To continue the “What can I do now?” conversation, we’ve got more to say on the social media front. If you don’t have anything negative to push down to the second page of search results, then you can turn your attention straightaway to the actual content. Do you have a strategy for what you are…
Can you believe that Round 2 admit decisions are starting to happen?
Can you believe that Round 2 admit decisions still haven’t happened?!??
Some schools like Columbia, NYU and INSEAD have been issuing decisions for awhile now, but dang, if you’re in the Round 2 pool and have been invited to interview at one or more schools, you must feel like the clock has gotten stuck in molasses and are incredulous at how slow the calendar pages are turning.
When you apply in Round 1, everything seems to happen more quickly. Partly that’s because — in the US at least — there are a bunch of holidays in the fall that capture the nation’s collective attention. These keep you busy. There’s Halloween that offers the fun diversion of perhaps some dress-up or parties and candy in the office, and Thanksgiving where many people have a long weekend and significant travel. And planning for the December holidays, and, well, just all kinds of stuff going on. That makes it easier to stay distracted, and distracted means the time goes by quicker.
By comparison, the sequence and timing for Round 2 is experienced in a very different way.
After the flurry of apps getting submitted after the holidays, there’s a welcome breather where you get a break from all the app craziness, and you were likely grateful to be able to resume your regular life at least a little. Maybe you even got to watch some football on Sundays.
But once we get past the Superbowl in early February, then it seems like everything slows to a crawl. Yes you were getting invited to interview, and yes there was lots of excitement and stress and work preparing for that, and discovering that your suit doesn’t really fit you anymore and dealing with that, and traveling to the schools, and maybe some intense winter weather somewhere along the way. But then once those are over, the thumb-twiddling begins in true earnest.
And for most of you, the time just d-r-a-g-s on.
Part of this must be because of the very nature of the experience: You started the MBA process at least a year ago now (some of you, many many years ago!) and now that you’re finally at this stage where you’ve got apps in the hopper and those apps have been hopping! to the extent that at least one or two of them resulted in interview invites. It’s like being on the longest of road trips, where mostly you’re just crusing across the Great Plains of flat highways and bad truckstop coffee, and the time puts you in an alternate universe of working towards something that’s seemingly never going to get here. But then suddenly, you realize that the highway has changed and now you’re on the 405 in Los Angeles and there are Priuses all over and major traffic, and you’re almost at that destination that you’ve been aiming towards. Suddenly we’re in March, and all of this is becoming real — but it hasn’t actually happened yet. It does a number on the mental state. It feels like all of your adult life you’ve been working on GMAT application stuff and now suddenly it’s about to be over — hoping and praying that that means you’re actually going to get in. You go back and forth between utter confidence that yes you’re definitely going to get accepted, after all you got the interviews at these top schools and you didn’t totally embarass yourself in the interview. And alternating from the assumption that yes it must work out, to abject fear that oh sh1t after all this work and (re)app attempts, it’s gotta pan out this time…. but what if it doesn’t?!??
We’re often told that the waiting is the hardest part. Well, that’s why. You’re in this weird limbo-state and the brain doesn’t know what to do with itself.
So today’s post is only to say, yes, this feeling of neurotic manic-depressive-schizophrenia is absolutely normal, and don’t worry, you’re not going crazy! (at least, no more so than you were before you started)
Moodswings and utter depressive moments and really wild debilitating doubts are par for the course at this stage.
Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, get through today, and you’ll have only a few more such days ahead of you before these actual results start popping in.
And we’re betting that yes indeed, this will be your year. 🙂
Keep us posted! Please fill us in when you get the news! Go to SnarkCenter and update your School Targets so we know where you get in!
And keep those cell phones charged up and turned on at all times starting this week! Many adcoms like beginning their congratulations you’ve been accepted calls early! If you don’t recognize the number or it’s from a ‘private’ number, jump on it! Answer anyway!
You may hear lots of robocall telemarketing recordings this week, but one of them will surely be an admissions person with exciting news to deliver.
This is admittedly an odd post to be publishing on a blahg selling services to help you get into business school, but there it is.
Go watch this Exhibit A video:
Of course, that advice is 100% sound. It’s what we help applicants do in positioning themselves for success in their apps!
But that video….
That video is SO polished. It is SO slick. It is so obviously intentionally produced as MARKETING.
Not marketing Harvard Business School. Marketing the companies that are featured in it.
You get three beautiful students who are so incredibly amazing that they made meaningful contributions in entirely new industries in only 10 weeks during summer internships.
Yeah, we know, that’s the premise behind the summer internship experience that most MBA students at all schools are supposed to be going through.
EXCEPT IT’S NOT.
An internship is where you’re an intern — someone new to the field who is learning how it works. Who by definition knows little to nothing about it.
Yes, the companies that hire interns are hoping to get a return on their investment and have the interns actually be productive.
But who are we kidding. In your first three months of any new job, did you really learn much more than where to find the restroom?
Yet this is touted as if these ah-ma-zing Harvard students are so fabulous that they hit the ground running and learned a full statistical programming language (R) and used it to product insights on a new industry they’d never worked in before.
We’re really not trying to harsh on these students. This is ALL the fault of the marketing department at Harvard Business School who came up with this ridiculous concept and sold it to the companies that come recruiting on campus.
THIS IS A PROMOTIONAL VIDEO TO EMBELLISH THE BRAND OF HARVARD AND BOOST UP SOCIAL MEDIA SIGNALS FOR THE COMPANIES WHO DO THEM A FAVOR BY HIRING THEIR GRADUATES.
No. Didn’t think so.
Instead we get taken on a tour of trendy offices with open-floor layouts and smart-looking people in white lab coats. The video is pretending that this is everyday life and how all interns breeze through their days. How brilliant they all must be! So successful!
This is so polished it’s ridiculous.
Truly, we apologize to those three HBS students — this is NOT directed at them. We know they must be incredibly accomplished or they never would’ve made it to Harvard!!!
But that’s kind of the point.
Why does HARVARD need to produce a video like this?
C’mon people, IT’S HARVARD!
We know your students are smart. We know they’re super accomplished.
WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS VIDEO?
Who is the intended audience? What is the reaction supposed to be?
The only thing we can tell is it’s intended to boost social signals FOR THESE THREE FIRMS in a modern-day quid pro quo.
They may all be wonderful companies.
This may have been produced with no conscious ill intent.
It’s just marketing. It’s just showcasing our students.
But puh-lease people. Why the need for this – what is it meant to actually convey?
Yes this struck a chord.
Because it just seems so disingenuous.
Like, Harvard Business School needs to market in this way?
They’ve already got 10,000 poor souls a year falling over themselves trying to get in.
This video, dunno, for some reason it comes across as really pompous and smarmy. The students are being taken advantage of, like they’re the product that this gleaming machine is spitting out.
It just feels somehow a teensy tiny bit evil, like we should be looking closer, opening up the hood, examining.
What is really going on here?
Is this our 2019 Stepford Wives???!?
And so, a challenge.
For any bschool admissions folks who may wander into this post:
Why not BE AUTHENTIC yourselves and share what the MBA really is like?!???
And for all of you interestd in bschool, for those of you wanting to change the world, for all of you professing your interest in making a difference, for those gearing up to this next exciting phase of your careers:
Maybe what the world needs is less spin and more real.
Since all of you now have your Rd 2 apps done if not nearly done, and while we still have your attention here on the blahg, before you go, we wanted to offer you a few links to worthwhile articles that we think would be valuable to spend time with.
We frequently lament the attitude of the BSer who is overfocused on school brand and prestige as their first priority in choosing where to apply, and this first post may help you better understand where we’re coming from with that attitude:
That article is from Wait But Why? which is one of the most brilliant resources on the internet today.
We don’t often post links to Wait But Why? because most people go there and don’t surface again for hours or sometimes even days. When you’re in the throes of writing your essays, you cannot afford such distractions. Now that you’re done, we can guiltlessly send you that direction.
Those posts are immensely useful when you’re trying to procrastinate, including the post that perhaps made Tim Urban famous:
Again, don’t go there if you still have essays to write or some other critical task to complete! Learning about procrastination is the most sickly wonderful way you can procrastinate.
Both of those posts are meaningful, but the first one especially where you learn about the Wooly Mammoth has the potential to truly change your life.
We see the Wooly Mammoth in the Real World in working with BSers all the time. Whenever a Brave Supplicant has an extreme reaction to the feedback we offer in the Essay Decimator process, pretty much 100% of the time it’s because their Wooly Mammoth has been threatened in some way. (Note: Ironically this seems to happen quite often to the extreme overachievers — the ones who should not feel so threatened, because they’ve already proved themselves; the WBW article may offer insight into this.)
At this point in early January when you’ve got some MBA apps in and you’ve already accomplished more in the first two weeks than many folks will accomplish all year, we will offer some additional advice: Find a project to spin yourself into the moment those Round 2 applications are all done.
This is advice we offer every year and it’s important. You’ve built up momentum with the frenzy of focus that you’ve been deploying. That focus is a muscle; it’ll get atrophied and weak again if you neglect to keep using it. It’s just like working out, it’s always easier to keep going with your fitness routine than it is to start over and build it up again when you slack.
So find some project, especially ones at work that will let you grow and develop and contribute more. And some in your Real Life too. Dive into whatever you’re passionate about. Don’t know what you’re passionate about? Then just dive in with something. Action reveals values. Waiting for life to happen does not.
Here’s one post in a series on what we’re literally suggesting you do, along with actual suggestions for things to, like, go do.
That should keep you busy for awhile.
While we’re on this topic of self-improvement and discovery and figuring out who you are:
We’ll also take a quick moment to make a pitch again for a possible program that may eventually get launched. Last year at this time we called it EVERYBODY GETS IN! and it was meant to be a structured success network of like-minded BSers who would support each other with input from us. We are still toying with this idea and may be breathing real life into it at some point this year. If you’ve enjoyed any of the advice that EssaySnark offers, beyond just the practical tips for MBA admissions, you’re invited to log your interest via the form at the bottom of this post (no obligation, we don’t even know what we’re selling if anything) and we’ll keep your contact info on hand for the if/when of anything happening.
You do not need to be fixed.
You definitely do not need to be packaged or branded.
You don’t need to be spun, or promoted, or polished up to a shine. (OK, maybe you need a shower, but…)
The problem with this process of applying to business school is that it sends the signal that who you are now is not good enough.
Average GMAT score? Not enough.
Decent grades? Not enough.
You pour your heart out into your essays and you still get rejected?
Clearly the schools are saying, You’re not enough.
You’re not good enough.
You’re not talented enough.
You have not done enough interesting things.
But hold up.
Let’s look at this.
From our perspective, sitting on the snarky side of the fence, there are only two requirements for getting into a good MBA program:
1. You must be willing to work hard.
2. You must give yourself enough time.
If you’re rushing, it’s highly unlikely you’re going to have as much success in this process as you could if you’d
not procrastinated the entire fall season away started on the process earlier and kept working diligently until it was done.
But guess what? You didn’t. You had noble intentions, but then Life got in the way, and you had trouble motivating yourself. You were probably THINKING ABOUT your apps nearly all the time since the summer, but you too often got faced with that demon of “ohgawdidontknowhowtodothisorwheretoevenbegin” and you flinched, and you escaped into Netflix again. And that’s what happened to the month of August, and September, and then again in November. That’s not a personal failing. All that is, is being overwhelmed by what seems like a monumental task (WRITING ESSAYS UGGH!) and then the pesky habit of Time took the months away.
When we boil this down, it actually ends up revealing itself to be #1 in disguise.
For most people, procrastination is not a sign that you are a loser. It does not even mean that you’re lazy. It’s just the simple human reaction when faced with fear of the unknown. The brain is wired to seek comfort; to run from risk.
Our ancient ancestors had a thought like this:
“Ooo look there’s a tiger!”
The human brain got deeply wired to react with:
“OMG GET THE F. OUT OF HERE!”
Applying to bschool is just our modern-day tiger.
You’ve set this very big goal for yourself — you want to go on the hunt! Shoot an animal for dinner! Provide for your family!
So you set out on the savannah to find an antelope or a buffalo or a wildebeest.
You make all the preparations. You sharpen your tools (study for the GMAT). You get ready for the expedition (take the GMAT). You learn about your prey and its habits (stalk the adcoms on twitter and facebook). It rains, so you adjust your plans (take the GMAT again). You have all your gear, and you’re committed to the task, and you head out onto the plains, and you scout your targets (decide on which schools to apply). You put yourself in position. You’re all ready to go, you’re going to definitely make a run for it now, and —
“Oh crap what is that oh sh!t no it’s a lion. It’s a lion? YES IT’S A LION RUN RUN RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!”
Well dang. That didn’t work like you’d hoped. Stupid lion. You tried for a gazelle. You end up nabbing a warthog. At least you’re not going to starve tonight.
You’re just super embarrassed when you have to go back to the village without the prize you went out there to hunt.
Talk about ruining your self esteem.
Talk about a great way to make you feel like a total idiot.
You talked up a good game, but when push comes to shove, what do you have to show for yourself?
Now you have to ask your recommender to do more recommendations. Now you have to admit that you failed.
We are here to tell you that you have not failed.
You simply have not succeeded yet.
Getting into bschool is about picking the schools that are right for you, and then working diligently on creating a set of application materials that present who you are authentically.
That is the secret to getting in.
It’s not about saying the right thing or figuring out a formula (except to the extent that yes, this is a competitive process, and things like GMAT and GPA do matter).
It’s not about coming up with the right wording that that school will respond to.
It’s about spending the time and effort to figure yourself out.
How do you know what schools to apply to?
You need to know yourself.
How do you write an essay that the school will respond to?
You need to know yourself.
What is the only fundamental requirement to make all of this happen?
You need to be willing to do the work.
Or really, a truer statement is, you need to be willing to go into the unknown.
Writing essays is facing the tiger. It’s saying, “No no no, I know your tricks. I know you’re just an oversized pussy cat.”
This is true in ALL things. In ALL of life.
Unless you’re someone who is literally hunting her meals on the plains every day. In which case, a tiger is actually a tiger, and we hope you will run from it!!!
But in modern-day life in the 21st Century, in the challenges that most of us humans are facing, the tiger is not really a tiger.
The tiger is only in your mind.
When your brain conjures up thoughts of “Oh sh!t I don’t know what to do, this is a very big project and the whole thing of me going out into the world and doing something this big and this important scares the holy eff out of me” then all of a sudden your brain is seeing TIGER!!!! when one doesn’t exist.
The only thing stopping you from getting into a great MBA program is your thoughts. If you are letting the fear of the tiger prevent you from doing the work that’s required, then let’s go back to square one:
From our perspective, there are only two requirements for getting into a good MBA program:
1. You must be willing to work hard.
2. You must give yourself enough time.
If you did not give yourself enough time, then with almost 100% certainty we can tell you, it’s because you let the FEAR OF the tiger get in the way.
There is no tiger.
You just imagined there is one.
And you reacted as any sane person facing a tiger would do.
So #2 is just that you got confused, and you let fear win.
So what about #1?
If you’re interested in an MBA then you have already been successful to some degree or another in life. At minimum, you have successfully completed college — which sounds basic, but remember, not everyone does that. You know how to work towards a goal. You know how to apply yourself and be productive. It’s also likely the case that you have taken the GMAT at least once and scored something decent, which again shows that you are able to put in the effort to achieve a purpose. You studied for the test (even if haphazardly) and you got a score that is in range for a top MBA program.
So right there, we have two datapoints to prove it. We know that you are CAPABLE of working hard.
Then what could the problem be? If you’re CAPABLE of working hard but you have not yet managed to get into a top MBA program, it boils down to:
A. You’re CAPABLE of working hard on other things, but you DID NOT REALLY work hard on your apps (you may have PRETENDED to work hard, by writing a few essays and sending them in, but you know in your heart if you REALLY worked hard on them or not). If it’s this, then it’s a problem of self-delusion. You fooled yourself. No big deal. We do that all the time, on all sorts of things! (“This first bite of Ben & Jerry’s tastes good! This second one tastes good too! I’m just gonna keep eating it!! [ 5 mins later…] Ugh I should not have eaten the whole pint omg this feels awful.”) The remedy? Work harder!!
B. The fear of the tiger got in the way, which is another way of saying, you weren’t WILLING.
When fear comes into your skull, it seems like there are no options.
You WANT to achieve this thing, but dang. Real life. Overwhelming. It’s too big.
Or whatever the fear-thoughts manifest as in your own specific incarnation.
If you got stymied by B — not being willing to work hard (which is another way of saying that you were deterred by the fear-thought, since we already have established that you WANT this for yourself, and you are CAPABLE of it) — then we have a trick for you.
You don’t have to know how to do it.
You don’t even have to know how to be willing to know how.
You just have to be WILLING to be willing.
If you’re reading this and it’s not making any sense, that’s OK.
But if you’re reading this and it’s clicking for you in some way, then good.
Most people reading this now are either in an egg nog stupor of celebration around the holidays and having already gotten into one of their top-choice MBA programs, and they’re simply still in the habit of reading the ‘Snark every day.
But there’s a whole slew of others of you who are coming here with a sense of dread and mild panic over all of the work to be done, and many doubts and insecurities about this whole process.
You don’t have to know how to get in. You just have to identify one thing to be done at a time, and go do it.
Maybe that means writing an outline. Just one. For one school. Map out your ideas. Put some structure to it.
Maybe it means figuring out your career goals, and making sure that they are detailed and specific enough.
Maybe it means re-examining your list of schools and making sure you’re tackling the right schools for you, based on the reality of your profile, that you really have a chance of getting into.
Maybe it means filling out the app form for one school. Or going back over the app and verifying and validating the data.
Do one thing. Right now. Be like Nike and just do it.
Then make a list of all of the others.
And when you’re feeling stuck, and overwhelmed, when staring at the screen full of words that you don’t feel are right and aren’t making any sense and you’re doubting whether any of it will work anyway. And you’re tempted to just close the whole thing down and go back to your WoW game. When you’re feeling discouraged — or just unable to tear yourself away from the party and go upstairs to work on the essay. Even though you told yourself that that’s what you were going to do this weekend, that you’d spend time with your family for awhile but then you were determined to make progress on your apps in the evening, yet here it is, “evening” and you don’t feel like doing it.
Just remember: THE TIGER IS NOT REAL.
The only thing you need in order to be successful with getting into bschool (or getting to any other huge major success in your life) is you have to BE WILLING.
You have to see that it’s your thoughts that are holding you back.
If you are WILLING, then you don’t need to know how to do it. You simply become open to trying.
If you don’t feel like you’re willing — if you feel like the fear of the tiger is too strong — then there’s a solution for that, too.
You just have to be willing to be willing.
Anybody can do that.
And please do not forget.
This process of applying to bschool — even when you’re rejected — this is not a referendum on who you are.
You are perfect. Already.
You don’t have to package yourself up into somebody else in order to get in.
You just have to do the work of uncovering who you are. And sharing that on the page in an essay.
And the only way to do that is to be willing.
The advice we give to many BSers as Round 1 is breathing down their necks is: If you know you can do better on your applications, then don’t rush them. Don’t submit crap apps in Round 1 just to get them submitted. That advice came with a big caveat, though. It was predicated on the…
Q: What does your college GPA tell the admissions committee? A: If you’re willing to play the game. Q: Why does it matter if you’re willing to play the game? A: Because by applying to bschool, you’re saying that you want to play the game MORE. “What on earth are you talking about, EssaySnark?” Here’s…
Giving advice on MBA admissions applications is not a time to be political.
Besides using some political events as teaching moments here on the blahg, to cover something important in an aspect of applying to bschool — anyone remember when we quizzed you on what the word Brexit means, way back in January 2016 when nobody had heard of it (at least, outside the UK) and the election had not happened?? — we have managed to mostly steer clear of politics and current events here and on our Twitter. Encouraging you to register to vote is not being political, it’s encouraging you to be an adult, and to not take your rights for granted. In this crazy f’ed up world that we’re living in in America, EssaySnark presumes that you’re seeing through the lies and deceit and gaslighting that’s going on from the top down of our government.
But maybe you’re not.
After all, we’re significant numbers of years older than you, and we didn’t always have an awareness or ability to evaluate such things. How do you know what to believe? We had to learn this stuff, too.
This is in the category of critical thinking skills, which some universities try to teach but it’s a tough thing to get across — unless the stakes are high and real decisions are at risk.
We were dismayed to hear of a recent study where Americans were asked to identify if a statement was a fact or an opinion. Many Americans failed this simple test. Thankfully, there is hope: Millennials and Gen Z did much better as a group. Older Americans? Not so much.
Because this topic is so timely and interesting — and because we love quizzes and tests (just not the GMAT, please and thank you) — we’ll offer up some of these statements for you to test yourself and see how savvy you are.
Identify each of these as a FACT or an OPINION
Government is almost always wasteful and inefficient.
Democracy is the greatest form of government.
Immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally are a very big problem for the country today.
Former President Barack Obama was born in the United States.
Spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid make up the largest portion of the U.S. federal budget.
Socialism is a failed experiment.
Health care costs per person in the U.S. are the highest in the developed world.
Abortion should be legal in most cases.
Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour is essential for the health of the U.S. economy.
Immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally have some rights under the Constitution.
ISIS lost a significant portion of its territory in Iraq and Syria in 2017.
Terrorism is the biggest threat to our country.
Finally, if you did in fact register to vote recently and now you’re wondering “What do I vote for???” we have some quick advice:
Find a source that you trust, whose values align with yours, and use their recommendations.
These sources are easily available once you know what to look for. For example, here’s a list of a few such voter guides (EssaySnark is not endorsing or recommending any of this – it’s just a list of samples):
- Christian Voter Guide
- League of Women Voters Vote 411
- American Conservative Union
- American Civil Liberties Union – Vote Smart Justice
You’ll need one that’s local, at least to your state, so that includes the ballot measures that actually matter for you. It’s not just about the national offices. Your local newspaper is probably publishing a voter’s guide — but just make sure you’re aware of the ownership of that paper or other media outlet, and that owner’s agenda, before adopting their views. A lot of the newspapers in the U.S. are now owned by those with vested interests and specific beliefs and biases, and these sometimes (actually, increasingly often) are revealed by their voter recommendations. The Tribune Company which owns a bunch of newspapers, and Fox Media which you know from TV, are owned by conservatives; The Washington Post and Time Magazine are owned by liberals. Journalism is supposedly about reporting the facts but as you are likely well aware, everything comes with a slant based on perception and values. An ethical news organization will report the news straight, doing everything they can to remove bias from the reporting and not kowtowing to influence or ownership, but there’s never “pure” news, and even the well-intentioned ones screw it up royally on a regular basis.
What in our opinion is less helpful are the neutral or generic guides that are only trying to explain the issues. While they may be valid, and we tip our hats to the intention of wanting people to decide for themselves, in our experience they’re just too neutral. Because every ballot initiative can be argued multiple ways, and if, for example, it’s an initiative that will raise taxes, and this group says that that’s bad, and the tax revenue that comes in will only be misused, but that group says that that’s good, and necessary, because it’s a problem that needs to be solved…. well, it’s totally likely that you’ll see the value of both of those arguments. That’s why we prefer to outsource (at least some) of this decision-making to smart people who have a mindset like ours, who’ve spent the time investigating and who we trust to give good advice.
That’s not to say that we would only vote a certain way just because some third-party source is advising it. But for us, it’s a time-saver, and as long as (key point!) you trust the third party, then you should be able to trust their recommendations.
But this again is where our main point comes in: Please be a thinker.
Be a smart consumer of the news.
Know how to tell fact from fiction — and fact from opinion.
Figure things out for yourself, or if you don’t have time to dive into the nitty-gritty of all of those details, figure out who you trust to figure things out.
But spend the necessary time figuring them out, and then act.
Vote intelligently. Or if you can’t commit to that, then at least vote!!! Your vote gives you the right to complain later. 🙂
And use these skills of intelligence and thinking before you forward or like or retweet some tidbit you saw on the internet. Don’t make falsehoods go viral, please. Investigate. Use your discrimination. Don’t be part of the problem. When everyone is acting stupid, it only takes one person not doing that to make it so not everyone is doing it. Act that way, and we will all have a chance to be better.
If you want an interesting analysis of the techniques used by this current administration, Trevor Noah has some thought-provoking insights.
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 11 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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