This interview is the latest in an Accepted blog series featuring interviews with MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Molly Weaver…..
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad?
Molly: I’m a native of a rural farming town in Ohio called Versailles [ver-sales]. I often joke that it’s spelled the same as the region in France, but we mastered the enunciation. I went to undergrad at Miami University of Ohio and studied Mass Communication, with a minor in Special Education. Growing up, I spent many weekends attending sporting events at Miami. My grandfather played football there and was inducted into the Hall of Fame a few years before I attended. My father and three aunts also went to college there, and I was proud to carry on the family legacy.
Accepted: What’s your favorite non-school book?
Molly: That’s a toughie. Recently, I’ve noticed that every book I’ve picked up has had the word “girl” in the title. In the last few months I’ve read The Girls by Emma Cline, The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell, The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza, and The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. I think these thriller genre books have been a nice escape from my textbook and case study readings, but I wouldn’t put them at the top of my list.
Perhaps my all-time favorite book is C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters. I actually read it in high school, and still have the book which is about twice its original size since I filled every page with multiple sticky notes. The book is a collection of 31 letters written by a demon named Screwtape, who advises his incompetent nephew, Wormwood, on ways in which to guide his current “patient” (a newly converted Christian man) towards evil through everyday temptations. C.S. Lewis refers to his work as “diabolical ventriloquism,” and it’s just that. While satirical in nature, the book is incredibly thought provoking and I find that I commonly revert to my insights and ‘lessons learned’ still today.
Accepted: If you could meet any famous person – past or present – who would it be and why?
Molly: Mother Teresa, hands down. Putting faith and religion aside, I’ve always been inspired by altruism and have spent a lot of time reading about how it can (or cannot) be applied in a business environment. Mother Teresa lived a life synonymous with the word, and I think the opportunity to recount her experiences and observe her worldview first-hand would be transformative.
Accepted: Where are you currently in b-school? What year?
Molly: I’m currently a first-year Global MBA candidate at The George Washington University School of Business in Washington, DC.
Accepted: Why did you choose that program? How were you a good fit?
Molly: After graduating from Miami, I immediately moved to DC and have worked at two DC-based consulting firms over the last six years. When I decided that I wanted to pursue my MBA, I knew that I wanted to stay in DC, so that certainly narrowed down the number of potential schools. What set GW apart from other schools in the area was their campus culture and global vision. GW’s Global MBA program is a full-time, two-year program that extends beyond training in traditional business skills by focusing on application in a global context. One of the main drivers of my decision to attend GW was the “Consulting Abroad Program (CAP),” which is a required course that gives first-year students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience consulting for a client abroad.
Accepted: Are you currently working? How is it balancing work, life and a rigorous MBA program?
Molly: I consider my MBA to be a full-time job, and it certainly is. Prior to starting b-school, I had weighed the idea of continuing to consult for a limited number of hours per week. I ultimately decided against this, and I’m glad I did. B-school is a lot of work and requires a lot of time, energy and focus. Balancing school and my social life alone has proven to be quite the task, so I have a lot of respect for students who have taken on all three.
Accepted: Looking back at the application process, what would you say was your greatest challenge?
Molly: I enjoyed the application process because it was an opportunity to further explore my ambitions and it helped to clearly define my short and long term goals. Unfortunately, I didn’t come to the realization that I wanted to pursue my MBA until the third round of the application process. This timing not only added a sense of urgency, but it provoked a lot of uncertainty in terms of the likelihood that I would be accepted into my target schools. (Suffice it to say I probably spent a little too much time Googling acceptance-rates- per-round.) To that end, my greatest challenge was overcoming these mental barriers, enabling me to focus on the many reasons I was a qualified candidate. I’m proud to say that I was accepted into my top choice, and I hope that this can be a testament to the fact you’re not necessarily doomed if you wait until third round to apply!
Accepted: Lastly, can you share your top three tips for b-school success?
1. It’s never too late, but don’t wait. Based on my previous answer, I want to make it clear that I’m not advocating for anyone to wait until the last minute to apply to b-school. The more time you allow yourself to work on letters of recommendation, essays and other application materials, the better.
2. Be true to yourself. It can be easy to fill in the blanks with things that sound good on paper. Maintaining a sense of authenticity will be especially helpful during the interview process, as well as when you start to form interpersonal relationships with professors and fellow students.
3. Be present. Be present in classes, in conversations with classmates, and every activity you engage in as part of your MBA program. The experience goes by quickly, and you can walk away having learned a lot more than what’s on the curriculum if you embrace every moment of the experience.
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