One Week After TBD

As my title states, it’s been a week since the Wharton TBD.  It went better than I thought it would.  I was super nervous the weeks leading up to the TBD, but I took my own advice, and just prepared (like, really prepared) for it.  I also went to the TBD reception the night before the interview, and it helped take the edge off my nerves because I got to meet 2 out of the 4  other people that would be in my TBD team.

I really enjoyed the TBD more than I thought I would. My group had a nice dynamic going on, and no one really put  people down. So no horror stories like those stubborn types trying to hog all the airtime. There was one guy who tried to do that though, but all in all, I think all my team members contributed well to the discussion. I can see the value in having a TBD, although I am not sure how the assessment will go like if most of the groups were like mine (i.e. generally nice people that were able to get to a consensus easily).  Also, the team agreed to adopt my idea in the end – so that should be a plus for me, right?

I am hoping for good news around 26 days from now. Eep! I will focus on doing R2 apps until then,

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Preparing for Wharton Interview

humility-helpingThis will just be a short update. I’m scrambling to prepare for my prompt and one-on-one. I know, I know, they said that you only need to prepare for an hour tops for the TBD, but I am not totally comfortable with that.    I like to be prepared!

Anyway, the point of this post is to shout out to all the lovely people who have helped me so far. Wharton folks (and really, all the B-school folks I’ve met in general) are so helpful and genuine! I’m so fortunate that in my company I get to work with a lot of MBAs so I have a lot of resources to consult with.  They connect me to all these great people too that I can just talk to.  Like just this morning, I was able to talk to a current Wharton student (thanks to an intro made by a Wharton alum) and he offered pretty good advice on tackling the interview.  I’m so inspired to pay forward all the help I received. So if anyone wants to ask me anything, I’m available to help 🙂

PS Argh! I’m so nervous! :/

Wharton Interview Invite!

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I received my Wharton interview invite on my flight back from my Booth interview in Singapore.  In a way, the flight kind of saved my sanity because it forced me to stop clicking refresh on my email account, application profile and GMAT Club Wharton forum every few minutes.  I’m SO HAPPY to have gotten an invite!!!!!!!!! Wharton has always been my first choice, and they (kind of) love me back! 😀 I’m also stoked that I received interview invites for the three apps I submitted in R1.  The schools liked my profile and essays enough that they didn’t decide to ding me outright.  Of course, Kellogg tries to interview all the applicants so I’m excluding them in this statement.

I’m flying back out to Singapore next week, this time with my husband.  We’re going to stay over the weekend (hopefully give me the chance to relax after the TBD).  I’m so anxious for the TBD – it will be the first time I’m doing a TBD, so I don’t really know what to expect.  I’ve gone through forums and blogs to help me prepare and these are some of the tips I’ve collected:

1. Try to be balanced.  Don’t be the loud-mouthed rude person (basically the B-school archetype haha) that takes over the whole conversation, and don’t be the really quiet one in the corner that doesn’t contribute anything.

2. Go early, to give you a chance to socialize with your TBD team, and to break the ice

3. The goal is to come up with a solution for the team, and not to emerge as the “star”.  Try to be civil – don’t cut off a teammate, and offer up consensus building ideas to move the process along.  That’s why it’s a “team-based” discussion.

4.  Come in prepared!  You will be given a prompt to talk about, so do your research.

5. Don’t take the one-on-one interview for granted.  The trick is to prepare an engaging one-to-two minute spiel about yourself.

Good luck to me!! And good luck to all those facing an interview in the next few weeks 🙂

Update on Booth Interview

Apparently, not a single alumni is willing to interview me in my home country. Uh.. I swear, I will be an active alumni interviewer for whichever school I will go into.  Anyway, I will have to fly to Singapore this Friday to interview with an alumni. It will be my FIRST time ever to do a day trip to another country that isn’t for business – won’t be bringing any luggage haha.  I already bought my tickets earlier today. Sad that my husband won’t be able to come with me, but it really doesn’t make sense for the both of us to go because I’m only planning to be there just for the interview.  Crossing my fingers that I will get an invite for Wharton – it also means another flight to SG :p

Hope my flying there pays off, though. I was given a choice to either interview in Singapore, or to have a phone conversation with someone from the admissions team.  I was willing to fly out to be able to interview in person – I don’t think a phone interview can be a good substitute for the interview experience. Plus, it’s a chance to show how dedicated I am to getting into Booth. I’ll be interviewing with a someone in the consulting industry. I believe he’s also interviewing with another prospective student that day.

Crossing my fingers! and toes!

On my to-do list: buying a pants suit for the interview :p

And the interviews begin…

I just did my first ever B-school interview last Saturday for Kellogg.  A 2004 alum interviewed me.  We had a lot of things in common – banking experience, same undergrad course in the same university, we even have a common friend, so we had a lot to talk about.  It was actually quite conversational.  We met at a coffeeshop (his suggestion) on a Saturday (also his suggestion). He showed up with the interview handbook (I had to resist sneaking a peek haha).  He mentioned that he had been conducting interviews for the last ten years – basically, ever since he graduated.

The questions were more or less standard:

1. Walk me through your resume, and clarificatory questions for all my job functions and extra-curriculars (this took up a large chunk of the time)

2. Why MBA?

3. Why Kellogg?

2. Proudest achievement?

3. Most challenging experience?

4. Other schools I applied to?

5. What do I do for fun?

6. Any questions for him?

The interview took more than an hour, although after we hit the one hour mark, he said that it was already “off the record”.  I really liked the interview and the interviewer, although he said he doubted the interview had that much weight on the whole application process.  He remembers writing a glowing report for someone who didn’t get in, and he also wrote a “so-so” report for someone who did get in.  He guesses it’s really the essays that pull weight.  In my case, I hope the video essays are a small part of the decision, because mine went disastrously!

And more good news – I got an interview invite from Booth!! *happy dance* I requested for an off-campus interview with an alum, since the nearest interview hub will be Shanghai in early November – not feasible for me because I have to obtain a visa to go to China, and it’s really short notice.  Anyway, the interviews in China are conducted by alumni, so I might as well just have my interview with an alum here in Manila. So on my to-do list is to prepare for that interview!

Crossing my fingers and toes for an interview invite from Wharton! The Friday after next is d-day!!!

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I turned in the third round one app yesterday! Great big sigh of relief! Now the waiting game begins… My friend was awesome at helping me edit my essays. PHEW.

I also did the Kellogg video essay.  I got a question I totally did not expect (one of those “feely”, HR interview type questions). Argh.  I only had one chance to take the video as well.  As soon as I heard the question, I knew I WAS NOT going to do well. I hope I’m just over reacting and I get the chance to redeem myself.

Will now disappear in a hole until the end of October.

Popping the submission cherry

So I submitted my Kellogg apps a few hours away from the deadline.  That was stupid of me actually. I found some stuff I could have improved on.  At the same time, I was already obsessing about the tiniest detail, irking my husband to no end.  So I just decided to risk it…. I hope my application package still makes sense.  I was pretty confident about my essays, but then after reading them again, I found them a bit dry and lacking. Oh well, only time will tell.  Next step is to do the video essay

I also literally just submitted my Booth applications.  Good thing I was able to speak with a coworker who was an alum, she was pretty nice about talking to me about the process.  I also made the presentation instead of the essay.  Hope it pays off :p  I am counting down until October 24! Argh.