the trials and tribs of an MBA hopeful!

Come join me in coffee shops, hiding in conference rooms at work, and generally giving up my entire social life as I work on my MBA applications!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Some updates & a Stanford interview

Since hearing the good news from Kellogg & HBS I have quietly slipped back into my old routine - hanging out with friends, working out (after my 6 month hiatus!), obsessing over grey's anatomy instead of b-school has been pretty calm & normal these days :)

I also went to Day at Kellogg and Harvard's admit weekends. Despite popular opinion from everyone around me, I honestly was not 100% sold on Harvard until I went to visit. Like any school, I definitely had my concerns but they were completely squashed in the 2 day visit! I also watched February come and go without a Stanford interview invite in sight so I was pretty sure I was Boston-bound!

Then FINALLY a week and a half ago I got the interview invitation from Stanford with the caveat that my interview had to be completed within a week. (btw - Stanford was my first choice from the start, although now i think it would be a tough - but fortunate! - decision to make). I got in contact with the alum on a monday and we scheduled the interview for less than 24 hours later (of course just to add to the fun, it was my boyfriend's bday that night). I cut & pasted all of the interview questions from the clearadmit wiki ( , and had no surprises at all!! (without the help, this would have been a toughie)

So, I wanted to share my interview experience since I got so much help from the applicant community :)

The interview was VERY chatty and conversational - but every so often it would occur to her to ask THE QUESTIONS (there is a sheet she kept referring to), so I'll let ya know what came from the list! Also, a side note, these are in no particular order.

1. What do you want to do with an MBA? Why do you need one?

2. Why Stanford? (This came up a lot in many different forms. For example, I told her I wanted to move back to the midwest, and she asked "then why not Kellogg?")

3. Tell me about a time you let a team down? What did you learn?

4. What is a piece of constructive criticism you received from your manager? How did it affect your relationship? What have you done to work on this?

5. What is your greatest accomplishment?

6. What do you do outside of work for fun?

7. Tell me about a time that you showed great leadership - either extra-curricularly or at work?

8. What book are you currently reading? Who is your favorite author?

9. Tell me about a time you worked for a bad manager? What happened?

10. What was your favorite class at school? (I went with a non-business school class that dealt with the portrayal of women in film. This opened up a large discussion about women in business, why they drop out of the workforce, how to balance a career with children, etc. Glad i didn't say finance or accounting! ha!)

11. When did you realize you needed an MBA?

12. What other schools did you get into? Why did you apply there? (I was honest about the schools I got into, and the ones I withdrew from. We spoke a bit about HBS v Stanford and why I would choose Stanford if i was already accepted at HBS - she had also chosen between the 2)

13. Why did you apply to stanford in r2 and the other schools in r1 if stanford was your first choice?

14. TEll me about a time your values were challenged.

Overall, it went well. The interview lasted over an hour, with a little over half dedicated to the Stanford-supplied questions. She ended with - you'll see at admit weekend that the culture is much different than harvard; i think you'll like it there.

Not sure how much the interview weighs at Stanford - guess I'll find out in 3 weeks!

Good luck to everyone waiting for R2 decisions :)