February 7, 2009

Revolutionary Road

My soul-mate (future wife) and I have recently watched the movie 'Revolutionary Road'. It is the story about a young American family in suburban 1950’s Connecticut, and how their life together inexorably falls apart. April and Frank Wheeler have always seen themselves as better than their provincial neighbors. They had big plans for their future and for getting out of their ordinary life, but the reality had other plans for them.

I really recommend you to take the time to see this great movie, but this is not the reason I'm mentioning it. The picture on the left is the cover of the book according to which the movie had been made. I didn't see it before I went to the cinema, but throughout the whole film I kept thinking that the Wheelers are trying to escape their bubble. This story (and the 'Truman Show' film I mentioned earlier) are all based on the famous 'Cave Allegory' related to Plato.

Many times I made an analogy in my head between this allegory and the MBA. But through the process of getting there, which lasted approximately two years, I understood that this is absolutely the not the case. Let me be super clear here - an offer from a respectable b-school is not a guarantee for a better or more fulfilling life. If you are considering an MBA you are probably in a good position in your career, and I bet you thought the same before you got there about where you are now (did I get you confused??? :) ). I think that the recent financial crisis (a.k.a 'The Credit Crunch') emphasizes it even more. Many grads can't get a decent offer and have to "re-consider" their future path. The MBA, as my friend at one of the very highly ranked MBA programs said, is not a "free-pass ticket". If you are in the middle of the process, the best analogy to explain it is the GMAT. 780 will not bring you to your dream school. Moreover, you should be very careful not to be blinded by the (REALLY HUGE) success, but rather work even harder on your strategy and essays.

The lesson I learned from the 'Revolutionary Road' film is that at any point in your life, whether you are on your way to achieve your goals and make your dreams happen - remain 'down-to-earth' and flexible. It's a great honor to be able to take the revolutionary road to the MBA, especially if you are a career switcher, but it is also a great risk that will require courage, endurance and people to rely on. Have a safe 'trip'!