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 our anonymous blogger, TexasWannaBeCali.
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?
TexasWannaBeCali: I am from the great state of Texas. Dallas to be exact (Go Cowboys!). I went to college out of state to a nearby SEC school and graduated with a BS in Finance in 2012. After graduation, I joined a corporate tax advisory firm that was headquartered back in Dallas, and have been there ever since, working as a tax consultant on a team that specializes in the healthcare industry with a client base that includes most Fortune 500 healthcare services companies/hospitals and medical device vendors.
Accepted: Do you plan on staying in your current industry post-MBA, or changing to a new field/career?
TexasWannaBeCali: Post MBA, I would like to move into a corporate finance role at a big pharma/biotech company. I want to use my knowledge of the healthcare industry that I have gained from tax consulting on the provider side to be a valuable asset on the industry side of things.
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?
TexasWannaBeCali: Right now, I am entering my last month of GMAT studying as well as drafting outlines to start essay writing. I would honestly say the most challenging part of the application process is not necessarily completing a certain requirement, they all take a little blood, sweat and tears, but more so being able to balance everything while still working 45+ hours a week.
I’ve found that determination, organization, and not being afraid to ask questions can alleviate a lot of the struggles.
Accepted: Where do you plan on applying to b-school? Will you be applying to any safety schools? Why or why not?
TexasWannaBeCali: I am applying to Anderson, Haas, Fuqua and McCombs. After a lot of thought, I decided not to apply to any safety schools this time around. I am only 24 years old, if I don’t get into one of my top schools, I’d rather take time to reflect on what I could’ve done better and try ten times harder the next time around than go somewhere just to go.
Accepted: So…why California? What’s the draw to California in general and to UCLA and Haas in particular?
TexasWannaBeCali: Yes I have been kind of obsessed with idea of living in California lately. I’ve lived in the South my whole life, and would love the opportunity to explore a new place…and be close to the beach. I love the culture, weather, lifestyle, and just the abundance of things to do there.
The fact that California is home to some of the top companies in the rapidly growing biotech and life sciences industry has made UCLA and Haas front runners in my school wish list. Both programs offer substantial post-MBA opportunities in healthcare because of brand name, proximity and an outstanding curriculum targeted at excelling in the industry and I would love to be a part of either one.
Accepted: As someone on the younger side of the applicant age spectrum, how do you plan on making up for what you lack in years of work experience?
TexasWannaBeCali: The age aspect has been one of my biggest internal struggles. I know adcoms will want to know more than usual why an MBA is necessary for me right now, and not 1 or 2 years down the road and then if I am admitted, what knowledge I can bring. I think that emphasizing that not only is the quality of my work experience high despite the quantity, but also the fact that at matriculation I will have 3+ years of consistent on the job learning from the same firm. My job has enabled me to take on a lot of responsibility and leadership roles at such a young stage of my career and I have learned so much from being able to build upon my knowledge with every new project and/or client I take on.
Accepted: Why did you decide to blog about your experience? What have you gained from the experience? What do you hope others will learn?
TexasWannaBeCali: I initially started blogging to organize my thoughts and ideas as I made my way through the b-school application process. I can get overwhelmed rather easily so being able to track my progress in one place would keep me somewhat sane.
Blogging has been a great outlet for giving and receiving feedback whether it’s from other first time applicants, re-applicants, or students that have successfully been accepted into their dream schools. At first I was honestly shocked people even took the time to read what I had to say, but I’m glad they did because I love reading their stories too. It’s like a little network of people wholeheartedly supporting each other and I am so happy I made the decision to start blogging. I would recommend it to anyone making the lofty decision to go back to school, you won’t regret it.
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You can read more about TexasWannaBeCali’s b-school journey by checking out her blog, TexasWannaBeCali. Thank you TexasWannaBeCali for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!