General stuff

The long and winding road

It’s been 28 months since I started this blog – and over a year since my last post – so I thought it was time to update y’all. Fortunately, I’ve had time to introduce my faithful Beagle pup, Beatrice, to classmates and arrange a photo shoot on campus. Sorry for the delay! :/

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With such a long build-up I was feeling the pressure to write something amazing and insightful about my first year at MIT Sloan! I could write forever about the incredible people in my class, the excellent faculty, my exposure to ground-breaking technology and research across MIT, etc. While all that’s undoubtedly true, I don’t want this to become an MIT Sloan-centric blog, so I’ll share my overall MBA experiences.

What a extraordinary year it’s been! I’ve worked hard to stretch my professional skills and personal self and it turns out that’s kinda tough! Like many things in life, what you put in dictates what you’ll get out, and I’ve definitely gone “all in” with my MBA so far. That means doing things like enrolling for class subjects that I’ve no prior experience in, volunteering for leadership positions on a whim, and accepting a summer internship in an early stage start-up rather than a big, established tech company.

I’ve also had my doubts though. Doubts about whether I made the right decision to pursue an MBA, doubts about whether I’ll find a job that meets all my expectations, doubts about uprooting my family to move to the U.S. and foregoing a salary. And then there’s the time I fell down the stairs in the small hours trying to walk and read a case at the same time! 😦

All these doubts are reflections and endorsements of being part of a transitionary process, and being out of my comfort zone most of the time. They’re all rational thoughts and struggles too and, I’m sure, will all contribute to making the final outcome even more rewarding.

For anyone considering an MBA, it has been (for me) a continuous process of enlightenment and growth that has ultimately been the most rewarding period of my life. I know many of my classmates and friends at other b schools feel exactly the same. Don’t hesitate to apply if you’re excited at the prospect of doing your MBA, don’t delay another year to see what might happen in your career – decide today and commit!

As a caveat to this, however, I’d like to share some sobering statistics:

  1. MIT Sloan’s Dean confirmed in a recent interview that the Class of 2018 applicant pool was the largest ever – something like 15 applicants for each space. The level of competition for top b schools is increasing;
  2. International students face an increasingly tough battle to get work authorisation after they graduate. The most popular H-1B visa received over 230,000 petitions for a quota of 85,000 visas in FY 2016, ie. you have a less than 40% chance of being selected.

With all that in mind, my concluding advice is to be prepared for a rough ride, be focused on where you’re applying and why you’re applying there, and make sure your story makes sense from beginning to end. Preparation for applying to b school and having relevant and reasonable post-graduation goals has never been so important!

Good luck!!

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(That’s a wrap, Beatrice!)

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3 thoughts on “The long and winding road

  1. Shaymaa Gaafar says:

    I have read some of your blogs, specially the ones related to your journey before you reach this stage and the obstacles that you overcame, you are inspiring me and giving me the power to pursue what I have started at the beginning of this year, applying to top 2-year MBA programs. I am an Egyptian female, 34 years old and 12 years of working experience in multinationals, currently working in PepsiCo, leading the go-to-market technology track in MENA region, I am striving for doing a career shift towards entrepreneurship and investment. but first I need the support of the B-School. I come to realize that getting accepted in a top American business school could be a bit challenging because of my age, but I will make every effort to achieve what I want.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. I am in the process myself and this year has been stressful. It’s something I don’t feel like talking about with my coworkers and friends because they don’t really get it. It is incredibly supportive to know that there are others like you and you’re not alone. I started blogging too so I hope to help some one else through this journey and continue the tradition 🙂 I wish you the best at MIT and btw, Your dog is adorable 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your kind words. It’s great to know you’re continuing the tradition of blogging about your experience (without knowing the outcome in advance) – I found it a very helpful practice! Best of luck managing those waitlists…

        Liked by 1 person

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