Glad Those Round One Applications Are Over & Done

studyWell, it has been a long road but I finally completed my third and final Round 1 application. I am both tired and excited. Even though I (hopefully) have at least one interview ahead of me, I feel like I am at the finish line. I am not really sure what will happen next, whether I will get an interview or be accepted into any of my target programs, but at least I know that I tried my absolute hardest and I can be proud of that.  I have learned so much through this process and a lot has changed since I started my MBA journey. Today, I would like to take a moment to reflect…

Original Goal 1:  Get accepted into at least two of my top five MBA program choices, where all five are ranked in the top 10 of MBA programs in the U.S.

Goal 1 TODAY:  Get accepted into any of my three target programs: Harvard, Wharton, and Columbia.

When I started this blog I was very focused on school ranking and having choices, so I thought applying to five schools in Round 1 was a good idea.  Since then, I have learned that rank is not everything and school fit is a lot more important.  Also, after lots of research and some heart-felt soul searching, I realized that there were only three programs I was passionate about and that the MBA application process is so involved that it doesn’t really make sense to go through it if you aren’t really dedicated to the school.  

Original Goal 2: Save up $25-$30k to make sure I finance my degree as responsibly as possible (i.e. with as few loans as possible).

Goal 2 TODAY: This goal is the same, I would still like to save $25-$30k and finance my degree as responsibly as possible

I have not made great progress towards goal 2 but I still plan on working towards it. I think financing your education as responsibly as possible and not drowning in debt after graduation is really important. I would say the two biggest hurdles that have kept me off my plan for achieving this goal is a too extreme, unsustainable budget (that didn’t last) and the fact that admissions consultants are EXPENSIVE, like REALLY, REALLY, REALLY EXPENSIVE.  Even the “cheap” ones, they are EXPENSIVE TOO (and for the most part, the value for the money is just not there).  Since applications are now behind me, I plan on regrouping and massaging my original financial plan so that I can catch up and still achieve this goal…hopefully, more to come on that later. 

I am going to try to spend the rest of this weekend not talking about, thinking about or reading about anything that has to do with MBA programs or applications:)  Next week, I will hopefully sleep in and make it to the gym…then start some serious interview prep.

Anyone else want to share their Round 1 reflections and outlook?

MBAGirlJourney offers the perspective of a highly thoughtful young professional woman who hopes to land a seat at a top ten MBA program for the Class of 2016. She has two goals: to gain acceptance to at least two of the top ten business schools and to finance her MBA without taking on heavy debt. She blogs at MBAGirlJourney. Previous posts on Poets&Quants:

My Goal: To Get Into Two of the Top Ten MBA Programs
How To Finance Your MBA Degree In A Responsible Way
Handicapping My Own Chances of Admission to Harvard, Wharton, Chicago Booth, et al
An Ideal Routine For Your GMAT Test Day
Narrowing Down & Strategizing My Target Business Schools
The Real Cost of An MBA: $345K — So Is It Really Worth It?
Making Progress On Those Round One Applications