OK, So this blog is not only for those in the midst of their application avalanche, but also for those who applied last year and are starting b-school. My hope is that in considering these words you will be encouraged. And who doesn’t need a little encouragement these days?
It’s easy to get lost in the process when you decide to go back to business school. So many things to do, so many decisions to make. How will you present your story? Whom shall you choose to recommend you? Should you apply round one, two or three? The list of choices goes on and on, but far and away the most important decision along the way is actually pretty obvious: which school will you choose?
We’ve harped on all the things which go into this decision, and pounded applicants to analyze their profile characteristics down to the last detail in order to ultimately determine where they fit best. But sometimes results in life are not ultimate. If you have “settled” for your second choice school (or lower) or if you are considering applying to a school about which you don’t feel as strongly as others, you need to know the dirty little secret of graduate business education: it’s more about you than the school you go to.
To bloom where you are planted is some of the best advice you will ever get in this world.
What does it mean? Put differently, you always must make the best of your situation. No matter where you end up getting in and going to b-school, know that you’re the one who will be there, and you are the same person who would have gone to that dream school, if only you had been admitted. Do you really think professor A was going to make that much difference over professor B? Or class A vs. class B? Every accredited business school in the country can give you the tools you need to succeed. Disappointed your dream company doesn’t recruit from your second or third choice school? Find a way to get their attention anyway. Self-directed job searches can be just as effective as career-center assisted searches.
One advantage of barely missing that seat in your top 10 program and landing easily in a second-tier school, is you might just be at the top of your class, opening up more chances to excel and lead and shine. Being a big fish in a smaller pond can really be conducive to blooming. So if you’re already starting that backup school, start blooming. If you are still applying, make sure you put a school on your list where you can get in and cultivate the ground.