With MBA applications comes daydreaming. I have read the Poets and Quants website and I have stalked profiles of people who seemingly transformed their lives after business school. When I got into Wharton, my admission came with a certain hope for a similar transformation.
However, after a year of study, much of me has stayed the same – and this is not a bad thing. Business school actually helps to reaffirm who you already are and allows a period of experimentation. People often overlook this, maybe because they are focused on chasing ambitious career paths.
People exchange their own perspectives and arguments rooted in real-life experiences
To me it seemed Wharton had an unofficial reputation as a “party” school. Since I am an introvert this made me wonder how I would fit in. It turns out there was no need to conform to any caricature. With more than 800 students in each MBA cohort, you will find classmates who resonate with your values and ambitions. Standing out is better than fitting in.
Attending an Ivy League school means you meet and become friends with very affluent people, but I try not to let it change my values. Overall my classmates have a pretty good grip on who they are, which has made classroom debates more robust. People exchange their own perspectives and arguments rooted in real-life experiences.
I have talked to people who tried entrepreneurship, only to realise they were too logical and rational to work in that area
Though business school allows for a period of experimentation, you can return to your career without regrets, if you so choose. What you thought you wanted may not be what you want at all. I have talked to many people who chased a tech career, only to realise that they are a better fit at their old consulting firm. I have also talked to people who tried entrepreneurship, only to realise they were too logical and rational to work in that area.
So even though business school allows some people to reinvent themselves, what you actually get out of it is a chance to improve on what you already have.
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