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Re: Calling all Wharton 2008 applicants [#permalink]
06 Feb 2008, 06:47
This post received KUDOS
By the way, let me chime in with my own two cents regarding hub interview, on campus interview vs. alumni interview.
Although I have had much experience of going around campus doing interviews with adcom, I think that alumnia interview would provide some of you guys with much better chance of "getting connected" and "getting personal" with interviewers.
Back in 2004, I had an interview with Judith Silverman via a hub interiew in Seoul, Korea, and I got the feeling that she was awfully tired and she wanted to get the things to end as soon as possible.
The interview itself was very formal, structured (perhaps too structured), and there was no any room for me to get comfortable. While I did expect the interview to be formal and precise, I at the same time expected both of us to get comfortable with each, which was not the case.
Contrary to the hub interview or on campus interview, I have heard many cases of downright friendly alumni interview. It was often that I heard those "an hour long friendly conversation" interviews with alumni who actually demonstrated genuine interest in getting to know applicants on a personal basis.
If you ask me, I would say go for the alumni interview.
You guys are not applying to one of those small schools, like Tuck. You guys applying to Wharton, one of the bigger MBA school in terms of student body, and if you are going for hub or oncampus interview ONLY to impress adcom by actually taking time to address issues face to face, I really believe that it is not worth the "risk".
There are word limits, but I haven't seen any formatting specs. I'm going to make it double spaced with 11 Arial so that its easy on the eyes. I would double check the "Applications Instructions" though. Too lazy to look myself right now.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I had my Wharton hub interview at Bangalore yesterday and yes, surprise surprise, I met another GMATClubber there . If this year goes well, I can't help but think about how much stronger the already powerful GMATClub 'alumni' community will become. Fingers crossed!
I was interviewed by an Ad-Com member and the interview on the whole was pretty conversational and friendly. I was a little worried that after sitting through two days of listening to people (mostly IT!) regurgitate their (again, mostly IT!) success stories, she would be fairly deadened when I got my turn. But to her credit, she really seemed interested and smiled a lot which really put me at ease right from the word go.
She started off the interview by giving me her business card and by telling me about the process and the role that the interview played. She then took two minutes to go through my resume in detail and made a few points on the resume itself. First question: Tell me about this extracurricular activity. DAMN. I had never expected the interview to begin with my extra-curriculars! Anyway, I quickly recovered (I think) and proceeded to tell her about it and how I contributed to it. She then asked a couple of follow questions to which I think I did OK. Not too great, but OK. Question 2: Ok, now tell about this activity. Are you still involved with this?. Double DAMN. Another question on extra-curriculars. I again spoke about how passionate I was/am about the activity and some of my achievements in that. Then finally came: Ok kingKREEP, tell me what you want to do after the MBA and how you plan to get there. "Finally, something normal...", I said to myself and internally heaved a huge sigh of relief. At that point, I told her that I would take the liberty of speaking about my long term goal first and then come back to this. I proceeded to tell her about my goals, why they interest me and managed to bring in the "Why MBA" there. This is when I felt that the interview started to get pretty conversational. Ok, I see that you are pretty young, so why an MBA now? Another 2 - 3 minutes on why I thought I was right for the MBA now. Then came Tell me a little about your work, what you do and why this company. "Ah...more normalcy. - phew-". I told her what I did, who I worked with, the people I led and why I picked the jobs that I did. She didn't ask me any follow up questions on my work, which is why I think she had already heard tons of IT success stories.
Then came, Tell me about what did you look at when you selected schools to apply to and what sets them apart? I kind of answered the question, but oriented my response more towards "Why Wharton". I think this was one of my longest answers and hope that my 'twist' to the answer doesn't hurt me. I told her about the things that I really liked about Wharton and what I believed were truly unique about Wharton. Next: How do you plan to get involved at Wharton? "Ah...thank God!" I gave her a full five minute discourse on all the clubs I was interested in and what I hoped to do at those clubs. She then told me about a couple of new initiatives at Wharton that really seemed very interesting to me! "Man, I hope I get to work on them..." Finally she said, At this point, is there anything else about yourself that you would like to tell me about? I thought for a couple of seconds (trust me, 2 seconds feels like a bloody minute in there!) and told her about an additional responsibility that I had recently taken on at work. Then, I got to ask her some questions that I had prepared. She gave really in-depth, insightful answers to my questions and really showed me how dynamic Wharton is and told me about some of the changes that were taking place at the school. That's it! I thanked her for her time, said my goodbyes and left!
The whole interview had lasted 40 minutes, 10 minutes more than the stipulated 30 mins. I'm just hoping that I didn't rant and bore her with my answers. All in all, I am satisfied with how the interview went and was able to hit all my points. But yeah, the interview at Wharton is not a make or break. So all I can say at the moment is, if I don't get in, I won't blame the interview.
I think fit is the key in every single essay. Either you have the stats and profile a school wants or you dont. Essays probably aren't going to sway a school if they dont like your profile, no matter how good your stories are. Schools talk about it being a holistic approach, in reality its all about fit. You can have the stats but if you dont show your fit is perfect then you destroy your chances. If you dont sell your fit then you are really hampering your chances, schools want you to fit because not only do they want you to be a solid addition but they also want you to show up.
A lot of people get into one ultra elite or elite and not a peer school. Chances are their GMAT, GPA, WE, and extra's fit for all the schools on par with the one they got into. The difference is how do they fit into the school. I know that my Kellogg essays were a better sell on my fit because in reality I probably do fit in at Kellogg better than than I would at GSB. I used all the parts and pieces in my GSB essays to show I fit but I think they can sense where you best fit and if you arent the right fit then its tough...even if you meet all the right criteria they still are worried about yield so if they think you fit some where else you still might not show up. Schools know you are applying at other schools, even if you tell them, they are your one and only b-school love.
You can't tell me that someone like shmegs could get into wharton but not LBS or Tuck because of his profile. To get in they need to believe that not only you will fit in to their community but also that you are going to show up next september.
I am really starting to believe that one of the most important things to the b-school application is picking the right schools to begin with. This is especially true to anyone who is not a very traditional mba career path person (banker/consultant), picking the right school for the strengths in your background and you future goals makes all the difference and maximizes your chances.
Re: Calling all Wharton 2008 applicants [#permalink]
31 Jan 2008, 07:23
This post received KUDOS
Congrats to UT and sudden on your interview invites!
Wizard and everyone else- try not to stress too much yet. Wharton really does send off most of the invites in the last few weeks of the process, and a fair number go out on the last day. It's just a matter of when they get around to giving your application the required second review. Talking to some of the other admits, time to interview invite really doesn't appear to correlate with chances of admission.
And FYI... DIP stands for dedicated interview period. The vast majority of summer internship interviews are conducted during this week, including almost all (I think) IB and MC interviews. So yeah, a pretty stressful/busy time
Really? What is the address? I cannot seem to find it for some reason.
You can only get access to it if you are an active participant here. I believe there is a 400 post minimum (meaningful posts I should add). So stick around, participate, engage in discussion. Eventually you'll get access to it.
Hey guys! I'm glad to hear everyone had a great time at WWW. I know i did!! I definitely came away more confident and excited about Wharton and was completely amazed by how accomplished all the admits are.
btw, elhajoui - i would be one of those "i-never-heard-of-your-undergrad" people and was quite impressed to meet quite a few others in the same situation. Just goes to show that the school cares more about what you've done with your life than simply what school you went to. So future applicants, take heart!!