In this first of a two part series, I will provide my responses to ten of the questions prospective business school applicants most often ask. In this article I will discuss questions 1 through 5.
Question 1: Is a graduate education really worth it? Do I get that much more from earning an MBA?
Response: There are all sorts of benefits from earning an MBA – personal, educational, intellectual, emotional, financial, professional, and more. The person who best can answer this question for you is you. How much do you want an MBA, and perhaps more importantly, why? Bottom line, success in life is about who you are and what you do with what you have been given. You can most certainly be successful without attending business school. Perhaps the question to answer is, “Will I be in a position to better accomplish the goals I have set for myself by earning an MBA?”
Question 2: What if my first choice business school at the start of my research moves way down on my list, after doing reseach on other MBA programs?
Response: Congratulations! You are doing your homework and honestly trying to determine, based on your list of important criteria, which schools are the best options for you. Remember, it is about finding the best match between you and what you are looking for. Based on your research and the honest assessment you have given your options, the new first choice institution is a better match for you. And that is what this is all about – finding the best option for you.
Question 3: What if the business school that is really my first choice is not as prestigious as some other options on my list?
Response: Long-term success is not directly correlated with the prestige factor of your institution. No doubt about it, prestige may open a few more doors, but keeping them open is all up to you. Being an outstanding worker, with persistence and determination, opens doors too – more than you know. Excellent people skills and hard work always pay off – always.
Question 4: What if some important people in my life are either pressuring me to earn an MBA or discouraging me from doing so? Are they pressuring you to attend a certain business school(s)?
Response: Why are they trying to pressure/discourage you? Do you believe any of their reasons are valid? If so, do you believe you have a valid response? How well do you know these individuals? If they are loved ones or friends you trust, then you do yourself a favor to listen. However, they also need to do you the favor of listening to what you have to say. In the end this is your life, so hopefully you will not be in a position some day of having to ask, “What if I had gone ahead with my dream of a business school education?,” or ”What if I had attended the buseinss school I really want to attend?”
Question 5: What if I am thinking about this more for the credential/financial rewards than for the purely educational/intellectual benefits?
Response: Join the club! Many individuals do not pursue a graduate degree just for the intellectual stimulation or because they desire to learn more. Many are looking for increased financial opportunities and career growth and there is nothing wrong with that. However, do not forget the amazing educational experience that awaits you as a graduate student – it is truly one of a kind.
Check out Dr. Don’s MBA blog series on U.S. News & World Report: https://www.usnews.com/topics/author/dr_don_martin?offset=50
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