Dear (Undecided) Prospective Student,

September 18, 2010

Exactly one year ago today, I was in your shoes. I was touring the northeast in search of my future, hanging onto every piece of advice that was offered to me, but with no clarity to speak of. Indeed, each business school that I visited had its pluses and minuses, but there was not one that “stood out”. However, that all changed when I visited SOM. So, (Undecided) Prospective Student, in hopes of helping you out, I thought I’d share a few memories, some vivid, some blurry, from my campus visit, where, for me, everything became clear:

Vivid: spilling scalding Dunkin’ Donuts coffee all over myself while in the cab on the way to campus.

Blurry: the Wall Street Journal article that I pretended to read while waiting for the Admissions session to begin.

Vivid: friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable Admissions staff and tour guides.

Blurry: why there is a hall lined with mirrors in the first place.

Vivid: sitting in on a class and being provided with a packet of case information printed out especially for me by a student, so that I could follow along with the discussion.

Blurry: the rest of the day and all other business school programs. As in any search for the perfect match in life- be it a partner, a career, or, in this case, a business school- one hopes to have that a-ha moment where all other options seem to fade away, leaving only one. For those of you who have experienced an a-ha moment, you know that it can only be truly appreciated by someone who has experienced it and is one whose significance can never be downplayed. My moment was in that class and I knew that it was then up to me to convince SOM that I was as much a fit for it as it was for me. Luckily, my efforts paid off. I’m now “living the dream”, as some may say, hand in hand with SOM, shaping our relationship into some sort of ideal future that has yet to be defined. There will no doubt be downpoints on the rocky road ahead, but we both know that these times of peril will only make our bond stronger. And, to be sure, if the hard times become too hard to bear, we can rest assured that our new classmates and friends will be there for us, whether with a packet of case information or a needed hand, whatever hour, whatever day. So hear this, (Undecided) Prospective Student, from someone who’s been there and has come out clear: hold out for that a-ha moment; because, once it hits you, there will be no decision to make.

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Randy Pinchuk