I received most of my admission decisions and I could not be happier with the choices I have at this point.
I have to make a choice between attending a Top-20 Full-Time MBA Program, a Management Program for Engineers at one of the M7 Business Schools and a Masters program based in the Silicon Valley that focuses on Product Management in a School that is widely regarded as the best in the world for Computer Science.
I never thought I would be in this dilemma and it is wonderful to have such incredible options. All of these institutions are world-renowned, have a great overall ranking and reputation and are leaders in each of these fields.
At this moment I will most likely be attending the Program most relevant to Product Management in the Silicon Valley. This puts me on a very specific career route, something that I must consider because of my age and work experience being on the lower side than most B-School candidates. In the short term, I will gain more from this program and the reputation in Tech is unparalleled. The location is excellent too, making it a choice I just cannot resist. The MBA program will be more valuable in the long run, but there also is the risk that I do not get the career boost I hope for immediately since I am younger and maybe the ROI will not be as good as this other program. The Engineering Management Program carries the prestige of the M7 Schools, has a fantastic network but lacks the location and focus on Tech.
I guess I cannot go wrong with either choice, and I am excited that I will be attending a fantastic school! It has been a long wait but it has been worth it.
I started this blog originally to document my Business School Journey because I believed an MBA was the right path to achieving my dream – Product Management at a Technology Company.
I came across several specialized master’s programs which could also help me accomplish my goals, and as a result I applied to a mix of MBA and specialized masters programs and some of the choices I made were unconventional.
I think the most important thing before heading to graduate school is that you should know exactly what your goals are, what the program can do for you to help you accomplish those goals, and have a realistic view about the limitations of the program as well.
Graduate school is a huge investment in terms of money and time, but more importantly it is a life-changing decision that will determine the course of the next 30+ years of your career.
If you are in the process of making this decision of attending graduate school, there really is no right or wrong answer about which program you should attend or where you should apply. There are no right or wrong reasons, all that matters is what your personal goals are. Some of those reasons could be to get a prestigious big-name university on your resume, learn some specialized skills, work with a specific professor you admire, do research in a niche area, get graduate education to get work permit more easily in a foreign country, learning something you always wanted to learn even if the field is not something that makes you easily employable or even just a lifestyle decision to be closer to a loved one or move to a specific part of the country or world.
Regardless of what your reason is, NO PERSON can make that decision for you – It should be entirely your own. Because no one else will be able to think from your perspective of what matters most to you.
There is always going to be some one out there who will criticize your decision or tell you you should have done something differently. Or maybe you will manage to please/impress everyone around you with some impressive accomplishment. Either way, it really does not matter. Because YOU are going to be the one who has to wake up each morning and live with the consequences of your decision. YOU will be the person following that career path and you cannot blame anyone else if it does not turn out the way you wanted.
The only person you should be impressing is yourself. – This is the single most important thing I have learnt when it comes to the decision to attend graduate school.