One of the benefits to signing up for our consulting services is you can log the schools you’re applying to in My SnarkCenter (your private essaysnark.com client portal), and EssaySnark can review your strategy. We don’t always comment but we always review them. Sometimes we offer little nudges like “You may want to expand your targets” if all we see are H/S/W on the list; earlier in the season we were constantly saying “You should do at least one app in Rd 1 if you can” – and now we find ourselves saying “Don’t bother with a Rd 3 app to that school, just wait till Rd 1.” (If you need a refresher on why, check out these posts.)
This week a BSer updated her list of schools and it read something like this:
- ED app to Top School A – rejected
- Rd 1 app to Top School B that’s slow to decide – submitted
- Rd 2 app to Top School C – (just) submitted
- Rd 2 app to Top School D – (just) submitted
- Rd 3 app to midlist school Q – in progress
And the BSer included the note, “With School A rejecting me, I’m starting to feel like I won’t get in anywhere. “
So let’s look at the data:
We have one decision in hand, one pending, and two apps that were just this week submitted. From what systems input are we already concluding that all is lost???
EssaySnark knows what an emotional rollercoaster this process is. We know that you expect every school to accept you, else why would you try? and that it’s gut-wrenching when they don’t. And we understand, when coming from a competitive pool of candidate such as this BSer is, that it’s easy to assume that every school will decide the way this one school has. But now is NOT the time to give up hope.
No no m’dears. Now is the time for ACTION!
The time just after the last apps are submitted is ripe with opportunity. You’re all jacked up on the adrenaline of deadlines, and the excitement of getting them all in, but then WHOOSH, you’re left with nothing to do. If you’re not careful, those up-and-down emotions can really do a number on you now. We recommend putting together a plan for the next few weeks, to carry you through this grueling downtime phase, and to maximize the energy you’ve accumulated.
Anytime you accomplish something – and yes, simply APPLYING to bschool is a big accomplishment – you’re on a ‘high’ with the world. Your power is up. The best response to getting that thing done is not to sit back on your laurels and coast. Sure, go out one night and have drinks with your buddies who you haven’t seen for three months since you’ve been in the dungeon of your bedroom writing bschool essays. Watch a football game or two. Check out a movie, go to a concert, chill for a bit. But then FIND A NEW PROJECT. Leverage the ‘high’ that you have by applying it into something new.
- If you’ve let your regular interests fall by the wayside lately, pick them up again – whether it’s reading fiction or shooting hoops or oh yeah you got a girlfriend hanging around somewhere if only you can remember where you left her… Go get involved in the things you love.
- If writing those essays about community engagement and passion and all inspired you to dive into a new social service activity, pour all your enthusiasm for bschool and life into the cause. Go out and REALLY make a difference now.
- Find ways at work to add more value. Take it up a notch. Be noticed as the guy who’s bringing positive change.
Get BUSY being more of the awesome that you know you are. (You’ll also have more good stuff to talk about in the intereviews that will be coming your way very soon!)
As to school strategy: We do not recommend a Round 3 app to the top schools.
If you really really without a doubt undeniably want to be sitting in a bschool classroom in the Fall, there are still some options. Check out those posts we already pointed to – in particular, this one – what programs might be good for Round 3? – and this one – what situations could Round 3 work out for?
Many midlist schools will still be filling their classes into the spring.
A great way to explore some of these schools? The Economist Which MBA? online fair happening in a few weeks. This is like the easiest, most convenient way to get introduced to a variety of programs, all from the comfort of your pajamas. It’s all online, for three days (Feb. 6, 7, and 9), and it gives you a chance to learn about a wide range of MBA programs. If you’re seriously considering expanding your targets and looking to apply to a couple more schools this season, the Which MBA? fair i’s a great place to start your research. And, if you want our opinion on whether one of your candidate schools might be a good fit for you, you can hit us up for help – send an email to gethelpnow at esssaysnark dot com if you want our take on a specific program that you’re considering. We’re happy to offer our two cents into your process (please though: shorter emails make us smile).
Alrighty then. This was a long post. But we have a lot to say about the whole positivity, and taking action, and yes being realistic about your chances thing. Getting one ‘no’ from one very good school on your list is NOT saying you’re doomed to a series of rejections – especially not when you have a well-reasoned strategy. Chin up, buckos! There’s plenty of time left – this party has barely even got going yet.
Disclaimer: If you click that link and sign up at the Which MBA? website, then EssaySnark gets some kind of virtual gold star from The Economist – but we’re not getting paid in any way for promoting their event.