Another Ding: First Harvard, Now Berkeley’s Haas After An Interview

It’s hard to describe how I feel right now. Part of me is hurt by the fact that I felt this school would have been a great fit for me. Part of me feels my chances of getting in to at least one school are still good.  Don’t get me wrong, this feeling definitely sucks right now, but I honestly expected to be more devastated if this were to occur.  Maybe the reality just hasn’t hit me yet?  I probably won’t sleep well tonight.

I was really anxious getting into work today, and when I got there, I was constantly checking both my phone and my email. Around the middle of the day, the “Berkeley Admissions Decision” email popped into my inbox. My heart rate started to increase. I should’ve realized this was a bad sign, but I really thought I would get into this school. The link they originally sent was broken, so I just used the regular admissions portal. When I finally logged in and clicked on my admissions status, I felt completely empty because of what I saw:

Unable to Offer Admission

I didn’t even get waitlisted. I started thinking back to all the parts of my application that I could’ve improved. My GPA and GMAT were fine and I thought my essays were pretty good, but there was definitely room for improvement. My interview was okay, and I know I answered some questions really well. But I definitely could’ve answered a few of the questions better. Maybe my interviewer didn’t think much of me? I thought my best asset was fit – from a cultural perspective I knew I would have fit in perfectly within the Berkeley culture. Regardless of all the “could haves” and “would haves” I throw out there, the decision is final and my candidacy is over: I won’t be going to Haas this year. Now it’s starting to hit me.

I think I need to look into building a more detailed backup plan. I applied to five schools thinking that surely I would get into at least one. But my chances have gotten much slimmer with this latest ding and not going to business school should now be a serious consideration of mine.

I’m going to take a long lunch today. From now until my next decision, I probably won’t be blogging much or reading any of the boards.

This post is adapted from Random Wok, a blog written by Mark Wong from Silicon Valley. You can read all of his posts at Random Wok.

Selected posts by Wong at PoetsandQuants:

Why I Want an MBA

Climbing the GMAT Mountain: 630 to 710 on a Practice Test

Do Consultants Have An Unfair Edge Over Other Applicants?

Falling Behind & Stressed Out

My New Critical Reasoning Strategy

Figuring Out My Odds of Getting Into Harvard, Stanford, Wharton

With My GMAT Classes Over, It’s Now Just Me and the Test

Making a GMAT Test Taker Feel Like A Complete Pansy

With a Month to Go Before His GMAT Test, It’s Time to Focus

Is The GMAT Really Designed To Break You?

I Took the GMAT Today and Rocked It!

Charting All My GMAT Scores Over Time With Lessons

After Scoring My 750, It’s Now All About Applying

MBA Applications Wisdom from Muhammad Ali

Facing A Gauntlet of Round Two Deadlines

Should Everyone Apply to Harvard Business School?

The Final Click Is The Hardest Click: Sending In My Application

A Punch to the Gut: Bad Reviews On His Draft Essays

MBA Essay Writing: Draining the Life Out of Me

Beginning to Realize You Can Never Write The Perfect MBA Essay

With Wharton and UCLA Apps Done, He Feels Like a Zombie

Taking Back His Life After Sacrificing Health, Time & Sanity

Slammed with Business School Spam Thanks to GMAC

Getting an Invite for An Interview from Berkeley’s Haas School

UCLA’s Anderson School Asks Our Blogger To Interview

A Ding From Harvard Business School

After a Harvard Ding, Good News in a Cryptic Email from Wharton

  • Frazier

    Just to commiserate, I find this whole process to be very frustrating. It seems that good scores, grades, and work experience are just the price of getting in the game. Beyond that, you’re playing odds.
    I often find myself thinking that there must be a better way. It seems really inefficient for every MBA hopeful to put in the time, money, and effort to apply to 6 schools just so they can get into 1. It’s tough on the non-stellar candidate (which seems to be low-mid 700 GMAT, high GPA, and a decent background these days) who has to pick up the waitlist scraps of those with multiple offers.
    Or maybe I’m just bitter and want to blame the yield management process for my lack of success.
    Dunno. I’d be interested to hear others’ thoughts.

  • Very sorry to hear that. I know what that disappointment feels like all too well. (I’m a recovering law school hopeful.) Best wishes and hopes that you do get into a great school that’s right for you.

  • Bruce Vann

    Sorry to hear that, Mark. It’s crazy that you can put so much work into something and then it come to nothing. I hope that you get in somewhere (and I hope that I do too).