Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Columbia Interview Invite

Okay, so I know I'm supposed to write about my Yale SOM visit and then my HBS visit but there is more important news. Yesterday, at 5:16 pm, I received the long-awaited "status change" email from Columbia. It took me what felt like ten minutes to check my status on the website and what do you know, I finally got an invitation to interview! I am ecstatic. So last night I researched all 9 interviewer names (you don't get anything aside from name and email address) and put together a spreadsheet of their traits and pros and cons. I'm trying to avoid hard-ass types or those who have worked at my current company and thus know what a joke it is or are hardcore finance/real estate types who might grill me on questions that I don't know. I'm being very strategic about this hehe.

There is one interviewer who seems perfect. The problem is that her alumni email address from her undergraduate school is listed (not work email and not even her CBS email!) so I wonder how often she actually checks that. I emailed her last night and hopefully she'll be able to do it soon. I really want to interview asap and then hopefully drop hints for her to submit her feedback asap. Actually, screw the hints. I will just ask her sincerely (in a super nice and casual manner) when she plans to submit her feedback. Once I ask that, she will probably say something like "oh, I'll submit it tonight or this weekend at the latest." The reason I want them to submit quickly is that it can take anywhere from the same day (no chance with my luck) to nearly 2 weeks to get a final decision. Those are valuable days since Wharton's Oct. 9th deadline for Round 1 is fast approaching. But first I have to secure the inteview with her!

6 of the 9 interviewers are finance people who might ask complicated questions and another 2 of the 9 I couldn't find any info on. The last 1 is her, who I really think is ideal for me. Since the interview can be a decently vital part of the application (why risk it? i might as well finish strong), I would rather wait for her schedule to free up than to take a potentially bad interviewer, even if the delay screws me with regards to Wharton's deadline.

I have a bit of a conundrum then. Should I risk interviewing with the 2 people who I couldn't find any info on? (assuming my ideal interviewer is unavailable). If she doesn't respond within, say 48 hours, would it be grossly inappropriate for me to email her on her work email? (this was not provided by Columbia but I was able to find it by researching LinkedIn). That might be able to get her attention but what if she is offended that I disrupted her work? Any advice is appreciated on how I should proceed. It could very well turn out that she is unavailable (unresponsive or maybe on vacation) and will have to go with one of the 2 "no info" interviewers... or even the dreaded hardcore finance guys! :::gulp:::

14 comments:

praz said...

good luck with the interview!

LEONIDAS said...

good going....

best of luck....

Soni said...

You're thinking too hard about this. Get the interview over with ASAP so you can get your decision.

The interviewers have guidelines from Columbia as to the line of questioning. The finance guys aren't going to ask you to do DCF analysis during the interview, it's mostly behavioral.

Congrats by the way :)

OMGparishilton said...

one step closer, you are my hero tieny.

D. G. said...

Well done, dude! There is no one more deserving.

I'm certain you will do well, irrespective of who interviews you.

theincarnated said...

Congratulations..... And keeping in hindsight how important columbia is to you, CONGRATS again........
I m confident that ull bless the blogosphere with the first admit of the season...... way 2 go....

Anonymous said...

don't emal her on her work email! i think it wasn't provided for a reason;she might find it intrusive, or worse, creepy if you email her there...with that said i dont think it matters who you interview with, if its meant to be it will be and if you dont subscribe to that school then at least know that 99% of interviewers will be professional and unbiased, even if they are having a bad day, or dont like your hair, or think you dont know enough about real estate, i bet they are more or less rooting for you - just assume theyll all give you the benefit of the doubt

just my .02

but congrats, i am geniunely happy for you

and keep up the blogging

Samantha said...

congrats!

My undergrad e-mail is forwarded to my main e-mail account and I'm sure hers is too or it wouldn't be listed. good luck!

ahembeea said...

Congrats! So after looking for a 'fit' with the school, you are extending that to a 'fit' with the interviewers!
Don't email her on the work id.If she doesn't respond within 48 hours,don't strategize too much. Just choose one interviewer and get it done with and over soon. Atb!

adekku said...

Congrats!

applicant said...

Congrats and good luck with the interview!

If you don't want advice, stop reading right here.

I'd go for one of the finance types, but definitely not one who knows my current company is a joke (I am in this situation, too). It's a bit scary, but otherwise you may find yourself and the interviewer speaking different languages.

P.S. I have removed that e-mail confirmation thingy...

Clear said...

Congrats on the interview invite!

1) Do not email your first choice on her work email, if this was not the email you were given.

2) Do not ask your interviewer when they will submit their report to the adcom. You might politely inquire as to what the 'next steps' are, but it would be inappropriate to directly ask them for a timeline regarding the report they have to submit.

3) If CBS is really your top choice, I would not rush to set up the interview right away. Give yourself a full week to prepare for it, conduct a few mock interviews, check out online resources for sample interview questions and ensure that you are 100% ready.

4) I know you are hoping to time everything to get a result pre-R1 at Wharton, but if you take a long-term view on this, you'd be better off doing your best to prepare for the CBS interview - even if that means you have to apply to Wharton.

5) If you don't hear back from your first choice interviewer, you have a range of options - but I'd need to know more about your company/experience/goals, etc to really guide you on who to pick.

Best of luck!

-Graham, Clear Admit

missionmba said...

Congrats!
You're one step closer to your true love!!

MAT MBA Colleges said...

Applicants who fall for this pitch might be excused as under-informed and over-enthusiastic.