Dropping out of Harvard Business School is a troublesome choice to make.
After all, the varsity is without doubt one of the most prestigious and unique enterprise faculties on this planet, accepting simply 11% of the greater than 10,000 candidates it will get every year.
But for Andrea Blankmeyer, leaving Harvard was precisely what she wanted to jump-start her profession in finance.
Blankmeyer, now the 31-year-old chief monetary officer for the startup Transfix, left HBS in 2015 after finishing only one 12 months of her two-year MBA program.
That summer time, she interned at SoFi, a personal-finance startup that gave Blankmeyer her first style of finance operations. She had spent the earlier 4 years working as an affiliate marketing consultant at Bain & Company and as a non-public fairness affiliate at Hellman & Friedman.
Her expertise at SoFi was so rewarding that when summer time ended and the startup provided her a full-time job, she selected to remain on the firm fairly than full her Harvard MBA.
“I found that the job energized me more than I had ever been energized before, and I was happier every day waking up and eager to go in,” Blankmeyer instructed Business Insider.
“I realized that frankly, I would have more FOMO if I went back to business school.”
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Not everybody in her household took the information nicely, a minimum of initially. Blankmeyer’s dad and mom have robust attachments to Harvard — they each attended the enterprise college, Blankmeyer stated, and so they first met once they have been positioned in the identical part.
“When I told my mom what I was doing, she was, I think, shocked that anyone would make that decision,” Blankmeyer stated.
Blankmeyer spent three years working in SoFi’s San Francisco workplace, working her manner as much as vice chairman of finance and company improvement on the firm. Last summer time, she moved to New York City and was employed because the chief monetary officer for Transfix, a logistics startup that connects truck drivers to transport corporations. The firm has raised $78.5 million in funding because it was based in 2013.
Read extra: Trucking corporations are normally based mostly within the Midwest, however this startup is true in the midst of Manhattan — and the founder says there is a ‘important’ purpose why
Even although she did not full her MBA, Blankmeyer stated enterprise college benefited her in a number of methods. For one, it gave her time outdoors the pressures of a nine-to-five job to think about her skilled future. But extra importantly, she stated, Harvard’s identify recognition was sufficient to get her foot within the door with corporations that will not have observed her in any other case.
“Everyone is looking for business-school interns in the summer, and everyone is willing to talk to students in a way they wouldn’t be able to talk to someone who’s a professional in a not-quite-tangential industry,” she stated. “So it was easy and fun to do a job search out of business school. People are willing and open to spending time with you.”
The necessary factor, Blankmeyer stated, is for folks to think about the very best choice for themselves, fairly than what they suppose others need from them.
“Where people often get kind of stuck in education is just, they’re more concerned with the résumé stamps than they are with the benefits they’re getting out of it,” Blankmeyer stated.
“So somebody’s in a graduate school program, whether it’s business school or anything else, and you’re just doing it because there’s external expectations upon you to finish that. And you know in your heart, it either isn’t supporting your ultimate goal, or may actually be detrimental to taking the right opportunity for yourself, or you’re more excited about something else.”
She continued: “My advice is always to go with your gut on that, to try to release yourself from external expectations.”
If she ever modified her thoughts, Blankmeyer may return to Harvard this 12 months — college students who withdraw from the MBA program can petition for readmission inside 5 years — however she stated she has no want to take action.
“It was the most fun year of the last decade of my life, but personally, I really enjoy working, and I’m lucky in that I’ve found a job where I actually enjoy showing up every day,” Blankmeyer stated. “That’s hard to find.”