Of all the chapters in my book Don’t Pay For Your MBA (HarperCollins, 2017), my favorite to write was Chapter 5. That’s because Chapter 5 is about how to craft your career, a topic that I find endlessly fascinating. In my book, I suggest approaching your career as a series of hypotheses and experiments, just as an entrepreneur who uses Design Thinking would approach designing a new product. I also emphasize the importance of innovation, creative thinking, and storytelling. I believe that every career (and every life) is a story in progress. The better you become at piecing together the bits of that story into a coherent narrative, the more easily you can convince other people (potential employers, bosses, investors, etc.) of what your next step ought to be and why you are ready to take it.
This process of crafting a narrative story out of your life and career relates directly to the question I am most frequently asked about the No-Pay MBA project: What can you do with a self-directed business education? It’s a question that is probably on your mind as well if you’re considering going down the DIY MBA path.
When I wrote the book, I didn’t yet know what my next step would be. At the time, I was working for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Rwanda and running No-Pay MBA as a side project. In Chapter 5, I wrote some of my hypotheses about what my next career step would be. These included starting my own consulting business, continuing to work for USAID, and joining a startup in educational technology.
Shortly after I finished writing the book, I got an email from Dhawal Shah, the founder of Class Central. For those who don’t know it, Class Central is the best search engine and review site for MOOCs. I used the site a ton during my studies, and I had connected with Dhawal as a fellow entrepreneur in the MOOC space. As his business was growing and he found himself in need of new talent, he thought of me. His message came at just the right time. I am now working for Class Central as part of the core team. Because Class Central is a startup, that means doing whatever needs doing, from writing articles to attending conferences to strategizing about the direction of the business. Although I couldn’t have foreseen stepping into this particular role even a few months before it happened, it is a perfect fit.
Will a No-Pay MBA be part of your story?
This blog is a chronicle of my experience using free and low-cost resources from the internet (primarily MOOCs) to create my own version of an MBA, a project I started in 2013. I’m not blogging as much these days, since I finished the education and put all of my best insight into the book. Now, my main goal with this website is to reach the people who can benefit from reading my book. You may be here because you are researching options for affordable business education. If that is the case, then you may be one of the people I am trying to reach.
Whenever I am deciding whether I need a book, I like to listen to the author talk about their work. If the same if true for you, and you are deciding whether you need Don’t Pay For Your MBA, you can hear me on some of the podcast interviews I’ve done surrounding my book launch. These include the How To Be Awesome At Your Job Podcast, Everyday MBA, and StartEdUp.
I’m also happy to hear from you, whether you are considering pursuing a self-directed business education, or if you’ve started down that path. I love connecting with self-directed learners who are considering or have pursued the NPMBA method. If you want to get in touch, the contact form on this website is a direct line to my inbox.
Here’s wishing you the best of luck writing the next chapter in your story!