We’re of course always thrilled when a Brave Supplicant makes it into a school of their dreams, and even more gratifying is when we get to follow them through the process and back out into the Real World again! It’s always slightly disconcerting to realize how quickly the time passes. Any of you BSers who are currently in the throes of MBA admissions: This will be over soon and before you know it, you too will be starting at your fancy-dancy MBA program — and then in the blink of an eye, you’ll be graduating!! Today we have some words of wisdom shared by a BSer from an admissions season in the past, who has generously written up a few response to questions we posed a few months ago (and apologies to said former BSer; regardless of how much we really do enjoy hearing from these folks, sometimes we’re super lame about responding to them when we do!!!).
Here’s the Q&A format — first question today, more of them coming in the next few weeks!
## **EssaySnark:** What priorities did you have or criteria did you use when selecting your bschool program? Did they change as you went through the process of applying?
**former BSer:** Well, this requires a brief flashback and a little background.
I was an engineer for the US Navy for over a decade, and had specialized in modeling underwater sound and submarine sonar. I was also looking for something more, although I wasn’t exactly sure what that was, so I became interested in consulting.
After several months of networking—this was before I was interested in an MBA—I was invited to interview with BCG as an experienced hire. I didn’t get the offer, but I still wanted in, so I decided an MBA would help me address the gap that prevented me from getting an offer from BCG. As a result, I was looking at schools traditionally known for consulting. I was also interested in the case method. And I was interested in schools that would admit someone in their very late 30’s.
Insead was the first school I took an interest in. It was European, exotic, and notorious for consulting, so I started an application. I began studying french to meet the language requirement. Heck, I even bought Jean-Louis Barsoux’s history, “Insead: From Intuition to Institution”. (It’s a really interesting story, by the way!)
But then I scored a 770 on the GMAT, and suddenly the top US schools suddenly seemed within reach. I added Wharton, Tuck, Kellogg, and Darden to my short list.
Actually, my reasoning was sadly generic up to this point. “Engineer wants to become a consultant, looks at top business schools” is a tale as old as time. Rankings, employment data, and my estimated probability of admittance were all that really mattered to be back then.
Sound familiar?? Stay tuned to hear more on this former BSer’s experience in moving from that undefined state of uncertainty into the next phase of clarity and the stepping stones taken to success!