Last week I completed what was a very fun and informative interview for The London Business School. I ran down what the process was going to be like in a previous post, and made sure that my preparation level was a right blend of knowing my story without being rehearsed.
I’m glad to say that the interview went very well. I was what I like to call “Grade-A-Me” throughout all of the behavioral questions, and feel really solid that I communicated the spectrum of why MBA, why now, why LBS, and why me in a good deal of depth while simultaneously gaining a good level of rapport with my interview. It didn’t hurt that my interviewer was already intrigued with my application (remember, LBS interviewers read your application beforehand), and I was able to cover more ground on what makes me a good candidate outside of what I was able to put into my essays.
The part of the interview that seems to throw many people is the impromptu presentation. First off, I was lucky to have an interviewer who wanted to save that for after the behavioral questions. I can only imagine coming in from the cold and being asked to present a topic, without being able to at least warm up the vocal cords. I can also see how a “weak” start with the presentation could throw off the rest of your interview. Luckily I didn’t have to deal with this.
Like I said above, I had already built a decent rapport with my interviewer before we delved into the presentation. For example, I could tell that this person enjoyed thought processes and new ideas, so I made sure to sprinkle some into my presentation. I found that the few minutes given to prepare were ample. All they want to see is your thought process; and with just a few minutes to prep there honestly wasn’t time for much else. I did come up with some winning ideas for my case, and I could tell those impressed.
All in all, the interview lasted about 2 hours. Of course in hind sight I see missed opportunities to have mentioned one thing or another, but overall I feel particularly strong about this interview. Now it’s on to the waiting game… maybe.
I originally thought that I would take the time between this most recent interview and Thanksgiving to clear my mind of anything MBA related and just, you know, be. A couple of days of that and I realized that wasn’t going to cut it for me. Like any sane person who applied to tip top schools in Round 1, I’m prepping myself mentally for the worst case scenario. The LBS invite is indeed a strong sign; my application was interesting enough for the top international business school in the world to want to interview me. In the same token, Kellogg and LBS are highly selective programs where even the most qualified can be spurned. And that is why I’ve decided to just roll on into the next process and put my best foot forward, even if I never have to click submit.
And, truth be told, this new frontier is exciting me! Through The Consortium I have access to an incredible member list of schools. Interestingly enough, after I made my GMAT score available for schools to search through GMAC along with my demographic info, I’ve had wave after wave of emails and mailings show up in my various inboxes. Some of these solicitors are Consortium schools, which does my heart some good.
Through the Consortium, you can apply to up to six of their member schools in one application. I think my six that I’m prepping for are:
- Cornell University, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
- Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business
- New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kenan-Flagler Business School
- University of Virginia, Darden School of Business
- Yale University, Yale School of Management
The shared application means that I don’t have to fill out the same things numerous times, however I still have to write essays for each school. Now before you say that I’m crazy for thinking I can get this done by January, I broke ground on a bunch of these essays way back in the summer (Consortium essay topics released relatively early in the season). I’m definitely not starting from scratch.
There remains the possibility that I’ll get some good news in December and that all of my additional writing will go to waste. I can live with that. It beats the alternative of counting down the days.