She Got Into 4 Of The Top 5 U.S. MBA Programs — While Planning Her Own Wedding

She Got Into 4 Of The Top 5 U.S. MBA Programs — While Planning Her Own Wedding

Estefania Diaz Escamilla won admission to four of the most selective business schools in the world — while working full-time in investment banking and planning her 250-person wedding. Courtesy photos

Estefania Diaz Escamilla is headed to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School this fall, and she’s ready for whateverPoets&Quants’ No. 1 U.S. business school throws at her.

For Diaz Escamilla, a native of Mexico, the road to B-school was already an incomparably stressful grind. Not only did she apply to four of the most elite MBA programs in the world — Stanford Graduate School of Business, Harvard Business School, Wharton, and Chicago Booth School of Business — and gain admission to all four, she did it while working full-time as an investment banker and planning her wedding and honeymoon.

“Business school will be a rest for me after this!” she says with a laugh. “I’ll be very busy, but now I can do exercise, I can meet people, it will not be only me studying in a room by myself and spending the time I am not working planning my wedding.

“It was a journey — a very difficult journey — but I’m happy it all came through.”

She Got Into 4 Of The Top 5 U.S. MBA Programs — While Planning Her Own Wedding

Diaz Escamilla: “You really need to know how to tell the story in order to sell yourself, otherwise you’re just not going to be as good as the rest of the competitors. Because in the end, it’s super, super, super competitive and you can be very, very good candidate, but if you don’t know how to tell your story, you won’t get in”

A CAREER PATH LEADING STRAIGHT TO GRADUATE BUSINESS EDUCATION

Diaz Escamilla hails from Aguascalientes, a small town north of Mexico City. After studying economics as an undergrad, she went to work in investment banking.

An MBA was not only the logical next step — it was something she’d always wanted, and planned, to do.

“Sometimes it was not clear why, but I have always had in my mind that I wanted to study an MBA,” she says. “And after three years in investment banking it’s just a natural step, because either you become an associate in investment banking or you have a change of career, and most of the investment bankers usually go to private equity.

“And that was my story: I wanted to learn other skills, more managerial skills, to be able to work in a private equity in the future.”

4 MBA APPS PLUS A MASSIVE WEDDING TO PLAN

Diaz Escamilla and her fiancé, Eduardo, decided to go for an MBA together, applying to the same four schools: Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, and Chicago Booth.

They also decided to get married during the application process. Diaz Escamilla says when they decided to exchange vows, they may have underestimated the strain of the application process compounded by wedding preparations.

Way underestimated it.

“My husband and I decided we were going to start preparing for the first round in 2022. So we started preparing in 2021. However, the GMAT was more difficult than we expected, and I ended up spending about a year preparing for it.

“My husband gave me the ring in January 2022. So I was already very stressed because I knew I still had to work on the GMAT and prepare all the applications — and now I also had to prepare a wedding, because the idea was to get married before going to the U.S. We wanted to apply as a couple: We weren’t sure if our marital status would change anything, but we wanted to be like, ‘We are already married.’”

She and Eduardo ended up applying in the second round for each of the four schools, in early January of 2023. Then they turned their attention to the 250-person, 15-hour party that was to be their wedding. “I submitted all my applications on the 4th and 5th of January,” Diaz Escamilla says, “and after that I had 10 days to finish all the details of the wedding, because we got married on the 14th of January.”

Next pages: Estefania Diaz Escamilla’s process and advice to MBA applicants.  

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