Why I Coach—Eric Hilton

Eric H., an expert Leland coach, Wharton MBA, and Venture Investor, outlines why he chooses to coach and what it means to him.

Eric H.

By Eric H.

Posted August 22, 2022

It was near the end of my junior year at BYU when I first decided that I wanted to apply to business school. I was an Exercise Science major with a mid-college crisis, realizing that I wanted to pursue a career in business rather than working to become a doctor. After wrestling with my decision to either change my degree and delay graduation or push ahead with my current major, I took the advice offered by both my dad and college counselor and decided to stay the course. I added on a business minor to learn the basics and decided that after a few years of experience, getting an MBA would be the key to rounding out my knowledge of business fundamentals and setting me up for professional success.

After working two years in management consulting with L.E.K. Consulting, I took a job at Sorenson (a multi-stage investing firm) and decided to apply to business school after my first year. I identified a few programs that I was excited about and worked hard for months to prepare my applications for those schools. However, when the decision deadlines came, I was dismayed to find out that I had been rejected by each of those schools without even an opportunity to interview.

Although I was discouraged after that first attempt, I decided to reapply the following year. I was introduced to an admissions coach who helped me review my previous attempt, reflect on what worked and what didn't, and share a more authentic perspective in my essays. With her help (and the help of many friends and mentors who made time to help), I reapplied to the same programs. When the decision deadlines arrived that second time, I was declined again by two of the schools, but to my excitement was invited to interview at Wharton!

After my interview, I eagerly awaited the results, only to find out that I had been waitlisted. Once again, I felt despair – while I hoped that I might get off the waitlist, I was frustrated at what I saw as a repeat of my failure from the previous year. At that point, I considered moving on from my goal to get an MBA, but my coach encouraged me not to give up just yet. She worked with me for the next several months as we created and executed a strategy to get off the waitlist. Her genuine interest in helping me gave me the motivation to maintain hope, even as I remained on the waitlist through the second and third application rounds. Much to my surprise and delight, I received a call from Wharton's admissions team, offering me a spot in the program, with three weeks to spare before classes began!

As I reflect back on that experience, I think how easy it would’ve been to give up after facing rejection again and again. However, the support from my coach (and other mentors) gave me the motivation to keep working toward my goal. I'm excited to coach with Leland so that I can provide that same help and encouragement to others looking to pursue their dreams.

Interested in working together on your MBA application? Click here for my Leland coaching profile.

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