My girlfriend and I are applying for business school this coming fall. Given that many top US business schools emphasize the fact that each of their students is unique, we are concerned that our similar professional backgrounds (see below) will make it difficult for us to get accepted to the same school. Does anyone have any idea whether or not this will be a problem? Should we apply to different schools? Any suggestions for what strategy we might use?
Are you worried that both of you won't be able to get into one school if you both apply there? Keep in mind that each school receives thousands of applications, so there is a very good chance that they'll see at least a few applications that sound very similar to your own. So, realistically, your friend's application will have no measurable effect on your own chances, and vice versa.
It's true that schools like to talk about how each of their students is unique, but that doesn't mean that each class is filled with 700 TOTALLY different people. That would be impossible! For instance, any top school is probably made up of at least 25% consultants, but each one of those consultants certainly has things in his or her background that no one else has.
What you described in your post makes it sound like you two are already pretty different. Yeah, your professional experiences are the same, but I doubt that an admissions officer would consider an ex-athlete from Switzerland and a scholar from New Zealand to be the same. So, I think you'll be fine.
In terms of strategy to recommend, this is sort of self-evident, but you just want to be sure to emphasize what makes you unique. For instance, very few people can talk about being a pro athlete, so you (or your friend) will probably want to devote an essay to that. You definitely don't want to talk only about business!
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