MIT Deadline Approaches as Round 1 MBA Judgement Day Draws Nigh

by on October 19th, 2012

So today was boss’ day. Who knew? I sure didn’t–at least not until I arrived at work this morning to the sight of a whole grain and berry mini cake from Whole Foods on my desk decorated “Happy Boss’ Day”.

I’d love to be able to tell you that I ate some and brought the rest home; but alas, I dusted the whole thing during the course of my very busy, emergency and meeting-filled day.

Oh well, I’m greedy like that; besides, I needed that glutinous release because I’m on edge.

Why?

Well, because the first flurry of Round 1 Judgement Days begin in just a few hours–the 4 schools that I’ve applied to thus far (Booth, Stanford, Wharton, HBS) will be sending out interview invites to the deserving few whom they have chosen.

Ad Nauseum

Sigh. This whole MBA admissions journey feels like stage fright that never ends at times. First you spend months on edge over the GMAT. Then you obsess over apps and essays for weeks or months following that. Then once the apps are in, you wait like a mummy to find out whether you’ll live to die again by being granted a buy for the next round of selection. It’s all a bit much; but its what I’ve signed up for, so I’m taking it chin up and trying not to flinch.

…Ok, I flinched. Sue me.

So here’s a general calendar of how the schools that I’ve applied to have announced that they will be granting or denying access to the next phase of this process, in chronological order:

HBS – Two shots at glory: Interview Invites will be sent out on 10/17 and 10/24 only.  If I get one, then my interview prep starts pronto (as will be true with whichever invite I get first, provided I get any at all!); and if I don’t get one, I’m out.

Wharton – A window of anticipation:  At any time between the dates of 10/23 and 11/9, I may be kissed by the interview fairy. If not?  I get the trap door and a dungeon cell.

Chicago Booth – Trick or Treat? Interview Invites will be sent out on Halloween, 10/31. I’ll be in for another phase our out on that date.

Stanford – Indefinite Purgatory. The goat could chose to speak to me at any time between now and the December 12th decision date; and should she pass me over, I’ll know on December 13th.

Sloan App Due in 8 Days

One thing that has not really allowed me to become too emotionally drawn into the hunger pangs of the admissions waiting game is the fact that MIT Sloan’s due date is 3-4 weeks behind the others; thus, I’ve been pulling that app together while the other 4 groups of adcoms have been deciding whether they found me interesting enough to meet in person.

And BOY have I needed that quiet time for Sloan!

While all of my essay sets have been unique per school, the non-Sloan question sets had at least some level of repetitiveness in theme that allowed me to quickly pull together my ideas for new essays.

Sloan? No mas.

Not only is the spin on their questions different, but what they are looking for you to express is a slight departure from the song I had been singing for the two months prior to digging into this essay deck.

When I was writing my other 4 apps, I bounced between them so that all of my essays and apps could benefit as I came up with better ideas of how to present and express myself. Sloan, however, did not fit into that exercise very well. While my other essays seemed to improve in quality each time, my Sloan essays fell flat over and over.

Now, with some dedicated time just to focus on Sloan, I’ve finally been able to get to a point where I feel as good about these essays as I did about the others prior to submitting; now, if I can just lick that cover letter. And my resume? Demolished. Fitting 12 years of work experience plus entrepreneurship and community service extras onto one page is challenging enough; but a 50 line limit? You’re killing me; but alas, I have on choice. When you’re in Rome and you’d like an opportunity to become a Roman, you have a choice: follow the laws of the land or be thrown to the lions.

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