4 ways an MBA is like an episode of Stranger Things

by Evie Somogyi, marketing intern and senior marketing student, Mike Cottrell College of Business

Netflix’s 116th original series, Stranger Things, has been an incredible success and a cultural phenomenon. From Eggo waffles and hashtags like #JusticeforBarb to politics, Eleven, Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Will and the Demogorgon have all had an impact on how we see the world.

And while an MBA can be a meaningful experience for your career, it also can be like Stranger Things…in a way. We’ve come up with four examples:

  1. Welcome to nostalgia.

Nothing is more nostalgic than watching Stranger Things — especially if you grew up in the 80’s. From the music, to the outfits, to the oblivious parents, this show really brings back memories. Getting an MBA will bring that same feeling of nostalgia. Have you ever imagined what it would be like to go back to college? An MBA degree is your opportunity to do just that. You don’t have to relive the past; instead, you can reflect on the past and focus on your future.

  1. Build unforeseen relationships.

Remember how Eleven met Mike, Lucas, and Dustin? Though you are not going to be out in the middle of the woods looking for your lost friend, you will also stumble upon some interesting people while getting your MBA. The relationships that you build will help you reach your goals, even if they aren’t as crazy as finding your friend that just disappeared.

  1. Discover telekinesis.

Similar to Eleven, who has the power to move objects with her mind, you will be able to move your career ahead with your mind (without the nosebleeds). The knowledge that you gain from your MBA degree will probably make you feel like you are superhuman and ready to combat anything that life may throw at you. Life may not throw a “Demogorgon” at you, but we all have our own fears to face. An MBA will give you the tools you need to face some of these fears, and maybe even conquer them.

  1. Your world may turn uʍop ǝpısdn — in a good way.

Just as in the show, you may have to look at your world upside down before you can find what you are looking for. When you put yourself outside of your comfort zone, you have the ability to grow as an individual. When Mike, Lucas, Dustin, and Will played Dungeons and Dragons they never thought that they would actually have to confront a Demogorgon (Or a Tetrahydra, #spoilers). However, when they came face to face with the challenge, they rose to the occasion and became stronger because of it. If they had just given up, well, let’s just say there may not have been an opportunity for a Season 2. Your Season 2 may be your promotion or second career that you got to have because you pushed yourself outside of your comfort zone and into the world of obtaining your MBA.


  1. You don’t have to ditch your friends (at least with the Cottrell MBA).

Unlike the actions of Nancy ditching Barb (#JusticeforBarb) for Steve, you don’t have to ditch your friends. The Cottrell MBA is a part-time MBA so you take classes two nights a week on one of two Georgia campuses: Cumming or Gainesville. With that being the case, you can still spend time with family and friends and work full-time will completing your degree. Imagine, if Nancy, Steve and Barb were just a little older, Barb may have never went to the Upside Down. They could’ve been Cottrell MBA students. 🙂


So, if you haven’t seen Stranger Things, this article may not have made much sense — a great excuse to watch it — as you should. If you have seen Stranger Things, I hope this article gave you a little bit of perspective and that you had fun imagining yourself getting an MBA and gaining superpowers.

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