Decision Dilemma: Should You Go to the Next-Best School?

Did you give it your all this application season and end up with mixed results? By mixed results we mean that you were dinged by the most competitive schools, but still got in to one or more other quality programs. If that’s the case and you’re excited about heading to campus this fall, read no further. But continue on if a nagging voice in the back of your head keeps asking, “What if…?”

Ah, the quintessential “bird in hand” dilemma: do you count your lucky stars that you have the option to earn an MBA from a school you were interested in enough to apply to in the first place? Or do you forego your golden ticket and give it another shot next year, hoping to land a spot at your dream school?

While the saying goes “A bird in hand is better than two in the bush,” we understand that in real life it isn’t always easy to accept an outcome you’re not 100% enthusiastic about. And there is no one-size-fits-all answer here, of course. But we can suggest this first step for your decision-making process: think long and hard (and objectively as possible) about how comfortable you are with risk.

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How have you reacted in the past when you took a big chance on something and it didn’t pan out? How upset or regretful do you become when you realize an opportunity you turned down might have actually been the right choice? Asking a trusted friend or family member for their take might be helpful as well.

We’d also recommend giving yourself as much time as possible to make your final decision. It may just be that once the initial sting of any rejections wears off, you’ll realize that you’re in a very enviable position.

This article has been re-published as per the terms of LEAP Partners Program with Stacy Blackman Consulting.

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