Yay! You made it through the first two weeks of 2013! As a happy marker of that milestone, here’s another installment of the Amazing Military Guy’s success story. New to this story? Start with Part 1 here.
Awesome Military Guy’s MBA Success Story: Part 3
With the GMAT in the rearview mirror [covered in Part 2 of this story], I was able to relax a bit and wait for schools to release their essays for the upcoming cycle. I had so much time on my hands that I actually started drafting essays for my favoritist school based on the previous year’s essays. It was a gamble that paid off as the questions went largely unchanged. It was during the summer when I was bored at work drafting essays that I found a gem of a website known as EssaySnark. While I didn’t engage them for any of their services, I did get some free advice (which I am grateful for, and no, I don’t care if I sound like an a$$ kisser), and found their archive of blahg posts to be both useful and entertaining. The summer and fall was a blur of essay writing, prepping my recommenders, and interviews (I interviewed at all four schools). After the dust settled I had one ding, two waitlist “offers” and one acceptance. Did I dominate the B-school admissions process? No. Am I going to a top B-school in the fall? Yes. And that’s what matters. I’d like to point out here that I didn’t use an admissions consultant, and am quite proud of getting into B-school on my own. I’m a little bit of an older fella, and as a result I have clearer career goals and higher self-awareness than the average-aged BSer. (That’s just my opinion, but it’s true.) The only consultants I enlisted were current veteran B-school students, my brother who has an MBA, and a crazy friend who enjoys editing. (She needs more hobbies.) I also have to give another shout out here to the ‘Snark for their school specific essay guides and the interview guide I bought for my Kindle. They have this STBBS’s stamp of approval. I have nothing against BSers that use admissions consultants, because I truly believe that you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken sh!t, and BSers who use consultants would be successful anyhow, they’re just being careful and want to have a professional guide them through the process. Tom Brady has a QB coach, right? Mark Sanchez is beyond the help of any coaching…pretty good analogy, no? Also, since I didn’t use a consultant, I have a few extra grand lying around that I could use on strippers and cocaine food and rent.
For my military brethren, if there’s one thing to emphasize it’s this: you are not unique. I’m amazed by how many of my colleagues said to me, “You’ll be fine, your military experience should get you in.” Sure when compared to consultants and bankers my professional experience sounds cool, but that’s not who I’m compared with. I was compared against my brothers (and sisters) in arms. The best way I can think to illustrate this is to imagine if you and all your peers at your current unit all decided to apply to the same B-school. See what I mean? Unless they made a movie about how awesome your job is (see: Top Gun, Act of Valor, The Pacifier), chances are your leadership experiences look the same to an adcom. Think of ways you can stand out among the military crowd – that’s what matters.
The other thing I would like to stress is this: DO NOT APPLY TO A SCHOOL YOU WOULD NOT BE HAPPY ATTENDING. It sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed at people I’ve seen who apply to some lower-ranked schools, almost to stroke their ego with acceptances, but when they are dinged/WL at the top-16, they start to have second thoughts on the schools they were accepted at. Don’t be that guy/girl/Pat. I personally didn’t apply to any safety schools because I wanted to be in the top 16. Had I not been accepted, I had a round two strategy to apply to two more top 16 schools that I thankfully don’t have to employ. The only question now is: what am I going to do with all this free time before school starts?
If you read this entire post, you deserve a Klondike Bar.
And final thoughts from EssaySnark:
One reason we’re so pleased to post this Success Story is because we are very supportive of you military types. We think bschool is a great place to go after the service and we know that veterans add a lot to the bschool community.
Another reason – maybe the main reason – that we’re so thrilled with this military guy’s MBA admissions success is that we actually had very little to do with it! As you read above, this BSer did this pretty much all on his own. We’re happy to provide extended support to people who want it, but we also are honored to play a part in the process of those who are well qualified, and well motivated, to do it all by themselves. The whole reason we started the blahg in the first place was to provide a trustworthy source of accurate information on MBA admissions, to de-mystify the process and level the playing field, so that not just the offspring of the rich or the otherwise well-connected have a shot at this whole MBA affair. We write those books not to rake in the big bucks – we don’t even turn a profit on them. It’s so you have a real chance at this game, whether you choose to enlist our services or not.
So… THANK YOU to this STBBS for the awesome report on his experience, and THANK YOU EVEN MORE to him for his service to our country, and we wish him well as he moves on to the next great adventure!!!