The Essential To-Do List For The Accepted

An adaptation from the new book Case Studies & Cocktails by Carrie Shuchart and Chris Ryan

Congratulations! You’ve just gotten into business school!

What are you going to do now?

If you’re a marketer, you know the answer: I’m going to Disney World!

Well, probably not. Instead, you’ll celebrate with friends and family. You’ll put on the Kellogg t-shirt or the Sloan baseball cap that you’ve been hiding in your closet. You’ll build a bonfire with your GMAT books. And, if you haven’t already, you’ll start fantasizing about your last, glorious day at the office.

That’s all well-deserved. But before you get too far on that victory lap, you have some work to do.

Whether you have nine months, nine weeks, or nine days, you need to use your time wisely. Once orientation begins, you’ll be off to the races. Classes, clubs, recruiting, socializing…it all starts at breakneck speed.

So, first things first. If you’re sitting on multiple offers, you need to decide where you’re going to go. And even though Admit Weekends tend to be largely sales events, they should be at the top of your to-do list. Admit days give you a real taste of campus life, even if artificially sweetened, and provide an opportunity to meet many potential classmates. But there’s a lot of other things you need to consider as well.

Here’s our suggestion for a to-do list from now until you show up at your chosen school for MBA orientation.


1. Choose your school and accept the offer.

• Go to Admit Weekends.

• Compare schools if you have multiple offers.

• Make-up your mind and send in your deposit to your future alma mater.

• Make a calendar of key dates, from financial aid submissions to class bidding deadline.

2. Say your farewells–and celebrate.

• Decline offers from other schools.

• Tell your boss you’re leaving and lay the groundwork for a possible return.

• Let your network know where and when you’re going.

• Send thank-you notes to everyone who helped you along the way.

3. Rest, relax and search your soul.

• Spend real time with family and friends.

• Take a trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.

• Reflect on the big picture: why you’re going back to school.

• Sleep, exercise, and get healthy.

4. Get to know your future classmates.

• Go to Admit Weekend if you haven’t already done so.

• Join email lists and online groups.

• Attend or host social events.

5. Firm up your career knowledge.

• Read The Wall Street Journal and other publications regularly.

• Learn about typical and atypical post-MBA career paths.

• Consider informational interviews with potential post-MBA employers.

• Attend pre-MBA career conferences.

• Reevaluate your own interests using formal assessment tools.

• Do additional summer reading on topics that are of interest to you.

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