2008 Zero admits - Where are they now ?? : The B-School Application
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# 2008 Zero admits - Where are they now ??

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CEO
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14 Apr 2009, 06:48
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Hi All,

Last year I started a thread called the 2008 zero admits club. I thought that many of the 2008 zero admits club might have been luckier this year. So, for the benefit of future members, and to encourage those who are finding those admits tough to come by this year, I have decided to start this new thread that goes through successes of this year from folks who didn't have any admits in 2008.

Last year - Schools applied to 5 , results 3 interviews 2 WLs 5 dings

Here's my debrief : gmat-club-opens-account-for-70065.html#p516870

Heres the 2008 zero admits thread for reference : the-2008-zero-admits-club-62142.html#p452356 Most of the members had a 700+ gmat with several 750+ gmat scores in the mix.

Members of this exclusive club (with admits to schools this year) from last year were :
svrider - Fuqua, Anderson, Johnson
yellowjacket - Kellogg
ryguy904 - Cornell, Ross, Darden
jerz - Kellogg, Duke
spideyeclipse27 - Duke, Cornell + some advice from spidey can be found here : indian-admits-2009-keep-all-desi-discussions-here-74043-40.html#p553947
filmcity - Tuck + Some advice from filmcity can be found here : indian-admits-2009-keep-all-desi-discussions-here-74043-40.html#p553961
max125 - ESMT with $$zmfatla - Ross poochandi sangoman adcxaway tsaditya mbagal1 pandeyrav irishspring Columbia08 luckytown2010 vchhaochharia parsifal rsp33 bichishort gmat_march Strategery I know that some folks like buffdaddy, yellowjacket, spideyeclipse27 and rguy904 have already done spectacularly this year - so I'd love to hear a full debrief on how they converted that failure last year into sweet success this year. Manager Joined: 24 Nov 2008 Posts: 228 Schools: Columbia Business School Class of 2012 Followers: 4 Kudos [?]: 26 [1] , given: 6 Re: 2008 Zero admits revisited [#permalink] ### Show Tags 14 Apr 2009, 07:14 1 This post received KUDOS This is a great initiative bsd, kudos! I've been feeling terrible lately with zero admits- 6 schools applied (all round 2), 4 interviews, 2 WLs, 0 admits I don't know if I should apply again next year or wait another year. Can't imagine going through the process again, especially getting recos and 4+ essays per school! It will be great if people like me can hear from some of the reapplicants in here, a great confidence booster. Current Student Joined: 30 Oct 2007 Posts: 217 Location: Dallas Schools: Fuqua, Anderson, Johnson, Ross Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 67 [2] , given: 2 Re: 2008 Zero admits revisited [#permalink] ### Show Tags 14 Apr 2009, 10:01 2 This post received KUDOS I never posted on the 2008 thread because I did have an admit but it wasn't to the program I really wanted. I applied to 6 schools in 2008 and got 3 interview invites resulting in 1 admit, 1 waitlist (7 months) and 4 dings. This year, I applied to 6 schools, all in Round 1. I was admitted to 3 (Duke, UCLA, Cornell AMBA) and got dinged at the rest(WL -> ding at Ross). I probably had as many strikes that an applicant could have to make his application tougher - Indian, Engineer, older candidate etc., so I will say this, do your research and target your schools wisely. GMAT Club Legend Joined: 10 Apr 2007 Posts: 4318 Location: Back in Chicago, IL Schools: Kellogg Alum: Class of 2010 Followers: 88 Kudos [?]: 750 [0], given: 5 Re: 2008 Zero admits revisited [#permalink] ### Show Tags 14 Apr 2009, 13:31 This is a great idea for a thread. Give a boost of confidence for this years zero admits. The list of where some of last years 0-admits got in is pretty impressive. _________________ Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond. GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings CEO Joined: 17 May 2007 Posts: 2989 Followers: 60 Kudos [?]: 576 [0], given: 210 Re: 2008 Zero admits revisited [#permalink] ### Show Tags 14 Apr 2009, 14:21 Thanks for responding sv - what were the biggest changes that you made to your application this year in terms of your essays ? svrider wrote: I never posted on the 2008 thread because I did have an admit but it wasn't to the program I really wanted. I applied to 6 schools in 2008 and got 3 interview invites resulting in 1 admit, 1 waitlist (7 months) and 4 dings. This year, I applied to 6 schools, all in Round 1. I was admitted to 3 (Duke, UCLA, Cornell AMBA) and got dinged at the rest(WL -> ding at Ross). I probably had as many strikes that an applicant could have to make his application tougher - Indian, Engineer, older candidate etc., so I will say this, do your research and target your schools wisely. Current Student Joined: 30 Oct 2007 Posts: 217 Location: Dallas Schools: Fuqua, Anderson, Johnson, Ross Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 67 [2] , given: 2 Re: 2008 Zero admits revisited [#permalink] ### Show Tags 14 Apr 2009, 15:11 2 This post received KUDOS bsd_lover wrote: Thanks for responding sv - what were the biggest changes that you made to your application this year in terms of your essays ? bsd, Short answer - not a whole lot but here's the long-winded story of my applications. My biggest change from last year was the selection of schools. I had some personal limitations and decided to apply to only mid-west and north-east schools, Darden being the lone exception. I got interview invites from both Cornell, Chicago and Darden besides self-initiated ones at Kellogg and Tuck. At Cornell, I had applied for the 2-year MBA program but was ultimately offered AMBA (reasons: advanced degree, goals that didn't require an internship). Also, Ross waitlisted me without interview. My biggest takeaway - you need something to differentiate yourself. You probably know that already This year, I applied to Anderson, Duke and Haas besides reapplying to Cornell, Tuck and Ross. In terms of essays, Anderson was probably the most personal ones I had written. Between the 6 applications last year, I probably wrote 12-15 different essays, but I had to start all over for Anderson. Same goes for Duke's "Leader of consequence" essay. Looking back, I think reading Montauk and a few other books had unconsciously molded my essays to the point where they turned out to be detached not reflecting what I really wanted to say. I didn't worry about sounding as polished this time. I also was fortunate to connect with an old college-mate who was a sounding board for the personal essays (Thanks to Yahoo for free transatlantic calls). For both Tuck and Ross, I completely rewrote many essays along with reapplicant ones. I thought that my Tuck ones were the best of the lot this year, especially the goals essay. Result: Ding. At Ross, I was inexplicably waitlisted after R1 and then dinged in R2. In short, the lessons I learnt from last season helped with the new schools but not the old ones. -SV CEO Joined: 17 May 2007 Posts: 2989 Followers: 60 Kudos [?]: 576 [1] , given: 210 Re: 2008 Zero admits revisited [#permalink] ### Show Tags 14 Apr 2009, 15:34 1 This post received KUDOS Thats some superb insight sv - and future applicants will find this advise incredibly useful. I find it interesting that you say that books such as Montauk actually took you away from what you were trying to say and kept you detached (I take it as a synonym to "impersonal"). This is identical to my own experience from last year - when my essays were too impersonal. Another question. Did you actually change your goals in your reapplication (or new) essays ? Or did you just rewrite the essays using the same goals just writing more persuasively ? svrider wrote: Looking back, I think reading Montauk and a few other books had unconsciously molded my essays to the point where they turned out to be detached not reflecting what I really wanted to say. I didn't worry about sounding as polished this time. I also was fortunate to connect with an old college-mate who was a sounding board for the personal essays (Thanks to Yahoo for free transatlantic calls). For both Tuck and Ross, I completely rewrote many essays along with reapplicant ones. I thought that my Tuck ones were the best of the lot this year, especially the goals essay. Result: Ding. At Ross, I was inexplicably waitlisted after R1 and then dinged in R2. In short, the lessons I learnt from last season helped with the new schools but not the old ones. -SV Current Student Joined: 30 Oct 2007 Posts: 217 Location: Dallas Schools: Fuqua, Anderson, Johnson, Ross Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 67 [1] , given: 2 Re: 2008 Zero admits revisited [#permalink] ### Show Tags 14 Apr 2009, 15:51 1 This post received KUDOS bsd_lover wrote: Thats some superb insight sv - and future applicants will find this advise incredibly useful. I find it interesting that you say that books such as Montauk actually took you away from what you were trying to say and kept you detached (I take it as a synonym to "impersonal"). This is identical to my own experience from last year - when my essays were too impersonal. Another question. Did you actually change your goals in your reapplication (or new) essays ? Or did you just rewrite the essays using the same goals just writing more persuasively ? I made the cardinal sin of writing what I thought the adcom wanted to hear. My goals were the same as was my career progress (obviously) and my motivation to pursue an MBA. If anything, I decided to not narrow down my specific LT goals but rather talk about the path where I was headed. In my reapplicant essays, I talked about how I had diversified my skill-set and taken some small steps towards my goals. This especially matters if you have worked too long in one company/functional area as I did. Senior Manager Joined: 30 Aug 2008 Posts: 251 Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 0 Re: 2008 Zero admits revisited [#permalink] ### Show Tags 14 Apr 2009, 17:19 svrider wrote: In my reapplicant essays, I talked about how I had diversified my skill-set and taken some small steps towards my goals. This especially matters if you have worked too long in one company/functional area as I did. What did you do to diversify your skill set? Current Student Joined: 30 Oct 2007 Posts: 217 Location: Dallas Schools: Fuqua, Anderson, Johnson, Ross Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 67 [3] , given: 2 Re: 2008 Zero admits revisited [#permalink] ### Show Tags 14 Apr 2009, 20:02 3 This post received KUDOS I took on some additional project management tasks at work in addition to other tasks that would normally fall under the domain of program management. Same with XC - started working with a different org that was different from my past volunteering activities. It might seem contrived to do so, but I felt that I couldn't hurt my chances by doing something new. Basically, I had to convey that I wasn't a geek! Btw, I had feedback sessions with both Tuck and Ross. While Tuck was helpful, the feedback from Ross was generic and not more than 10 mins. Something to the effect of, "Well, you were good enough to be on the waitlist, but we had too many similar applicants...Sorry". With 5 weeks until the next R1 deadline, the only suggestion I could get was that if I felt it necessary, I should re-take the GMAT. Needless to say, with 6 apps in R1, I barely had time to write essays. Kudos or not, this thread is definitely good karma! Just received a tidy scholarship from Anderson earlier today. CEO Joined: 17 May 2007 Posts: 2989 Followers: 60 Kudos [?]: 576 [0], given: 210 Re: 2008 Zero admits revisited [#permalink] ### Show Tags 15 Apr 2009, 02:20 Thats brilliant sv - you deserve all the kudos and the scholarship$$ that you get.

Still waiting for others to share their experiences.

svrider wrote:
I took on some additional project management tasks at work in addition to other tasks that would normally fall under the domain of program management. Same with XC - started working with a different org that was different from my past volunteering activities. It might seem contrived to do so, but I felt that I couldn't hurt my chances by doing something new. Basically, I had to convey that I wasn't a geek!

Btw, I had feedback sessions with both Tuck and Ross. While Tuck was helpful, the feedback from Ross was generic and not more than 10 mins. Something to the effect of, "Well, you were good enough to be on the waitlist, but we had too many similar applicants...Sorry". With 5 weeks until the next R1 deadline, the only suggestion I could get was that if I felt it necessary, I should re-take the GMAT. Needless to say, with 6 apps in R1, I barely had time to write essays.

Kudos or not, this thread is definitely good karma! Just received a tidy scholarship from Anderson earlier today.
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15 Apr 2009, 04:11
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I'm not an official member of the 2008 zero admits club since I didn't find GMATclub until last December, but I also was an applicant last year and went 0 for 3. Last year I applied to Booth, HBS and Stanford, and got 0 admits. This year I applied to 5 schools (Kellogg, Duke, Booth, HBS, Columbia), with 2 admits (Kellogg and Duke), 2 dings (Booth and HBS) and withdrew from CBS before the RD review period started.

I think there were a few things that helped me be a lot more successful this year than last:

1) Choice of schools. I completely underestimated last year the importance of fit. I applied to HBS, Stanford and Booth primarily because of their ranking and reputation, then tried to back into why those schools were good matches with me and my career goals. Obviously it didn't work. This year, I spent a lot more time researching schools and thinking about which schools were the best match for my career goals. I also paid a lot more attention to culture, and thought about which school cultures fit best with my personality. I think that this year, the schools I applied to were a much better fit.
2) Better essays. After decisions were released last year I showed my essays to pretty much anyone willing to give me feedback on them - a much bigger group than the reviewers I used. A lot of the feedback came back that my essays were not specific enough..they just barely scratched the surface of what my goals were, why I wanted an MBA, and what I had accomplished at work. In short, they were kind of bland and didn't really paint a dynamic picture of me. In the time I had before this year's application season, I spent a lot of time thinking through the deeper why's and how's of my career goals, why I wanted the MBA and why I specifically wanted each school I was applying to. This year, I was able to be a lot more detailed in my essays, to provide that next deeper layer of the onion, and I think this had a great impact on my applications this year.
3) New work & EC experience. In the year between applications, I also took on a lot more project leader roles at work and in one of my extracurricular activities. There were 3 projects in particular that were pretty high profile, and had easily quantifiable benefits as outcomes. This also helped me in writing better essays and gave me better examples to use in interviews.

I think those 3 things were the main difference makers. For this year's group of people with 0 admits, keep your heads up. I know in February last year, after having just gone 0 for 3, I was ready to give up on my MBA plans. I felt like a complete failure, and couldn't imagine going through the admissions process again. After a month or so, after the initial shock and hurt passed, I realized that an MBA still was the best path for me, and started thinking about how I would be more successful the next year. I'll also say that for me the feeling of the admissions process the second time through is different. The waiting certainly isn't any easier, but overall I felt a lot less stressed by the process this year than I was last year because I went into it knowing what to expect.
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15 Apr 2009, 05:05
kudos Jerz - that is a great story - very motivating. I'll add you to the list at the top.
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19 Apr 2009, 16:05
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This is a great idea bsd. It's good to see everyone from last year do well and get into some great schools in a very competitive year.

I'll put a detailed debrief on here in the next day or 2.

But, to anyone who's discouraged about getting dinged/WLed this year, I hope you take some time and re-evaluate your needs for an MBA. I know how many of you may feel that you can't go through another application season again, but if you feel an MBA is necessary for you, you should definitely apply again. In fact, if I hadn't learnt a lot of the stuff I did last year, I am pretty sure I wouldn't have been accepted to Kellogg. So, you will definitely be much better placed next year than you were this year. Good luck!
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12 May 2009, 08:24
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Great initiative bsd, and sorry for not contributing earlier. I saw Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares - Revisited last night on TV (ok!, I was bored), so I suddenly remembered this post and thought I should contribute. I feel that my applications in '08 were like a tired looking crusty sandwich. This is my story of how I got voted in and thankfully kicked out of the Zero Admits Club.

Last Year - My GMAT attempat '#1 (Jan'08) left me exhausted with a score of 690. I thought I'd apply for R3 Cambridge which was only 4 weeks after my GMAT. This was a very bad idea in hindsight, especially because I wrote that app entirely from my hotel room when I was on an overseas assignment.
Result #1 (R3 '08 intake) -> Ding without interview.
Lesson #1: never apply when you are not ready.

This year - 3 Weeks after I got dinged from Cambridge, I decided to retake the GMAT and after 6 further weeks of prep i got a 710. I felt I never achieved my potential in the GMAT (don't we all feel the same? MSDAY?), but I decided to apply to 3 schools in R1. Cambridge, LBS and Oxford.

Result #2 (R1a '09 intake): Waitlisted w/o interview at Cambridge.
Lesson #2: The same school that dinged me in R3 only a few months ago had waitListed me. This meant that I had a much better application. However when I revisited my application, I didn't like how my goals portrayed me. They were too generic and also too "main stream". It seemed like I hadn't thought much about why i wanted an MBA. I also failed to connect the dots and link my goals to my background

Result #3 R1 '09 intake): Dinged without interview from LBS. This ding really hurt.
Lesson #3: My essays upon reflection showed me in very fragmented pieces. I portrayed myself as a guy who had A,B,C,D and did X,Y,Z. Too many arrows in my armory didn't allow me to really show off my skills. Instead I should have focused on 1 or 2 traits and drive home who I really am. Also I didn't sell myself enough.

Due to some personal family related circumstances I put back my Oxford app to R2. I was again emotionally exhausted and my Oxford app was not ready. I applied what I had learned from lesson #1.

I applied to Oxford in R2 with a much better app. The rest as they say is history.

The things that helped me in my Oxford app.

1) Be in a happy state of mind. - It may sound silly, but my Oxford app was written in easily the most relaxing state of mind. My essay reviewers all complained that I wasn't working hard enough. I even took a 2 weeks vacation to Morocco a month before the due date. I only worked on my essays when I was feeling good about myself.

2) Don't undersell yourself - Feeling good about yourself means it's easier to write good stuff about yourself. It's that simple. My thoughts were better connected and there was an underlying positive vibe in my Oxford application and this continued at my interview.

3) Introspection coupled with ding analysis - My Oxford essay was based on deep introspection. After 3-4 months of just thinking about MBA application meant that I really knew my stories and I was able to connect those dots together in telling my story to the adcom. I also connected with several current and past students of LBS and sent them my essays for disection. This "ding-analysis" really helped as it pointed out the flaws in my essays.

4) Don't be scared to ask for help. I asked a number of people for help. These people had gone through the journey themselves and were largely happy to comment on my work.

For those with Zero admits this year, don't worry, many of us have been where you are now. We have grown-up through the app-process and are definitely better for it. The MBA application process does teach you a thing or two that you can use in everyday life, whether in a work or non-work context.

Goodluck,

buff
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12 May 2009, 09:06
Add me to this fine group - O-fer last year, in at Ross this year.
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12 May 2009, 09:26
zmfatla wrote:
Add me to this fine group - O-fer last year, in at Ross this year.

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12 May 2009, 09:43
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12 May 2009, 23:35
zmfatla wrote:
Add me to this fine group - O-fer last year, in at Ross this year.

Hi zmfatla I've added you to the list above. We are all keen to hear your story.

buffdaddy it was great to hear your story (+1). What was the the most important thing, that secret ingredient / recipe, in your oxford app that your other apps didnt have that made this application a success ?
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13 May 2009, 06:03
It might be interesting to see which of those people got admitted to schools they had previously applied to or if they had reevaluated their target schools then got the admit. A lot of people are always curious how reapplicants are looked at.
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Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond.
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Re: 2008 Zero admits - Where are they now ??   [#permalink] 13 May 2009, 06:03

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