Maybe it’s time for some celebration and a happy post, given all the challenges in the admissions world (and the political world) that many of you have been navigating lately? Here’s an email we received a few weeks back from an early-bird Brave Supplicant who is now all locked up with their MBA admit. In their own words…
I just wanted to send you the notes from my success story!
Military guy, super low GPA, applying to dream school. Totally lost, google to the rescue, hooray Essay Snark! Hours of reading later, revised application strategy then hours of writing, rewriting, editing. Paid my deposit and going to dream school next year! Woohoo!
I’ll let ES handle the application advice but for some lessons learned:
- Take the GMAT early. I started “studying” for the GMAT in December 2014. I flipped through the Official Guide and the Manhattan Prep Books and was convinced that I could easily score above a 700. I took my first diagnostic test a few months after my half-hearted attempts at studying and scored in the mid-500s. Ouch. I spent the next two months diligently reviewing core quant concepts and sentence correction and hit my target score before essays were released for the season. Having the GMAT out of the way was a major stress relief and allowed me to take a three-week break before diving into applications.
- There is no substitute for essay writing, rewriting and editing. Along the same lines, share your essays with people who know you well. Be careful about trying to incorporate all of their feedback into revisions. In the end, I totally scrapped one of my essays after my friend told me that it was totally incongruent with my personality. My rewritten essay was a total hit according to my interviewer!
- For the military applicants, connect with the Veterans Club at every school you are applying to. They are more than willing out to help out with every aspect of your application. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to veterans working at the companies that you think you may want to target. I was able to connect with employees at each firm that I thought I might want to work at and it helped provide perspective on what to expect after the transition. It also helped tremendously during the interview when I was asked “Why XYZ?”
- For you low-GPA types, there is hope! I was accepted to my top choice with a GPA that is almost a full point below the class profile. Own your undergraduate mistakes, don’t dwell on them and offer the admissions committee evidence that you are more than just a number.
- Enjoy the process. It is a lot of work but along the way, I got to take some serious time to do some introspection and met some really awesome people. The introspection helped me define my career goals and the people I met ultimately drove my school selection.
- Finally, ES knows what they are talking about – listen to them! I scrolled through way too many of the blahg posts while procrastinating. From the short-form application questions all the way through the interview, the website has every answer that you could possibly be seeking. They won’t do the work for you but they give you all of the tools! Thank you squirrels!
Thank you so much for all of your help.
CONGRATULATIONS! Love getting these reports. For the record, this was a Brave Supplicant who navigated this mostly on their own – we did a Comprehensive Profile Review for them under our military pro bono program back in the summer, but then they took the ball and ran with it (with some of our MBA application guides and the blahg of course). We’re happy to have played a small part but this is another example of a do-it-yourselfer who did it themself, and all turned out just grand! It’s not necessary to pony up for expensive consulting services to make this thing happen. We are always available to help those who do want more hands-on guidance (often, yes, it can make a real difference in the process) but please don’t get sucked into the notion that you “must” enlist the services of a consultant to get into bschool. You’ve got proof right in front of you that it can be done under your own power. Congrats again!
YOU GOT IN!
Now what? 🙂