Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The question of timing
When is the right time to apply to b-schools? The correct answer, more or less, is that you should apply when you are ready and can put together the strongest application possible. For me, however, the issue is a bit more complex.
Given that I'm in my 30's and have applied to schools before, I don't have that many bullets left to fire, so to speak. With each year past age 30, your chances decline, and I can't afford to wait that much longer if I do re-apply. At the same time though, how much can I really improve my app in the next 6-8 months? I just started working for a financial software startup, basically running the entire project from the ground up. I'm getting a very modest salary (just enough to pay the bills) but will receive a % cut of the fees from clients once the software is in production mode and in use. It will take 3-4 months before that happens, and who knows what the growth trajectory will be like. As with any startup, there is a lot of uncertainty. And this product is rather unique in its market, so it could be a resounding success or a complete dud. It's just too soon to tell.
So the $64,000 question is this. Should I still re-apply this upcoming year due to the age issue or wait until next year, with hopes that by then the startup will be quite successful and that will bolster my application chances, enough at least to make up for age? To be honest, I'm genuinely torn on this question. I could see the argument for either side and have received conflicting advice from trusted friends. Of course, admissions consultants want me to apply this year and cannot wait to get my money! (I will write a separate post on my thoughts on consultants; I could actually write a book on this).
In the next few months, I will get a better idea as the startup progresses. Hopefully by the end of August, I will arrive at a wise decision.