When A Campus Visit Turns Off An MBA Applicant

It all reminds me of my years working for huge, stodgy Fortune 50 Company X. During my final years there “entrepreneurship” had become quite the buzz word. It has, in fact become a buzz word at many such companies since the advent of all this bullsmack about being an “entrepreneurial employee”, which is nothing but a bunch of corporate spin (“entrepreneurial” and “employee” go together about as well as “hemorrhoids” and “comfort” or “pregnant” and “six pack abs“; they are two completely different mindsets).

In these environments, all that “entrepreneurship” means is that the company wants you to put in an all-consuming entrepreneurial effort, make entrepreneurial sacrifices and bring an entrepreneurial work ethic to the table without hardly ANY of the entrepreneurial rewards. Yeah, no thanks.


I can remember times when I listened (in agony) to my old district manager giving one of his hot air speeches about how we needed to be more entrepreneurial in our jobs. I’d smirk and think to myself this dude wouldn’t know true entrepreneurship if it were biting his a$$. Running a company after someone else has already taken the risk to establish it is what makes you a manager; having built it from scratch would have made you an “entrepreneur”.

I hate that I”m so sensitive about the subject, but I’ve had my hide burned too many times taking real entrepreneurial risks to stomach an environment that talks about “entrepreneurship” without exhibiting it through ever fiber of its being.

3) Anderson can’t give me a new environment (of no fault of its own)

I’m coming to terms with the fact that I need to be in a completely new environment to experience the kind of transformation that I want; and UCLA, while a phenomenal institution, just can’t give me that by virtue of the fact that its sitting right in my backyard. Though it was never really a “safety school” in terms of rankings or prestige, it was an emotionally safe choice being that it is literally up the freeway from where I already live.

Also, like USC Marshall, it has a reputation for being slightly more open to older applicants. Oh well, if I weren’t willing to take calculated risks, then I wouldn’t really be an entrepreneur anyway.

MBAOver30 offers the perspective of a 30-something, California-based entrepreneur who is applying to Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Northwestern, Berkeley, UCLA and the University of Southern California. He hopes to gain acceptance to the Class of 2015 and blogs at MBAOver30.

Previous posts on Poets&Quants:

How I Totally Overestimated The MBA Admissions Process

Musings on MBA Failophobia

Letting Go Of An MBA Safety School

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.