Spending two weeks in States, travelling coast to coast, visiting all the exceptional B-Schools. It reinvigorated the desire to go all in this MBA process. Before visiting Haas (first school on schedule), I thought I’ll check out the campus, gather as much detail as possible and use that in my applications later. But I was so wrong, you don’t really get material for your essays. Yes you do attend classes and it gives you better context but you can find same information online if you dig deep enough. Visiting the schools is more of realizing who you are and where you fit, instead of what the school is about. Now I may be wrong but it depends on each individual. Some of the schools I visited were instant click while others were complete dud.
One thing that I can say with certainty is self reflection is so crucial to application process and it’s naive to delay it till last minute. I don’t have a stellar background, I am right up there in academics but financial and personal circumstances held me back and I was never really able to utilize my potential to its maximum. So I have to stand out and I have to let my guard down. I have to write down who am I , what I want to accomplish and why I feel I can accomplish it. Just the thought of opening up to my recommenders and sharing my life story with them scares the crap out of me. Everyone walks around with aura of invincibility and this could have potential negative impact on me. Worst case scenario is I don’t get admitted and end up staying at my current job, seeing my recommenders on daily basis. Best case scenario, they are genuinely nice and understanding people and I do get into B-school.
Either way, to get the most passionate and personal recommendation from them i have to share my story. So I have started opening up, writing on weekly basis – my background, my accomplishments, my interactions with my recommenders. I am talking to them more openly about career focus and future plans. So when the time comes, they are all ready and excited. Another benefit of doing this now is I can compile a package for them, stuff I might have done for them, things that have made huge impact but they might have forgotten about me. Also to show them why I am applying to a particular school, so they can communicate my ambitions and strengths through their writings as well.