We’d like to introduce you to Bschoolgirl, an anonymous blogger at Girl Meets B-School who will be starting her first year at USC Marshall this fall. A self-proclaimed non-traditional applicant, Bschoolgirl made it into one of her top picks, and shares lots of good advice about her admissions experience. Thank you Bschoolgirl!
Accepted: First, some basics: Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? And what is your favorite book (fiction or non-fiction)?
Bschoolgirl: I’m born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I majored in Cinema and Dance at San Francisco State University. In other words, I have the sort of background that makes MBA admissions officers scratch their heads in confusion.
Pride and Prejudice never fails to cheer me up. I listened to the audiobook over and over while waiting for Round 2 decisions.
Accepted: You mention in your blog that you were a reapplicant. What do you think went wrong during your first round of applications? And what did you do the second time around to improve your candidacy?
Bschoolgirl: By pitting myself against business and finance majors, I knew I would have to work harder to prove that I could keep up. Unfortunately I hadn’t taken a ton of quantitative courses and I was on the younger side, with only two and a half years of work experience and less than a year in management. So the first time around, I received three rejections and a waitlist.
In hindsight I’m glad that I failed, because I learned a ton about the admissions process. Admissions officers aren’t sadists. They truly want you to succeed in the program, and it’s your job to convince them that you will. I simply needed to provide more evidence that I had a plan for my career, that I could handle the quantitative coursework, and that I could lead people. I thought I wanted to get into marketing, so I started talking to everyone I knew in that field to learn what skills it would take to make the switch. I took additional courses in Finance and Accounting from a local community college. And I volunteered for a committee at work that involved training others on a new software program. By the time I reapplied, I looked like a totally different candidate. I was admitted to three of my four schools, and decided to attend the USC Marshall School of Business.
Accepted: Why do you think you are a good fit with USC Marshall?
Bschoolgirl: From the moment I stepped on campus I felt at home. Marshall students are diverse, dynamic, and entrepreneurial, which really appealed to me as a nontraditional candidate. The class size is ideal, not so big that I would get lost in the crowd or so small that I would lose out on the network. And with my background, I felt that it was important to be in Los Angeles and to attend a school with a great reputation in the media and entertainment industry.
Accepted: What are you most looking forward to this coming fall?
Bschoolgirl: Of course I’m excited for the social stuff. I can’t wait to meet my classmates and get involved with some of the student organizations. And this might sound nerdy, but I’m kind of looking forward to the academics. I think taking Finance for the first time has awakened my inner Quant.
Accepted: Do you have any reservations – anything that you’re worried about?
Bschoolgirl: I’m a little concerned about managing my time. I have a tendency to want to get involved in everything, and I’ve heard it’s really easy to overbook yourself in the first year.
Accepted: What have you been doing since graduating college?
Bschoolgirl: I worked as a video editor for about a year after college, but the hours were long and the gigs inconsistent. My next job was at a media services company working with radio and television commercials. We handled distribution for everything from the infomercials you see on late night TV to Super Bowl commercials.
Accepted: Do you plan on staying in the same career post-MBA or moving to a new industry/function?
Bschoolgirl: I’m taking the hard road by attempting to switch industry and function at once: from media to high tech, and from operations to marketing. Marketing appeals to me because it’s both creative and analytical, and I’m completely fascinated by the ways technology is changing how people consume video. Did I mention that I’m kind of a geek?
Accepted: Why did you decide to blog about your MBA experience?
Bschoolgirl: I started my blog, Girl Meets B-School, because I literally ran out of people to talk to about the things that were stressing me out. Strangely enough, my friends and family weren’t interested in GMAT percentiles and notification deadlines. I try to keep it funny because the rest of the application process is so gosh darn serious. It’s been awesome to discover other MBA blogs and see people stumble across mine, and for a moment we can smile knowingly at each other with that fierce, tired glint in our eyes that says, “Sure, I survived application season. What’s next?”
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