12/14/2013 1:54 PM
In regular bschool fashion, this blog entry was written on November 10th but due to the demands of the core (and life outside of school), it wasn't re-visited and finalized until a month later.
"Three months and one week into business school and I am fully immersed and back into school mode. However, this isn't any regular school-mode, this version seems like it's on steroids. Not only is the curriculum intensive, coursework is only half the fun (battle?). The other half consists of recruiting, clubs, and maintaining a social life. After all, bschool is all about relationships right?
When I think back to last year at this time, I am able to exactly recall my state of mind. It was just as intense, and I feel many prospective students are feeling this way now. It's application time! Not only are you working full-time, but you're probably attending multiple MBA fairs, sending out emails to make connections, setting up coffee chats to learn more about the school, strategically laying out your story, and writing the dreaded essays. If you're ahead of the game, you might have finished some interviews already! Congrats, because history has consistently proved that hard work, resilience, and patience pays off.
I went to a slew of those MBA fairs and school info sessions and the information presented all started to blend with one another. But occasionally you hear something that really strikes a chord with you. It was a rainy night and I schlepped my way to another info session anyway to listen to a panel of students talk about their path to an MBA. There was a first year on the panel and I remember he looked absolutely exhausted, and he even admitted that he was on his last bouts of energy. However, at the end of one of his answers, he looked up and said, "despite how tiring business school is, it is absolutely worth it. I know it's hard now with a million essays, but push through, because again, it is absolutely, without a doubt..worth it." I saw the authenticity on his face and in his words, he genuinely believed what he was saying and I was sold. He re-invigorated my application process and now that I'm a first year, I can completely relate and stand behind his message.
The process can be draining but the reward is sweet :) Good luck to all the prospective students out there!"
As you continue to find the right school, I encourage you to emphasize cultural fit when making your decision. It's a given that students at all business schools are smart, ambitious, and accomplished. It is, however, not a given that those same students are the type of people you want to spend >12 hours with in the business school building. A friend of mine was showing a prospective around Johnson after his admissions interview, he was only in town for a day trip. His flight ended up getting cancelled and without an alternative plan, he was immediately offered a place to stay with my friend. The prospective even ended up hitting the bars with us that night, and my friend helped him get to where he needed to be the next morning. Stories like that aren't uncommon at Johnson and it reinforces the culture and values that I personally find important.