Out of sight, out of mind.

It’s been a while since I’ve had anything to report and honestly, the release of a new product has had me working 12 hours day, I kid you not. I’ve been so burnt out for the past few weeks and my eyes have begun to water as soon as I look at the screen of my laptop. Ridiculous.

With everyone getting invites left and right, I’d pretty much assumed that Round 2 was over for me. An interview waiver I received from Kellogg a week ago just seemed to confirm that… but I woke up to an Anderson invite this morning so perhaps it’s not over yet.

Having this whole MBA thing out of my mind has actually helped since I’m no longer anal and panicky about everything. I got the interview invite and I was like “Oh an invite. How nice”. That was the extent of my excitement, which was weird but I guess it just means I’ll be calmer for the interview? UCLA is a great school for me by all intents and purposes so I’m going to schedule my interview and give it my best shot.

Until then, I’ll be talking to as many current students as I possibly can and scouring the internet for anything that might help. Hope everyone’s doing well! And to all my friends who have decided where to attend, congratulations! I’m so very excited to see what’s next for you.

Booth – Ding #1

So it’s official, my first ding of Round 2 from Booth. Unfortunately, it was what I considered my best application so now I’m a little apprehensive about the fate of my other three applications. I’m not too disappointed because I knew it was a long shot but I had to try. My presentation was good, I have no doubt about that but I think my lack of work experience was what held me back along with an average-ish GMAT score. For any other school, I don’t think this would matter but this is the Top 5 we’re talking about. I’ve also been thinking about my plans if Round 2 doesn’t work this time around… more on that later!

Congratulations to everyone invited to interview! I hope to be in that enviable position soon.

Crickets… crickets everywhere!

So it’s been nearly 20 days since I submitted my Round 2 applications and so far it’s been radio silence. I’m a little antsy but I’m dealing with it… it helps that work has been extremely busy and that my social life has been on overdrive. It’s my birthday tomorrow so I’m hoping some birthday luck comes my way 😀

Also, I got my TOEFL score yesterday. 119 with a 29 in the Reading section (the irony). But I was very pleasantly surprised since I didn’t prepare at all. I’ve already reported my scores to all the schools I’ve applied to… but I’m wondering if I should notify them and ask them to match my score to my application? It’s another data point so I’m wondering if that would help at all. Thoughts?

I’m hoping to hear some good news in the next week or so. Fingers crossed!

The lull before the storm

So things have been quite dull ever since I submitted my applications. I wrote the TOEFL yesterday and it was such a breeze – I actually enjoyed the exam! It’s scheduled to be about 4h 30m long but I finished it in about 3h 15m, following which I got the stink-eye from the remaining test takers. All in all, I think I’m going to manage a respectable score and I’m glad it’s out of the way. I hope the scores are sent to UCLA asap because my application is going to be put “on hold” until they receive my TOEFL score.

I’ve also been featured in this US News article which is pretty cool! When I get into a school of choice (power of positive thinking), I’m definitely going to talk about how I focused on bringing out my strengths as a female candidate. This was actually the main fodder for my essays, particularly Kellogg and UCLA.

The waiting game is still on… I haven’t heard back from any school yet but I’m trying not to read too much into it. The end of this month/the beginning of the next is going to be nuts but I’m excited! Here’s to good things coming all the Round 2’ers way!

All in for Round 2!

I finally submitted all four apps in the past two days and let me tell you, it was exhausting. Here are my thoughts on each application:

  1. Booth: I absolutely loved the Booth application. It gave me enough space to talk about everything (and I mean everything!). The prompts within the app allowed for enough detail and I even used the optional essay to fill in some gaps. I was terrified of the presentation/essay but it turned out to be one of the most rewarding things I’ve made this application season. Everyone who read it seems to have enjoyed it, so I can only hope the adcoms will too. I’d say this was my favourite (and my best).
  2. Kellogg: The application for Kellogg and Booth was actually pretty similar, but I had to be much more succinct in my Kellogg app. There were three essays I had to answer (2 required + 1 for the MMM) and I think I did a pretty decent job at all of them, although some were better than the others. Hopefully, my video essay goes well and I make enough of an impact on the adcom. It would suck if my interview was waived.
  3. Anderson: The Anderson application was painless (just one essay and one recommendation) until I realized that they require a TOEFL score 2 days before the deadline for Round 2. I was this close to breaking something. Luckily, I got in my app before the deadline and put in the date I’m planning to take the damn test but until they get my official scores, my application is going to be “on hold”. Anyone know what this means?
  4. Tepper: Tepper was sort of a last-ditch effort on my part. I was also exhausted from a long night the day before, so I’m not sure how my essays were. I think I did okay, hopefully that’s enough. For the first time ever, my essays were under the word count rather than being a few over. Weird.

Things that changed from Round 1 in Round 2:

  1. I had one solid recommendation in Round 1 and the other, was to put it mildly, just fluff. I know because the recommender (head of volunteers) decided to show it to me once I’d submitted all my Round 1 apps. I’m not even sure how I got invited to interview at Duke with that one. It was a huge wake-up call. This time, my client (from my startup) agreed to be my second recommender and I know he’s going to do a killer job because I did some killer work for him.
  2. I paid a lot more attention to the short answers and little entry fields in the application. Last time, I’d pretty much copy+pasted bullets from my resume into these fields, but this time I made sure to bring up things that had never been mentioned before. My apps this time covered every single aspect of my profile.
  3. I had help every single step of the way from Vandana and NaijaMBAGal (a shoutout to FinanceFurry here as well). I absolutely could not have done it without them. They were my supporters, critics and confidantes throughout this round and their feedback on my essays was always genius. Every time I second-guessed something on my app (which was pretty much all the time), I knew I had these guys on my side. Thank you so much you two!

What lies ahead? I’m going to finish up my Kellogg Video essays, get in a short vacation in Bangkok this weekend, come back and get the TOEFL over with and then just wait! I have a good feeling about Round 2 🙂 I also feel like this time I won’t be so anal about it… some exciting things have been happening at work and I caught myself thinking “Oh crap, if I get into an MBA program, I’m going to miss all this”. Yup, instant realization. MBA this year or no MBA this year, I’m gonna be okay!

GMAT done, dusted and cancelled. 700 (49Q, 38V)

So I guess the title says it all. I knew the Quant section went well, wasn’t too sure about the Verbal but yeah, clearly didn’t go as expected! I’m not too disappointed because I knew this was a long shot. It would have been nice to be applying with a higher GMAT but now that it’s done, I guess I’ll just focus on the other parts of the application! I cancelled the score right away and didn’t report them, so my 710 still stands.

In other news, I’m travelling for about a week! It’s gonna be a welcome break from the GMAT insanity. Hopefully this will give me the time I need to clear my head and kill my essays. After I come back it’s gonna be an avalanche of deadlines so I’ll need all the rest I can get!

Happy holidays everyone!

Congratulations are in order!

This week my feed has been a blur of amazing news. Congratulations to my friends Naija MBA GalTopDogMBAVandana and Finance Furry for getting into some of the best schools in the world! We’re talking INSEAD, Kellogg, Booth, Sloan, Wharton… the list is pretty insane. You guys should be so proud! I couldn’t be happier for you guys, each and every one of you deserved it. I am also jealous that you guys are now done with the stress-fest that is MBA admissions and can now countdown the days till you quit your jobs.

Guys, you are seriously amazing. I am totally inspired and I hope I can re-create even a smidgen of this success for myself. With that said, I’m realizing that I could use all the help I can get, especially since all of you are older, wiser and you’ve clearly done something right! I’m just starting to get really anxious and antsy, plus my confidence is in the pits (I just have a little over a year of work experience, wtf am I doing? Am I kidding myself?) Meh.

If any of you would like to volunteer to have a look at my essays or give me any tips/suggestions, I would be incredibly grateful. I don’t want to put anyone on the spot by directly asking (okay, I might have asked some of you already) 😛 hence this broadcast. Anyway, if you think you have some time to spare, please let me know and I’ll reach out to you. I would owe you a piece of my eternal soul. No, really.

In other news, not that anyone really cares at this point (I wouldn’t either if I got accepted somewhere), my GMAT is 5 days away on the 23rd and I’ve been doing well on the mocks, so fingers crossed.

And again, congrats you guys! It’s time to celebrate 😀 Break out the bubbly!