A lot has happened since last blog entry. Last week I went to Evaston for the Kellogg Preview Weekend for minority students, during which I had my first interview. Then this week, I had my Wharton Interview with a local alumni, marking the mid-point of my application season. Although now sitting in front of my computer, I don't feel relaxed because I still yet have 3 more applications to prepare. However, I do feel proud of myself for making it this far, without totally losing my mind. If I have advice for future MBA applicants, it would be to get organized and mentally prepared for a LONNNG journey, for it's definitely a test of your stamina.
Anyway, time to reflect on my trip to Kellogg and my interview. My Kellogg visit, by far, has surpassed my expectation for any school organized event. It was an awesome experience in terms of the caliber of students, professors and the level of organization, even the food! Come on, they served custom made omelette for breakfast and lamb for lunch! My "buddy" who reached out to me before the event specially came over during lunch to answer my questions. I saw way more students during this event than any events that I went to at other schools and everyone was genuinely nice! What impressed me the most, was actually the professors at the event. The legendary Prof. Steven Rogers was truly legendary, so were Prof. Harry Kraemer (former CEO of Baxter) and Prof. Katherine Phillips. It was not just their intellects but their passion for teaching management and educating the next generations of leaders really impressed me. I felt lucky to be able to experience this level of professorship and would see myself fighting over points to take their classes while at Kellogg. During one of the lunches, another group of professors and program directors sat with us and shared with us their Kellogg experience. That I thought, was an extra nice touch. I truly recommend anyone considering Kellogg to attend KPW. Here is a picture of the atrium in the Allen Center where the Marketing Competition TG (Thank God it's Friday) took place. Picture was taken by the end of the event, it was WAY more packed during the whole thing.
Now on to the juicy stuff, the interview. Well, it was much more relaxed than I had imagined. I couldn't remember the last time I interviewed for a job or something else, so I was quite nervous and prepared a lot before the interview. It turns out the interview was very conversational, and the admissions officer who interviewed me was very friendly and nice, so that helped too. The adcom seemed very experienced at interviewing and followed up quite a few points I made throughout the interviews. No surprise questions though, even the most difficult/interesting one I have seen it before on accepted.com's interview report. So do prepare those. It's always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. Just don't memorize your answers.
Comparing to Kellogg interview with the Adcom, my Wharton interview with the alumni in LA was actually quite different. I thought an interview with alumni would be even more conversational. Turned out that my interviewer mainly asked questions from a list of questions and didn't follow up on my answers much. I guess that's how interviewer are trained. Adcom are just simply more experienced at this so they can follow up with your answers to weed out the nonsenses. Because Wharton gave you a list of alumni to choose from, I particularly avoided alumni with pure finance/PE field because my unconventional goal. In the end I interviewed with an alumni in the non-profit world and I am pretty happy with how the interview went.
I will write interview reports for accepted.com and clearadmit wiki once I hear back from these schools (hopefully in December for Kellogg!) since other people's interview reports really helped me prepare for my interview. Just don't want to jinx it at this point :)
Now it's time to start R2~ more essay writing~ yay....