After Dings From Columbia & Wharton, A Focus On Kellogg & Booth

studyingUnfortunately, I got word back from both Columbia and Wharton that I would not be invited to interview and I was in fact dinged on both applications.

The CBS decision was a stinging blow, since I applied ED and really gave that application my all. I put A LOT of effort and time into it, particularly the essays and resume. But, alas, it was not to be. And while Wharton was more expected, and honestly a more rushed application, it didn’t feel any more pleasant when that “no” came through. I’m not sure it was any one thing that kept me out of these schools, but I think my relative youth and low GPA were both factors. Again, it’s not really surprising, but it is disappointing.

Where to from here?

Well, with those two done, I have been focusing on my next two applications to Chicago Booth and to Northwestern Kellogg. I’m hoping I’ll have more luck at one or the other, or maybe my application will resonate more with one or both admissions committees. I do feel like my essays are better suited for Booth and Kellogg, so maybe that’s an indicator I’m a better fit with one of these schools than either CBS or Wharton? Or maybe my essays are just getting better after a few more months of processing and practice.

I have been to information sessions for both and really like each program. The alumnus from both schools are great – they’re very smart, very down to earth and really personable. Tough to say exactly why, but they were just cool people that I got along with. I can only compare their info sessions to the CBS info sessions I’ve been to, but one large difference was that while at the CBS informationals I felt a bit pressed to impress, so to speak. Whereas with the Chicago/Northwestern info sessions I felt like I could be more myself. I felt extremely comfortable talking with both the admissions committee representatives and the recent MBA graduates.

A couple thoughts from speaking with alumni from each program: I think Booth gets a bad rap regarding their student community experience, but Kellogg does seem to have a more tight-knit feel to it. I have yet to visit either campus, but I plan to attend Kellogg’s interview on campus in Evanston. And if Booth hasn’t extended an interview invite by then, I will swing down and check out their Hyde Park campus on my own, as well as the Gleacher Center downtown.

So to wrap this up, it really has been an epic journey so far, and it doesn’t seem like the end is anywhere in sight. And although I’m at a pretty low point after two denials, I guess there’s nowhere to go from here but onward and upward.

A management consultant, FromGMATToMBA is blogging about his journey into a top 10 business school with what he calls a “low-ish GPA.”  In the first round, he was dinged from both Columbia Business School and Wharton. He also plans to apply in round two to Chicago Booth and Northwestern Kellogg. He blogs at FromGMATToMBA.

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