Saturday, March 29, 2014


Since interviewing at Tepper two months ago, and Darden about a month ago, I have been counting down the days till March 24th.  When I first started the whole MBA admissions process, I felt overwhelmed with the studying for the GMAT.  I always thought it would get easier.  Then came applications…  I would have gladly studied for the GMAT again.  Once those were submitted, then came the waiting.  Waiting.  All the waiting has by far been the most difficult part of the whole process.

Well, finally all the waiting has come to an end.  Monday morning, I received a call from the adcom member that interviewed me at Darden… I am in!  It was quite a rush of emotions.  I was excited and relieved.  From my previous post, I am sure you can tell how much I enjoyed my trip out to Charlottesville.  I am looking forward to possibly joining that community!

Later that day, I got an email from Tepper with a link to a video.  Assuming they wouldn’t send a rejection video to applicants, I was sure I was accepted.  I logged into my account online to double check.  I was in!  Two acceptances in one day, it was definitely nice.

After the high of the acceptances wore off a little, the reality of having to make a decision between these three amazing schools.  I am still waiting to hear from Darden regarding potential scholarships/fellowships.  Unfortunately they don’t give that information on the phone.  I have to wait till I receive the physical acceptance packet.  Unfortunately Tepper didn’t offer me anything.  So now it’s time to figure things out.  I think I will have a bit clearer of an idea in the next couple weeks.

"Sometimes it's the smallest decisions that can change your life forever." - Keri Russell

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Darden Interview

A few weeks back I traveled to beautiful Charlottesville for my interview at Darden.  This was my first time in Virginia, and it definitely left a great impression, although the flight out there was another story.  Because of my work schedule, I was forced to take a red eye flight to and from my Darden visit/interview.  My flight left around mid-night local time.  I was already beat after a long day.  I was looking forward to getting some sleep on the plane.  However, a guy in the seat across the aisle keep getting into his bag that was sitting right on top of my suit in the overhead compartment.  I kept waking up because I was paranoid he was going to wrinkle my suit!

I finally arrived in Richmond with just enough time to pick up my rental and head to Charlottesville.  The drive from Richmond to Charlottesville was beautiful and very scenic.  It was nice to have a little over an hour in the car to again mentally go over my answer to the famous Darden interview question, “Tell me your story.”  I reviewed all the key points I wanted to emphasize.  By the time I arrived at the Darden Grounds, I was feeling pretty confident about my interview.

It was a really pretty day.  The weather was good, a little windy, but not too bad.  I had a few minutes to kill, so I walked around campus before checking in with all the other interviewees.  I was really impressed by the campus and the surroundings.

I checked in around 10:45am.  I was greeted by a kind lady named Virginia.  I got a kick out of that.  I was just in time for the financial aid session.  Afterwards I sat in the admission’s lobby chatting with some fellow prospective students.  It was humbling to be around people who had accomplished so much.  I had enough time to down a Dr. Pepper and wake myself up a little before my interview.

I interviewed with a member of the admissions committee.  She was very friendly and made the interview very conversational.  The interview was completely blind.  She ask me to tell her about myself.  She wanted me to go into my background, talk about my childhood, etc.  She said she would interject from time to time with questions.  The interview went great!  Overall, I think it was the best one yet.  Because of the format, I felt like I was able to paint a broad picture of myself.  I didn’t feel limited by specific questions or anything like that.  I left the interview feeling confident and very happy with the way things went.

After the interview, I had lunch with a few students, a professor, and other prospective students.  It was great to get to pick the brain of a professor at one of the best business schools in the country.  He provided some great school and career insight.  After lunch we went on a tour of the Darden Grounds.  Needless to say, it was beautiful.  I am very impressed by the facilities.  During the tour I ran into a student I had chatted with a few times on the phone.  She knew I was interviewing that day, so she was on the lookout for me.  We only had a couple minutes to talk, but it was nice to meet her in person and catch up.

When the tour was over, I walked around a little more and talked with a few other people that were interviewing that day.  I knew I needed to get back to the airport, but it was hard leaving when the weather was so nice.

Overall, I was very impressed by the admission team, students, and faculty at Darden.  I was also blown away by the caliber of the other individuals interviewing that day.  I knew I would be lucky to be a member of that community.  It was hard knowing that I wouldn’t hear back from Darden for another month.  That is a long time to have your fingers crossed…

In the spirit of my Darden interview, here is an awesome quote by Thomas Jefferson:

"Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you." - Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, March 8, 2014

An Invite from Darden and Some Good News from Anderson!

Not long after coming off the highs of getting interview invites from Tepper and Anderson, I got another long-waited for email… an interview invite from Darden!  I was excited.  I immediately started looking for flights out to Virginia.  When I signed up for my interview, there were only five days to choose from and I could not do four of those due to work obligations.  Luckily, the one day that did work for me also happened to have the cheapest flights.

It was nice having a few weeks between when I received my interview invite and my actual interview day.  My previous interviews, the most I had between receiving the invite and interviewing was about a week.  Right after I booked my flight, I started prepping for the interview.  Darden has a get website and a ton of videos.  For anyone interviewing, I highly recommend spending a lot of time on their website.  I was also able to talk to a few students and learn more about their experience at Darden.  In addition to all that, I used mbaMission’s Darden School Guide, Clear Admit’s School Guide, and Clear Admit’s Interview Guide.  All of them were extremely useful, especially the Interview Guide, I definitely recommend it.  Getting into all of those materials, and especially talking with the current students really got me excited about Darden and my upcoming trip to Charlottesville!

One morning, a couple weeks after getting an invite from Darden, I woke up a little bit earlier than usual – around 4am.  I looked at my phone to check the time and noticed I had a new email.  It was from Anderson.  I opened it up and it said that my application status had been updated.  I clicked on the link and logged into the application portal… I had been accepted!  Man it felt great!  I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I decided to get up and go running.  The whole time I was running, I couldn’t stop smiling.  I felt so relieved to have at least one acceptance in my pocket, finally, after two years!

Later that day I got a call from a member of the admission committee at Anderson welcoming me.  I was informed I had also received a fellowship as well!  I was ecstatic!  Needless to say, I am so grateful and am looking forward to possibly being a member of the Anderson community.

Next up, Darden interview…

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill