Wednesday, November 19, 2003

10 School MBA Forum

Lots of silence of late on this blog - absolutely no progress on my applications :-(
Work, for one, has been killing me, but it shouldn't be an excuse. And I am feeling low on energy and not able to put the requisite efforts into writing my essays. So, over the past couple of days I have revamped my strategy hoping to get it back on track (hmmm, i sound like Kerry :)

Needed something to motivate me to action, and there's nothing like being in a roomful of fellow applicants. The 10 School MBA forum event in Boston was held across the street from where i work, and i stopped by on Monday evening. I ran into someone whom I had also met at the LBS infosession. Small world. My main interest in going there was meeting with Stanford, Kellogg, Wharton and Tuck. MIT and Harvard I've visited and the others I am not all that interested.

They had a couple of panel discussions where the MBA application process was de-mystified - nothing new here : don't get too worked up about GMAT/GPA, be yourself on your essays, there is no formula or weightage, diversity etc. Then there was an hour for meeting the various adcomms.

Derrick Bolton's the man. On top of everything else Stanford has going for it, there's Derrick. Stanford's AD was impressive. The only one there who took the time to introduce himself and get the names of everyone standing around asking questions, made sure everyone's questions were answered, and did a super job of selling Stanford. The application process has to be introspective. You have to go thru the process sincerely and that will show up in the essays, and that's the reason their essays are so open-ended. GSB is big on enterpreneurship, leadership, globalization and community.

Kellogg is another school that I wish I had the time to visit. Jill Clouse did a great job of articulating the general management focus of the school - of course, with a super marketing program - and the sense of community that pervades the place. She actually offerred to help connect applicants with alums or students to talk with.

Tuck - Stephanie McCaull was their AD at the event. I have an interview scheduled and she said that you don't need to have an application submitted or even started to interview. Tuck's close-knit community was also a big thing. Also, I have a friend who goes to Tuck and he's given me great reviews about the place - she said it would be a great thing to mention for the why Tuck interview. My interest in outdoor activities would be a good thing to talk about in the optional essay and why it's important to me. Looking forward to visiting Tuck.

Wharton was a little disappointing. The answers to my questions were of the 'of course we do so-and-so or you can do this-and-that, we are wharton' type. Wouldn't say the AD was cocky, maybe she had a long day ... but they are indeed wharton and people are going to apply irrespective :)

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