Before I dig into what you all came in here to read – where I’m going to business school – I have another clerical update. Between my last post, and now, we have crossed the 20,000 view barrier, and are accelerating faster than ever. Thanks to everyone who has been following my journey. Additionally, I want to congratulate several of my co-applicants on landing many impressive offers. You all have been very supportive to me during my application season, and you will certainly be an asset to whichever program you choose. Finally, a special thank you to all of those who helped me with my applications. Be it essay edits, emotional support, or even pretending to listen to my constant whining, these people have been invaluable to my success.
Ok, enough mushy talk – time to dig in. So last post, I was extremely excited to have been offered a spot in the class of 2016 at Johnson. This past week, however, was chock full of decisions. I was expecting to hear decisions from the remaining schools that I interviewed at: Tuck, Fuqua, and Ross. Before that could happen, though, I had to face the music at Darden. Being as I didn’t interview, I knew what was coming, and received my second ding of application season on Monday.
Tuesday was a different day – Ross announced they would call all admitted US applicants on Wednesday, and it was rumored that Tuck would start calling their admitted applicants on Tuesday. I had a good feeling about Ross. After all, they invited me to interview, and I think the interview went pretty well. I had a good amount of preparation, and even went so far as to use ClearAdmit’s interview guide which I found very helpful – review forthcoming. Tuck, on the other hand, I had no clue about. If you remember from my posts earlier, I had an applicant initiated interview, and stayed the night at Tuck. Over the next few weeks, my attraction to the program only grew. I knew it would be a bit of a reach given its small class size, and my lower GMAT/GPA combo, but I really felt that I put a strong application together. However, Tuesday came and went, and my phone did not ring. I wasn’t too worried though – as expected no calls were reported on gmatclub. I went home and tried to mentally prepare for the climax of my decision season; Wednesday
would should bring calls from two of my schools.
By noon on Wednesday, calls had started for Ross. I wasn’t terribly worried at this point, since it was early in the day. By two o’clock, though, I was starting to become flustered. At this point in the day, I had done the bare minimum at work, and really wasn’t doing too much else other than staring at my phone and refreshing GMATclub. By 4, I was a basket case. Ross had seemingly stopped calling, and Tuck had made no calls Wednesday. I left work early that day, not knowing my fate; Ross wouldn’t update my final status until Friday.
Thursday meant I had only Tuck to focus on, due to their changeup of not calling in the day before decision day. I knew that they would call right up to the 5:00 deadline, so when calls started around 9:00, I wasn’t too worried. One of my favorite Tuckies got their call with only a few minutes to spare before the announced deadline. At work, I was even more useless than I was the day prior. After lunch, I really began to worry. With each passing minute, it became less and less likely. With 15 minutes to go before the 5:00 deadline, I resigned myself to praying for a waitlist offer. 5:00 yielded bad news. I was denied admission at Tuck.
At this point, I was pretty crushed. Sure, one of my top choices had admitted me last week, but I had now suffered back-to-back-to-back dings…or possibly a waitlist at Ross. The point is, it had been a rough week, and I had definitely come down from the momentous high that came with my Johnson admit. I had one more bullet in the chamber in the form of Fuqua, and still had hope of the waitlist at Ross; Friday would be my last decision day.
By Friday, I was ready for it to be over. I did not want to live another day like this, staring at my phone waiting for it to buzz, and then cursing like a sailor when someone who was not in admissions was foolish enough to call me. Fuqua calls started early – in the Far East. I figured they would work their way west, as they typically do. In the mid-morning, east coast calls started to happen, and by 11, they had gone to the Midwest. If my call was coming, it would have to come soon. Noon came, and I switched gears to Ross: Decisions were up. I scrambled to type my password and navigate the website to where my decision lie, only to find that I had been waitlisted. I guess this is the best possible result after not getting a call on Wednesday. I filed that away, and went back to the task at hand; trying to make my phone ring with a caller in Durham on the other side. After lunch, calls seemed to stop. I began refreshing my applicant decision page like a maniac, hoping that for some reason I wasn’t called, but I was still admitted. 5:00 came, and still no news – I had enough. Work was having a holiday party, so after one last refresh of the webpage, I headed out to the party. At 6, I got a note saying my decision was ready for Fuqua. I scrambled to open the webpage from my phone, only to find that wasn’t possible. When I finally got home, i opened the webpage before doing anything else…and got my final ding of application season.
So to sum things up, I have been dinged by 3 schools this week and waitlisted by Ross. These decisions go along with an admit at Johnson and a ding at Wharton. This has been one of the most emotional 2 week periods in my life. Even though I was fairly warned by those who came before me, I was not prepared for the emotional swings that MBA decisions brought with them. I spent most of last week pretty depressed, and not because I really did not want to go to Johnson or Ross – that isn’t the case at all. After spending countless hours crafting applications for my other schools, it is really painful to receive a 200 word form letter saying “thanks but no thanks” in response. By Friday evening, I was ready to exhale, and I certainly did. After several cocktails at the work party and with dinner, my friends took me out to celebrate. Yesterday morning, I woke up with a serious hangover, but in a much better mood. I had put the dings behind me, and focused on my remaining decision.
My immediate reaction told me I’ll decline the waitlist at Ross to attend Johnson. After spending some time making sure that I want to follow that plan of action, I made my decision. I will be attending the S.C. Johnson School of Management in the fall! As I mentioned in my interview debrief, the school really impressed during my visit. I’m thrilled to be accepted, and can’t wait to embark on the next stage of this journey. All roads lead to Ithaca now!