I think I weighed my opinion in over a year ago, and while I'm glad to see that this thread is still up and running, I'd like to re-emphasize on some of the things I've said.
First off, my dog is like my kid (and sure, some may disagree and that's okay!). Once I chose to have him, I will have him until he dies. I got my german shepherd back in June of 2009 and matriculated at Darden in August of 2011. Never did I think about leaving him somewhere else with someone else - the moment I got into Darden is the moment I start looking for a pet-friendly apartment that will take a (mistakenly-put-on-an-aggressive-breed-list) dog
. Since my last post, it's been another year and now that I'm nearing graduation, I stand by my comment from last year. It's certainly doable if you bring a dog to business school. You will not have to be forced to be at school for 10 hours every day. You will have downtime. You will have time when you're simply not doing anything. Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably either an overachiever (trying to get all A+'s, plus landing an offer with both an investment bank and a consulting firm) or lying. The point is you'll have time to go back home and take care of your pet. Has it been hard for me? Hell yes, it has. Why? Because among all the different things you're trying to juggle at school, for recruiting, you're also thinking about letting your 4-legged-friend out for potty break and playtime. It means you'll have to jump out of your school-mode and head back home sometime during the day to care for your dog, and then jump back into school-mode to continue your recruiting and whatnot. It's surely a busy schedule you'll have to keep then. Again, is it doable? Yes. I personally know friends of mine who got dogs DURING their Darden experience and they're still surviving. I also know friends who brought their dogs to school, and they too are also surviving. It's truly a fun way for you to kill some downtime and great to know that your loyal friend will always be home waiting for you.
For those of you who are thinking about getting a dog after you start your b-school journey - I would actually say think hard and twice about it. I know it sort of contradicts from what I've said, but you really have to judge your own priorities first before committing to such a big responsibility. One easy way to do that is to reach out to your new friends at school and see how they're surviving business school. Your first-year at bschool will be your toughest year, because that's when everything sort of just comes down on you (second year is so much better). If you choose not to seek your new friends out and ask, I would actually recommend getting a dog after you start your second year because by then, you've already gotten the groove of business school. And also, by then hopefully you've had a fulltime job offer that you're excited about from your summer internship, which leads me to my last point. If you're thinking about bringing your dog to school, or getting a dog your first-year, think about the uncertainties surrounding your potential summer internship. If you happen to land a gig with Goldman Sachs for the summer, chances are your pet is probably not going to get a whole lot of attention from you. If you choose corporate housing that companies offer from time to time, chances are they won't allow pets because that's added insurance on a fully-furnished place. If you are going to be in downtown somewhere, chances are there won't be a lot of grassfields for your dog to run around on. While these are all things that are resolvable, I just want to make sure you're thinking about these issues as you begin your bschool journey.
Again, more than happy to chat with anyone who's thinking about bringing a dog to school, or getting one after school starts. I'll give you my unbiased opinion on having a dog at school. But lastly I want to say this again - it's totally do-able with a dog (case in point!)
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