Published May 31, 2004

In the end, I got into one top-20 school, waitlisted at two others, and shot down by a fourth and a top-five school. Not a bad outcome, especially given that I did the whole thing at the last minute. Would I do it all the same again? Mostly.

I do feel I came pretty close to maximizing my outcome, given how late I started and my somewhat non-standard resume. Were there any things I could have done differently?

  • I don’t think this blog helped. I tried to stay more-or-less professional and on-message, and I think it resulted in a more boring blog.
  • I was too on-message in my interviews. What can I say, I do it for a living? Especially at NYU, I felt that the interviewer concluded that I wasn’t being forthcoming because everything I said matched up with what he’d read. I just considered this being clear.

Ideally, anybody applying to b-school will start no later than June of the year before they hope to start attending school. Had I made the decision to get my MBA that early, I could have:

  • Gone to various MBA fairs, meeting admissions staff. Starting a new job and studying for my GMAT, I just couldn’t afford to give up an entire afternoon and evening. But maybe, as it turned out, I couldn’t afford to stay in.
  • Participated in all those online forums. That probably would’ve helped me perform better in the details.

One thing I don’t regret is really going for it on my essays. I pushed the envelope and I wrote pieces that reflected me. They weren’t as stolid as many, I’m sure, but I do believe that they showed both a strong facility with the language and an ability to write in simple, bullet-pointed, businesslike sentences.

All in all, it was a pretty successful little project. I can’t wait for the fall!