Dear Mac: I Love You, but I’m Getting a PC

I have a confession to make. It took me years to reach this level of acceptance, but now I can say it aloud: I’m a Mac person.

You see, I grew up on PCs and never had a complaint. I scoffed at people who paid the “i” premium. “My Creative Player has better sound quality than your iPod,” I would remind my friends. But they would only shrug and smile, because it was never really about the technology at all. “I like it,” they’d say. “It’s easy to use.” I would shake my head and go back to methodically organizing the photos on my PC. I refused to be another sheep blindly following the cult of Apple.

Then two things happen: I was required to purchase a MacBook Pro for my undergrad program, and my Creative Player died.

It was a time of great unrest. I could replace my Creative Player and suffer the evils of incompatibility with my Mac. Or, I could buy an iPod let peace reign eternal. What could I do? I had to choose peace and unity.

Apple’s got a tight fist, man. Once you’re locked into their ecosystem, that’s it. Soon followed the iPad, then the iPhone, and eventually I had to admit it: I had become a Mac person. Worse, I started to like it. My PC had died prematurely from an overheating problem, but my MacBook was sturdy and reliable. My Creative Player started crashing in its later years, but my iPod kept right on ticking. I didn’t even know why I needed an iPad at all, but OMG IT WAS AWESOME!

All of this, of course, leads us to present day because I face yet another crossroads – choosing a laptop for business school.

This is a complicated issue, and PC/Mac preference is only one part of the puzzle. The problem is that Microsoft Office for the Mac is pretty lame, lacking many of the shortcuts and features of the Windows version. So while it’s possible to go through business school with a Mac, you really can’t expect to get by using Office for Mac.

There are a couple of ways around this issue. Some use a virtualization software like Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion to run Windows on their OSX desktop. There’s also Apple’s Boot Camp, which is free but requires a reboot in order to switch between OSX and Windows. Both of these options require not only the purchase of a Mac, already a significant investment, but also the purchase of Windows ($100-$140) and Microsoft Office ($140-$400). The third option, of course, is to swallow your pride and buy a PC.

There’s nothing like quitting your job to put your purchasing power in perspective, is there? All of a sudden I couldn’t stomach paying $2,500 for a machine I would basically use for word processing. “Besides,” I rationalized, “When I start my high-powered career in two years, I can buy myself the newest and shiniest MacBook there is.” Then I went to the store and brought home a Lenovo ThinkPad and a copy of Office Home & Student. All told, it cost me $1,200.

And now I have a second confession to make: I love my new PC. It’s fast, light, has a touch screen, and converts into a tablet. Can your Mac do that?

This doesn’t mean I’m a total PC convert, but I certainly won’t be ashamed to flash my sleek new gadget on the first day of school. No reboot required, no extraneous software crashing on me, AND I saved a bundle. Because here’s the deal, Apple fanboys – this is not the last laptop you will ever buy. The world will not end if you use a PC. And even if your last employer only used Macs, most of the corporate world runs on Windows so it pays to be bilingual. Besides, when I sidle up next to you in class with my next generation computer of awesomeness, you’re going to be super jealous.

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9 thoughts on “Dear Mac: I Love You, but I’m Getting a PC

  1. onwardmba says:

    I love it. Love my MacBook but am really not a fan of using it for the stuff I’d be using it for in B-school. I feel that I’ll be following you next year when it comes time to make my purchase!

  2. shawn says:

    I just stumbled across your post as I was continuing my b-school computer hunt and I’d love to know how the PC worked out for you. Has your opinion on Mac vs. PC for business school changed now that you’ve gone through Marshall’s MBA program? Anything you’d change about your computer decision? I’ve always been mostly a mac guy, but I’ve heard, as you said, that macs don’t always mix well with b-school. I’ve heard the disparity between the two is decreasing year by year, but who would know better than a recent graduate? I’ve enjoyed reading through your posts, as I’ll be attending Marshall starting next month and I’m also a career changer. Thanks in advance.

    • bschoolgirl says:

      Hi Shawn! Thanks for stopping by and CONGRATS on your acceptance to Marshall!! You’ll have a fantastic time there. My advice to you would still be the same: get a PC. The Mac versions of Word and PowerPoint are adequate, it’s really Excel for Mac that is the problem. It can be a huge headache especially if you’re going to take any Excel-heavy courses like Designing Spreadsheet Based Business Models or The Analytics Edge (which I highly recommend). Many of my classmates got by with using a virtualized version of Excel, which works OK until 70 people try use it at once for an exam and the server goes down. It’s definitely worth the investment to get yourself a PC just for business school. Hope this helps. Congrats again and FIGHT ON!!!

  3. Digvijay Katoch says:

    Your blog is amazing! I discovered it an hour ago, and it resonates with my thoughts. I am an international student heading to a “top” school one the East Coast. The quotes hurt even more when I look at my shopping list, the deposit and what not.

    The only great thing about shopping for b-school is the knowledge that I won’t need a mac. Phew!

  4. Pranav Telang says:

    firstly, awesome blog!
    have an admit from Marshall and that led me here…was contemplating between a mac and a pc for schooling years as well and your article showed me the light 🙂
    might i ask which thinkpad you went with and if you have any advice after using it? is the touchscreen and tablet feature worth the extra dough?

    • bschoolgirl says:

      Hi Pranav, thanks for stopping by and congrats on your admit to Marshall! I got the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga which is one of the fancy touchscreen models that converts from a laptop to a tablet. Overall I’ve been really happy with it (still using it post-business school without too many issues, except some Windows 10 upgrade grief which is a story for another day). But to be honest I hardly ever use it in tablet mode, and the touchscreen mostly just confuses people who try to point to something on your screen and end up inadvertently editing your work. My two cents would be to ignore the tablet/touchscreen feature and just get a machine with a decent amount of processing power, especially if you’re planning to take a lot of stats/analytics type classes.
      Best of luck! 🙂

      • Pranav Telang says:

        Thanks! I’m sure it will be an adventure at USC 🙂
        Yeah, had some trouble with Windows 10 upgrade as well. Had to revert to Windows 7 and then redo the upgrade. I did feel that the touchscreen feature wouldn’t be as handy, just wanted a confirmation.
        Cheers!

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