This week we’re discussing the real-world situation of the Brave Supplicant who tried for an MBA but did not have success getting in. This is not so much about planning a reapplicant strategy, though that isn’t at odds with this either. This is about, hmmm, things didn’t go as planned, and sitting here in middle…
We hate to paint with such a broad brush but as you very well know, there’s a whole segment of the bschool applicant population with very similar profiles. And a big segment this is. The competition among the Indian contingent is fierce. One of the challenges is that it seems like half the Indian engineers…
Continuing our Round 3 MBA Strategy series today, we’ll follow up yesterday’s “no no don’t do it” post with a flip to the positive. There’s a few categories of Brave Supplicant for whom we’re more inclined to see a potentially positive outlook for a Round 3 app to a top school. The easy one to…
Just a few weeks ago, many of you wrote these very impressive-sounding (we hope!) essays on your intended future goals.
What if you started implementing those plans today?
This is both a smart thing to do — because how else could you demonstrate that you’re a new-and-improved person if you end up (eeek!!!) as a reapplicant in the Fall?
And it’s a wise thing to do, since, after all, you claimed with these statements to the
Universe adcom that this is what you want to do with your life.
If you know what you want to do, and you’re motivated enough to apply to business school as a way to do it (which is a very lengthy and expensive way to get to a goal), then the intelligent thing to do would be to START NOW.
So how do you do that?
Well, the first place to start is to complete what we hope you have already completed in the process of building out your MBA applications:
Figure out what you need in order to qualify for that role you defined in the apps.
You’re starting HERE — Point A.
You want to go THERE — Point B.
What do you need to have THERE that you don’t have HERE?
While it may be true (should be true!!) that an MBA is a useful step to give you what you are currently lacking, there are also most definitely other ways to get those things. The MBA should not be the only pre-requisite that would fill the gap in getting you where you want to go.
(Hint: You can do this with all areas of your life.)
If you’re looking for bschool to make a career jump, which almost everyone is, then what new skill can you start to acquire today that will facilitate that transition?
If you want to go into consulting, then do you know what consulting is about? Do you know what types of firms would be most eager to hire you based on your existing background and expertise? Do you have a sense for what type of consulting? Is it Big Three only, and that’s it, and you don’t care what projects you’re on? (This seems a little short-sighted if you ask us.) Or do you know you want to go into healthcare consulting and you’ve identified the key players in that sector and you have already been talking to friends and colleagues to see about connections?
If you’re not in finance and you want to be, then do you know what hurdles you might face and what strengths you can leverage? Do you know how the recruiting cycle works at your target firm? Have you scoured the forums and signed up for webinars and done all that you can to stalk the space? Some areas of finance are fairly straightforward to break into post-MBA, even for those without prior experience, but many jobs on the buy side are pretty tricky to gain traction in unless you have a network established and can prove your chops already. It’s not enough to only have an MBA from a good school (particularly as an international candidate). You need to be able to show proficiency and you need to understand how the industry works.
Regardless of your career interests, have you exhausted the resources available to you in tapping your professional network and doing informational interviews with people in the area you want to work in later on?
There is a LOT you can be doing right now to build up your profile and lay the foundation for your future. The MBA is a means to an end; it’s a stepping stone. Yes, you’ve been consumed with the process of applying to bschool, and yes, the first step is simply getting in to one of these schools that you’ve become obsessed over for so long. But don’t lose sight of the fact that that is just one of a long series of steps that you will need to tackle and succeed at in order to reposition your profile and revamp your life.
Now is a great time to get started.
So tell us in the comments: What steps are you taking? What are your plans for the next three or four months? How will you be working towards these goals today — along with (hopefully!) all the interviews you’re landing for those Round 2 apps in the hopper?
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…there is literally nothing stopping you.
You do not need an MBA.
You do not need a lot of money.
You do not need anything except the willingness to get started and actually go do it.
We know we know we know.
You really want to make a difference / have an impact / go on and do fabulous things.
Or at least, not be so bored by your job.
But here’s the deal:
EVERYBODY talks up all the incredible plans that they have for their future in their MBA essays.
It’s like, you get this assignment to talk about your goals, and allofasudden it seems like you need to put on a superhero cape and prance around the bedroom, acting like you’re The Man (or The Woman) who’s gonna go off and save the world.
The adcoms know that you’re making stuff up in your “why MBA” essay.
They know you’re fabricating things right and left.
They know that most people applying to bschool won’t actually go on to do the things they laid out in the essays.
But they want to know that YOU COULD do them.
They want to be convinced that not only are you CAPABLE — because you have some useful skills built out, and/or you have some industry experience, and/or you have something that is transferable into this new idea that you’ve got.
And they want to know that you’re DRIVEN. That you have the proper motivation and determination and ability to focus on achieving something big and ambitious.
The adcoms know. They expect that you are to some extent or another blowing smoke. They prefer that you not be, but they know the human tendency to try and impress.
But they want to be convinced.
there's a difference between
someone telling you they're ordering pizza
and them actually
— Guy Mizrahi (@Guymizrahi_) September 24, 2017
You might also be interested in:
- Why the adcoms won’t believe your career goals (social justice edition)
About a month ago, this essay was submitted for consideration for a freebie blahg review by an Indian BSer who’s applying to Tuck (or possibly he already submitted in their November round? Not sure; if so, we got it much too late to turn it around that quickly 🙁 ). This BSer is in investment…