Here’s one of those incredibly awesome emails that we receive from time to time – this one came in right around the Round 2 deadlines at the end of 2016:
Merry almost Christmas EssaySnark,
Thank you for the awesome Comprehensive Profile Review you did on me in August. It was extremely valuable to help me target my overall application and interviews.
So here’s the overall results for you, hopefully the data is useful and allows you to help others more effectively!
Applied: Berkeley Haas, Yale SOM, Michigan Ross, UCLA Anderson, UT Austin McCombs
Interview Invites: Michigan Ross, UCLA Anderson, UT Austin
Admission Offers! Michigan Ross, UCLA Anderson
I was a bit surprised at getting dinged by UT Austin, but since Ross was my #1 I’m not feeling too down about it.
Once again, thanks for the awesome analysis and helping me put my best foot forward.
(Posted with permission, of course.)
This particular BSer had first contacted us towards the end of August to request access to our Military MBA microsite, then ended up going for our Comprehensive Profile Review. (We offer discounted pricing for military, TFA/TFI, Peace Corps, etc., so hit us up if you’re one of those do-gooder types and we’ll fill you in on the details.) This BSer had a middling-to-average profile which, in this era of hypercompetitive admissions, makes us a little nervous, and we spelled that out in great detail in the write-up we produced for the profile review. However, this candidate also had some strong points of differentiation going on based on some facts of the background, plus he was aiming for Round 1. So we had hope.
Where we had the most hope of all was the very reasonable set of targets that he’d defined:
- Michigan Ross
- Yale SOM
- Berkeley Haas
- UCLA Anderson
- UNC Kenan-Flagler
- UT-Austin McCombs
That’s definitely a balanced list, and it’s great seeing a school like Ross at the very top. When we saw that, it immediately told us that this guy had done his homework and had chosen these schools for a reason. This is what that elusive ideal of “school fit” is all about: Figuring out which schools offer what you value most in your pursuit of this next big step in your life.
Here’s a sketch of the rationale that this BSer offered pre-application in choosing this list:
My choice of schools is based off of intersecting strengths between consulting and technology:
Michigan – National recognition, strong inter-disciplinary approach, most hands-on curriculum I have seen so far. Great consulting strengths.
Yale – Consulting strengths, unique curriculum, and new Dean is really pushing international perspectives along with technology.
Berkeley – Heart of the Silicon Valley, academically rigorous, technology emphasis.
UCLA – Regionally strong, collaborative culture, accessible faculty, unique entertainment opportunities.
UT Austin – Coming up in a big way, great location for a booming economy and local tech industry, regionally strong, offer concentrations in information technology.
If you’re still hanging around Snarkville after having gone through a nearly-complete admissions season, then that list and those reasons may strike you as obvious. If you’ve been doing your own research, then you probably would read that and agree, and you even might think that most of those things are common knowledge. But we can assure you, that’s a very nicely edited list, with some good reasons being cited for each school. Many applicants apply blindly to schools all across the country without knowing even half as much about where they’re submitting to. If you’d read that list of targets and reasons before you’d started your entire application journey, would you know those things about those schools? Our point in emphasizing this is to give some kudos for putting in the effort to select appropriate schools – not just for the career interests that this BSer had defined for himself, but also being realistic about the challenges with the core stats of the profile. Again, this applicant had a good set of stats, but in this day and age, “good” is rarely going to be enough at the very best schools. He didn’t need us to tell him that in the Profile Review, because, again, he’d already done his own research.
In his own words, after he got that Profile Review back:
I just finished going through the profile review and damn, comprehensive isn’t a comprehensive enough word to describe it.
I’m definitely surprised at how quickly the competition is increasing, particularly for the GMAT. Up to a year ago I fell in some sweet spots for these schools and I’m already dragging at the low end now!
Some questions came to mind as I read through the review, more of a quick azimuth check on where I’m going from here. I’ll look through the blog first, and if I can’t find them would you mind 2-3 questions?
Thanks for a really cool service,
(This BSer instantly endeared himself to us with that simple statement, “I’ll look through the blog first” — he likely has no idea how much we appreciated that! No need to tell this guy to RTFM. Thanks dude.)
The questions he had were asking about a couple other programs that we’d suggested to him in the Profile Review, and also some questions on whether he should write an optional essay about a specific point we identified on his profile.
After that, in late August, he went dark on us until November when he shared the news of three interview invitations, and then the happy update came a month later with the actual admits. This BSer went off on his own and pulled together the applications to those schools, and he clearly did something right, as you can see from those results!
Of course, the very best part is an admit to his first-choice school.
Well done, BSer! Thanks for letting us share this with the world, and congrats on your next big adventure!!