HBS App and Rec’s Submitted + An Invite from Tuck

Well, its official. I’ve jumped down the MBA admissions rabbit hole.  Just a few hours ago, I successfully submitted my first app to HBS; and my last of 3 recommenders submitted his recommendation about an hour and a half later without my having to be a pest about it.

I also received an invite today to attend the Tuck School of Business’ Diversity Conference at Dartmouth that I applied to several weeks ago. I had also brought it up to the Tuck adcom member who represented them at the Los Angeles MAPS event for the Consortium; she assured me that I would hear something about it soon.   I hurriedly submitted a confirmation that I planned to attend.  I’d also like to interview while there.

My Chances at Harvard (or Stanford, or Dartmouth, or anywhere, for that matter)

Who knows? I’m a firm believer that only a CURRENT admissions committee member can really tell you whether you are more or less likely to make the cut in a given year; and we all know that none of them are talking, so…?

If you let most admissions consultants tell it, the prognosis is “not likely”–but, of course, those chances can be increased for a fee. That reference kinda reminds me of Miss Cleo the (psuedo) psychic from back in the day. I mean no disrespect to admissions consultants, though. Their collective advice has been invaluable to me thus far; I”m just sayin’.

On the flip side, if you let most admissions committee members (at ANY school) tell it, the prognosis is “well, our program is very competitive; but if you have stats within range, stellar work performance, strong extras and a very clear and sensible reason for why you need the MBA now coupled with ambitious, yet realistic goals, you’ve definitely got a shot!

Hmm…Sounds great in theory, but can I really trust that to be an authentic answer? I mean, we all know that it would be both rude and non PC for an official admissions rep to tell me something like “35?!??!? Yeah, right. You haven’t got a chance in hell unless there’s a building on campus named after someone in your family or you’ve just won a medal at the London Olympics”.

To be honest, however, if that ever were the case I’d much rather someone just flat out tell me that than have me go through what I’ve gone through to put together quality applications. I’m a straight up kinda guy, and I like people to be straight up me. It just saves time.

Staying Even Keel

At any rate, I’ve chosen not to read too much into either stance. I know that I’ve done my research, started early, performed well in all areas that will be observed, put the time into my essays, app and recommenders, and submitted a strong Round 1 application. It’s simply out of my hands now.

I’m half relieved and half anxious, but I refuse to sweat. Life has taught me that it is best to remain emotionally even keel about situations that you cannot control. I’ve focused on what I could control (my actual app and the info submitted with it) and I am at peace with what I have submitted; actually, I’m quite proud of it and will remain proud of it whether my fate is admission or denial.

My Next Set of Apps

I don’t have time for too much post-submission reflection about my HBS application, as my apps for Wharton, Booth and Stanford are all due (back to back to back, no less) in just over a week. I’ll need to stay on top of my recommenders, do one (or two; or three; or ten–I’m obsessive) last look(s) over my Stanford and Wharton essays before bidding them adieu, and mostly obsess over my Booth essay set (which still needs quite a bit of work) for at least the next 7 days.

Right now, I”m just thankful that I have given myself enough time to submit apps that I am comfortable with, happy about and that I don’t have to rush or strain to get in on time. That will take a lot of stress off of me as I wait, wait and wait some more to find out if and where I’ve received interview invites.

Tuck: My Next Relationship

The best way to get over one affair is to get into the next one; or so I’ve heard. At any rate, that Tuck invite was right on time. It zapped any anxiety that I may have had about turning in my HBS app. It’s always good to know that someone else [possibly] has their eye on you. The idea of potential options has a way of helping you to keep your grubby little fingers off that panic button. Plus, I’m uber curious about Tuck. I’m anxious to see their familial, clan-like sense of community in person. I want to get a feel for what the atmosphere is like. I also am impressed with the fact that they literally have a suggested curriculum mapped out for entrepreneurs. I’ll have a lot of questions about that. Finally, I would like to see a few buddies of mine (like The Senator, LadyRoadWarrior, Ahmed, etc.) that are c/o 2014 there who’ve given me some great advice up to this point.

If I can swing it, I may try to get to New England a few days early so that I can also attempt visits to Philly and Cambridge while I’m over there–but those plans are WAY in pencil right now; so don’t hold me to them.


Would you like my help getting into your dream b-school? Well, there are two starting points for that:

1. Get a Free Profile Analysis (after receiving your information, I’ll let you know whether or not I think I can help you)

2. Get Help Now (If you already know that you want help and what you want help on, then just skip to here)

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About mbaover30

Wharton MBA and admissions expert

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14 Comments on “HBS App and Rec’s Submitted + An Invite from Tuck”

  1. Alison (aka mrsjonstewart) Says:

    That’s a huge step, congrats!! This whole process is a marathon, but I’m sure it is a nice feeling to get that first 5K under your belt 🙂


  2. LadyRoadWarrior Says:

    Come to Hanover!!!!!


  3. Alex Says:

    Holy cow, that’s a lot of schools that you’re applying to. I stumbled upon this blog from PoetsandQuants and I admire your initiative. As an over 30 MBA myself, I definitely can empathize with you. Best of luck!


    • mbaover30 Says:

      Thanks Alex. Where did you graduate from and at what age?


      • Alex Says:

        I’m 31 right now and I’m a second year at HBS. I’ll be 32 upon graduation.

      • mbaover30 Says:

        Awesome! Too bad you didn’t discover the blog before I submitted my app! LOL. I’ve lost the opportunity to try and negotiate another HBS essay review. You were in your 20’s when applied though, right? How has your experience been? And are the over 30 folks all military folks at HBS as the admissions consultants opine?

      • Alex Says:

        Yeah, I was 29 when I applied and 30 when I matriculated. It’s been crazy busy (married + school + clubs + startup + newspaper) but amazing. It’s worth all the pain and suffering (and I’m talking about the first year and not even the pain of applications). In my section, we have 4 30+ people. One is an ex-Navy pilot, another is a former Korean trader, another is a former big 3 auditor, and I was a supply chain guy for Fortune 500 CPG companies. So 1 out of 4 is military. We have older Mormons too (because of their mission work) and just random people like myself who felt ready for b-school later in life. Admissions consultants like “rules of thumb” a bit too much for my tastes.

      • mbaover30 Says:

        Thanks for your candor Alex; if love to keep in contact with you should I survive the first HBS axe.

  4. RD Says:

    congrats on getting the app in – been enjoying your posts – how come you’re applying to so many schools? i would think you would have a great shot for all of them given your experiences and background?


    • mbaover30 Says:

      Thanks RD. I never believe my own press. There are people with better and worse profiles than I who have been both accepted and rejected from every school I am applying to. I’m casting a wide net for the same reason as everyone else: to give myself the best chances of getting in somewhere I really want to go.



  1. Fridays From The Frontline - Clear Admit Blog - June 3, 2015

    […] wished all those finishing up their applications luck with an inspiring video. MBAOver30 submitted his Harvard application and received an invitation to attend a Tuck diversity conference. Sassafrass also was working hard […]

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