This is the second part in our reblahgged series for the crazy folks super-motivated ones. Yesterday we explained in broad strokes what a pre-MBA summer internship is and probably got some of you a little bit excited about it. However, there are also some important downsides that you need to be clear on, before you…
Every now and then we get a bulldog-type BSer come to us saying they’re going to do an internship. We usually get confused, thinking they’re talking about the internship that’s a standard part of the two-year MBA experience for most people. But then we realize that they’re talking about doing an internship like NOW. Before…
This post has little to do with Harvard, even though many if not most of you applicants will be Harvard-focused today. This post has everything to do with how you talk about your future post-MBA goals. The reason it has little to do with Harvard is that career goals may or may not come up…
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?
You may also be interested in:
Yesterday we teased with the opening of a back-and-forth we had with a last-year Brave Supplicant who was tormenting over a decision on which great MBA program to choose. We invited them to lay out their thinking for us. Here’s what they wrote back: Hi ES, First of all, please feel free to use…
We’ve waited a full year to post this in order to not “out” the BSer who lucked out with these admits. We don’t like naming schools that someone get accepted to when they’re going through the deliberation process because even though the schools don’t really care, it still feels like it would be too easy…
Just because entrepreneurship is hot doesn’t mean everyone knows how to do it. Every single business school in the world has jumped on the entrepreneurship bandwagon. Why? Because it means $$$ — to them, not necessarily to you or any wanna-be founders. Sure, the schools love it when their students are successful and they can…
Bschools everywhere are falling all over themselves these days to serve as incubators forhot new ideas from enterprising students. EssaySnark remains unconvinced that getting an MBA is the best route to launching a company, but we understand the appeal. Universities are resource-rich environments. There’s built-in support, and you get two full years to focus exclusively on your idea (and, well, going to class and getting good grades hopefully, too). We get it. The appeal is obvious. Even though we say if you want to start a company you should just start a company, we know that bschool is a preferred route for many.
We’ve written before about how expensive it is, and we feel that some schools are selling students a bill of goods by dangling all these “opportunities” in front of them — “opportunities” in quotes because it still comes down to the founder’s smarts and sweat and willingness to manage massive amounts of ambiguity and uncertainty and risk. So it was kinda cool when a Brave Supplicant gave us a heads-up about a report published by PitchBook, a company that builds software used in deal finance, that tracks which universities and MBA programs have spit out companies that are worth something.
You can find it on their site here and we’re also preserving it on essaysnark.com in case that link goes dead in the future. [UPDATE: In the time between this post was originally written in Spring 2018 and the time we slated to publish it in near-Fall, Pitchbook released a new version – Business Insider covered it here .]
It’s one of those things that can be a total distraction — you open it up and you inadvertently dump two hours into it — but if you’re seriously thinking about schools for entrepreneurship, and you want to examine them on the basis of past performance and actual outcomes to date, then it’s not a bad place to start.
A big h/t and thank-you to the former BSer who pointed us to this!
And oh yeah: That BSer has now launched into his MBA experience at a great school and if he’s reading this, we’d love to get an update to hear how things are going!
If you’re serious about going to bschool to start a business, then you’ll need to pitch that very carefully in your apps. The Entrepreneurial Career Goals Guide will point out the pitfalls and help you craft a solid plan for the adcom to get behind.
“One’s destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things.”
https://twitter.com/adweak/status/1039759735879290885 Sometimes people tell us that their long-term post-MBA career goal is to be a “thought leader.” (Apparently in Washington, DC, people say this on first dates , too.) This is not a career goal for so many reasons – and even worse, it just sounds, ohidunno, maybe the word is cocky?? We…