Saturday, July 15, 2006

No safety schools for me

I've been meaning to write this post on safety schools for a couple of days now...

The concept of safety schools itself is sort of crude. A safety school is one in which you have a very good chance of (still not 100%) getting admitted with your credentials. But it does not stop there. You should still love the program and you should still be able to get where you want to be after you graduate. So you should be spending the same amount of time for shortlisting a safety school as you would for a dream school. Be it researching the school, talking to an alum/student, making a school visit or attending an info session, a safety school is as important as a dream school.

Personally, I am of the opinion that you should consider a safety school only if at least one of the following situations applies to you:
  • You absolutely hate your job and simply have to escape the grind this year to keep your sanity.
  • You have a plum job waiting for you (at your current employer's or elsewhere) and they don't give a damn which school you are from as long as you've got an MBA.
  • You are a rich(or not so rich) already successful entrepreneur and just want to learn stuff, you don't care about the school's brand, the alumni network etc.
  • You are just looking for a refreshing change for a couple of years while you pick up a cool degree. You have no clue what you want to do with the degree.
If you don't belong to these categories but are still thinking of safety schools, think twice. Don't you have enough grit in you to wait it out another year? Don't you want to give your dream schools another shot? Isn't there anything you can do to improve your chances next year?

This is the thought process I went through before deciding that I don't want safety schools this year. I am willing to wait another year, or as long as it takes, or till I feel I have to get into B-school that year no matter what. I guess this explains my highly ambitious list of schools. I want to give it my best shot this year before I think of safe options. Yes! Ever the optimist, that's what I am :D

Essays Update:

All my 5 schools (for round1) have released their essay questions :) And guess what? Looks like my story fits in pretty well in each school's set of essays! Cool huh? :D

As for my progress, HBS' "Career Vision" essay and "3 Achievements" essay are ready for review by friends. And as I promised in my previous post, I started on the Significant Leadership Experience essay and have completed the first draft. So I can goof off tomorrow:) !!!! I love being on schedule. This is turning out to be a great weekend already.

Oh yeah, gym routine is on full swing ***Grin***. I totally love myself now.