These success stories always make us smile — even more so when it’s the Good Guys who get there!
This one is especially inspiring ‘cuz it’s a completely-by-the-bootstraps, in-it-alone tale of fortitude and bounce-backedy-ness!!
And, here’s another one who’s got at least one Rd 1 admit in the bag with hopefully more still to come!! CONGRATS!
An MBA sounded like a great idea. I was a math undergrad who liked business so it made sense to me. I had a problem: 1) none of my friends had MBAs 2) Only one other manager in my office had an MBA and it was from a small part-time program. I had no idea what an MBA entailed but I always wanted a formal business education and I figured an MBA would provide stability in my career. I still knew nothing about the MBA program let alone a top MBA program. I decided I would just take a GMAT to clear a hurdle and eventually apply to part-time program, not even considering a Top program.
After getting a 710, I began looking at the averages… HOLY CRAP!! Top programs? What was my GPA? It had been 4 years… oh 3.3? Not too bad. My GMAT and GPA were in line with some top school’s averages. What the heck is the difference between Rd 1 and RD 2? Career goals… ummm anything besides my current career.
All this happened in early September of 2010, which left me almost no time to apply to schools. To say I was naïve is an understatement. I threw together some career goals that seemed to fit with my background, decided on 3 top 5 schools, got my recos, and began writing essays. As an avid non-fiction reader, I love books and creative story telling. I tried to incorporate novel story telling into my essays. I realized I was a bit of outsider from the typical MBA applicant and i tried to highlight that fact or make myself stand out that way. I used application guidebooks’ sample essays as a model. The problem is most of the essays are for outdated world limits and gave the writers much more space to be creative. Needless to say, I was rushed to decide on schools, my goals, and write my essays and it showed. I was dinged. Three times.
It hurt. I regressed about 10 years. I spent 3 weeks in my sad chair reading Spiderman comics and eating sour gummie worms to recover. I felt I could improve. I buckled down starting March of this year and began to define my career goals and why. I did every introspection essay I could get my hands on. I even took the Career Leaders test that most schools give to their students. I went nuts. Once I got my goals, i picked schools. After selecting 4 schools, I planned on doing 2 in Round 1 and 2 in Round 2. I began having lots of contact with the 2 schools in Round 1. I contacted 5-6 students/alumni from each school and went to several MBA fairs. After getting all my info, I began writing my essays in August and rewrote them about 4 times for each essay.
My reasons for an MBA and my knowledge had improved a lot and I thought I was good to apply but I was still curious about my essays. On GmatClub, I saw someone mention EssaySnark and I found the blog. It was about 4 weeks from my first schools deadline. After sending a sample of a Ross essay (Frustrated), the Snark tore it apart. My attempt at novelistic story telling does not work for essays with word limits. I was not being clear so the essay was inherently weak. I waffled for a week and then decided to submit all my essays to the Snark for a nominal fee. With a week before the deadline [Why oh why does everyone wait till the week before deadlines?? -EssaySnark], EssaySnark sent me back my drafts ripped to shreds. Cue the panic and anger. I had one week to redo my essays but something magical happened after reading her comments and insights.
I was writing good BSCHOOL ESSAYS. I learned how to write a clear, self-contained essay that would appeal to adcoms. I did not need to name every accomplishment nor try too hard to make myself stand out. I just needed to answer the question clearly and thoroughly and those things would come. Believe me, I knew all this before talking to EssaySnark, but I did not put it into practice until EssaySnark ripped up my essays. His/Her (I’m convinced EssaySnark is female!) critique led me to write essays that were self contained, thorough, and painted a complete profile of myself. EssaySnark didn’t get me into BSchool (although without her I might not have gotten in), she provided me a great way to tell the Adcom about myself, how I’d fit, and how I’d benefit the program. I was admitted to one of my top choices with a scholarship and got 2 interview invites (still waiting on the outcomes) out of the three schools I applied to. [UPDATE: Admitted to second school too!] I cannot thank EssaySnark enough for helping me understand what writing a BSchool essay was like and providing a resource that I couldn’t have found from my family, friends or books.
So, I encourage you. DO your research, KNOW yourself and your reasons for an MBA, CONNECT with the schools, and if you are curious get an EssaySnark essay critique. Because without her help, my research and time spent working towards an MBA would’ve come through as well as it did in my essays and to the Adcoms. Good luck brave supplicants!
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!
- 1/20/12 Another Take Two story! With advice from an MBA friend!
- 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
Thanks also to this former BSer who sent in an essay for a free review on the blahg – that it so appreciated as it gives others a chance to learn too. We hope to be getting back to doing those public slashfests essay reviews soon!