Friday, January 11, 2013

So it begins... again (the inaugural post)

Yesterday I was officially dinged from the final school I applied to in the first round this application season... so the journey begins (again).

It's hard to believe that I began studying for the GMAT almost one year ago.  I began this journey with the goal of attending a top b-school, now here I stand with only rejection letters in hand.  The past month has been a little more than disheartening; however, it has helped me realize that maybe I didn't take this process as seriously as one should.  Did I work hard?  Did I spend countless night staying up studying for the GMAT, prepping application, and writing essay after essay?  Yes, but maybe that was the problem.  Looking back, I can see that I tried just a little too hard to get my applications in in the first round and ended rushing things.  Old undergrad habits of procrastinating seemed to slip in.  As an undergrad, studying, doing well on test and assignments came easy.  I think in some way I thought this is how the b-school application process would work.  Boy was I wrong!

As I started receiving my first round rejection letters, I began contemplating what my plans were for second round apps.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized I did not want to settle for a "safety school."  Another blogger I closely follow, MBAover30 said, "you should not apply to any school that you would not go to just because you feel that you are a 'shoe-in'; and that has nothing to do with rank. It has a lot more to do with fit. Here’s your acid test: if you got in with NO money, would you attend and gladly pay your loans back over the 2-10 years after you graduate? If your answer to that question is not “yes”, then do not apply."  That is how I feel.  Every school I had listed as my "safety school," the ones I was planning on applying to second round, all failed the acid test.

So here I am, studying to retake the GMAT in another month (G-Day: Feb. 9th).  Am I back at the starting line?  Some might say so, for awhile I even thought so.  Was all the time and money I spent on GMAT study guides, applications, and flying out to schools for class visits and interviews?  After the first couple dings, I was beginning to feel that way, but now I know it will just give me added foresight for next year.  I am disappointed I didn't get to start school this fall, but timing is a very important factor in getting an MBA, and honestly, one more year of work experience for me will only make me that much more prepared (I started working at a bulge bracket investment bank less than a year ago).

This time I will be better prepared.  I will dig deeper.  I will worked harder and smarter.  Last time I was knocked down, punched in the mouth with a much needed reality check, but this time I will make it.

"The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses-behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights."~Muhammed Ali

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