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How can a top business school education “exceed expectations”?

December 18 2018 By The MBA Exchange
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Part 1 of a 5-part series featuring reflections and insights for future applicants by MBA graduates

Although the fortunate few thousand MBA candidates who are admitted to top-10 business schools each year have varied professional, academic and/or personal backgrounds, they have at least one trait in common – high expectations!

By investing in and attending a rigorous, respected MBA program, these individuals all seek to dramatically enrich their lives and substantially elevate their careers. According to most published satisfaction surveys, b-school students are generally satisfied with the value they receive while attending an MBA program. However, it’s only years after graduation that grads can look back objectively and assess where and how their original expectations were met or exceeded.

To help future b-school applicants better understand the immediate and enduring benefits of earning an MBA, we sought feedback from admissions consultants at The MBA Exchange, a team of outstanding professionals who attended the world’s best business schools and now help others do the same. We asked them to reflect on their own past and present in answering…

How did your MBA education exceed expectations?

“The high energy and passion of my peers exhibited through intellectual, and spirited class conversations, and the ability to play hard, and work hard!”
–Pauline, Wharton MBA

“The ability to get out of your own “bubble” and meet amazing people from all over the globe doing incredible things and changing the world is incredibly inspiring and life-altering.”
–Brooke, Kellogg MBA

“My network from Stanford has enabled me to get in front of almost any potential investor or business partner in order to grow our business. The Stanford network has been transformational for my career development.”
–Nick, Stanford MBA

“As a confirmed ‘poet’ entering b-school, I expected to feel at least somewhat out of place there — but found a community I value deeply to this day.”
–Jessica, Columbia MBA

“I didn’t expect to be a part of such a rich alumni network that has been very beneficial in connecting me with opportunities throughout my post-MBA career.”
–Miklos, Columbia MBA

“It was more holistic than I expected.  Prior to business school, I assumed my time would be solely devoted to attending classes and studying.  I didn’t realize how much of my education would take place outside of the classroom – whether it be group projects, trips, networking events or social gatherings.”
–Maria, Harvard MBA

“I was continually amazed by the breadth of prior experiences of my classmates and the learning opportunities that afforded me – I got the inside scoop on being a Marine, heard the highs and lows of serial entrepreneurs who had both failed and succeeded, and came to appreciate the daily grind of being a pharmaceutical sales rep.”
–Caryn, Kellogg MBA

“I arrived at business school with a clear vision of what I wanted to accomplish, however, I was pleasantly surprised by how many new passions, ideas, and genuine friendships I walked away with, gifts which I attribute to the diversity of my classmates and their willingness to teach, learn, and grow together.”
–Daniel, Yale MBA

“The constant learning and growth from building relationships with my classmates.”
–Alina, Stanford MBA

“It is well known that one meets exceptionally talented people at B school but INSEAD exceeded expectations as most folks one met at school were not only supremely talented but also humble and friendly. They took their work very seriously but didn’t take themselves seriously.”

“The network I’ve developed. Tuck is known for its strong network, but to become a part of it and the support, kindness and generosity that are ingrained in it is something I could never have imagined.”
–Jessica, Tuck MBA

“The people were incredibly down-to-earth, in addition to being smart and hard working. Also, the hands-on experiences were so much richer than I could have expected, augmenting classroom study and relationships made during school.”
–Cheryl, MIT MBA

“The education easily set me up for immediate success, but the network and friendships are irreplaceable.”
–Shamus, Kellogg MBA

“Before my MBA, I considered myself quite international (I am half Spanish half Korean and I speak 5 languages), however, when I met my classmates at INSEAD, the diversity and globalism of the crowd far exceeded my expectations, and made me feel just average.”

“One thing that really surprised me and was honestly a bit intimidating at first was how everyone had so much…pedigree. I was surrounded by people who came from Stanford, Columbia, Yale, McKinsey, Google, and Goldman Sachs. However, I soon found that I was just as smart as they were, and pedigree doesn’t always correlate with performance.”
–Sonny, Booth MBA

The candid reflections above illustrate and confirm the amazing value proposition for an MBA education. If you’re a future applicant, now is the moment to ask yourself how you can maximize your chances for gaining admission to a top-tier business school. The MBA Exchange is here to help you. Start with our free, expert evaluation of your current candidacy. Only then, can you begin to set realistic expectations and chart the best path toward satisfying or even exceeding them.