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Second Blog Anniversary

Two years already! Time flies, and it feels not that long ago that I was writing the post for my first blog anniversary. However, many things have happened since December 2011. For instance, I made it to a top MBA program: I will study an MBA at the Fuqua School of Business!

But that’s going to the very end of the story…

Between October 2011 and January 2012 I applied to Fuqua, Kellogg, Chicago Booth and UCLA Anderson. I was doing so with a low GMAT score, 640. I was not able to score higher during my exam days, even though at home I was getting scores up to 760! Obviously, the GMAT was a weakness in my profile, and I think this was one of the reasons for the outcome in the admission processes.

The first news I got was a ding from Chicago Booth. Booth is a school that gives a lot of importance in the GMAT score, so I didn’t really expected good news from them. That was it. Months of hard work thrown to the trash in a blink of an eye, what took me to open the e-mail from admissions.

Next, I started to prepare Kellogg’s interview. Kellogg interviews all its candidates. I though of this as a good opportunity to gain some points, as once again, the average GMAT score in Kellogg was much higher than mine. I wanted to show that I was a great fit for the school and that I knew perfectly well why I wanted an MBA, and what I wanted to do with it. My plan worked, as I was placed in the waitlist for several months. I sent several professional updates and did everything I could, but it didn’t work. Dinged at Kellogg.

I applied to UCLA Anderson with not so much confidence, as they also have really high average GMAT scores. Time passed and I did not receive an invitation to interview. But on the decision day, when I was hoping to get another ding, I was placed on the waitlist and received an interview invitation. I did it via Skype and sent several professional updates. I was in the waitlist up to the summer. By that time I had no time to start the visa process and I decided to take a different path in my life, asking to be removed from the waitlist.

I also applied to Fuqua, twice! The first time was in January 2012 in Round 2. I was invited to interview I was really confident that I would be accepted. I had a positive interview, I fit in the school and my GMAT score was withing the range. But I was also waitlisted. I sent several professional updates, an additional letter of recommendation (the other schools did not allow this), but no luck. I was also dinged.

By that time, I had already started preparing myself for a possible rejection from all business schools. I knew that if I wanted to get in during my second attempt to any of these schools, I would have to present much more, something new. This could either be a higher GMAT score, a promotion at work or a new job.

Sincerely, I thought I would not be able to get a much higher score in the GMAT. I hated the test (I still do 🙂 ) and I did not felt like preparing it once again. Negative feelings that would not help me overcome the test. I needed time away from it. Furthermore, what I needed so that to get a higher score was to really improve my English, as I found this to be an obstacle in most of my tests.

Back then in my job, I would not be able to get another promotion. I had gained much more responsibilities, but I thought that that would not be enough. It was more of the same. I needed something different, something that would make me stand above the rest of the candidates. There are too many consultants applying to business school, I needed to differentiate myself as much as possible from them.

So I decided to switch jobs! I wanted to improve my English, and I wanted to get international experience, so I focused on getting a job outside Spain. I found a position as a Project Manager in a software company in Austria, where the employees work in English, perfect for me! I would be able to keep growing as a professional, having to deal with employees of different cultures and learning a new role. I would even learn another language, German!

It was settled: I would move to Austria to improve my English, to acquire new professional skills, and to learn a new language. I started working in my current company in September, the same month as Fuqua’s Early Action deadline. I decided to apply just to Fuqua, my top choice. In case I would be rejected, I would had stayed in Austria one more year, focusing in becoming fluent in German, and apply to different business schools for the class of 2016. I knew that by applying in this round I would deliver a clear message to the school: I am determined to go to Fuqua! However, I would not be able to show a lot of progress since the last time I applied (4 months before), so I tried to show them how I would benefit from the experience, both personal and professionally, and how would the school benefit from this.

It all happened too fast. I wrote the new essays over the summer, and focused on improving my CV. I was impressed to see the differences between my old and new CV. I was invited to interview less than a month after submitting my application. I had an Skype interview with a second year admission fellow, and on October 30th I was admitted to Fuqua!

All the hard work finally got paid off. Now I find myself reading through tons of documentation about loans, visa paperwork, information about living in Durham, contacting people from Fuqua to learn more detailed stuff. I am already considering what I want to get from my MBA: where would I like to work (in what company and in which location), what clubs will I join and what activities would I like to get involved once the MBA starts.

What are my goals for the next year? I want to learn as much German as possible, I am considering retaking the GMAT before starting the MBA (in case I want to do consulting, I should try to improve this score), I will move to Durham to start the MBA and I want to get involve in several clubs, taking an active position in at least two. Right now I am considering recruiting for High-Tech and Consulting, being my main priority to work in the USA.

As always, I will share my story with all of you.

See ya around!

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