Here I am in suburban Atlanta at the Pearson test center where in 30 minutes I will be taking the GMAT, the test that will determine which business schools will find me to be an attractive candidate.
It’s going to be a four-hour grind requiring focus, efficiency and mental endurance. To maintain my mental acuity I have brought a bottle of water and a Nature Valley granola bar to consume during my brief intra-test break.
My heart is racing. My hands are clammy. I am more than a little nauseous.
I really shouldn’t be this nervous. I’ve studied. I’ve reviewed. I’ve taken multiple practice tests.
But the main reason I shouldn’t be nervous is that I already have an MBA.
Yeah, from Dartmouth’s Tuck school. Class of ’97, baby!
I’ve also had a pretty solid post-MBA career in digital media, with career stops at Yahoo!, Facebook, and – oddly enough – years’ worth of time in comedy clubs where I have performed over 500 stand-up comedy shows.
WHY AM I TAKING THE EXAM? MY WIFE ASKED ME THE SAME QUESTION
So, why am I doing this? (my wife asked me the same question this morning)
I’m here because I’m writing a book titled You Should Totally Get an MBA: The Comedian’s Guide to Top Tier Business Schools.
It is a longer form project than the weighty business articles I’ve written over the past few years (see Apple’s $178 Billion in Cash Would Buy SO MUCH WEED on Huffington Post).
Like all great B-school guidebooks, it’s got school reviews, interview advice, and ridiculous amounts of nudity.
Okay, maybe not so much nudity. Maybe in the sequel.
In writing said book, I have tried to replicate the mindset of a current MBA applicant, which means studying for and re-taking this bear of a test.
For that reason, I am fixin’ to get my GMAT on.
I check in. Dude behind the desk asks my name, reviews my ID, then scans my palm for vein-pattering identification. CIA technology to deter cheaters. All right, GMAC.*
WHERE IS MY OATS ‘N HONEY GRANOLA BAR?
I return to the waiting area to realize that I can’t find my granola bar. This is not okay. I get really whiny when I’m hungry.
I return to the desk and ask, “Did you see the granola bar I left up here?”
“Uhhh, no.” he replies, offering a cursory glance around his desk, then looking at me like I’m a deranged idiot.
“It’s Oats ‘n Honey” I add, confirming his suspicion.
Dude couldn’t care less.
Does this guy know what’s at stake here? This is game day! This is the Super Bowl that determines whether I have the goods to pretend apply to HBS or Stanford! If this was my first crack at the test, I would be freaking out.
But it’s not.
* GMAC is the name of the organization that administers the GMAT, and is also the name of a hip-hop artist whose rap song Turnt Up begins:
“I’m addicted to the money…if it ain’t about them hundreds,