While reading the various blogs from other MBA applicants I realized my timing was not the typical one, i.e. for many the MBA decision and process is a long one (of almost two years for many of them). In my case, the final decision to do it took a month, the school selection process another two months and then came the application process of about three months. During the school selection process I took the TOEFL and started studying for the GRE.
As I started my application for my top option, and looked into the documents for my other options, I decided to go “ALL-IN”, i.e. I just applied to my top choice, HEC Paris. During the three months I carefully answered all the essay questions (taking time at night to review and strengthen my responses), talked to my references, informed and sought support from my extended family, and started to plan the path for the pre-selection process.
The whole last weekend before submittal I reviewed all the essays responses, documents, references, etc. I barely ate as I wanted to make sure all the previous work was in order before sending the send button. Also, my personal last option to send the application was June, as it would give me enough time to prepare for the interviews and secure funding by the required deadlines. I have to admit that the decision and the process was not easy while working on average 55 hr/week with frequent travel between Temuco and Santiago, a baby and a stay-at-home mother pursuing her fashion design goals.
I got pre-selected: It was a nice feeling which meant more preparation, the interviews. For interviews I got two alumni from Chile and Colombia, both had finished the program maybe 3-4 years ago, both followed the same procedure: a) introduction, b) presentation, c) questions about my application and d) general questions from my part. They were very pleasant to talk with and helpful with the feedback. For my presentation I decided to talk about a previous trip to Japan, as a JICA trainee, which was based on their program on cities, I titled the presentations Futures Cities Japan: A Culture with Vision of Resilience.
The final answer came by email at the end of July, indicating I did very well on my application and that I passed both interviews.
Shortly after I was awarded an excellence scholarship and informed Prodigy Finance started to offer loans to HEC MBA students. This was crucial for our final YES to go onboard with the program.