I have been receiving a lot of emails recently. Most are encouraging; my favorites usually include phrases such as “I’m inspired” or “your blog helped me.” Those always make me happy. Then a couple nights ago I received an email from a friend that stated:
“You’re pretty famous now online – the article written about you is all over the internet (PoetsandQuants, Fortune, etc).”
I did a double-take. Fortune? Like the magazine?
I immediately went to Fortune.com and this is what I saw:
(The Fortune article is available here: http://fortune.com/2015/01/12/business-school-rejection-mba/)
Here’s the back story of how I ended up on Fortune’s front page. I was contacted by Poets & Quants last week to do an interview regarding my MBA experience (with the focus being on how I was unable to receive one acceptance from any of the five schools). The 90 minute conversation was pleasant, all be it slightly painful. I had yet to do my post mortem on my application experience, and here I was…. reviewing myself in front of someone (over the phone).
After recounting my experience, interjecting stories and laughter in an otherwise gloomy story with a known ending, I asked for feedback on my writing. The interviewer Ethan gave me great feedback and encouragement (hopefully I will be putting his advice to work). The phone call ended on a happy note, as I articulated that my last blog photo was not a “desolate desert that represented the barrenness of my life without MBA accomplishments,” but rather it was Mars, “a whole new world foreign to me, ready to explore.” I hung up, got back to work, and pretty much forgot about it.
A week later I saw my post on P&Q’s facebook. I went to the webpage and saw the the picture to the right. I proceeded to go to the post and read it (I loved it by the way). (It was then picked up by Fortune.) The P&Q story was the same, but told from a different perspective, and the writing was well beyond anything I have ever been able to put together.
Then I read the comments.
Criticism and Support
People are ruthless; but I think these comments provide creative insight that I may have missed. Here are some of my favorite comments:
“This guy is at risk of becoming one of those alums who completely missed the point of getting an MBA.”
“He comes across as extremely bland.”
“Personally, I’ve been dinged by Tuck twice, but you don’t see me or anyone else bitching about it, do you?”
However, after the Fortune article came out, I have had an IMMENSE showing of support from friends. Offers to help with essays, interviews, connections to schools, etc. The comments on the Fortune article have been REALLY great and allowed me to take a step back and understand my situation. Here is an excerpt:
“What this means is that if this applicant is lacking in any one other area, his chances of getting into a top tier program are extremely low. Given the comments in the article, it may have been the “crazy” essay. But I also wonder how this student did in his interviews. He comes off as the kind of person who would zone in on what the program can do for him, when he needs to convince them about what he can do for the school and the other students.I had a classmate at Duke who applied to ten top 20 MBA programs and was rejected by all of them. He showed his crazy essay to a friend who [explained] why it was crazy. He rewrote the essay and applied to several more top 20 programs. He got into all of them. It is the little things that can make a difference.”
Really great stuff.
Next Steps and the future of Grant Me Admission
First of all, I am really going to start focus on quality writing in my posts (instead of just pushing pieces out). Operationally this means eliminating some adjectives and adverbs while boosting my verb variety. Strategically this means I will be re-examining myself and how I view my plan to go to a top school. Feedback is always important to me. This blog will continue, and I hope that it continues to help others.
The plan ahead?
- Complete my post mortem on why I didn’t get into school (and post it).
- Start studying to get a 760 on the GMAT in May.
- Start interviewing my network and new friends on schools and how they think they were able to get in.
- Start working on essay strategies for myself
I will also be doing a few more interviews (maybe) in the future with other organizations/media. Who knows what the future holds???
*Funny note – This was a comment from a friend: “B-School? Why not an A+ School?”
If you liked this post, make sure to subscribe on my main page and follow me on twitter @GrantMeAdmissio
Other Posts you may be interested in:
- GrantMeAdmission: The Results are In!
- TheEngineerMBA: My experience interviewing at HBS, and briefly visiting MIT
- My Interview with Kellogg