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Thursday, December 09, 2004

Stanford Interview 

Had the interview this morning, although discussion would probably be a better way to describe it. As with the Wharton one, I think it went well but it's difficult to know without being able to read the other person's mind, and without knowing how the interview report will sit with the other comments in the application file.

My interviewer graduated in the mid-70's and now lives in a neighbouring town. As he doesn't have a local office we met in the offices of a company he uses in my city. We started out by discussing my education immediately pre-university because I went somewhere fairly unusual that his eldest son is considering. Then we moved onto university and my career since, with the emphasis very much on why I'd made decsions, what I'd learnt, challenges etc. we talked about why an MBA and why now, rather than four or five years ago. We talked about why Stanford, although we only got through some of my reasons as once I started to talk about its leadership offerings he explored leadership in more depth. He was keen to explore why I'm particulalrly interested in the nfp sector. Specific questions covered any regrets about things I'd done or decisons I'd made, what I was most proud of, an ethical challenge I'd faced and who I considered to be a hero. For the ethics question I used an example that I'd worked up into an application essay but ended up not using, so it was nice to get some benefit from it.

Overall it was very relaxed and friendly. I didn't feel probed or grilled, but did feel he'd made a good exploration of me and what I'm aiming for. Talking to him about his experiences post MBA and Stanford, I was impressed by his tempered answers. He talked about what an MBA wouldn't do as well as waht it would/could, and about Stanford's problems as he saw them, as well as what was great about it. Early on in the interview his phone went off, for which he was most apologetic. He said that he was a JP, and theat if someone else's phone had gone off in his court he'd be on them like a tonne of bricks. I'd been carfeul to turn mine off in advance - it plays the theme tune from the Muppets very loudly, so would not have made a good interuption!

So I'm now generally feeling quite positive. I've done what I can and it's back over to the Stanford admissions people. If they like me, great. If they don't, hopefully someone else will. Stanford is the last decision I'll get, unless Wharton or Kellogg waitlist me, so by the time I hear I'll either be comfortable in the knowledge that I'm going somewhere or clutching at my final straw.

Now, off to remind myself why I want to go to Kellogg!

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