Investing in your Future

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money

Investing in a MBA program requires numerous types of investments. So far I’ve spent a considerable amount of both time and money in an attempt to get accepted into a program. This is only the beginning.

Let’s take a look at what I’ve invested so far. These are rough estimates.

Magoosh GMAT Prep Software- approx $100

Manhattan Self Guided Comprehensive Program – approx $830

Various MBA and GMAT books -approx $120

Extra GMAT Practice Tests -approx $45

Total: $1,095

Before I’ve even taken a test, I’ve spent over a grand. Not to mention a ton of valuable time. When beginning your MBA journey make sure you are prepared to encounter these costs. I am expecting to incur additional costs before I am accepted.

Expected Costs

Travel costs for school visits – $2,000

GMAT Tests -approx $500 ($250 per test)

Additional Materials – $500

Application Fees-$1,200

Total: $4,200

It’s highly recommended to visit the schools you are applying to prior to applying. Many admissions teams say the visits help most with the essay portion of your application. Most of the applications have a question asking “why our MBA program” and the admissions teams are looking for more than a canned answer that was scripted from the website. Personally, I also think it’s worth it to visit the schools because it will help you with your decision making process. Application fees to most programs are around $100-200 each.

Wow. Am I really making this large of an investment PRIOR to even being accepted? Not to mention, average tuition for a top full-time program often exceeds $100k.

So what’s the payoff? Luckily this has already been calculated. Resources such as Forbes have looked into this. Often the ROI payback period is less than 5 years. Take a look: http://www.forbes.com/business-schools/list/

Not to mention, there are long term benefits that cannot really be “measured.” If you’re lucky enough to get into a great program, you will forever be part of the alumni network. Who knows how those connections will be able to help in the future. For a minute, I was second guessing myself on this large of an investment. I hope to quickly see the payout and continue to look at the studies that reinforce this is worth the investment. Although, I have considered how many shoes I could’ve bought with the amount I’ve already spent…

Scheduling the Test

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Well eventually you’ll get to a point when you realize you can’t wait any longer: you have to schedule the test. At this point I’m still not sure whether I’ll be ready or not, but time is ticking and test slots fill up quickly.

I’m applying to round two which means most of my application deadlines are the first week of January. I want to have time to take the test twice so I’m scheduling the first test for mid November. What a great birthday present that’ll be for me! You can only schedule the test every 31 days so I can’t take it again until late December.

I’ve read that you shouldn’t take the test at a time when you’re not used to working or focusing. For example, I work in the agency world and get in the office around 9 or 9:30 AM every day I’m also not a morning person. So it would not make sense for me to schedule a test that begins at 7AM.

Also keep in mind most test facilities require you to arrive a half hour early. Add the commute time on and you need to account for probably at least an hour of time before you even take the test.

Personally I chose to schedule the dust test at 10:30 AM and the second for 11AM. I’m also fortunate to have facilities in my area that host treating sessions on weekends. That helps minimize time off of work.

Oh and did I mention the price? Each test will set you back $250 US dollars. As if the test wasn’t already dreadful…