Why I moved to Scotland
If you follow along on my Instagram, you’ll have noticed that I recently moved to Scotland.
A couple years ago, I started realizing I really didn’t know much about business. Yes, I’ve had a really successful career so far, mostly in Digital & Social Media Marketing. Marketing is my professional comfort zone, and I started to feel this need to get out of my comfort zone a bit.
Plus, I really wanted to have more leadership training and strengthen those skills, which I wasn’t really getting at my past companies.
I remember sitting in finance meetings, and thinking “I’m not quite understanding how this wraps up to the larger picture”, or realizing that how the team is structured has a big effect within that company, but I wasn’t understanding the principles behind it to help change what wasn’t working.
In short, I felt something missing.
What if marketing isn’t what actually fuels me every day? What if there’s something else out there - finance, M&As, HR - that actually excites me and motivates me at work?
I figured that even if marketing is what I’m supposed to be doing, going through a MBA course would only strengthen my overall business acumen and really couldn’t hurt my professional plans.
It was also right at this time that I knew my life needed a change. My love affair with NYC was on the decline, and I was getting burnt out professionally and personally.
I started looking around to see how I could fill this void. Maybe a new company? Maybe a new city? Then I remembered how much someone I knew talked about business school, what he learned and the relationships he formed along the way. Around this time, my mom also enrolled in a MBA program, though it was aimed at practicing physicians. She absolutely raved about it, and you could tell it was the spark she also needed. The thought of learning again made me really excited, and there was this gut feeling that business school was what I needed.
But, I hated the idea of standardized tests. I absolutely hated the idea of spending a year studying and paying class fees just to take a test. On top of it, that test would literally only be used for a number on an application document that someone may or may not look at it.
It seemed like such an inefficient use of time and money, and I refused. Plus, trying to study in NYC while working, playing volleyball, and trying to have a semblance of a social life seemed impossible. NYC was, after all, my adult playground, and it wasn’t fair to bring school into that (duh). Online classes were just not for me either. I wanted a real life teacher with real life textbooks, meeting real life friends.
After searching “non-GMAT MBA programs” (literally), I realized a lot of the UK systems don’t require a GMAT score. Some do, but a lot don’t. I’ve always loved the UK, especially London and Scotland. But, to me, London would be another NYC and I needed a break from the huge city life.
Enter the University of Edinburgh:
It didn’t require a GMAT score - check!
It was based in a place I loved - check!
It was highly accredited & respected - check!
It wasn’t online - check!
It was only a 12 month program, instead of 24 months - check!
And, it meant I’d be surrounded by Jamie Fraser-esque Scottish men in kilts - check! (just kidding - I have yet to see one IRL!)
I actually put off applying for a year, as I wasn’t quite ready to leave NYC. Then, in August 2017, I knew 2018 would be my last year in NYC. My time there was over, I knew it, and I was so excited about it (probably more on that later).
I applied, interviewed, and was offered a position in December 2017. I said yes, and then started planning for the next 8 months (spoiler to my future pregnant self & partner: Cori is not good at waiting).
Little did I know there’d be a bit of a (great) plot twist and leaving the States turned out to be a bit more bitter than I thought. I guess you could just call that Life.
That aside, I’ve realized it was just the break I needed, professionally and personally.