Since we’re so far out from the actual Time You Must Begin Working we may as well throw some stories your direction.
Of course, we do think you should be working on your apps now, but it’s not yet in the “must” zone.
We say all over the place that you should start working early – but we also say lots of other stuff too. And people disregard it. And sometimes we hear about what happens when they do.
A BSer came to us with tail between legs in December last year after Round 1 decisions were out.
Here’s some of what this person told us (the woeful story was longful too so it’s been cut a bit):
I have been a paying member of this blog for around half a year now, and have purchased a number of your application guides in that span. My application process didn’t go quite as I had expected, and I now come to lay myself bare before you to see if you might know what went wrong. I know I should probably be paying into one of your Post-Mortem products, but at this point I’m feeling pretty gauged after all of the money, time, and emotion I’ve dumped into this process over the last year. I’m hoping that you might have some desire to lend a hand from at charitable standpoint, given that it is the holidays after all.
Presumably they meant “gouged” – which still is an odd word to use if they’re talking about app fees which they willingly paid for the opportunity to be
rejected evaluated by these schools. They certainly didn’t pay EssaySnark all that money! Our stuff is cheap! And over the holidays is the very LAST time when we can be expected to offer freebie assistance, given that’s our busiest season.
Before I start, I’d like to thank you for providing this blog, which served as both a resource in creating the apps, and a distraction from the brutality of the black-hole decision waiting period. Secondly, I will admit that I brazenly went against your “less is more” advice when it comes to the number of applications to submit (I submitted 10). Essentially, I found myself in the confusing situation of locking in a GMAT score which ranks in the upper 10th percentile of any school, and carrying an undergraduate GPA that would rank me in the bottom 10th percentile of any school. Not knowing who I would really be a target for, I figured I would need to spread my applications out wide and hope that someone blinks at the fact that I had such a poor undergraduate GPA. I guess I thought wrong (maybe there is a little bit of the snark in me too…)
How is this situation “confusing”? Your profile has weaknesses, just like everyone else’s (though being in the bottom 10th percentile on any metric is a pretty big obstacle to be dealing with).
What’s confusing is you’re saying how much you appreciate the blahg and the resources we’ve got but that you chose not to listen to the advice we lay out! Like how to deal with a low GPA. And how many apps to submit.
I did set my sights high, I was rejected without interview at all of the following schools : Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Booth, UCLA, LBS
I also got rejected from Kellogg today… (snip)
In your infinite wisdom, what is your best advice for starting to get advice?
Sincerely,[name redacted] Dejected BS
(Note: All of that was submitted through our “Request some free help” option, so they sent it knowing it might get published, and gave approval for that.)
Here’s a post on low GPA that quite coincidentally went up right after that “request for help” came in – we only edited it at the end to give a comment specific to this BSer.
Obviously our “best advice” is to TAKE THE ADVICE WE’RE ALREADY GIVING! In the snipped sections, there was evidence of at least one more thing that we’ve blahgged about, that this person knowingly disregarded or felt didn’t apply.
And here’s what they said after finally signing up for some help:
I guess I should have bit the bullet and solicited some of this advice a long time ago, but I really wasn’t expecting this to blow up in my face quite as much as it has.
So. You BSer sitting here today, looking excitedly at the prospect of getting an MBA. You. Yes, you. We’re talking to YOU with everything we say here on this little ol’ blahg.
When we talk about how many apps to submit, or how to handle a low GPA, or how not to say “My GPA does not reflect my abilities” (which is one of the comments we snipped from the above): We’re talking to you.
If this coming season is anything like it was last year, then it’s going to be a bloodbath for those who waltz into it unprepared. You can’t just wing it and hope it turns out. A high GMAT score – even in the top 10th percentile – is no guarantee of success. It takes careful consideration – and work to offset the weaknesses – and a full-on strategy to make this happen.
No, you don’t need to actually sign up for services from us or any other admissions consultant to make it into a good bschool. But you do need to do your research and understand your profile and appreciate what you’re up against.
Mistakes from the past may come back to haunt you over and over again if you’re not careful. Pay attention, Brave Supplicant!