The insecurities begin


noun, plural neu·ro·ses  [-seez]  Psychiatry.

1. Also called psychoneurosis. a functional disorder in which feelings of anxiety, obsessional thoughts,
compulsive acts, and physical complaints without objective evidence of disease, in various degrees and
patterns, dominate the personality.
2. a relatively mild personality disorder typified by excessive anxiety or indecision and a degree of social
or interpersonal maladjustment.
I suppose I would say that it had to happen eventually, I just didn’t expect it this early. It’s a holiday weekend in the UK, I’m painting the bedroom at home, and I’m gradually working through a cycle of my own list of worries;
  1. A lack of funds. The 6th 0 on total costs of most of the programs I’m looking at now really troubles me
  2. My age. I’m 28 now, so by the time I reach matriculation I’ll be almost 30. This is above average for most schools in the US.
  3. The US is like a distant dream. Its not supposed to be for people like me. I’m supposed to do a boring part-time MBA in the UK and be happy with my lot.
Repeat ad infinitum.
So I found a good article on P&Q, which I’ve started reading recently after being referred by some other useful blogs.( … -an-mba/1/). I found it reassuring and alarming in equal measure.
Alarming because only 2-3% of HBS’s student body is above 30. I’ve told myself that I’m being silly – there is NO WAY that being under 30 can be ‘too old’. I still don’t think it is, but its a hell of lot closer to being the actual case than when I rationalised with myself before any research.
Looking a bit deeper its also reassuring because it seems a major part of this age gap is self-perpetuating by the potential applicants. The schools themselves seem to have a similar acceptance rate for both those above 30 and below – its simply the case that there are far fewer applications once you get above 30 so the number of students simply reflects this.
So in conclusion, If I don’t make it in, it probably wasn’t because of my age.  If I go and I feel too old – its simply my own fault. I should have followed the crowd more. There also seems to be a big difference between schools – HBS for example is a very ‘young’ crowd (and the US generally). Europe is positively geriatric by comparison.
‘The Distance Problem’
I don’t really know how best to explain this, I feel very disconnected from the whole MBA experience at the moment. I like the idea, I can see it looks good on paper. Research makes it sound great. But at the moment, its still something that happens to someone else.
It is surely key at this stage to visit to colleges to get a feel for the atmosphere, connect with adcoms and start building a relationship. The only positive steps I’ve had so far were from the meeting with Rotman which wasn’t exactly reassuring (see my previous post I think I’m going to send some introductory emails this week to see if I can make some contact that doesn’t involve a computer, but keep things slightly to a distance for now.
If you thought I was still sketchy on the distance this is a big worry. The most reassuring I can get is involving having faith and “it’ll be fine”. Surely the state of world capital markets will have improved by next year…? (*cue nervous laughter*)