The HBS ding was definitely a downer for me, despite the fact that I never really saw myself as a fit for the school and that I knew my chances were really low going in. I began to worry that the rest of my responses would come in exactly the same way. I was already starting to weigh my thinking solely on the two UC schools that had already invited me to interview.
This afternoon I received a very cryptic email from Wharton, looking very similar to the HBS email that eventually led to a rejection. There was no decision in the email; it simply asked me to log in to find out what my decision was. “Here we go again” I thought. I dug up my log in and password expecting to experience the same rejection process I went through only a few days before. I mean really, if they invite you to an interview, can’t they at least send you an email telling you so? (This is what the UC schools did) This would’ve saved me the 3 minutes of stress from navigating through a web browser to find out one of the most important decision points in my career. When I finally came to my application landing page, I saw three words that immediately changed my tone and brightened my day:
“Invited to Interview”
The admissions process is definitely an emotional rollercoaster ride with the same peaks and valleys that I experienced while studying for the GMAT. However, these emotional swings are definitely more stressful because this is the final leg of the race. The process is also a lot more subjective – when I get a question wrong on the GMAT, 99.9% of the time I know why I got it wrong and feel the outcome is fair. The admissions process just doesn’t have the same transparency and it can be difficult to tell why you’ve been accepted or rejected.
I’ve noticeably been posting less on my blog because this whole process is stressing me out. I’ve started losing sleep over the subject, just thinking about all the different scenarios in my head. I decided early on to keep off of the boards and other people’s blogs because I knew that hearing applicant outcomes before my own decision was finalized would only stress me out. But I knew decisions were going out, and the longer I had to wait to receive feedback, the lower my overall odds would get.
Going back to the day I decided to go to business school last July, I’ve honestly count of how many times I’ve been broken down and built up again emotionally. Overflowing confidence can easily turn itself into self-pity, and vice versa, all in a short amount of time. One thing I know for sure though: I’ve been invited to interview at more than half the schools I applied to, and reaching this milestone is a good feeling.
This post is adapted from Random Wok, a blog written by Mako from Silicon Valley. You can read all of his posts at Random Wok.
Selected posts by Mako at PoetsandQuants: