Fuqua? McDonough? Kenan-Flagler? INSEAD? Haas? Ever wondered how in heck to say these words? You might want to figure it out before you talk to anybody about them. Like, in an interview perhaps? These are not official phonetic spellings (we’re not sure the rules of all that), they’re just our attempt to help you not…
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Anybody who first starts thinking they want to get an MBA is immediately going to be thinking about Harvard.
And why not?
Harvard is a world renowned brand.
EVERYBODY has heard of Harvard.
Even if you have only a vague notion of what an MBA is or why you might want one, you have still heard of Harvard Business School, and you probably wouldn’t mind going there.
An application to the MBA program at Harvard in many ways is going to look like an application to an MBA program anywhere.
They want a GMAT score, or a GRE is fine.
You’ll upload your resume and enter your work history.
They need an essay, and some letters of recommendation.
Pretty standard stuff.
However, that’s where the similarities end.
The approach that you take with your Harvard application should not necessarily be the same as what you might take with, say, Columbia.
Both these schools offer the MBA degree. Both have semi-similar profiles that show average GMAT and grades and they’re not terribly different from one to the next. You can expect that a high GMAT score will be beneficial to you in getting into Harvard, as it would be for Columbia, or Kellogg, or anywhere else.
If you want to get into Harvard, though, you can’t be just another cookie-cutter candidate.
The secret to getting into Harvard is to show how you’re different.
BUT!! There is risk here!!!
Being “different” for the sake of being different is not going to help you.
Wearing different-colored socks to your interview will not demonstrate that you’re unique.
All that will do is demonstrate that you want to stand out and attract attention. That might get people talking, but it’s not necessarily going to land you an offer at this school.
The most important thing to keep in mind with Harvard is that they are trying to construct a class.
That’s true at any school in the world, but Harvard gets first pick.
They’re like the Cleveland Browns but for opposite reasons.
(For any non-US-football-fans out there: The Cleveland Browns were the football team with the worst record in 2017, so they earn the privilege of picking their players from the college draft first in 2018.)
In the bschool market economy, since EV-ER-Y-BO-DY wants to go to Harvard, then Harvard has an abundance of riches. They can cherrypick the ones that they like most. They get first dibs. The best of the best.
Or, in this case, the most unique and differentiated who will fill out their class.
What this means is, if your profile is stereotypical — the Princeton grad who went to McKinsey and now wants to go for an MBA — then HBS will need to see superlative grades and an exceptional GMAT and particularly wonderful recs.
You need to be the best out of a crowded category of very good players.
What if you…
Work at Deloitte (not the most prestigious firm) and went to BC (Boston College; good but also not considered “the best”). You have a 3.6 GPA and a 730 GMAT.
When faced with the profile of the Princeton-McKinsey person, you may assume you have no chance at all. You’re obviously qualified but being qualified and being accepted are two different things.
Or, what if you…
Are an international applicant, like the Indian engineer, or you are coming from finance? Or applying from Singapore or Hong Kong or China?
For all of you, finding ways to stand out will be crucial. It’s not going to be only the basics of your profile. The adcom will need to know who you are — best revealed by what you have done — for you to have a true chance. This is where the advantages of an MBA admissions consultant can pay off. (A very good one, that is. A merely competent consultant is not necessarily going to add much value for Harvard.)
We saw some stat somewhere once that something like 90% of applicants to Harvard are qualified — meaning, they fit within the parameters of acceptance that the school has mapped out. Not sure if that’s saying that 80% of applicants fit within the class profile (the range of GMAT or GRE scores and college academics) or if it was against some internal measure of acceptability that the Admissions Board has.
Regardless, almost anyone applying shows evidence that they could succeed in the curriculum, and that they are capable of completing the program.
That is hardly enough to guarantee admission. It’s kind of like going with a competent admissions consultant. If you’re going for the gold and you’re going to pony up the dollars for help, then make sure you’re going with one that actually can add value in the game that you’re in.
If being qualified is not enough to get in to Harvard, what then does matter? What will tip the scales and convince the HBS adcom to want you?
There is not a specific profile or a specific collection of app stats that will ensure you get in. However, over the years, we have identified what we now call the “Harvard type.” It’s someone who is obviously a go-getter, an overachiever who’s done something interesting in life.
We cover it in many posts here on the blahg:
What is “the Harvard type”? is a good place to start.
We also discuss it at length in our MBA essay and application guide to Harvard Business School.
Heck, we have a whole category of posts here on the blahg on HBS and what they are looking for.
What we would boil all of this down to is one simple word:
The secret of getting into Harvard is that you have to show evidence of drive.
This fact is the main reason we’re able to with complete confidence predict people’s chances of interest from Harvard in our Comprehensive Profile Review. Through that service, you lay out the details of your background, your career, your school targets and core stats, and we go through it all and assess your chances to see if you are presenting enough evidence that will give Harvard reason to say yes. We are very very rarely off base with these and when we are it is only marginal misses. Usually we have BSers come back to us at the end of the season saying some variation of, “Wow, you were right! You said I wouldn’t get into X but that Y would admit me, and they did! That’s exactly how it went with my apps!”
For almost every single business school in the world, we are firmly convinced that getting help on the app is beneficial.
For Harvard? Yes also beneficial, very much so — but only to one certain extent.
The people that Harvard is likely to admit are very likely to get into Harvard anyway. Even without outside help.
Will outside help be useful? Sure, in giving an assist to the process. In making sure that you don’t step in it, and mess things up in an avoidable way. (See also: A Stanford applicant case study: Avoidable Mistakes)
But very often we see Harvard give interviews even for applicants whose essays truly sucked. Where they did not take advantage of what the essay could do.
But based on the other aspects of their profile — or more often, based on how they are coming from a less-crowded pool and so it was easier to stand out against the crowd — this person earned an invite to interview even in the face of a pisspoor job on the essay.
For whom then is getting help on the app the most helpful? In what situation would an MBA admissions consultant (an exceptional one, if you are serious about Harvard) add the most value?
Either for the applicant who is overwhelmed by the steps of applying, or who does not know where to start, or who lacks confidence in her own writing ability, and especially for someone who finds value in the ability to bounce ideas off of someone. Or all of the above. A very good admissions consultant can help that person create a very good essay for Harvard.
You do not “need” an admissions consultant to get in though.
We remain unmoved by any admissions consultant who brags about how many applicants they got into Harvard. It’s like a coach at the Olympics. The coach cannot take credit for the athlete’s success. Yes, a coach can be supremely helpful. But it’s not the coach who earned the medal. It’s the hard work and dedication and the willingness to persevere and the sacrifices made by the athlete that earned that person the spot on the podium.
When Harvard admits people, many times they would admit that person whether or not the essays were incredible. It’s because they are admitting the whole package; the entire set of facts. Not just granting a Best Essay award. That’s not always how it works elsewhere. Sometimes, an exceptionally mediocre applicant can put together an amazing set of essays that totally wins him or her the admit at another school. An incredible essay alone won’t do it for Harvard.
Of course, an MBA essay can keep you out of Harvard, too.
Very often, BSers make foolish mistakes in their essays. They say silly things. They focus on the wrong elements. They don’t maximize the opportunity at hand. For these people, a (highly qualified) admissions consultant can do wonders.
But the secret of getting into Harvard Business School does not come down to the essay. It’s the entirety of who you are and what you are presenting, and it’s at least as much about Harvard as it is about you.
That’s why when you’re rejected from Harvard, it’s not actually that big of a deal. So many incredible people are rejected each year that you cannot read anything into it.
Harvard is the one school that’s least served by the admissions consulting industry.
We’re not saying not to get help on your HBS MBA application. We do believe we can help you! We have dedicated services exactly for that.
But someone who is the Harvard Type is likely to get into Harvard anyway. Not because they paid the big bucks to a consultant to assist them.
It’s one reason we strongly recommend against reading other people’s essays in your quest for the HBS admit. Seeing what someone else said is not going to let your best essay come through — and frequently, an essay did NOTHING for an applicant’s chance of success. All you can extrapolate from reading a Harvard student’s essay is that the essay did not PREVENT them from getting in. You cannot know that the essay itself helped them at all.
ESPECIALLY not when the essay was written in a different admissions cycle for a different entering class in a different era of MBA admissions, such as we’re entering now.
Someone who got into the Harvard Class of 2009 was operating on a totally different playing field as an applicant, compared to someone who got in for the Class of 2019, and most definitely there are major differences from what the ’19 applicant faced compared to what the Class of 2021 will be facing this year. It’s a different school. It’s a different admissions landscape. Almost definitely it will be a different application for Harvard this year. You cannot make inferences from one person’s essay to your own.
The only constant that remains?
The Harvard Type.
It’s something that we recognize when we see it (the Comprehensive Profile Review being the best way for us to assess this). It does not come down to any static descriptor or a set of stats on a profile. It’s the sum total of who you are based on how you present yourself — in the resume, in the college experience, in your profession today. Yes, in the essay itself too, but that’s rarely the differentiator that it can be at other schools.
There are many ways to get your message across in your HBS MBA essay, and we’re not saying that the essay is inconsequential. The essay matters — for some candidates even more than others. But the adcom is going to overlook a subpar essay if the profile itself shows as differentiated against the pool of others with whom you’re competing.
If you’re wondering right now whether or not you’re the “Harvard type” then that’s a fair question. We can help you with some objective advice on whether you might be perceived that way today.
And what else you can do is work on being that even more in your day-to-day efforts at work.
Nobody can predict with certainty if you’re going to be accepted into Harvard. But stepping it up and doing all that you can to be a better person every single day is the best way to find out.
We wrote a whole book on how to get into Harvard Business School!!
You may also be interested in:
- More examples of the “Harvard type”
- How to add greater value at work (plus, Harvard secret)
- The Harvard secret we didn’t get to yesterday
- Which came first, the ambition or the advantage?
- Once more with feeling: SOME ADMISSIONS CONSULTANTS MAY HURT, NOT HELP
And…. it’s a wrap!
With the MIT Sloan deadline today, Round 2 has finished up, and it’s a very appropriate time for us to announce our 2017-2018 Radcom of the Year!
This is a tradition we just started in 2016 when we recognized which MBA admissions team at a top school is the most applicant-friendly in its processes, policies and procedures.
We cited at the time things like their latest Round 2 deadline, which we’re celebrating again today, and also the fact that they do not require a TOEFL for any applicants.
Well guess what?
This year, MIT Sloan wins it again!
We were determined to wipe the slate clean and evaluate all schools from a fresh perspective this year, looking for evidence of applicant-friendliness coming in hopefully new ways. While we are seeing an assortment of positives and some new(ish) developments from other schools, we have to again tout the late Round 2 deadline from Sloan that was truly a godsend for many stressed-out BSers who were cramming to get multiple apps done over the past few weeks. In addition, MIT fixed one of the biggest problems with its app requirements by going to the standardized letter of recommendation this season.
Which school gets close runner-up?
NYU also has maintained a later Round 2 deadline for practically ever, which most definitely has endeared them to the ‘Snark’s heart.
In addition, this year NYU innovated with program offerings through the introduction of accelerated specialty MBAs in tech and fashion, and a very cool option of allowing concurrent apps to two or more through one set of essays. We also dig their new EQ Endorsement requirement, though it did create some stress for some BSers and some confusion at first when some people asked a recommender to also submit the EQ endorsement (the adcom wants it from a new person). Since NYU also has a later deadline, for both Round 2 and for Round 1, we did consider giving them the big Radcom Award trophy this year instead of MIT. However, we couldn’t do it since their second essay question proved REALLY challenging for applicants who are only applying to the full-time program. Hopefully they’ll change it for the next-season app.
We also saw another small thing at MIT that bumped them solidly into the lead:
Most schls will prob do the same, but @MITSloanAdcom is only one we've seen to inform hurricane-affected applcnts they will extend deadline
— Essay Snark (@EssaySnark) September 19, 2017
That was when the 140-char limit was in effect at Twitter! Funny how we had 2 abbrev8 stuff B4
In case that wasn’t self-explanatory: The hurricanes that went through Texas and Florida last year hit right during Round 1 deadlines. MIT Sloan was the only school we saw actively communicating through social media that they would extend deadlines for anyone directly impacted. Other schools certainly were flexible with applicants too but it was MIT that seemed most visibly proactive on it, just from what we observed.
In addition, MIT continues to host monthly chats — the most frequent of any other school that we know of. They’ve also done video info sessions and lots of online sessions with students; again, other schools do these, but we don’t see they happening as often elsewhere. MIT has a new mandatory video essay in their app this year, which may seem like an onerous requirement for the applicant but it’s honestly the BEST way for you BSers to share who you are with them — way better than the real-time video questions that get recorded as part of the Kellogg and Yale apps (and counting; we expect the number of schools using that option to surely grow in the coming seasons). The real time questions are also a positive innovation, but giving BSers the opportunity to record a full uninterrupted minute on whatever they like, the way that MIT does — and re-record a couple times to make sure that they’re coming across as intended (!) — this is a kinder, gentler option that can let BSers feel more confident overall in what they have captured.
To all of you BSers who’ve just in the past 24 hours completed this process: GOOD LUCK! We’re sure you did a great job!!
To the adcom at MIT Sloan: Thanks for continuing to be The Radcom again for another year!!
From MIT Sloan:
In spite of all our implicit and explicit HBS bashing lately, we should probably do a specific post on “What to do if you’re completely lost on the HBS essay” — since we know lots of you BSers are aiming to try for Harvard anywayz! 🙂
It’s not like some silly ol’ ‘Snark is gonna deter you wide-eyed whippersnappers from the school o’ your dreams!!!
How do you deal with that essay that they’ve got?
We heard from a BSer recently that he stumbled upon the ‘Snark through a google search that was phrased somehow like that, so let’s see if we can offer some starting points and ways to break into the analysis process for dealing with the Harvard MBA question this year.
Just in case you’re in the 0.0001% of BSer who’s never peeked at it before, the Harvard Business School MBA essay asks:
Shameless plug: We do a much better job of laying out strategies and considerations in our Harvard essay guide!!!
But in an effort to be helpful, beyond what we’ve already covered on our dedicated Harvard MBA application info page, we’ll offer this snapshot of snarky advice to help you get a handle on your approach:
1. Start by doing another school’s essays.
Please don’t cut your teeth on your MBA application process with Harvard Business School. It’s one of the hardest essays of all. You will not be making your job easy if you do it that way. Get through at least the third full draft of some other school first. Then turn your attention to Harvard.
2. Start Harvard’s essay by filling out the actual HBS application.
You don’t know what else you need to convey to the adcom if you don’t know what else you’ve conveyed. Go through that puppy and study it. Fill out what you can, and make a list of the items you know you need to spend more time on. Those are typically in the Employment, Intended Post-MBA, Extracurriculars and Awards sections.
3. Start making lists.
You will likely cycle through dozens of ideas on what to write about before you come up with a solid plan — and that’s OK! That’s to be expected!! Start a running list, and keep adding to it. You’ll think of a new idea at random as you go through your day. Don’t judge or critique the ideas; just write them down. Once you have assembled a selection of possibilities, then you can start to examine them.
As you can see, the main message is GET STARTED!! Hopefully that helps you to do so!! The HBS essay is about thinking through who you are, and what makes you unique, and shows you are accomplished, and lets you demonstrate that you will bring a unique perspective to the case method experience of your fellow students at Harvard Business School.
Simple? Sure. Easy? Not at all!!!
Pick up the SnarkStrategies MBA guide for HBS!
We’re also still accepting new clients for Round 2 – get that all-important Harvard essay decimated to make sure you are impressing the Admissions Board and not coming across the same way that dozens and dozens of other applicants will do!
Sure, if you want to pursue the most expensive way in the world to start a business. EssaySnark is just not a fan of using the MBA to launch a company. And we really don’t think Harvard is the best place to learn entrepreneurship specifically. They were fairly late to jump on the entrepreneurship bandwagon…
We’ve frequently applauded HBS for improving the process for Brave Supplicants, and for being more transparent, such as with GRE and GMAT scores in applicants and students done in 2014. The changes that HBS made to admissions over the years, particularly with the “mid-cycle release”, really revolutionized how the process works for all of you, and several other schools followed their lead and implemented similar changes. This is super-applicant-friendly. Round 1 candidates benefit tremendously. You get to find out really early in the season if you’re moving to the next stage with them.
Before this innovation with the mid-cycle release, you had to wait till December if you were going to be rejected — or actually, January, since at the time, that’s when Round 1 decisions came in. Yup, you had to submit Round 2 apps at other schools without even knowing if your Round 1 apps were successful or not. Don’t have to tell you how much THAT sucked. Can’t recall which school was the one that started pulling decision releases into December but we’re thinking that was Harvard too.
Harvard has also been the school to move Round 1 app deadlines into September; they did so tentatively at first, moving it from the beginning of October which had been everyone’s standard, up to September 24 in 2012, and then to September 16 in 2013, and then in 2014 a full month earlier than many other schools’ deadlines. (In 2017 the Round 1 deadline was September 6.) This we also feel is to the benefit of EVERYONE in MBA admissions, because it lights a fire under the BSers’ butts much much earlier than ever before. Several other schools now have apparently felt empowered by Harvard’s bravery to also place their Round 1 deadlines in September, which provides further benefit since it means more of those deadlines are spread out over a longer timeframe – which in our experience, results in better apps to every school, since all the workeffort isn’t all lumped together in one two-week period for all of your apps. We noticed this specifically this year with the increase in quality we saw in BSers’ Rd 1 apps. So again, “Thank you, Harvard Business School.”
But the biggest innovation came in 2010 with this mid-cycle release thing. Before Harvard implemented that, you’d just submit the app in October and wonder. And wonder. And wonder. You’d finally get the “no” in December confirming what you would by-then know was inevitable – you’d basically resign yourself to being rejected if you didn’t get an interview invite by the end of November, but that’s a very long sequence of grueling undefined and doubt-filled days to go through before you get the actual word “No” on your app. This is still how a few schools do it, which is pretty lousy, as many of you will be experiencing in the weeks to come. For Harvard and several others, the process is now different.
We are of course referring to the vast majority of Harvard applicants here – not the ones who are getting the interview invitations this week, but the ones who did not, and will not. For that second group, the mid-cycle “release” seems very kind. You’re hearing really really early in the cycle that you’re a no-go for Harvard. Blat. OK well, shoot, that hurts. But at least you can regroup and move on. You can start your Round 2 planning early enough to actually fix the issues and create a competitive application.
So why is the title of this post referring to some “major problem” with how HBS does it?
It is this:
The “major problem” is, a very large percentage of those people are actually TOTALLY QUALIFIED and will UNDOUBTEDLY (if they play their cards right) MAKE IT IN TO ANOTHER REALLY GOOD SCHOOL. One without the word “Harvard” in its name, but a good school nonetheless.
Yet on the “release” day, all these well-qualified and capable Brave Supplicants turn into the most self-doubting and dejected group of people on the planet.
In fact, if you got all of them together in one room on that release day, you’d probably see the world tilt off its axis due to the weight of the depression and despair.
Despite all of our warnings and cautions and the work we do in trying to help set expectations among the lot of you, we know it doesn’t help. You get rejected – when you thought you’d be The One – and it is downright awful. (This is particularly sharp given that those who are rejected from Harvard, despite being so qualified, have typically been success stories in life, so this is sometimes an unusual set of circumstances, and emotions, to be dealing with.)
Those more-reasonable schools have barely begun releasing any interview invitations, though. It’s very possible that hot on the heels of a Harvard rejection, you are going to get news that a different adcom is interested and wants to meet you. And yeah, that can help. However, it’s unlikely that that happen news has hit your inbox quite yet.
So this week, on the second day of HBS interview invites, things are often quite awful for many applicants. We appreciate how early HBS gives this news, but we do sort of wish that it happened a tiny bit later in the cycle, so that people would already have a few invites from other schools racked up, and they wouldn’t go off the emotional deep end quite so much.
All we want to do is remind you that all decisions are independent events, and most people are rejected from Harvard, and lots and lots of that group make it into Very. Good. Schools after that rejection.
If Harvard doesn’t happen, there will still be lots of opportunities out there!
We know many BSers are itching to get started on their apps and we keep getting asked, “When is School X gonna release its questions?”
We did a full post on this last year which covered app / question release dates for 2015. Based on that, here’s what you can expect from here.
Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, Yale, Ross, NYU and Haas already have released questions and maybe UCLA too (we can’t tell if their site is saying it’s same requirements for 2017 or not). We’ve already released an updated SnarkStrategies Guide for Stanford GSB, Harvard HBS and Columbia, so if you’re trying for any of those, you can most definitely get started now!
(Pro Tip: YOU CAN GET STARTED NOW ON ANY OF THEM!)
This is one reason for a rare Saturday post – it’s the weekend – we’re encouraging you to actually do that! Like, TODAY!
The other schools will all have questions coming out soon as well. How soon? Here’s when that happened in past years.
2015: July 8th app opened with essays and deadlines (no pre-announcement of details)
2016: June 17th essay questions announced
2017 estimate: SOON! (we expect essay to change)
2015: May 7th deadlines announced; essays announced in June
2016: June 16th essay questions announced
2017 estimate: SOON! (we expect essays to change)
2015: May 7th essays and deadlines announced
2016: June 24th essay questions announced
2017 estimate: Adcom says app will be out in mid-July;
2015: June 9th essays questions announced
2016: July 5th essay questions announced
2017 estimate: Around July 10th (we expect essays to change)
2015: June 15th essay question announced
2016: July 1st essay question announced
2015: June 17th deadline announced; essays were not confirmed until app opened on July 22nd
2016: July 7th (?) essay question announced
2017 estimate: Around July 1st (we expect essays to change)
2015: July 8th app opened with essays and deadlines (no pre-announcement of details)
2016: June 14th deadlines announced, essays came later (ack it’s a hole in the data!)
2017 estimate: Around July 15th (we expect essays to change)
Unless noted above, these are EssaySnark’s estimates for 2017.
Now let’s get more practical:
Your essays will be better – and you can save $$$! – if you start now.
We try to make both of these points very clear:
1. You need TIME to develop good essays.
We do not recommend waiting till essay questions for your school to come out before starting on your essay strategy! If you read our school questions page for your target school, you will be able to see what they have asked before, and you’ll get an overview of what that school cares about.
Is it career goals? Many schools are very focused on that. Are you able to present your short-term and long-term goals effectively? Like, can you do it right now, reading this post? You need solid career goals for Columbia and Berkeley, and it’s likely that Wharton and Tuck will also have essays on goals. (Want help? The Career Goals App Accelerator or for many of you, the MBA Career Goals Planning Guide for Entrepreneurship, will get you started!)
Is it accomplishments and achievements? All schools are focused on that but that doesn’t mean they’ll end up as essays per se. You still need to be able to show your achievements and professional readiness in the app, even if you’re not writing an essay on it! THIS IS IMPORTANT FOR ALL SCHOOLS! (Want help? The Accomplishments & Achievements App Accelerator is your answer!)
Is it personal qualities, and life experience? Or commitment and values? Fewer schools are outwardly focused on this, and yes, it makes sense to tackle such topics through the confines of an actual essay question. But these schools already have their questions out, for the most part! Yale and Stanford and Berkeley Haas and Ross are all looking for essays on these topics. You’ll want to pick up their respective SnarkStrategies Guides as the best resource — and yes, all of those will be updated soon if they haven’t been already!
In addition: Your first drafts are going to suck.
You canNOT wait to start your essays until two weeks before the deadline and expect them to be as good as they could possibly be. You need time – that composting thing we’ve been talking about recently. You also need time for the standard cycle of:
– Write a bunch of stuff and think that it’s totally good
– Submit it for feedback and EssaySnark tells you it’s actually not
– (two weeks go by)
– Come out from the corner where you’ve been pouting and try again
– Read read read and read some more. Devour the blahg. Study the resources we’ve been pointing to all along. Think think think (ouch this part hurts!). Try writing another draft. Throw it away out of discouragement. Sit on it for awhile. Come back – AHA! lightbulb – write something that you think may actually be on target.
– Submit it for feedback and hold your breath
– Cry again but this time in relief because EssaySnark said it’s on track and it has potential
– Revise revise revise
That is how you write good essays. That does not happen overnight.
And oh hey look!
2. You will save MONEY if you start now!
Now that we’ve actually got your attention…
Here’s some data. Two totally different BSers from last season who both made it into the schools of their dreams. One started crazy early like we don’t even know if anyone has ever started this early before (we’re talking YEARS ahead of their planned applications) and the other started ohkindalate.
Here’s how much they paid for the exact-same EssaySnark services:
Brave Supplicant #1
Brave Supplicant #2
First Essay Decimator purchase:
Total price paid for these services: $1,583
First Essay Decimator purchase:
Total price paid for these services: $1,822
You see, EssaySnark pricing goes up as we get busier. That’s how this supply/demand thing works. We incentivize you to start early by offering lower prices as encouragement. We’re already so busy with other motivated BSers that we will most definitely be raising prices again soon (we’re even wondering if this might be the first year we have to shut the doors on new sign-ups based on capacity). You can bet that if you wait till August to sign up, it’s going to be more expensive than if you start now (heck, if you even wait till July…).
The other advantage of course is that BSer #1 was done with their essays much much earlier and was not sweating around deadlines. BSer #2 ended up paying significantly more than this in Speedy Review add-ons, whereby you can get super-fast turnarounds, because they were up against the deadlines; we did not include those charges in the above costs because they are optional. These data are core services only. Start now and you’re not going to be at risk for any such add-ons once Snarkville gets crazy and our dance card starts to fill up. You’re going to be done early, and boy, won’t your Future Self be thanking you!
If you’re sitting here thinking, “But wait, how do I work on my essays when the essay questions aren’t out yet and I only have 60 days on the Essay Decimator subscription based on EssaySnark’s terms of purchase?”
Well, there are options:
1. The Complete Essay Package has a whole heckofalotta other steps to start on BEFORE you’re gonna write a single word of a single essay. It includes all the App Accelerators referenced on this page. Those’ll keep you busy for at least two weeks!
2. We can’t guarantee this, but we’re assuming all of the schools will have their essay questions out in the next month. That gives you another month to do the essays. That should be plenty of time to work through the two-stage review process on any of the Essay Decimators we offer (HBS or Standard).
3. If you are diligently working on your essays and you simply run out of time, we will always entertain well-intentioned requests for extensions. If you’re a slacker, an extension can be purchased at an additional fee to reactivate an expired service. No, you can’t warehouse services; you can’t buy stuff now at early cheaper pricing and expect to get a free extension later if you aren’t actively working on them. That defeats the entire purpose of our subscription model and it just won’t work.
So that’s our pitch for today.
Whether you use EssaySnark or not, please take this opportunity – you have the whole weekend ahead of you! – to START ON YOUR MBA APPLICATIONS!!!!
We’re obviously around in case anyone has questions.
Good luck with those apps this year, Brave Supplicant!!
We published our very own BusinessWeek-like MBA rankings here on the blahg and wow, it’s 3 years old now?!?? A BSer asked us to update it, so here goes. First, a disclaimer and an explanation: The disclaimer is that this is just our view of the admissions landscape, based on our own experience watching lots…
Earlier this year, before the schools started announcing their essay questions, we were all ready to write a series of posts on Columbia called “BatCoB.” Thankfully, Columbia’s new essay questions do not require it. You probably think EssaySnark has just about lost it. We were going to write a post titled “BatCoB”? What is that,…
This was originally posted two years ago. We’re reblahgging it now because a) it’s relevant, and b) it’s timely. There’s some comments at the bottom from BSers who have long ago been admitted to Columbia and other programs. We’re inviting you to post your own comments too if there’s anything we can do to demystify the process of applying to Columbia’s MBA program or whether you’re a fit to the specific program formats and options they offer.
Mostly though we’re reblahgging this because, well, Columbia nis always the early bird. Yes indeedy, the Columbia essay questions are available. Today is our chance to tell you about a one-of-a-kind program offered at Columbia Business School. It’s the J-Term.
The J-Term, in case you’re not familiar, means
Used to be, it was a fairly strict profile type who got admitted to Columbia’s accelerated January Start MBA program. Many years ago, in a different era of admissions at Columbia, we heard an adcom person say, “Don’t apply to the J-Term if you’re a career changer. We won’t admit you.” Yes, they were that black-and-white about it.
As a broad statement, the profile that’s a potential fit to the J-Term is still the same, because it’s still a Columbia MBA, but this “no career changer” stance has softened, and as a result, some of you BSers these days may be a good fit to this track without realizing it.
The J-Term is the exact-same full-time MBA curriculum and experience as the August Start, with the only exception being that you get through it a lot faster. You skip out on the summer internship and instead take your second term core courses during that three-month period. Then you join up as a second-year student with the cohort of students who started in August just prior to you, and you graduate with them.
So basically, if you were to join the Columbia J-Term this coming January (2018), you’d be the Class of 2019 and you’d graduate with everyone who’s currently gearing up to begin their MBA this coming fall. You’d be graduating with all the rest who went through the admissions process LAST YEAR. It’s kind of like leap-frogging time, in a way.
It’s especially attractive for anyone who missed out on applying this past season (2016-’17) and/or who just couldn’t crack the MBA admissions nut and is looking to be a reapplicant in the coming season.
But it’s not just any old applicant who’s a fit to the J-Term.
It’s really only appropriate to those who don’t need that internship.
So, if you’re making a radical career jump, then it’s going to be a tough sell to convince the Columbia adcom that you can do it without the advantage of the standard internship experience. That’s really the whole point of the internship, you know: To get you ready for the big post-MBA job that you’re angling for. If you currently don’t have much to build on, in terms of industry or function experience, then it’s not going to be so easy to convince an employer to take that risk on you – especially when you’ll be competing with all the full-time MBAs who DID do the internship (both the ones at Columbia, and at every other school that the recruiter is interviewing at).
However, if you’re using the MBA to advance your existing career path, to jumpstart your advancement in your current industry – say, you’re in PE and want to go back to PE – then the J-Term is absolutely perfect for you.
If you’re already in financial services in some capacity, then we can also see a potentially viable pitch to use the J-Term to transition to another niche within financial services.
Or, if you intend to start a business through the MBA experience, voila. J-Term.
And if you’re lucky enough to be sponsored by your current employer and you will be headed back to them after graduation: J-Term.
Someone ready to join their family business after bschool: J-Term.
And finally: Any true go-getter who is a networking genius and is at the top of his or her field already, who knows how to be the mover and shaker and everyday rainmaker and has accrued some valuable research and CONNECTIONS in her intended target sector… We can see how possibly a J-Term pitch could work out for you, too. Though that one is definitely a case-by-case basis sort of thing.
We specifically wanted to offer some advice for anyone who tried for Columbia August Start last season and didn’t make it, who is now thinking that maybe the J-Term is a better fit:
If you have questions on your situation and whether this might be the program for you, feel free to leave them in the comments section, we’re happy to serve as an initial sounding board.
Columbia candidates, J-Term and otherwise, it’s time to get started!