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Is B-school the right place to decide what I want to do ?

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Is B-school the right place to decide what I want to do ? [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2009, 12:22
Only for serious replies please.
I am at a job which pays less, but I kick ass at it. I'm really good at what I can do.
At the same time, I don't like the mundaneness and the narrow scope where I'm restricted to my cubicle.
Can I apply to B-school and explore opportunities that are available there? Or B-school is only for people who know quite well where they want to go?
I am not scared of the price tag. cos at my current job, I'll be stuck forever if I don't make a move within the next 2 years. It's also geographically limited so I can work only in 3-4 cities in the US, and maybe a handful more in the whole world, and I don't like that.
Any thoughts on how I could approach this? I have already applied for R1, but in case I get in, I'll have a decision to make next Spring, when deposits and decisions are due.
thanks for any advice in advance
-NM
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Re: Is B-school the right place to decide what I want to do ? [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2009, 12:25
bigDeal wrote:
Only for serious replies please.
I am at a job which pays less, but I kick ass at it. I'm really good at what I can do.
At the same time, I don't like the mundaneness and the narrow scope where I'm restricted to my cubicle.
Can I apply to B-school and explore opportunities that are available there? Or B-school is only for people who know quite well where they want to go?
I am not scared of the price tag. cos at my current job, I'll be stuck forever if I don't make a move within the next 2 years. It's also geographically limited so I can work only in 3-4 cities in the US, and maybe a handful more in the whole world, and I don't like that.
Any thoughts on how I could approach this? I have already applied for R1, but in case I get in, I'll have a decision to make next Spring, when deposits and decisions are due.
thanks for any advice in advance
-NM


Seems like a very deep question. Unfortunately I don't know, but am interested in what others have to say, especially current students or alums.
good luck
-wg
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Re: Is B-school the right place to decide what I want to do ? [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2009, 14:30
I'm not a current student or alum, but I think the answer is probably no. At least not in the same sense that undergrad was a place to decide where you want to go. A lot of ppl spend the first one or two years in UG taking classes across the map trying to figure out where they fit it. I think that's natural and healthy, and since you have four years of studies it's a good time to do this type of exploring. But it seems like b-school all passes so fast. Just a few short months after the beginning of your first year you'll be recruiting for summer internships, which seems like it is the catalyst for many to enter their longer term careers. I've definitely heard of a lot of ppl trying "something new" with their internship, but usually this "something new" isn't all that far off the mark from what they plan to do. For ex. someone looking a investment management long term might try I-banking for the summer, or someone interested in management consulting might to a stint in gen. mngmt at a blue-chip company to get a feel for what it's like at one of their "clients." I think since the whole process happens so quickly, and so much during b-school depends on what direction your heading long term (classes, clubs, networking and recruiting events, treks... well maybe not treks come to think of it, those are probably a pretty diverse group of interests). But yeah, i think there is some flexibility within a general plan, where you could switch from software entrepreneurship to solar e-ship, etc. But I think it'd be hard to enter with no clear picture of where you want to exit. Just my 2bps.

But it's def a valid question. I'm curious, how did you address this in your essays (goals, etc.)?
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Re: Is B-school the right place to decide what I want to do ? [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2009, 15:24
jankynoname wrote:
I'm not a current student or alum, but I think the answer is probably no. At least not in the same sense that undergrad was a place to decide where you want to go. A lot of ppl spend the first one or two years in UG taking classes across the map trying to figure out where they fit it. I think that's natural and healthy, and since you have four years of studies it's a good time to do this type of exploring. But it seems like b-school all passes so fast. Just a few short months after the beginning of your first year you'll be recruiting for summer internships, which seems like it is the catalyst for many to enter their longer term careers. I've definitely heard of a lot of ppl trying "something new" with their internship, but usually this "something new" isn't all that far off the mark from what they plan to do. For ex. someone looking a investment management long term might try I-banking for the summer, or someone interested in management consulting might to a stint in gen. mngmt at a blue-chip company to get a feel for what it's like at one of their "clients." I think since the whole process happens so quickly, and so much during b-school depends on what direction your heading long term (classes, clubs, networking and recruiting events, treks... well maybe not treks come to think of it, those are probably a pretty diverse group of interests). But yeah, i think there is some flexibility within a general plan, where you could switch from software entrepreneurship to solar e-ship, etc. But I think it'd be hard to enter with no clear picture of where you want to exit. Just my 2bps.

But it's def a valid question. I'm curious, how did you address this in your essays (goals, etc.)?



Thank you for your reply janky. To answer your query, I applied to a school which doesn't have a goals essay (anybody's guess!!), and the others, I answered to the best of my knowledge, and to the best of my understanding of my goals so far.
regards
NM
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Re: Is B-school the right place to decide what I want to do ? [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2009, 22:47
I might not be the right person to answer it but this is from my research and what I heard from others. Business school is not the right place to decide what you want to do as you will not have enough time to figure it out. In the two years at B-school you will be busy with courses, building your network, actively participating in various clubs and events, and overall having a bit fun on the way. In the first semester you have to start planning and preparing for your summer internship in the area you want to work later on. So you might not have enough time to analyze what you want to do and figure it out. That being said if you think you might be able to figure it out in first semester then it is still doable :-D. It all depends on you.

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Re: Is B-school the right place to decide what I want to do ? [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2009, 23:37
I agree with javaexe. Once in B-school you may not have enough time to decide your career goals.

But I think the biggest challenge, in your case, would be satisfying the adcom during admission procedure. Remember, b-school also wants applicants who are clear with their career goals and know how exactly MBA would help to achieve their career goal. If the adcom finds, either through your essays or interview, that you are undecided you will have hard time to impress the adcom.

Check out the below post of mine, its a self-evaluation for why MBA. Its a long post and you may have to spend quite some time to answer the self-evaluation questions. At the end you would have atleast a rough idea on why you want MBA.
why-mba-84855.html
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Re: Is B-school the right place to decide what I want to do ? [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2009, 06:13
Cosign on javaexe. Not enough time to decide in BS. In the first semester, you are preparing for internship recruiting by joining the right clubs, going for info sessions and taking the right classes. The 2nd semester you are interviewing for your summer internship. Summer internship is very important for securing after school employment.

If you not sure what you want to do, consulting may be a good career to look at. When you start out, you get to explore many industries before you become a specialist. So, not a bad idea for someone who is not sure what they want to do. In addition, the consulting industry is more lax about internship than say investment banking industry. You don't need an internship in the industry to get a fulltime offer. So, you may decide to intern in a different industry over the summer and look for a fulltime consulting gig in your 2nd year.

Let me guess, you applied to HBS. HBS is going in the opposite direction. They do not require a career vision essay because according to Dee, business school is a time to explore.

But in reality, there is very little time to explore even at HBS.
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Re: Is B-school the right place to decide what I want to do ? [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2009, 21:06
To add on to my previous post, I visited Haas last monday and they were in a break between Fall A and Fall B (They have the semester broken into two parts in first year fall). During the break they have 2 days with no class and exclusively for Career Management Conference. During these two days you meet potential recruiters, have mock interviews and prepare your resume and for internship interviews at which time you have to atleast have an idea of what you want to do in summer.
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Re: Is B-school the right place to decide what I want to do ? [#permalink] New post 26 Oct 2009, 03:42
Yes and no.

You will have time to attend various company presentations and talk to different alumni to find out what various jobs/industries are like. You also have the opportunity to do an internship in something you might like, without being obligated to stay in that position/industry.

However, you don't have much time. You will be very busy in your first year and doing job research takes a significant amount of time if you do it right. Also, if you decide you want to do consulting/banking, you need to start the internship process pretty early (about one month in). You'll need to go to company dinners, do treks to visit different companies, prep for case interviews, etc. Even if you don't do consulting/banking, a lot of industries have resume drop deadlines either just before or just after Xmas.

Then throw in the fact the economy isn't doing that well, so you can't just say I want to do "X", you need to do research to see what your chances of even getting a job doing "X" are.

I would highly suggest narrowing down your interests to a couple industries and hitting it hard when you first get to school. If you keep your options somewhat limited, it's more than doable.

RF
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Re: Is B-school the right place to decide what I want to do ? [#permalink] New post 02 Nov 2009, 18:20
I would say a resounding NO! I think you need to sit and really think about what you want to get out of an MBA before you spend the time and money researching, studying, visiting schools, working on apps, etc. The best thing I ever did was come to terms with myself in terms of WHY I wanted to get an MBA...it makes the whole process that much easier.
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Re: Is B-school the right place to decide what I want to do ?   [#permalink] 02 Nov 2009, 18:20
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