We’re reblahgging this from last Fall ‘cuz, well, it’s relevant! 😀 And no, that does not mean this post is about YOU — we are not publishing this now in response to working with any particular BSer. It’s just an overall appropriate topic, ya know? What’s particularly useful is to read the comments that BSers last year offered (after you’ve read the post) — those can be incredibly instructive for you sitting here with the advantage of the full season ahead of you.
There are only three types of BSers:
- The ones who are H/S/W or Bust. These people are aiming for, err, H, S, and W. Only.
- The ones who are “I’ll go anywhere.” These people are not so much aiming, as papering the country.
- Everybody else. These people are aiming for Top 10.
Almost everyone in Category #1 is a first-time applicant.
Almost everyone in Category #2 is a reapplicant. Usually their first time they were in Category 3.
Those in Category #1 tend to be the BSierest of all BSers.
They also tend to be the worst procrastinators. Not always, but often, sometimes to the extent where Round 2 is their first and only submit, even though the GMAT was done long ago. This is just what our experience has been in working with this type of applicant.
They also tend to be least likely to succeed in the current era of hypercompetitive MBA admissions.
We have our theories.
One is that they are frequently coming from the elite firms, after attending the elite colleges; they now have nailed a good GMAT score, and they have a recommender who’s a Harvard alum. They think that’s enough.
Sometimes, at Wharton, particularly in Round 1, in fact that can be enough. In Round 2 it’s much less likely to be.
This type of Category 1 BSer maybe will toss out an app to Columbia or Booth along with the other three, to, you know, have a (cough) safety school in the mix. But that’s just a pretend.
Because what frequently happens to this BSer if they only get into their ‘safety’ and not into H/S/W, is that their sense of entitlement kicks into overdrive, and instead of realizing that, gee, maybe you need to WORK FOR IT (as in, ON YOUR ESSAYS, so that you don’t come across as quite such a pr_ck), and maybe that Chicago or Columbia or whichever other school that did say ‘yes’ to them is actually a really really good MBA program as well, that they just scratch it. They turn down the offer. They stick with their current situation in life and they get the sour grapes thing, the attitude that an MBA at some lesser-than school like Columbia* just doesn’t have the ROI so I’m not gonna bother.
In case it’s not clear, this post is for Category #1 folks. 😀
Orrrrrr….. On second thought, maybe it’s not.
It’s not like it really matters if any of you get into a top MBA program. It certainly does not matter to the ‘Snark. (We really really really want a whole bunch of you who we’ve been working with for the past few months to get in, ‘cuz we’ve learned your stories and know a little about you and see that you’re nice guyz and cool girlz and you’ve worked hard and yes we do think you deserve it!!) If none of you make it into any of your target schools this year, it’s not like the earth will fall off its axis or the Universe will collapse in on itself. It’ll be a bummer, but it’s not going to make a massive difference in how your life, or ours, continues to evolve.
Us writing this post today to invite all reading it to examine which category of BSer they are most definitely will not change your fate in this process, and it’s unlikely to get anyone to change.
If anything, it may only serve to piss off the Category #1 folks, where we’ll have some readership drop off, and lose them from the crowd. Instead of prompting any type of soul searching or convincing anyone to not be entitled about their situation in life, a more common reaction to a pushy post like this one is for some to be turned off of the ‘Snark and move on.
In case us talking about these trends and patterns in BSers might get one or two of you to self-reflect on where you’re at, and what attitudes you hold, so that you can either:
- Expand your list of targets
- Start working NOW on your
Round 2 applications – ESPECIALLY if you skipped out on Round 1 completelyRound 1 applications — since this post was reblahgged in June 2018!!!!! Don’t skip Round 1 people!!!!
Well, then we’d consider that a success.
Update for 2018: We do expect this season to be significantly less competitive for international applicants. The U.S. is just not making friends on the global stage, and there will be another drop-off in applications from around the world. This is to your advantage if you’re still seeing the value of an American MBA. HOWEVER, you also need to be conscious about the changing economic climate and the possibility that when you graduate in 2021, a) there could be a massive recession going on which means that international applicants are the first to suffer in U.S. hiring markets, and/or b) there (very slim chance) could be immigration reform that locks out international students; and/or c) the local living situation in certain American geographies will continue to become stridently anti-immigrant and (EXTREMELY slim chance — we hope!!) you may experience outright racist behavior. These things are truly possible and need to be accounted for in your application strategy. What you might do is proceed with your Round 1 apps to your U.S. targets and just take a very cautious approach, and also consider expanding your app strategy to include some non-U.S. schools like Canada or Europe.
Want EssaySnark’s advice on your 2018 situation? We can do a one-off question through our Private Consult or you may benefit from the entire Comprehensive Profile Review process — you can ask about your schools, plans and options in the questionnaire that you submit.
*Yes there are really many BSers who think this!! Obviously we disagree.
You may also be interested in:
- Immediate follow-up to this post: ROI and the MBA
- When your safety school is actually a stretch school
- How valuable is that MBA?
- If the main reason for getting the MBA is financial…
Here's what others have said about this:
I started as a 1, moved to a 3, and now I’m a 2. I submitted to Owen last night as my last target school and I am really happy I expanded my list of schools.
@rwelch9439, most people probably do start out as a 1, just because those are the names we all know about. Then, the process of getting educated kicks in! Sounds like you’ve ended up in exactly the right place! Expanding the list to the right schools for the right reasons is often a key to success. Good luck this round!!!!
I think 2 is a bit different for different people. For example, at the beginning of this season, I was clearly blinded by rankings and the bling that come with it. I had a heart to heart with my mentor who went to Babson and currently runs a multi million dollar business. Sure he could be an anomaly but he pointed something out to me that I already knew but probably suppressed – I am going to business school with a specific goal in mind and not using that metric to select schools is almost as good as not having that goal.
For example, I applied to Austin last month (Austin by no means is a “safe” school by any standard) and as I researched more about the school I realized that not only it offers one of the best ecosystem around my target industry and function, it is also a great culture fit. I’d be pumped to go there and I hadn’t even cared to read up more on that school last year.
While I am not applying to tons of schools with the sole objective of getting in, I am more comfortable to go to an apparently lower ranked school as long as it offers me the kind of education, culture and opportunities I am looking for. I believe being able to make that choice is an education in itself.
This is so good to see!!! YES!!! This is everything. Congrats for the maturity to see it!!!!!!