Last Friday, at around 11 pm, I ended my two year mission to get into a graduate business school by dropping off a letter to enroll at the Kellogg School of Management this coming fall. In the process, I turned down offers to attend Columbia and Berkeley, which offered me a scholarship worth between $30K and $40K.

I have to admit, deciding on a school was a pretty difficult decision. On some days, I was certain that I’d enroll at Kellogg; yet on others, I was positive that I’d go with Berkeley…or no, wait, maybe Columbia. I even put together spreadsheets comparing the different aspects of each program. I was trying to find any distinguishing characteristics that would allow me to disqualify or settle on a school. Instead, what I found was that each program looked amazing on paper, basically reaffirming my original decision to apply to those schools.

I could not make a decision solely by comparing what each one had to offer. I had to also incorporate what I truly wanted to get out of grad school. In the end, my decision came down to three factors:

  • What I wanted to do after grad school and where I wanted to do it
  • The “fit” of the program
  • My gut instinct

Once I switched my focus to those items, I was able to make my decision with relative ease.