The waiting game at the end of round 3 is a nail-biter for MBA applicants, whether you’re hoping for an interview invitation or enduring a stretch on a waitlist. Joanna Zisis from the admissions team at Chicago Booth School of Business recently shared her tips to help nervous b-school candidates find some serenity during this time of great uncertainty.
1. What’s done is done.
“Don’t dwell on what you could have done better, how you should have included that alternate essay, second guess other offers you may have rejected, or agonize over getting into ‘the one’,” says Zisis. Keep your eyes on what matters most – choosing a school where you will have a great experience (even if it wasn’t your first choice) and jump-start your future career, she adds. The goal is to focus on what you want your career and life to look like, not just for the next two years, but for the next ten years and beyond, she says.
2. Take care of business.
“Start thinking about how you will break the news to your employer and what strategies you will employ to do that gracefully,” Zisis counsels. She also recommends applicants begin researching the cities where their top business schools are located, and suggests applicants start putting away funds for those expenses. “Most importantly, analyze what you need to take care of at home before your transition begins,” she advises.
3. Cultivate your network.
“You’ve probably met a lot of people while on this MBA journey and that’s a good thing,” Zisis says. “No matter where you and your new acquaintances end up, this is the start of a network filled with like-minded people. Having access to people you met in the MBA search process will yield great friends, partners to exchange ideas with, or potential business colleagues for your entire career.”
4. Dream on.
“No matter what happens, life will go on – and so should you. Keep doing the things you love to do, whether it’s running on the track or developing mobile apps. Start planning your summer as you would normally and make sure to allow time for travel, friends and family,” Zisis urges. “After all, preparing for business school is almost like a second job – you deserve a break!”
Time will soon tell whether the future for R3 applicants will include b-school in the fall, or another year in the workforce. The key now is to try to find satisfaction in having managed the application process and all it entails, and focus on the many opportunities to get to know yourself better that this journey has provided.