McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
Wharton | Mr. Rates Trader
GMAT 750, GPA 7.6/10
Tuck | Mr. Engineer To Start-up
GRE 326, GPA 3.57
Columbia | Mr. RE Investment
GMAT 720, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Ms. Big 4 M&A Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 2:1 (Upper second-class honours, UK)
Wharton | Mr. Firmware Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 9.04 (scale of 10)
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Captain CornDawg
GRE 305, GPA 4.0
Tepper | Ms. Coding Tech Leader
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Mr. Tech Start-Up
GMAT 720, GPA 3.52
Chicago Booth | Mr. Banker To CPG Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 7.36/10
Chicago Booth | Mr. Desi Boy
GMAT 740, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Impactful Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. Hopeful Engineer
GMAT 720, GPA 7.95/10 (College follows relative grading; Avg. estimate around 7-7.3)
Rice Jones | Mr. Simple Manufacturer
GRE 320, GPA 3.95
Chicago Booth | Mr. Corporate Development
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Former SEC Athlete
GMAT 620, GPA 3.8
Tuck | Mr. Army To MBB
GMAT 740, GPA 2.97
Columbia | Mr. Forbes 30 Under 30
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB Advanced Analytics
GMAT 750, GPA 3.1
Ross | Mr. Leading-Edge Family Business
GMAT 740, GPA 2.89
Darden | Mr. Logistics Guy
GRE Not taken Yet, GPA 3.1
Kellogg | Mr. Stylist & Actor
GMAT 760 , GPA 9.5
Columbia | Mr. Ambitious Chemical Salesman
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Irish Biotech Entrepreneur
GMAT 730, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Cricketer Turned Engineer
GMAT 770, GPA 7.15/10
Wharton | Mr. Planes And Laws
GRE 328, GPA 3.8
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Refrad
GMAT 700, GPA 3.94

Undoing My Scarcity Paradigm

For work this week, I had the pleasure of visiting the San Francisco Friends School. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve graced the halls of any independent or private school, and it just amazes me what smart people with tons of resources can accomplish.  In many ways, it’s this kind of exposure to endless possibilities that drives me to business school.

My imagination feels a bit stifled by the frame that non-profits operate in: the scarcity paradigm. Even visiting this school and experiencing  an incredibly resource-rich environment were enough to fire up my ambition to bring creative thinking and solutions to social woes.  I want to retrain myself to lead an organization where possibilities are not pushed aside because “there’s not enough money, time, people, etc.” but rather where they can be embraced because “we believe they’re worth trying.”

A former Levi’s production space, the school is a sight to behold on the inside: hardwood floors, riveted walls, and vaulted windows made the interior appear immense.  It’s interesting how a manufacturing plant could be converted to a space that gives off so much good energy.  Those Quakers can turn oats into oatmeal that’s for sure!

The loveliest part of the visit was “Worship” time.  Many of you may not be familiar with the Quaker tradition of silent reflection.  Basically, every day the whole school participates in 30 minutes of more or less complete silence.

Now, I’m not a religious person, but the experience was wholly meditative and refreshing.  It was a time to think, reflect, sit, listen, and smile.  I can’t remember the last time I “did nothing” for 30 minutes.  While at first it felt like an escape, like my mind was running away from the pressures of daily life, in the end it was actually the opposite.  I felt myself moving closer to the pressures of daily life and sorting them. I could find value in the something small like the smell of wet rain on the pavement and I could laugh about the inflated anxiety of waiting for business school admission decisions.

To say the least it was very pleasant.  And one of the nicest parts was that I got to think about where I’m going with my life.  I probably won’t be good about making silent meditation a habit in the future, but I do like to think of school (and business school in particular!) as a time to sit back and look at what I’ve accomplished and dream of where I want to be.

I have high hopes that business school will untrain some of the limitations imposed on my mind from so many experiences of working with scarce resources. Children always remind me of endless potential, and I am grateful for them allowing me to share in their silent meditation. We shouldn’t operate within a scarcity model when kids deserve so much more.

Sassafras is a 29-year-old MBA applicant who works for a San Francisco-based non-profit organization with a primary focus on youth development and education. With a 730 GMAT and a 3.4 grade point average from a highly ranked liberal arts college, he currently blogs at MBA: My Break Away? His previous posts for Poets&Quants:

8mbsp;