Final Decisions – New Direction

Final Decisions – New Direction

Final decisions are in:

Berkeley: Denied with interview

Tepper: Waitlisted with interview

Rotman: Admitted with scholarship (withdrawn)

Random French School: Admitted to MSc in Management with scholarship (matriculating…maybe)

It’s been eight months since I started my MBA admissions journey and I’ve learnt so much thus far. I am glad I tried for schools beyond my reach and know now that they are actually within my reach.

I could choose to apply again in Round 1 and do this all over again from a position of insight but really, I would be setting myself up for failure a second time because I am still the same person, no new job, no new position, no new experiences, no new achievements, no new GPA. Even if I could get in this time, I wouldn’t want to be a pity admit or borderline diversity shoo-in. I want a seat in a class with amazing people who I can look at as equals…plus I’m not willing to take the risk and lose another year.

I want to take some time to develop myself, start another company or lead a division of a multi-national, get an advanced degree, start a humanitarian project, invest in my hobbies and see a different part of the world before I begin my MBA at a top 10 school.

At that point, I may not need an MBA anymore but I would’ve achieved more than I had set out for myself which is really the end-game, not a three-letter acronym.

Even though I did not get into a top 20 MBA program this year, this application process has been very transformational. It has helped me clarify my goals and identify a completely new path, one that is closer to my true nature and destiny (This is just too weird, even for me).

I’m still pretty young so I may be back here in 4 years applying again and by that time, every single one of you would be doing great things hopefully.

Don’t get me wrong, it hurts that I didn’t get into Haas. I wish I had gotten in and Berkeley had made me awesome right off the bat but I didn’t. Plan A didn’t work out so now I have to focus on nailing the heck out of Plan B.


So onwards to international self development. No MBA at least for now. We’ll see how the next three months turns out.






Haas Interview Invite! Some Light In The Long Long Tunnel

Haas Interview Invite! Some Light In The Long Long Tunnel

I sank into a sea of depression after I discovered I was waitlisted at Tepper. I had turned down my Rotman offer and only had the waitlist offer to hold on to.

I panicked.

I wasn’t going to let my future depend on one yes or no decision so I applied to every decent program that was still open for applications.

Canada, France, Germany, Belgium, …I sent in apps for masters programs in 6 different schools.

What a rollercoaster!

After checking the status of my Haas application obsessively everyday after it went under review, I got an interview invite the day after the deposit deadline for Round 2 and I’m like…


God bless that sweet African girl who probably got admitted to Stanford and didn’t put a deposit down at Haas.

I got the invite a week to Round 3 decisions which is quite late. It’s scheduled just 3 days to the Round 3 decision date so I hope it goes well. If it doesn’t, well I’ve already gone through my stages of grief and accepted the possibility that I may not be doing my MBA this year.

I did get admitted to a business school in Belgium that organises treks to Silicon Valley for their masters degree students, so that’s something.

The invite from Berkeley does make me wonder if I could have gotten an invite at Harvard or Stanford GSB if I had applied. I guess we’ll never know.


Work-MBA Balance?

It’s happening. The thing they tell you might happen but you shrug off.

I’m being edged out at work!

I’ve been on this MBA admissions brouhaha since last year and my boss knows, my boss’s boss knows and so does HR. Why wouldn’t they? I used them all as references.

We’re a such a small company that if somebody goes on leave, some work has to pause until that person comes back. Now, employee 1 of 20 is planning on leaving. They’ve had on their minds that they would have to find a replacement for me soon but gosh, not this soon.

I have a Q1 report due today and while working on it, I realised that I’m leading one of the most insignificant products at the company. What we (I) achieved in Q1 is incredibly small even after all the effort we (I) have put into it. It’s a dead-end product if you ask me, but hey I won’t say it out loud.

Nobody else has been hired to join my team which is giving me the vibe that the company also knows the product’s final destination but since I’m ‘leaving’ already, there’s no point putting me on anything with promise. My promotion only came with a pay raise but no new responsibilities.

A contract staff has also been promoted to a role that is waaaay too close to what I do now. Potential replacement? You betcha! And that person gets all the good projects 😦


As I sit here, typing this, I’m listening in on a conversation that I should be having but I’m not! That newly promoted contract staff is discussing the log-in screen of a new app that I know absolutely nothing about.

Does this mean I have to find a new job if I don’t get in this year?

That would suck.

How I Got Waitlisted at Tepper

So this is what it feels like to be waitlisted. I feel like the geek at school who asked Anna to go to the prom with him but she’s gonna ask Jimmy to go with her instead cuz he’s more awesome. If Jimmy says no, then she just might give me a chance but I have to wait till May 16 to find out.

Why won’t you love me back, Tepper?




I have a few clues: Continue reading “How I Got Waitlisted at Tepper”

HBS vs Haas for Technology MBAs

As you all know, Stanford is a done deal for my applications in Round 3. I’ve made a lot of progress with my app so far. Oh btw, there’s a second Stanford GSB Just In Time Webinar for Round 3 on March 22 at 09:30 AM Pacific Time. Shoot me an email for the password if you didn’t get the invite.

To be realistic however, I should apply to one more school to broaden my chances.

I was sorely disappointed when I watched the hour long HBS Technology Sector webinar for 2015 (It’s been taken down, thankfully).

The moderator asked the students in the panel how HBS had helped their career in technology and their answers were really vague. They all said something about the HBS brand and people’s expectations.



I may be wrong but HBS just strikes me as that school everyone applies to cuz durr…its HBS. Not all those who get in, care about or actively pursue the academic content except well, case study after case study. Wait, does HBS teach anything besides case studies?

Berkeley on the other hand is famous for being the business school for hippies but who can blame them? The weather is too perfect to complain about and the air is filled with the sweet aroma of Napa valley grapes.

Berkeley students are surrounded by successful entrepreneurs in sneakers who have followed their passions and made it big. It’s hard not to get caught up in that culture. The adcoms are so neck-deep in it that they conspicuously seek out students who have the same vibe – confidence without attitude, anyone?

I shouldn’t let assumptions cloud my judgement so here’s some research I did to help me make a decision.

Continue reading “HBS vs Haas for Technology MBAs”

Stanford GSB Round 3 Myths

I’ve been getting a lot of heat on GMATClub about applying to Stanford in Round 3.

Perhaps I should dial down my big mouth a notch.

I really don’t think that there is already a me at Stanford so I’m going to put in my application nonetheless. It’s up to Derrick Bolton to decide if Stanford would like to have somebody like me or not regardless of the round in which I apply. I’ll get an interview invite if they do, and if not, life goes on. 

Going to Stanford could be the difference between me helping 1 billion people and me helping 1 million people but with determination, I know that I could touch many lives no matter what school I go to.

Now to the myths:

Continue reading “Stanford GSB Round 3 Myths”

To Round 3, or Not to Round 3, That Is The Question

To Round 3, or Not to Round 3, That Is The Question

Image Credit:

I’ve been in a spin for the past few days trying to decide whether to apply to 2 or 3 schools in round 3 and which schools to apply to.

Here’s how it’s been going:

I love tech! Stanford all the way
But I need a safety…add Berkeley
What if there’s already a Me at Stanford and I lose out on a top 5 school. Add HBS!
Hey! Hey! Hey! Me at HBS? Come back down to Earth and make that MIT Sloan.
But my grades aren’t fantastic and Sloan doesn’t want to hear my sob story.
Just Stanford and Berkeley then…
But…but…I need to broaden my chances…

Kill me now.

Just as my head was about to explode with all the analysis paralysis, I got an email with a job offer at a company I interviewed at a year ago…a new position just opened up and it’s twice my current salary.


Continue reading “To Round 3, or Not to Round 3, That Is The Question”