ACCEPTED at The Wharton School of Business!

blog-whartontshirtAfter getting an early morning acceptance call from the Chicago Booth School of Business two days ago, one would think I’d be more calm and zen than I was when I got up this morning. I was actually–its a huge relief that you have somewhere (really good) to go to for b-school after all of the blood sweat and tears that all of us have put into this process over the past 6-12 months (closer to 12 for yours truly).

Curiosity Kills the Cat

Then I gave into my lower nature. I logged into BeatTheGMAT and GMATClub simultaneously and began checking updates from people around the globe as they got acceptance calls from Wharton; and I did so in side-by-side windows as I ate breakfast. Utter and Complete Lunacy.

While I took some comfort in seeing that most of the admits seemed to be in Asia, Europe and the East Coast (and I figured the West Coast would get our calls hours later), there is just something about watching other people progressively post their updated status as new admits to Wharton’s Class of 2015 that makes you go slightly crazy if you’re still waiting for yours.

An hour or so later, I was about ready to start my commute and told myself that I wouldn’t panic until lunchtime when the online statuses were supposed to be changing. In the meantime, I’d keep my phone by my  side like a drug dealer and would not be putting it on buzz when I got to work. My quiet office of e-business folk would just have to deal with its noise until I (hopefully) got that call.

The call from (215) 898 – 2585

Then at 8:16 am, a call from a familiar area code blasted onto my phone. I know that 3-digit code well, as my favorite hip-hop group (actually my favorite group period) of all time is The Roots.

blog-therootsPhilly. Illadeph. South Street. Cheese steaks. Bahamadia. BlackThought. Black Lotus. Jill Scott. Will Smith. The 215. I know those numbers well, because I’ve recited those numbers in countless lyrics over the past #@%^@% [age alert!] years.

It was Ankur Kumar, Wharton’s Director of admissions. She had called to put me out of my morning misery. “Hello, ******** speaking”, I said, as if I hadn’t already checked the caller ID; as if I wasn’t already doing cartwheels and full gainers into P-Diddy’s infinity pool in my head.

“It’s Ankur Kumar”, she said with an audible grin. “Yes! Talk to me Ankur!” I belted shamelessly. Why have pretense NOW?

After welcoming me into the Wharton Class of 2015, she sweetened the deal with a generous fellowship (actually for the exact same amount as Booth’s offer) that I was more than grateful to hear about. Groupon on a Wharton MBA? I’m definitely listening. Small talk with “thank you thank you” somewhere in there. Phone clicks. Jabberwocky-like Celebration ensues.

A Star Sighting

So, a little history and prequel to this conversation.

Nearly two months ago, I was elated to have received back-to-back invites to interview from Chicago Booth and Wharton on Halloween and November 1st, respectively. While I signed up for a local interview with an alumnus for Booth, I had only two domestic options for my Wharton interview: Philly or San Francisco. I chose San Fran.

On the morning of November 16th, I got up at about 5:30 after having slept at the home of a friend who lives in Long Beach so that I could be at the LBC’s tiny little makeshift airport by 6:30 without morning traffic and make my 7:30 flight without a hitch.

After arriving at Wharton’s west coast campus at around 10am, I spent the day toggling between loitering, b-lining to Starbucks and rehearsing the two opening arguments I had prepared for Wharton’s new team-based interview format. About 2 hours prior to my interview, I bumped into Ankur, who did not see me because she was speaking with a student who was leaving his group interview. He was also pummeling  her with questions to ease his anxiety. I felt his pain.

I must admit, I was thrown off my game a bit by that sighting. For some reason, I assumed (don’t ask me why. I had NO data to support it. BAD MBA!) that I’d be interviewed by Tiffany Gooden, Wharton’s 2nd in command ad com who had greatly impressed me during Wharton’s LA info session and her participation in the Riordan/DMAC diversity conference back in August.

Having lived in Los Angeles for 12 1/2 years, I’m more than used to seeing someone in person that I’ve seen on camera dozens of times; and more than over it, because I’m not the star struck type. Still, it is always slightly thwarting to see someone animated in real time that you are used to viewing through a camera’s lens. Knowing that she was the HWIC (head woman in charge), I thought to myself, “Well…this is going to go one of two ways”.

Every Dog Has its Day

I was VERY pleased with my group interview. I was proud of both my individual performance and my group’s performance as  a whole. Then during my one-on-one interview with Ankur, I mentioned that I had been trying to get in contact with a certain professor from a research institute that I was VERY interested in.

Then, to my shock and surprise, she offered to help me contact him if I tried again and did not reach him. In essence, she threw this dog a bone; and I bit–HARD. The former salesperson/account executive in me would have no less.

Over the next few weeks, a flurry of emails went flying mostly between that professor and I and a few from Ankur, who connected us. The professor is Peter S. Fader from the Wharton Customer Analytics Institute. He and his colleagues are the preeminent thought leaders in a field that I have both some experience and tons of interest in; and their work hasn’t been duplicated at any other schools–its unique to Wharton.

So by the time I got this morning’s call, I had been tantalized by “what ifs” and other hopeful thoughts over the past few weeks as I’ve had the opportunity to get to know professor Fader and become familiar with the amazing work that he is doing. Needless to say, I have some tough decisions to make. And in the meantime, I’ll be bumping to the entire discography of THE ROOTS on my iTunes…and going through a bottle or two of wine this evening. That is all.


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)

, , , ,

About mbaover30

Wharton MBA and admissions expert

View all posts by mbaover30

Subscribe to the MBA Over 30 Blog

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

88 Comments on “ACCEPTED at The Wharton School of Business!”

  1. healthcare2mba Says:

    Yayyyyyyyyyyy!!!! Congratulations!!!
    I’m struggling with my presentation for Booth and wanted to consult you. Anyway I can private message you? I rather avoid the risk of straying too far from your awesome news in this thread


  2. Andrew Says:

    Congrats!!! Very happy for you and all your hard work, time to celebrate and then prepare for what I envision to be a difficult decision.


  3. bschool2013 Says:

    Dude, I’m impressed. Booth AND Wharton? Good luck deciding.

    Most of all, I’m glad you’ve de-bunked the myth that a thirty-something is too old for the full-time MBA. Congrats!!!


    • mbaover30 Says:

      Totally debunked. Thanks man!


      • bschool2013 Says:

        This all makes that HBS ding seem like ages ago, huh?

        You should revisit your P&Q odds on this blog – I think it would be interesting to re-read that at this stage (and I’m too lazy to go digging through the P&Q bowels to find it).

      • mbaover30 Says:

        Its linked from one of my first blog posts. I don’t think Wharton or Booth was on my list at the time. MIT was, and i was told know. HBS and GSB predictions were right.

  4. Morian Says:

    Congrats! It’s awesome to have choices between two great schools with interview to go at MIT. On a personal note I’m hoping you choose Wharton as I’ve been wait listed at Booth 😉 Congrats and best wishes!


  5. Dreamer Says:

    Congrats man. am in too and with fellowship as well!!! Could not be happier! Well deserved and thanks for starting the blog.


  6. highwyre237 Says:

    Wow, what a great choice to have! Congrats again!


  7. Ohdenny Says:

    This is nuts. You are nuts! You go, Glen Coco! Totally happy for you!


  8. DR Says:

    Congrats again! I got in too. Will I see you at admit weekend?


  9. Drew Says:

    Wow, just wow!! I hope you are on cloud nine! I would be shooting fake jump shots and yelling “Kobe!!!” all day if I were you!! Awesome job!!


  10. SD Says:

    Congrats! you are giving all of us 30-somethings hope! (i’ll be applying next year at the age of 31 for class of 2016 spots)!


  11. Abishekh Neelanshu Says:

    Congrats! I am a frequent reader but first time writer…….I aim to apply next year to bunch of same schools as you did….. I would love to keep in touch with you to bounce some ideas off you in the future…….cheers!


  12. ATX 3rdCoast Says:

    Congrats!!! Amazing job! I’m over 30 too and applying for class of 2016 and your blog is one of the best perspectives on the MBA admissions process on the web. Period.


  13. Angie Says:

    Wow, that is amazingly impressive! GOOD for you. This is going to be a very Merry Christmas for you.

    I actually am really curious as to if you applied to any schools via the Consortium? If so, how was your experience with that?

    Also, exciting on the fellowship front. VERY nicely done.

    Happy New Year to you.


  14. mbamanchester2014 Says:

    Hi, just come across this blog. It’s great, especially as I am another MBA over 30 and went through many of the same things. I am now a full time MBA student at Manchester Business School and am also writing a blog at

    Would you be interested in an exchange of links to increase traffic to both sites and to improve our search rankings?

    Let me know.


  15. cheetarah1980 Says:

    Congratulations! But you’re coming to Booth.


  16. Asax Says:

    congrats! awesome job! 😀


  17. Str1der Says:

    What did i say? Didnt know about the fellowships – many congratulations. Lets onnect offline – a tuck and a wharton/booth grad should def network for the future 🙂 haha . Cheers!


  18. Angie Says:

    No, definitely! You have done fabulously!

    Are you waiting on any other responses?

    Happy Holidays.


  19. mrsjonstewart Says:

    A bit late to this party but congrats, a very awesome result indeed!


  20. JezB Says:

    Congratulations man. I have been reading your blog for the last six months now and your posts truly capture the anxiety associated with this annoying processl. I will have apps in to Wharton, HBS, Kellogg and INSEAD In rd 2. Hope to see you in Philly.


  21. sethmba Says:

    Well done man. Congrats ! You are da man !
    Booth now Wharton. U are a master !


  22. TJ Says:

    Great Job. Congrats!

    I am applying to R2 for Wharton. Do you have any suggestions on approaching their application? How did you try to understand and present their culture and fit?


    • mbaover30 Says:

      Best of luck TJ. Answer the questions as directly as possible. For fit, find something about the school to love. Talk to students. Harp on it and show deep knowledge of it.


  23. Rache Says:

    Congratulations! So happy this is working out for you 🙂


  24. MoKi Says:

    Congratulations on both the admits! I rooted for you over the last few months as I went through my own application journey. You were a great inspiration and source of info. I’m sure you’ll rock any school you choose to attend.


  25. Brian Says:

    Hey mbaover30 – have been following you on gmatclub for a while – big Congrats!!

    Do you have a preference between Booth and Wharton (or Cheetah has convinced you to join Booth already? lol)

    I thought Wharton doesn’t give out scholarship – but looks like they do! (just curious how much was Wharton willing to offer?)

    congrats again man – well deserved!!


    • mbaover30 Says:

      Hello Brian. I will be attending both Booth and Wharton’s admit weekends. I also have a pending interview at MIT Sloan. Once the Sloan decision has come back and I’ve attended both weekends, I’ll make and announce my final decision. I also believe that Wharton’s largest scholarship is $100k (full tuition).



  1. NO MORE Business School Applications! | MBA Over 30 - December 24, 2012

    […] a retake, slaved over essays, hopped on planes, interviewed and FINALLY was granted admission to Wharton and Chicago–each with scholarships/fellowships and still have a pending interview coming up […]

  2. Getting In (to a Top Business School) | MBA Over 30 - December 31, 2012

    […] the nature of heavenly event #1 , heavenly event #2 and heavenly event #3 in my journey to an elite MBA, I’ll be the first to […]

  3. The People Make the Place | MBA Over 30 - January 10, 2013

    […] really envisioned a carefree winter and spring after being admitting into Wharton and Booth a few weeks ago. Pipe dreams. Though, I must say that the kind of intensity that I […]

  4. The People Make The Place - January 16, 2013

    […] really envisioned a carefree winter and spring after being admitting into Wharton and Booth a few weeks ago. Pipe dreams. Though, I must say that the kind of intensity that I […]

  5. ACCEPTED at MIT Sloan! | MBA Over 30 - January 29, 2013

    […] thing. In fact, I love being authentic; however, I feared that the good  news of my acceptances to Wharton and Booth 5 weeks ago had made me a little lax from an emotional […]

  6. MBA Over 30 Praises DMAC | RPAA - February 22, 2013

    […] Wharton School of Business […]

  7. Why I’ve Chosen The Wharton School of Business | MBA Over 30 - March 1, 2013

    […] the moment that I first got “the call” from Director of Admissions Ankur Kumar welcoming me to Wharton’s class of 2015, I began to lean strongly in Wharton’s direction […]

  8. Why I’ve Chosen The Wharton School of Business - March 2, 2013

    […] the moment that I first got “the call” from Director of Admissions Ankur Kumar welcoming me to Wharton’s class of 2015, I began to lean strongly in Wharton’s direction for a […]

  9. Fridays From The Frontline - Clear Admit Blog - April 15, 2013

    […] news, with an acceptance from Tuck. MBA Over 30  also had two big announcements: acceptances from Wharton and Chicago […]

  10. Entrepreneurship Doubling at Wharton since 2010 | MBA Over - June 24, 2013

    […] (and editing each at least 100 times), 2 months of waiting in agony with interviews in between, a phone call (or two; or three), some pontificating, scholarship/fellowship offers, admit weekends, networking, […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: