Normally our Success Story posts are first-hand accounts from former Brave Supplicants who make it all the way through the process and into a great MBA program. Today we’re doing something different. We have a story to tell you about someone who we just met a few months ago – yes, this is still a Success Story, just with a different outcome than you might expect.
This very motivated early-career candidate contacted us in the Spring, even before this season’s applications were open, and wanted to get started on strategy. This person smartly began with the Career Goals App Accelerator, which is also one of the first steps in our guided process called the Complete Essay Package – because goals are uber important in this process. They didn’t jump in with the package because the schools’ essays weren’t out yet and they were just kicking the tires. (We promise, this post is really not meant as an infomercial! We mention those services only because they’re relevant to the topic at hand.)
We were impressed by this person’s enthusiasm for bschool; they were demonstrating to us that they’d been doing their research and choosing schools based on relevant criteria … but it also became clear that their goals were in flux. They kept coming back with different questions and “what-ifs” about how the adcoms might respond if they switched things up and went in a different direction. They were already working in financial services and thought maybe they wanted to switch up to a new path in that industry, or maybe consulting… At one point they even shadowed a friend on the job to see if a particular career they had in mind was appealing (brilliant move – recommended for all of you!). Tremendous insights were revealed and they were able to narrow the focus even more from that experience.
They were also wondering if now was the right year to be applying. This person had a few years under their belt but was well shy of the 5 years work experience that is average at some of the top schools they were considering. The disadvantage of applying early became more pronounced as they started to work through their material to see what might be powerful for use in essays. They weren’t sure if their experiences were yet sufficient to impress the adcoms. We were seeing enough that gave us hope but those are real concerns that the early-career candidate needs to be aware of. They decided to further adjust their goals. This wasn’t major flip-flopping, this was reasonable changes and refinements to their ideas for their own future life based on the new information that they discovered through additional work and research.
Then, opportunity knocks. We’ll let them tell it from here:
Here’s what we said:
Wow – congratulations and exciting! But yeah it does change the picture completely.
And then this is what we got back about a week later:
After a lot of careful thought, i have decided to take the new job opportunity. I will be a xxxx at xxxx, [doing XYZ]. I believe this will be a good learning opportunity for me and a chance to pivot away from the xxxxxx space and see what else is out there before going to business school. I’ve decided to delay applying until next summer because I think that this extra experience will serve me well in terms of my ability to contribute to class discussions and the business school community as well as substantiate my resume and hopefully make me a more competitive candidate especially at a school like [top bschool] where they really value work experience. As you have seen, I have been struggling to solidify my career goals and i think part of that has been due to the fact that I just need more time out in the business world to really figure out what I want to do, long-term. I really appreciate all of the help that you guys gave me. i will definitely be back next summer to get started on my applications.
And then (not to lengthen an already long post) we asked them if it’s OK to use what they told us, ‘cuz, well, we think that this might be instructive for others. This is what they said:
Feel free to use whatever you want! I know i’ve had a long journey, but I feel like I’ve learned a lot throughout the process. There’s a chance I would’ve gotten in to [top bschool] if I had applied this year, but the question I started to ask myself was whether I would be prepared if I did get the chance to go. I’m confident I can handle the academics but I tried to picture myself sitting in the midst of a class discussion – what would i have to offer? I have an interesting background, but I want to have more than that. I don’t want to just get into school and sit in the background, intimidated by my classmates. I want to be able to contribute and really stand out. I think if i apply next summer and enroll for class of 2018, another full two years of working will put me in a position where i will know how best to take advantage of all the resources an MBA offers. Perhaps, sometimes people are having trouble writing their career essays etc. because they aren’t ready yet. Its a tough pill to swallow but hopefully i’m making the right decision.
Looks like the right decision to us!
And let us repeat that again:
Perhaps, sometimes people are having trouble writing their career essays because they aren’t ready yet.
Words of wisdom indeed.
Thank you to this soon-again-Brave Supplicant for letting us share this – the best of luck to you and we look forward to seeing you back in Snarkville next year!!