Isaac De Los Santos is an MBA student at Niagara University. He is originally from New York City and received his bachelor’s degree in marketing from NU in May 2015. Currently, he holds a position as a graduate assistant for the Office of Multicultural Affairs at NU.
While considering graduate school as an option during my last semester in 2015, I would always hear certain “myths” about going to graduate school right after undergrad, but I never believed them. I’m glad I didn’t. Below are the three myths that I was exposed to and my perspective on why they’re false!
1. “Going to graduate school is a good way to escape the real world.”
On the contrary, going to graduate school is a good way to become even more involved with the “real world.” So far, my classes have such a heavy concentration on real world situations, which I thoroughly enjoy. Last semester, two of my MBA classes didn’t require a traditional textbook; instead, we read articles and case studies on companies. My classes were designed on discussing issues within a company through looking at their history, financial data and past marketing strategies. Being able to discuss these issues and propose solutions was a great way to understand how different companies operate and how the overall consumer market works. My MBA will definitely show that I have the credentials necessary to succeed in the real world.
2. "Graduate school is filled with students who are just trying to get a degree and move on.”
I’ve only been a graduate student for a semester now, but I’ve been able to meet a diverse group of people that I can call friends. Niagara University has been doing a great job in promoting networking amongst peers. One of my favorite events had to been the social event at Wine on Third. It was a welcoming and fun event planned by the Graduate Student Council where graduate students could come and have a drink with other peers and network. I was having an awful day, but my mood instantly lifted when I grabbed a glass of pinot noir and got to catch up with friends that I hadn’t seen since Graduate Orientation.
Niagara University is also starting a new program where graduate students can pay a small fee and be able to get as involved as an undergraduate student on campus. For example, graduate students will be able to attend campus events, watch our Division I teams play, use the Kiernan Recreational Center and much more!
Niagara University also promotes graduate students to be a part of the Buffalo-Niagara 360 professional group, which is an organization for professionals trying to expand their network and also learn more about what’s going on in the world. I am part of this group and I’ll be attending a seminar on digital branding and also going to a Happy Hour social where I can meet other professionals in the Buffalo-Niagara area. Obtaining a master’s degree is definitely a good thing, but being able to do meet new people and receive a lot more opportunities is always a plus.
3. “Professors only focus on their area of expertise and aren’t personal in graduate school.”
So far, my professors have been innovative, engaging and, most importantly, personal. My professors have blended together all areas of business (accounting, supply chain, marketing, finance, etc.) to provide a multifaceted educational experience. During my early years as an undergrad, I often overlooked the importance of an understanding of all areas of business when making executive decisions. Because of the need for a diversified background, I find it rewarding that our professors here challenge us to learn about business from areas outside of just our concentration. My concentration is in strategic marketing, but I’m pretty knowledgeable about finance, accounting and so much more. I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a Certified Public Accountant, but having the basic knowledge of accounting will allow me to be an even greater asset to my future employers.
In regards to being personal, students at Niagara feel so confident and comfortable speaking to their professors. Remember that social event at Wine on Third that I mentioned earlier? Well, a couple of my professors were there enjoying a drink and speaking to students. Not only do professors tell us about their professional career, students learn so much about their personal lives as well. It’s nice being able to walk up to your professor and talk about sports and pop culture during lunch.
At the end of the day, everyone has a different path to find the key to success. So far, I’ve been able to meet graduate students that come from a variety of different backgrounds. Some are similar to me, where they come straight from undergrad, but then there are others who have took time off from school and decided to get their masters. Whatever the case is, don’t let these three myths stop you from finding your key to success.
For more information about Niagara's MBA program, email or call 716.286.8596!