And how we hear what happened to the BSer who asked us for help on some essays way back in December 2011, then got waitlisted at Columbia, then got a new job, then was considering a part-time program… Read the whole saga starting from Part 1 or review Part 2.
Fast forward one year to the fall of 2013, and I was casually discussing my previous experience with business school with a coworker, who mentioned that she had a former colleague who had gone through a 1-year MBA program in Europe and switched out of our industry. A 1-year program in Europe? Much lower tuition, only 1 year out of the workforce? I had been so previously focused on full-time programs in the US that I had never even looked at these programs. It definitely had my attention. I thought an MBA would still be useful for me in my career, and I was fine with the idea of leaving a job after 2 years.
So, I started the process yet again. I met my targeted schools at MBA fairs (one school even offered casual one-on-one meetings at an MBA fair, which was really great) and receptions. I also started following EssaySnark again and signed up for the blog subscription. [Thanks for that! Always appreciate our members. -EssaySnark] I did a bunch of research and learned about how the 1-year European programs are perceived, their strengths and weaknesses. I considered everything, but the fact that a media professional like myself had gone through the program and endorsed it meant a lot more to me personally than rankings. I was also extremely impressed with the alumni/fellow applicants that I met, and with the schools themselves.
This time, I started the application process extremely early, aiming to apply for October deadlines. I felt more comfortable and confident this time around with my essays (in significant part due to the previous experience that I had with EssaySnark; I definitely heard EssaySnark’s voice asking questions in my head). I padded the time that I gave my recommenders (by a LOT). I was done with the GMAT, so I didn’t have to deal with GMAT, essays, and recommenders at the same time. I just focused on researching my schools and re-shaping my essays.
End result: I was accepted to my #1 choice! I’m all set. It’s a very far cry from where I was during Christmas of 2011, hastily revising my Columbia application, and about to give EssaySnark an email cry for help.
In retrospect, I should’ve given it my best shot at other applications in the fall/winter of 2011, even though it was late, given my own personal situation/circumstances with my job at that time and the fact that I’m an older applicant. An application in even a later round has a chance, which is better than no application at all.
Overall, I’m very happy about the way things turned out, and so extremely excited about going to business school in Europe and getting out with only 1 year’s worth of loans. I may have been overly cautious in 2011, but I learned from that and happily, I got into the school that is perfect for me and my career at this stage in time.
I think anyone, whether they are starting from scratch or have some experience with the application process, would benefit from Essay Snark’s tutelage. What I learned:
- Get started early with everything–studying for the GMAT, taking the GMAT, re-taking the GMAT, learning about schools. It is NEVER too early, at any time of the year, to begin with any of these things. Once I signed up for a school’s mailing list, I got invitations for coffee chats with alumni, or selective receptions with AdCom members throughout the year that aren’t always advertised. If you can’t force yourself to start studying for the GMAT, what you can do is start learning about schools (which is an intensive process). If you can’t get excited about learning about schools, then you probably shouldn’t be applying to b-school! [Amen! -EssaySnark]
- If I was starting the process from the beginning, I’d sign up for a comprehensive profile review with EssaySnark.
- Once you start with the process…don’t stop, unless you’re doing it wrong. It’s not over until you get in the school that ranks highest on your personal preference list.
Congrats on the admit, former BSer! And thanks for the kind words offered throughout.
This story reinforces our belief that everyone lands in exactly the place they should be. Sure, Columbia would have been an awesome experience, but you’ll be ending up in nearly the same place in terms of when you end up graduating, yet in a stronger position financially, and also in a program that is going to provide you with new experiences. Who knows where your life will take you after this?! It’s pretty awesome. Thanks for reconnecting and sharing this with us – you rock!