Whenever we hear of a BSer who made it in somewhere and is now having second thoughts, it always makes us go “Hmm.”
Sometimes, what happened is the BSer applied to Schools A, B, and C…. and also School N.
Nobody wants to go to School N.
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Getting in to School N didn’t even make you feel that good; it was almost a letdown, since Schools A, B, and C had all said no. An admit to School N felt like it was a slap in the face.
Even though six months ago you were hot to trot about applying and intentionally submitted an app to School N, now that it’s the only one that has accepted you, you feel like you got the short end of the stick.
You’re not excited.
You don’t think you’re gonna go there.
And that’s fine! You absolutely shouldn’t, if you’re not feeling excited! There’s no hurry. You can spend the next few months working on your profile and killing it on the job and doing everything in your power to improving yourself so that you’re a bright shiny new better-than-before candidate when it comes time for Round 1. And then try at Schools A, B and C all over again.
Of course, reapplying is even harder than doing it the first time, but you’re reading the blahg, you’re preparing yourself, you’re going to make the most of the opportunity.
We see plenty of BSers in your shoes who do in fact end up converting at a top-choice program the second time through.
Before you commit to that, and you let your admit to School N lapse un-accepted…
Walk through what you will be doing with this year in between.
If you are intentionally forfeiting your opportunity to start the MBA now, in Fall 2023, what will you do with the time?
Will you really apply yourself on the job? Will you dive in with both feet and become a stunning and superlative team player, who contributes more than he’s paid and adds value to everything he touches?
Will you work to increase the skills and have evidence of your new contributions that you’ll be able to leverage when it comes time for post-MBA recruiting, when you start your (hypothetical) MBA program in Fall 2024?
If you’ll be in the Class of 2026, will you be a more in-demand individual who’ll be able to command a higher starting salary than if you were to graduate in the Class of 2025?
What about opportunity cost? What’s your sense of what the economy will be doing? Will you be hitting a high-unemployment market when you graduate? Or do you think maybe the chances of better jobs will be available sooner, and may peak or be absent later on?
It’s impossible to see the future, of course. But based on your knowledge of the jobs market and your target sector, what do you think things will look like in two years, compared to three?
You can of course drive yourself crazy trying to answer these unanswerable questions.
But if you’re sitting here with an MBA admit in hand, make sure you are looking at the big picture before you turn it down.
From our perspective, we just have to wonder what’s changed. If a school was interesting enough, and appealing enough, with an MBA program valuable enough, that you thought it was worth the time, money and effort to apply…. What’s changed? Why is it now not worth it?
Sometimes people get amazing job opportunities that show up right when they go through the MBA app process. Those are always worth giving full consideration to. But it’s rare that a job offer that only promises more money would be worth more than the MBA itself in a sooner time horizon.
Tuition at all programs increases every year — sometimes, those increases would be more than your proffered raise would cover.
And then the essays themselves…. do you remember how much you detested that part? You really want to go through that all over again?
There are often good reasons to forgo an admit to a top school. But we also often see BSers forgo an admit, and then a year goes by, and another set of apps, and they end up in exactly the same spot as they started: The same schools say yes. The same ones say no. They’re no better off than they were before.
Obviously it doesn’t always turn out that way. We have helped many many others turn their prior medium-success-stories into an all-out with, where they landed at the best of the best when they sat out an admit and tried again next time.
Just be honest with yourself for the reasons.
All of this is intensely personal, and there’s no right or wrong answers — and definitely, don’t let what we say sway you! This is your life to live, and what our thinking on it matters not at all.
This is only to encourage you to come at this decision rationally.
Yes we do happen to feel that a bird in hand is worth more…. But that’s only because the future holds tremendous uncertainty, and based on the patterns we see over and over, we’re inclined towards action, and taking the big steps in life when life offers them. You worked hard to get this acceptance…. so if you are now thinking that no you don’t want it, that’s fine! Just make sure you fully thought through the reasons and are going into this with a Plan B, and Plan C, and even a Plan D for next season if that’s what you choose.
Tell us what you think.