If you were bold enough, or savvy enough, or organized enough to have applied early in the MBA admissions process, you know by now whether or not you got in. If you got in, you now have the luxury of extra time between now and matriculation. What are you doing with it?
Rolling the dice sometimes pays off, and if you are lucky enough to already know where you are going to b-school, you can really leverage the coming months to maximize your time and arrive next fall fully prepared for your b-school experience.
What’s in a year?
A year is a long time, so the question you should be asking yourself is, how can you best use the next year to not only arrive fully prepared, but also to take advantage of your last several months before the onslaught of graduate business school sucks you in. Once an admissions decision is offered, it’s rare that it can be retracted, so forget about all your prior preparation and hitting marks and think about your next year as what you can do for yourself.
Are there places you want to travel? Personal responsibilities you need to attend to? Something you’ve always wanted to try? I know someone who quit their job immediately upon accepting their MBA offer and ended up working at Goldman Sachs for 10 months as a temp, simply by reaching out and requesting an “informational interview” where they expressed interest in the firm. You never know what’s out there if you don’t look, so instead of just logging a few more months at a job that’s already done what you needed it to do, why not think creatively about how you can really maximize the time you have left.
Once you start b-school, you’ll be treading water for two years.
There’s barely time to breathe once you dive into your MBA curriculum. In fact, most students are already interviewing for internships just a few weeks into the first semester. Are you ready to do this? Is there anything you can do to clear up doubts, answer questions, or secure extra work experience in a new area of interest? Most b-school students undergo a career change after they graduate, so you need to be thinking about what your next employer will most like to see on your resume. You can really supercharge your attractiveness to MBA employment recruiters if you add a half year of specialty experience.
No matter what you do with the year of gap time between early decision and matriculation, make sure you enjoy it and make the most of it. Life is about to change for you dramatically!