I received acceptance letters from Cass Business School (now Bayes) and Imperial Business School by early April. It wasn’t necessarily easy to gain the minimum GMAT score, write an essay, and say the right things in the interview, but it wasn’t a noteworthy struggle, either. I remembered meeting a consultant of an MBA prep school in Tokyo a couple of years before. He looked at me like he was wasting time, told me that getting into business school was very difficult, and gave me no other helpful advice.
It didn’t matter which school, but I chose Imperial over Cass. Imperial Business School was a part of Imperial College London, known for its science, technology, and medicine departments. It offered an entrepreneurial program in collaboration with its research & development center and a neighboring school, the Royal College of Arts.
I wasn’t interested in entrepreneurship, nor was I sure what I wanted to do after the MBA. But the application essay required a clear objective of obtaining the degree. What I knew were:
- I was sure I wanted to be as far from my former employer as possible.
- I liked reading sales & financial figures to draw stories about the company and its business performance.
- I thought I was a good communicator.
So I submitted “an equity research analyst” as my career goal for post-MBA.
My gut clenched at the thought of it. I hardly believed it was achievable. I failed the Security Theory class at uni, almost failed the accounting class, and barely passed the bookkeeping certificate. I expressed my doubts to Stuart, and he said, “that’s why you are going to school.” I appreciated his encouragement and optimistic view of the world. But I was also intimidated by the MBA attitude of “you must know EXACTLY what you want to do, what your skills are, and who you want to become.” I concluded the vagueness of my aspiration was the lack of confidence, which was a deadly mental and physical condition for MBAs. So I repeated to myself, “I shall become an equity research analyst. And I will have the skills and knowledge once I obtain the degree!”