Let’s face it, folks, when you’re an upper middle class white male from suburban New Jersey who worked at a bulge bracket bank following your college graduation, only speaks one language, has no patents to your name, and hasn’t even worked in a foreign country, hitting the submit button on your application to the world’s best business school – one that prides itself on ethnic, geographic, and industry diversity – felt pretty daunting.

Indeed, whatever inkling of hope I might have harbored after looking in the mirror on the morning of my HBS visit was virtually obliterated when I met some of the current students. The first was a woman who, by age 25, had founded and sold a retailing business in Canada. I was 26 – yikes! Next was an army interrogator who had spent four years in Afghanistan and from whom I immediately ran, fearing any questions he might ask me. My final contact was a white guy who looked like he might have worked in finance (yes!). It turned out that he had, before going to medical school and traveling to Africa where he worked on a ship that docked in various ports performing lifesaving surgeries on underprivileged children.

My application was due in a week. Was there some small community of people I could save within that timeframe?

There wasn’t. And yet, here I am, a proud member of the class of 2017 currently interning at Nike in Portland, Oregon before my EC year.

So what did the process teach me?

The main lesson was to stop whining. Everyone approaches HBS admissions with similar insecurities. When looking at class profiles, the HBS community is so impressive that we think will never get in; we think we are not worthy; we think the odds are forever NOT in our favor. And that’s not true. HBS isn’t looking for (or avoiding) any one profile in particular. While everyone is exceptional in some (perhaps many) areas, everyone is also massively deficient in some (perhaps many). And that’s the beauty of the HBS community.

I’ve found that in whatever areas of business I’m completely clueless, there has been someone in my section who is sensational, and that person has been more than willing to help me learn. On countless occasions in my RC year, I happily traded an hour of financial derivatives tutoring in exchange for an hour of accounting help, and along the way I learned a ton and made friends I might not have otherwise. Everyone is mortal, but collectively there is nothing we can’t do.

To come full circle and relate this back to admissions; when you’re lifting your finger to hit the submit button, or when you’re walking into your interview, stop thinking about your imperfections and deficiencies. In fact, stop thinking about yourself as an individual. Rather, think of yourself as a piece of something bigger – your potential HBS class. What you do have to offer? What characteristics you bring to the table that will make your section that much better? I bet there are several things about you that no one else can claim, and that’s the good stuff. Tell admissions about them and you may be surprised.

Good luck!