In late August, life is VERY good as a rising MBA2. I found myself on a beach, enjoying the sun and the company of my family. In addition, I had just received word that I secured a full-time offer from EY. The best part? I still had a week and a half before I headed back to be a LAUNCH captain and welcome the incoming MBA1’s to Stern. I came back to school, excited to start my second year without the specter of recruiting hanging over me. This meant I would be able to spend a lot more time learning, hanging out with my friends, and getting involved in extracurriculars I could not as an MBA1. Then, something weird happened.
On the first day of LAUNCH, I got the chance to catch up with a number of my friends after not seeing them all summer. We had plenty to chat about, but the conversation naturally veered toward our summer internships. After talking to a number of them about their summers, I began to have a crisis of confidence. Did I really enjoy my summer that much? Was the work something I really wanted to do? Should I take advantage of the opportunity to re-recruit regardless? My gut was telling me to stop overthinking things, but my head LOVES to overthink things. So, as any aspiring consultant would, I began to gather information to test whether or not I really wanted to re-recruit. I spoke to even more of my classmates in detail about their summer experiences and even reached out to some of my summer co-workers and other connections who I trusted to give me good advice. I quickly realized that I was, in fact, overthinking things and that I had no actual desire to re-recruit. Despite the unnecessary stress I placed on myself, I am glad I went through that evaluation process as it caused me to re-examine what I hoped to gain from business school (beyond a career pivot) in the first place.
For me, business school was a chance to pivot careers. Yet it was also a chance for me to get involved with student clubs, push myself academically, and get involved with aspects of student life that I had neglected as an undergrad. During my first year, I had pushed myself so hard during the recruiting process that I lost sight of those goals. Thankfully, my post-internship crisis of confidence refocused me going into year two. I had already signed up to be a LAUNCH Captain, Career Mentor, and Graduate Assistant for admissions, so I was going to be dedicating more time to leadership roles during my second year. However, I was missing out on student club involvement. I had identified two clubs in particular, the student newspaper (The Opportunity) and the student podcast (Stern Chats), as those I wanted to join and contribute to during my time at Stern. I made it my mission to take on a bigger role in each, and am proud to say I have been 70% successful in that mission. I’ve written a number of articles for the Opportunity (yes this is a shameless plug to check them out) and worked to establish relationships with other clubs on campus to spread the word of their events, guest speakers, etc. Stern Chats, on the other hand, has been an uphill battle for me. I took on the responsibility to try and start a new line of content for us, essentially business 101 discussions with the experts at Stern. While we’ve taped a number of episodes now, it has been more of an uphill battle than I anticipated. However, it has also been very rewarding. I’ve gotten to learn about topics I was unfamiliar with, work with fellow MBA’s who I didn’t know very well, and gotten to meet more members of our incredible faculty.
At the end of the day, getting an MBA is an intense experience. It is all too easy to become singularly focused on getting the job of your dreams and miss out on the rest of the experience. Thankfully, I was able to realize this and re-adjust going into my second year. If I have one piece of advice for prospective students and incoming MBA’s it is this. Pursue your professional goals with 100% effort, but don’t let the pursuit consume you. Save some time for yourself, and the personal goals you set when you embarked on this journey.