b-school debrief: intro

mba_appsWell well, a new project! Since my previous effort didn’t stick, I’ve decided to move on to a new focus. The previous one (Precisely 603) was actually just an effort to keep my writing and introspective thinking fresh for the purpose of having a sharp pencil when it came time for b-school essays. It was just part of the activities that would engulf most of my 2015. I didn’t keep it a secret, but I didn’t air it out publicly: I was applying to business school.

Anyone that’s familiar with the process or has witnessed anyone else go through it knows that the application is pretty damn involved. Experts recommend polishing your credentials and working on yourself 1-2 years ahead of time to even have a leg to stand on when you hit that “SUBMIT” button. Personally, business school had been on my map since my first year as an engineer at Raytheon; sparing the details, I joined their leadership rotation program, which threw me across business units and roles that helped me understand the ins and outs of how the company itself functioned outside of my schematics and lab equipment. I knew I wanted a larger role in all of this.

A few years later, when it came time to seriously work on the application, I realized just how much it would involve. I had applied to grad school before, and that only required me to take the GRE, write a two-page ‘personal statement’ copy-and-pasted for each school, fill out my academic credentials and cross my fingers. It took only a few months from deciding I wanted to go get an MS to when I had my UCLA acceptance letter in my hand. While applying to grad school was not easy, b-school was a whole different beast.

I spent more than 2 years on the entire process, from opening my first GMAT book to getting the last of five decisions from schools. As I recount the journey in my head and occasionally on the gmatclub.com forums, I find myself excited to tell parts of my story.  And so here we are, at the start of something I hope can act as both an explanation of this struggle and its effects on both my professional trajectory and personal life, as well as serve as a guide for anyone about to embark on or currently amidst the chaotic battle that is the business school application.

What I hope to cover in the next several entries (and I’m not going to put a timeline on it this time for fear of dropping the ball again like my last project) are:


– The GMAT
– Costs of the process
– School research and targeting
– Self research and reflection
– Putting in the legwork at schools
– Writing those damn essays
– Destroying those damn essays
– Re-writing those damn essays
– Putting the apps together
– Hitting Submit
– Waiting in agony
– Interviews (or not)
– Waiting in more agony
– Decision time

I may or may not structure it as above, but we’ll see. I’m really excited to have gotten to where I am now, with a promising and new future ahead (hopefully) and am eager to share this whole process that I poured hours, weeks, months, and years of my life into. Hope you enjoy (if anyone does end up reading these). Until then!

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