In a mini-chastisement blahg post back in January, we tsk-tsked over those long-forgotten BSers who said they’d send us a little something to capture their trials and tribulations of applying to bschool, and then never did. We laid out several instances of ghosting that we were on the receiving end of.
Well lo and behold! We never expected our
guilt-trip post words of advice to be so well received! One very very long-ago BSer resurfaced and immediately sent us something. And it’s golden!
Thank you to this former BSer, not just for coming through on something, but also for how great it is! A dose of realism and practicality for many. Here it is for all of you next-generation up-and-comers.
Hey Snark, long time no see, eh?
I still follow your blahg and got the message from the “Success Stories that never materialized” post. So, I’m gonna try to make it right and give you my (top3-Minto style MBA mumbo-jumbo) thoughts about this journey so far.
Just to contextualize, as you (or your CRM system) might remember, before BS I was working as a consultant for [top firm] in [country] – frustrated with unskilled/impolite (way beyond the moral harassment line) bosses and my career prospects. I applied to a few 1Y programs (Kellogg, Cornell, Emory and Ivey) and got accepted in all except for Kellogg. Before putting the money down for Cornell I approached you to discuss the Emory “95% scholarship” vs Cornell “no-scholarship” conundrum. [We have a bunch of posts on “deciding on a school (multiple offers)” category on the blahg and we also can help new clients with such decisions through our Private Consult service. -ES] Went to Cornell, had an intense summer (20 credits in 8 weeks), and landed a job at [top consulting firm] (doing a similar job, with much nicer/qualified bosses, and making 4-5 times my pre-MBA paycheck).
So, here are my top3 thoughts about BSchool:
- Recruiting starts before BSchool
- Being a foreigner I initially underestimated the importance of networking in the US. I mean, from where I come from it’s seen as (at least a bit) inappropriate to try to build connections within a firm before applying for a job. Not in the US, here is part of the “courtship ritual”, and the best way to do it is to start networking before you get to BSchool. Aim for the graduating students first, as most will have some networks within companies, and offer you a low risk (if you end up blowing the informationals they won’t care much, nor have the power to block you). Start shooting requests for informationals by end of April/beginning of May to catch them in a good mood, but first read “The 2-Hour Job Search” by Steve Dalton to avoid stupid mistakes.
- Immigration matters actually matter
- I’m not going to sugarcoat this – the US H1B immigration system is broken (read this article if you’re interested). It is a pain to go through all the recruiting process, land a competitive job, and end up getting kicked out of the US in the end of your OPT visa due to a broken lottery system (don’t assume that just because you got a job in a multinational firm they’ll happily transfer you abroad and bring you back next year). Honestly, knowing what I do now, I’d have taken Ivey’s offer much more seriously, as Canada offfers a meritocratic immigration system (where the incentives to bring in qualified people exist/work).
- It’s not over until it’s over
- After getting 2 job offers I gave up on recruiting, withdrawing from a ton of final round interviews. Now I regret that decision, because having more options gives you more leverage to negotiate (as long as you do it the smart way – kindly asking, not demanding). This is a key point here: even if you’re tired and landed the dream job, give it a shot and go through all your final round interviews.
I hope this helps future applicants (at least helps me to come through my commitments… lol).
We told you there was good stuff here!! THANK YOU, FORMER BSER! Very interesting insights, in so many ways. We also recently had some posts from a different international student who struggled with immigration issues for a significant other. If there are any more of your past-season lurkers out there who want to offer your own advice to add to these that we’ve seen recently, we would surely appreciate getting more like these!