A Harvard Rejection Leads To Serious Doubts

Boy, it’s been long!

When I had named my blog “MBA Roller Coaster,” I didn’t realize how true it would be. I haven’t blogged for a long time now and it’s because my head has been spinning with all the craziness that’s been happening around. No one tells you that the toughest part of the MBA application is the waiting. Yes, it’s not the GMAT, it’s not the applications themselves, but the interminable waiting that occurs between submitting applications and interview calls, between interview calls and final admits. The wait and uncertainty just drives you crazy – almost insane.

First, my story till now:

Harvard Business School:

After three anxious wednesdays waiting for a HBS call, I was finally denied admission at HBS. I was quite taken aback as I was quite confident about at least an interview call from HBS. I cannot fathom the reasons for this but it could range from my agribusiness background to quality of recommendations (over which I had little control). But who knows!

Anyway the blow was too much and it took me sometime to recover from it. I seriously started doubting myself and wondered whether I had overestimated my profile and my chances at these schools.


Wharton came to my rescue and invited me to interview. Suddenly, the world was a better place! The interview went quite alright but could have been better – you can never tell in these things. I just have to wait till the decision date.


This was a whole difference dance form. My interview requirement was “waived” which led to frantic research about what it meant. It turned out that this was quite normal with international – especially India – applicants and there was nothing to worry about. At the same time, however, you cannot be admitted without an interview. What this meant was that they would conduct an interview later anyway if they found your application worthy – geez !. Of course, the past weeks had been spent in anxiety waiting for that elusive mail. Nights were disturbed, and days were troubled – concentrating on work was like having to climb mount everest. Shame on me.

Nonetheless, yesterday I got it – yes, I got the invite from Kellogg for a telephonic interview – and my joy knew no bounds. I am ecstatic, because what this means is that they found my application worthy enough for an interview – that’s a good sign, right? Let’s see how that goes.


Stanford, oh, Stanford! How I pine for thee. Stanford has been literally teasing its applicants with a tiny number of invites everyday. I haven’t got one, and of course I want one, but they won’t give me none. Of course, there’s still time to go and I could still get it but chances seem slim. In any case as poetsandquants points out: the chances of Indians at top business schools are pretty slim to start with anyway – like 1-2% ! That’s ok. We Indians are used to those kind of odds. Ask anyone taking IIT-JEE or IIM-CAT.

So, that’s the story till now and as you can see it’s been a true emotional roller-coaster ride. I hope the ride ends soon.

This report is adapted from The Phoenix’s blog posts at “The MBA Roller Coaster.” Previous posts on Poets&Quants:


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