Can I Quit My Job to Get Ready for B-school?

Lots of folks ask about quitting their jobs when applying to business school, but are there reasons for doing so that will not put off the admissions committees?  Perhaps.

  We understand the desire to do so, since there are many reasons people take off from work, including taking some time for travel, pursuing something new professionally, and preparing for the GMAT or other academic endeavors to get ready for the b-school plunge.  Whether or not this will affect how the adcoms look at your application depends on many factors, the most important of which are what specifically you are doing and why you are doing it. 

The best way to package a move away from the workplace is when it’s fueled by passion. 

If you take on an adventurous trip that you have always wanted to do while you are young, that can work.  If you are tired of work and want to couch surf for a few months to relax before b-school, that might not be as impressive.  Remember business schools want to admit driven, engaged students, so anything that connotes laziness or apathy is obviously out of the question. 

Another admirable pursuit that b-schools will like to see is if you quit your job to pursue something professionally that will be a positive intermediary step between what you are doing now and what you will be doing when you get out of school. 

Not only will the schools like to see this affirmative, directional choice, but recruiters will also like it.  Besides your internship, this is your last chance to do anything in the working world pre-MBA, so if you feel your resume could be bolstered by a year in a new job or role, then go for it.  Successful applicants are the kinds of people who make things happen, so being perceived by the adcoms in this way is beneficial.

Frankly, business schools do not look as favorably on the decision to quit one’s job to study for the GMAT or to take classes to prepare. 

These are great things to do, but schools would rather see you do them concurrently with your job.  Business school is, in a word, busy and requires at a minimum good time management and juggling of responsibilities, so having to quit your day job in order to do well enough on the GMAT to get into school can sometimes be perceived as not being a good time manager, which is a red flag to the admissions folks. Worse, it could indicate you can't handle a heavy load, which would be a sure-fire reason for rejection, since b-school students must be able to slog through a very demanding schedule.

If you are looking help with your applications, please contact us via or at We have seen what the competition is doing and we can say without a doubt that we go deeper, more strategic, and generate better results with our methods.  Line up a call and find out for yourself.