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!!!
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.
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.
So the first business school deadline is about a day away. I decided to submit just three applications in the first round, and will probably do three to four more in the second round (depends on where I end up after the first round). My first round deadlines are Kellogg (Sept 24 AKA tomorrow AKA I should be panicking but I’m pretty zen about it), Booth (Sept 25), and Wharton (Oct 1). A few months ago, the-me-who-didn’t-know-better was thinking of submitting 7 applications during the first round. Big Ha.
After I submit the Kellogg apps I have to go through that whole video essay thing. I know it should be “no sweat”, but it’s stressing me out! I have about a week to finish it, but I should aim to do it before the weekend, so I can take advantage of the office’s fast internet connection.
Crossing my fingers!!!