We sat with three executives to understand more about why it's worth it to go back to school.

Get the ball rolling

Nicolina O'Rorke serves as CFO of NBC Sports Regional Networks, a division of NBC Sports Group consisting of nine regional sports networks. She earned her MBA from Columbia Business School in 2005.

“I love what sports represents to people. It can be as broadly appealing as the Olympics or the Super Bowl, or it can be something narrower.”

A former investment banking analyst, O'Rorke encourages other MBA women to be vocal and refuse to play it safe.

“Even in classroom dialogue, women aren’t as willing to put themselves out there to actively participate. If you’re ever going to take a risk, do it in business school. And don’t be afraid to leverage that network.”

“‘While Wall Street is an intense place to work, in tech, you’re often building businesses that haven’t existed before.’”

Prepare and create

Christine Cuoco, Senior Director of Global Business Marketing for Twitter, earned her MBA from Harvard Business School. Having started her career on Wall Street, Cuoco ultimately decided to pursue marketing.

“I love my Twitter colleagues and the fact that, together, we’re creating something with a lasting impact. While Wall Street is an intense place to work, in tech, you’re often building businesses that haven’t existed before.”

Cuoco says she found most of her jobs through loose connections, luck and preparation.

“I knew what I was looking for in each instance, and I could clearly articulate my value and goals.”

She adds, “Your personal brand matters more than anything—your reputation, integrity and sincerity. You take that everywhere.”

Banking on success

Amanda Magliaro, Managing Director, Head of Global Structured Finance Distribution, Citi, received her MBA from Columbia Business School in 2002. Spending her days on a male-dominated trading floor, Magliaro refuses to be intimidated.

“One of the wonderful things about finance is, because there aren't a lot of women, the women who are there really look out for each other. Finance gives [people] the opportunity to use your math skills, and it's very much a people business.”

A former president of Columbia Women in Business, Magliaro says her education provided the leadership skills needed to choose a career, which she clearly embraces. “It's a place full of energy. Every day is a different day.” Her advice to women just starting out? “Always try to do the right thing, in every situation.”