Maybe you’re not now, but you (hopefully!) will be soon!!!
Most of the successful Brave Supplicants from Round 1 have, by now, decided on where they will be going for their MBAs in the fall … but not all of them have pulled the trigger on that yet. And there’s all you Round 2 peeps who are starting to accrue a collection of interview invites, and thus starting to get optimistic that you may be in the very enviable position of having to decide between competing offers to great schools in the coming weeks.
For everyone who’s made it in already: Congratulations!
For those still torn between which school to choose: We commiserate! As hard as it is to believe when you’re on the other side of the fence, at the beginning of the process and looking at all these schools with stars in your eyes and only hope a dream of getting in, the truth is that those who are faced with the prospect of choosing between multiple programs often go through tremendous agony over it.
This is one reason, by the way, that we do not subscribe to the apply-everywhere approach with your apps. Having a targeted shortlist of schools that you’ve researched well and have a strong opinion about is the right way to go when applying. Sometimes we see people submit apps to 10+ schools and – though it’s unlikely – sometimes they get in to a whole bunch of them. And then what are you going to do? It’s much (MUCH) easier when you have a more limited choice in front of you, like two or three.
Obviously some choices are easy. If one of your offers is from a school whose name starts with an H, or an S, or a W, then you’re not likely sweating much at all. (Even if the “H” stands for “Haas” many people find that to be an easy choice to make!)
If you have multiple offers from schools whose names start with “D”… then that may be more difficult.
First off, you will note that this post is in the category here on the EssaySnark blahg called “Deciding on a school (multiple offers)”. You can browse through other posts we’ve made in this category – and there are quite a few of them – to see how we slice and dice the equation, given various scenarios – for example, when someone is offered a bunch of scholarship money at a lower-ranked school, simultaneous to an admit to a “better” school.
Of course, by now we would assume that you also have already picked up The Admitted Student’s Guide which also covers many of these questions and strategies.
Maybe you’ve read all that and it hasn’t helped. This can happen when the schools you’ve been accepted to are peers of each other across many dimensions – say, in terms of their recruiting records for the industry you’re targeting, or based on attributes of geography (which, yes, does matter!), or their overall culture and vibe. Sometimes you need to go with your gut – actually we would profess that most ALWAYS you need to go with your gut. But what if your gut is conflicted?
Or what if the two schools are totally DISsimilar? Like, Berkeley and INSEAD? There’s some overlap with both but there’s a lot more that’s different between the two. What do you do then? How do you choose?
We’ll be exploring these issues in some detail over the next few weeks. We did a lot of this before in our past discussions of “Deciding on a school” but we’ve heard of some specific BSers’ dilemmas that are worth diving into. Duke vs Darden. Tuck vs Columbia. Tuck vs MIT. MIT vs Haas. It always depends on the specifics of an individual person’s goals and personal situation yet there are also some broad-strokes observations and commentary that we can offer that may apply to you, too.
If you’re in the enviable but challenging position of having to decide between multiple offers, you’re invited to share the details with us for possible discussion here on the blahg – send us your situation here and we’ll consider giving you our own outsider’s two cents.