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.