We’re very pleased to present to you a non-traditional
Brave Supplicant STBBS who has a great story to share with you. This is the type of person we’re happy will be headed to a great bschool – we’re betting the level of “amazing” that will be spewing forth from this individual in the future will be seriously impressive as a result!! Congratulations to you!
In case you didn’t know, business school is the worst idea ever. Scratch that: was the worst idea ever. A year ago graduate school was not on my mind and an MBA couldn’t have a more ridiculous option. As a non-profit candidate with minimal exposure to MBA grads, I had long misunderstood the point, nay the potential, of an MBA degree. The objective of the degree may be to hone business skills, but the potential within the degree is longstanding connections, confidence, and leadership. I don’t see how anyone could refute the value in this!
I love working in the non-profit field, but I have spent the last few years bemoaning the sad state of social impact organizations in my community. Doing good is a far cry from doing well, and I was frustrated that my peer organizations aren’t very good at doing good. It was with this mindset and concern that I began wondering: how can I improve MY skills to ensure that when I run an organization, my passion for doing good work doesn’t ignore business principles of efficiency and effectiveness. My passion for doing good is the foundation for my career vision, but I know now that I desperately need to emulate the practices of effective leaders and disciplined organizations to springboard social change. My lucky stars aligned and I was told: get an MBA. So I will.
I launched myself headlong into GMAT studying a few weeks after deciding to explore this path. In between spurts of polynomials and misplaced modifiers, I scoured the web for information. The much-needed breaks, left my mouth watering with excitement: business school is a bastion of collaboration, synergy, and community. People are there for themselves and for others. I was hooked.
In fact, the more I read, the more I learned that b-schools have great fondness for candidates like me (us!). We bring something to the table that other candidates may not have: we have worn 20 different hats because of our resource-strained environments. We have had numerous opportunities to be leaders in our fields because if we step up, others will be excited to follow. We have been endowed with responsibilities before we’re ready because on-the-job training is all that many non-profits can muster, given insufficient infrastructure for staff development. Admittedly, this good news is somewhat sad, but at the same time it is motivating: an MBA will hopefully empower me to tackle these issues in constructive ways.
With my new goal in mind and with little idea where to get started, I started reaching out to business schools and attending events. I discovered to my excitement that b-schools actively host recruitment events, develop program curricula and classes, and support clubs and activities designed for MBA aspirants like myself. Through online and in-person exposure, I started getting a taste of the MBA and I quickly learned that the resources, the opportunities, and the alumni are immensely supportive of my career vision. It’s been intoxicating to feel the love from what I’d perceived to be a cold, corporate world.
I was fortunate enough to get started on this process in February and to score well enough on the GMAT that I was primed and ready to go for round 1. In fact, my readiness was almost overwhelmed by my eagerness. I constantly had to fight myself to slow down and really take the time to consider my application, but more importantly, myself. I think everyone should apply in R1 because the time it takes to really get oneself oriented to the process is long and torturous (probably tortuous as well…). I appreciated knowing that I was ready and then if these schools weren’t ready for me, I could put myself in the ringer for round 2.
Every step of the way had my wondering if I had finally reached the hardest part of the journey: the GMAT was a beast of an exam; deciding where to apply was a process fraught with anxiety; writing essays was an exercise in restraint (stop the creative writing!), reflection (what do I want?), and uncertainty (oh no, am I worthy!?). In the end, I took advantage of EssaySnark’s services because self-doubt was holding me back. Am I actually a good candidate for these schools? Is my story a sloppy do-gooder soup? EssaySnark was critical of my work, but incredibly supportive of me. And that’s the most important message of all that I got from the snark: as a person, I have a passion and a story that will appeal to schools. However, as a candidate, I may be missing the important aspects of my message: STRENGTHEN and REFINE those career goals to the point that a child could understand them – especially as a candidate with unusual or uncommon aspirations. Don’t leave them guessing.
The anxiety of waiting is inevitable, and I don’t have any good advice to future applicants about this. You will get through this, hopefully on the brighter side of the journey. If not, know that more often than not, it’s your story, not you, that you need to work on. [Well…. -EssaySnark] Your ambitiousness can carry you, but your ambitions need to be clear and concise.
My months of hard work paid off, getting admits to two of my top schools. And that’s another moral of this story: hard work can and will pay off when it’s focused and self-critical. I engaged the help of an expert, but at the end of the day, it was my story that propelled me to the spot I’m in today. If you don’t know anyone who’s been through this process, outside help is essential. I can’t decide for you if it’s a paid service or not, but like business school itself, the application process needs to be collaboratively critical.
I’m thrilled to be attending the best school for me in the fall, one that will support my goals and me. I wish I had known then that being a non-profit candidate is such an asset and that the skills and ambitions that I bring to the table are essential to building a diverse class of MBA students. In case you couldn’t tell: it’s so worth it! Damn does it feel good to be accepted and matriculating at such an amazing school!
EssaySnark was honored to be able to support this former BSer in their app strategy through our discounted services for do-gooders. If you’re coming to the MBA from a non-profit background or you’re in the military (or a Veteran), or if you’ve done a stint with TFA or Peace Corps, we’d love to see what we can do to help you achieve your MBA admissions goals. Feel free to reach out (gethelpnow at essaysnark dot com) and let us know your story.