‘Tis the season for business school decisions. You have worked so hard to craft your essays, prepped and followed-up with your recommendation writers, and hopefully submitted your application. Now, the fun begins … this is a phase of life I like to call “The Wait.” This phase is really intense and people fall very quickly into bad habits. I know many of you will end up on various online forums that will remain nameless, constantly checking to see who got in where, and checking the “stats” of those who were admitted. While no one will ever truly admit to checking these sites, they continue to have lots of viewers and posts … so someone is checking it … just not you. 🙂

Instead of falling victim to the challenges of “The Wait,” I have devised a set of activities that will not only keep you occupied, but will better prepare you for when you get into your dream school!

  • Prep For Exemption Exams – A majority of you have already taken some core business classes during your educational experience. In addition, many of you have worked in fields where you directly worked in marketing, finance or economics. If this sounds like you, start now to brush up on the academic side of these subjects. Maybe you can swing by the library, or grab an old text book, and start reading through it to refresh your memory. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, an exemption exam allows you to “test out” of a core class in which you may already be proficient. Each school will communicate their exemption exam process. Don’t ignore this email when you get it! Take it from someone who ignored that email, there is nothing worse than sitting in a class in which you feel you already know the content and have done the work. Why, you ask?
    • You have finite time at business school and it is a large investment. Don’t waste time (and $$) by taking classes in which you are already proficient. You came to school to learn new things, not refresh yourself on things you could have done yourself.
    • Many of you will question whether you should take classes without your friends or section mates. While you will grow close to your first-year buddies, you will continue to see them A LOT, and one class away won’t hurt your friendships.
  • Take A Vacation – You deserve a reward for all that hard work, and you should take it now. Cash in those reward points, take a friend or significant other, and go somewhere and relax and celebrate making it this far in the process. Business school is a transformational and intense experience, and you will experience it soon enough … why not enjoy a little time away to relax and refresh?
  • Catch Up On Your Reading – Go finish up the Harry Potter series or The Hunger Games or Twilight or whatever you want to read. You won’t have much time during business school to do any leisure reading, so might as well pack it in now.
  • Reflect – I know you are probably sitting there reading this and thinking, “What’s this kid talking about … reflect?” Oftentimes, we all go from one task to the next to the next to the next. You have time now in between application submission and acceptance to really think about what you want to get out of your business school experience, what careers or industries interest you, where in the country you might want to live, and what type of role you may like to work in. If you begin thinking about this stuff now, it makes your business school experience much more focused because you have your goals and objectives before you get to school.

While I am sure these activities still won’t get many of you away from those online forums, I hope that it provides you with some options for a more productive and meaningful “wait.”