We got this super exciting update from a Round 1 BSer who’d been waitlisted at a Very Good School, and we just had to share it with you (with permission, of course). Enjoy and be inspired!
I know I have been radio silent for the past few months, but I did want to touch base to give you an update. Just a refresher on who I am – I used your waitlist assist service in the fall after I got Further-Consideration-ed at HBS. I am a former management consultant and currently work as a [career in education, exact details redacted for privacy]. I had originally applied to the Harvard MBA/MPP joint degree program, so I applied to both HBS (R1) and HKS, and I had planned to apply to MIT Sloan in round 2.
First of all, your feedback – though hard to hear at times – was very helpful. I used your feedback on my resume to totally re-work my resume for the HKS app, and I used your comments on my essay to similarly improve the level of detail I gave in my HKS essays. I guess I am probably not the best judge of my own work, but I did feel that both my resume and essays were stronger for HKS in terms of detail about me and my accomplishments.
Second, the status update: In the end, I was not invited to interview (as you predicted). I was, however, admitted to HKS. After going through the application process, though, I began to re-evaluate my choice to apply to business school at this stage of my career and my choice to narrow my options to HBS and MIT (which, granted, was largely driven by location). I realized that 1) I am fairly young, so I don’t need to rush to business school right now – I could decide to apply again in two years, and I wouldn’t be too old to be admitted; 2) I had my heart set on HBS because my colleagues all went there and many of my peers attend, and if I’m being honest I was enamored by prestige, etc., but there are actually several schools I did not strongly consider that I think could be a better fit, such as Yale SOM and Berkeley Haas, and 3) going to business school certainly could help my career in education, but having classroom teaching experience is also something that I’ve seen can massively bolster the credibility of leaders in education, and that is something I’ve long considered doing.
As a result of this thought process, in the end I decided not to apply to MIT or to attend HKS. Instead, I applied (and was accepted to) Teach for America. I’ll now teach in a public school for at least 2 years starting in the Fall, after which I may still apply to business school.
All of this may seem a bit random, but I am very excited about the path that I am taking, and the HBS rejection might have turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Again, I appreciate your candid feedback, which I think was definitely crucial to the strength of my application to HKS (and for the resume I submitted to TFA). Look out for me again in 2-3 years!
See? Toldja it was inspiring! We say it all the time and stories like this are proof: The MBA is not the be-all / end-all. There are lots of ways to get where you want to go. Sometimes it takes getting rejected (or even sometimes, getting accepted!) before your next steps become clear to you and you see what the right decision is.
Good luck to this BSer! We do hope that we hear from them again in a few years’ time — provided that the MBA is in fact the best next step for them then.