Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. ~ Proverbs 11:14
I had finished filling the online form for the Columbia MBA, and polished the second draft of the essays when I met a Columbia graduate. It was fortuitous that I did and I had to squeeze out all the information that I could get from him. Graduates from top business schools are scarce commodities in this part of the world. He had coached many Nigerians to a few business schools in the US. I was lucky.
He made me understand that American and European business schools don’t usually like Africans applying in the last application rounds because of visa issues. It was possible to scale through but the chances were slim to none. When I raised my age issue, he objected that my age had very little, if any, to do with the dings I got. He liked my resume but he did not like my essays. That was a shocking revelation. He pointed out a few things, and everything came altogether. My post MBA goals were a stretch, and there was no clear cut plan between my short term goals and long term goals. While they played to the strength of my experience, they were not that convincing enough.
At that point I was grateful to have even been considered for the INSEAD wait list. I have been able to correct this weakness and updated the changes in my circumstances in the last correspondence with INSEAD.
So, to cut long story short, I have come to the end of the application season for American schools. No more Columbia, no more Booth. However, I went on the London Business School website, and it was stated there that getting visa to study at LBS is “a straightforward process”, and it takes about 3 – 4 weeks to fully process. Yes, I know that there is only one round left, Round 4, and it is going to be highly competitive. But I will try.
My new plan is to stay on the INSEAD wait list, and then apply to LBS as a back up. After submitting my LBS application, I will start preparing for one last shot at the GMAT. But if INSEAD calls at anytime between now and the day I chose to re-write the GMAT, for the fourth time, everything application process comes to a halt, and I prepare myself for Fonty or Singy.