You say you want an MBA, and we believe you.
But do you want an education?
Do you even know what they’ll teach you in the hallowed halls of Columbia or Kellogg or Cornell or whatever school you end up at?
You’ve read through the website enough to plug the name of a class into an essay to tell the adcom how much you want to go there.
But do you know what any of those classes are actually about?
Here’s a tip:
If you don’t, you may want to start learning!
Because if you make it through this arduous process and you land an admit or two, and you end up with your butt sitting in a business school classroom 10 short months from now…
Do you know what you’re in for?
We can guarantee you this:
If you’re only interested in bschool so that you can get the credential, so that you can have those three little letters “M-B-A” associated with your name, so you can get some plum job with a six-figure salary where you get to sit in meetings all day….
That’s fine, it’s not “wrong” and there are plenty of good people who think that way.
If that’s your entire motivation and you have not thought through the whole possible scenario that involves things like studying and learning and hard subjects and tests then what you’re setting yourself up for is two years of h3ll.
Or at least, a solid one semester, and parts of another, and then a summer break in between where at least you’ll have an income again, and then another year of school that’s mostly electives and so shouldn’t be that bad…
But if you go into this only focused on that end result of having the fancy initials after your name (which honestly aren’t that impressive, you just are enamored of them now) and you forget the part about it being a CLASSROOM and maybe they even will force you to buy BOOKS though maybe not because these days books are overrated but who knows, and then you find yourself in a year sitting there staring at an equation on a white board and not understanding a single word that the professor has said in the last 20 minutes and wishing you actually had taken that class that you told EssaySnark yes you were going to take but hey you got in anyway so must not’ve needed it! Except that there’s all those Greek symbols on the board and you can’t remember which one means what.
And you’re not there because you WANT TO LEARN SOMETHING and expand your mind and get smarter and learn how the money supply is a lever of government and how interest rates work with inflation or what dual-entry accounting means and why it should matter or what the time value of money is and how it affects decisions and and and and and and and
If you’re unable to get motivated to push past the hard part of “OH HOLY F NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE WHAT HAVE I **DONE** I HATE THIS LET ME OUT” and actually do the WORK of learning…
You’re gonna have a rough go of it.
All we’re saying today is that sitting on the “before” side of the picture where you’ve got this dream and you’re fixated on winning and it’s all you can think about and you’ve already done all this work and the GMAT is over and some essays were written and you clicked Submit on a number of apps…
And all the schools hype up their international travel and the culture and community and happy hour and how much FUN!! everyone has…
If you don’t find a way to get motivated on THE LEARNING as well then, well, we just don’t think it’s gonna be what it could be.
It takes a certain level of maturity to embrace learning for the sake of learning alone. Not all subjects are fun, and not all professors are interesting. Doing school full-time is a massive opportunity and what a luxury and an advantage, and a privilege to even have a quality of life that you can be considering it. You’re taking a break from Real Life for two full years to go focus on building yourself.
It’s not just the job and all the recruiters that will want you. It’s not just living in some fun new city for two years. It’s all of those things, but it’s none of them.
It’s what are you going to put into it?
That’s what you will get out of it.
And in order to know that, and be truly prepared, you need to know WHY you are doing this.
Is it just to coast through so you can get rubber-stamped and spit out the other side?
Or is it to LEARN STUFF?
We’ll tell you, LEARNING STUFF is hard. You’ve been out of school for awhile — and this is graduate school. This is no Intro to Econ or whatever.
Do you want to do it because you’re actually interested?
If you can’t say you’re interested, that’s okay too, but can you still motivate yourself even if you’re not?
If the answers to these questions are “Hmm” or “Never thought about it” or “Now that you ask…” then you may want to do some self-reflection. Be ready for what you’re pursuing.
Maybe even start by taking a class now. Like a practice one. To get in the groove, to remind you.
Were you someone who loved school so much that you were able to self-motivate for the thrill of it? The achievement of a good score on a test could make you hit the books like you needed?
Or was each class like pulling teeth and you were the clock-watcher scrunched down in your chair at the back of the room, praying you wouldn’t get cold-called?
Just be honest with yourself.
If you haven’t been in school for awhile, look to Coursera or some other MOOC to get back in the swing of things. Find a way to challenge yourself, if that’s not a habit you’ve had just lately.
Remember that what you experience in school (as in life) depends at least the orientation and attitude. It’s not just about showing up. It’s about doing the work.
When learning switches on it’s totally awesome and you get fired up, even if it’s a subject you don’t like. And when it’s resisted and you’re trying to just get by then it can be a nightmare of days. Either is your choice.
Just remember what you’re signing up for.
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