The waiting IS the hardest part...
I lucked out and was invited to interview at Yale SOM. In a whirlwind trip, I flew out to Hartford last Tuesday, interviewed Wednesday morning, and got back to work in LA on Thursday. It was a great experience.
Unlike a lot of schools, Yale has a very specific format for their interviews, which take almost exactly 30 minutes and follow a standard script:
- How ya doin? (chit chat)
- Why did you pick your undergrad school? Why that major?
- Walk me through your resume
- Why an MBA?
- Why Yale?
- Any questions?
Like most, my interview was conducted by a second-year student, who (typically) was in it to gain experience conducting interviews. This is important for a couple of reasons. First, the tone of the interview is very relaxed. Where other schools grill you, Yale has a much more conversational, "let me get to know you" feel. Second, you may be able to alter the tone of your responses to communicate your message more effectively. Imagine yourself as a second-year student, interviewing would-be classmates between your own classes. How would you want to spend that half hour?
My interview went very smoothly, owing in large part to my friends at Veritas Prep who went out of their way to help me prepare. I thought through my answers to about 30 questions that are commonly asked in the interviews. I also spent over an hour mock-interviewing (which was much more challenging than the actual interview). The feedback I got from these sessions was invaluable.
After my interview, I explored Yale a little bit. The main campus is absolutely gorgeous - you feel smarter just walking around. The SOM campus is comparatively droll. That really doesn't bother me though - I'm going back to school to learn, and architecture's influence on that is marginal at best. The SOM plans to open a brand-new, ultra-modern campus a few of years after I plan to graduate. Couple a new campus to the now-5-year-old "new curriculum" (which, to my mind, blows every other program out of the water), and an MBA from Yale is a great stock to hold.
And now, a week later, I wait. I check my iPhone for news from the school literally as I hit the snooze button. I check email at least 10 times an hour, and each new message brings that sinking feeling that "this could be the one". Will I get in? Will 4 years of preparation all be for naught? Will I live in Sunny California or Frigid New Haven next Fall? Only time will tell.
For now, I wait.