Duke and Darden are GREAT schools.
Nothing in this post is meant to indicate otherwise.
But – notwithstanding the 2014 BusinessWeek rankings – many people feel that there are some better schools out there.
And many times, it’s possible to get into those better schools.
Yet if you’re really h3ll bent on doing exactly that… you may want to get some help to maximize the chances.
We totally respect those who do the bschool admissions thing solo and develop their apps all on their own (or maybe with some of our essay guides to help). That’s truly commendable! We love it when we hear back from those independent types with news of their admits. We celebrate with many of them in Snarkville every single year.
What we’re always a little bummed about though is when we hear about some BSer’s final outcomes that weren’t what we know they could’ve been. The worst is when we do a profile review for someone, like through our military program, and then they disappear on us … like the subject of today’s post did … and we later learn how things fared for them.
Here’s how it went for this one guy in Round 1 last year:
- Duke – admitted!
- Darden – admitted!
- McCombs – admitted!
That’s pretty good! Obviously we couldn’t have helped them do better than that!
Here’s where they didn’t make it:
- Stanford – denied
- Tuck – denied
Stanford we can certainly never guarantee anything at so it’s not like we could’ve done differently for this person there. But Tuck? Well obviously we didn’t see the essays so no idea what happened there, but this profile was certainly appropriate for Tuck. That one was potentially avoidable.
What was DEFINITELY avoidable was this:
- Wharton – waitlisted
- Kellogg – waitlisted
- MIT – waitlisted
- Berkeley – waitlisted
Now, we don’t feel that bad for this person. As we said, Duke, Darden, even McCombs… these are no shabby schools.
BUT WAITLISTED AT FOUR PLACES?!??
Again we never saw the essays but this is such an overwhelming indication that that’s where the problem lie.
We say this with confidence because we DID see the whole profile. That profile was not all roses but it was perfectly acceptable, given the pool that this candidate was a part of. There is no reason whatsoever that this person should not have been able to make it into at least one (if not like three) of those schools that they ended up on the waitlist for. And this is also why we believe that Tuck could’ve been a different outcome entirely. The other reason? Because we worked with another candidate with a near-identical profile who made it into Columbia the same round.
We have no idea if this person enlisted the help of some other consultant along the way instead – if so then that would be the major tragedy.
What we do know is that we’re the ones who suggested that this person try for both Duke and Wharton at all – again, we did that in the profile review. So at least we can feel pleased in knowing we provided some value overall.
Also BTW, we never recommend applying to this many schools – not in one round at least. It’s just not necessary. Having to choose from three admits is tough enough for many people. This BSer is certainly in a privileged position, no matter how you look at it. The main problem with papering the country with this many apps in Round 1 is … if this person had broken up that workload and just focused in on, say, four apps initially – then they would’ve had information from Round 1 that they could’ve used to their benefit in Round 2. It’s possible that they could’ve regrouped once they got a handful of those W/L decisions, and adjusted strategy for Round 2 – and again, possibly seen a different outcome then.
Anyway. Water under the bridge. This person is going to be set up just fine, thank you.
But make sure you go into this process with open eyes, people. We’re not saying you have to use EssaySnark for your apps. But for some of you, we can say with full confidence that doing so could change your future.