MBA Advice: I Wish I’d Known…

Applying to MBA programs means talking to a lot of people. From current students to alumni and admissions officers (many of whom were once students themselves), these folks are hand-picked by the university for their ability to evangelize. So it’s nice to cut through the enthusiastic gushing about how incredible the Career Center is and try to get at the heart of their experience. One of my favorite questions to ask is, “Is there anything you wish you’d known or done before you started the program?”

I’ve gotten a lot of different responses, but my favorite part is listening to the way the person answers the question. I think it gives you a momentary glimpse into how they really felt about their experience. Here are some of the answers I’ve received to this question:

“Take Finance classes before you start. LOTS of Finance classes.”

“I wish I’d known how to manage my time better.”

“I wish I’d known how busy I was going to be.”

“I wish I’d spent more time on campus.” (This person was a commuter.)

“I was a little scared about going back to school after 10 years, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.”

“I wish I’d considered schools that had a better connection with my chosen field of interest.”

“I wish I’d taken on fewer activities in my first year so I could have developed stronger friendships.”

Any MBAs out there who want to take a stab? What do you wish you’d known before going back to school?

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4 thoughts on “MBA Advice: I Wish I’d Known…

  1. embeeay says:

    Nice. The first answer is pretty useful. I’m trying to do the same with alumni that I speak with, only I’m mostly focusing on the summer before first-year. Do most alums wish they had taken more time off? Taken classes? Worked longer to save more money?

    It’s an interesting balance and something I’m weighing myself.

  2. bschoolgirl says:

    Let me know if you find out anything useful! I attended an event yesterday with some current students and recent grads, and their view seemed to be that you should relax over the summer and not worry too much about the money…take out the loans, live within your means, but don’t let it consume you. The two years will go by fast and you want to be able to enjoy it. That said, I will be taking a few classes to brush up on my quant skills, but I also want to take a month or so off before school and just focus on preparing myself mentally. Thanks for your comment!

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