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B-Schools, Career & Self Doubt - What to look forward to?

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B-Schools, Career & Self Doubt - What to look forward to? [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2017, 06:49
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Hi All,

I am going to share my journey of applying to B-Schools in the past couple of years and how that experience has changed my perspective on life and created self-doubts. Thanks, in advance for your patience for this long post.
To give you a jumpstart, I am an Indian engineer male, 26 years old with work ex of almost 5 years now; yeah, the same old orthodox profile with undergrad from a good engineering university and currently, working in a bulge bracket bank; moreover, aspired to continue in the financial services of a leading bank in the States post MBA.

Journey of GMAT

I started this journey way back in 2013 when I decided to prepare for my GMAT exam. I just thought, 'I am freshly graduated and can study hard; let's try to give GMAT now'. I had always been an academically sound guy; I got a merit scholarship in my undergrad!
I joined an online course. I was getting around 750 in my mocks and conspicuously, was pretty confident during my first attempt. Guess what score I got. A '620'. Yeah, right! I was disappointed and disheartened and so was my online tutor.

Per his advice, I prepared for another couple of months and tried again. The second time, it was '600'. 'Woah, Whats happening!', I said to myself. I knew this was a fluke and tried again by booking the nearest slot I could get after 31 days (the min time between consecutive attempts at that time). 'Third time's always the charm, right!'. It was '640'. It was a big setback for me. I didn't even have the option to cancel the scores at that time.

So, this time I decided to take a long break. But my curious learning mind wanted to do something apart from just slogging 10 hours a day in the office. CFA, I thought. I started studying and cleared Level 1 easily. A new year came and I started preparing for GMAT again because I wanted to go abroad to study MBA and achieve my dreams.
I went for another online tutor this time and started working hard on my verbal (as is the case with every non-native English speaker). I was pretty confident but a little intimidated. The fourth time, reached 700. Somehow, I again mustered up the courage to give another attempt. Again, after a period 31 days, I gave my fifth attempt and finally got a 730. I was expecting more as my exam really went well but my past experiences told me that 'it's not too good but let's go with this score as it is still a competitive score'.

Post GMAT

The name of the folder on my Laptop in which I accumulated all my research and application for the schools. I was applying for admission to Fall 2016. I thought I will be having 4 years of work ex by then, which will be decent. Meanwhile, I switched my job and started working in one of the biggest banks of the world. The job gave me great personal development opportunities. Moreover, I have been a semi-professional sportsman, done tons of extracurricular and volunteering activities to bolster my academic profile. Hence, I thought I can come out with great applications.

I started researching about schools and admission consultants. I talked to many current students, alumni and became a prospective MBA candidate now.

After finalizing the admission consultant, I applied in my first school with immense enthusiasm. Later, I applied to a couple more; some included preparing video essays while others included video interviews. Then, I waited till the decision dates when I finally got rejections from all the 4 schools I applied. I remember talking to myself and saying 'No worries, let me try a couple more in round 2'. I continued my networking, went to networking events of more schools, and contacted some more admission consultants.
In December and January 2015, I applied to more schools, waited for a couple more months and got rejected again except one. But, this time I got the opportunity to interview. Moreover, I was waitlisted in two (later converted to rejection) and got acceptance from one.

Since I was doing really good in my professional world then, and there were a few new exciting projects in my kitty, I thought, 'let's wait for one more year, learn more and try again next year with a better profile'.

New Beginnings

Again, the name of the folder on my laptop in which I started with my next round of applications. I knew I had to give my best shot this time in all the schools I would apply. I also got the opportunity to visit Chicago and New York in 2016 and therefore, I also visited various campuses to network more. I build up some great connections with the admission committee members of various schools and in one of the MBA admission fairs, I visited in Chicago.

I came back to India and started preparing myself for this year's round of applications. Meanwhile, I also cleared my CFA Level 2 and got promotion in the workplace. I just thought I have an international work experience, promotion, professional leadership experience, and a lot of other personal stuff to talk about this time; things that could also help me in the 're-applicant' section of the applications in few schools.

Then came the August-September season of Round 1 deadlines and with the help of another admission consultant (a pretty senior admission consultant who had been a former admissions committee member in one of the prestigious B-schools), I submitted my application to three schools in round 1; in two of which I was a reapplicant. I got dinged without an interview in all of them. My luck was pretty bad. One of the schools, I applied, interviews almost all the candidates and waive interviews to a few selected candidates. My interview was waived and I didn't get an interview eventually. I thought again, 'No worries, let's try again'. I was desperate to get an admission and therefore, applied to a few more in November and December; I was a re-applicant to all of them. I got interview calls from one and rejection from all others. I was most disappointed with one which rejected me this time when it waitlisted me the previous year.

I started feeling anxious as January came and I didn't have any acceptances. I decided to apply to a few more in the January round. I tried to play my luck and applied to one of the top 3 schools this time. Honestly, I presented awesome applications in all the four schools I applied this time. Another round of waiting started in January after I submitted my applications. I applied in schools with a constant balance: which were good shots, easy shots, and hard shots. From one of my easy shots, I got an email that my transcripts don't state that English is an official language in my undergrad and another few days were spent trying to prove to them 'English' is an indeed the official language of my undergrad (a new request I didn't foresee and encountered in any other school). Because of this, I missed the interview invite window of this school and eventually didn't get an interview.

But one fine day, I got an email from my hard shot (one of the top 3 schools) for an interview invite. I was finally elated that I had a chance. I worked hard, preparing for interviews: mock interviews with that school's alum and I got a good feedback. After an average interview, I started waiting again. Meanwhile, I didn't hear from any other school.

Current Stats

In March, I finally heard from all the other schools. Currently, I have been rejected from all including one of the top 3 schools and waitlisted in a couple, with honestly no major indicator of getting an admit. I have applied to 10 schools this time.

I am in the same position right now as I was in 2015 almost 2 years back with no admit, and just a dream to study from a prestigious B-school and excel in my career.
Personally, I think I have learned a lot in the entire application and interview process and improved my communication skills, networking skills, writing skills, and other kinds of interpersonal skills. I have worked very hard for admissions but somehow, things didn't turn out the way I wanted them to be.

Against your expectations, there is no happy ending in this story that would inspire someone. But sharing my story here anonymously, I can honestly say that I don't know what to look forward to. These rejections have made me doubt myself. Things are not so good in my professional life as well, which makes it difficult for me to continue in the same company for another year. Will I be able to prepare for another year or shall I look for something else in my life?

After so many years of struggle and endeavors, I don't know what I am going to do now but just felt like sharing the story to alleviate the load.

Thanks for hearing me out. Cheers to Life!

Kudos [?]: 1 [1] , given: 0

Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 28 Dec 2016
Posts: 11

Kudos [?]: 4 [0], given: 10

Location: India
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
GMAT 1: 770 Q51 V44
GPA: 3.88
Re: B-Schools, Career & Self Doubt - What to look forward to? [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 17 Mar 2017, 07:24
Ngungi wrote:
Hi All,

I am going to share my journey of applying to B-Schools in the past couple of years and how that experience has changed my perspective on life and created self-doubts. Thanks, in advance for your patience for this long post.
To give you a jumpstart, I am an Indian engineer male, 26 years old with work ex of almost 5 years now; yeah, the same old orthodox profile with undergrad from a good engineering university and currently, working in a bulge bracket bank; moreover, aspired to continue in the financial services of a leading bank in the States post MBA.

Journey of GMAT

I started this journey way back in 2013 when I decided to prepare for my GMAT exam. I just thought, 'I am freshly graduated and can study hard; let's try to give GMAT now'. I had always been an academically sound guy; I got a merit scholarship in my undergrad!
I joined an online course. I was getting around 750 in my mocks and conspicuously, was pretty confident during my first attempt. Guess what score I got. A '620'. Yeah, right! I was disappointed and disheartened and so was my online tutor.

Per his advice, I prepared for another couple of months and tried again. The second time, it was '600'. 'Woah, Whats happening!', I said to myself. I knew this was a fluke and tried again by booking the nearest slot I could get after 31 days (the min time between consecutive attempts at that time). 'Third time's always the charm, right!'. It was '640'. It was a big setback for me. I didn't even have the option to cancel the scores at that time.

So, this time I decided to take a long break. But my curious learning mind wanted to do something apart from just slogging 10 hours a day in the office. CFA, I thought. I started studying and cleared Level 1 easily. A new year came and I started preparing for GMAT again because I wanted to go abroad to study MBA and achieve my dreams.
I went for another online tutor this time and started working hard on my verbal (as is the case with every non-native English speaker). I was pretty confident but a little intimidated. The fourth time, reached 700. Somehow, I again mustered up the courage to give another attempt. Again, after a period 31 days, I gave my fifth attempt and finally got a 730. I was expecting more as my exam really went well but my past experiences told me that 'it's not too good but let's go with this score as it is still a competitive score'.

Post GMAT

The name of the folder on my Laptop in which I accumulated all my research and application for the schools. I was applying for admission to Fall 2016. I thought I will be having 4 years of work ex by then, which will be decent. Meanwhile, I switched my job and started working in one of the biggest banks of the world. The job gave me great personal development opportunities. Moreover, I have been a semi-professional sportsman, done tons of extracurricular and volunteering activities to bolster my academic profile. Hence, I thought I can come out with great applications.

I started researching about schools and admission consultants. I talked to many current students, alumni and became a prospective MBA candidate now.

After finalizing the admission consultant, I applied in my first school with immense enthusiasm. Later, I applied to a couple more; some included preparing video essays while others included video interviews. Then, I waited till the decision dates when I finally got rejections from all the 4 schools I applied. I remember talking to myself and saying 'No worries, let me try a couple more in round 2'. I continued my networking, went to networking events of more schools, and contacted some more admission consultants.
In December and January 2015, I applied to more schools, waited for a couple more months and got rejected again except one. But, this time I got the opportunity to interview. Moreover, I was waitlisted in two (later converted to rejection) and got acceptance from one.

Since I was doing really good in my professional world then, and there were a few new exciting projects in my kitty, I thought, 'let's wait for one more year, learn more and try again next year with a better profile'.

New Beginnings

Again, the name of the folder on my laptop in which I started with my next round of applications. I knew I had to give my best shot this time in all the schools I would apply. I also got the opportunity to visit Chicago and New York in 2016 and therefore, I also visited various campuses to network more. I build up some great connections with the admission committee members of various schools and in one of the MBA admission fairs, I visited in Chicago.

I came back to India and started preparing myself for this year's round of applications. Meanwhile, I also cleared my CFA Level 2 and got promotion in the workplace. I just thought I have an international work experience, promotion, professional leadership experience, and a lot of other personal stuff to talk about this time; things that could also help me in the 're-applicant' section of the applications in few schools.

Then came the August-September season of Round 1 deadlines and with the help of another admission consultant (a pretty senior admission consultant who had been a former admissions committee member in one of the prestigious B-schools), I submitted my application to three schools in round 1; in two of which I was a reapplicant. I got dinged without an interview in all of them. My luck was pretty bad. One of the schools, I applied, interviews almost all the candidates and waive interviews to a few selected candidates. My interview was waived and I didn't get an interview eventually. I thought again, 'No worries, let's try again'. I was desperate to get an admission and therefore, applied to a few more in November and December; I was a re-applicant to all of them. I got interview calls from one and rejection from all others. I was most disappointed with one which rejected me this time when it waitlisted me the previous year.

I started feeling anxious as January came and I didn't have any acceptances. I decided to apply to a few more in the January round. I tried to play my luck and applied to one of the top 3 schools this time. Honestly, I presented awesome applications in all the four schools I applied this time. Another round of waiting started in January after I submitted my applications. I applied in schools with a constant balance: which were good shots, easy shots, and hard shots. From one of my easy shots, I got an email that my transcripts don't state that English is an official language in my undergrad and another few days were spent trying to prove to them 'English' is an indeed the official language of my undergrad (a new request I didn't foresee and encountered in any other school). Because of this, I missed the interview invite window of this school and eventually didn't get an interview.

But one fine day, I got an email from my hard shot (one of the top 3 schools) for an interview invite. I was finally elated that I had a chance. I worked hard, preparing for interviews: mock interviews with that school's alum and I got a good feedback. After an average interview, I started waiting again. Meanwhile, I didn't hear from any other school.

Current Stats

In March, I finally heard from all the other schools. Currently, I have been rejected from all including one of the top 3 schools and waitlisted in a couple, with honestly no major indicator of getting an admit. I have applied to 10 schools this time.

I am in the same position right now as I was in 2015 almost 2 years back with no admit, and just a dream to study from a prestigious B-school and excel in my career.
Personally, I think I have learned a lot in the entire application and interview process and improved my communication skills, networking skills, writing skills, and other kinds of interpersonal skills. I have worked very hard for admissions but somehow, things didn't turn out the way I wanted them to be.

Against your expectations, there is no happy ending in this story that would inspire someone. But sharing my story here anonymously, I can honestly say that I don't know what to look forward to. These rejections have made me doubt myself. Things are not so good in my professional life as well, which makes it difficult for me to continue in the same company for another year. Will I be able to prepare for another year or shall I look for something else in my life?

After so many years of struggle and endeavors, I don't know what I am going to do now but just felt like sharing the story to alleviate the load.

Thanks for hearing me out. Cheers to Life!


Unlike you assumed, your story is indeed an inspiring one! It inspires me to see the positives among negatives, inspires me to never give up, and I would urge you to do the same. Thanks a lot for sharing it! Feel free to PM me if you want to have a chat.
May the force be with you :)

Kudos [?]: 4 [0], given: 10

Re: B-Schools, Career & Self Doubt - What to look forward to?   [#permalink] 17 Mar 2017, 07:24
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