Jumping Into The MBA Admissions Rabbit Hole

Well, its official. I’ve jumped down the MBA admissions rabbit hole. Just a few hours ago, I successfully submitted my first app to HBS; and my last of three recommenders submitted his recommendation about an hour and a half later without my having to be a pest about it.

I also received an invite today to attend the Tuck School of Business’ Diversity Conferenceat Dartmouth that I applied to several weeks ago. I had also brought it up to the Tuck adcom member who represented them at the Los Angeles MAPS event for the Consortium; she assured me that I would hear something about it soon.   I hurriedly submitted a confirmation that I planned to attend.  I’d also like to interview while there.

My Chances at Harvard (or Stanford, or Dartmouth, or anywhere, for that matter)

Who knows? I’m a firm believer that only a CURRENT admissions committee member can really tell you whether you are more or less likely to make the cut in a given year; and we all know that none of them are talking, so…?

If you let most admissions consultants tell it, the prognosis is “not likely”–but, of course, those chances can be increased for a fee. That reference kinda reminds me of Miss Cleo the (psuedo) psychic from back in the day. I mean no disrespect to admissions consultants, though. Their collective advice has been invaluable to me thus far; I”m just sayin’.

On the flip side, if you let most admissions committee members (at ANY school) tell it, the prognosis is “well, our program is very competitive; but if you have stats within range, stellar work performance, strong extras and a very clear and sensible reason for why you need the MBA now coupled with ambitious, yet realistic goals, you’ve definitely got a shot!

Hmm…Sounds great in theory, but can I really trust that to be an authentic answer? I mean, we all know that it would be both rude and non PC for an official admissions rep to tell me something like “35?!??!? Yeah, right. You haven’t got a chance in hell unless there’s a building on campus named after someone in your family or you’ve just won a medal at the London Olympics”.

To be honest, however, if that ever were the case I’d much rather someone just flat out tell me that than have me go through what I’ve gone through to put together quality applications. I’m a straight up kinda guy, and I like people to be straight up me. It just saves time.

Staying Even Keel

At any rate, I’ve chosen not to read too much into either stance. I know that I’ve done my research, started early, performed well in all areas that will be observed, put the time into my essays, app and recommenders, and submitted a strong Round 1 application. It’s simply out of my hands now.

I’m half relieved and half anxious, but I refuse to sweat. Life has taught me that it is best to remain emotionally even keel about situations that you cannot control. I’ve focused on what I could control (my actual app and the info submitted with it) and I am at peace with what I have submitted; actually, I’m quite proud of it and will remain proud of it whether my fate is admission or denial.

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