Monday, May 12, 2008

Buyer's remorse and the MBA

Procrastinating going to bed (if you can believe that) and thanks to my new email notification system (thank you, Samantha) I see the following question: Did you experience buyers remorse at any point before or during your MBA? Which, if you have been reading closely, you'll know is my pet topic, and to which the answer is a resounding YES! So, of course, I have to take a moment to answer this one.

My moments of remorse:
  • Summer 2007: going through the joy of selling a home, packing my worldly possessions and moving myself, husband, newborn and mom 2,000 miles across country, I had serious doubts whether the degree warranted the upheaval and stress and expenditures. We survived, but it was hell. (white washed here and here.)
  • LOE and Core (our orientation program): I hated LEAD (I was far too diplomatic in my one post on this, LOE was great in some ways but I was very frustrated with the way the school initially handled my situation and hated nearly every moment of LEAD). I had to struggle with the school to convince them that I was not about to leave my 10 week old baby for 3 days to climb ropes and bond with my liquor-laden colleagues. I didn't get along with my squad, wasn't all that keen on my cohort and felt as though I had wandered back to some sort of high school redo. I was so happy when classes started. And overjoyed when LEAD ended.
  • Each tuition check over fall quarter: For the first 3 months opening the tuition bill made my blood pressure sky rocket and it was hard to carry on casual conversations with fellow students who I knew were full-ride folks... heck, a half-ride would be great too. The feeling eventually subsided (see final bullet).
  • The first 6 ... 7 ... 8 weeks of winter quarter when I was still zilcho on the summer internship: I was convinced I was unemployable and had just wasted $xxx,xxx on an MBA. Definitely the nadir of my experience. (see this and this)
  • Then the job offer came through and suddenly all was forgiven ... the move, LOE, occasional dull professors, sporadic frattish behavior of some fellow GSBers, never ending networking events, unwieldy study group members, tuition checks, the lengthy and enormous toll on my family, maybe even LEAD (well ...). Academics are great 'n' all ... but we're here to get a job. And even though it doesn't seem possible in the agony of fall and winter recruiting, we all get jobs. We all get good jobs. Even women with babies get jobs ;) And eventually the fear and anxiety and disappointment and remorse wash away, leaving you to enjoy the good friends and good job prospects you've managed to cultivate in the midst of the insanity.

So, remorse, absolutely! But that's just part of the process - you get through it and then feel grateful you were able to see beyond it.

Honestly yours,


The.Grey.One said...

Honestly written. Much appreciated.
I'm sure bschool experience can't be all rosey -- heck, life is always full of trade-offs. And the folks who are ready to wade through the rough waters will be able to find the pleasant "green" shore (point 5).

I too agree on point 3. I can understand why bschools desparately want to retain the top talent by pumping in scholarship money -- though i'm sure arriving at this top talent list can't be foolproof. I do wish the scholarships were given based on need and not squandered on someone who is already making sort-of a million bucks an year (the folks who would form the majority of that scholarship list). While starting the bschool app process, everyone is aware of the costs involved, and is prepared to pay the fee. So my humble opinion is to provide the scholarships, if required, to the needy.

Thanks again, and i wish for more such informative & honest posts from Ms. M.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the quick reply. I haven't been reading the blog long so the recap helps. I need to reread it every time I start hyperventilating about my fees, my random walk fees, my relocation fees and my career switchers are doomed and I will end up in a similar crummy job but heavily indebted and living on onion chutney paranoia.

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