It’s good to be applying to b-school as a woman.
If you are a woman and thinking about going back for your MBA, your timing could not be better. Unlike undergraduate programs, where more females than males apply and matriculate, for MBA programs, the opposite is true. MBA programs the world over literally clamor for women applicants because it’s always best to have a balance of the sexes if you can achieve it.
The problem with MBA programs is, arriving at gender parity has proven unachievable.
Even the most aggressive programs for gender equity can only ever achieve around a 40-45% female student body. This means that being female in the application process is a technical advantage. If you happen to be a female with competitive profile characteristics, such as a killer GMAT score, a top undergrad transcript and impressive work experience, you can essentially write your own ticket. This means fellowship and scholarship offers among other perquisites if you play your cards right.
The advantage for women does not stop at the MBA level either—it continues into the job offers.
The two years of business school fly and before you know it, it’s time to consider job offers. These days, with a low unemployment rate and fewer female graduates at top MBA programs, the recruiters are even more aggressive than the schools when making job offers to women. What you need to be prepared for is how to manage exploding offers and other aggressive tactics to get you to sign on the line that is dotted.
Weighing your offers for MBA programs as well as jobs in the end can be taxing.
Still, it’s hard to complain about such an abundance of riches. One way to combat decision paralysis is to choose wisely when selecting your internship. The summer between your first and second year of business school can be your best friend or your worst enemy. If you put the work and thought in up front and end up in an internship you love, the chances are extremely high that you will end up with a job offer before you even start back for your second year of classes. This can take a lot of pressure off and also give you an extreme amount of time back on your schedule while all your indecisive classmates spend four or five evenings a week at recruiter events.
In the end, if you do find yourself being fought over by schools and recruiters, try not to let it go to your head, but instead be free with support and help for your poor male colleagues who may not have as many suitors.