggles with the question, “where do you see yourself in five years?” It’s not because I am particularly wishy-washy or aimless; I do have goals and dreams I plan to accomplish. It’s just that so far, opportunities have presented themselves and if it felt right, I went for it. Now faced with a decision to tie myself in one place for 19 months, it seemed like a big commitment. Not the time, per se, but the freedom that makes it so easy for me to jump on any opportunity: company travel, impromptu vacations, weekend adventures, even a special assignment abroad. The way my career has developed so far, who knows where I might be in 19 months?
Thus began my search for some sound input on the decision, and my mentor and friend Michelle echoed Darcy’s sentiment. “It’s a challenge, but you’re up for it. You won’t ever find ‘the right time,’ if that’s what you’re waiting for.”
Was it what I was waiting for? Michelle’s words sparked something. I was so concerned about what I might miss that I actually missed the bigger picture: this was an opportunity I would regret letting pass by, and really, now was as good a time as ever. I just had to get out of the “I can do that later” mentality, and consider the “why not now?”
Cohort 9 has just started this journey and I’m still searching for equilibrium (vocab word from Econ!) among my social life, career and being a student; but so far, I find that “right now” was right on the money. I still don’t know where I’ll be in five years, but with the support of my leaders, family, and 24 new best friends, I know exactly where I’ll be in 19 months: donning my own cap and gown as a part of Stetson’s MBA graduating class of spring 2013.