Watching the deadlines


The deadlines are here! They are less than 10 days away now!

Harvard: January 6, 2014
Wharton: January 7, 2014
Stanford: January 8, 2014


I thought it was going to be an easy ride after getting the transcript and submitting the INSEAD applications at the nick of time. It was not been so. Now, I need to manage people. I have to keep nudging my recommenders. Luckily, I have one who is always on point; in fact, he has often been ahead of me on a few occasions. I guess that is what business school is all about. You get to fight deadlines every now and then. You have to keep pushing people to do what they have delegated them to do, including your bosses.

There are so many variables that come up for consideration.

Okay! Now putting pen on paper, rather putting fingers to keyboard has given me an idea of what to do to push for this.

So, I am too busy to complete my rambling. I will be back.


Revisiting Wharton


I told my boss about my decision to apply to Chicago Booth instead of Wharton. His first reaction was “What’s Booth?”. He was aghast. “Well, if that’s what you want, then no problem. I will gladly do your recommendation”. This was coming from someone who has an MBA from Oxford. Someone who should know what works and what doesn’t work in Africa.

This was interesting. I decided to do a little research about what Africans, Nigerians especially, what they think about Booth. To my horror over 50% of them have never heard of Booth before, but they have all heard about Wharton. Now, my intention is to get an MBA from a school whose name would kick doors open, not merely knock on them. I was shocked back into reality that Booth would knock doors timidly in Africa.

Then I went back to Booth’s website and took a stroll around the place. Then I got another shocker. Booth is also looking for someone who would fit with the town called Chicago.

You say what??

I have no idea in the US where Chicago is located. I am an African boy. My roots are in Africa. And that is where I am going to develop with my MBA.

I’m sorry Booth. Africa just doesn’t know who you are. Poets and Quants got me fooled for a minute.

Getting the Transcript


The easiest part of applying to business school, apart from typing your name in the application form is getting your transcript, right? No! Not in most parts of Africa. It is probably the toughest in most parts of Africa. It was the non-availability of my Transcript before the deadlines for Round 1 that I shifted all my applications to Round 2. It took months; we are talking of close to nine months here, before I could finally lay my hand on the transcript. I felt like someone who just struck gold when I finally got my hands on it.

What is the story?

Well, the story is that in my undergrad school, everything is still in paper forms kept in files. The school is about 8 hours drive from my current location, and I just did not have the time to go and get the Transcript myself. I sent my sister twice and my brother-in-law twice to get it for me. I finally got on track a few weeks to the INSEAD deadlines when my brother-in-law finally got my results from the faculty to the Transcript Office, and forwarded a copy to me by DHL. Oh well, the results were handwritten. How would I upload a hand written result in place of a Transcript? I got the phone number of the Transcript Officer, but he was as rude as they get. He told me that the policies of the school does not allow me to lay my hands on the Transcript. Oh blimey! So what do I upload? It got up to a point the transcript officer refused to pick my calls.

Long story short, I had to get off my haunches and find my way to the school. I took three days off, got in a cramped bus and went off to my alma mater. This was just four days to INSEAD Round 2 deadline. I was determined to do whatever it takes to get that damned Transcript out. On getting there, the story changed. One of my results was missing. Well, the file where it was kept was gone. I had to put on my perseverance cap. I went knocking on the doors of my former lecturers, people I had not seen or spoken to in over a decade. I finally got the result after knocking on doors and collecting numbers and e-mail addresses for about six hours.

I got the transcript that day and got on another bus back home the following day. It took me over a week to recover from the stress of the journey.

I submitted the INSEAD application, and I discovered the following day that my birth date on the transcript was wrong.