Thinking MBA? 9 Successful Black Women Discuss the Impact of the Degree on Their Career

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Nicole Lindsay – Founder,, MBA/ JD, University of Virginia, 2000

Madame Noire: What impact has your MBA had on your career?

Nicole Lindsay: My MBA has given me credibility to pursue different industries, provided me with frameworks to run a successful business, and offered me a network that has global reach.

MN: What made you want to pursue an MBA?

NL: I have always wanted an MBA – since high school. I wanted to “do deals,” make things happen and see the world. And very early in my life, I understood that business was a pathway to those things. There was never much doubt that business was my long-term path. What I didn’t know when I was in high school or even in college was the versatility of the degree and its usefulness in almost any sector, particularly in nonprofit.

MN: Given today’s economic climate, would you recommend this path to other African-American women?

NL: The current economic climate has little to do with whether someone should pursue an MBA. The economy is cyclical. This is not our first, nor will it be our last, downturn. The MBA is a lifetime degree that can generate value throughout a woman’s professional career. [However,] the current economic climate has shown quite clearly that the three letters after your name or the MBA credential help relatively little. Basically, if a woman goes to business school now, she needs to be on her grind to get the real value of a graduate management degree — the relationships, skills and knowledge she can harness throughout her professional [career].

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