OK yes, we admit, that’s a little harsh.
But we’re talking to more and more Brave Supplicants who are getting their nerve up to throw their hats into the ring for the upcoming admissions season.
And more and more of them strike us as well… nothing.
Like, not much.
While getting into certain bschools does require you to be practically a superhero (Stanford in particular), plenty of “normal” people get into bschool all the time — even some at the superhero schools.
But plenty of ho-hum boring people TRY to get into all these schools and are totally bummed out and depressed when they don’t make it in.
Expectations are out of whack.
A big part of the MBA application process is self-reflection. Many of the schools talk about this on their websites (again, check out all the the GSB has to say about it). What if you don’t have that much to “reflect” on? What if you struggle to come up with answers to the basic essay questions like what are your accomplishments? (Shameless self-promotion: You can get more insight and advice into the Harvard essay questions in the HBS SnarkStrategies Guide, available in Kindle format from Amazon or downloadable PDF from Scribd).
That might be a sign that you’re not quite ready to go for the best-of-the-best schools. Which is great to know BEFORE you apply to those in-the-stratosphere schools. Since it’s way expensive and time-consuming to put out an application that’s just gonna get rejected. You could spend all that time BECOMING a super overachiever leaderly type who IS superhero school material. OR you could put that energy into applying to a still-good-but-not-the-best school like Cornell or Georgetown or somewhere like that.
Here’s an exercise for you to entertain yourself over this long holiday weekend (at least, it’s a holiday here in the States):
Check out this video on “Why London Business School.”
Watch through it completely once, just watching, and experiencing it, seeing what these happy MBAers have to say.
Then, watch it again. This time, take notes. What do you learn about each person? Remember, each one of them were APPLICANTS once. Almost every one of them drops in some VERY interesting little nuggets about themselves (there’s one exception with a happy LBSer who doesn’t do this). Most of them are giving HUGE HINTS here about the type of Brave Supplicant who might be LBS-worthy.
Take note of what these people are saying. There are insights offered by most into why they might have been selected. Each one of them talks for just a short bit, but almost all of them off-handedly mentions in that short space something of incredible importance in the MBA admissions game. (Each is a different “something”; they all offer separate tidbits.)
From those tidbits, you can extrapolate some Very Important Things that bschools like LBS look for. (Maybe if you’re motivated you can come back to this blahg and drop a comment listing some things you saw.) Then with your list, you can do a profile self-assessment.
No, the elements they share do not create an exhaustive list of everything you need to have before applying to bschool. But, these are the types of elements that we look for in talking to a new Brave Supplicant. Do they have what it takes to get into a superhero school? We find that these things are usually evident quite early on in a conversation.
When you break it down, these people probably aren’t really all that different from you. (Yes, EssaySnark absolutely believes you have a shot at a good school — if you work hard enough and do a good job on those essays!)
We’ll leave you with this semi unrelated quote:
Even if you feel like you’re light on the talent department… you’re obviously really motivated, right?
Go ahead, check out the video. And if you want to share what you think are the important parts, feel free to comment on this post and start a discussion