A short conversation with a current MBA student.

This past weekend I spoke with a friend currently attending Booth business school and shared my upcoming plans to apply for the Fall 2013 applications. When he asked me which schools I was eyeing, I told him that my dream school is Kellogg and that I also plan to apply to Yale, Stern, Darden, and Duke. I had originally included Columbia in that list, another dream school, but that I had recently crossed it off my list (a list that is, far from finalized) as I felt that 6 applications may not only be too much, but that Columbia may prove to be too much of a reach for my profile.

“So yeah, as nice as it would be to include two M7 schools on my list, I think I may stick with just Northwestern,” I said.
He let out a laugh. “No one uses that term. M7.”
This was news to my ears. Maybe nobody in Chicago uses the term? Else, why is it floating around so many business school forums? Hmm, something to keep in mind the next time I’m engaged in a verbal discussion about business schools.

I also used this opportunity to ask him just how things were going in his first year at business school.

“Lot of drinking. Lot of partying. Lot of hooking up,” he said.
I gave him a bewildered look. “Seriously?”
He nodded with a faint smirk, though I detected a slight tinge of embarrassment. “Yeah. It’s pretty funny. Lot of parties. There’s a lot of drinking. Oh and we have this thing, ahem, called grade non-disclosure. It’s great. So I just party and get B’s and C’s but I don’t care.”
“Ah right, grade non-disclosure. I read about that. It promotes a more collaborative environment, you know, so students help each other rather than compete with one another.”
“Interrreesting. And, your classmates? How is it working with them? Are most of them similar to us, single and late twenties?”
“Yeah most of them are. Though there are a few people who are married. One time, at this event, I was eyeing this one girl. I wanted to talk to her and her friends. So one of my classmates, he pops his wedding ring off his finger, places it in his pocket, and says, ‘We’re going to talk to these girls’. So we went over. Yeah… it’s pretty crazy. Lot of hookups.”
“Mm-hmm,” I reply, not quite sure how to respond. He left me wondering why exactly a wingman needed to even take his wedding ring off in the first place. And if Mr. Married Man wasn’t serving as my friend’s wingman, then he sounds like a bit of a douchebag.

We covered some other bases, such as my weak GPA and whether re-taking the GMAT was worth the time, and he of course made himself readily available if I ever wanted to shoot him an e-mail with questions later on in the process. Our conversation wasn’t very long, as we were at a wedding cocktail hour with many other friends and acquaintances to mingle with. Still, that short exchange I had with my friend on the “social life” had me thinking if my impression of business school life was entirely wrong. I’ll save my vision of life as an MBA student for another post.


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