Wednesday, January 19, 2011

15 Schools to 2 Apps - How I chose my target schools..!!

When I started a year back, like everyone I wanted to apply to Harvard/Stanford/Wharton and almost the top 15 schools. Anyone who has applied to B-Schools will know that its stupid to apply to more than 3-4 schools. Simply because you cant do justice to all the applications.

And more importantly there is no one in this world who could culturally be a good fit to so many schools...!!

I am not saying whether one could get an admit to 15 schools, I am just saying that individuals are what they are... INDIVIDUALS..!! You cant follow a one-size fits all approach.

You need to carefully understand the following:

  1. Which PROGRAM and not the SCHOOL will get you to your END (which I spoke about in my prev post)
  2. Ask, what the Program can do for you and not the other way round
  3. If you are in a state that you would accept any school provided its in Top 10/ IVY LEAGUE etc. etc. then you need to think again.
  4. Lastly, dont be in a situation where the school will chose you, be in a situation where you will chose the school.

I am glad that I realised this before I decided to apply.

At 31, I figured out that H/S/W and the other traditional 2 yr programs were not for me. I did not think that I was not for them. Reason being, my takeaway in a class of people with 3-4 yrs experience will be extremely limited. I needed a class from which I could learn more. So I looked hard for a program which would have more experienced classmates but I kept bumping into the Exec MBA courses at several colleges.

I never wanted to do a part time program. It is just not worth it. It may even take you faraway from your END. Then I found the Sloan Fellows program at MIT, Stanford and LBS. --- Bingo..!!!

Just what I wanted and I applied to MIT and Stanford.

I finally made it to MIT (my dream program) and will be starting in a few months time. There were lots of reasons for my admit which I will discuss in future posts.

I also decided not to apply to ISB, IIMs, Oxford etc which were on my initial list. I will discuss that also later.


  1. Hello VA,

    Congrats on your admission! Wow you heard back since early January, you are quite lucky.

    I also applied to the MIT Sloan fellows program and have still not heard anything and I am getting nervous.

    Did you attend an interview?, my understanding was that all candidates admitted would be interviewed and I have not even received that yet, I am really feeling like I will get a ding



  2. Thanks TO for your comment.

    I think its best to connect with the admissions office to know the status of your application.

    Don't overrule your chances as applicants from some countries may get responses a litte later.

    Let me know once you hear from them.

    Best of luck.

  3. Hi did you get into the Stanford Sloan Program? What made you choose the MIT program over Stanford's? Thank you for this wonderful information!
    - 38 yr old Exec director of an NPO, Ph.D. from large public West Coast School in the humanities. I'm also looking into the Sloan Programs at Stanford and MIT, the Stanford one seems to be a better fit for me.

  4. Hi Anonymous,

    I was admitted to MIT first. Got to know during end of Dec'10. When I informed Stanford about my MIT admit, they told me that they can't offer me a position. Same happened with another candidate from MIT.

    It didn't bother me frankly because MIT was always my first choice.

    I have put up some more info comparing the programs in my latest post.

    Good luck.