It is not surprising that many students wish to quit their jobs after getting an admission letter from a business school of choice. There are many reasons for being tempted. Sometimes students are tired of their current jobs. They want to travel and take time off before business school, or to try something new.
But there are more reasons not to quit.
While the bulk of your financing for your $80,000 MBA will come from loans, don?t underestimate the importance of your personal savings. Savings can come in handy for tickets, buying clothes and suits when you land, flights to return home for the holidays, and for setting up your home when you land in a foreign country or new city. Don’t quit as using personal funds for financing is better than taking loans.
Mind the Gaps
If you get admitted in January, but won?t start school until October, quitting seven months before going to school will create a gap that will be difficult to justify to potential recruiters. Unless you can find something meaningful to do, quitting your job before starting business school may unnecessarily tarnish your resume. Breaks in your resume are easily picked by Ad-com and they invite questions which cannot be answered if you quit just like that.
Don?t annoy your recommenders
It is very important to leave the workplace on a good note. You will need recommendations from employers and colleagues during recruitment season. You cannot afford to lose your best supporters. So don’t quit if your colleague need you now. Make sure you make a proper transition before you go.
Move within your company
This is a tough move, because you?re unlikely to get a lot of favors from others who are staying behind. Instead move between the departments in your organisation and try your hand in another field. This will make your resume more marketable and presentable. This will definitely increase your skills and efficiency.
So when should you quit ?
I can think of three reasons to quit, no more than two months before you start your MBA.
The first part of the CPA
If you?re interested in a career in money management, the CFA is a well recognized degree. You may be interested in passing the first part of the exam. If you quit to study for two months, and pass this first part, it would strengthen your resume for selected finance positions.
Start a company or create a product
If you have always wanted to try your hand at building something ? a Facebook app, an Apple App, or an Internet startup, its worthwhile to try your hand at doing so. It would not be financially beneficial to you, but some technologies can be built quickly.
Volunteer in a sector you want to work in later (E.g. Investment Banking)
An HBS admit who lived in California, returned to India, and spent a month working at a leading investment bank in India before moving to Boston to start school. This was very useful because when the investment banks came looking to hire summer interns, his resume stood out, because he had some experience before. He ended up at Goldman Sachs for summer and full-time.
In closing, don?t quit if you?re bored. Quit if you really have a good reason. Otherwise, use the time wisely and brace for a competitive recruitment scene on your business school campus.