Wharton | Mr. Hopeful Fund Manager
GMAT 770, GPA 8.52/10
MIT Sloan | Mr. Healthtech Consultant
GMAT 750, GPA 3.44
Harvard | Mr. Navy Nuke
GMAT 710, GPA 3.66
NYU Stern | Mr. Army Prop Trader
GRE 313, GPA 2.31
London Business School | Mr. LGBT Pivot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.15
London Business School | Ms. Private Equity Angel
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indian Dreamer
GRE 331, GPA 8.5/10
London Business School | Mr. FANG Strategy
GMAT 740, GPA 2.9
NYU Stern | Ms. Entertainment Strategist
GMAT Have not taken, GPA 2.92
Harvard | Mr. CPPIB Strategy
GRE 329 (Q169 V160), GPA 3.6
Rice Jones | Mr. Student Government
GMAT 34 (ACT for Early Admit Program), GPA 3.75
Chicago Booth | Mr. Healthcare PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Kellogg | Ms. Sustainable Development
GRE N/A, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Army Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.89
Kellogg | Ms. Big4 M&A
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Ms. Rocket Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.9
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
Harvard | Mr. African Energy
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Columbia | Mr. Energy Italian
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Mr. SME Consulting
GMAT 740, GPA 3.55 (as per WES paid service)
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Quality Assurance
GMAT 770, GPA 3.6
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Salesman
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
INSEAD | Mr. INSEAD Aspirant
GRE 322, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Army Aviator
GRE 314, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63

Crucial Advice For The Accepted

First round decisions are in. Congratulations! Whew! Excitement and relief are common emotions when you hear the news.

I remember the moment I received my admission decision as if it was yesterday. I was in my office at an offsite location, with a small project team for a special assignment. I was alone when the phone call came.

I was shocked and jubilant, even to shed a few tears of joy. I leapt into the air.

What I also remember, all too clearly: I gave no additional thought to my decision. I was about to embark on what was then a $150,000 investment with no incremental due diligence. Frankly, this was silly.  But, on the other hand, I got into my top choice school (and in fact, the only school I applied to), so, what more was there to do?

Well, let me tell you – there is more. I learned this during my MBA, and I talked to a few colleagues of mine who said the same.

You likely did a great deal of research about the school(s) you applied to – talking to admissions, current students, alumni, and reading resources (like Poets and Quants).  But, let me tell you, you’re far from done. Now is the time to move from a hypothetical decision to an actual decision, or really two decisions.

1)  School choice. If you’ve been admitted to more than one school, you’ll have to decide which one wins.

2) MBA choice. To go now, go later, or don’t go at all, whether you have multiple school choices or only one.

Let’s tackle the first decision first. It will also help us think about decision 2 (especially for those of you who are admitted to only one school).

Career Considerations in School Choice (Decision 1)

My focus is career management. There are, of course, many other attributes and criteria for selecting the business school which is right for you. On the career front, the bottom line is that you want to go a level deeper and benefit from the hindsight of the MBAs who have gone before you. Here are a few suggestions.

Specialization: What type of career preparation are you seeking?  Do you have a specific, specialized career focus you want to pursue?  Based on the answers to these questions, you want to get more details from the MBA program(s).

I spoke to two MBAs – Dena Zigun, who graduated from Harvard Business School in 2005, and Amika Porwal, who will get an MBA from The Wharton School in 2011. Both won admission to several schools and had opposing approaches to thinking about specialization as part of their MBA education and career preparation.

“I knew I wanted to focus on health care,” Amika told me.  “I did look at the course offerings to see what the schools would offer and Wharton was strong in this area. What I did not realize until after the fact was that I needed to go a level deeper – now I see that I needed to probe the distinctions among health care interests: pharma, medical products, payors, providers, medical services, etc.  I needed to know my interests versus the school’s focus.”

Dena on the other hand, adopted a different approach. “I wanted  a solid background in general management, with the ability to take extra classes in marketing, ” she said. “I knew most of the top MBA programs would get me the fundamentals to be successful right out of school. What I felt I really needed where those skills I would use as I moved through the ranks into senior leadership.”