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Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs

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New post 30 May 2014, 03:00
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FROM Domotron's Blog: Part 4 Recommendations – Elements of an MBA application series
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Apologies for my hiatus, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind over the past month or so. I will try and put a post up at some point everything I have been up to. Before then, it’s time to head back to my Elements of an MBA application series. Pretty good timing too as schools have recently started releasing their deadlines and essay prompts for this fall. This post is all about how to plead for a recommendation!

Getting recommendations can be a really simple process or incredibly awkward depending on your work situation and industry. For applicants from consulting and banking, you will have an easier time because your industries are big feeders into MBA programs. Chances are your recommenders will have written MBA recommendations before and may even have an MBA themselves. Throw in the fact that MBAs is almost part of the career progression in those industries, your recommenders should not be surprised or fazed by the process.

For those less fortunate, you will be coming from a non-feeder industry or maybe even a pretty non-tradition background. This post is more for this type of applicant because you will have to guide your recommender through the whole process. From my experience, the recommendation process can be broken down into the following components:

  • Breaking the news – Chances are you are a driven high achiever at work so it may be a shock to your recommenders that you are plotting your escape. You will want to sit them down individually on a 1-on-1 basis to talk through your rationale for an MBA. Making them understand your decision will help when they write their recommendations.
  • Putting together a guide for your recommenders – You, as applicants, will want to take your time over this stage. The recommenders guide is the key document that will help your recommenders through the process. In it, you will want to detail what you think are your most impactful experiences and contributions that you want your recommenders to think about. Do keep these points brief as you don’t want your recommenders just to copy and paste your words. Do tell them up front how incredibly difficult it is to get into business school. In all honesty, you probably don’t want a recommendation that says your performance is fair to middling. You really need it to say you have amazing potential and are a standout performer. For British applicants, this is especially pertinent. Understatements and deprecating comments will not help you.
  • Setting deadlines – It’s a tough ask for recommenders to do all this extra work on top of their day jobs. Therefore inevitably they may struggle to meet deadlines you set for them. My tip is to tell them the deadline is at least 2 weeks prior to the actual deadline for submitting your application. Therefore you have a good buffer in case they come across an unexpectedly heavy workload and don’t complete your recommendations in time.
Hopefully, by following these 3 steps your recommendation process will be straightforward. For me, it was tough initially as my recommenders struggled to get to grips with the whole process but they definitely improved as the process went on While you can’t tell them what to write, make sure they understand that you are still a resource to help them through the recommendation process.

FAQ and debunking some myths

  • How many recommenders should I use?

    Really, it depends. I only used 2 because they were by far the best people to talk about my strengths and weaknesses. If I used more, then I think my recommendations would have suffered. However, the process was pretty tedious for them because they had to write 5 individual recommendations each. If you plan on applying to 4+ schools, it may be an idea to recruit more than 2 recommenders to spread out the load.
  • My recommenders asked me if I could just write it for them, what do I do?

    Whatever you do, DO NOT write your own recommendations. Some people try and the admissions teams have reviewed a lot of recommendations and they can spot a fraudulent one a mile away. If this recommender is not willing to invest their time into helping you, they are probably not the best advocate for you anyhow.
  • Can my recommenders write one generic recommendation and submit it to schools?

    Absolutely not. Think about it, why would a school go out of their way to admit someone who cannot follow the simplest instructions like every other applicant. Again, if your recommender suggests this they may not be the best advocate for you.
  • How much guidance should I give to my recommenders?

    This a very tricky question. Personally, I think it’s fine to give them a lot of raw materials to work with by giving them bullet points about great achievements and experiences in your recommenders guide. What you shouldn’t be doing is telling them which to use or discourage them from using their example. Remember, your recommenders probably know you far better than you think and may have a really insightful anecdote that you have forgotten.
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2014, 10:00
FROM Grant Me Admission: Why I’m retaking the GMAT after getting a 710
  “GrantMeAdmission you got a 710, and you are retaking the GMAT? Are you crazy?!?!” I’m sure that is what many of you are thinking. Let me…Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2014, 18:00
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: It's almost June.. crazy
Where did the time go? It's been a few weeks since I've updated this blog (sorry about that, guys), but the month of May seriously flew by. I've been freakishly busy with my job, trying to prepare for HBS, and just general other things in life.

Since I last wrote, I managed to find an apartment and a roommate, which I'm pretty psyched about. That was one of my main stressors, so I'm glad to have made progress in that arena. I've also purchased a new laptop for school, a Lenovo X1 Carbon. I'm currently using a humongous Lenovo T510 that weighs a million pounds. I'm not a complete tech geek, but the X1 is going to be kind of life-altering. One of the other cool things that's happened this month is that I've had a chance to connect with several of my future classmates. This has made me even more excited about the start of school.

Of course, however, I'm still not excited about the cost. My highest priority over the next few weeks is to solidify all of the details regarding my student loans. I'm thinking that I should contact both a financial adviser and a tax accountant. I  need someone to help me figure this all out.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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http://DefyingGravityMBA.blogspot.com/

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New post 01 Jun 2014, 17:00
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: How to respond to the HBS essay prompt
There are still 3 months and 8 days left until the HBS round 1 application for the Class of 2017 is due. However, I've recently had quite a few people asking me about my essay. When I applied, HBS provided the following essay prompt:

You’re applying to Harvard Business School.  We can see your resume, school transcripts, extra-curricular activities, awards, post-MBA career goals, test scores and what your recommenders have to say about you. What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy? There is no word limit for this question.  We think you know what guidance we're going to give here. Don't overthink, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don't know your world can understand. 

Interestingly, this exact same prompt is being used for the Class of 2017, even though Dean of Admissions Dee Leopold has previously gone on record stating that the question will change every year. Clearly this 'optional' essay worked out pretty well.

So, what brilliant topic did I write about in order to land the golden ticket? What is the secret sauce behind this question. Honestly, there's no secret sauce. I spent significantly less time on the HBS essay than I did on my Stanford essays, and the essays of every other school to which I applied. I took the advice to heart of not overthinking this, even though my natural reaction was, of course, to totally overthink it.

Anyway, I wrote about what has motivated me to pursue my career goals. I connected my personal and professional experiences into a ~700 word essay. The advice I have given to other applicants is to tell a meaningful story that highlights something important to you. Don't try to guess what's important to the admissions committee, because you'll probably guess wrong.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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http://DefyingGravityMBA.blogspot.com/

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jun 2014, 04:00
FROM Grant Me Admission: My MBA Plan
This is a quick synopsis/review of how I plan to apply for schools in the first round. In the future, I will review each piece of the application…Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2014, 05:00
FROM Grant Me Admission: MBA Resource Rundown: Overall Process
Over the next few weeks I will list resources pertaining to various elements of the MBA application process. They will be grouped in the Resource tab…Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2014, 11:01
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Who got in to HBS?
HBS just released the preliminary profile for the class of 2016. I scoured these profiles when I was applying last year, trying to gleam any hidden trends. It's crazy to think that my data is now included.

There are currently 940 students in the class, and Dee Leopold expects that number to settle somewhere between 930 to 939, after summer melt and a few waitlist additions.
For me, the biggest takeaway from this data is that you should never count yourself out. If you want to go to HBS, just give it a shot and apply. There is no guarantee that you'll get in, but there's also no guarantee that you won't. Someone in the class was accepted with a 580 GMAT. If you had asked most admissions consultants or entered that person's data into one of those online admissions chances calculators, I bet the odds would not be in his favor. But somehow, he got in! I think that's pretty amazing. Admissions are truly a holistic process.

Personally, I didn't expect to get accepted. I worked as hard as I could and tried to best position myself for success, but I didn't expect my dream to actually become a reality. I decided to apply, because I knew I would regret it if I didn't; I would always think "what if?" That's part of the reason I went by the username "Defying Gravity." I was hoping I could achieve what seemed to be an unexpected feat, not allowing anything (including my own doubts) to bring me down.

So if you're even considering applying to b-school for the Class of 2017, my advice is to go for it. Keep your expectations reasonable, but don't be afraid to shoot for the stars, because you have the chance of something pretty freakin' amazing happening.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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http://DefyingGravityMBA.blogspot.com/

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New post 03 Jun 2014, 16:00
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FROM The MBA Journey of an African Doctor: Concluding the London Business School Interview
The interview is finally done. The application process to London Business School is coming to a close, and yes, the final closure will be sometime next week. The natural question is “How did the interview go?”

And my answer is “So so. Comme ci comme ca.”

As an MBA applicant who just concluded his/her interview, the first response is to look at the negatives, give them a weight of 90% and then take the positives and apply a weight of 10%. Then pray for the best and prepare for the worst, only to end up a neurotic mess. I have done that before. Strangely one of the questions one of the interviewers (yes, I was interviewed by two nice ladies who are adcom members and who both have names that sound almost alike the Thomson and Thompson characters in Tintin) asked was what I was going to do if I was not accepted into the Executive MBA Programme at London Business School. I was on a roll at that time and my response, which was quite fast, was “I will re-apply”. Both of them laughed at the response. But I truly meant it.

After seeing the school, the facilities, the curriculum, and considering it in the context of my current career trajectory, I feel the school will be a really good fit. And the good thing is this. Nobody is going to tell me one of these pesky little lines that I have gotten really tired of hearing:

  • You are a little on the older side
  • You have too much work experience
  • Your current job title will make adcoms wonder what you need an MBA for
  • Your quant score is a little weak for a top end school
Strangely one of the questions I was asked was “How were you able to get such a high GMAT score?” The first reaction, in my head, was “Huh?” My brain could not process the fact that the adcom really called my score “high”. I mean this is the same score that I have been told I needed to improve upon to have a shot at Wharton. The question caused a meltdown in the synaptic connections between my ears and my mouth because I could not process the information fast enough. Then I tailgated (you will have to pick up a copy of Pitch Perfect my Bill McGowan to understand what that means), and then I crashed. I ended up answering why I was unable to score 730. That was the third mistake I made in the interview.

Now to the first mistake. I took coffee, without eating, when I woke up in the morning. I had to drag myself out of bed at 8am for a 10am interview. The coffee without sugar and milk caused a sugar crash in my system. That coupled with the jet lag made me a nervous wreck at 9.45am. That was mistake number one.

The interview started off with a presentation. I felt confident, in my head, but my mouth betrayed my nervousness. My voice was shaky. I should have overcome this within 3 – 4 minutes because I really loved making presentations, but it went through all the 10 minutes plus. Mistake number two. Am I going to be marked down for that? I don’t know. But here is what I know. I delivered my message. And how do I know this?

One of the adcom members (not one of the interviewers) was taking me around the campus when another member (also not an interviewer) rushed down the staircase to meet me. She was all excited and went “So you were one of the doctors that delivered a baby on board a British Airways flight from Abuja to London? I actually know someone who was aboard the flight!”. That was one of the “cool stories” in my presentation, and it must have been memorable enough for her to know just a few minutes after I walked out of the interview room. I think it is a dead giveaway.

But…

I am still an MBA applicant. And I will assign a weight of 10% to cool stories and 90% to shaky voice caused by an unusual amount of caffeine in the system and a bloody jet lag.

So I will hope for the best and prepare for the worst while making a neurotic mess of myself because I am still an MBA applicant after all.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Blog updated: July 27, 2014

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New post 04 Jun 2014, 07:00
FROM Grant Me Admission: A New Challenger Has Entered the Ring!
If you’ve been following my blog, you know that in my previous post, The Method Behind the Madness: How I Selected Schools, I went from a list…Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 05 Jun 2014, 16:00
FROM Sarah's MBA Journey: I’ve chosen!
Good news everyone. I’ve chosen where I want to study for my part time MBA!

I’m going for part time MBA at Manchester.

Here are my reasons:

Price; it’s good value for money. And I feel happy to pay it.

Flexible; it’s highly flexible. I can still do my international work and undertake an MBA. As long as I have an internet connection I can take the class room with me. Plus I get to choose three electives. Bonus.

Time off work is about right. I go to campus three times a year. I think that is a level that work would allow and give me the time off.

International component; I can take courses at different overseas locations including Miami! Guess where I’m going for my next holiday!

Time: the taught element is 18 months long. The second component is a project for 6 months. So not too long, they’ve cut down the duration of the course and increased the number of trips to manchester.

But even with this amazing list, I going to have to think carefully on how to manage the downsides;

Less contact with fellow students.

Less careers support

Less face- face time with lecturers.

Suggestions include:

Make effort to socialise with students who live in London and the surrounding area. Maybe a quarterly meet up. Does anyone know of any?

Make most of other networking opportunities I have through work. And if there any external networks I can join. Who says you should only network with classmates and alumni of the school you attend?

For careers it might be worthwhile to make more of an effort to build relationships with the careers advisors and see what extra informal support I can receive. Though I suspect I may need to use some of the money saved from attending Manchester on careers coaching. But we will see.

what next

Well, I had a brief thought of applying now and starting in July when I got an email saying fees will be increasing for January. But I checked my diary, I have plans. Namely stay sane leading the latest work project and go on holiday and watch loads of sport at the commonwealth games. So a January start it is.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 09 Jun 2014, 15:00
FROM Grant Me Admission: Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
  It has been 3 weeks since I started Grant Me Admission, and what a crazy three weeks it has been. I want to thank all…Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 10 Jun 2014, 08:00
FROM Grant Me Admission: MBA Resource Rundown: CV / Resumes
Over the next few weeks I will list resources pertaining to various elements of the MBA application process. They will be grouped in the Resource tab…Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 10 Jun 2014, 12:00
FROM Grant Me Admission: 5 Essential Elements of a Perfect MBA Applicant Resume
  I recently reviewed and updated my resume from applying to Tuck last year. After gathering great resources on resumes, I was able to identify and…Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 11 Jun 2014, 10:00
FROM Grant Me Admission: Consultant Showdown – My Three Choices
Just because you are a great player, doesn’t mean you will win a championship. Sometimes, you need a good coach too. One of the key items…Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 11 Jun 2014, 11:00
FROM Grant Me Admission: Consultant Showdown – Admissionado
Just because you are a great player, doesn’t mean you will win a championship. Sometimes, you need a good coach too. One of the key items…Image
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New post 11 Jun 2014, 11:00
FROM Grant Me Admission: Consultant Showdown – mbaMission
Just because you are a great player, doesn’t mean you will win a championship. Sometimes, you need a good coach too. One of the key items…Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 11 Jun 2014, 16:00
FROM The MBA Journey of an African Doctor: London Business School Calls…
After my interview session at the London Business School in Dubai campus, my wife and I stayed back for a few days to enjoy the city before heading back home. The admission committee members who interviewed me told me that I should hear back from them latest by Thursday this week. I had already set my expectations for Wednesday/Thursday, only for me to open my email on Tuesday, and bam! the offer for admission was sitting right there. I checked the timestamp on the email only to discover that the email had been sent for over 24 hours!

My first instinct was to rush off an acceptance email right there on my mobile phone before they changed their minds about the admission. But now, I know I made the right choice not to send the email immediately because I am quite certain that it would have been full of grammatical errors and wrong spellings and they might have been forced to withdraw the admission. Instead, I took a deep breathe, rushed off to tell me wife about the good news and gave myself some few minutes to calm down. Then I opened up my laptop and sent an official looking and sounding acceptance email.

It was a rollercoaster of a sixteen months, which included three tries at the GMAT and lots of bucks for travels to Lagos and Dubai and application fees, not forgetting those pesky consultant fees. But I am glad the journey is over. For the past 36 hours I have been wondering what would have happened if I had hired my second consultant instead of the first for my Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and INSEAD applications. I cannot predict what would have happened with the first three schools but I feel strongly that I would have been accepted straight through at INSEAD. While the first consultant was able to put many of the puzzles in place, the second consultant brought a higher level of clarity for the LBS application process. The first consultant’s interview training was a goldmine that actually went a long way to help.

Looking back at the long painful journey of self discovery, I am glad that things turned out the way they did. I had a vertical career move in the first week of 2014. My second admission consultant felt that this promotion could have spooked the admission committees because I was unable to explain within the short period before the deadlines why I wanted an MBA at that point. Most MBA graduates who are interested to coming to Africa would be glad to take my current job. It would have been a real struggle to let go if I had been admitted into Harvard or Stanford. But I doubt I would have let go if I had gotten into Wharton. INSEAD would have been easier because I could have looked for a way to talk my employer into letting me go for only ten months and come right back to my current role. But I am glad I do not have to make that decision. I now I get to go to a great school while keeping a great job. It is the best of both worlds. Another thing is that I do not have to face the prospect of getting torn apart by a smart 22 year old in front of the class at Harvard; I think I will learn better and appreciate it more if I am slammed by a 40 year old experienced manager at the Executive MBA program in the city of Dubai. At least, I can always go to Wild Wadi after that.

And I finally got to send an email to INSEAD to take me off the waitlist, and it felt really good.

I am grateful to the Almighty God for how things have turned out. The journey of self discovery was well worth it.

And yes, I am going to London Business School!

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Blog: The MBA Journey of an African Doctor

Blog updated: July 27, 2014

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New post 12 Jun 2014, 04:00
FROM Grant Me Admission: What are my chances? (Part 2 of 2)
What are my chances? Probably the most asked question in the MBA application game. This post is the second part of my first post on my…Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 12 Jun 2014, 09:00
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: 5 Things to do Now to Prepare for Round 1 applications
It's that time again, folks! Within the past few days, several schools have started to push their Class of 2017 applications live. Round 1 apps are due in as soon as 3 months. That may seem like a long time, but last year I found that time absolutely flew by. So, here's my advice for how to use your summer to be best prepared for application season. Let the games begin!

1. Prioritize the GMAT and get it done. You may be busy at work or dealing with family life, but you don't have time to delay the GMAT at this point. Try to get the test done by July, so that you can fully devote yourself to the many other aspects of applications -- especially essay writing.

2. Define your career goals. Every school will ask you about your short and long-term career goals. These must be realistic, yet ambitious.

3. Select your schools of interest. This ties into your career goals. Figure out where you want to apply. I recommend applying to about 4-6 schools -- 2 schools that are a fit based on your GPA, GMAT, and work experience; and 2-4 schools that are more of a reach. I've said it numerous times, but I honestly did not expect to get accepted to HBS or Stanford. The odds seemed crazy. The only way to be accepted is to apply.

4. Finish the "little things" early. Having not needed to apply to a job or program in a few years, I had let my resume become outdated. Every school will ask for your resume. Update it now so that you don't have to worry about it later when you are swamped with other stuff.

5. Brainstorm essay ideas. When I needed a mental break from GMAT studying, I would spend some time casually jotting down bullet points regarding how I would respond to various essay topics. This way, I still felt like I was being productive, but I was able to escape the misery of Data Sufficiency. Even if the essay topics for all of your schools aren't yet available, there are some common questions that you'll need to be able to answer at some point, i.e. What's the biggest obstacle/challenge you've faced? What's your greatest leadership experience? What are your strengths/weaknesses?

If you have any other strategies to prepare early for applications, feel free to post a comment below. 
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Advice, Musings, and Experiences from a member of the HBS Class of 2016
http://DefyingGravityMBA.blogspot.com/

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New post 12 Jun 2014, 14:00
FROM TopDogMBA - A Reapplicant's Tail: Because
Earlier this month I reached out to a successful applicant who was accepted by three top 10 MBA programmes last year. He gave me some solid feedback on my applications from last season, what strengths they portrayed as well as potential pitfalls when reapplying.

I am sharing some of the specific feedback for two schools as well as more general advice which I found really helpful.

Wharton. Still driven by data, mathematics, finance, consulting and, to a lesser degree, technology and entrepreneurship. Applying with a career goal outside of these disciplines (as I did) may have been a concern. More than anything else, however, my profile (white male in finance) makes it VERY hard to get in.

MIT Sloan. Likes people who challenge convention and build/create things, so I need to be careful not to appear risk averse and conservative. My essays should portray me as a tenaciously curious person who is daring, questions authority and backs up his risk taking with measurable results that impress.

The general conclusion was that, if I had the goods to get interviews at multiple top 10 MBA programmes, I could conceivably get in just about anywhere with the right application strategy and presentation. Harvard and Stanford are a little harder to predict, but any other school should not be an unreasonable stretch for me.

I really have some work to do to figure out how my reapplications should be different (how my candidacy has improved since last time) as well as which schools to apply to in order to ensure success this time around.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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TopDogMBA - A Reapplicant's Tail - http://topdogmba.com/

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs   [#permalink] 12 Jun 2014, 14:00

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