I’m unemployed.

It’s hard to believe that several business schools have already begun to release their essay questions for the 2013-2014 MBA application cycle. The vast majority of these prospective students will be graduating in 2016! Wowza.

I finally left my full-time job last week and let me tell you – it felt oddly unsettling and strange to be walking out those doors knowing I wouldn’t be able to return if I tried. After exiting, I stopped and looked up at the building somewhat wistfully, knowing my (former) Blackberry and ID card were many floors up, tucked away in the top right drawer inside my manager’s office. I’ve been fortunately employed ever since I graduated college and so many times this past week I felt a strange yet wonderful feeling of not having to check work e-mail. Having been employed for such a long duration, I grew what felt like an additional extension of myself, embedded in a “professional” world, one in which I could escape to if my personal life ever came to be too much, or one in which I could not escapeĀ from, knowing the office will always need me there, Monday through Friday, all year round. Having that corporate job simply removed from the equation… took some getting used to.

And boy oh boy have I ever fully embraced it now! It’s hard not to wear a big grin on your face when you can spend the day literally doing whatever you want – go for a bike ride, read a book, complete that laundry list of errands (the pre-MBA phase will ensure your list is long), relax in the park, explore the city, spend time with family and friends, plan a vacation, etc. It’s fantastic – this may be the last month and a half or so of freedom I’ll get in a long, long time! I’m making it count. Since a pre-MBA internship never materialized for me, I had decided to work an extra 2 weeks to collect some extra $$$, and now I’m planning to do all of the above and more. Couldn’t be more excited!

For anyone curious as to what are some of the checklist items that admitted students are asked of before arriving to school, here are a few:

Medical Check-up; get a physical if you haven’t done so recently, receive immunization shots, fetch old records, etc.

Recommended Reading; let’s face it, most of us will not have been in school for a while and it takes a while to get back into student/study mode. recommended reading always helps and probably serves as a critical refresher for most topics. it is also essential for anyone thinking of placing out of core courses

Housing; luckily I had my housing setup secured a long time back but there are many fellow classmates who continue to seek housing in May, June, maybe even July. better get your cash deposits ready and sign those leases!

School-specific tasks; activate your school e-mail and ID, submit required forms, decide on potential dining plans and parking permits, etc.

Background verification; schools gotta screen for frauds, what more can I say. this process comes with paperwork and of course, a processing fee

Finances; and of course, you have to get your financial bearings in order, contact the Bursar if necessary, complete any required loan documents (e.g. Master Promissory Note), and prep for incoming tuition bills

Although the start of my MBA journey began long ago when I decided to begin prepping for the GMAT (oh man I am glad that is over with), the real meat of the MBA process is just around the corner. I officially settled on Cornell after I withdrew myself from Duke’s waitlist because I was confident and convinced that Johnson was the right school for me after my two visits.

A year ago I was wondering where I would matriculate to business school. Today, I am wondering where I will land my official summer internship. In the future, I will be wondering where life will take me next. There will always be questions and wonders about the future. What makes things exciting though, is knowing that I am taking that first step towards each of these goals, so that I am not merely dreaming of the next big thing, I’m actually doing it.

Can’t wait to start at the Johnson Graduate School of Management and join my fellow Class of 2015!

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