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Why I’m Going To Get an MBA

Early on in the admissions process, one of my colleagues gave me the best possible advice for refining my career goal.  She told me that I couldn’t tailor my passions to a specific school or program, because if I did so, they wouldn’t really be my passions. She simply said I already had the answer and just need to look within.

When I completed this introspective exercise, I thought back to 2009 when I was diagnosed with kidney failure.  During what was the worst months of my life, my hair was falling out and I developed lesions on my hands and face.  My legs filled up with so much leaking protein that I couldn’t fit my feet into my shoes.  Getting up every morning became a monumental task.  As my condition got worse, I wrote my will and made sure all of my assets went to my family.  I’m proud of the fact that, even during the darkest moments, I still understood what was really important.

While being put in this position was horrific in nature, there was one key benefit of being pushed to the brink:  the experience made me seriously think about how I wanted to be remembered.  Was it going to be as some “hot shot consultant”?  A “financial modeling wizard”?  I looked back at everything I had done up to that point and realized that, if my life had ended at that very moment, I wouldn’t have been satisfied.  I was still lacking a sense of purpose and fulfillment.  I won’t deny that my business acumen is my best skillset, and it’s definitely something that I’m proud of.  But my end goal needs to be more than just maximizing shareholder wealth.

Being diagnosed with and recovering from kidney failure taught me how precious life is and inspired me to make better use mine.  I am going to business school because I want to utilize my consulting and finance background to have a social impact.  I plan to eventually work within a social enterprise operating in developing countries.  And while business measures like market capitalization and earnings per share are still relevant to me, I know that the legacy I leave behind will be defined by the people I touch and the lives I improve.

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

Another Ding: First Harvard, Now Berkeley’s Haas School Says No

Surviving the Wait Game