Wednesday, March 31, 2010

MBA app road comes to an end

So I've been on Kellogg's waitlist until today, where I was dinged. It was a bittersweet moment: Getting in would have been amazing, but the opportunity cost was nerve-wracking and being on the waitlist resulted in having to pass up on several career opportunities. Finally having that unknown answered brought peace of mind and energized me, so best of luck to the class of 2012!

I can honestly say the MBA application experience was worth going through even though I went 0/5. It teaches you a lot about yourself, and if you get the opportunity to work with other people (especially complete strangers!) on essays I highly recommend it. While I'd probably approach one or two general themes for my applications differently were I to do it all over again, I knew from the outset that applying to any top school was a long shot just due to acceptance rates, let alone my profile ... thus the pseudonym "LSMBA" ... for "Long Shot MBA" ;)

For the stat-aholics: White, male, 30 @ matric, 740 gmat off a week of study, 3.0 undergrad from private top-100, significant leadership experience in non-traditional extra-curriculars, enacted fairly large change at my fortune 500 company from a very junior level over 4 years as a voluntary side job, and good at my day job - enough for a pair of promotions in those 4 years based purely on my day work and not my additional side work for the company. Also have ~3 years of WE before the current job which were intermingled with school. I applied to HBS, Stanford, Kellogg, Sloan, and Haas. In each program I applied to I talked to current students, researched the program thoroughly, and found programs or professors that fit my particular interests - I never submitted my 95% complete Wharton app despite being a double-legacy because I couldn't find enough at the school to get passionate about besides the brand name.

I'm not really interested in trying again next year, although perhaps I'll look into an EMBA in a few years. Something like a third of a million dollars in opportunity cost for essentially what amounts to a brand name and connections is somewhat difficult to swallow even though it is an incredibly rare opportunity, and as such it makes far more sense to get it done early in your career.

I've got my next step and the steps beyond that planned out, so I'm off to tackle them. Good luck to all MBA candidates!