Howard Dierking

On Disappointment

I’ve been completely unfocused this week waiting to hear the outcome of a meeting that I knew was planned for Tuesday. The meeting was of the admissions committee for MIT’s Sloan School of Management. In the fall, I began work on applying to the executive MBA program - and this process took me through writing 4 essays, securing 3 letters of recommendation, and even dusting off (translation: rewriting) my resume. In January, I advanced to the in-person interview stage of the process - it looked like this thing could really happen. However, everything came down to Tuesday’s meeting and I had not heard the outcome until this morning.

It was not the outcome I was hoping for.

Dear Howard:

The Selection Committee of the MIT Executive MBA Program has considered your application, and we regret that we cannot offer you a place in the Class of 2019. The number of extremely well-qualified applicants this year has made the selection process especially difficult.

Unfortunately, because of the high volume of applications we receive and our limited staff, we cannot conduct post-evaluation interviews with candidates not admitted.

We thank you for your interest in the MIT Executive MBA and offer you our best wishes for success in your future endeavors.

I’m sharing this with you for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it provides me an opportunity to work through my reactions, thoughts and emotions. My most natural way of processing things is verbally - and my most natural way of organizing things is by writing - so processing through this rejection in writing makes sense. Secondly though, in this world where it seems like everyone is awesome at everything (because we have become conditioned to portraying ourselves that way), I want to provide visibility into my failures as well as my successes (and my other random thoughts). This latter reason is not completely altruistic as I’ll get to in a moment.

So, here are my thoughts at the moment, in no particular order.

Nobody likes this guy

So to summarize: