Application Updates – Harvard and Columbia News:

by on October 21st, 2013

It has been quite a couple of weeks! I kept meaning to get a post up with my MBA Application updates, but wasn’t able to until today. Here are my MBA updates (in chronological order):

10/9 – 10/11

As a lot of you know, after submitting MBA applications the waiting game begins. The first possible day I could have heard any news on my MBA applications was 10/9,  which is the first day that Harvard releases their interview invitations. The admissions blog is very clear; the first batch is released at noon on 10/9 and the second batch of invites are released at noon on 10/16. At 12:30 on 10/9 I checked my inbox…nothing from Harvard. I continued checking my inbox every hour on the hour…still nothing. I started to get anxious and I asked myself all of the questions most people who were hoping for an invite were asking themselves, “did I mess something up on my application?”, ”was my profile not as strong as I had hoped?”, and most importantly, “how does this bode for my other applications?”

With all of these thoughts swirling in my head, I fell into a bit of a malaise. I tried to be positive and tell myself that there’s still the 10/16 date and half of the invitations aren’t even out yet. I even started to believe it, until I read that Harvard releases the majority (around 75%) of their invite invitations in the first week and the remainder in the second week!

I had to face reality: I was very, very likely to not get an interview invite on 10/16 and it was looking more and more probable that I was being dinged from Harvard sans interview. After the initial gloom started to fade, I began feeling like a Harvard ding is kind of ok, since Harvard is so selective and Columbia has really become my first choice anyway. I was also given some good advice from mbaover30 to not gauge my other application outcomes based on my Harvard experience…this is Harvard, after all…they do get, like over 9,000 applications and only accept about 10% of them. Not getting an invite to Harvard doesn’t make me a failure in terms of reaching my goals….it just makes me one of the people who didn’t get an invite to interview. The fact is that many qualified applicants are turned away from Harvard every year, and that is Okay.


Early this week, I got a note from Columbia in my inbox – it was an invitation to interview! I was overjoyed and a lot of my insecurities about my application started to dissipate. Columbia’s alum interviews are usually described as straightforward, so I got a list together of probable interview questions and started putting my talking points down for each. Also, I chose an interviewer and sent him an email as instructed… I still haven’t gotten a response from him. I decided if I don’t hear by Monday, I will contact another interviewer on the list they sent me. I am wondering whether I need to keep the adcom looped in on the scheduling. If anyone knows, please share!


On 10/16 at noon. I checked my inbox. There was nothing from Harvard. I kept my inbox open while I was finishing some work up and did a refresh every 10 minutes or so. Around a half hour later a note popped up from Harvard saying the status of my application had changed. Before clicking, I mentally prepared myself to read something to the tune of “We are sorry, not this year.” I started reading…I didn’t get dinged! I didn’t get invited to interview either – I got a deferred admissions decision (otherwise known as wait-listed)!  I will take that over having 0% chance.

I felt a little like this:

All in all, I am feeling pretty positive about my applications right now and I am excited to find out what kind of news the next couple of weeks will bring. There is still a lot of room for this to go South, but I feel like I am off to a pretty good start.

Best of luck to everyone else on your applications and your upcoming interviews!

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