You do realize, don’t you, that a whole bunch of people have already been ACCEPTED to Columbia Business School? Or at least gotten their interview invites?
Due to Columbia’s rolling process, they start looking at apps pretty much the same moment they put the application live – in May. They’ll move BSers all the way through the whole cycle – invite to interview, go through committee, render a decision. Some BSers already know where they’re headed to school for the Fall. They will never write another essay again!
Not like you, poor slug, who’s up to his eyeballs in drafts and revisions and reviews – OH MY!
What’s our point…. OH YEAH! Deadlines are good.
You should apply at the earliest chance you can.
Round 1 (or EA/ED) is definitely an advantage – but you know what? A strong candidate has a good shot later on, too. There’s fewer slots available the later you get in the admissions cycle – this is true at any school – so going for the earlier rounds is very important if you can hack it. If you have a decent GMAT score, then you need to get at least one application submitted in the Fall timeframe – September through December. If you are still working on getting that GMAT score up, then make that your priority and focus focus focus – get it done so you can move on to the next step as quickly as possible. Besides the increased chance of admission in Round 1, the other key benefit of submitting a couple apps at the first deadlines is that you’ll know if your strategy is on target or not – and have the chance to fix it for Round 2 if necessary. Sometimes Round 1 is a real wake-up call. People think “I’ve got this” and they submit apps to some good schools expecting to waltz straight in – and they fall flat on their face. If you do that in the first cycle of Round 1, then you get to dust yourself off and rework your strategy and try again for Round 2. If your first submissions aren’t till January, then guess what honey? You’re gonna be SOL if none of those pan out.
The problems that people face at this point in the MBA application cycle are compounded by the stress of those dates staring them in the face. They hear this advice that Round 1 is important and they think that’s the critical strategy to deploy. The pressure sometimes causes bad decisions. Round 1 has an advantage so apply at all costs? No. Apply in Round 1 if you’re ready.
If you’re reading this now, on the day it was published, and your GMAT is done, then you definitely can be ready for most schools’ early October deadlines. No problem. One month is enough time to do it all. Harvard Round 1? Still possible too – we have availability to review your essay with our standard Essay Decimator critique service. Submit it soon though. We haven’t yet seen one HBS essay that was good the first time out. You’ll need time to revise and make it better.
The value of a deadline is that it make you ACT. You’ve known about these dates for months yet you didn’t get moving until like yesterday. That’s OK, it’s a common pattern, people make it into bschool under these conditions every single year. But it’s not ideal. It’s great that you’re finally motivated though!
The downside of the deadline is that people make rash decisions. You need to be honest, and look at your actual chances for success.
Just because the deadline is here does not arbitrarily mean that you’re ready. The advantage with Round 1 is non-existent if your application is not strong enough. Please don’t slap together an app and submit it in 3 days just to meet an earlier deadline.
The advantage to deadlines is that everything suddenly becomes real. The page of the calendar turns and OH NO THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING! The blood starts pumping, and you finally come to terms with the fact that you need to start writing.
Sitting here now, early September, you can totally make this happen. So get writing, and good luck with it, Brave Supplicant!