Lots of people manage to get into bschool by winging it. Winging it with the essays, winging it with which schools they’re trying for, winging it by putting it all off till the end.
Lots more people manage NOT to get into bschool BECAUSE OF winging it.
If we tell you “You need a strategy!” then you may be nodding along in agreement at the idea — and then have no clue what it means to actually put one together.
Today’s post — and really, everything we say here on the blahg — is meant to help you in that direction.
When you’re looking at the different elements of your application, you cannot only consider them individually. Don’t look at just, say, the resume in a vacuum. Don’t figure out what you’re going to say in each essay one at a time.
Or actually: Yes, do that. But then also take multiple moments out of your grunt work of building out essay drafts and completing app datasets to step back and consider the whole.
One of the most powerful tactics to leverage is to consider what YOU will be saying about Story X in Essay B, along with what YOUR RECOMMENDER will be saying.
And, another critical technique is to look at each candidate story you have, and examine who is best to present it.
Should you be featuring this story in an essay?
Or would there be more bang for the buck if your recommender did so exclusively?
Or does it need to be covered in both places?
A critical component of application strategy is this kind of analysis.
You’ll want to see what will be most powerful for a recommender to highlight, and which element belongs in the stories that you personally present. Certain commentary always sounds better when someone other than you says it.
That doesn’t mean that you don’t need to also talk about it (though sometimes it does!) — but this type of assessment is about where an element will bring the most value, and who is the most important person to be talking it up.
We often offer feedback on these types of tactics in our Essay Decimator essay reviews — as in, if we see you talking up something that seems like it would be better addressed by a recommender, or when you’re going through the standard Essay Decimator and getting your full set of essays reviewed for one school, we’ll suggest moving a certain topic from one essay to another when we believe it’ll bring more oomph to the message to do so.
Getting everything planned out in advance through the Essay Ideas App Accelerator is obviously the most efficient way to produce quality first (and subsequent) drafts, though we also recognize that EEK!! time is running short.
Whether you plow through on your own or you solicit input from the ‘Snark, today’s post is to invite you to periodically pull your head up and analyze the entire landscape of what you are submitting. Is each item presented in its optimal place?
This is how you construct a holistic pitch to present — which then will have the best chance of a positive reception when undergoing the adcom’s holistic review.
See how that works now?
A lot of this really IS under your control.