Here’s Part 2 of our latest Success Story (read Part 1 here, “Things I did right”), today coming at you with advice on what one former BSer thinks he could’ve done differently. Much of this is about timing, so read carefully! Also this former BSer was applying from the oversubscribed pool of Indian male in
IT analytics. It clearly worked out just fine for him! He’s got some wisdom to share, maybe these bits o’ advice will be motivating to you.
Things I could have done better
- Built a solid Round 2 strategy – I started the application season with a two year horizon. So, I selected my top three choices and applied in round 1. However, had I failed to convert any of these three schools, I did not have a backup plan in place for this year. There was a time when I was waitlisted at my top choice and dinged at another school; the result for the third school wasn’t out yet. The thought of applying in round 2 without any solid plan gave me jitters. Fortunately I got accepted at the third school. However, I would advise everyone to have a strategy in place for round 2 as well. As the saying goes: hope for the best and be prepared for the worst.
- Hired EssaySnark earlier – I enrolled for the Essay Optimizer Plan [now called the Complete Essay Package – ES] about 35 days before my first application deadline. Though ES mentions that 30 days are good enough to go through the entire package, [“good enough” maybe but not ideal! -ES] I think I would have benefitted more had I spent about 45-60 days. This would have given me more time to go through my professional and personal experiences and build my story better. (No ES didn’t pay me to write this J although I wouldn’t mind a few $ considering the hefty loan I am about to take 😉 )
- Started drafting my essays earlier – As I hired ES quite late in my application process, I had already done a lot of unstructured writing that I had to do away with. So, I actually started drafting my essays only 20 days before my first application deadline, which is highly NOT recommended. I think, I should have started drafting my essays in July, completed the essays for the first application by August, drafted the essays for the second and third application in September and then revisited all the essays in October. Though I was able to slog from September 15th to October 15th to complete my essays, spending that extra time on each essay would have made my application a lot better.
- Not over-rehearsed for the interview – I believe there is a fine line between being prepared for an interview and being over prepared, and, I think, I crossed that line. I rehearsed the standard interview questions so many times that my interview partner felt my answers were not spontaneous. Also, during one of the interviews, I was caught off guard by some non-standard questions. I think preparing just the bullet points answers for different questions would have been a better strategy for me to be more spontaneous.
- Visited the schools – I did research a lot on my target schools, but did not actually visit the schools. Though I do not consider this as a very big factor (I know ES would differ on this J), it would have been great to have had a firsthand experience of the schools in which I would spend two years of my life.
Really great advice there. It’s already end of August so hopefully everyone reading this is well on their way with essay development by now! If not, then this should be motivated to get with the program.
And again, Congratulations to this Success Story! You’re going to have a great time in the U.S. and at bschool. We hope you’ll stay in touch and let us know about your next big win!!!