So about a year ago, I plunked down $250 and took my first swing at the GMAT. I had made a 650 on a practice test without studying, and felt that I should be able to do about as well without too much trouble, then pump out a few essays to some top MBA programs and call it a day.
HA! What a rookie mistake. What delusions of grandeur! I had no friggin clue of what I was in for. Little did I know that there would be much wailing and gnashing of teeth before I would see the light of day.
I walked into that first GMAT sitting and got served; my #$$ was promptly handed to me, wrapped in a bow. Since then, I’ve regrouped, studied for months, went without shaving or bathing, finally did ok on the GMAT, decided a against a retake, slaved over essays, hopped on planes, interviewed and FINALLY was granted admission to Wharton and Chicago–each with scholarships/fellowships and still have a pending interview coming up for MIT Sloan.
And you know what? I’M GOOD.
No more apps, no more essays. I am officially reclaiming my civilian status and going AWOL from the top B-school admissions game–at least from the applicant perspective.
Truth be told, I applied to the schools that I was most interested in up front in Round 1 (I don’t believe in safety schools, however; I would have been just as proud of potential admits to Tuck and Haas, which would have been my final picks to apply to from the Consortium). I knew that if I was satisfied with those results that I would not continue to put myself through this.
I also knew that I did not want to be put in the position of having to consider paying a deposit for one school in R1 to hold a spot and then end up possibly paying again for another school in R2 that I liked even more. I don’t have time for that.
Lastly, I wanted to maximize the time that I’d have to plan, strategize, and most importantly–SAVE MONEY for what I’ve been told can be quite an expensive transition; so that is exactly what I will be doing.
Countdown to a Decision
So here’s what’s next:
Mid January – Interview with MIT Sloan
January 29 – MIT Sloan Round 1 Final Decisions Released
February 1, 2 – Admit Weekend at Wharton in Philadelphia
February 8, 9 – Admit Weekend at Booth in Chicago
February 19th – Deposit Due at both Wharton and Booth
The occurrences that take place during the next month and change will determine whether:
A) MIT Sloan will even be an option for me (whether I get in or not)
B) I’ll pass on Wharton and Booth (pending an MIT admit) and attend Sloan
C) I’ll pass on Sloan and attend Wharton or Booth regardless of the Sloan decision
D) I’ll pay a deposit to Wharton or Booth after being dinged by MIT
Each school is top tier and chuck full of entrepreneurial resources and opportunities; thus any scenario is possible. Some of the contributing events will be out of my control; but I’m fine with that–used to it, in fact.
At this point, I’m celebrating what I have been able to accomplish (which is humbling enough in and of itself), enjoying the last few events that will wrap up the admissions portion of my MBA experience and vigorously planning so that I can make the most out of it once I begin school at the REAL work starts.
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.
Previous posts on Poets&Quants: