McCombs School of Business | Mr. Marine Executive Officer
GRE 322, GPA 3.28
Tuck | Mr. Liberal Arts Military
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Ms. Developing Markets
GMAT 780, GPA 3.63
Harvard | Mr. Policy Player
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Tough Guy
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. CPPIB Strategy
GRE 329 (Q169 V160), GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Mr. Bank AVP
GRE 322, GPA 3.22
Kellogg | Mr. Double Whammy
GMAT 730, GPA 7.1/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Infantry Officer
GRE 320, GPA 3.7
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Ernst & Young
GMAT 600 (hopeful estimate), GPA 3.86
Kellogg | Mr. Engineer Volunteer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Operations Analyst
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.3
Kellogg | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.15
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indian Dreamer
GRE 331, GPA 8.5/10
Kellogg | Mr. Innovator
GRE 300, GPA 3.75
London Business School | Ms. Private Equity Angel
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
Yale | Ms. Biotech
GMAT 740, GPA 3.29
Stanford GSB | Ms. Global Empowerment
GMAT 740, GPA 3.66
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Apparel Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Armenian Geneticist
GRE 331, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 1st Gen Grad
GMAT 740, GPA 3.1
Ross | Mr. Travelpreneur
GMAT 730, GPA 2.68

42 Things We Wish We Knew Before Getting Our MBAs

As the saying goes, “I wish I knew then what I know now.”

You’ve heard it hundreds of times. So we asked readers, what they wish they had known before getting their MBA degrees. The answers–from MBA graduates and current students–vary widely. A Harvard Business School MBA graduate, for example, says he wishes he had known that he should have paid less attention to the prestige and starting salaries of particular firms and more attention to what he was actually well-suited to do.

A Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business graduate wishes she had known the importance of visiting other schools before making the final decision on where to go.

THINGS MBA GRADS WISH THEY KNEW BEFORE GETTING THE DEGREE OFTEN DEPENDS ON WHERE THEY WENT TO SCHOOL

In many cases, the answers often result from where a person went to get his or her MBA degree. A person who earned his MBA at Rochester University’s Simon Business School told us he wished he had known he could never count on the career management center. Instead, he advises, find another student who is as serious as you and can mentor you through the career search process.

Here’s what the readers told us:

1) I wish I had known the all-in cost, including the expenses while you’re in school (eg. costs for trips, going out, clubs, etc). There’s so much focus on tuition and opportunity costs but the other costs add up to a lot of money. — Columbia Business School MBA

2) I wish I had known that rankings are generally a bit overrated. The city your school is located may prove more important than a ranking when it comes to your job search. — Rochester Simon MBA

3) I wish I had gone in with a better idea of which electives to have taken. — Harvard Business School MBA

4) I wish I had known that you get out of your MBA what you put into it. — Emory Goizueta MBA

5) I wish I had known how to go about finding the right fit versus basing my choices on rank. — NYU Stern MBA

6) I wish I had a better idea of what I wanted to do after B-school. — Duke Fuqua MBA

7) I wish I had made the MBA experience the most transformational it could be. — Stanford GSB MBA

8) I wish I had a better understanding of the brand of each MBA program and the MBA program’s focus on improving itself. — Cornell Johnson MBA

9) I wish I had known how important getting some entrepreneurship education was as a part of the MBA experience. — Cornell Johnson MBA

10) I wish I had known that networking is important while you’re in school. — Wake Forest MBA

11) I wish I had chosen brand over money. — UC-Irvine Merage MBA

12) I wish I had known calculus. — MIT Sloan MBA

13) I wish I had known that I could never count on the career management center. Find another student who is as serious as you and can mentor you. — Rochester Simon MBA

14) I wish I had known more about managing the pre-MBA recruiting process. — Wharton MBA

15) I wish I had known about the scholarship opportunities I could have applied for before starting the program. — Wharton MBA

16) I wish I had known the importance of visiting other schools before making the final decision on where to go. — Dartmouth Tuck MBA

17) I wish I had had more full-time business experience before I completed my MBA. UCLA Anderson MBA

18) I wish I had known that the likelihood of remaining in my pre-MBA industry was greater than my ability to switch industries. — Vanderbilt Owen MBA

19) I wish I had known how important it was to be well-organized. — Harvard Business School MBA

20) I wish I had known that the recruiting process for certain industries, such as management consulting and investment banking, start very soon after school begins in the fall. — MIT Sloan MBA

21) I wish I had practiced the case study method before arriving on campus. I also wish I had known that I should pay less attention to the prestige and starting salaries of particular firms and pay more attention to what I was actually well-suited to do. — Harvard Business School MBA

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.