Job responsibilities for the next MBA class ranges from just a 5 month plan to finish everything to complete senioritis. As spring nears, thoughts can turn to love or in the case of the mostly single male MBA class, just plain getting it on (cue Barry White music).
At bars, cubicles, on the Daba Girls website, or on Business Week Forum, thoughts are turning to which MBA program has the best dating scene, hook up scene, where to get your MRS degree or whatever you are looking for in a conventional heterosexual love life. I spent a year in the 95% female School of Social Work before playing rugby at my MBA program so that gives me at least two perspectives. In my typical list fashion, here's what I learned about Love in the Time of MBA's.
- MBA on MBA: No one talks enthusiastically about dating their fellow MBA classmates despite how much all have in common. Women soon repeat the mantra of the "The odds are good but the goods are odd" and guys are too busy talking about undergrads or oggling someone else. There will be hook-ups, relationships, and marriages even though everyone pretends they would rather be an awkwardly developing 13 year old than get together with a classmate. Now one reason to not get together with a classmate is if it goes badly, it can be ugly and public. But that's never really stopped anyone from getting together with classmates, workmates, monastary-mates before so why would that change in an MBA program? Another MBA alumni blogger, Marquis, actually has a really elegant guide to MBA dating in the middle of this post. The one advice that I would offer is that when you are a first year, try to date a second year. You will feel like a sophomore dating a senior and second years are out of that awkward 1st year period and can really keep you sane.
- The Undergrad option or I get older but high school girls stay the same: MBA guys at Texas, Arizona State, or any of the schools with really attractive undergrads all see themselves as a future Hugh Hefner. The reality is what Michigan undergrads call the event when MBA guys show up, "Fat, balding Middle Aged Guy Night". Like communism, going after undergrads sounds great in theory but never works out in practice. Unless you have the same physique that you did in college, it's not an option because you're competing with college guys. You're a grad student so you're not going to look like a sugar daddy. You're talking to women who haven't entered the workforce yet so stories about closing that deal are boring.
- Other Graduate Schools are an Option: Or an option for guys. Graduate schools in education, social work, nursing, and veterinary medicine have much more women than men so the odds work. Of those schools, Social Work and Education never work out. My social work classmates and MBA classmates were not on the same planet in terms of views of the world and that's similar with Education. Nursing works out probably because they are used to working with physicians so MBA's don't seem that arrogant by comparison. The Vet School worked out the best probably because it's favorable male/female ratio is not that well-known so MBA's are still new and quaint. Bonus opening line for a Vet School student is "Excuse me, are you large or small?" Rather than getting slapped, you will get an enthusiastic answer as large or small refers to their course of study (large animals like horses or small animals like dogs and cats). Unfortunately grad programs that have more men, like engineering, are just not appealing for women for obvious reasons.
- Mingling with the Locals: This tends to be a better option for women for the simple fact that a guy will approach a woman at a bar/coffee shop/gym/rodeo for all the same reasons regardless of where she attends graduate school. Women tend to be better conversationalists than guys and will thus not talk about case studies, recruiting interviews, learning teams, etc. MBA men tend not to realize how unapproachable they look in a large group dressed up in the latest theme party gear and stories of how you really rocked the cold call question on discounted cash flows lost them at hello.