The EssaySnark gets their jollies from seeing BSers get into bschool – and we really really dig it when we see the Good Guys overcome Big Obstacles and make it happen. Here’s a very inspiring story that we held onto since receiving it back in the Spring – we thought it might do be good for those of you who are currently beginning this process to get a little inspiration.
I graduated with a sub-3.0 GPA from a Big 10 school, unsure of what I wanted to do for a career, but knowing what I didn’t want to do. I knew that I wanted to make a positive social impact and broaden my own narrow perspective, so after graduation I entered into the AmeriCorps/Teach for America/Peace Corps.
After my term was up, I moved to a major America city work in the non-profit sector. Like many reading this, I realized the value of a graduate degree for personal and professional development. However, having already pursued a liberal arts degree, I either didn’t have the necessary educational background for a technical master’s or wasn’t sold on the value of many liberal arts master’s. Nonetheless, I found myself disheartened as several consecutive springs passed, watching application deadlines pass for programs I didn’t even want to attend.
Eventually, I considered the MBA. With research, I not only uncovered the myriad and wide-ranging applications of the degree, but also discovered additional niche professions and high-impact individuals that I found fascinating.
In May of 2012 I resolved to apply and signed up for the least expensive GMAT preparatory class I could find, which was held on Saturdays at a local university. I ramped up my research, which followed an unfortunate – and likely typical – pattern; the vast majority of my time was spent on discussion forums and reading opinion pieces and rankings as opposed to combing through university websites and LinkedIn, which is invaluable for seeing where graduates find jobs.
I took the GMAT course very seriously. I knew that due to my own limitations in math, a perfect score was out of the question. I figured that though so many applicants complain about the GMAT, its potential to open doors is so high that any amount of studying was worth hitting the very best score I could muster. I devoted much of the 2012 summer to studying, and when I took the test in August, I broke the 700 barrier.
I recognized that my profile was decidedly non-traditional, and after consulting with the Essaysnark for a Profile Review (which I wholly endorse) and graduates of the various programs, I was able to tailor my applications to express the strengths that balanced out my weaknesses. Per the Essaysnark’s strong advice, I also visited the various campuses, including that of a ratings darling that I liked but ruled out. Thanks to my months of research and input from contacting alumni of the programs, professionals with and without MBAs in my network, I was able to focus my applications to the schools that I felt were best for me.
Nearly a full year after choosing my course of action, and after committing what I consider a more or less average amount of time and money to consulting services (the Essaysnark Comprehensive Profile Review was the only professional consulting I received), application fees, GMAT prep and research, I was thrilled to receive acceptance with a generous scholarship to my number one school.
I think my strategy worked because I looked at each factor of my application and honestly accounted for my weaknesses, highlighted my strengths, and devoted myself to excelling at the variables, such as my essays and test score. My essays about my experiences helped to offset my poor academic record, and I am convinced the scholarship would not have been possible without my GMAT score, which allows me to tell myself that I earned nearly $1,000 an hour while studying last summer!
Soon-To-Be-Bschool-Student, thanks for the kind endorsement of our Comprehensive Profile Review – and congrats again! You did it through sheer effort and brute-force strength of will. Awesome story and very inspiring outcome in the end. Have fun at business school!!