Profit squeezes, position limits, extension swaps, rollovers, interlocking directorates—horizontal mergers, for heaven’s sake. Factor in a tight-knit cadre of ambitious, successful people in the prime of life, a pressure-cooker environment, and enough recruiter-sponsored cocktails to irrigate the Gobi Desert, and nature is bound to take its course. Unless you’re pretty permanently attached (by, say, a ring) to your pre-B-school honey, there’s a good chance you’ll break up a few months into your first term.
“He didn’t understand where I was coming from, but at first you don’t know if you can compete in business school.
I just wanted to make sure I could make it and have good grades.” Michael Preis, 27, who graduated from Columbia Business School last spring, also succumbed to the inexorable pull early in his first year.
“I had a miserable time trying to break away from classes and group work to be with my girlfriend,” he says.
“You’re making such a huge investment in the network of people at business school.
To be torn away from that defeats the purpose of being there.” MBA candidates quickly discover that business school is tailor-made for dating.
“I had one stretch of six weeks where I was seeing three people at once,” says Preis.
“I was trying to keep track of who was from where, which town, which college, who had the dog, the cat, the parrot.
Christine, 30, a second-year at Wake Forest’s Babcock School, managed to hold out until February of her first year before she broke things off with her boyfriend of almost three years—but an end at some point seemed inevitable.
“Whenever I’d visit him, I’d have to concentrate really hard to forget about deadlines and assignments,” she says.