After four years in the same post-college job, I knew going into Year 5 that it was time for a change. I had mastered the skills of the trade, but was looking for a challenge. I was at a crossroads in my career and the time for a major decision was nigh, but I wasn’t sure if I could market myself as a great business school candidate to the top programs.
What? You’ve heard this tale before? Replaying in your head over and over again? I thought so.
When I made the choice to leave my job, I didn’t just want to go to business school, I wanted to go to Kellogg. My reasoning for the choice was a combination of many objective factors – geography, reputation, curriculum, purpleness – but really, I just had a feeling. Despite much advice from online guides, prep books and friends advocating a more impersonal, professional approach to the application process, I stated my passion for and dedication to Kellogg every chance I got.
When I felt I couldn’t articulate my love for Kellogg in one component of the application, I included a link to a YouTube clip of me singing (another passion of mine), which said more than words ever could. I explicitly told my interviewer what I stated above: “I don’t want to go to business school, I want to go to Kellogg.” Thankfully, in my case, those risks paid off. That is not to say, however, that I put all my eggs in one basket. The application process is rough and unpredictable, so you can never underestimate the importance of back-up options. However, do not be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve; it may be just what the doctor ordered.