I went to grad school already. I spent the guts of 30K on a degree in “Multi-ethnic Literatures” and a masters in “Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama” and what I really got out of it was a handful of fascinating friends, a rather insistent student loan officer situation, and a controversial but nearly absolute dislike of Ulysses.
Then came 7 years in theatre and music in Ireland and the UK. I never made more than 30K a year and left with the resolute knowledge that I am not an artist. I may be a creative person who loves art, but always saw the audience figures, the marketing plans, the projection of the work to the next, bigger and better paying venue. I was the business person in the room, the producer who made fiscally and practically possible what the others wanted to create. I was pretty good at it when I loved the art and so so when the art was a bit shit (which it was sometimes).
I am now working in online media as a business development manager which is very well served by my experience and contacts in the arts world. The parts of the job I moan about are the ones the ones from which I have learned the most. Annual projections? Quarterly accruals? Variable Value Added Tax rates? I had not taken the idea of a business education seriously up until now. While I have skilled up over the last 12 months, I am aware of a group of skills and knowledge banks a liberal arts education and career in the arts have not provided.
After accepting I wanted the knowledge and researching formal business education, I have ruled it out. I have rejected the insane bills of €100K+, two years of my life and a never-ending series of group projects for a “Well-regarded” MBA. I then ruled out lesser degrees of varying reputations and costs as all seemed somehow ill fitting: too hands off to learn anything, too specialized, out of my financial grasp, etc.
I was left with my ambition, my ability to locate and utilize online resources, and my newly minted library card. Let’s hope Will Hunting was right and that those with ivy school educations “dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a fuckin’ education [they] coulda’ got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library,” because I am about to try. Welcome to my MBA.