A Partner’s Perspective On The MBA Application Journey

by on November 14th, 2012

Today we have a special guest blog poster: my boyfriend! Those of you applying know how difficult and demanding the process can be. Well, we’re not the only ones suffering, so I asked him to share his perspective about how things are going so far. Below are his musings that hopefully give pause to those of us applying, reminding us that our plus ones keep us sane and reassuring the significant others out there that they won’t be alone next year. Well, they won’t be alone, but we certainly won’t have much time for them…just kidding, dear! Without further ado:

Did We Get In?!

The stress of applying to a top business school is like running a marathon. You have to set goals, develop a plan, and train. Everything you submit needs to coalesce into a compelling, unique narrative. “I belong here,” it says. Well, the adcom will get back to you on that.

I can speak from experience: it’s an exhausting process – and I’m not even the one applying! Me run a marathon? Are you crazy? My philosophy about running can be summed up as “I refuse to do it unless something is chasing me.” So what do I have to say about the B-School application process? Plenty.  I’m the obligatory “+1″ in my boyfriend’s application package,  and I don’t even get to submit my resume.

I’ve been 110% supportive of my boyfriend’s decision to quit his job in exchange for a world-class business school education. It was probably even my suggestion. I’m always giving FABULOUS advice.

After the initial sticker-shock of realizing we would be downgraded from our lofty position as DINKs (Double Income, No Kids) to the not so desirable DONKs (Double Occupancy, No Kids), I’ve become more and more excited about this (our) opportunity. I’ve even learned to cope with the manic swings exhibited by my partner during this process.  Yes, dear, Absolut Vodka is a coping mechanism.

Here are my first 3 of observations about the whole process, from my perspective (more to come).

1) “No, that essay doesn’t make you look fat.”

I’ve read somewhere that you can’t be a friend and a flatterer, too. Well, what the fuck am I supposed to be when I’m asked to critique my boyfriend’s B-School essay? We sleep in the same bed, for christ’s sake!! I want to offer constructive criticism, but what the hell do I know?

Yes, you (I mean your essay) can stand to lose a few pounds (words). The four paragraphs that liken you to Prometheus, with your regenerating liver representing the knowledge you impart on the world each and every day?  Stop embellishing and answer the question.

2) Many B-Schools Are In Far Away Places

By far away, I mean outside of San Francisco proper. I can pinpoint 2 of the schools that he applied to on a map – because they are both less than an hour’s drive from where we live. I could say more, but I don’t want people to realize just how little I know about the geography of the USA. I pray to the gods every day that he goes to a school that has a direct flight from SFO (preferably on Virgin America).

3) My Boyfriend Is Almost As Smart As Me – But He Has Way More Discipline

I fancy myself as somewhat of a renaissance man - I pride myself on being knowledgeable about many things. I know all about the dirt-eating robot on Mars. I know what the e, the m, the c, AND the 2 represent in e=mc^2. I wanted to name my first daughter (or son….or dog) Scout. I’ve had (several) debates on the topic of eating horse meat (still not sure which way I lean). Now, though the only mockingbird I want to kill is him…

Applying to business school would destroy me. Yes, they want you to know that you are intelligent and have the capacity to reason and learn. But they want you to prove it.  In 500 words. Plus a resume. And in a 30 minute interview. I’ve watched my boyfriend distill a mini-lifetime of of knowledge and experience into an “application.”  The amount of time and effort he has spent putting everything together is both staggering and commendable. I couldn’t do it (unless something was chasing me).

Any other plus ones out there? Let me know your observations. It’s about time WE got some of the attention.

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