If you were to use just one service from EssaySnark, the Essay Decimator essay review is far and away the most important one to consider leveraging.
That’s because your essays are where the rubber meets the road. The Essay Decimator allows us to roll up the sleeves and evaluate what you’re actually pitching. It’s where you’ll hear if the things you’re saying, and the way you’re saying them, are on track for communicating to your reader at that specific school. Since you haven’t written MBA admissions essays before, and because this process is MASSIVELY competitive for the schools you’re trying for, then this is the service that lets you know for real if you’ve got a chance or not. The Essay Decimator is a two-cycle review process where you get to submit up to four essays for a single school, to be evaluated in totality (referencing your resume, too, to see how you’re presenting yourself there). If we are lacking confidence that your pitch will be strong enough, based on the competitive landscape and what this school is looking for, we will tell you, and we’ll point out the places where the message is off or the strategy is not sound, and wherever possible, will point out how to fix it or what’s needed to move forward in evolving your ideas.
If money is especially tight, then you can still benefit from the same type of snarky input, albeit in a more limited fashion, with the Single Shot Express. The Single Shot gives you one round of feedback on one essay of up to 700 words (with certain restrictions), and you even get rapid turnaround to help you keep moving forward in your process of building out your message.
Or, if you have everything pulled together, another option is the Sanity Check which gives you an analysis of the likelihood of winning an interview invite and/or admit, based on the presentation you have put together for that school. We have (unfortunately) a very strong track record of identifying no-likelihood cases — meaning, we have few false negatives. If our assessment is that the pitch has low probability of moving forward at your school, we’ve hardly ever been off on that verdict. If we see that there’s a strong chance, then obviously we cannot be totally definitive on that opinion, especially when it’s a highly selective school like H/S/W and some others (MIT and Kellogg are moving into that same realm these days too).
If you haven’t yet made progress with apps from Round 1, you’re actually in a really good spot (even though it probably does not feel like that at all). That’s because the work you put in during Round 1 is not wasted. If you’re coming up short so far because you’re only trying for the most elite of the elites, then that’s an opportunity to evaluate if you really want/need an MBA at all, which is a valuable process to go through. If you decide that heck yeah I want to do this MBA thing then now you have lots more information about yourself, and more skills built up for the essay development process, and yes these things are both important advantages to be leveraging for Round 2. Adjusting expectations downward can be demoralizing and it’s hard not to take rejections personally — honestly, we’ve been in your shoes too, we know how painful it can be. However, a rejection is the universe saying that there’s a different path that’s right for you, you just haven’t found it yet.
If you got feedback from the ‘Snark in Round 1 that you had done good work on your apps and you didn’t see results yet, then hit us up in SnarkCenter and we’ll see if we can offer any insights into what may have gone sideways for you — with the bottom-line reality that this is just a really challenging admissions environment, and gobs of amazing candidates are turned away from good schools every year.
If you never got feedback from us before and you haven’t seen the results you’d hoped for in Round 1, then our Post-Mortem dead-app review might be worth looking into, so that you can better understand what went wrong and how to fix the issues ahead of Round 2.
If you’ve never submitted any apps before and Round 2 will be your first attempts, then the Comprehensive Profile Review is a very useful place to begin, because it helps you see if you’re targeting schools appropriately based on the realities of your situation and the relative strength of your profile against the competition. Even more useful would be our Complete Essay Package, since the very first application is the hardest one of all — and it’s very (VERY) common for essay-writers to assume that their output on those essays is good enough, when it’s not. This level of learning is called “unconscious incompetence” and it can be the kiss of death for a BSer’s chances.
When Round 2 apps will be your first, you have no margin for error; your essays have to be strong enough to make it in for this round, as there will be no do-overs or second chances possible this season. Everyone always wants any app they submit to be accepted, naturally, but the reality is that the apps submitted in Round 1 served as practice pitches for some people, where they tried their hardest, yet if the app didn’t turn into an admit, then they still have Round 2 to try again. But Round 2 is the make-or-break round. The reason for this is that Round 3 isn’t a viable option, at least not when we’re talking about these very competitive schools. This puts that much more pressure on Round 2 apps to be amazing. If your Round 2 apps are your first, then getting honest and accurate feedback on how good those essays are will be crucial to seeing positive results come from them in the spring.
Perhaps the hardest part of all in getting feedback is the work that’s required to incorporate the feedback — which is not just revision work, but emotional work. Oftentimes we see applicants come to us for a rubber-stamp on their essays instead of looking for opportunities to change. When we are asked for assessments, we give them — and the process can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate unless it’s entered into with a sense of openness and willingness to work. When you enlist the services of a personal trainer at the gym, you expect them to push you — and that’s what happens here. When the desired results aren’t achieved, then a careful examination of what went wrong is necessary (it’s either the profile or the pitch — as an ancient snarky post explains here — or it may be that expectations were unrealistic).
The best news is that you’re sitting here now, reading this post, presumably in the timeframe when it was first published — which means that there’s hope! You have time!
You may be very resistant to the idea of starting in on essays now if you still have apps in play, and that’s understandable. Or you may still be trying to figure out what happened if Round 1 apps haven’t ended up viable, and that also totally makes sense. Getting rejected at the halfway point SUCKS and we’re not trying to say it does not. However, those rejections are valuable learning opportunities, when you’ve processed through the pain and moved into the mindset of acceptance, and action. That process may still be ongoing, and we’re not saying it’s easy — but if you determine that yes, you still want an MBA, and yes, you’re now ready to tackle the work of figuring out how to pitch the right school in the right way, then Brave Supplicant, we’re here for it. Let us know how we can help!