A Scholarship Offer From MIT Sloan

by MBA Over 30 on

Touched Before Take-off

[Location, JFK Airport, NYC en route to Philadelphia] – So I’m sitting on the runway awaiting take-off at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) almost exactly 6 hours ago.

I’m having a good day.

I’ve taken today (Thursday) and tomorrow off to attend Wharton’s Winter Welcome Weekend in Philadelphia. I’m also smiling about the fact that I’ll come back to a second consecutive 3-day work week before before following a similar routine to attend The U of Chicago Booth’s Winter Welcome Weekend as well.

The most recent thing I have to be thankful for, however, is that just two days prior I received an email from The MIT Sloan School of Management welcoming me into its MBA class of 2015. The email did not come with news of a scholarship like the phone calls I got from Wharton and Booth, but I am no less happy and excited. I didn’t apply to any safety schools, so there is nowhere that I’ve been blessed to gain admission into that I would refuse to attend without money attached.

Then it happened. I got “touched” just before my take-off to New York.

Never on Schedule, but Always On Time

MIT Sloan’s decision day was just two days ago. On that day, I distinctly remember putting my muted iPhone on a table while sitting in a meeting to make sure that I would hear it if it buzzed with a call from area code 617. It never did.

The flight crew actually called for all phones to be turned off about 2-3 minutes ago; and as usual, my rebellious self is out of order. I’m checking one last hotel reservation detail before shutting off my device; and I dare somebody to say something about it.

As I’m double-checking my connection info for my layover in New York, the phone rings with a call–from area code 617. “Oh”, I think to myself. I guess Sloan IS going to call everyone who got accepted, even if a day or two later; how nice….how official.

When I answer the phone, I’m expecting a nice little “Welcome to the MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2015″ to come from the other end. I prepare myself to pretend to be super excited–which I 100% was two days ago when I first got the news; but that was two days ago, and the wine glass from that celebration has long since been empty. This will have to be a reenactment–something that a Los Angeleno should be able to pull off at least fairly well.

The admissions team works extremely hard at each school to choose a class from an amazingly qualified crop of applicants. I could just as easily have been rejected from Wharton, Booth and Sloan as I was accepted. The last thing I’d want to do is rob the adcom member of experiencing the joy of surprise when an applicant finds out that “they’ve made it” for the very first time; thus, I prepare to fake it.

A Familiar Voice and a Shock at the Buzzer

The voice that I hear at the other end of the phone is Jeff Carbone, the bright and congenial admissions officer that I had my loose, inconclusive interview with just two weeks ago [SIDEBAR: props to MIT Sloan for only making a brother wait 2 weeks before getting the final news one way or the other. #ENDSIDEBAR].

In so many words, he ends up letting me know that in addition to having been granted admission into MIT, I’ve also been chosen for a scholarship.

No.Faking.Necessary.

So naturally, I”m slightly beside myself at the moment given that all 3 of the schools that I’ve gotten into have offered me scholarships of some sort. I’m immediately taken back to a dark moment during my application process after Cheetarah1980 (BTW CONGRATS on getting your first internship offer from a HUGE, HUGE friggin dream company! You are a BEAST–ess) had just ripped yet ANOTHER set of my essay drafts to utter shreds. “You aren’t digging deep enough–nor are you being specific enough”, she said. “You don’t just want to eek out an offer of admission by the skin of your teeth. You want them to WANT you there”. That was some of the best damn admissions advice I ever received.

So thanks, Cheetarah! Oh, and there WILL be a single malt scotch in my future when I settle into my hotel room tonight–matter fact since you don’t drink, I’ll have one for the both of us!

MORAL OF THIS EPIC: If you’re over 30 and reading this, know without a doubt that many of the best business schools in the world will not only accept you, but want you there as long as you are bringing a strong and well-articulated perspective to the table to add to its next class; and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

Let the Welcome Weekend festivities begin!

MBAOver30 offers the perspective of a 30-something, California-based entrepreneur who is applied to Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Chicago, and MIT Sloan. He has been offered admission into Class of 2015 from Wharton, Chicago and MIT Sloan. He blogs at MBAOver30.com. Previous posts on Poets&Quants:

How I Totally Overestimated The MBA Admissions Process
Musings on MBA Failophobia
Letting Go Of An MBA Safety School
When A Campus Visit Turns Off An MBA Applicant
Yale, Tuck and Booth: The Next Leg of My Pre- MBA Research
 My Countdown: Less Than 30 Days To The GMAT
From Suits To Startups: Why MBA Programs Are Changing
Why I’m Not Getting Either A Part-Time MBA or An Executive MBA
Preparing To Sit For The GMAT Exam
Falls Short of GMAT Goal, But The 700 Is A Big Improvement
A 2012-2013 MBA Application Strategy
Celebrating A 35th Birthday & Still Wanting A Full-Time MBA
A Tuck Coffee Chat Leaves Our Guest Blogger A Believer
Heading Into the August Cave: Getting Those Round One Apps Done 
Just One MBA Essay Shy Of Being Doe
Getting That MBA Recommendation From Your Boss
Facetime with MBA Gatekeepers at Wharton
The Differences Between Harvard & Stanford Info Sessions
My MIT Sloan Info Session in California 
Round One Deadlines Approaching
Jumping Into The MBA Admissions Rabbit Hole
Relief At Getting Those Round One Apps Done But Now A Sense of Powerlessness
On Age Discrimination in MBA Admissions & Rookie Hype
Judgment Day Nears
Harvard Business School: No News Is Good News?
Researching Kellogg, Tuck, Berkeley and Yale
A Halloween Treat: An Invite To Interview From Chicago Booth
The MBA Gods Have Smiled Once Again
Interviewing At Chicago Booth and Wharton
My Thanksgiving Day Feast: Completing Applications
The Most Painful Part of the MBA Application Process: Waiting
An Invite To Interview At MIT Sloan
An Early Morning Phone Call From Area Code 773 With Good News
An Acceptance From Wharton
Going AWOL From The Admissions Game
The 10 Commandments of the MBA Admissions Game
Networking With Fellow Admits At Wharton and Booth 
MIT Sloan Let My Outspoken, Black Ass In — Hallelujah!

  • Ben Xuang

    Dude, not to impinge your or anything but you are a minority with great credentials so much more likely then an asian like myself to get a scholarship.

  • mc52

    Being gay helps too, but not to rain on your parade your advice will work on someone who is black male/female, LGBT or some underrepresented ethnicity like say Iranians. I would hate for some newbie to take your advice at facevalue..just a reality check. Anyway Congrats!

  • Justin

    Congrats! I’ve been following you for months (well, weeks actually, but thanks to this thing called the interwebz, I can go back in time…crazy). I’m finally getting serious about b-school, so these next 2 years should be fun (gmat, apps, etc.). I hope you plan to continue the updates once you begin your studies.

    Again, congrats.

  • pengyou

    How much are the scholarships?

  • Nick

    Well done, man. That is incredible news…

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    Thanks Nick!

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    The vast majority of scholarships go out to non URMs

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    Being rich helps, too; or the child of an alum….or blond and bubbly with a job a Goldman. Everybody has an angle, learning to work yours is what the game is all about; but thanks!

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    Thanks Justin. Best of luck to you man. You can crush this process IF you choose to do so.

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