How to Tell Your Company You’re Going Back to School

going back to school at Fuqua, a photo of the main hallway with #FuquaBound text overlay

When I was a college undergraduate, I landed a summer internship in the art department of an international magazine. I was in a new city with no friends and no family, but I knew it was a great opportunity and I knew my manager was going to be awesome. She really was awesome—she took me to lunch, answered all of my silly first-job questions, and helped me get set up with IT after everyone else had left the office.

Three days into my internship, she quit. She had been accepted to business school (five months earlier) and was now giving the company just two weeks notice before she took the summer to relax before starting school. I was left with no manager, no project, and no idea what to do. That’s when I promised myself that if I ever went to grad school, I would handle it differently.

When I decided to quit my job to pursue an MBA full time, I handled things differently. But, how you approach this conversation about going back to school depends largely on your work dynamic.

Considerations for When to Tell Your Employer

Tips for How to Tell Your Employer

In my case, my manager (who was also an MBA) wrote my recommendations and knew what I was planning well ahead of time. Because we had that conversation early, it made the transition much smoother. I hired my replacement in January and helped him get settled in for a few months. Then, I worked remotely for the summer, slowly phasing myself out. I know my company appreciated the honesty and open communication and I left with all of those relationships intact.

Duke Fuqua MBA Student blogger Kelly Chtcheprov

Kelly Chtcheprov

Daytime MBA, Class of 2018

Before Fuqua Prior to joining the program, I was a graphic designer and entrepreneur. By... Read More

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