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There are a lot of measures of the value of an MBA and some people have been questioning if it‘s worth its salt recently.
But the dollar value of my MBA hit home when I filed my taxes this week.
I earned more this year that I’ve been in b-school than I did in almost every year of my pre-Darden working life.
That’s a combo of three months of internship salary and signing bonus, neither of which are as high as my classmates entering more lucrative fields like investment banking or consulting. So my MBA could have been worth even more …
(Side note: This means either I was paid really well this summer or really poorly before. Since I was a journalist, I’ll go with the latter. It’s another example of how pay doesn’t always equal importance. Good journalists uphold the First Amendment. In my new job, I’ll be selling cereal. It’s not quite the same.)
Lucky for me, earning my MBA has always been about more than the potential monetary payoff (something you may have figured out if you’re a frequent reader of this blog). My time at Darden has been worth it for the new skills I’ve learned, the network I’ve built, and, yes, my future husband who I met here.
And the money is a nice bonus.
Life at Darden right now is smooth. We’ve just come off more than a month of break. Classes haven’t ramped up yet and our stress over them is minimal anyway, because, hey, it’s our last semester here. And many of my SY friends have jobs, which means the major worry of SY is behind them.
So we have time to watch football, throw birthday parties, go to the park with our dogs – and write blog entries.
But I was reminded yesterday that life is decidedly NOT smooth right now for First Years.
They are in the throes of interview season, walking to school in suits and their “good” shoes, mock interviewing every chance they get and reviewing grocery store shelves, case frameworks and investment banking gobbly gook. They are sweating closed lists and second round lists and those good news/bad news emails and phone calls that end the whole process.
I was reminded by a FY who I did a mock interview with. She’s lovely and is on track to do well. But when she pulled out her notebook full of scribbled ideas, notes on previous mock interviews and prep questions, I was transported back to last year. I had an Excel spreadsheet instead of a notebook, but otherwise I was pretty much in her shoes.
I reviewed every possible interview question. I did a dozen mock interviews, sitting down with any SY, career coach or coffee shop patron who would quiz me. I sweated closed lists, big time, and I had trouble sleeping. I froze to death, teetering to school in my skirt suit and heels. It was really hard to focus on classes.
And then I got internship offers. And the whole world just looked brighter.
So, to all the business school First Years out there who are suffering through interview season, take heart. The hard work will be worth it. I promise.
And your last quarter is going to be AWESOME.