Having recently emerged from the battle that was business school admissions, I thought I’d start a blog to share some of what I learned from my admissions experience, and also to chronicle all of the adventures that I know lie ahead. For all of you out there who are going through the admissions process right now, keep your head up. Though it may not seem like it, you CAN get a good GMAT score, visit campuses, write fifteen different essays about yourself, ace your interviews, work a full time job, and still manage to call your mom every so often. It’s definitely a marathon, not a sprint, so pace yourself! I can’t tell you how many times I was up at two in the morning, supposedly working on an essay but actually just googling inane things like, “What should I do with my life?”. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I want to share what I do know in the hopes that the next time some stressed out MBA applicant googles something like, “How do I get into business school?” in the wee hours of the morning, this blog will pop up, make you smile, and maybe even give you a little bit of hope.
My admissions experience was completely spastic, because I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to apply to MBA programs in the months leading up to Round 1 deadlines. I initially had kind of mental block against business school, as I had done an undergrad business degree at UNC – Chapel Hill and only liked (didn’t love) it. Don’t get me wrong – Kenan-Flagler is one of the best undergraduate business schools out there, and the quality of the teachers and the students is unparalleled. We’re talking about a classic case of “it’s not you, it’s me”. I minored in fiction writing and always preferred sitting around a table with my writing professor and classmates discussing someone’s short story to sitting in an accounting or finance lecture. However, after talking to lots of people with MBAs, I realized that I was naively viewing all business schools as nothing but places that churn out number crunchers. What I found out was that business school students are some of the most interesting people I’ve met – everyone has different backgrounds and interests, and everyone has their own unique vision for what kind of mark they want to make on the world- the cool thing about business school is that it equips you to make that mark.
After talking to lots of alums, spending many hours on different schools’ websites, and embarking on a whirlwind of campus visits, I applied Round 1 to Tuck, Kellogg, Stanford, and Harvard, and was lucky enough to get into all of them except for Stanford. I loved all of the schools (more thoughts on each later), but unfortunately you can only go to one. I picked Harvard Business School and started this past Fall!