We had the pleasure of working with a Brave Supplicant last year who did everything right, and ended up in a very good place. They’ve been so kind as to share their story with all of you so that’s what we’re going to post today.
If you’re on this blog, then you should have all the resources to figure out how to put together a good application. You should have a good idea of where your numbers (GMAT/GPA) need to be, how to put essays together (or be working with EssaySnark to figure out how), and generally be on top of the mechanics of the process. So what I’ll offer you are reasons why you need to start working now, and what I think you should be prepared for besides data sufficiency, essays, and interviews.
First is unforeseen circumstances. I was lucky in that I started very early. I decided to get an MBA about a year and a half before I had to apply. I took around five months to study for the GMAT, but in the week I was supposed to take the test my daughter was born (early), a blizzard knocked out our power, and I had to reschedule twice because snow closed the school I was testing at. I ended up getting the minimum score that I wanted, but I was going to take it again because I knew I could do better. However, my wife had to have an unplanned surgery and I ended up playing Mr. Mom for three kids (including the newborn) and waking up every two hours at night to either feed my wife pain pills or give the baby formula. So, I was in no mental state to crush the GMAT and had to cancel the second test. I’m sure many of you don’t have a family, but think about unexpected projects at work, emergencies with your extended family, and life generally getting in the way. Without the early start, I would have had to squeeze the GMAT into my essay writing time, and may have had to push to the second round.
The second thing you need to be prepared for is rejection and the waitlist. I got in to one of my schools, but waitlisted at the other two. I had never thought about the waitlist before. How long was I going to wait? At what point did I have to make a decision based on my needs? It was difficult to deal with these questions in the heat of the moment, so I strongly advise you to have a plan for both rejection and the waitlist. It should be complete with a list of schools for the next round, reasonable deadlines for when you will turn down a waitlist option and commit, or maybe at what point you will abandon this try and strengthen your profile for next year. The time to decide what to do is not when you are in a swirl of emotions after you’ve gotten the bad news and raided your liquor cabinet.
My final piece of advice is specific to potential EssaySnark clients. If you are considering using the services here, I strongly recommend them. They are fantastic and you will have made a wise decision. But, you need to be ready to be told that your perfect treasure of an essay draft is actually garbage. It sounds like no big deal, but you are going to be sad about it. This is necessary. The only way you are going to improve your essays in the amount of time you have before you hit submit is to get clear, unbridled feedback. EssaySnark will not disappoint. That’s what you’re paying for, after all. If you just want to fork over some cash so someone can tell you “Great Job!” and avoid hurting your feelings, please say so in a comment below and I’ll be happy to provide that service. Assuming you’d rather get into business school, be prepared and have a thick skin.
In keeping with the EssaySnark way, I will give you a little hope at the end to top off all of the aggressive advice and foreboding. The process will be filled with many times you will enjoy: meeting current students, complaining with your fellow applicants about the GMAT, and especially that breakthrough moment when you realize how you are going to turn your essays around and crush that application. You will look back after all the hard work, regardless of the result, and be proud of that effort. Personally, I’m starting at a great school in the fall, and I couldn’t be more excited to join my new classmates! Just start early, make a plan, and know that you are more than capable of getting into business school. Good luck!
Thanks for the straight-shooting words of wisdom for the up-and-coming crop of BSers! And congrats again on starting at bschool this fall – you ended up in an amazing program and we wish you the best of luck there!
To everyone who has a date with a blank screen this weekend, we’ll echo the best part of that: “Know that you are more than capable of getting into business school.” Yes there may (will) be some ups and downs before it happens, but you’re doing what you need to be doing to make it happen. Keep focusing on the next task and soon enough, you’ll be on to the finish line!