So yesterday we were all GOOD LUCK!! to the Class of 2021 applicants who are about to know their fate. And today we’ll jump forward again to the Class of 2022 BSers who are at the very beginning of the process. We spoke last week about how to get a true head start, even this…
In most cases, the unfortunate answer to that question is, “Not much.” Outside the obvious, of course. If your GMAT (or GRE) is low, then now is the time to be studying in advance of a date to retest. If you’re planning on applying to bschool this year, then your March – May window is…
If you’re a more recent arrival to the EssaySnark blahg who’s planning on applying to bschool this year, then presumably you’re working on the GMAT and you’ve been reading school websites and probably spending way too much time on the applicant forums.
Well guess what? There’s one more very important super important no really really really important thing that you should be doing. Like, NOW.
We mentioned recently that this is a great time to be talking to students. We also mentioned in that post that now is a great time to be visiting the schools.
In fact, now is really the ONLY time to be doing that, if you’re interested in applying to bschool this year.
Because class is in session. Students are on campus. You’ll get the full experience of the campus visit if you go in the spring.
If you wait till the summer, then you can certainly still benefit from seeing the school and its environs. You’ll get a taste for the type of neighborhood the school is in and possibly experience some of the community in which you might live, if you were to go there. You’ll certainly meet some students, since there’s always some around no matter when you visit. But their numbers will be limited. Most bschool students are off on their merry adventures of summer internships in the, er, summer. They’re not at school. (The exception is Columbia, BTW, which has their J-Term cohort on campus in the summer.)
No students on campus means no classes in session. The biggest advantage of going to a school is to actually experience what it’s like to be a student in that program. You won’t be able to sit in on a class, and so you’d be cheating yourself of a key #1 reason to go to all that trouble of getting on a plane and everything.
If you’re just starting the process, and planning on applying in Round 1, we get it, that feels like an eternity away. But guess what? Many schools’ Round 1 deadlines hit in September. That’s before the schools open up their class visit schedule for their fall terms. So there’s no chance of doing the whole campus experience in the fall concurrent with a Round 1 app.
It’s not mandatory to visit the schools. It’s not like the GMAT, where you can’t submit an app if you didn’t make it to campus.
Pretty much every school tells you that you’re welcome to come to campus.
And some schools tell you that you SHOULD come to campus.
Different schools put different emphasis on this. For some, it’s actually quite important. As an example, Berkeley Haas said it directly on their blog a few years back, in a post about how to apply to business school. They said: “What is the one thing people should do before they hit “submit” on an MBA application? Come to an event on campus or attend a class.”
Even if your target school does not emphasize it quite so much as Berkeley did in that post, it’s still a very smart strategic thing to do – for YOURSELF.
What if you get accepted to a school and you get to campus and realize you can’t stand the place? 😯
Even more important is the intel you’ll gather from the visit itself. Those insights are crucial, not just for identifying which school should be at the top of your vast and extensive list of targets, but also how you will convince the adcom readers at that school of the reasons why they’re at the top.
You’ll gain so much from the experience. It’s an opportunity that we strongly recommend you take advantage of.
This whole getting-into-bschool thing is so crazy competitive these days that if you’re truly dead set serious on trying for the best of the best, then you need to pull out all the stops and give yourself every possible advantage you can.
Visiting your MBA program is a smart move. One of the smartest. (Check out some of the many Success Stories here on the blahg where former BSers tell you exactly that.)
Now is the time, Brave Supplicant. Make it happen!
Many of you are still in recovery from the stress of submitting your Round 2 applications – or you still haven’t submitted all of them that you’re trying for. However, some of you may come off the rollercoaster of the past few days and then stand there feeling a little lost. There’s often a big…
But they do happen to be schools with Round 2 deadlines in the future. Does that mean you should apply? It would be in our self-interest to say YES! APPLY! Because then we could try and sell you the need for some consulting services to increase your chances of success. But that’s pretty distasteful don’t…
This question coming of course from a Brave Supplicant with a really low GMAT. And the answer is…. actually, yes! Or at least, maybe! Depending on the school, and particularly if you’re trying in Round 1. In Round 2, it’s much less common for even the friendliest most culture-driven schools to be quite so accommodating….
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!”…
This question comes up fairly often: “Hey EssaySnark! I got into School B! Do you think I should try for School A?” where School A = Harvard or Stanford or Wharton, and School B = not When this question comes at this stage of the admissions season – right after Round 1, before Round 2…
We say this all the time and we even touched on it again recently:
Please don’t paper the country with apps.
Submitting a large number MBA applications does not increase your odds of getting into business school. It just wastes money and makes you feel like a complete and utter failure when all of them get rejected in a few months.* A reasonable handful of high-quality apps is what you should be aiming for. Given that it’s Round 2, which is your last chance this season, then yes, you probably should be doing more than if it were Round 1. However “more” still does not mean “all of them.”
Here’s an admittedly self-serving thought but truly, it’s offered with the benefit to you in mind:
If you were planning on doing 8 applications, why not consider reallocating the money you would’ve spent on app fees to three of them towards the Essay Decimator service on one set of essays instead? You can even add the Reworking Your Resume App Accelerator on top.
Get expert feedback on your essays for one school. Then you’ll know how well you’re doing with this essay-writing thing. Then you can tackle 3 or 4 more apps on your own. This will likely boosting your odds of success by a factor of 10 over your previous play-the-lottery shoot-first-aim-later submit-everywhere plan.
Over and over, year after year, we get BSers coming to us in March asking for the Post Mortem. “Why didn’t I get in?” And we discover that not only did they muff up their essays on one app, but they used the same non-strategy strategy on multiples. Like, lots of them.
Which means that they’ve screwed themselves over next year. Many schools are open to reapplicants, but it’s ALWAYS easier to pitch a school fresh. A reapplicant strategy needs to be handled with care. It needs to do more than just fix the issues of poor essays. It needs to show improvement and progress from the original submission. It’s even harder to do a good job on reapplicant essays than it is to do a good job the first time through.
If you’re going to go through the struggle of writing these essays, you want to do it once and be done with it. Some things are a lot of effort and pain and it’s worth it to go through all of it again – things like running a marathon or having a baby. Applying to bschool is not one of them. You get NOTHING out of the process if you’re not successful – well, except perhaps for a dose of humility, which for some people is useful indeed. 😉
Despite what you may have been led to believe based on yesterday’s post on “easy” apps (and one we have coming up tomorrow too – stay tuned), this process does not allow for shortcuts.
Three apps in the time you have remaining? Totally doable. Four apps? Yeah, sure, probably. More than that? Hmmm. Possible, but… wethinks you may be fooling yourself on how much work that really is and how good they’re going to end up being when you’re done with them.
The goal is not to submit a bunch of apps. The goal is to pitch the schools on why they should admit you. It’s a big task. The essays are your big opportunity.
You may want to ask your boss if you can have a couple days off.
That is, after you’ve made sure she’s submitted all those recommendations for you. Yeah, all ten of them. Because if you’re doing that many apps, you’re asking her to do a lot of work, too – and yeah, she’s gonna cut some corners, you know it. One more reason why your apps aren’t going to be that good if you’re trying too many.
We hope you’re getting your boss a nice holiday gift this year. Like a big bottle of scotch. She’s gonna need it after wading through that mess of a project for you.
Four sounds like a good number.
Get done with four, and then you can see how you’re feeling.
*”Dang, EssaySnark! You be harsh!”
Yeah, well, when we see someone cram in 10+ apps in the last two weeks before deadline, we’re not likely to hear them come back with reports of admissions success two months later. There is an inverse correlation between the number of apps and the level of quality. Someone submitting a high number of apps in a short period of time gives us a pretty easy way to predict outcomes sight-unseen.
This seems to happen more with international applicants, but not exclusively. However, we do tend to see it a lot with Indian candidates in particular. It could be a factor of how for many international candidates, the American style of school application is different, so they’re just learning what the process is about or maybe…