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So now the most of the '09ers know where they're headed off to and are working on some of the logistics of getting ready for school and tying up loose ends, just curious about people's attitudes toward their b-school lifestyle.
I know a lot of people go on exotic international trips, they party a decent amount, go out to nice dinners w/ their classmates. Because a lot of people have the attitude, "Hey, what the hel, I'm already very in debt, why not rack up a little more debt, I'll have a huge signing bonus and cushy salary in a couple years, no big deal."
I know it's important to network w/ classmates, and trips and dinners and other expensive activities are all crucial parts of networking. How does everyone feel about this? Anyone in a more thrifty state of mind?
I'm kind of torn, because it would suck if the market took a turn in the next couple years and jobs are hard to come by and I'm up to my ears in debt. And I'm not talking about a market turn like the early 90's, I'm talking about the type of downswing that most of us haven't seen in our lifetimes (and thus don't quite expect that things could ever be that bad).
I'm an optimist and I'm sure everything will be fine, but I don't want to head into school w/ an attitude of assurance that I'll be making tons of money in two years. Thoughts?
I'm a frugal gal from the rural midwest. I'm hard-wired not to blow money, so I imagine I won't be changing my tune now.
I tend to be pretty moderate about things: I got out for lunch once a week, go out for dinner every couple of weeks, etc. If I want to go on one of those trips, I am going to give it a hard look to be sure that it's worth the outlay. I'm not a scrooge and I like to travel and do fun things, but I definitely set limits and stick to them.
1st of all, I think this post should go in B-school life rather than B-school app., so I'm moving it.
2nd, I think the key is have balance. If you want to party like your "daddy is filthy rich" classmates (there's always a few of them at every school), then you'll be in trouble. But if you cherry pick some of the events each month and make a long trip or two per year rather than going to Vermont every weekend, then you should be fine.
What I'll be doing is compromising. 1st year I got a dorm, to raise a bit my "party" funds. Next year I may get a studio and cut back on spending. Or not! By then I should probably now where I'm heading (and will have had a summer job).
My opinion: be balanced. Do what feels right to you.
While I haven't even applied yet this topic has come up with my wife. Money isn't going to be a the big issue for us since she will still be bringing home a decent income and as long as we manage to sell our house before I start since we have a lot of equity in it (pre-bubble purchase). The real issue for us with all the trips, dinners, events, and time consuming things are we need to make sure we have quality time together. I love my wife and being married so I dont want to go do all these fun social things without her, while she is supporting me financially. My choices for where to apply have a lot to do with places that we know a lot of people already so if I am doing things she wont be home alone with the dog. I don't want to avoid doing things just so I dont feel guilty, and I dont want to drag her to tons of events unless she really wants to go. Another thing we are doing, is looking at schools that put an emphasis on families/partners. I have heard that some schools, like Tuck where 1 in 3 are married, involve wives/husbands in events fairly often.
Enough people get by with large student loans making half of what an MBA makes these days that its easily doable...just might have to lower your expectations for a lifestyle if it does take a downturn before you graduate.
I wish I could remember the link to the BW article that spoke on exactly this. It mentioned that the market this year is great again for MBAs, better than last year. The article also mentioned that the companies plan to hire more MBAs next year. While no one can foresee the future of the market, MBAs enrolling this year seem to be in a pretty good position. But I would still recommend living rather frugally the next two years. Seems pointless to live lavishly when one does not have an income.