Quitting (Gracefully) to Get an MBA

The always insightful Forte Foundation just posted an article on their blog by Tricia Felice, Chicago Booth ’14 about making your exit.  She reminds us all that many applicants are receiving good news about their applications  and will be going on to the next chapter. Indeed, many of you also asked for manager for a recommendation (and it worked!), so after thanking them for their support, “keep them in the loop about your final decision and timeframes.”

That’s a given.  Your boss and your teammates will have to readjust to your absence, and presumably you are going to take some time to play or even get an internship in a new industry to increase your network and experience before going off to business school.

I wholeheartedly agree with Ms. Felice when she says, “I personally don’t think the the standard two weeks is enough. The earlier the better.”  Yes, even if it means some people might consider you a lame duck. It’s a risk work taking.  The author also gives you some tips for planning your handoff and keeping it professional:

“Leave the company happy with you and your work.  Present your plans to your boss when you discuss your departure.  … Also consider how you pass off clients to your successor or co-workers. Keep it professsional. Craft a professional letter of resignation to make your end date official.  …This letter is also a wonderful time to recap your appreciation for the company and leave the door open for a future relationship with the company.”

The author also brings up the idea that you might continue to work for your company while you are in business school. Call me opinionated, but I think that’s a choice of last resort if you are going full-time. Business school – your whole experience, including your classmates and friends, is a selfish mistress.  And the more you put in, the more you get out.  Also, if you can afford to spend two years away, make the internal break so you can open yourself up to new experiences – experiences you didn’t even know you were lacking.

So hat tip to Tricia Felice, the Chicago Booth program and the Forte Foundation, for helping students world over leave their jobs with professional elegance.  Onward!

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