EssaySnark is rarely surprised by a school’s decisions, but yesterday we were surprised. As many of you know, Wharton had its interview invite/thanks-for-playing day yesterday, and so now all you Round 1 BSers either have racked up a “no” and are starting to feel some shade or another of miserable, or you’re still in the running and exceedingly happy and/or relieved about it. While we did see clients get the invite, there was more than one “no” decision coming out of Wharton yesterday that was NOT what EssaySnark had predicted, and we feel pretty terrible about it.
When we do a Sanity Check review, we frequently have to say, “Sorry, this app/profile has flaws and we do not see it having much of a chance.” It’s always a bummer to have to say that but we’re also wholly confident in our assessment when we do. We can’t recall a single time where we said “you’re not going to make it”, where the applicant came back to us later on, flaunting their admit. If we say you won’t get in, it’s highly unlikely you will. Sucks but just the way it goes.
We also have prided ourselves at being very accurate in predicting when BSers WILL make it in – or at least, if they’re going to get the interview invite. We can’t claim to be 100% with such predictions and can’t think anyone ever could, but we TRY to be on target. After all, BSers are RELYING on us. Because of that, we tend to the cautious side when issuing judgments on essays and apps, and we don’t tell people that they have a chance unless they honestly, genuinely do. That assessment is based on our experience in working with so many others with similar profiles, applying to the same schools, and knowing the outcomes. That’s how we can look at your app and assess whether it’s got a chance; it’s because we’ve seen someone trying for your school before, with a candidacy that looks to some degree or another like yours, and we know how it turned out for them.
Well, we’re here to tell you that this season, we were wrong. There’s two specific BSers who we would’ve sworn on our grave that they’d move forward at Wharton, and neither of them did.
There’s a few others who were also disappointed with their Wharton outcomes, who we’d thought might have a chance, and those we’re sad about, too. But these two specific ones, man do we feel bad about them (these two know who they are; we worked very closely with both of them, for an extended time, on multiple apps; if you’re thinking maybe we’re talking about you, but you’re not quite sure, then no, it’s not you).
We would never want to artificially raise hopes. We hate to think that we’ve contributed to the emotional anguish that this process already involves. But we did in fact do that, with these two people.
To the two of you that we said would have a real shot at Wharton, who yesterday were cut loose: EssaySnark is sorry.
We did work with other clients who are moving forward at Wharton so it’s not like we’ve effed up with everybody. And with both of these two who hit a dead end, it’s pretty hard to see where things went sideways. We’re scrutinizing the apps for the both of them as we speak, to see what we can uncover. Whatever the problems were, they’re not obvious.
The unhelpful truth is that things are sooooooo gosh darned competitive these days. We saw this same kind of tightening at Duke last year, and it was shocking. Candidates who would totally have made it in the prior year were turned away. This season seems to be more of the same.
For anyone wondering what went wrong with their Wharton app, what we know from past cycles is:
They prefer five years of work experience, and if you have significantly less, then that alone can be a reason for rejection; that GMAT scores are RIDICULOUSLY high; that they care a lot about grades; and that the career goals have to line up. Not necessarily in that order. Those are obviously very rough generalities, and any application is evaluated as the totality of its parts, but that’s a starting point if you are looking for possible answers.
We’re going to continue with our after action review privately, to see what we might uncover specifically with these two unhappy surprises. We know already that app volumes are up at many schools this season, and yeah, it’s competitive – but still, these two people are STRONG candidates, and we remain confident that they both will end up at good schools this year.
However, since we’re quick to point out here on the blahg where BSers (and schools) mess up, we felt obligated to make a public declaration of these two specific cases where EssaySnark was wrong this season. We felt a little transparency was in order.
Thanks to all the BSers out there who continue to put their confidence in EssaySnark. We get very invested in all of your successes. We know that our disappointment in you not making it in is nowhere near as extreme as your own disappointment when you don’t make it, but we do get saddened on the sidelines, and yesterday was a tough day in Snarkville for us, too. We’re in this with you for the long haul and we look forward to the celebrations which we know will come.