After arriving at Wharton’s west coast campus at around 10am, I spent the day toggling between loitering, b-lining to Starbucks and rehearsing the two opening arguments I had prepared for Wharton’s new team-based interview format. About 2 hours prior to my interview, I bumped into Ankur, who did not see me because she was speaking with a student who was leaving his group interview. He was also pummeling her with questions to ease his anxiety. I felt his pain.
I must admit, I was thrown off my game a bit by that sighting. For some reason, I assumed (don’t ask me why. I had NO data to support it. BAD MBA!) that I’d be interviewed by Tiffany Gooden, Wharton’s 2nd in command ad com who had greatly impressed me during Wharton’s LA info session and her participation in the Riordan/DMAC diversity conference back in August.
Having lived in Los Angeles for 12 1/2 years, I’m more than used to seeing someone in person that I’ve seen on camera dozens of times; and more than over it, because I’m not the star struck type. Still, it is always slightly thwarting to see someone animated in real time that you are used to viewing through a camera’s lens. Knowing that she was the HWIC (head woman in charge), I thought to myself, “Well…this is going to go one of two ways”.
Every Dog Has its Day
I was VERY pleased with my group interview. I was proud of both my individual performance and my group’s performance as a whole. Then during my one-on-one interview with Ankur, I mentioned that I had been trying to get in contact with a certain professor from a research institute that I was VERY interested in.
Then, to my shock and surprise, she offered to help me contact him if I tried again and did not reach him. In essence, she threw this dog a bone; and I bit–HARD. The former salesperson/account executive in me would have no less.
Over the next few weeks, a flurry of emails went flying mostly between that professor and I and a few from Ankur, who connected us. The professor is Peter S. Fader from the Wharton Customer Analytics Institute. He and his colleagues are the preeminent thought leaders in a field that I have both some experience and tons of interest in; and their work hasn’t been duplicated at any other schools–its unique to Wharton.
So by the time I got this morning’s call, I had been tantalized by “what ifs” and other hopeful thoughts over the past few weeks as I’ve had the opportunity to get to know professor Fader and become familiar with the amazing work that he is doing. Needless to say, I have some tough decisions to make. And in the meantime, I’ll be bumping to the entire discography of THE ROOTS on my iTunes…and going through a bottle or two of wine this evening. That is all.
MBAOver30 offers the perspective of a 30-something, California-based entrepreneur who is applyied to Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Chicago, and MIT Sloan.. He has been offered admission into Class of 2015 from Wharton and Chicago and will be interviewing for Sloan. He blogs at MBAOver30.
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