Survivify: School

How to Survivify: Business School

You've made it through the GMATs and the laborious application process. You've chosen which school to attend, and you've quit your job -- unless you are going to B-school part-time while you continue to work, in which case OMG -- and you are possibly going to relocate to pursue your number-crunching dreams. Props to you for taking the plunge. But the real work is only just getting started.

While any graduate program will require sacrifices and a great deal of effort, B-school is its own unique animal. After all, the main goal of it is to prepare people to work as managers, so you can expect the program to in fact feel like work. There will be meetings, PowerPoint presentations, sales forecasts, marketing briefs, and lots and lots of email.

So, share some strategies here to help the next group of masochists thrive in B-school. Whether you're a poet or a quant, all tips are welcome. It'll bring back memories, and it's just the right thing to do.

Look on the bright side:

  • You'll learn how to function without sleep.
  • If you were terrified of public speaking before, at least you won't be afterwards.
  • You will have a completely new vocabulary and a Ph.D. in buzzwords before it's all over.
  • You'll become really great at PowerPoint.
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Tips from the trenches:

  • Reverse Polish Notation - learn it fast. Your life (or at least your sanity) may depend on it.
  • Go to the math bootcamp program. If your school doesn't have one, take some math refresher courses before B-school starts.
  • Invest in a decent laptop. You'll do a lot of work in remote locations featuring coffee and free wi-fi.
  • Be true to your word. Most of B-school work is done in groups, and you will need to be a trusted teammate to get through it.
  • Many programs use a cohort model, whereby you stay with the same group of people throughout the first year.
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Survival kit contents:

(replenish as often as needed)

Words of Wisdom

Worried about your grades? There's a reason they call it "B" school. -Unknown