Provided by Erin Ernst, MBA Admissions Director, Foster School of Business, University of Washington
Part II in a Two-Part Series
Part II of this blog focuses on your personal preparedness for business school. Do you have a strong support network? Are you ready to deal with the stress of the b-school environment? Do you have the energy it takes to succeed?
Is this the right time for you personally?
The MBA has a tendency to be quite stressful on you and on your loved ones. It is important that you have a strong support network, and that you have the energy and time to handle it all. If you have a significant other, be sure that you involve him or her in this decision. Bring them along to an information session or a campus visit. Ask to talk with current students who balance the MBA with family life, especially if you have children. If you are thinking about moving to an entirely new place for the MBA, and you don’t currently have friends or family there, make sure that the program you are applying to offers the type of environment where you will feel supported and motivated. People pursue the MBA at all stages of life. Be sure that at this stage of your life, you will be able to fit the MBA in and give it the energy required to get what you want out of it.
If you struggle to answer any of these questions, admissions counselors are a great resource. Nobody can make this decision for you, but sometimes you just need to talk things through with someone. MBA Admissions counselors take great care in helping prospective students assess their “fit” for both a particular program and for the MBA in general. Don’t hesitate to reach out even at the earliest stages of your research, and to ask even the most basic of questions. Ideally by the time you actually begin the application process, you’ll know that this is the right time, and by the time you’re admitted you won’t be able to wait for your program to begin. There is always a certain amount of fear and anxiety involved in big decisions like whether to go to back to school. And sometimes you have to just dive in. But at least you can dive in knowing that you’ve put a ton of thought into this decision. That research will show in your application, and will pay off once you are an MBA student.