This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with MBA applicant bloggers, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at the MBA application process. And now…introducing an anonymous blogger from the blog, “Grant Me Admission!”
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your current job?
Grant Me Admission: Originally from sunny California, I graduated with a BS in Accounting from a state school on a full-ride merit scholarship and accepted a job in a finance rotational leadership program in a Fortune 50 manufacturing company. After working for a couple of years, I transferred to the East Coast in hopes of touring schools and networking (which has paid off in my opinion).
Accepted: Can you tell us about your MBA application experience so far?
Grant Me Admission: Last year I only applied to Tuck at Dartmouth in the EA Round (highly recommended to always apply early rounds). I was lucky enough to be waitlisted and then transferred to a reduced waitlist. Because Tuck is at capacity, I am currently ramping up my application efforts for this year. I have selected 6 schools (Harvard, Wharton, MIT, Tuck, Yale, & Duke), and I’m currently planning out my steps for the rest of the year. Some major steps will be retaking the GMAT in August/September to increase my initial 710 (making my profile a little more competitive) and applying to EA/R1 to all my schools (it’ll be a busy fall for sure). In fact, I have already started to take initial stabs at Harvard’s and Tuck’s essays.
Accepted: What will you do differently during this next admissions round?
Grant Me Admission: Besides trying to increase my GMAT, I will be writing my essays MUCH earlier and also be getting alumni/professional feedback. I plan on starting and “completing” my applications far in advance, so I can continually get feedback and refine, and I have already approached some of my recommendation candidates. In addition to these key steps, I’m also debating on hiring a consultant (this is still very much in the air). Perhaps the most exciting difference this year is my blog, where I am documenting my experience, keeping myself accountable/motivated and helping others along the way.
Accepted: Looks like you did great on your GMAT on your first shot (710). Can you talk about your decision to retake the exam?
Grant Me Admission: Thanks for the compliment! 710 is a great score, but my verbal could have been better (Q49, V38). Last year when I applied to Tuck I was satisfied, but not elated, with my score. If my score was above the average (~720), my profile would have been more competitive for admissions and fellowships. My decision to take the GMAT was solidified when I received my waitlist feedback from Tuck which was focused on my GMAT. While I know the GMAT is not the only area that I could improve on, it is something that I do have control of, and improving it will allow my profile to have one more differentiated data point.
Accepted: B-school’s not cheap – what are your thoughts on investing in an MBA?
Grant Me Admission: No joke! Even though b-school has a 6 digit price tag, it’s worth it to me. I have lofty dreams and getting a top MBA will definitely connect me to the right networks and opportunities to help me achieve them. Also, after crunching the numbers, the long term earning power definitely solidifies my decision to invest in an MBA.
Accepted: Do you plan on staying in the same industry as you’re currently in? Or switching to a new field? In other words, why do you need an MBA?
Grant Me Admission: After my MBA I hope to go into one of the Big Three Consulting firms (MBB or McKinsey, BCG, Bain) to do strategy/management consulting. I am currently gaining valuable experience in the manufacturing industry, and I’m excited at the aspect of using my experience to contribute to the success of many companies through consulting. Getting an MBA and then transitioning from industry to consulting is common, and I’m excited to pursue this goal.
Accepted: When and why did you start blogging? What have you gained from the experience so far?
Grant Me Admission: I started mid-May (not long at all!) mostly to keep myself motivated/accountable. Another benefit of blogging is that I will have a record of my thoughts and decisions, and also have the opportunity to help others along the way. The MBA application process was really overwhelming for me last year, and I went through countless resources to find the best information to help me. I wished countless times last year that there was a central resource with links and references for a newbie such as myself. This year, I have built that resource for myself (and anyone else that needs it). Meeting others on a common journey is always empowering. Finally, I am excited to reveal have almost 1,000 views after just over a week!
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