The People Make the Place

Young-ProfessionalsI 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 experience now feels much better than it did when I was waiting to find out whether I “got in” to any of my dream schools or not.

The intensity that I speak of mostly involves all of the activities around saving money and making plans for upcoming admit weekends plus the big move to…wherever I end up.  I’m every bit as busy as when I was GMAT-ing and applying–just happier and less stressed about it all. To that end, I wish a hearty good luck to all of the talented, bright applicants who recently poured your blood, sweat and tears into R2 applications at some of the world’s best business schools.

What am I talking about though? I’m still not quite out of the woods myself with apps. I still have my MIT Sloan interview pending and will be devoting the lion’s share of this weekend’s “free” (ha!) time to reviewing my app and preparing to be flayed and probed to the bone since Sloan is one of two schools (that I know of including HBS) that features “open” interviews where your interviewer has reviewed your entire application as opposed to just your resume; should be “fun”.

Its in the People

One thing that I am really seeing at this point in the process, however, is just how much your experience is enriched by going to really ANY of the elite programs (basically anywhere that anyone who reads this blog would even bother applying to) that put such an emphasis on only selecting many of “the best” students to attend (of course, we also know that many of the “best” will also not be admitted to a given school; different conversation, but I certainly get it and empathize).

As 2013 got started, the networking with my fellow admits at Wharton and Booth reached fever pitch almost immediately. Both Facebook book groups are figuratively engulfed in flames of networking activity, with admits arranging local meetups, agreeing to share hotels for admit weekend with folks half way around the world that we’ve never met, etc. The adcom members have been fueling those flames with a steady stream of info on Chicago and Philly, upcoming important dates and where else we might be able to connect with our potential c/o ‘2015 classmates.

Current students and alums have also been reaching out to extend their advice. One such student sent me a list of classes that are “must takes” at Wharton, replete with which professors to take (and not take). Meanwhile, a certain current c/o 2014 Boothie who shall go nameless has been graciously introducing me to current classmates of their who are in the startup game while at school.

I’ve especially enjoyed connecting with people on LinkedIn. That experience in particular is largely what inspired this post. Through a series of conversations with the special and talented people that I’ll be meeting within the next 3-4 weeks, the sharing of info regarding books to read, school resources, profile introductions, etc has really allowed me to fully appreciate the quality of people that I’ll get to spend the next 2 years around. Thank you, thank you admissions committees.

While my current job is full of bright and interesting people who I love working with, some of the buffonery, coonery and all out fraggenackle BS at previous jobs where people were NOT as sharp and intriguing caused a great deal of of unhappiness in those environments. I am utterly convinced of having suffered a net loss of 10-15 IQ points (at a previous company) that I swear I have yet to recover. Business school is shaping out to be such a welcomed departure from some of the darker, more medieval eras of my business past. I truly understand that old saying that the PEOPLE make the PLACE.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Something else that has begun is the application verification process–which, naturally, there is a tax for (of coooooooooooooourse!). I got Wharton’s notice a day or two ago and suspect that Booth’s is soon to follow. I plan to jump on both prompts fairly quickly as it can take up to a month or more for the process to be completed; and you’re not “official” until that has been  handled, which brings me to another ever so popular item of important  business: deposits.

Until a $2,000 – $3,500+ deposit is paid, you ain’t got a spot at nobody’s top business school; thus, I’m not “officially” part of a damn thing just yet. Here’s the breakdown:

MIT – interview incomplete, no offer nor denial of admission as of yet; interview next week; admit or ding by 1/29

Wharton – admission offered, no verif, no deposit paid; welcome weekend 1/31 – 2/1; deposit due by 2/19

Booth – admission offered, no verif, no deposit paid; welcome weekend 2/7-2/8; deposit due by 2/19

So alas, there is work to do yet.

I really don’t know how  this will turn out in the end. What I do know, however, is that regardless of whether my next steps will be taken in Boston, Chicago or Philadelphia, I’ll be surrounded by bright, interesting and stimulating classmates thanks to the selectivity of the admissions process at all of these programs.


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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23 Comments on “The People Make the Place”

  1. Gaurav Says:


    There is no denying to the fact that people make the place and not otherwise. I find some similarity in our stories about suffering a net loss in IQ. I like that statement!! LOL!!!

    keep writing!



      • Sky Says:

        haha ” Business school is shaping out to be such a welcomed departure from some of the darker, more medieval eras of my business past.”….hilarious…im 24 and finishing up a medieval dark graduate engineering program….but 28 i should hopefully be repeating the same line….cheers buddy…good luck at which ever school you pick

      • mbaover30 Says:

        Thanks and best of luck to you as well.

  2. executionist Says:

    While i’ve already locked my target schools, your admit weekend experiences & final decision are going to influence several other 2014 intake applicants !

    Perhaps deep down you already know which one of these schools you’ll choose to attend… the admit weekends are merely going to strengthen that conviction.

    Most importantly, wishing you the very best for your Sloan interview!

    Everyone here wants you to be spoilt for choice (if at all there is such a thing in the gruelling B school application process 😉


  3. Rachel Says:

    I had my MIT interview recently and it was great! Everyone in the admissions office was so friendly, including my interviewer. It was a truly enjoyable interview and I am confident yours will be the same! Good luck and I hope we both get admits to MIT!


  4. sophie Says:

    Good luck with this decision! I’m sure it won’t be easy.

    What gets me through the days where I’m piled with inane questions from those who have no business working at a bank is the thought of how exciting and refreshing it will be once I am surrounded by my classmates next year. I was already immensely impressed by the intelligence, eloquence, and warmth of all the prospective students I’ve met during the application process. Let’s hope we get to gain back those net 10-15 IQ points we’ve lost!

    PS See you at Booth Admit weekend!


  5. Jude Florido Says:

    Thank you for your post.
    I am eager to find out which school you will choose!

    I concur- funny statement about the IQ loss… HAHA


  6. Rachel Says:

    Hey MBAover30 – will you wait to start the verification process until you select which school you will be attending? Also, do you know if MIT has an admit weekend? Thanks!


    • mbaover30 Says:

      Hello Rachel. All the schools have admit weekends. Also, I’ll go through will each verification for schools that I’ve been admitted to just because the process can take a while.


      • (not the same) Rachel Says:

        Is the verification process something that the schools let you know about 1st? I didn’t get any notification about it (1 of the schools I was admitted about 2 months ago and they haven’t sent out any of it). generally speaking – What exactly are they looking for?

      • mbaover30 Says:

        Each school does it a little differently. They typically let you know about it. They are primarily making sure that your dates of employment at various companies were truthful on your app.

  7. toughdecision Says:

    Hi MBAOver30, first congrats and thanks for sharing your experience.
    I was also admitted in Booth and Wharton/Lauder, and I´m having trouble to figure out which program is the best for me! Could you please give me some advice? Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the admit weekend from both schools.


    • mbaover30 Says:

      Its difficult to tell someone else how to pick a school…I’d say go with your gut. Look at your goals, look at school offerings, talk to current students and go with your gut. Ask about every detail of the curriculum, living in that city, pros and cons. Try to get the nitty gritty from the horse’s mouth. Most students are forthcoming with that kind of info.


  8. esdykes Says:

    I’m finally happy to hear someone talk about all the things you have to do AFTER being accepted. Definitely no complaints, but I’m looking at ~60+ hours of finance, accounting, and quantitative tutorials, health forms, background checks, housing, moving, planning travel, admit weekends, etc. Again – definitely worth it, but don’t think you work your butt off, get in to a great school, and then coast for the summer.


    • mbaover30 Says:

      finance, accounting and quantitative tutorials? Pray tell! Well, I guess I will find out during the admit weekends what each school requires. There is definitely more work to do now than there was before (at least in my case); however, I’d trade the work on THIS side of the mountain over that from the other on any day of the week! Oh and congrats again on Harvard!


      • esdykes Says:

        Yes – just wait for admit weekends!! My pre-work was all part of a very nice checklist put together by HBS. At least they make it as easy as possible, but it certainly is a lot of work.

        I can’t wait to hear how the admit weekends go and see what you decide. You definitely can’t go wrong!!

      • mbaover30 Says:

        I don’t think Wharton or Booth give you checklist until your deposit is paid; and I won’t be doing that for any school until I make my decision mid-Feb after MIT’s decision and both admit weekends.


  1. Fridays From The Frontline - Clear Admit Blog - April 16, 2013

    […] Over 30  planned on attending Chicago Booth and Wharton’s admitted student weekends, but still didn’t know which program would come out on top. Sassafrass also had two acceptances to consider and attended a Yale event that left him quite […]

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