For many, an MBA is a symbol of power. Prestige. Even wealth. You won’t meet many CMOs who don’t have their MBA. There’s no question how much time and effort it requires. No second-guessing the commitment and smarts it takes to complete something like that. No raising concerns over its value in the marketing and PR fields. Many higher-level opportunities in marketing and communications now require a MBA.
But what happens, now, as paradigms and models continue to shift? Do you really need an advanced academic degree to pursue a senior-level marketing, PR or social media role?
You know what I think? I’ve got your social media MBA right here.
My required reading: Shannon Paul’s Very Official Blog. Mack Collier’s Viral Garden. Lisa Hoffmann’s New Media Lisa blog. Shonali Burke’s Waxing Unlyrical blog. Dave Fleet’s blog. And David Mullen’s Communications Catalyst blog. And many, many more (my new favorite required reading: Mengel’s Musings by Amy Mengel)
My syllabus? Whatever is piquing my interest that particular day. Recent case studies. New e-books. Slide decks from recent conferences like SXSW or BlogPotomac. The choice is mine. I drive the cirriculum.
My homework? My blog. Every tweet I send. My 1 a.m. brainstorming sessions. Guest posts on other blogs. Uploading videos via Viddler. Trying different tools out (For me, it’s been Seesmic Desktop and Netvibes)
Here’s the great part: It’s a lifelong process. It’s not relegated to four years. Heck it’s not relegated to the next 10 years. It’s on my own time. My own schedule. And I get to apply my learnings in real time and test my ideas. It’s the greatest kind of learning because it allows me to learn, implement, fail, dust myself off and try again.
It’s been a little over a year since I started my MBA, but it’s been one of the best year’s of my professional life. It’s been full of learning new skills, understanding new tools and forms of communication and best of all, you. My community. Without you, none of this is possible.
Enough about me. What classes are you taking in your social media MBA program? Who are your instructors? I’d love to hear your faves.