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Journey to my MBA

Friday, July 16, 2004

Story of tenacity

   In light of my GMAT coming up and the test I took yesterday, I've been doing a lot of soul searching and remembering about what makes me who I am.  During this time, I thought it might be good to write down one of my experiences that I fall back on to encourage me regarding tenacity, follow-through and hope was when  I got accepted to college.  I still remember it so vividly.  Unlike many who applied and got accepted, I had a series of issues to overcome.  The college I graduated from is now ranked in the top 40 or 50 in the nation now so it a pretty decent school.
 
  I applied like everyone else and waited.  My classmates got their acceptances in June and July By August, they were filling out housing forms and dealing with financial aid.  Me, I got a couple of rejections, but nothing from the one school I really wanted to get into.  No letter.. Nothing.  I called several times and was given the run around.  Honestly, I think it was because of the lack of efficiency that we have today where everything is on computer.
 
  So I decided to find out what was going on.  Without an appointment, I drove the three hours to the school one morning in August to find out what was going on.  The administrators had all gone home by 2pm.  So by the time I could talk to particular people, they couldn't give me any more answers because the key application people had gone home. 
 
  So I went home and came back two days later.  This time, I had a little more information from my visit two days before.  Now understand, I was polite and always asked who could I talk to about particular issues.  This time, I talked with one of the admissions staff and they looked over my file with me and really didn't have anything to say to me other than, "your file is still under review."  But, "School starts in a little over a month.  How could my file still be under review?" was my reply.  They said to check back in a few days.
 
  Went home again.
 
Came back 3 days later without an appointment.  I asked for the same person, but they were on vacation.  So I asked to talk to someone else.  This time pleading that someone help me get some progression on my application.  So I got to talk to the director of admissions.  Luckily she wasn't on vacation too.  So we talked and went over my application.  I essentially did an on the spot interview with her.  She said that she didn't really see any reasons why my application was in a "black hole" status.  She asked me to wait outside.  For two hours, I waited on a bench in the lobby and quietly waited.  I read every pamphlet and brochure in that lobby 4 or 5 times.  Practically memorized the map of the school as well.
  
   She called me in and said that she would put my application on the acceptance pile.  We talked some more and she apologized profusely about my application.  She was actually unhappy with some of her staff regarding my application.  She then told me that my application had been on the rejection pile and didn't get recorded.  When I asked her what happened, she replied that after having met me and talked with me, she could not find any reason why I wouldn't be a good student for the school.  There was no conclusiveness as to whether my application was put on the rejection pile by accident or on purpose. 
 
   I reflect back on that time and remember my tenacity and people skills to know that many things can be overcome if you don't give up.  She gave me the financial aid and housing packets on the spot.  I sat in her office while she wrote up a letter for me to take back to my parents.
  
  Some lessons from that experience
1) Show up
2) Be polite with school staff, especially when your trying to get something you want.
3) Ask if it would be possible to talk to the right people.  If they aren't available, then ask when they'll be available and show up.
4) Knowing how to come across candid, honest, likeable and determined in one meeting is incredibly important at an interview.
 
I hope this story was encouraging for you to read.  It's a very personal and foundational illustration of who I am and what I'll do to make things happen.


1 Comments:

Blogger Durba said...

Thanks Dave! That was indeed a very inspiring post. Just shows that it pays to pursue something that you really want.

11:13 AM  

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