Divergent Roads

15 May

“The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
 Robert Frost

So which is the road less travelled? I don’t know but I’ll tell you the two roads

On the first hand is what you already know, Booth. I’ve paid my admission deposits and gotten almost completely prepared mentally. The financial preparation is well underway too with a late fellowship from Booth and several external funding options being explored. I’d like to beg add here, that anyone that knows any fellowships available to international/female students please please please let me know. All funding is appreciated, like they say in my place shit money na money (shit as in human waste, ‘na’ means ‘is’).

Additionally, I have drafted what I hope is my high-level budget for my MBA and was able to squeeze out over 3,000 for trips (not including the random walk), Now to get the rent sorted out so that I can scrape even more into my ‘savings’. I still intend to live by myself – in a studio it costs more but I think my sanity will be worth it. I really need my alone time but also need to live in the midst of a majority of my classmates. *sigh*, I’ll post the budget in another post and possibly have one dedicated to the whole rental process.

Also I have started my visa processing, well, almost. I have decided on the type of visa I want but I have to wait for the financial aid office to finalize the loan thing (memo to self: send a mail to financial aid office today).

I have also reached out to my undergraduate institution to send my transcript to Booth, just have to follow-up to ensure it gets done.

So you see, plans are well and truly underway 🙂 . Which brings me to road number 2.

Its our annual performance review period (this is the first and major reason I’m still working, I want this promotion badly. It’ll be the perfect topping on the cake for me) and while discussing my rather outstanding performance this year (I think getting admitted had something to do with this), my director asked me if I was still planning to get my MBA this year and being a very honest fellow, I told him I was. We then proceeded to talk about the schools I applied to, the admission process and why I chose to drop off Sloan’s waitlist.

After all of this talk, he had a proposition: defer my MBA for a year and get a fast-track career, including the opportunity to come back at a more senior level and the possibility of making partner with the firm. Sounded like everything I wanted to hear TWO years ago!

I promised to think about it but in all honesty, I already knew Booth did not offer deferrals which I told him subsequently after a ‘sufficient’ period of time. And he made a small amendment to the proposition – get an exec MBA beginning two years from now, approved time-off to go to classes as required without any impact on my career or pay-cut. So I get the next seven days to think about this and get back to him.

OK, So I know I really want my MBA but I also really want a great career. Someone (from another firm) recently told me “you’re good at what you do and when you’re good, you’re good”, this was in response to me saying I did not want to get back into consulting when I was being offered a position after my MBA. Now, I’m forced to think more thoroughly about whether I want to get back into consulting or not because if there is any chance that I would get back in the sector then throwing away a position that people seek for after their MBA makes no sense at all. I plan to use the next seven days to think about this.

So the choice really at this point is: Do I plan to go back to consulting or not? That is the divergent road before me right now.

“The problem, simply put, is that we cannot choose everything simultaneously. So we live in danger of becoming paralyzed by indecision, terrified that every choice might be the wrong choice.” Elizabeth Gilbert


Posted by on May 15, 2015 in School preparation


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7 responses to “Divergent Roads

  1. gidimbagirl

    May 15, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    my dear, if they will pay for the EMBA – take it. Consulting is a broad enough brush that will allow you to explore as many career paths post work as an MBA will. And personally, i don’t get the feeling that your personality is going to love the whole 2Y process – you might find more in common with the EMBA crew.

    BUT since this is Naija – make sure it is SEALED IN BLOOD INK. lol just in case this dude is not there 2 years from now.

    ps… i like to think my late decision to decline Booth gave you that fellowship…

    • NaijaMBAgal

      May 16, 2015 at 5:35 am

      Thanks for the advice although I don’t totally agree with you. I’ve tried to get out of consulting before and not into banking but that had been very difficult and the offersI got were horrible. I guess its different in Nigeria. I just need to explore my reasons for wanting out of consulting and be certain they still stand, they actually relate to consulting and that they are reasonable.
      But you’re probably right that I may not love the whole 2Y process, I’m kinda counting on that to happen because it helps me function better. Also the firm is not paying for the EMBA or even the trips to and fro campus when needed.
      Thanks for the decision even though I’d have loved to be classmates. Guess you preferred Kellogg, all the best.

  2. Olin or Ross

    May 15, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    The quote by Elizabeth Gilbert is just me right now. I am terrified of the choice I am about to make. I got an admit from Olin with a Forte full tuition fellowship and admit from Ross with $20,000 scholarship. The finance is very important to me as I am sponsoring my MBA and really do not see anyone helping out with anything except a BIG miracle happens. So my head says go to Olin but my heart is with Ross cos I love the school.
    And most people I have spoken to say I have a strong profile and shouldn’t settle for less, some even advised I wait till next year to apply to top schools but I do not think I can go over the application/interview phase again #drained.
    What do you advise?

    On the divergent roads – I would suggest you take the road that leads to Booth and I believe you will discover if its consulting or not on that journey.

    Hugs to everyone trying to make a big decision ryt now. It ain’t easy mhen

    • NaijaMBAgal

      May 16, 2015 at 5:47 am

      If you are certain you can get into a better-fit school next application season then go for it. I think everyone should go to the best school (for them) that they can get into. Otherwise, from personal experience I’ll say go with your heart, its usually the less regretted route but that may be just me. A lot of people will go with the rational choice of the full tuition but you need to find out which school you can live with ‘not attending’.
      Its not easy but in the end it has to be the school that in 30-40 yrs time you will still be glad you went to and be a proud alumnus of. All the best.
      I know I’ll figure it out in less tha the 2 yrs at Booth but I’d rather figure it out before Booth, not just for my MBA to be very tailored but also because the offer at work is what most consulting-oriented MBA grads would kill for. Need to figure out myself, I can’t go wrong with either choice but I want the choice that takes me to my ultimate goal.

  3. My Life of Bliss

    May 18, 2015 at 2:10 am

    aah.. I know how you feel. I’ve been in consulting too and I thought I wanted to get out of it.. Although I still do, I’ve realized I am indeed good at consulting and I wouldn’t mind a few more years in this gig. For the next application season, I’m going to have to think really hard about what my goals really are. 🙂

    Good luck with whatever you choose. Side note – Booth is a huge deal and you’re probably going to get equally great (if not better) opportunities at Booth. Just think about that.. 🙂 But hey, you’re looking at a girl who went with what her heart wanted as opposed to what her head said was right… so whatever you choose, I’m sure you’ll do great!

    P.S: I’ve sent you a mail (from 😀 )

    • NaijaMBAgal

      May 18, 2015 at 6:53 am

      Thanks. I’m thinking of going with my heart. I’m almost there with my decision. Also, I’ve seen your email and will reply soon. 🙂


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