… I’m liking it a lot! I had a wonderful birthday, both in NL with my family and in LON with my friends. I was so touched by the kind gifts and flowers (thanks for the flowers, mr P, they are lovely!) and emails, texts, comments on the blog, voicemails and cards , I felt like a queen. I can highly recommend turning 30 to anyone! And as all 30 somethings have been telling me, 30 is the new 20. Although I must admit that I’m much happier now than I was at 20, give me 30 anyday!
I’ve been thinking a bit about what the right questions are to ask. I’ll explain. I still get a bunch of emails from prospective applicants asking me all sorts of questions. I’m happy to oblige and answer to the best of my ability. However, after another one of these emails, I shook my head and said to my housemate, ‘the answers to these questions will not make the decision to pursue an MBA in general, and at LBS in particular, any easier. All I’ll do is satisfy a craving for what will turn out to be largely useless information. These are the wrong questions!’. Upon which my very wise housemate asked ‘alright, if you know so well, then what are the right questions to ask?’. Ouch. She had me there. I don’t know. And although I’ve spent a few days thinking about them, I still don’t quite know. But I have come up with an analogy which might help a little.
See, it’s a little like buying a house/flat/piece of real estate. You ask what you think is important from the outside looking in. Some of these questions will be the right ones. Some of them won’t be. But you won’t know which questions fall into which category, until you experience it. And even then it might be hard to figure out what clinched the deal for you. If I think back on the property I bought way back when (my lovely 2 bed flat), I bought it after seeing it for 20 minutes, and having spent less than a day in that neighbourhood. It could’ve gone horribly wrong. But it didn’t. Did I ask all the right questions? Nope. Did I ask some stupid, inane questions that didn’t even matter to me once I settled in? Yep. And that’s what it’s like when you’re thinking about an MBA. I thought I was going to be active in the Women in Business club and asked questions about it, turns out that didn’t turn me on one bit and I wasn’t involved at all. However, if you asked me 3 years ago I would’ve said that mattered to me. I thought I wanted to go on an exchange and it turns out I did and I’m very happy with that choice. I had no idea I’d be involved with the Marketing Club or the Yearbook. I had an inkling I wanted to be a student ambassador. The catch 22 is that you won’t know what will matter to you, what will clinch the MBA deal for you until you do it. By which time obviously it’s too late to ask questions.
I’ve asked a bunch of people what types of things clinched the deal for an MBA/ an MBA at LBS for them and it’s rarely any of the things that any applicants asks me. It’s never about lecture methods, or scholarships or workload. It’s about atmosphere, great electives, your classmates, what you bring to the table, what opportunities you can create.
Alright, so I might need to develop this train of thought a bit more. Does it make any sense to anyone, this analogy?
Image top left: the box of the champagne for my 30th birthday.