Shifting Gears and Stressing Out

These past few days have been a whirlwind for me. Just a few of the things I’ve been dealing with since the last post: I’m finally approaching the end of busy season at work, and have just about finished up all my quarterly work that is due at the end of the month. Some of my friends from high school and college are getting married, so I have been going from rehearsal to wedding to reception for numerous weddings – and there is seemingly no end in sight. I found out I’m going to be an uncle too! Quite a busy few days that made it hard to balance everything as round 1 deadlines started to hit.

Back in MBA-land, things are changing as well. As of last weekend, I submitted my Fuqua application, marking my last application for round 1 this year. I cannot believe how fast that portion of application season went; it seems like just yesterday that I was looking on Soojin Kwon’s blog to see what essays Ross would post. In addition, I am happy to say that I reached one of my goals outlined in one of my first blog posts, and applied to six schools in round 1. I have also been a good saver, even while spending a good chunk of change on some applicant-initiated interviews at Fuqua and Tuck. While these trips were costly, they are not nearly as expensive as any future interviews that I (hope) I will get, since last minute flights are not cheap. Speaking of expensive, if you need more motivation not to apply to 6 schools in round 1, I have spent a healthy thousand-plus dollars on application fees alone. Expenses aside, it has been a very busy few months that culminated in a flurry of activity in the past 3 weeks to get all the applications I planned submitted. With all the endless double, triple, and quadruple checking behind me, all I have to do now, is wait.

As The Dude in The Big Lebowski so eloquently once said: “Given the nature of all this new shit, you know, I-I-I-I… this could be a-a-a-a lot more, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, complex, I mean, it’s not just, it might not be just such a simple… uh, you know?” You see, I always thought the waiting part would be easy – certainly easier than the application phase. All you have to do is sit and wait? I am good at that. However, as the quote above notes, it is not as simple. In the short time after submitting my application for Johnson, they changed my status from “Submitted” to “Under Review”. Seems like a minor change, right? Nope! Not when you are an MBA applicant! My stress level multiplied, running through scenario after scenario, trying to remember every detail of my application while convincing myself that everything would be OK…I hope. That stress level (or mpg level – long story, perhaps another day) reached its most recent peak yesterday, when Michigan was supposed to send out all of its interview invites for round 1.

At 4:30, the email came. Mind racing, I fumbled with my phone trying to open it, forgetting that an email was a good sign. I would not’ believe it until I saw the words for myself. “After reviewing your application, we would like to formally invite you to interview for admission into the MBA program at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.” I freaked out. I know it is just an interview invite to one of the six schools I applied to, but it represents so much more. Ross is my leading indicator for two reasons: First, it was the first set of essays I did. Second, it is the first of my schools to release any type of decision en masse. No invite here would send me into a spiral of mpg-itis, questioning all of my applications. Getting that email meant that I didn’t write complete garbage in my application, and that I was interesting enough that the admissions team at Ross wanted to know more. My concerns about being lower on the GMAT side and definitely lower on GPA were quelled for the time being.

I have to remember; life goes on, invite or no invite. Just as a non-invite would induce stress levels that cannot be healthy for any human being, and invite does not mean I walk on water either. It is not an invite for admissions; it is just an invite to the next step of the game. I am trying to keep my head level, as I wait for more interview decisions to be handed down (Wharton invites should start today!), but I must say, it is hard not to see things slightly more half-full now. For those in the same boat as me, whether or not you have received an invite, try to be like The Dude above: Life goes on, man.

16 responses to “Shifting Gears and Stressing Out

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  5. I am reading your blog.. and now as the D-day comes i am completely obsessed with analysising every word i mentioned in the interview.. some nervous ticks too! I think this is the most stressed I have ever been.

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