Business school students have a reputation of being intense go-getters, set on achieving their dreams. As it turns out, those dreams aren’t limited to business. Many students in MBA programs are also going after love.
Is searching for your soulmate at b-school a good idea?
Here are a few reasons business school can be an incubator for romance -- along with some words of caution.
Love Potion #1: Networking
Everyone knows that one of the most important parts of business school is “networking”: in other words, attending alcohol-enhanced social gatherings. What better way to meet the future love of your night life than by throwing back a few gin and tonics while exchanging stories about the good ol’ days at Consulting Firm X?
Reason to be cautious: There are a few potential pitfalls here. First, be sure you’re not mixing business and pleasure inappropriately; you should never be searching for a date while simultaneously trying to connect with future employers or professors. Plus, if you’re on the prowl, chances are that your classmates are too. Be careful not to step on someone else’s game -- and be sure you aren’t doing the same. There’s no worse way to network than by stealing a classmate’s love interest away.
Love Potion #2: Clock’s A-Ticking
Because most b-schools look more favorably upon applicants with a few years of work experience, the average age of b-school students skews fairly high (around 27). By this point in their lives, many of your classmates are likely looking for that special someone to settle down with.
Reason to be cautious: On the flip side, the fact that your classmates are older also means they’re more likely to be married, some of them with children (or at least cats and dogs). Before you go falling in love with anyone, be sure to ask them about their relationship status (or at least stalk them on Facebook). Nobody likes a homewrecker!
Love Potion #3: You Do Everything Together
Most b-schools have sections, small groups that attend classes together, study together, plan presentations together, drink beer together, etc. Chances are, you’ll get to know these people very well -- all the more opportunity for a romance to blossom.
Reason to be cautious: As we mentioned, you see these people all the time. If you start dating someone from your small group, and then break up with him or her, you better hope that it’s amicable. Word to the wise: before you start dating someone in your section, do a little old-fashioned risk-analysis.
Love Potion #4: You Share Similar Values
Most MBAs are of the work-hard, play-hard variety. You’ll be able to relate to the goals, ambitions, and experiences of many of the members of your class. Who knows: that late-night conversation about dressing up as an investment banker for Halloween might just lead to a deeper connection.
Reason to be cautious: They say “opposites attract” for a reason. It’s nice to share interests with your significant other, but its also important for partners to balance one another out. Dating someone too similar to you might eventually turn out to be a recipe for disaster. This isn't to say that MBAs are all the same. Just be careful you're not pulling a Narcissus.
... Happy "networking"!