Out of the 200+ posts that I’ve made over the last year, this is the one that I have most wanted to make. I received my first (hopefully not last) acceptance to a top business school: Cornell’s Johnson School. I think it’s appropriate that I tell everyone who thinks his or her stats are sub-par that it is doable. I always believed that if an admissions committee understood my application, then I would have a great outcome. At least one school understood my application!
I had a tough time sleeping last night just because I knew that I would hear about decisions today, tomorrow, or Friday. I was literally tethered to my phone all day. From 9 to 1 p.m., I was jittery every time it buzzed. No it didn’t buzz because someone called me but because of Facebook and Twitter updates that get pushed to my phone. So I had to turn them off because it was literally making me sick to my stomach.
Then, I told myself, “Ok, it’s 2 p.m. I’m just not going to even try to anticipate any phone calls. I have too much stuff to get done.”
Then at 2:17, my phone vibrates and I see BLOCKED on the screen. I said “OH SHIT” and pushed back in my chair in my cubicle. I answer the phone “Hello?” And I hear, “Hi Richard this is _____ from the Johnson School.”
When I heard that last sentence I started shaking and my heart jumped onto my desk. I didn’t know what to do or say. To be honest I barely remember what was said: “Congratulations this….. deposit that…..” All I could do is keep saying “Thank you… Thank you…. Thank you….” I do remember saying, “I’m sorry I don’t even know what to say other than thank you…”
I’m usually not at a loss for words but I was at this point. What was ironic is that you go through this whole process wanting to go to a school. And then when you get that phone call letting you know that you’ve been accepted, the tables are turned. NOW they want you to literally accept them and matriculate at their school!
After I got off the phone I couldn’t scream in my office cubicle so I grabbed my cigarettes (future classmates I’m going to stop before I’m sitting next to you in class…don’t worry), got my building key and ran outside. I hopped in the elevator, went down 14 floors, ran outside and screamed, “YES!,” pumping my fist! Then, I called my mom to tell her the news.
After I semi-collected myself, I had to go back to work because I had a report to finish up. I’m thinking to myself “how in the world am I going to focus on this report now?” I went back to my desk and managed to get through the report. At some point, I told my director (a Kellogg MBA) that I was accepted, and she gave me a big hug! I emailed all of the students at Cornell who helped me through the process.
At the end of the day, I told my vice president (my other recommender) that I was accepted and she started clapping and said that I deserved it. Then she said, “Why are you still here? Go home. Celebrate!”
It was the end of the day anyway, so I went home. But what’s odd about being accepted is that you literally want to tell EVERYONE you see–even if you don’t know them. I wanted everyone on the street and in the subway to know what had just happened to me. Everyone, of course, is going about their own lives and couldn’t care less. But I sat on the subway train with a huge smile on my face.
One down, five more to go.
This report is adapted from Richard Battle-Baxter’s blog posts at “Ellipsing My Way…To Business School.”
Previous posts by Richard at Poets&Quants: