Duke Fuqua | Mr. O&G Geoscientist
GRE 327, GPA 2.9
Kenan-Flagler | Ms. Big Pharma
GRE 318, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Indian O&G EPC
GMAT 730, GPA 3.75
Wharton | Ms. Product Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Mr. Indian Globetrotter
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Jill Of All Trades
GRE 314, GPA 3.36
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Midwest Startup
GRE 328, GPA 3.51
Stanford GSB | Mr. S.N. Bose Scholar
GMAT 770, GPA 3.84
Wharton | Mr. Big 4
GMAT 770, GPA 8/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB
GMAT 740, GPA 3.95
Wharton | Mr. Swing Big
GRE N/A, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Big Brother
GRE 329, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Low GPA Product Manager
GMAT 780, GPA 3.1
Kenan-Flagler | Ms. Nonprofit Admin
GMAT 620, GPA 3.3
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Top Three
GRE 310, GPA 2.7
Ross | Mr. NCAA to MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Kellogg | Mr. 770 Dreamer
GMAT 770, GPA 8.77/10
Tepper | Mr. Tech Strategist
GRE 313, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. JD To MBA
GRE 326, GPA 3.01
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Musician To Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 1.6
Harvard | Mr. Bangladeshi Analyst
GMAT 690, GPA 3.31
MIT Sloan | Mr. Generic Nerd
GMAT 720, GPA 3.72
Darden | Mr. Military Vet
GMAT 680, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Ms. ELS
GRE 318, GPA 3.8
Wharton | Mr. Investment Banking
GMAT 750, GPA 3.1
MIT Sloan | Mr. International Impact
GRE 326, GPA 3.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. US Army Veteran
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7

A Halloween Treat: An Invitation To Interview At Chicago Booth

Since I felt the “sting of the ding” from Harvard a week ago (I chose not to blog about it), I’ve done a fairly good job of keeping my sanity while in this wasteland of waiting for interview invites results.

Blocking Out the Noise

I’ve read half of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, advanced 9 ranking levels and earned over $12 million in fighting prize money on Tekken 6 with MARSHALL LAW (The Bruce Lee replica), my favorite character, and gotten my squat back up above 315lbs (that used to be a warm up for me before this MBA bonanza began).

I’ve also had to stay away from GMAT communities, and yes, even my beloved Poets and Quants. Even though I know people mean well, the constant requests for updates (“Did you hear from HBS? What’s up with Wharton? Did you make the cut?  Will you die an old fart on welfare eating dog food?” –et al) were driving me out of my mind.

Like Day Old Bread

In truth, I had gotten over the Harvard ding fairly quickly. While HBS is a dream school for almost any of us,  I was not completely certain as to whether it was the best fit. At the same time, I could not within good conscience not apply to see if I’d get an opportunity to find out.

What REALLY had me down was something different. It wasn’t related to any particular school; yet, it felt as intense as acid on my bones.

As an applicant, interview invites are more than simply a chance to get one step closer to a dream school like Booth, Sloan, Stanford, Wharton, Tuck, Haas, Yale, Kellogg, HBS or any of the others. They validate that there are no serious, damning flaws in your profile, your goals or your approach to your essays. They also validate that there were no secret haters among your recommenders who rated you low on something or went overboard on the constructive feedback questions.

If any of that goes on, you’re likely to receive such a ding from every school. And until you hear otherwise, you simply don’t know for sure (however, hearing of someone with an 800 GMAT and a 3.98 GPA in my major who also got dinged outright by HBS sobered me to the fact of how I shouldn’t take it too personally.).

So, to be outright dinged by ANY school (no interview; no waitlist–nuthin) can be thwarting. Even though I knew that dings from Stanford and HBS in particular–but really any of the schools I’m applying to–can’t be taken too seriously due to the ridiculous applicant pool quality, I was still very worried because I had no clue whether this was just a regular “you were good but just didn’t fit into the class we were putting together this year” or “there is something wrong with your profile that turns us off and will likely turn off other elite programs as well”. Whew; thank God that the former now seems the likely case.