The Decision

Not to be confused with Lebron James’ Infamous “The Decision”.

Sorry for the hiatus… I’ve had so much going on with either work or friends that I haven’t had time to update my blog or (unfortunately) study as much as I would’ve liked. I’m actually in Atlanta for the week for work as we speak so hopefully this weekend everything will be back to normal and I can focus. But anyways, back to “The Decision”

I have FINALLY decided the schools I would like to apply to. My top choice UCLA has not changed of course, but I’ve added and eliminated a few of my initial selections. It’s crazy when you start to consider the money and time invested for applying to each program, that you really ask yourself  “If I were accepted here, would I REALLY want to go? Hands down. No questions asked.” For every school I considered, I did this and it really helped me eliminate alot of schools I was pretty meh on. It’s so hard because you feel like the more you apply to, the higher chance you have of getting in somewhere, but I feel like that can be the opposite effect with bschool apps sometimes, because stretching yourself too thin can have you end up with 6 so so application rather than 3 amazing ones.

With that being said, I decided not to include a “safe” school in my selections. I want to go to a top 20 school and if I don’t get in this time around, I’d rather beef up my profile and try again next year rather than go somewhere that might limit my opportunities for success. I know an MBA is what you make of it, but in my opinion, at the end of the day, there are rankings for a reason right?

I chose my schools based on a number of criteria. I’m gonna skip the part about rank, program quality, faculty achievements, etc because these are all top schools and for the most part, these criteria are interchangable. I made my decision more so on location, job placement, and strong recruiting in healthcare/pharma/biotech.

  • Anderson (UCLA): I love everything about this school, the people, the location, the opportunities. I would honestly be devastated if I didn’t get in
  • Haas (UC-Berkeley): In comparison to UCLA, Berkeley is even more top notch when it comes to ranking, perception, and placement in the healthcare industry. My one drawback is the culture of Berkeley and SF in general. Haas is my #2 for now, but I will be paying a visit this fall to make sure I like the fit
  • Fuqua (Duke): I know my username pretty much contradicts this pick, but the opportunities Duke offers in healthcare can’t be overlooked. And while it’s not in California, I feel like the Duke name could get me there after graduation.
  • McCombs (UT): Good ‘ole Texas. Growing up in Texas, I have always been in love with this school and honestly so is everyone else. I would feel like a traitor to my state not applying here. This was one of the schools I strongly considered eliminating from my list just because I want so badly to move away and experience new things, but after a long hard look, I know that if I got into Texas, I would go happily. I will be reaching out to alumni in the near future to make sure healthcare and opportunity to land out of state is a strong possibility though.

Schools I considered, but eventually eliminated:

  • Marshall (USC): It seems that the program is slowly going downhill, and out of the top 4 business schools in California, it is obviously the lowest man on the totem pole and not very strong in healthcare.
  • Kenan-Flager (UNC): Great school. Great healthcare opportunities. But would I actually want to go? I’m not so sure.
  • Goizeuta (Emory): Same as above.
  • Cox (SMU): I want to get out Dallas and post-graduation location opportuntities seem limited
  • Any Northern or Eastern schools: I hate the cold you guys. Like I honestly couldn’t do it. Sucks because there’s so many good ones.

This list is subject to change once I take the GMAT, make some visits, and speak to an admissions consultant about my chances to get into each school. I’m all for reaching, but the odds need to be significantly in my favor for me to go through the process of applying anywhere. At this point, I feel like the 4 I’ve chosen are very doable for me, but we shall see what is in store.

Now I need your thoughts on my dilemma. I am confident I’ll be ready to apply to at least two of the schools, if not all for Round 1 deadlines, BUT my promotion to Senior does not go into effect until November (we only have 2 promotion cycles at my firm) which is past all R1 deadlines. Is it more important to get my application for my top choice in by R1 or wait until R2 which will be at the beginning of January? I’ve read many articles saying there really is no difference between applying to either round and you want to present the best application possible no matter when you apply, but I just wanted to know what you guys think. As of now, I am the lead consultant on my team of 4, soon to be 5, so I pretty much have the responsibility of a Senior Consultant without the title. With my small amount of work experience, I feel like it would be in my favor to be able to show a promotion on my resume, but I know at the end of the day, adcoms want to know what you have done, not necessarily what you do or what your title is. This is also a situation I plan on speaking to an admissions consultant about, but please feel free to comment.

As far as for the rest of July, I will be in major study mode to make up for the past 2 weeks. This weekend I will be preparing a study schedule to help me allocate my time better for each subject so I can be ready for G-day next month. I feel like I know the material well, I just really need to work on managing my time effectively, especially on the quant. I know the practice tests will help with that.

I also plan on doing more reading. I get so wrapped up with work, tennis, working out, and studying that I forget to do the little things along the way to help with my business school preparation. I’ve somewhat stepped up my current events game, but my goal in addition to that, is to read at least one article about the healthcare industry per day. As this is the field I want to pursue, I want to know as much as possible and stay up to date on what’s happening. Lucky for me, I find it extremely interesting so reading about it won’t be as much of snoozefest as other articles I’ve come across have been.

That’s all for now. Crunch time is almost here 🙂

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Posted on July 8, 2014, in Careers, My Journey. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Glad to see UCLA up there… although I am a bit biased 🙂 I like your other choices too. Haas was definitely one of my top choices. Good luck!

  2. Yeah, I was going to say to apply R1 and then update them in Nov. Have them add it to your file. It’s not like the promotion will be in Dec. (well after deadlines and interviews). Best of luck!

  3. Love your rationale for picking schools, I really hope I’m able to choose as objectively without getting hung up on choices that I just like the sound of. As for your dilemma, that is really a tough one… but if it were me, I think applying in round 1 would beat the official promotion.

    As you said, the work you’re doing is essentially that of a senior consultant and your essays would indicate as much. The title there wouldn’t be that important. If you could also somehow sneak it in that you’re anticipating a promotion, that would be even better!

    • Yeah picking schools is honestly the hardest part i think. And its especially difficult, at least for me anyway, to objectively pick schools outside of my absolute favorite (UCLA) and give them the same amount of research and attention. I’m sure my choices will change somewhat once I take the GMAT and will be able to further gauge my expecations.

      Yeah i’m very torn between what to do. I see the pros and cons for both options. I think I will prepare with a mindset of applying in R1 and once i talk to an admissions consultant in the next month or so, get some feedback on what they think is best.

      And it could even be an added bonus for me if I apply in R1 and make it to the interview process and I can say i’ve been promoted since applying. Thanks for the input!

  1. Pingback: How actual applicants are applying in 2014 | Grant Me Admission

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