ACCEPTED at Chicago Booth School of Business!

blog-chicagojerseyBy the time I had woken up this morning, I had read more than enough admit blog posts and BeatTheGMAT/ GMATClub status updates and posts to generally know what to expect on admit announcement day if you’re being offered admission.

So when the area code (773) popped up on my iPhone as I was having my egg whites, bagel and OJ this morning, I had a clue as to what the next 2-3 minutes might be like. It was Eddie Pulliam, a familiar and friendly voice and senior admissions officer from Booth calling to offer me a spot in Booth’s MBA Class of 2015.

Over the past few months, I’ve developed a very special affinity for this school–largely based on how warmly I’ve been treated by their admissions committee. Back in August, I signed up to sit at a table with representatives from Booth at the annual Riordan/DMAC diversity MBA event (SIDEBAR: If you are a diversity candidate–which is practically everyone nowadays–you MUST attend this event if you can fit it into your schedule and budget. EVERY top school is there) here in Los Angeles.

When the Booth representative(s) were not able to make it, Eddie informed the Riordan organization that he would personally speak with anyone who attended that event who had intended to speak with him about Booth but did not get the opportunity to do so in his absence. Several days later, I found  myself sitting in the parking lot one morning before work engaged in a 30-45 minute 1-on-1 conversation with him about my goals and how Booth could help me achieve them.

That spoke volumes to me. I doubt that senior admissions committee members from many top 10 schools would do that–let alone top 5 like Booth. Several days later, Booth held its Los Angeles admissions info session downtown. That ended up being the same day that my division at work went live on our biggest and most important software release in several years.

By the time I got to the info session, everyone was gone except a few stragglers and the admissions staff. The admissions committee member who I ended up talking to was extremely helpful and provided very detailed answers to my questions about the program.

Then back on Halloween, Booth extended me my first invite to interview. They called that day “Trick or Treat” where all Round 1 applicants would be getting one or the other; and I was given a treat–the opportunity to interview for a spot in the Class of 2015.

Just 5 1/2 weeks ago, I was fighting for a parking spot in Santa Monica so that I could be early to meet my Booth interviewer. My interview was not flawless–not by a long shot. While I didn’t get stumped and there were no  huge bloopers, I was given constructive feedback on my answers to two questions.

When asked to give an example of failing at something, I spoke from the perspective of having lead a team that failed. The interviewer wanted something more personal than that–something that was 100% my fault, where I was the only one who could be held accountable for the failure. Graciously, she gave me a chance to come up with a better story.

When asked about my extracurricular interests at Booth, I was given feedback that my answer was not detailed enough. This caught me off guard, because I came into that interview prepared with a LOT of detail about what I liked about Booth and why I felt that we were a good fit for each other.

My mistake, however, was that my detail was largely academic and tied into the curriculum, culture and the vast resources of Booth’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship. And while I left that interview a bit unsure as to the impact that my shortcomings during that meeting would have on my candidacy, I also left with a great deal of appreciation for the feedback that I had been given.

And now, Booth has offered me admission into their next class. I am relieved, excited and grateful to both the Booth adcom and everyone who has played a part in me getting this point. And the fact that I have been offered admission with a scholarship makes the victory just that much sweet.

To be continued…


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About mbaover30

Wharton MBA and admissions expert

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85 Comments on “ACCEPTED at Chicago Booth School of Business!”

  1. kahlojud Says:

    Congratulations MBA Over 30 – I have been following your story and I am happy for you- on getting a spot at Booth! I am applying next year and your insights are very helpful.


  2. healthcare2mba Says:

    Congratulations!!! I’m not surprised any bit though 🙂 You really deserve it!!! Now the Xmas can’t be more beautiful to you, right 🙂

    I’m sitting on my desk editing essays for MIT and putting pictures together for my Booth’s presentation. Wished that I could fast forward the time and land a seat close to your stage now 🙂


    • mbaover30 Says:

      I feel you. Feel free to reach out to me on those if you feel you need it. Booth, Wharton and Sloan were my best apps and those are the one that I got invites for.


  3. Roman Says:

    Congratulations! It’s a great news, Booth clearly is one of the top school.
    I’m right now finishing my R2 Booth application, and I’m 34, so your admit is somewhat encouraging.
    Have you somehow mentioned (explained) you age in Booth app?


  4. Angie Says:

    Wow, I am SO happy to hear that! I personally like Booth very much. I met an alumn while at a Forte Foundation event. She is positive and absolutely friendly. She has been so kind to answer my questions via email and even talk with me on the phone. I have been nothing than amazingly impressed by the university.

    So glad you got in! Hope you are totally cool with me bugging you for tips about Booth and their application process next year! Do not forget your friends! HA HA!

    Happy Holidays to you.


  5. highwyre237 Says:



  6. DR Says:

    Congratulations! I just got the call too. My eyes are welling up… it’s been a rough week.


  7. LadyRoadWarrior Says:



  8. Vico Says:

    Congratulations! That’s a great Xmas gift to receive, sir


  9. OhDenny Says:

    Fancy. Pants. This is only the beginning.


  10. Rachel Says:

    Congrats!! Are you still planning to interview with MIT and will you submit any R2 apps?


  11. Sassafras (@SassafrasMBA) Says:

    Every step of the way we attest that “this was the hardest” part (e.g. GMAT, applying, waiting), and I am sure very soon the “hardest part” for you is going to be deciding among all these amazing schools! Congrats!


  12. MNmba Says:

    Congrats! I also got the call (not without some technical drama played by my AT&T phone in Canada) and enjoyed following your story along the way. Hope to see you there in February.


  13. Jaycee Says:

    super congrats! I, like Roman, am 34 and in the midst of application madness. I was just working on my booth presentation right before I saw this alert pop up. Reading your blog has given me hope as I obsess over all of this. Perhaps I shall meet you in the not-so-distant future as a classmate!


  14. msiamba Says:

    I’ve been following your blog for quite some time, and CONGRATS!


  15. bschool2013 Says:

    Admitted to Booth…LIKE A BOSS!

    Are you going to shed any round 2 schools? Because I would 😛


  16. ak2012 Says:

    Congratulations mbaover30! I got a call from Booth today too. I hope we are classmates next fall at Booth. Are you going to be at the admit weekend in February? I hope to see you there!


  17. str1der Says:

    Congrats – very well deserved 🙂 You’ll be having a tough choice choosing between Philly and Chicago tonight. Guaranteed!


  18. Tara Says:

    I started reading your updates recently, and it’s been both useful and fun to follow your journey. Congrats on your Booth admit! 🙂


  19. Alex Says:

    Congratulations!! I’ve been following your posts for some time now, great to hear that you are in a great program. And the weather here in Chicago isn’t as bad as they say out west.


  20. dave Says:

    well done!!


  21. snowedinboston Says:

    Hey – I just wanted to congratulate you on Booth! I’ve really appreciated your thoughtful posts and I leveraged them for my own research. While I’ll be starting at HBS in the fall I wanted to say how nice it would have been to be your classmate – I’m sure you’ll enrich your peers no matter where you finally accept admission to. They’ll be lucky to have you


  22. snicks Says:

    Congratulations! That’s fabulous news and well-deserved!


  23. A Says:

    I didn’t end up applying to Booth, but Eddie is the man. I met him during my class visit and could not have been more pleased with my impression of him.


  24. Clear Admit Says:

    Congrats! This is wonderful news! Keep up the great work with your blogging too! -the Clear Admit team


  25. MK80 Says:

    MBAover30, How did you do in the IR section on D day?


  26. Oz Says:

    I came across your blog a while ago via Poets and Quants. Not an MBA hopeful (MD bound) but kept following along when I saw you were a Rattler (as am I)! Congrats!…and I wish you much success.


  27. kapton Says:

    Incredibly wonderful post. I just now came across your blog post in addition to wanted to point out that I’ve got actually liked surfing around your site blogposts. Naturally I’ll be opting-in with your rss feed and i’m praying you are submitting one more time immediately!



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