Today is Turkey Day here in the U.S., and so we’re not hanging here much – but if you’re looking for something to do, you can head back to this post from a few weeks back where we invited all BSers to analyze the BusinessWeek rankings which had Duke at #3 for 2016. What factors in the BW methodology account for that placement? It may be more fun to examine a poster from Starbucks, but we assure you, understanding what goes into the MBA rankings is time well spent when you’re an active consumer in this MBA market. We got very little commentary on that prior post and it would be great to hear your thoughts on it!!
We got some great comments on yesterday’s “What’s wrong with this picture?” post! We agree with every single point raised by all of them. However, BSer buffalo captured the key reason why we decided to post it in the first place, which is: [T]he irony of advertising “Back 2 School”, then having grammar errors. Typos…
UPDATE: OK, so we’ve got some sharp-eyed Brave Supplicants caribenamorena and buffalo who’ve identified some typos, which is definitely the first step. Now, Why is it a problem? Anyone care to go to the next level on this?
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”
Another submission under our attempt-for-a-freebie-review came in: Just discovered EssaySnark but love the work you do. Genuinely mean it, not sucking up. Have submitted my comprehensive review to you (which is due tomorrow). Meanwhile, request you to kindly provide high level feedback / public critique of my Kellogg essay. Have spent quite some time on…
We’re reblahgging this from 2013 because this is a cause of failure for so many BSers — and this technique works!
Now that essay questions are starting to come out, many of you are beginning to think about applying to bschool. And this year, some of you will actually do it.
Not everyone will, though.
What prevents many people from ever getting into bschool is that they don’t manage to submit their application.
Procrastination can ruin a life.
Or at least, it can prevent you from progressing as quickly as you otherwise could.
Today’s post isn’t about how to write a specific type of MBA essay. We’re not going to talk about career goals essays vs. leadership essays, or mistake essays vs. failure essays. We’re not going to dissect grammar or structure or rules of the road for crafting your message.
Instead, we’re going to talk about how to literally get the essay written.
As in, open up Microsoft Word and start typing.
As in, keep typing. Without flipping over to Facebook to check your feed.
As in, still typing. Without pulling your phone out of your pocket in response to a phantom text.
As in, still typing, all the way through the 500 words or however many the school has allotted you for whichever essay you’re actually attempting to write.
This isn’t rocket science. Perhaps you’ve heard of the technique before. It’s a fabulous method to use whenever you are faced with something you know you should do, but you really don’t wanna. The type of task where you don’t know where to start and so you dilly dally around and convince yourself that you’re working because you’re sitting at your computer but really you’re reading the MBA blogs and then finally you look up and you realize that it’s dark outside and the day is over and you’ve spent the last two hours looking at cat videos (this one is a current fave).
Instead of that, try this:
It’s called the Pomodoro Technique, named after a tomato, as in a timer in the shape of.
The essence of it is, you’ll use a kitchen timer – or the clock on your iPhone, or a app that you can download, or whatever – and set it for 25 minutes, at the start of which you will actually begin working. Like, launching Microsoft Word, copying in the essay question you are responding to, and then beginning to write the essay*. When the timer goes off, you stop. Take a break. 5 minutes. Then you do it again. 25 minutes work, 5 minutes break.
There’s a whole system behind it which, in our opinion, makes it a little more complicated than necessary. You can
procrastinate the next 20 minutes go to this website to check it out.
Lots of people are thinking about writing essays. Make sure you’re one who actually writes them. Get started now.
* EssaySnark actually does not recommend that you write essays from scratch like this. The best way is to start with outlines. So you can use the Pomodoro Technique to begin outlining. Or you can sign up for our Essay Ideas & Outlines App Accelerator and
pretend you’re being productive ACTUALLY START BEING PRODUCTIVE on developing content for your applications.
We’ve had to be Doom-And-Gloom Snark with a few BSers recently, only based on the realities of the admissions environment we’re in and the challenges of getting in with flaws on the profile. Sucks, but better to be straightforward so you know what you’re up against, right? That way, at least you have a chance to redirect efforts and either buckle down for another try at the GMAT, or to adjust strategy for school targets.
And then on the other end of the spectrum, we end up being Negative Snancy on some BSers who are all excited about their progress so far in Round 1. They got some adcoms to bite, and they are flying high on the endorphin rush of the interview invites, and they’re starting to clap their hands and dream even bigger for Round 2.
“Woo-hoo, I’m a hot commodity! I got a Booth invite and a Berkeley invite – I’m gonna go for Harvard in Round 2!!”
And then the ‘Snark comes along and pisses all over that parade.
Here’s the deal, Chipmunk:
Round 2 is a different calculus, and schools like Harvard and Wharton are practically in different universes.
We really don’t hear too often about applicants who do the less-competitive schools in the first round and then leapfrog off the backs of those admits into the upper tier of program in Round 2.
Sure, it must happen for some people; after all, H/S/W are admitting big numbers of folks in Round 2 and it’s not like all of those people sat on their hands entirely in Round 1. A large chunk of them must have also gotten in somewhere in Round 1.
Or, probably at least as common: A large chunk of them got REJECTED everywhere in Round 1, and that wake-up call led them to redoubling effort and putting in the work of introspection and strategy that’s needed for an admit to a top MBA program.
We also know that every year, Round 2 brings a bunch of reapplicants who, for whatever reason, sat out all of Round 1 and all their reapps go in at this stage. And some of them do make it.
Regardless. Our point today is only a caution:
If you’ve got your confidence up now based on progress to date in Round 1, then GREAT! It’s truly awesome that things are going well for you so far.
But, please do not count those admits before they are hatched. Do not assume ANYTHING in this process. An invite to interview and a fun day on campus do not an acceptance make. Most schools admit only around 50% of those that they interview, so clearly you’re in a very good position if you’ve gotten to that stage at least with one of your apps, but we can’t start the dance party until December, when you will know that you’re in.
Every season, we hear of some BSers who raked in three or four interviews, and then come December, then end up shortchanged, with literally no admits in hand. That’s not the typical experience of anyone who manages multiple interview invites, but it does on occasion occur.
If you’re feeling all aglow from the buzz of the interviews and feeling like an in-demand candidate, then that’s awesome, you deserve to be optimistic, since it’s no small feat to make it to that place. Competition is fierce and there are many others who’ve not yet managed to score even a single invite. So definitely feel proud!
But if you’re currently dreaming of trading in your MIT admit (that hasn’t happened yet, but you just know that it will) for one at Harvard in Round 2…. Well, we won’t tell you not to try, but we’ll also say, let’s see what happens in a month’s time when the decisions come out, and hopefully you end up with at least one big win, and then you’ll need to do some planning around when deposits are due versus when you’ll be hearing back from those Round 2 schools.
Trying to scale up? It just really hardly ever works. If you thought you could make it into Harvard why didn’t you try in the first round? BSers sometimes get a little too big for their britches after getting in to a good school in Round 1. Should you not even try? No, of course not. But don’t let the bird in hand get away, either.
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