Mes: octubre 2010

Interview invitation received from Chicago Booth!

Just got an Interview invitation from Chicago Booth!!! I’m so happy!!!!

Today is the first day Chicago sends invitations, though they will continue sending for two weeks. As I applied very early, like a week before the deadline, and my application status changed to “Complete” the day after the deadline (some people’s applications have changed to “Complete” this week), I knew my application was very likely to have been reviewed already. So either I had an invite today or I was dinged.

I have almost a month to schedule my interview with an Alumni here in Hong Kong (I already logged in the system and saw his name, and of course searched his name in Linkedin, a Finance guy very successful). I need some time to prepare it.

By the way, will keep you posted about Wharton, which sends the first batch of invitation this Friday. About Harvard, no news, though until November 2nd they still send invitations (very few). To MIT Sloan I submitted three days ago, I believe the strongest application I’ve made, though Sloan is not my top choice. It was the last one, so I have been improving my stories and my writing style.

PS: My wife also got an invitation!! :). We are both excited about the possibility of attending Chicago, one of our very top choices.

Here the email:

Dear xxx,

Congratulations, we have evaluated your application and are extending an invitation for you to interview with us in the next phase of our admissions process.

Interview Logistics (Please read carefully):

1. Please schedule your interview immediately! All interviews must be by completed by November 30th, regardless of location or by whom the interview is conducted. 2. All final admissions decisions will be released by 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 15th.

3. Interviews are available on-campus at the Harper Center or with Chicago Booth alumni around the world. If you have not already visited campus and would like to attend classes and meet with students, we strongly encourage that you schedule a visit along with your on-campus interview.

4. Interviews will be available on-campus on Saturday November13th and November 20th. Lunch with current students will be available for as well as building tours.

5. To schedule the interview, login to your online application, select “Interviews” in the menu bar on the left. You will have the option to select an on-campus interview or complete the alumni interview matching process. Please note that you are allowed only one successful alumni interview search. If you conduct a search that does not return an alumnus’ information, it means we do not have alumni available in that area. Either select another location or contact our office to see how we can assist you in setting up your interview.

6. Your interviewer will not have read your application prior to your interview. The only information he/she will have is the updated resume you submit at the time you schedule your interview.

7. Please note that your application status as “Invite to Interview” WILL NOT change even after the interview is completed. Your status will only change once a final decision has been made.

8. We invite you to share your feedback with us regarding your interview. Through your application account, you now have access to an optional and anonymous online survey which is aimed to assess the process for scheduling the interview and the interview itself. We value your opinion and look forward to learning from your experience.

9. All applicants are asked to bring a form of photo identification to the interview.

Should you have any questions regarding the admissions interview or are unable to schedule an interview online, please contact our interviewing team at:

Once again, congratulations on reaching this next step in the application process. We look forward to learning more about you during the coming weeks.

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60637
voice 773.702.7369 | Fax 773.702.9085

The 7 phases of the Business School application

Are you applying to MBA Schools this winter? Read this, I’m sure you will be identified ;).

I’d like to share with you this great summary of what most of us are going through.

This great post is originally written in gmatclub by lepium.


Let’s say you are 2 or 3 years out of college and the thought of an MBA starts lingering in your mind. Either you’ve heard some stories of former colleagues going for it and are curious about it or you think the name sounds cool.

You can talk to MBA alumni (if you have access to them) to start your research, or maybe to some friends. But this initial conversations can be biased (name 1 alumni who “officially” thinks his/her school sucked and you’ll get a bonus!) for all you know.

So you decide you need some “objective data” to continue your research and you go pick up the latest issue of US news/ B-week, or whichever one is available at newsstands. You browse through their pages and start wondering:

1st phase (the MBA honeymoon)

– Wait, wasn’t Kellogg a cereal brand?
– What’s with the GMAT scores? why 700? over 1000? that’s weird. What’s GMAT btw?
– Ah, finally, I know Yale, I know Harvard, I know Stanford, MIT and UCLA. But where’s Princeton? And Brown?
– I like International Business, so as per these rankings I should better be attending Thunderbird. But why are the starting salaries from there so much lower than from other schools?
– I loved Miami when I visited on spring break. Lemme see what their school’s like.

2nd phase (Delussional optimism)

– I’m a wise person, so GMAT shouldn’t be a problem for me. Maybe I’ll take one of these intensive 1-week courses and go for it! Why would anybody spend months studying? That doesn’t make any sense. I mean it’s high school level math and English for crying out loud. Heck, I can speak English, I’ve taken Calculus classes.

– I’m a clear admit at HBS, plus I’ll get a full scholarship. After all I’ll get a top GMAT, I do speak four languages and have made steady progress at work so far.

3rd phase (Depression while taming the beast)

– GMAT sucks. My friends no longer talk to me. My girlfriend broke up with me and spending 150k for an MBA doesn’t make much sense to me anymore (nor does it make sense to my family, my former friends nor my girlfriend). Do I really, really want to do this? Otherwise I could go back to having a life right now.

– Ok, so I’m headed for a 600 score, if I’m lucky. Let’s see what that would do for me. Hmm, I’d better score at least 650. Wait, 650 ain’t that bad! Oh boy, I’d kill for a 650.

– “So Johnny (an acquaintance of yours), how did your GMAT go?”
Johnny: “Oh man, I’m so depressed. I bombed my 7th attempt. I just can’t get past 550. I’m about giving up”
You: “Crap, Johnny, after all the effort you’ve put into this, I can’t believe what you are telling me. I mean, I’m still a zillion hours away from your study record to date. By the way, I’ll better be heading home and attack those SCs again!”

– (at 4am in the morning on a working day): I suck, I suck, I suck! I can’t believe the silly mistakes I’m making. Sigh, I wish I’d remember more about Statistics…

4th phase (post GMAT preliminary research)

– Ok, so I got a pretty decent GMAT. Now let me write sth and send my app right away so we can finally bring this “I’ll pretend I read your app.” game to an end. Let’s check the instructions.

1st question) What matters most to you an why? [3 to 5 pages]
Hmm. Maybe I’ll leave this one for tomorrow. Or let me brainstorm and write a shortlist:

1st shortlist (prior to any research):
a) Money.
b) Success.
c) Beer.
d) Getting my ticket stamped to land an IB job.

2nd shortlist (after some research):
a) Being mother Theresa.
b) Saving humanity.
c) Saving the environment.
d) “Changing the world”.

– I’ll apply to 147 schools. That way, I’d maximize my chances of getting a scholarship.

– What’s with the letter of recommendation? Should I tell my boss about my plans? It looks like the point of no return to me.

5th phase (applying, AKA the emotional roller-coaster)

[staring at essay#1 version # 84]: This sucks! I can’t believe how boring I sound. I should re-start from scratch!

– I should write about the snooker tournament I won when I was 16. That’d be original, plus I can spin it to show how I used my leadership, analytical and teamwork skills.

– Beh, I can apply in Round 2 as well.

– Crap! my recommenders haven’t even accessed the website yet and it’s only 2 days left! I’ll send them “friendly reminder #27”. No, wait, I sent #26 just 5 minutes ago. Maybe I’ll wait another half hour.

– Wait, was Kellogg’s deadline on the 5th? Or was that MIT? Maybe I should drop Wharton. I can’t make deadlines on the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th. OK, I’ll just drop Wharton from my list and have it as “fresh” backup for next year just in case.

– I wish I had applied to more schools in Round 1. Look at all these people getting interviews and admits!

6th phase (post application blues)

– Shoot, I won’t get in anywhere. I mean look at the profiles of applicants! I should retake GMAT. My 700 is not enough. I should aim for 790+.

– Crap! Yale dinged me without interview! Ohmigod! If they did it, ANYONE can do it! THEY COULD ALL DO IT!

– I have an idea! I’ll check which schools have rolling admissions and apply to those. I still have time!

– Suddenly University of Phoenix Online doesn’t sound that bad.

– Why? Why? Why didn’t apply to more backups? Why did I have to shake my interviewer’s hand so firmly? Why didn’t I coach my recommenders more thoroughly? I wonder what they’ve written. Probably nothing good. I wish I had submitted my app. a day earlier, that way I would have looked as a well organized person. I read that Kellogg dings all applicants above 28 years old who haven’t made directors positions. Wait, is that a typo on my MIT essays? That’s one school less, buddy. I’m soo doomed.

7th phase (endless joy)

– Hell yeah! I’ve made it! I’ve been admitted [dream school X] next year! I rule! I can’t wait to get recruited by [dream employer]. When is admitted students weekend?

– 2nd admit! I rule!

– Should I go to [School X] with a 7k scholarship or to [School Y] with a 25 k scholarship?

– Work? What’s work? Ah, right, that thing I’m supposed to be doing daily on weekdays from 9 to 5…

– I wonder whether spending this 150k makes sense after all…

– I’m so gonna get grilled at B-school! What if I mess up? I’d better start brushing up on some skills.

Harvard first interview invites sent

Harvard sent out the first interview invitations by email yesterday. Unfortunately I didn’t receive any :(.

According to HBS, they plan to interview about 800 candidates in round 1, from whom they will accept about 400. The invitations are sent from October 15th to November 3rd on a rolling basis.

However, there is no official information but it seems that last year they sent about 600-700 of the interviews the first day, and the 100-150 remaining the following days.

In conclusion, this is bad news for me. Anyway, I don’t lose hope, anything can happen.

BTW, the interviews in Harvard are done by members of the AdCom and not by Alumni. That means the AdCoom’s members travel around the world to some major cities and make the interviews there. This year they will come to Hong Kong (last year they didn’t). A (very) small sign of hope. This year cities are:
Boston, MA
Menlo Park, CA
New York, NY
Dubai, UAE
Hong Kong
London, UK
Mumbai, India
Paris, France
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Shanghai, China

Wharton Round One Information

Wharton also sent an email regarding the application review process.

In short, the invitations are sent in two days, October 29th and November 5th. In addition, that day the dings without interview will be notified. For those who interview, the final decision will be on December 17th.

Here the full email:

Dear xxxxx,

Thank you for submitting your application for Round One.

The following will provide you with information concerning the processing of application materials, timeline for the release of interview invitations, and final decision releases.

If your online account reads “Complete – Round One,” your application has all the required materials, has been processed by the Operations Team, and has been forwarded to the Committee for review.

If your online account reads “Received,” then the Operations Team needs to process your online application submission and any materials submitted by hard copy. After your materials have been processed (assuming they arrived before the Round One deadline), your online account will be changed to “Complete for Round One” and your file will be forwarded to the Committee for review. Due to the high number of candidates who submitted their application during the past few days (more than 60% of candidates applying for Round One submitted their application within 24 hours of the deadline), it will take the Operations Team a couple of weeks to complete the processing of all materials. Therefore, please allow the Operations Team until Thursday, October 14th before inquiring about the completeness of your application.

The Admissions Committee will release interview invitations on Friday, October 29th and again on Friday, November 5th. Due to the nature and complexity associated with the admissions process there is no particular order in which invitations are released. Also on November 5th, the Committee will release all final admissions decisions to candidates that are not being invited for an interview and therefore no longer being considered for admission.

If you are invited for an interview, you will need to complete your interview by Friday, December 3rd. Interviews will be available on campus with second-year Wharton MBA Students who are full members of the Admissions Committee, off campus with alumni, and off campus in various “Hubs” around the world by Admissions staff members. All interview options are equally considered within the admissions process.

Candidates who are offered an interview will receive their final admissions decision by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, December 17th.

Thank you again for applying to Wharton. We look forward to reading your application.

Wharton MBA Admissions Committee
Lauder Admissions Committee
Penn Law School Admissions Committee

Applications submitted for Round 1

I submitted already 4 out of 5 applications!! Booth, Harvard, Wharton and LBS. My wife has also applied to all the schools but Harvard (she is not HBS fan).

I submitted every one with several days to spare ;). I have been working on this for months so I didn’t want any surprise at the very last moment. MIT is the only one is still not finished. I plan to do work on it next week, once I’m back from a trip to Spain. Yes! this Wednesday I’ll go to Madrid for the wedding of my wife’s older sister. It’s going to be a little exhausting as we will take 16 hours flights (one connection needed in Paris) and we’ll only stay there for 4 days… when I will be recover from the jet-lag I will have to come back. But well it’s always great to go there and visit family and friends.

On the recommenders side, they also have submitted their letters on time. To refresh your memory, my recommenders have been my former New York boss (French), a colleague from my current job in Hong Kong (also French), and the third (only for Harvard) another colleague from New York that works now in Johannesbourg and who is from Pakistan. I didn’t ask my current boss because he is in the position for less than two months (the former manager left the company). He is Chinese by the way.

Only my NY boss struggled to submit Wharton on time (he was kind of pissed off with Wharton’s questions), but eventually yesterday he did it, and I could sleep peacefully 😀 (today is Wharton’s deadline). I think I sent him 10 emails and reminders during the last week hehe.

I’m really grateful to them for this big effort. I didn’t know that it was so hard to write an MBA recommendation. I’ll buy them something but I’m out of ideas, I want to offer them something special.

Off topic, here some pics I took last Saturday in Hong Kong.

Bank of China building with Cheung Kong Centre reflected

Sham Shui Po Market

Surroundings of Sham Shui Po Market

Full Flickr Hong Kong’s album here.