As a follow-on to last week’s post about “What are my chances??!?” we thought we’d mention a few ways you can actually get started on your apps now, even though you can’t really REALLY get started for many more months. But for those of you who are the planning-ahead types, who want to make this MBA thing happen this year, we’ve got some services we’ll quickly introduce you to, in case you’re rarin’ to go.
First is a what not to do: Regardless of how motivated you may feel, you don’t want to start writing actual essays until the school has released its essays. Sure, you can take a look at the essays that the school used last season, but many schools change their questions each year, so actually starting to write them now will only end up being wasted effort in most cases. Plus, if you’ve just showed up in Snarkville recently, you won’t know what you’re doing when it comes to writing good essays; we haven’t been in “blahg about essays” mode since December. You’d need to be digging into the ‘snarchives to be understanding those skills. Writing essays without knowing how to write essays is not going to get you any closer to where you need to be when it comes time to actually writing some essays. If you have too much energy and time on your hands and you don’t know what else to do with yourself and you’re an odd bird who feels like it would be fun, then sure, type out some drafts — but don’t get attached to them. They’re likely to be off target six ways to Sunday, and anyway, you have all spring and summer to further improve your profile and build out more goodness that might end up being even better stories to be using. The way you think of answering an essay question in March is highly unlikely to be the way you end up answering that question effectively in July.
So when will the schools release essays for the Class of 2024? Columbia and Harvard will more likely than not be first out of the gate with essay questions and app info sometime in May, with most other schools popping questions in June, and one or two laggards the first of July. You have some time before any of that really gets started.
BUT!! If you can’t just sit there and you need to do SOMETHING to prepare, there’s plenty of introspection and “you-work” that can begin!
The best way to start working with EssaySnark now if you’re trying for the Class of 2024 is with the Foundations package. This includes everything except the Essay Decimator essay reviews, with the additional perk that if you later purchase your Essay Decimator while the Foundations package is still active then you can get a discount on the Essay Decimator too. Foundations is designed for setting your strategy. It’s a “horizontal” approach, meaning that the work you done will be applicable to any school that you end up targeting. You don’t have to know your final set of schools nor do you even need to know which school you should start with.
You could also purchase the individual pieces separately, so if you just want to get your toe wet with the ‘Snark’s services, then the Comprehensive Profile Review is ideal.
Of course, if Columbia is on your list, then by all means, as soon as those essay questions come out in May, you can dive in with the Complete Essay Package – it’s the most cost-effective and also the most efficient way to work through your first application, and it’s perfect for the questions that Columbia asks. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to apply to Columbia’s J-Term, or to Early Decision or their Regular Decision option for August Start, going through all the steps of the Complete Essay Package now will give you a tremendous boost on everything for the entire admissions season. Columbia is an ideal school to do as your first project (even if you don’t plan on applying until Regular Decision).
Prices are currently at their lowest of the season!
Now before we wrap this post, we need to be super duper 100% clear on the advice that we’re offering:
Just because we said it’s too early to start writing essays now does not mean that you should not be planning to write essays early!
What we mean by that is, as soon as essay questions come out, start working on them.
The #1 mistake we see is BSers not giving the essays enough time. No, you don’t have to begin yet, but there will come a time when you do have to begin — and that time will be sooner than you may think! The end of June or early July is the latest that you should be starting. (Don’t worry, we’ll be issuing plenty of reminders as the weeks go by!)
Finally, if you’re thinking of applying to Stanford, we can offer this bit of advice from the ‘snarchives about what to do now that hardly anybody takes us up on — but the ones who do report being tremendously glad that they did.