Any serious MBA applicant must ask this question before he or she can ever dream of putting pen to paper to write the essays that accompany the application into most MBA programs. I have asked this same question all my life and the time has come for me to put all of what makes me me together into that dreaded journey that is called MBA application.
First let’s get off with some introductions since this is my first ever post about my MBA journey. I fall into several buckets, and I hope I won’t give the admission committees a hard time where to put me. I don’t even know where to place myself, and this is why I have made up my mind to go for an MBA program. I am an African, a medical doctor, a CFA charter holder, and an investment manager. And for the records, I also happen to an older applicant.
There you go. There are so many pieces of me and the reason I have chosen to go for an MBA is to put all the pieces together into one place in order to make a sense out of it. A meal can be delicious when many ingredients are used, in the right proportions; in the same vein, the meal can turn into a disaster if some ingredients are too pronounced while others are relegated. Think of a cup of coffee with 20 cubes of sugar. I see the MBA program as a kitchen where all the ingredients will be mixed in the right proportions until a perfect meal is cooked. My African heritage, medical degree, and CFA charter need to be mixed in the right proportions so that I can become what I was made to be.
The journey started this time last year, when I began to ponder how to get to the next stage of my life. It dawned on me that there are some skills I need to get to the next level and these skills can only learned in one of two ways. Stay at my current job and learn the hard way for a long time or get an MBA and move on to the next phase. I chose the latter. After a little research, I made up my mind to go to INSEAD because it had practically everything that I needed right from the one year accelerated MBA program, to the fact that they accept older candidates and to the fact that they also have an international focus, which I needed to boost my career.
Then I told my then friend, who now happens to also be my boss about my MBA dreams. His first reaction was that I was about to sell myself short. He forced me to break out of the box where I had placed myself and dig deeper. He told me to set my target a little bit higher and take a closer look to US schools. Well, where I come from Harvard Business School is the thing and I knew he was talking about that. Fortuitously, I now met a few other people within the same period who had the same views about me. That is what has brought me to where I am today.
The next natural step was to take the GMAT. After three tries, I broke into the 700+ score category. Now my focus is to complete all my applications in the Second Round of applications for business schools.