Life. The journey we are all on. Different paths leading each of us on varied experiences. We rise, we fall and hope to share our story to the benefit of someone else.
Mine is a story of persistence. Persistence in hoping and trusting in God, believing I could achieve what others thought impossible. The first was believing I could get into a top global business school without the ideal GMAT score. I sat that 2011 Saturday in Church with the MBA dream still in its infancy and I heard a voice – ‘you will go for your MBA, free of charge’. Yes I did hear a voice. And so the journey began. I started preparing for the GMAT. My scores were never close to the target. But I decided to apply nonetheless – HBS, INSEAD, Columbia and Wharton received my applications in early 2014. The first three declined but Wharton progressed to interview which didn’t go anywhere. Deep sadness and disappointment overwhelmed me but I kept going.
Retaking the GMAT twice that year and my score never surpassing the initial score, I applied again to Wharton, Chicago Booth and London Business School (LBS) in early 2015. Only LBS proceeded to interview, which put me on the waitlist – meaning we like you but not enough to admit you, just yet. I kept visiting the admissions team in London and probably retook the GMAT twice but still my score never exceeded the first one. Early 2016, after waiting for a year, LBS took me off the waitlist saying my application was no longer under consideration. Oh the disappointment! But as God says, His strength is made perfect in our weakness. I also had a small circle of friends and mentors who supported me on this journey and remain grateful to them.
One thought kept me going through it all – what if God wants all the glory from this to go to Him? Meaning I will not get in because of my GMAT…hmm. Anyways, fast track to early June 2016, by which time the admissions team would typically have been wrapping up the class list for that year, I received an email that the admissions team had reversed their decision and granted me an admission! Yes, with that same GMAT score from many years ago, I secured an MBA admission into a top 5 global business school. And yes, God worked a miracle in getting the admissions team of a top b-school to change their mind about this African man. Between when the adcom said no earlier in the year and finally reversing its decision, I not only continued praying, but maintained contact with them (updating them with strong reasons to reconsider), not in the least helped by some African alumni who helped plead my case.
But as you may have guessed – that’s not where the story ends. Two weeks later, just a day before the Brexit vote and just over a month to classes resuming, the school granted me a 100% tuition scholarship! NB: I didn’t apply for it as this decision was reached independently by the adcom having considered all African candidates that were granted admission. All this was happening just as the currency in my home country was depreciating rapidly. OH – THE – JOY! Remember what the voice in Church in 2011 said… ‘you will go for your MBA, free of charge’. It took another 5 years to see the manifestation but it happened. You’re probably saying tuition is just part of the cost but indeed it ended up being “free” and I’ll maybe tell that story some other time.
So yes, I got that MBA admission but this site is more about what I learnt during the waiting process to find my next role after I graduated. Langford is where I lived and the site photo is where I sat writing all these posts. It is not written as a script for another to follow but a narrative of my experience that may as well inspire you somewhat. During that time, which lasted a year, my life changed. I got significantly closer to God. While I had been studying my Bible almost everyday during the MBA and even before, I had never studied it with the passion and insight that I did during this waiting period. I got significantly more active in Church, up-skilled myself in multiple areas, had time to help people with other things, gained deeper insights on multiple Bible topics including how to go through a wilderness experience with God, had more time for things on the family front, made excellent investments that delivered tremendous returns, learnt how to cook 🙂 etc. But all of this happened in a place of waiting and trusting in God.
Many times on my knees praying, many hours studying the word and praising God, fasting, trusting. Basically, nothing could have wrought the transformation in my life like the experience I had. I had such a strong desire for a particular industry, that tunnel visioned, I focused exclusively on this. So I didn’t stay idle as I prayed but hit the pavement hard everyday. In retrospect what I see now is that God placed me in a hedge to allow Him prune my life and make me a better soldier for His kingdom on this earth. He opened the way for the MBA and only Him could open the way for the next path I was to take. While I may not today understand the full picture, I know one thing for sure – He causes all things to work together for my good.
I learnt persistence; how to deal with disappointments; how to use Bible principles as a guide to navigate this life; how to build the walls of my mind; how to pray; how to deal with temptations; insights into Bible prophecy; the importance of our diet; marriage and the meaning of being equally yoked or not; how will I measure my life; made commitments to God about my future; keeping the Sabbath (Friday – Saturday, sunset to sunset) became such a delight; quit clubbing, listening to worldly music and binging on series/movies etc. I also gained a better perspective of the essence of this life and after, my family, friendships before and during this phase etc. These and many more I write and hope to write about in this blog.
I thought long and hard before sharing this. Now that I have, please subscribe/follow above, go through the posts and share with your friends. I hope you find something to inspire you. God bless! 😇