We’d like to introduce you to MBAreapplicant84, an anonymous MBA reapplicant who offers us loads of advice and insight into the MBA admissions process here and in his blog, MBA Reapplicant. Thank you MBAreapplicant84 for sharing your experience with us, and best of luck to you!
Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your current job?
MBAreapplicant84: I was born in Japan and lived there for a total of about eight years. My mother is Japanese and my father is from the US. We moved back and forth between Japan and the US quite a bit, but when I was about 10 years old, we settled down in California.
I went to Brigham Young University as an undergrad and studied Japanese. I hadn’t spoken Japanese since I was 10, so I had forgotten most of the language and really had a desire to relearn it.
Currently I work at Goldman Sachs as a Senior Operations Analyst.
Accepted: When did you first apply to b-school?
MBAreapplicant84: I applied to b-school for the first time last year. I only applied to a few schools that I really wanted to go to in Round 1. I was interviewed at Tuck and Kellogg, but ended up getting dinged from all the schools I applied to. I was very disappointed to say the least.
For awhile, I thought of applying to some safety schools, but the thought of giving up and going to a school I knew I wouldn’t be happy at made me a bit depressed. So I decided to wait a year and try again. Looking back, I am very glad I did. I have grown a ton in the last year, and I know I made some serious mistakes on my apps last time around. Also, when I was denied at Tuck, they actually sent me a letter saying that I was in the top 10 percent of the candidates that got rejected, but that they saw a lot of potential and encouraged me to apply again the following year. I was even able to sit down with one of the admission officers and go through the strengths and weaknesses of my application. It was pretty cool of Tuck to do that, and it has helped a lot.
Accepted: What do you think went wrong that time and what are you doing this time to improve your candidacy?
MBAreapplicant84: The first thing is I waited till September to take the GMAT (second attempt). Because I was so focused on studying, the rest of my application, especially the essays suffered. Also, when I talked with the adcom at Tuck, she mentioned that she wanted to see a little more growth in my current position at work (at the time I applied last year, I had only been in my current position for about six months). I think there were a few other small things too, like lack of clarity on goals.
This time around, I have spent almost a year prepping for essays, better understanding my career goals, and growing at work. I have been promoted once since last applying and am set for another promotion in January. I also took the GMAT one more time and improved my score a bit. I have also taken on a few leadership responsibilities outside of work.
Accepted: Where do you plan on applying this time?
Accepted: What stage of the application process are you up to so far? What has been the most challenging step and how did you work to overcome it?
MBAreapplicant84: Currently I am working on my essays, which I also consider to be one of the tougher aspects of the application. I know, at least for me, I really needed to do some deep introspection to figure out why I really want/need an MBA, what I want out of my career, and what stories in my life best illustrate who I am. Aside from that, the hardest thing has just been the actual length of the process. I started studying for the GMAT almost two and a half years ago. It’s exhausting. I know my wife is ready to have me back in the evenings.
Accepted: Do you plan on staying in your current industry post-MBA, or changing to a new field/career?
MBAreapplicant84: I plan on staying in operations post-MBA, but I want to switch from the financial industry to the consumer products or tech industry. I want to be somewhere like Nike or Google where there is a bit more freedom to be innovative. The financial industry has been great to me, but because of the amount of regulation, I feel like there is not as much room for significant innovation.
Accepted: Why did you decide to blog about your experience? What have you gained from the experience? What do you hope others will learn?
MBAreapplicant84: I decided to blog about my experience mainly to have a periodic outlet. I don’t really know if there are people out there that really care what I have to say, but it has been almost therapeutic to be able to get my thoughts about the whole process out there.
Blogging has helped me to be able to take a step back and better analyze how I am doing in the process this time around. I hope others will understand that applying to b-school isn’t something that you just do at the last minute, it is a process. If you don’t take the time to really dig deep and understand yourself and why you want and need an MBA, you might end up wasting a lot of time and money. However, if you do put the time and effort into it, the process of applying to b-school itself can be very rewarding.
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