We have gotten a few more submissions recently for consideration for freebie discussion here on the blahg and we hope to get to all of them in the next week or two! This one came in for Harvard accompanied by this message: ES, I’m looking for a reality check on my HBS essay! I’m most…
“So what does this have to do with Harvard?” That’s how we ended yesterday’s post, which we originally intended as advice for the HBS admissions process. The post ran long, so here’s the Harvard-specific part — however you really need to go back and read How to add greater value at work first. As we…
We talk all the time here on the blahg about leadership and having an impact, because that’s what business schools — especially Harvard, Stanford and Wharton – care so much about in their applicants. We single out those three schools but really, any school you apply to will respond well when they see evidence of…
In Spring 2016 we got this very happy note from a BSer we’d been working with the prior December for Round 2 and, well, we’ll just let them tell you about it themselves.
I am writing to share great news!
I was accepted into HBS, Stanford, and Wharton this week and I am still letting it sink in…Never in my wildest imagination that I’d imagine I’d get this far, especially given I was dinged at HBS and Stanford last year.
I wanted to thank you for your no-bs feedback on my GSB and HBS apps. For GSB, based on your feedback, I did toss away that whole original essay – it’s a monumental story for me personally, but you were spot on, why would the GSB care and invest in me as a person?? I recreated a whole new positioning and a theme that worked much better and tied my background together nicely. And it worked! You told me I never answered the question on what matters most to me, and again, I made it clear in my new essay in the new version and I was so glad that Derrick resonated with the piece since he actually wrote down in the offer letter on my deep sense of emotional solidarity (i.e. what matters most to me) will allow me to contribute, learn, and grow at the GSB. In short, I’m so glad I took your advice!
As for HBS, we already chatted briefly, I went with many more rounds of edits for the essay and my interviewer actually told me before I started the interview that she was really impressed by my story and can’t wait to ask more questions. I walked out of that room feeling I had a fabulous conversation with the interview board and am so excited when she called to congratulate me on the acceptance on Wednesday! Again, I couldn’t have made it without your feedback on my essays – I was trying too hard to make myself look impressive, when in the end it’s the non-professional stories that I truly enjoyed writing and sharing about.
Also, your Wharton guidebook was very helpful and I definitely leveraged it for my career goal essay.
All in all, I cannot express how thankful I am in getting to where I am today, and I am so glad that I was able to take your advice (very harsh for sure. 🙂 ) and just restart from scratch when I had 2 weeks left before deadline. Hell of a ride for sure, but I made it!
So THANK YOU ES!!
Obviously we LOVE getting reports like that! This was a Round 2 candidate who was reapplying to these schools. If you’re reapplying, please don’t wait till Round 2! There are only a very few reasons why that would be more strategic – and if you do decide that Round 2 is better for some reason, please don’t wait till December to start working on things. Obviously this person pulled it off but it was a crazy time as they scrambled to get it all done in extreme pressure, and it’s unlikely you’ll be producing your best work under such circumstances.
So we’re posting this today to say yes, schools like Harvard and Stanford do accept reapplicants – and yes, you can expect to have to throw out your first ideas and start all over again as you wrestle with what to present!
If you’re thinking of getting started, then hopefully this is enough encouragement. We’re prepared and ready to support you!
We got this super exciting update from a Round 1 BSer who’d been waitlisted at a Very Good School, and we just had to share it with you (with permission, of course). Enjoy and be inspired!
I know I have been radio silent for the past few months, but I did want to touch base to give you an update. Just a refresher on who I am – I used your waitlist assist service in the fall after I got Further-Consideration-ed at HBS. I am a former management consultant and currently work as a [career in education, exact details redacted for privacy]. I had originally applied to the Harvard MBA/MPP joint degree program, so I applied to both HBS (R1) and HKS, and I had planned to apply to MIT Sloan in round 2.
First of all, your feedback – though hard to hear at times – was very helpful. I used your feedback on my resume to totally re-work my resume for the HKS app, and I used your comments on my essay to similarly improve the level of detail I gave in my HKS essays. I guess I am probably not the best judge of my own work, but I did feel that both my resume and essays were stronger for HKS in terms of detail about me and my accomplishments.
Second, the status update: In the end, I was not invited to interview (as you predicted). I was, however, admitted to HKS. After going through the application process, though, I began to re-evaluate my choice to apply to business school at this stage of my career and my choice to narrow my options to HBS and MIT (which, granted, was largely driven by location). I realized that 1) I am fairly young, so I don’t need to rush to business school right now – I could decide to apply again in two years, and I wouldn’t be too old to be admitted; 2) I had my heart set on HBS because my colleagues all went there and many of my peers attend, and if I’m being honest I was enamored by prestige, etc., but there are actually several schools I did not strongly consider that I think could be a better fit, such as Yale SOM and Berkeley Haas, and 3) going to business school certainly could help my career in education, but having classroom teaching experience is also something that I’ve seen can massively bolster the credibility of leaders in education, and that is something I’ve long considered doing.
As a result of this thought process, in the end I decided not to apply to MIT or to attend HKS. Instead, I applied (and was accepted to) Teach for America. I’ll now teach in a public school for at least 2 years starting in the Fall, after which I may still apply to business school.
All of this may seem a bit random, but I am very excited about the path that I am taking, and the HBS rejection might have turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Again, I appreciate your candid feedback, which I think was definitely crucial to the strength of my application to HKS (and for the resume I submitted to TFA). Look out for me again in 2-3 years!
See? Toldja it was inspiring! We say it all the time and stories like this are proof: The MBA is not the be-all / end-all. There are lots of ways to get where you want to go. Sometimes it takes getting rejected (or even sometimes, getting accepted!) before your next steps become clear to you and you see what the right decision is.
Good luck to this BSer! We do hope that we hear from them again in a few years’ time — provided that the MBA is in fact the best next step for them then.
A Brave Supplicant working on the Kellogg essay asking you to talk about “a recent and meaningful leadership experience” asked us this question recently: Hi ES, How do I know what’s my best leadership story? Leadership is bringing about change, measured through impact, right? Any impactful story that I have might have at work in…
We’re around today…. sorta. Please remember, Team EssaySnark gets to have a holiday. Customer service questions are handled as they can get to them or you can wait till Tuesday for them to be back in the saddle. However, paying customers get the full benefit of EssaySnark’s availability! We’re tackling Expedited/Speedy submissions in the queue,…