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I get asked this question all the time. You need to go out into the job market with the skills you have. When putting together your functional resume just list your MBA as in progress or list your anticipated graduation date. Many people make the dangerous assumption that you have to put your professional life on hold while you pursue your education. If in two years you come out of school with an MBA but nothing else you've made a really big sacrifice and will most likely have a big financial and career hole to dig out of. If instead you go out into the job market and find a part time job in the fashion industry while finishing your education you will gain the money, contacts, and experience. Knoxville isn't LA by a long shot but every business I work with that has a lot of creative talent, also has a lot of issues managing creative talent, and getting them to work in a business setting. If you can market yourself as someone with creative skills and a business understanding you will have no problem demonstrating your value to companies.
Thank you for the advice. Yes, I agree. I see the MBA as a valuable learning experience and a foot in the door, but experience is key! Dan Miller's advice to me on the podcast was to get a job with an easy learning curve and one that I wouldn't have to commit a great deal of time to so that I can focus on starting my business. I've been looking at jobs in retail to add to my knowledge and experience while leaving me with enough time to devote to what I really want to do which is fashion writing and fashion design. Thanks again!
I agree completely with Bryan.
You may also seek out a company that could use you as a paid intern...this would add depth to the MBA studies and a concurrent layer of experience in the marketplace when you delve into self-employment.
Thanks, Lee! That's good advice! I will approach my school to see if they have any connections to paid internships. : )