I will know.

If all goes according to plan, I will know of my business school destination by this time next year. I will know whether to call a quaint city of 130,000 my new home or to prepare for the frigid winter winds of a colder climate. Maybe I will be presented with the challenge of hunting for the perfect apartment in a sprawling metropolis of over 8,000,000. I will feel a sense of anxiety as I reach for my virtual purse strings, crunching the numbers towards a debt-free future. I will begin to meet some of my future classmates, some through social networking, some through an anonymous alias, maybe a few in person. I will begin to put a face to the fellow MBA brothers and sisters that I hope to grow, learn, and have fun together with. Best of all, I will know how it feels to have finally made it through this process of business school applications, a process I severely underestimated in years past. (I now look at my friends currently attending business schools in gaping awe). I will know the feeling… the pride of having achieved a goal over a year and countless hours in the making… the humility of rejection as the concept of “reach” replays itself over and over… the excitement of the opportunities to come and seize…

…well, I will know all this, if all goes according to plan.

They say a goal without a plan is just a wish. Well then, what’s a plan without a goal? Probably a business school re-applicant in-the-making.

Over the course of the next few months (ideally, weeks) I will be mining my past, raking through my brain, reading, researching, writing, obsessing, and praying as I focus in on what exactly my end goal is. I know that my time is now, and entering business school is what I want, what I need. But I still need to pinpoint the specific goal I want to hit at the pinnacle of my career; the piece of paper with my name on it and the words Master of Business Administration certainly won’t be my resting point. This end goal will ultimately serve as my backbone throughout the MBA application process, driving my essays and letting the words fall into place around it, keeping me focused and driven despite the increasingly heavy competition and the abundance of negative marks in my application profile.

You know, five months ago the combination of letters and numbers – Q47 V44 AWA 6.0 – would’ve made absolutely no sense to me. I would’ve asked if you’re writing in code. Two months ago I had no idea an entire consulting industry had carved itself out solely for business school admissions. Two weeks ago I didn’t know the term “M7” and one week ago I didn’t know there existed a copious amount of insightful blogs written by MBA applicants, both past and present.

Now I know.