As we all settle down to celebrate the greatest of all-American holidays and give thanks, now is not a bad time to take a different look at the business school applications you are working on. Sure, the application process can be a bear, but there may just be a few reasons to be grateful.
1. Taking stock.
While your essays and resume may be painful to write, at their core, they are a discussion of your achievements: what you have accomplished, and how you have progressed over time. So take a minute and review all that you have done. It is impressive.
2. Thinking about the future.
You are on the cusp of what may be one of the most transformative experiences of your life. And now you have the chance to define what it will look like and where it will lead to, recognize that this is a privilege and get excited about it.
3. Remember you have champions.
Too often we undervalue what it takes to write a letter of recommendation. No matter how much help you give your recommenders (and make sure it is not too much) they are still putting in time to support you, and, to some degree, putting their reputations on the line for you. Take this as the compliment it is; it says more about you than you know.
4. Being safe.
We all have weaknesses, and business school is all about addressing your weaknesses in a place that allows you to do just this. It is truly a safe place where you can experiment and fail in a way that is not going to short-circuit your career or brand you as a failure. Be grateful for what is a truly unique opportunity that you are just about to begin.
5. Make new friends.
While the application process is imperfect, it does a pretty good job of helping you find a place where you can be with “your” people. Being with your people, also means making new friends; people who you may stay close to for years (weddings, babies, bar mitzvah’s, and even…funerals.) The application is the first step to developing these relationships – get ready for it.
While the long hours slaving over your application, may not be exactly a blessing – particularly when it takes away time from eating turkey and watching football – at its core, it is a process that leads to…other things to be grateful for. Come next year, who knows where or with whom you will be celebrating Thanksgiving, and that prospect really is something for which to give thanks.