The Sting of the Ding: A Rejection From Wharton

Yesterday, Wharton sent me a nice little present: my first rejection. Instinctively, I wanted to pity myself and ponder what I did wrong on my application, but neither of those things are very helpful so I stopped myself before it was too late to turn back. The truth is, I felt like I put in my best effort for the application (or at least something very close), so there’s nothing for me to second guess.

I’m still intent on getting into a great business school. After all, I’m approaching the age where I have to make that decision of going back to school or not. If you look at the trend, most students at top MBA programs are under 30.

I also think that, nowadays, people can get so detached from their jobs. They spend the large majority of their adult lives just going through the motions of their jobs, just doing things, because they have to – to get by in life, pay the bills, support the family – but mentally and spiritually, they’re slowly getting the life sucked out of them. And I don’t believe in that; I believe in calling. I believe everyone has a calling, and that it’s crucial for you to discover your calling and to pursue it, because it injects purpose into your life.

See, I’m actually one of those oddballs who genuinely enjoys investment banking. (Yeah, I’m that guy.) But at the same time I don’t feel called to be a career investment banker; I see other opportunities where I can personally impact people more. And that’s something that’s really important to me. Some people are passionate about making a great product. Other people really care about innovation or getting rich or something else. For me, it’s all about people. I’m passionate about people.

So it basically came down to, do I want to start thinking about my next job, or would I rather go back to school first? And I settled on going back to school, because I think it’ll provide a better foundation in the long run and prepare me for the things I want to do. That said, I’m also a very religious person, so ultimately I’m leaving the outcome in God’s hands. I absolutely trust that I will end up where God wants me to end up, even if it’s not at business school.

This post is adapted from MBABoy, a blog written by an investment banker and anonymous MBA applicant who has a GMAT score of 760 and is targeting Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT Sloan, Tuck, Columbia, and Chicago Booth.

Previous Posts on Poets&Quants:

Introducing MBABoy

Telling Your Emotionally Volatile Boss You’re Applying to B-School

Meeting Stanford’s Round One Deadline. Phew!