And you’ve done it. You’ve applied, you’ve interviewed, you’ve gotten the magic phone call.
I missed the call the first time around, and looking at my phone and seeing that missed call was one of those moments that is great and terrible at the same time. I was pretty sure that the phone call was from Derrick Bolton, who is known for his marathon sessions each year where he calls all admitted applicants on the day the decisions are released. But at the same time I wasn’t 100% sure. And even if it was him I was crushed that I had missed the epic phone call.
To make a long story short, the 650 call was from Mr.Bolton, and the other call was from another school. I had suddenly gone from begging to be admitted to a school to having two schools begging me to attend. There were emails, phone calls, and cocktail parties. One school offered me a lot of money and I had to spend a couple of hours doing some hard math on ROI. I also had to decide what to do about the application to my fourth choice school. Their notification date was a bit later and at this point I knew that school was no longer a contender, but I was still curious about how I would fare.
In the end, I withdrew my last application so that there was no chance I would take a spot from someone who really wanted it. I also got a ding from my second-choice school. I decided that the money from my third-choice school wasn’t worth it. And I accepted Stanford’s offer.
And then I had a party (and I’m not using that as a figure of speech—I literally had a party). Stanford had been my first choice every since I began researching schools. It was everything I wanted in a business school. I loved the atmosphere, was excited about the curriculum and a lot of specific classes/professors, and knew that it would be the best school to help me reach my goals.
I know…this post was supposed to be about picking schools. I guess it’s a hard place for me to give advice because it was so obvious to me. I had my schools ranked from the very beginning and I got into my top choice. The only thing that threw me for a loop was the money thing. Bschool is expensive! However, when I ran the numbers it looked like the scholarship wouldn’t make much of a difference since it would just cut into the “free money” portion of my financial aid package.
Basically, I had a list of “requirements” in bschools from back when I was researching schools. I refined that list during the interview process a bit. By the time decisions started coming out I had a concrete ranking of my schools and decided I would go with the top school I could get into on my list—and that was the Stanford GSB.