MIT Sloan | Mr. Agri-Tech MBA
GRE 324, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Future Tech In Healthcare
GRE 313, GPA 2.0
MIT Sloan | Mr. Aker 22
GRE 332, GPA 3.4
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Tech In HR
GMAT 640, GPA 3.23
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Military To MGMNT Consulting
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Ms. Anthropologist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
MIT Sloan | Ms. Environmental Sustainability
GMAT 690, GPA 7.08
Wharton | Mr. Data Scientist
GMAT 740, GPA 7.76/10
Harvard | Ms. Nurturing Sustainable Growth
GRE 300, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Ms. Senior PM Unicorn
GMAT 700, GPA 3.18
Harvard | Mr. Lieutenant To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Consulting Research To Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (no GPA system, got first (highest) division )
Stanford GSB | Mr. “GMAT” Grimly Miserable At Tests
GMAT TBD - Aug. 31, GPA 3.9
MIT Sloan | Mr. Electrical Agri-tech
GRE 324, GPA 4.0
Yale | Mr. IB To Strategy
GRE 321, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Overrepresented MBB Consultant (2+2)
GMAT 760, GPA 3.95
Kellogg | Ms. Freelance Hustler
GRE 312, GPA 4
Kellogg | Ms. Gap Fixer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.02
Harvard | Mr. Little Late For MBA
GRE 333, GPA 3.76
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Wellness Ethnographer
GRE 324, GPA 3.6
Wharton | Ms. Financial Real Estate
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. The Italian Dream Job
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
NYU Stern | Mr. Labor Market Analyst
GRE 320, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Indian IT Auditor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. LGBT+CPG
GMAT 720, GPA 3.95
Kellogg | Mr. Naval Architect
GMAT 740, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Navy Submariner
GRE 322, GPA 3.24

From GMAT To Deposit: An Engineer’s Journey

Kellogg School of Management's new global hub now under construction

Kellogg School of Management’s new global hub now under construction

The waitlist sucks – No one ever considers that they could get on the waitlist.  It’s basically the school telling you “maybe” instead of “yes” or “no”. It sucks. You put together this application that takes hours and hours, and the school can’t even tell you yes or no. What’s more, if you want to turn that “maybe” into a “yes”, it’s going to take months of kissing ass. There’s no way around it if you really want to get into the school, and it’s not fun at all.

What I’d recommend

Don’t set expectations too high – This applies mostly to your friends who haven’t applied to business school. They will ask you where you’re applying, and you’ll want to tell them. Before you do, take a moment to reiterate that you are APPLYING. Not admitted, not even waitlisted. All you have done is filled out an application and given them the $200+ application fee. Any high school freshman with a part-time job could do that. I say that because, from a personal standpoint, people will just assume that you’re going to get into whatever schools you’re applying to. Telling them you didn’t actually get into the top school you applied to after they assumed you did is a really awkward conversation, even if you end up getting into a different top-tier program with a scholarship.

Don’t focus on the number – I’m sure a number of people will look at the GMAT score I posted earlier and think, “Wow, this guy is going to get into all of the top schools.”  That’s just not the case.  There are four parts to your application: the score, the resume, the essay, and the interview.  They’re all roughly weighted equally. Just because it’s much easier to compare your GMAT score to your peers doesn’t mean it’s more important. I would have raised the GMAT average for Stanford or HBS, and I didn’t even get an interview.  If schools could share the “average” essay or resume mine would have been below average. Don’t get hung up on the number.

Talk to your peers – There are literally tens of thousands of people going through the same process as you. Get to know them. Help each other. Maybe one of them knows an adcom at a school you’re applying to. Maybe one of them paid for an admissions consultant and can share their recommendations with you. Maybe you couldn’t make an info session and you can trade notes. Maybe one of them got into the same schools as you and can tell you how they negotiated a bigger scholarship. Whatever the case, your peers are a great resource. Leverage them.

I wish you the best of luck in your applications. My wife and I are excited to be moving up to Evanston to attend Kellogg in the fall and can’t wait to meet all my future classmates. If there’s anything you want help with, please post in the comments below. I can’t guarantee that I will be able to answer your questions, but I can guarantee that someone reading this article will. Again, best of luck!

Dean Nordhielm will be a member of Kellogg’s Class of 2017.


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