The Best Phone Call of My Life

It was Wednesday, December 16, 2015, MIT Sloan decision day. The Admissions staff would be calling those who were admitted to Sloan and sending emails to those who didn’t get in. I took the day off from work so that I could spend it with my wife, Erica; I had not told many my colleagues and I wanted to share the moment with my wife or have her support if I received the dreaded email.

My wife suggested that we go to a local café for breakfast to take our mind off the wait. We ordered breakfast and sat down and talked. I couldn’t help but think about the possible call though. I pulled out my phone to check Clear Admit, a site where people self-publish their business school admission decisions. According to the tracker, MIT had started to call people overseas. I told Erica that they probably call overseas first because of the time difference. This convinced me to put the phone away and get back to our conversation. Twenty minutes later though, I checked again. MIT had started calling US students and even had called someone in Boston already. “Oh my god” I exclaimed to my wife, “they’re calling US students”. She convinced me to relax and put the phone down on the table.

10 minutes later, my phone started vibrating. Erica didn’t notice it, but of course, I noticed immediately. The phone number was listed as “Cambridge, MA”. “Erica, the phone is ringing!!!! It says Cambridge” I said. I recognized the voice immediately. It was Rod Garcia, Director of Admissions at Sloan; he was the person I interviewed with. Rod told me that I was being admitted to MIT Sloan and that I would receive official details via email later that day. My eyes started to water a little bit. Erica realized that I had been admitted and was jumping up and down.

Rod hadn’t finished though. He continued to tell me that in addition to being admitted, MIT was also offering me a fellowship. At this point, what had started as slight waterworks turned into full blown crying. Erica sat in confusion unaware of what Rod was telling me. After I got off the phone, I told Erica and we embraced in the middle of the café for a good 2 minutes while people looked on it. I will never forget that moment, it was both the best phone call and one of the greatest moments of my life!

The next day, I went to the MIT bookstore, bought a MIT jacket, and drove home to Philadelphia for Christmas. I am still just as proud whenever I put on that jacket.

Me wearing my new MIT jacket and my wife, Erica, in her new MIT sweatshirt

Me wearing my new MIT jacket and my wife, Erica, in her new MIT sweatshirt


Ryan Stirling

Ryan was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. He earned his Bachlors and Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University. He worked in the Aerospace and Defense Industry for the past 8 years doing both Mechanical and Systems Engineering on many different programs and then became a Lead Hardware Engineer and finally a Program Manager. His focus at MIT Sloan is Entrepreneurship and Tech. Ryan documents his Sloan experience week-by-week at his Instagram feed: ryanstirling

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