20,000 Miles Later

With the busy portion of the 2010-2011 application season now in the past, giving way to its plodding end, there hasn’t been much to update on the business school front. Instead, I went on vacation for a few weeks and took a break from actively thinking about my future. At first, it felt quite odd to not have regular access to the internet and to be disconnected from world events, but being away from my normal surroundings and routine allowed me to live life on a day-to-day basis, focusing on the immediate instead of the far-reaching.

I was not expecting to reach any great insights during my travels, nor do I think I had any; it was simply nice to spend time with loved ones, visit other places and broaden my experiences. Now that I’m back though, I do find that my thoughts on business school are clearer. Perhaps the vacation provided the necessary incubation environment, and the combination of all the people I’ve talked to, books I’ve read, websites I’ve browsed, schools I’ve visited and other research I’ve done over the past year or so is finally coalescing into coherent and actionable thoughts.

My gut is telling me to not settle for the familiar, the path of least resistance, the low-hanging fruit. I’m changing careers so I can do something more personally meaningful and engaging, and this opportunity, at this critical juncture in my life, isn’t to be squandered. Business school can offer many opportunities and is a step in the right direction, but it isn’t the only step and it also comes with significant costs – not just in terms of time and money, but also in terms of altering life and career plans, for better or for worse.

What this means is that the decision to go to school is inexorably linked to the decision about which field and industry I plan to enter into. That, in turn, means that Chicago Booth, if I would be lucky enough to be admitted off the waitlist, would be my first choice. But, that decision is out of my hands, so my decision about whether to attend NYU Stern will depend in part on the amount of progress I make on my career change, on my own, over the remaining months. What happens next is anyone’s guess, but these things have a way of working out.

***

In other news, it’s been almost exactly six months since I started this blog. It began as an outlet for me to vent during the application process, but later evolved into a place to collect and refine my thoughts and to connect with others who can relate. As a result, I was recently informed that I was voted third in Clear Admit’s 2010-2011 Best of Blogging contest, including best single post. Congrats to all the other contestants and thanks for reading!

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