My sister knew I had been accepted to Heller before I did. It was Friday, April 1st (what a horrible April Fool’s Day joke this could have been), exactly one month after I had pressed submit on my first grad school application (they really meant 4-6 weeks!). After ending a long week at work, I was chatting with my sister about what she wanted to do for the evening when I decided to go through my email and delete the many promotional emails I had received that day (a daily occurrence). In the midst of talking, scrolling, and deleting, I saw an email from “The Heller School”. Now as a prospective student and applicant, I received MANY emails from the Heller School so initially I didn’t think much of it, but after seeing “Application Update” on the subject line, I got quiet and my heart started racing.
In the months leading up to Friday, April 1st, there were many days filled with questions, uncertainty, a few tears (okay, a lot of tears), and all around dread through the admissions process. As a person that didn’t come from a business background and wasn’t really sure what I wanted to be when I grew up, I encountered many moments of imposter syndrome, self doubt, and discouragement from administrators in other MBA programs. However, Heller was the one school that was different. When I expressed my inexperience and slight disdain for traditional business programs, Heller students encouraged me. When I expressed uncertainty due to my age and limited work experience, Heller students reassured me. And when I expressed my desire to find a program that would equip me with the necessary skills to change current systems, not further enable them, professors, administrators, and students all let me know Heller was exactly where I needed to be.
My sister, noticing my silence and change in facial expression, asked what was wrong. I told her I got an email about my application. I ran down the hall to grab my laptop and after returning, we sat down on the couch together very slowly, both of us freaking out. I said a quick prayer while logging in and paused for just a moment before clicking on my status update. When I did click and the page switched over, my brain stopped working. I was looking at the screen and my eyes were racing around the page, but I could not make out any words. It was like I literally forgot how to read! So how did I know I was accepted? My sister screamed and if I remember correctly, she may have punched me.
After a few minutes, my brain rebooted itself and I was finally able to read for myself that I had been accepted as a Social Impact MBA candidate at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. In addition to excitement and relief, I felt peace. I knew without a doubt that the journey that led me to that moment was worth it all and it was just the beginning.
Now, it was time to find a place to live in one of the biggest cities in the US, in a crazy market, in a pandemic, but that’s another story 4for another time…!