We love hearing these stories from former BSers! Here’s another one to give you hope – and to emphasize the value of the process (more of that self-reflecting and introspecting jazz). This BSer only engaged us for the Comprehensive Profile Review and then made everything happen on their own from there. Congratulations to you! You’re a couple months into your first term at Another Great School now – hope you’re loving it!
I have been thinking about getting an MBA ever since I did a summer course at Tuck between my sophomore and junior year of college. It was an amazing experience – I loved my interactions with classmates, the coursework, and the close-knit community. I knew that someday I wanted to have that experience again. So, when I graduated from college and had some time before I started my job, I used to it to take the GMAT (if you have a month or two before you start work, definitely do this!).
A year ago in May  I started getting ready to write my essays, anxiously awaiting the release of the prompts. I knew I had to get my essays ready more quickly than most, since I planned on applying early to Columbia. I loved living in the city, probably wanted to stay after business school, and why make the process more painful than it needed to be if it worked out with one school? My friends and mentors slowly convinced me that I might be selling my experience short if I didn’t even consider other schools. After about a month of debating, I decided they were right – even if I ended up at Columbia after all (an amazing outcome) it was worth going through the process, at least for the experience.
I am extremely glad I took their advice. While the process was long, stressful, and agonizing, I felt like I learned a ton about myself. Business school for most people is an opportunity to switch into a new field and explore a variety of career options. Writing essays and interviewing at multiple schools made me do some deep self-reflecting on my own career, what I wanted out of business school, and what I hoped to do long term. I now feel much better prepared to dive into business school and have a better idea of what I want to focus on and develop while there. Ironically, reflecting and writing about what I thought I wanted to do after business school – focusing on the automotive industry – has actually made me realize I do not have as much of a passion for it as I originally thought.
In the end, I got into Columbia, but am actually not headed there. I will be headed to another great school, in another big city. The process made me realize that while I definitely want to stay in a big city, I think I would gain much more from the experience being outside of New York. Being elsewhere will force me to be more invested in the entire experience.
Great advice: If you’re still in college and you know you’ll want to go to bschool, then consider taking the GMAT while you’re still in study mode; stay open-minded about which schools, ‘cuz you never know which one you’ll fall in love with; and don’t overlook the value of all this work the schools are putting you through, in terms of getting to know yourself and planning those future plans. Congrats again, Success Story! Hope to hear from you again with an update on what it’s like in bschool.