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So that’s what an MBA is…

I would date the feeling to about June of ’07. A feeling I always described to people as being antsy. To solve this I chose to take a GMAT prep course with my room mate Justin. Nine classes at three hours each requiring roughly 7-15 hours extra homework and study per week during that time with the intentions of taking the proper test several weeks after course end. Ahhh those college days with books and libraries and coffee’s and all that. Bang a 680 on the test and then wander off to Argentina, England and Paris for some self exploration and shinanigans.

I walked through a grad fair on the UCI campus during the waning days of senior year. I walked to a table that had Barcelona on the front of it and figured I had some leverage due to my recent travels through Europe. Thirty months later I decide that school was what I needed. Get to take advantage of one of the best cities in the world to grow as a multi-cultural human being. I could finally develop my spanish skills so I can say jokes in Spanish. Goto what turnsout to be one of the best international schools in the world and ranked very well according to supposedly legit sites. (Found that out after I made the decision for that school funny enough.)

My plan was to first make contact with the school. Through email I was able to get in touch with a very pleasant Dutch admissions associate who said he would be in San Francisco and could I meet him there. I think I bought the airplane ticket before I responded to him. So to make this meeting a formal interview, I had to submit my application.

The application took close to 16 hours I would say including “pondering time.” The trick to a good essay is one that can be read and leave a lasting impression on the readers mind. Stay on prompt but all the time dropping little knowledge bombs like your cycling habits or current work success or new internet idea. The questions they give you do not allow you to say enough, so you have to put a spin on the questions to get everything in that you want.

I flew to San Francisco for the interview. All I knew was I had a 1:30 appointment in this huge posh hotel in downtown. So I wandered the lobby just hoping I would see someone that looked Dutch. Fortunately I googled the man I was meeting and I had found a picture of him so I could spot him in the crowd and walked straight up to him, I thought a good first meeting. We talked for a roughly 70 minutes even though he said he had an hour which I was pleased with. I felt I had nailed the interview except for one question where he asked me what I knew about the school. Now, I had spent several hours the night before researching the school and how to interview and all that so I thought I came into this locked and loaded. But I stumbled. My volley was to ask a question back at him so he could inform me and I was happy to listen. It ended with smiles and laughter but I had furious thoughts in my head about why the school needed me to verify they were so good. Why was it not enough for me to simply just “want” to go? Oh well it was out of my hands… A heli-boarding trip to Canada cleared my self perceived frustrations with my interview performance and/or essay quality.

Since then I have been told that I am on the waiting list and can expect to hear from them in the middle of May. I didn’t even know there was a wait list option, I thought it was No or Yes only. So I did a lot of reading on google and decided that I had to be proactive during this wait list process otherwise fall into the pile of wait list names. First contact was an email I sent to them trying to involve the fact that their school was the one for me in an effort to try and cover up the bad interview question mentioned earlier. I also tried to make it very clear that I would jump at the opportunity to attend the school and should I be pulled from the wait list, it will be a guaranteed accept for them. The idea here being to step on those other applicants who have applied to many schools all at the same time and may have accepted at other schools that didn’t wait list them. Second has been to research the classes that I would like to start with and who i could contact to help me with that. Next is to prove to them that I am continuing to challenge myself in as many ways as possible from both a personal and professional point of view. That will be in another blog.

When you apply for business school the one thing you will get out of it regardless of the outcome is a life plan at least for the next five or more years. Currently I have applied to one school, and I plan on applying to one more which is due in 11 days. And I have already disregarded my own advice from earlier and haven’t given my referrals the paperwork yet. Note to self: Do that tomorrow. But I feel good because I know what I want to do with myself and worst case it doesn’t happen this year and I do it next year. Give me one more year to save money and develop a better application for the next year. Whats funny is that putting this off one more year still doesn’t get me close to this absurd average MBA age of 28 or more.

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