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Interviews with distinguished GMATClub 2013 admits!

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Interviews with distinguished GMATClub 2013 admits! [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2013, 13:09
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10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits!


Folks, its that time of the year again! As the new year brings loads of joy and happiness into the lives of 2013 applicants with every admits in their mailbox, we are trying to reach out to them and do a candid interview about their journey to the class of 2015 :-)
Update: Some of the extremely gracious current students (class of 2014) have agreed to participate :beer


We have had similar interviews in the past thanks to GMATClub legend nink

We are looking for people who:

  • Love to share their story
  • Love to help out future applicants with their experiences
  • Love to be appreciated (who doesn't :P )

The previous glorious interview threads are right here
2010-nine-questions-with-a-gmat-club-member-apply-now-89940.html
q-a-9-questions-with-a-gclub-member-77846.html#p585807

So far the following members have agreed to be featured in an interview. :thumbup:

hunterashmore -interviewed
Kingfalcon
highwyre237 - interviewed
aerien - interviewed
CobraKai - interviewed
LadyRoadWarrior
mappleby
str1der
MBAover30
Dakells
machichi - interviewed

Please PM me if you are interested to be featured!
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2013, 00:25
Very nice initiative. Keep on rocking.. :musband
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2013, 01:12
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2013, 09:32
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I highly recommend this. Not only it is a good time when you are doing it, but you also get to travel down memory lane, and see how you have grown. For me, and a few other respondents, it seems our career vision pre and post MBA is drastically different.
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2013, 09:36
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asimov wrote:
I highly recommend this. Not only it is a good time when you are doing it, but you also get to travel down memory lane, and see how you have grown. For me, and a few other respondents, it seems our career vision pre and post MBA is drastically different.

Thanks so much!!
Your interview was great!
and I totally see your point. There are so many current students who said that their goals have drastically changed.
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2013, 16:17
I want to know where Kingfalcon, Dakells, and MBAover30 end up! Until then, no stories allowed! Hahaha.
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2013, 16:36
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machichi wrote:
I want to know where Kingfalcon, Dakells, and MBAover30 end up! Until then, no stories allowed! Hahaha.


I love how MBAover 30 is pulling a LeBron and announcing his decision on his blog March 1st.
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2013, 17:57
CobraKai wrote:
machichi wrote:
I want to know where Kingfalcon, Dakells, and MBAover30 end up! Until then, no stories allowed! Hahaha.


I love how MBAover 30 is pulling a LeBron and announcing his decision on his blog March 1st.


Haha I know. His decision is a big one, everything is slowly coming to an end. I'll be somewhat disappointing to see this process end, it's been fun stressing with all of you.

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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2013, 11:29
souvik101990 wrote:
asimov wrote:
I highly recommend this. Not only it is a good time when you are doing it, but you also get to travel down memory lane, and see how you have grown. For me, and a few other respondents, it seems our career vision pre and post MBA is drastically different.

Thanks so much!!
Your interview was great!
and I totally see your point. There are so many current students who said that their goals have drastically changed.


Which is one reason why I think b schools' put too much emphasis on goals in their applications. I like MIT's approach where they want to know about you're past rather than ask you to try to predict the future.
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2013, 15:27
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machichi wrote:
I want to know where Kingfalcon, Dakells, and MBAover30 end up! Until then, no stories allowed! Hahaha.


I love how MBAover 30 is pulling a LeBron and announcing his decision on his blog March 1st.


Hah! Kingfalcon's headed to Sloan and Dakells will be at CBS. As far as MBAover30, well, the clock is still ticking.
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2013, 11:29
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So when do these questions roll out? I'm ready to rock n' roll! :-D
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2013, 11:36
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2013, 11:39
Touche.
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2013, 04:22
Any chance you could reach out to some recent alumni (i.e., nink, rhyme, riverripper, etc.) and get their perspectives as well?
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2013, 16:03
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souvik101990 wrote:
Cobra Kai- A masters degree in engineering, ex company commander, currently winding down his service in the US Military, and fluent in Mandarin. I would suggest you don’t fool around with this guy.


souvik101990 wrote:
1. Hi CobraKai- A great honor as it is to have you on the forum. You are quite the celebrity! First thing first… you had a great take on the GMAT battle on a particular blog. How did you tackle it?


Thanks for the over-dramatic introduction, souvik! You're probably the only person who could pull off using a masters degree in engineering to make me sound like a badass. As for me being a celebrity, if trolling this forum making off-topic smartass remarks makes me a celebrity, well, it means I probably have more talent than all the Kardashians put together.

But in all seriousness, the GMAT. Like every other engineer on this planet, I underestimated how hard the quantitative portion of the test was, but I never underestimated the importance of the test and I took an on-demand Manhattan GMAT course. I thought it was helpful, but I never scored higher than a 660 on my practice CATs. Basically, I was hoping for something to click when I sat for the real deal, but it didn't happen. I got a 660 and knew I had to take it again. I prepped for my second attempt by just doing a bunch of OG problems with a timer, and that turned out to be a horrible way to prep as I scored a 610 on my second try. For my third try, I drew out a schedule that would last a little over 6 weeks and I did the Total GMAT Math and Total GMAT Verbal books cover-to-cover. I even brought these books with me and studied during a two week exercise in Okinawa. I took the test again and was elated to see 700 flash on the screen. I went home and traded in all my books on Amazon to avoid the temptation of trying a soul-sucking 4th attempt.

If I have any general advice for the GMAT, it's to be brilliant at the basics. Master the easy and medium questions. I hear too many people ask about bold critical reasoning questions and such when there may only be one or two of them on the test, and quite frankly, you might not get to those questions if you don't do well earlier in the exam. Master concepts, not types of problems. I know my 700 doesn't make me an expert, but I'm pretty confident I maxed out my abilities for this test on my last attempt.

souvik101990 wrote:
2. You visited quite a number of schools. Was spending so much money on visits worth it? Tell us about schools you disliked (we all want to hear those)


In short, yes. I will say I was fortunate to be an east coast domestic applicant and I didn't apply to any schools farther than the central time zone. My rationale is that visiting not only gives you a feel for the school and things to write about in your essays, it also is a good way to see if this is somewhere you even want to go to school. I think it's a waste of time and energy to apply to a school only to find out during the on-campus interview or even the admit weekend (if you interviewed off campus) that this isn't a school you're interested in attending. The application process is exhausting...make sure you're applying to schools you really love. I know this is tougher for international applicants, but seriously, make a vacation out of it and think of the money spent as an investment in making sure you end up at a school that is right for YOU.

As for diming out the school I didn't like when I visited, I have to politely decline. Just like an applicant doesn't get a second chance at a first impression, I feel like this school dropped the ball on the day I visited. Mainly I felt bad for the international students visiting a top school that just didn't have its act together. Ultimately, I didn't apply because I had already visited other schools I favored over this one and decided it just wasn't worth my time to apply.

souvik101990 wrote:
3. Let me get this straight. You are an engineer, have extensive military experience, a master degree. Why MBA?


Well, I firmly believe there are engineers and engineering majors - I definitely think I'm the latter. The fact is, none of us know what we want to do when we're 18 (well, unless your name is Kobe Bryant), we're just guessing. Sometimes we guess right, I guessed wrong. I joined the military after college because I knew by my junior year I didn't want to do the traditional engineering jobs and it was too late to switch majors.

I think the MBA is the perfect complement to the leadership experiences I've had, and its a necessity to make the bridge to brand management. I was amazed at how many of the interviewers focused on my engineering background and interest in marketing, as opposed to the transferable leadership skills on my resume, but I guess a lot of people see "engineer" and like to pigeon-hole us. The masters degree looks odd on my resume as I didn't get it right after undergrad, but it was merely a career milestone at that point - the military sent me to get it, and I did.

Finally, for military officers, I think the MBA just opens the most doors. Anyone looking to go into civilian life without an MBA is going to be a leader with limited industry knowledge. In fact, many of our military officers end up working for the government because that's what they know and where they're most marketable. I knew I didn't want to do that.

souvik101990 wrote:
4. I heard that you were approached by some Hollywood Execs for a movie deal? Wouldn’t that cut out some time out of your B School business?


It would, but B-school is all about time management. You have to learn how to prioritize. Besides, how could I pass up the opportunity to be Vin Diesel's butt-double in "Fast and Furious 17"? Hopefully Jordana Brewster hasn't gotten sick of her role as "hot girl that drives fast cars" and her character isn't re-cast.

Image

souvik101990 wrote:
5. You have an interesting take on admission consulting. Care to share?


Sure. I'm certainly not going to need their services!

In all seriousness, an admissions consultant cannot increase your GMAT or your GPA, can't change where you went to school, and certainly can't change the company you worked for and how you performed there. That leads me to ask:



Helping people with good stats and a good profile get into a top B-school seems like a silly service. I think admissions consultants feed on the fear and self-doubt of successful people who are basically using the admissions consultant as a security blanket. Kind of like this guy:

Image

Admissions consultants like to boast about how they got the guy with a 640 GMAT into a top-5 school, but I think those are few and far between. In fact, most admissions consultants want their clients to be realistic so they can report a good success rate, so they'll let someone apply to a reach or two, but ultimately in order to work with them they want them to target schools in-line with their stats and profiles. Every now and then, one of these clients will score a top-5 admit and that's when the consultants get to boast "look how great we are!" Admissions consultants aren't miracle workers, and they know that.

I don't mean to slam admissions consultants or people who use them - the market exists, so the service does as well - but I just think if I don't know what my best stories are, I severely doubt someone I'll never meet face-to-face knows what they are. Then there's the cost...several thousand dollars. I think that money is better spent on traveling to schools to see them in person - those trips will give you authentic things to write about in your essays and things to talk about in your interview that no admissions consultant can provide. Also - using one isn't a guarantee for anything...just ask anyone who was dinged everywhere after using a consultant...talk about insult to injury.

If no one used these consultants, the industry would dry up and die. But such is the nature of competitive B-school admissions - people are looking to get an edge and these consultants are capitalizing on it. They're here to stay...I'm just glad I was able to get admitted without using one.

souvik101990 wrote:
6. You finished the 4 semester masters curriculum in 11 months! WHOA! And that too a couple of years after undergrad. How did you manage that? Also, what’s your take on Full time MBA after doing a master’s degree?


It really wasn't my choice. If the military sees I can get my masters in 1 year instead of 2, they're going to have me do it in one. To them the result is the same, even though the process suffers. For instance, it's typical for an engineering masters program to offer classes say, every other spring semester assuming you'll be there for two years and get to take it at some point. Not so if you're only there for one. I ended up taking double the course load of a normal masters student and ultimately had to settle for classes I wasn't all that interested in. It really bastardized the education process.

As for a full-time MBA after a masters, I view my first masters as fairly useless since I'm not interested in that field. I learned first hand how much graduate education sucks when you're not interested in the subject matter. That's why I'm excited for the MBA, because I'm choosing to go, and I'm excited to do a two-year program. I was asked during my Johnson interview why I thought the two-year program was appropriate seeing how I was eligible to apply for the AMBA. My answer was that I wanted to immerse myself in student life and be a part of the Johnson community and as a career changer, I really wanted that internship. I emphasized that I was concerned with the process, not the result - I didn't want to slam through a year just to get an MBA and move on with my life...I wanted to stop and smell the roses. I feel like sometimes we want to get where we're going next instead of appreciating where we currently are. B-school is gonna be awesome...why would I want to shorten the experience?

souvik101990 wrote:
7. Is it true that learning Mandarin was a part of a CIA op that you were in?


If by "CIA op" you mean "ordering Peking Duck" while visiting China Town in NYC, then yes. Seriously, the military has sent me to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore, where Mandarin is next to useless. I'm of Chinese descent, so I end up looking like a jerk when someone says something to me in Japanese and I just stare blankly instead of replying.

souvik101990 wrote:
8. Johnson is getting full of GMATClub bromantic couples this year. In all seriousness, why Johnson and why not the others?


Have you been to Ithaca? It's a small town, so I guess if someone has some time on their hands, they're going to take down the Monster Burger at Rulaffs (http://www.rulloffs.com/pages/m_ld.html). Accomplishing that deserves a man-hug an a fist-pound.

souvik101990 wrote:
9. Any advice for the future CobraKai?


Well, if I could jump into a hot tub time machine and do some things differently, I think I would have used the optional essay to explain why I got a masters in engineering so late. I assumed since it was in the middle of my military career adcoms would understand that it wasn't something I decided to do, but in hindsight maybe they didn't put two and two together so I wish I briefly spelled it out.

As for any future military applicants I would ignore the concept of the holistic process we always hear about and think: "Hey, I've got military experience that can compensate for a sub-par GPA or GMAT." The problem with this thought process is that your competition will be other military officers with similar career trajectory and accomplishments. The adcom holds the military guys in pretty high esteem, so it's easier for them to choose the guy (or gal) with better stats instead of trying to interpret who had a more impressive career. Your GPA is set in stone, but getting a 700+ can assure that the GMAT won't be the reason you get denied. Also, keep in mind, your competition isn't the average or below-average military officer. It's the high-achieving motivated one, just like you, that is fighting for that seat at the top schools.

To illustrate this point, I was admitted to Johnson with a scholarship but waitlisted at Darden. Most people would consider these two to be peer schools, so why the difference? Well, I'm willing to bet there was a bigger more impressive military applicant pool at Darden than Johnson during Round 1. Johnson liked me compared to the other military applicants, while Darden scanned the room of fresh meat and said "let's be friends." You never know what you're up against.

souvik101990 wrote:
10. What do you with your free time now that you're done with the admissions process?


Take candy from babies, taunt Shamu at Sea World, and push senior citizens into oncoming traffic. I've got a reputation of a model citizen to uphold.
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 19 Mar 2013, 06:18
Didn't think I would ever see Linus on these forums lol. Great read and makes me think back on my own growth through the application process.
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2013, 13:20
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aerien - GMAT Club legend, 800+ posts of solid wisdom, marketing honcho and matriculating at Yale SOM class of 2015 and whose profile at GMAT Club looks like this!

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souvik101990: CONGRATS on SO many admits aerien! Lets start from the beginning! The road from math to marketing is pretty unexplored don't you think? How has that treated you so far?

aerien: Good question! I liked math, but i knew i didn't want to stay in numbers all day -- I wanted to be able to use numbers to guide business decisions, so marketing seemed like a good fit for that. I get numbers AND people!

souvik101990: You applied to 6 schools in R1, correct? And you have advised people not to apply to too many schools! How did you manage 6 in 1 round!!!

aerien: 6 for me was a good number. I started out thinking i'd do maybe 8 and it just ended up being too much for me -- both with timing and just wanting to write more applications (or not) .At some point writing apps, i realized i wasn't that into certain schools and finishing those apps just wasn't worth it. 6 also gave me a good balance -- some reaches and some fits.

souvik101990: Cant help but ask which schools they were!

aerien: Sure, Wharton and CBS definitely fit into that category for me

souvik101990: I believe that you applied last year too? What happened there! What did you do differently?

aerien: I wanted my apps to be worth it. I wanted to apply to schools that i definitely would go to -- ranking, name aside for the most part. With last year...well, i realized i'd be better off waiting -- it gave me an opportunity for more professional and personal growth, and i think that helped with this year's apps too.

souvik101990: Being younger and assuming you are not a kid of a oil baron, its probable that you still have debt for UG, and MBA is extremely expensive. Yale is not exactly known for stellar jobs as much as for the program and curriculum. Does that bother/worry you sometimes?

aerien: It's a valid question and it's a topic I mulled over for quite awhile. Do I go to these other schools that are really career/job focused, where I know I'll come out with a more or less secure position, or do I go to Yale where it might be a little more risky on the job front but that offers me a program where I think I'm a good fit.
For me, I had to take a step back and think about what I wanted to get out of bschool -- for me, that's mostly the network, leadership skills, and a foundation in business thinking. Jobs will be there regardless of where you go. I might have to do a bit more leg work and put myself out there, but I've done that before and things have worked out. Why not spend the 2 years in bschool and take advantage of everything has to offer?

souvik101990: And I do sincerely hope you get what you want out of the experience. Lets talk about school visits. Mostly about how visiting a school can give you some confidence about whether or NOT to apply. Do you have similar story in which you visited the school and went like "Nope. Not for me!"

aerien: I know a lot of people will disagree with me on this one, but HBS. Yes, it's a gorgeous campus -- and it really is a campus as opposed to a building -- and everything is top-notch. But after seeing the case study method in action, I knew I wanted to attend a school where there was a bit more diversity in terms of classroom teaching and where, I felt, the students were there were for the sake of learning versus participating in class because you get graded on it (if you don't already know this, HBS employs people to sit in classrooms and count how many times students raise their hands/speak in class; to me that took away from the overall experience)

souvik101990: Lets talk about Kellogg. besides marketing Kellogg is also pretty big at consulting. So was weather the only reason you did not consider it? Does Chicago have a ban against you or something :P or its the other way around?

aerien: Haha :P You know, I really shouldn't rag on Chicago on that much but I'm weak when it comes to weather and as superficial as it sounds, it played a factor in my decision to apply. Granted I applied to Ross so I did muster up some courage somewhere, but Kellogg's a great school. They were certainly in my back pocket for R2 if I needed them.

souvik101990: Is it true that your productivity at work in the last months was the sole reason of GMATClub getting banned at your workplace? How did you even manage to work with all that you do in the forums!

aerien: It's actually not (yet) banned.... hopefully I didn't jinx it for any future MBA aspirants. And I'm a decent multitasker. My days are chopped up with random 15-30 minute time blocks anyways, so I scan GC instead of going on a coffee break? Apparently I like you guys better than caffeine...maybe I need to rethink my priorities.

souvik101990: So you are young and you have 5 out of 6 admits. Did any admissions consultants help you out with anything? How was the experience if
they did?

aerien: No admissions consultants -- just me, lots of coffee (since I slacked on the coffee during the week with my GC-ing, I made up for it when I wrote my essays), and GC commiserating.

souvik101990: MBA2014hopeful to aerien! If you could rename it once again what would you rename it to?

aerien: Well, as far as I know bb hasn't set a limit on name changes so I could change it all the time if I wanted to mwahahaha. That would confuse people though, so I'm satisfied with aerien, though there are lots of vowels -- maybe I could add in an "o" and a "u" somehow...just kidding ;)

souvik101990: You have had a busy Round 1 and a relatively easier month after that. Anything would you have done differently?

aerien: Besides finding a hobby other than GC? No. I hoped that I'd only have to do R1 and then I'd be done with this admissions process. Thankfully things worked out that way. Now I probably should lead a more exciting life beyond "bschool applyer" ... maybe I'll take up skydiving or something!

souvik101990: Great and yes please do share photos! Last question! Any advice for the future aerien?

aerien: Don't stress so much, especially the weeks leading up to the results. After the interview, you've done all you can do and it's up to some adcom member/team to make the decision for you. Counting down the days -- though entirely fun and you'll probably still do it for everything -- won't change the end result. Ultimately, everything works out in the end anyways, so turn the waiting time into something actually productive.
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2013, 05:33
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Hunterashmore – HBS R1 admit, free spirited entrepreneur, engineer at heart, humility of whose will put Forrest Gump to shame.
Back in the day when he was waiting for HBS to release their decision, we asked him to make a short video about his application process which he , of course, aced.



souvik101990: Hunter, Congratulations on the HBS admit! Absolutely phenomenal of course. How did it feel to hit the bull’s eye the first time you tried?

Hunter: Wow, well, I can't really describe it - the sheer relief of getting in...I had so much doubt when I started. I did not know what HBS wanted, and I though I was dreaming - both when I got the interview invite and the acceptance letter. I rechecked a dozen times thinking I missed some detail or that there was a mistake!

souvik101990: I heard that your first choice was Babson? How did HBS feel about it?

Hunter: Babson was my first choice out of schools I thought I had a real shot with, but HBS has been a dream for years now. In terms of how they felt, HBS knows the rankings in terms of entrepreneurship programs. I think it would have been a mistake to say I wanted to be an entrepreneur and had not considered Babson, since several polls have them as the #1 ranked entrepreneurship program. That being said, I was cautious to only bring up other schools in the interview when I was asked how I did my “due diligence” on HBS. I was honest: I looked at other programs (such as Babson), but the professors, students, and resources just could not compare to HBS.

souvik101990: You have quite a unique background of clean energy and technology. Shifting from literal rocket science that you did before, feels like a logical transition. What do you plan to do post HBS?

Hunter: My passion is startups, which is something I was blunt about in my application. I will be working for, with, or on startups for a long time. The biggest unknown is if I will use the opportunity right after HBS to try a business model outside my comfort zone of engineered systems.

souvik101990: I heard that being a power yoga instructor was a significant contributor to the HBS admission. How did that happen?

Hunter: Haha, well, I don’t think I will ever know how significant it was, but I do feel I got lucky that I was able to weave it in to the interview. Here's the story: I got to the interview room very early for my 10:30 time slot. I was so early that I started talking with the people who were going in for 10:00 interviews. When they came back out we continued our conversations with the few minutes we had between interview time slots. It turned out one had the same interviewer as me and she mentioned being told to “take a yoga breath” to relax before they started, though she didn’t do yoga. So, when I went in and was told to take that deep breath, I took the most composed pranayama breath ever. Later in the interview, I had the three part question, "what would like to stop, start, and continue doing?" My response to what I would continue was yoga, because it is a passion of mine and I believe if you can learn to maintain calm breathing through an extremely challenging posture, then every other challenge in life becomes more a little more manageable. I also mentioned I am a certified teacher and it was the common interest that led to me meeting my wife.
This was something that wasn't mentioned elsewhere in my app and was an additional facet they got to learn about. I think the important takeaway here is that they want to see you are someone with depth - you want them to get to know you.

souvik101990: You are probably the only applicant with a 2 page resume (any admission consultant reading?). With a career and work experience, as illustrative as yours it makes a lot of sense. But didn’t you have traumatic nights on how to cram it in a single page? What made you go ahead with a multiple page resume?

Hunter: I really did lose sleep over that decision. I knew I was an atypical applicant - older, non-top school, "ok" GPA and GMAT - really, the biggest thing I had going for me is that I have worked very hard in my career, at that shows best on my resume. At one point I had pared it down to one page, but when I read through my app I felt I had taken a lot away since my unique work experience was what I felt differentiated me from other applicants.

To give a little more context here, I am at my third industry employer, at the last two jobs I had a title and responsibility changes, I worked at a national lab in grad school, and all in addition to running my own company on the side. I also have an additional line under education since I have both a BS and an MS. This made for a lot of vertical space that was hard to fit on one page while still talking about my responsibilities in each role. I didn’t want to kill that part of my story, so I risked the two pages. I would not advise this for most applicants...but if you are in a similar experience bracket, you might want to think about how important your work history is to your story as an applicant.

souvik101990: With your background, MIT Sloan, Stanford, Haas and the likes make a lot of sense. How did you select HBS as the place you want to be in? You were brave enough to have HBS as your only application in R1. As it turned out, you were wise! But how did you gather all the strength and confidence?

Hunter: Several years ago I was having to teach myself business due to a unique job environment. I kept noticing many of my favorite authors or publications were related to HBS in some way. I really only knew stereotypes and did not think HBS was going to be a fit for me.

When I finally decided that it was now or never for getting an MBA, the engineer in me really thought MIT was the dream school, with Babson as a backup. But then over the year leading up to my application I started doing information calls with current students, faculty, and recent grads from several different schools to make sure I was making the right choice. HBS left me with a really warm feeling. I immediately hit it off with lot of down-to-earth people. It was a feeling I didn’t get when I talked to other schools.
There is something to think about here - are you going for an MBA to strengthen your strengths, or strengthen your weaknesses? I am already highly technical - MIT would be in alignment with that core; however, I am trying to recast myself as an organizational leader, not an engineer with an MBA. For this, I don’t think there is a better school than HBS. I'm not saying other schools do not produce leaders - but I need to spend the next two years honing my soft skills - HBS (and the case method) is an ideal environment for this.
As far as the single school application, I didn’t really plan it that way. Initially, I was going to apply to three schools in R1. Then I heard back that I got an interview with HBS before the other applications were due, so I decided I would wait till R2 to apply to the others so that I could focus on interview prep. I had three other applications ready to go for R2, but luckily never had to pull the trigger on them!

souvik101990: Quite a few times on the GMATClub chat, you seemed a little worried about your extra-curricular experience? What happened there?

Hunter: The short of it was I didn’t have much in the way of traditional ECs. I work. A lot. Even when I am doing things in my spare time, 90% of the time it is more work. My wife and I volunteer with a local animal rescue, but other than that the things I am involved in are startup related. For example, I am a member of the Los Angeles Venture Association and I frequent their networking events. This is not something I would consider a typical extracurricular activity. I also used to spend a lot of my own time leading cultural change activities in my last job - again, not really an EC. I decided to use these last two activities as opposed to something like my yoga practice because I felt they added to the story of aspiring entrepreneur, even if they just sounded like work related activities.

souvik101990: You have been married to your college sweet-heart for a long time now. So what are you going to do about those crazy HBS undergrads dying to go out with you for coffee or beer (if they are age appropriate that is)? How is the transition happening for you as a family?

Hunter: lol, in case it wasn’t clear in that last answer, my wife and I are both sort of workaholics. Additionally, I frequently travel for work. At least with late night coffee or beer meetings I would still be local! But really, we are both looking forward to the highly active social aspects of HBS.

As far as the transition goes, she is working on moving out of aerospace and into biotech. Additionally, most of our family is on the East coast. Boston was a logical next move for us - yet another reason why HBS, MIT, and Babson were top school choices. I think the hardest part was selling our Los Angeles home, but we should be done with that process in the next two weeks! (fingers crossed)

souvik101990: You have multiple large dogs. Are they matriculating at HBS too?

Hunter: Yep, I am planning on making them my section’s mascots :-D
It is going to be interesting though - they've never seen snow. I'm just hoping they don’t make walks a big production in the winters.

souvik101990: Any advice for the future hunter?

Hunter: So, I used to think I was unlucky. I always felt like I had to work twice as hard to get half as much. I have realized in recent years that all that struggling gave me more opportunities to learn. In that sense I was quite lucky, now that I am coming into positions that make use of and recognize that experience. So, future Hunter, if you are facing significant challenges and falling into old ways by thinking that you are unlucky, then you haven't been paying attention...look for the opportunity to learn and grow.
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2013, 09:28
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souvik101990 wrote:
Highwyre237-
Worked as an internet ninja, married to the most compassionate woman and (is most likely) matriculating at Johnson.



First thing’s first! What’s the deal with your username?

Honestly, it’s pretty random… I picked this name waay back in the mid 90’s, back in AOL days… I’ve used it on an off as an alias around the interwebz since. I think high wire was a Gin Blossoms song… and I was a huge fan of the movie “Empire Records”. Till I Hear it From You by the Gin Blossoms was a featured song in it… so I guess I looked for inspiration there? 23 is for my favorite baseball player of my childhood, Don Mattingly, and the 7, I think that was my little league baseball number.

So, now you know, and out of all the useless stuff I post here, this was the least interesting lol.


souvik101990 wrote:
So you have very secret intelligence type experience! What are your desired post MBA jobs?

Yep, you better watch out. I’m probably spying on you right now! IT Security is BORING! I’m done with it (in a few months). I have always been interested in the decision making process of consumers; I give a brief example here. Now, this passion has lead me to thinking Brand Management should be my focus… BUT, consulting has also peaked my interest. I’d love to have the opportunity to immerse myself into different companies, and solve a wide array of problems until I find my eventual landing industry and company. So… I’m going into B-school with an open mind, but if I were to rank my desired job right now it would be – Brand Management (CPG or maybe High tech), Consulting(Strategy), or LDP.


souvik101990 wrote:
So you had a very interesting choice of schools. What made Johnson, Fuqua and Tuck so lucky?

My school selection process began in Sept of 2011 and ended in Oct of 2012 (but would have continued if I needed R2). I probably did more research on every school in the top 20 then any sane person ever would. After determining my chances, and whittling my choice down to my best fits, I settled on these 3. This is why I chose Johnson, Tuck and Fuqua


Johnson –

Community - As a small school in the middle of nowhere, Johnson students are fully committed to the program while they are there. (Something that didn’t ring true with some of the schools in NYC and Boston) I feel this fosters stronger connection while in school, and once we all leave Ithaca.

Location - I plan to settle down in the northeast post MBA. My family is from NY, and my Wife’s is from Boston, so you really can’t beat the location. Like I said, I love the fact that it’s a bit secluded, and others can’t rely on their existing networks while at school. I love to hike, and would love the chance to enjoy the scenery in Ithaca for a few years

Curriculum – Since I am a career switcher, I’m going to get a lot out of the immersion program. I feel hands on experience prior to my internship will give me the opportunity to hit the ground running, and be ahead of my peers from other programs.

The Wife – The Joint Ventures program seems pretty solid, and I know my wife would have an easy transition moving to Ithaca. The real question is if she’ll be able to continue her career there or not, this is still up in the air

The Pup – My pup loves the snow, snow is her favorite. She likes red, but doesn’t like bears


Tuck-

Community - I consider Tuck and Johnson VERY similar community wise, small, close-knit, and secluded, in a good way.

Location - Only a few hours north of Boston, it’s pretty convenient to get back to friends a family if needed. Hannover is a special place with great people. I had a smile on my face during my entire visit.

Curriculum – Although they are more of a general management focused program, I felt the FYP gives you the opportunity of the hands on experience that I felt was so important for my internship.

The Wife – Although my wife loved Hannover, if she was going to move, she wanted it to be a bit further away… So this meant I would most likely be going it alone, since getting back to Boston was so easy.

The Pup - My pup loves the snow, snow is her favorite. Green makes her look fat.


Fuqua –

Community – Team Fuqua, it isn't just some marketing ploy, everyone there buys in. I’d say out of all of the schools I visited, their student body was the most enthusiastic about their program. It really left an impression on me, because I’m hoping to be that sure about my B-school decision.

Location – I would love to escape from the northeast for a few years. After this winter, a break from snow would be pretty great. Although getting back to Boston, or NY would be more difficult from NC, it would be worth the effort.

Curriculum – Fuqua has the option to focus on both Brand Management and Strategic Marketing and Analytics. That sounds like a pretty great fit for my interests. On top of that, Fuqua’s faculty ranks above any other school on my list.

The Wife – She has family in the Raleigh Durham area, and would welcome some southern hospitality for a few years. Fuqua’s partners club feels like the perfect fit for her, she’s loved every experience with them.

The Pup - My pup loves warmer weather, warm weather is her favorite. She thinks blue is a boys color, and is not a fan of the devil.


souvik101990 wrote:
So you were in charge of a jewelry and photography venture? Why do an MBA and quit such a profitable business? I heard you got tons of clients from GMAT Club (PM me for names)

Ha, what makes you think it was/is profitable. The jewelry/photography business was a venture my wife and I did… and it’s changed a bit. We’re focusing more on photography now, and although I’m still a huge part of it, the majority of the responsibility lies with my wife now. This was never my main source of income (but maybe my main source of debt :-) ). Although it’s been an educational experience, it could have gone a bit better. Hopefully with the knowledge I gain in an MBA program, we’ll make sure our next venture is more successful


souvik101990 wrote:
I heard there is a GMAT Club club forming at Johnson this year with You, CobraKai and Dbalks running for president. Thoughts?

I’ll win. I hear CobraKai fights dirty, but I’ll put together a fair competition to ensure the right man wins the job.
We’ll have a Triathlon of sorts. Starting off with a wing eating contest, followed by bar trivia, and finished off with a tough mudder race. Good luck guys, you’ll need it.


souvik101990 wrote:
How is the 2 Year MBA affecting your terrier? Is your terrier matriculating this year too?

Of course she is, she's up for anything
Image



souvik101990 wrote:
Has your wife seen this video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AicsJ7pMfxA ? Love to know how she would react!! In all seriousness how is marriage and MBA going together for you?

Ha, nope! And she better not! Great video btw, Columbia’s follies are some of the best. Being married while getting your MBA definitely brings another level to the time and money commitment of it all. But, she’s been my biggest supporter throughout this process, and is as excited as I am for this next journey in our lives to start. We’re both hoping she makes the move with me, but it will greatly depend on which jobs she can find in Ithaca. I want her to be there, but it would be selfish of me to ask her to jeopardize her career to move with me. Honestly, I’m almost 100% sure she’ll be coming, and that she’ll get as much out of this experience as I will.


souvik101990 wrote:
Serious Question. Is the Duke admit (fingers crossed) going to change/affect your Johnson decision?

I’m still undecided. The more I interact with the Johnson community (alumni and future/current students) the more sure I become in how happy I’ll be in Ithaca. All that said, it’s tough to know for sure until that decision is on the table.


souvik101990 wrote:
It has been an incredible journey with the GMAT, essays, getting married and everything else. Would you do something different if you had to do it again?

Yes, I would have not scheduled our wedding in the middle of app season! I was crazy! WTF is wrong with me? All in all, I’m super happy about the outcome, but god… that brought a whole new level of stress into this process.
I would have also started a blog, it would be nice to have a nice history of my crazy rants, self-doubting, and joy during this process.


souvik101990 wrote:
Any tips for the next highwyre237?

Hmmm, first off, I had a few tips in this guest post on essaysnark
What else?

Be yourself in this process, if you have to put on a phony smile, or pretend at all during any interaction with students or alumni of a certain program, that place isn’t for you. Find your perfect fit. Look for a place you enjoy filled with people you wouldn’t mind being stuck in a room with at 3am finishing some silly group project for some boring accounting class.

Rankings matter, but only as a guideline. Once you figure out where you should be aiming, find schools in that range that fit with your personality and career goals.

And lastly…
Chicks did puppies, get a puppy.
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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits! [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2013, 09:38
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Let me know when and where we're going to throw down for the wings/bar trivia. As for the Tough Mudder?

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Re: 10 questions for distinguished GMATClub 2012-13 admits!   [#permalink] 27 Mar 2013, 09:38
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