alittlek’s space

GMATs, essays, transcripts…oh my!
March 30, 2009, 3:43 am
Filed under: Grad School, Life

Exactly three months ago I took my first step toward going back to graduate school. I’ve played with the idea of getting my MBA  multiple times over the past five years, but for several reasons (including studying for – and taking – the GMAT) I’ve pushed off the commitment. Until now. With unemployment looming and “the economy” stalling, I determined this was my best Plan B.

Knowing myself, I needed structure. I couldn’t just buy a book or two (trust me, I already tried) and study with enough diligence and vigor to do well on the exam. I did some research online and decided to purchase Manhattan GMAT’s guided self-study plus. It was great! I highly recommend it! I crammed the program into eight weeks in order to take my exam on February 24th. The week before the exam I was soooo nervous. I felt like I was back in middle school, 7th grade track, before a race. Butterflies in your stomach, and your head hurts from thinking about it. The day of I got up early and headed out to Beaverton, to the testing center.  8am was the scheduled start time. But my luck would have it, on the day of the exam the people that RUN the testing center got locked out of their OWN workplace! About 20 of us waited about 45 minutes for someone to come with the right key. How bizarre! What’s also bizarre is the whole ‘testing’ process. You sign in by handing over proper identification, a copy of your online registration, you get your picture taken, and they take your fingerprint! In fact, each time you move from the room (during breaks) they take your fingerprint. They check your wrists for watches and bracelets (not allowed). You can’t even bring in chapstick! Finally, each desk has its own camera recording you during the whole thing…

The essays went well….no annoying political or economic questions. The math section was trying, but I got through it (and in fact got a great score on the math!) and I paced myself well on the verbal and mistakenly thought it also went well (subjectively, I bombed the verbal and factually, it hurt my score). All in all, I got a respectable score that any university would be happy with, plus a perfect on my essays. I just don’t know if it’s good enough for a scholarship/assistantship… But one could only hope!

Ultimately, I’m relieved the GMAT is over (but a little wistful for that better score). And meanwhile I’ve been requesting transcripts, writing essays about how great I am (well, it IS a college entrance essay, no?) and why I’m the ‘PERFECT!’ MBA candidate. And last but not least – having two wonderful friends submit recommendations on my behalf. A shout out to Lar and Evette. Thank you so much for your support!!

What’s next? An invitation to interview.