Yay! Another it-took-two-years success story to present to you, with another strong message! And some amazing results this time around. And some honesty, too. And a real friend who also offered some words of wisdom along the way. Here’s to friends, and to getting real, and to not giving up.
Note that the only outside help this particularly BSer got was submitting an essay for a free review on the blahg; you really don’t need to pay the big bucks for admissions consulting to get into bschool (though we’re here to help if you want to pay some little bucks).
Nice job, you Admitted Student, you!.
Last October (2010), I was invited to an MBA information session by a friend who attended the school. During this session, I realized an MBA was definitely something I wanted to pursue. I began researching the requirements for application and scheduled a GMAT appointment for early December. Coming away with a 730, I was over-excited at the possibilities of schools that I could apply to. My GMAT would be in the upper 80% in the majority of the top schools that I researched!
I immediately began working on R2 applications for 3 schools. I only had 3 weeks, but I thought if I couldn’t just write a few silly essays and get some recommenders to submit a letter in that timeframe, I wouldn’t be able to handle the fast paced business environment anyway. After all, I scored high on my SAT and threw together my application for college at the last second and was accepted, so I figured I could do it again.
Boy was I wrong! Three months later, I was 0 for 3 with all dings.
Like others who were part of the 0 admit club, I felt defeated. I even had a bit of unfounded bitterness towards the anonymous admissions committees that had not “given me a chance” that I for some reason felt entitled.
I spoke with my MBA friend and he gave me the best advice I could have received: “Not getting into b-school isn’t the end of the world. Pick yourself up and try again!”
I took this advice to heart and did exactly what he suggested. I picked myself up and began figuring out WHY I really wanted to go to b-school. In my original essays, I threw together some ideas that in hindsight don’t really make much sense. I also thought about WHERE I wanted to go and WHAT I wanted to get out of my time a b-school.Most importantly, I nailed down my career goals. I took about a month just to sit down and reflect on really defining my goals. I wanted to make sure I was more than fully prepared for the next application cycle, and not setting myself up for failure again.
I also used this time to begin strengthening my profile. I sought out extra-curriculars that would not just look good on an application, but that I truly enjoyed. [Love this. -EssaySnark] I felt that if I wanted to write or speak passionately about something, I would have to legitimately enjoy the activity. Also, I researched different options to off-set my low-ish GPA.
Around mid-summer I began to really research schools and figure out where I wanted to apply to for this cycle. I contacted alumni, current students and anyone else associated with the programs. Further, I set up visits for the majority of the programs I was applying to for the fall. I really wanted to have as much information as I could when making my choice of where to apply and completing my applications for those schools.
As the essay questions for each school began coming out in late summer I began writing immediately. I thought I was doing well, until I submitted one of my career goals essay to ES. My essay was torn to bits on this blahg, but the suggestions helped me more than I could have imagined. Having his/her expert eyes read my essay brought out issues with the essay I would never have found on my own. I went back to the drawing board and used these suggestions across the board for all the essays I was writing. Also, ES was able to really pick out a unique part of my profile that I didn’t pick up on, and I was able to leverage this in all of my applications.
Using the advice from ES, my personal interaction with the school, and my newly strengthened profile, I tried to put together the best application possible.
After 16 long months and 4 rejections, I am thrilled to finally announce that I was accepted to my top choice, while being interviewed (decisions pending) at 2 of the other 3 schools in which I applied.
If I had to pass on any advice it would be this: Don’t give up. If you feel you have it in you to succeed in a top MBA program, don’t let a few setbacks discourage you. Take these setbacks in stride and use them as motivation to put together a better application the second time around. Reflect on the process and figure out what went wrong and work to make sure those issues don’t hold you back again. Also, (non-solicited plug) I would encourage everyone to let ES at least take a look at your essays. You will probably come out the other end feeling a little silly when your essays are killed, but you will find improvements that need to be made and mistakes you made that you never would have seen by yourself.
There were plenty of times when I wanted to give up, but the reward of finally calling myself an ‘admitted student’ is worth all the work I put in.
Good Luck to all the BSers out there and I hope to see some of you in my class next year!
More Success Stories
- 12/9/11 A Success Story and a bit o’ advice
- 12/16/11 Doing what it takes and gettin’ it done
- 12/23/11 A .500 batting average ain’t that bad!
- 01/10/12 Going it alone with just gummi worms for support!
- 03/16/12 The “worst writer on the planet” gets in!
- 03/23/12 “Could I make a wrong decision?”
- 03/30/12 From a badass! With advice: Don’t forget to smile!
- 05/11/12 Getting all philosophical on you
- 06/22/12 A little bit of hope and Lady Luck