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Admit after 2 Years and 12 Dings

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Joined: 29 Oct 2014
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Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy
GMAT 1: 710 Q43 V44
GMAT 2: 710 Q47 V42
GPA: 3.05
WE: Engineering (Manufacturing)
Admit after 2 Years and 12 Dings [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2015, 13:10
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How is my focus at work? At an all-time low, which is why I'm sending this reply. I do want to contribute to this specific discussion, however, because my story of failure and success is particularly notable (I think).

Two and a half years ago, I decided I would try to apply to business school because I had a career that while short (3 years at the time), aligned well with what MBA programs are looking for, and I wanted more skills to help my career. I was denied admission to all five (HBS, Wharton, Darden, Sloan, Ross), only receiving one interview (Ross). After talking with an admissions member at my top choice school at the time (Darden), I received feedback that my inexperience was the major weak point of my application. I decided I would reapply in two years.

Fall of 2014, I applied again (Sloan, Darden, Ross, Tuck, Fuqua), with the confidence that the additional experience and my improved self-awareness (note the change in schools) would give me a great chance of admission. I traveled cross country to interview at Fuqua and Tuck, attended information sessions, connected with students and alumni, and did everything I could to make sure I understood the application game. Watching people getting interviews on these forums kept my blood pressure at "air traffic controller" levels for a solid three weeks.

If you're not a sports fan, the article I'm about to link may not affect you the way it did me, but as a college football fan who was applying to business school again, it made me take a step back and look at what was really happening in my life. This is my second post and I haven't leveled up to Link Wizard yet, so search our beautiful internet for "sbnation stop worrying about the playoff", it should be the first one. Notice the date it was published was during peak “what’s happening with my application?” time for round 1.

I was denied admission to all five schools, without an interview invite. Although this depressed me, there was a part of my subconscious that said "Hey, these schools think you can't do it. They think you can't be a great part of their program, maybe even can't be a great business leader." Proving people wrong has always motivated me, so I was jacked every time I thought about it. I knew I was going to find a way, MBA or not, to run a market leading organization, proving these programs that they got me wrong. I recognized, even at the time, this was an extreme response, but I needed anything to keep me going.

My family happened to run into an admissions consultant at a party, so I worked with her to put together round 2 applications (McCombs, Tepper, Johnson, SOM, Stern, Olin). This was important for me because I have never had a coworker, family member, friend, family friend, babysitter, lunch lady, dog walker or anyone else who had attended a full time MBA program in the last 20 years. Although I did tons of internet research, I didn’t have someone to talk to about the vocabulary, what to prominently display in my essays and resume, and how to talk about my professional aspirations that comes with just being around this culture. Having someone to ask these questions to was the difference maker, but I’m still not sure I have an understanding of the MBA culture that many of you do.

I was pumped just to hear that McCombs wanted to interview me, then I heard the same from Johnson, Olin, and Tepper. My interviews are done, and I’ve been accepted at Olin and Johnson, even with an invite to scholarship weekend from the latter. I’ve been dinged (see, I’m learning some terms) from SOM and Stern.

All said and done, I’ve submitted 16 applications to some of the best institutions on the planet. Even if I’m admitted to McCombs and Tepper, I’ll be sitting at a 75% failure rate, and I’m stupidly happy with that. In no other field is someone happy with a 25% success rate. Batters hitting .250 or basketball players shooting 25% from three point range are probably like “meh”, but that’s the best part of getting into business school. We’ve competed for spots with some of the most intelligent, creative, kind, hardworking, and charismatic people in our generation, and as long as we’ve applied to schools we honestly want to attend, we only need one to say yes in order for our emotional state and lives to be changed dramatically.

I guess my point is that I believe I was dinged (12 times) not because I’m not a good candidate, but because I didn’t find a way to present myself in a way that really represented me, and maybe because I didn’t find the right people to listen. If you’ve been dinged, I imagine the same goes for you. While you wait, don't forget to love the things you've done that make you a candidate at all.

Edit: Spelling, word choice

Last edited by kboejoe on 27 Feb 2015, 13:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Admit after 2 Years and 12 Dings [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2015, 10:19
With out getting to personal, what was your College GPA and GMAT?

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Re: Admit after 2 Years and 12 Dings [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2015, 19:25
bradmra wrote:
With out getting to personal, what was your College GPA and GMAT?


My GMAT was pretty average, I took it twice and scored between 680 and 730 for both, I won't say where.
My GPA was also pretty average, a little above a 3.0, but from a top engineering school.

This post was extracted from another thread by GMAT Club and was really meant just to encourage people, so I didn't include a lot of details. Once I have truly finished the application process I'll disclose more.

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Re: Admit after 2 Years and 12 Dings [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2015, 04:21
Congrats on the admit offers! Your perseverance is admirable! If you end up going to Johnson I'll hopefully see you around!

By the way, out of curiosity, what was your answer to why MBA? What do you wanna do after b-school?
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WE: Engineering (Manufacturing)
Re: Admit after 2 Years and 12 Dings [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2015, 14:01
dtse86 wrote:
Congrats on the admit offers! Your perseverance is admirable! If you end up going to Johnson I'll hopefully see you around!

By the way, out of curiosity, what was your answer to why MBA? What do you wanna do after b-school?


Thank you, I'm very excited about the opportunity, and you very well may see me in the fall!

Through the application process, I've expressed my desire to eventually own my own company, and I have a few ideas I elaborate upon. However, I have no experience in important business areas like finance, marketing, and investment, so I want to become a consultant for a few years to expose me to more industries, problems, and cultures while allowing me to practice applying what I've learned in my MBA program. My hope is that the experience will help improve the chances that when I do start a company, it's successful.

That response is completely honest, but the story regarding how I arrived there is more complicated. I'll write more about it in the future.

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Re: Admit after 2 Years and 12 Dings [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2015, 15:44
Congratulations! And thank you for great story. It is similar to mine, which I will write soon.
Good luck !
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Re: Admit after 2 Years and 12 Dings [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2015, 08:20
Thank you for writing this. My stats:

- Schools applied to: 16 (in two years, applied to Johnson twice, so total 17 apps)
- Interview invites: 10 (twice from Johnson)
- Waitlisted: 8 times (twice by Johnson)
- Dings: 11 (including dings from waitlist)
- Admits: 3 (All received in March 2015)

This Bschool admissions game is not for me.

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Re: Admit after 2 Years and 12 Dings [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2015, 05:21
bradmra wrote:
With out getting to personal, what was your College GPA and GMAT?

i'd think so

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Re: Admit after 2 Years and 12 Dings [#permalink]

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New post 22 May 2015, 18:54
kboejoe wrote:
I was pumped just to hear that McCombs wanted to interview me, then I heard the same from Johnson, Olin, and Tepper. My interviews are done, and I’ve been accepted at Olin and Johnson, even with an invite to scholarship weekend from the latter. I’ve been dinged (see, I’m learning some terms) from SOM and Stern.

All said and done, I’ve submitted 16 applications to some of the best institutions on the planet. Even if I’m admitted to McCombs and Tepper, I’ll be sitting at a 75% failure rate, and I’m stupidly happy with that. In no other field is someone happy with a 25% success rate. Batters hitting .250 or basketball players shooting 25% from three point range are probably like “meh”, but that’s the best part of getting into business school. We’ve competed for spots with some of the most intelligent, creative, kind, hardworking, and charismatic people in our generation, and as long as we’ve applied to schools we honestly want to attend, we only need one to say yes in order for our emotional state and lives to be changed dramatically.

I guess my point is that I believe I was dinged (12 times) not because I’m not a good candidate, but because I didn’t find a way to present myself in a way that really represented me, and maybe because I didn’t find the right people to listen. If you’ve been dinged, I imagine the same goes for you. While you wait, don't forget to love the things you've done that make you a candidate at all.


Congrats to you. Your story of perseverance is impressive. Thanks for sharing!

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Re: Admit after 2 Years and 12 Dings   [#permalink] 22 May 2015, 18:54
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