Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dilemma of MBA applicants

Each MBA applicant goes through a series of wide ranging thoughts and emotional conflicts while applying for business schools and during the process of finalizing the school. I have tried to pen some of the thoughts below:

1) Should I be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?

2) Should I focus on an expensive school of repute where I would have to stretch my finances and go for student loan, or should I focus on an inexpensive school that would perfectly fit my budget and that I could pay for from pocket?

3) Should I compromise and settle for what I have in hand - like entry level or mid level schools or should I keep struggling and striving for a top notch school even if it costs me time and money?

4) Should I look at short term financial convenience rather than take the long term view? Remember, an MBA is for life! Even 20 years after your MBA, when you say that you are a B School grad, the first question shall be "Where did you do it?" At the same time, will the financial stretch affect your quality of life?

5) Does a B School make a student or does a student make a B School... Ofcourse, B schools look for the best brains to start with. But what about people who feel that they have the raw potential and need fine tuning in order to be the best. What can you do? Inorder to be the best, you need to interact with the best brains (your classmates) and need to learn from the best teachers in the country.

You see, the process is easy for student with very high marks or for a student with very low marks. Someone who doesnt feel that he is competitive may be happy to settle with whatever he gets. Someone who has secured extremely high marks in GMAT and in undergrad school gets into schools with scholarships and is the first pick. But what about someone who is stuck in the middle, or someone who is very good but has not been able to secure marks in the top 10 or 20 percentile! It is a cruel situation. Neither can you settle for something that is less than what you deserve nor can you accept mid-level schools and you may find it difficult to get entry into the best schools. If I had the resources and the time, I would have loved to get into Harvard Business School! But with the exisiting resources and time, one has to manage with whatever he or she has, I guess!

In the end, it all comes down to striking a balance and finding the best fit.

More on this later...

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