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# Application review...

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Current Student
Joined: 07 Aug 2007
Posts: 1062
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Application review... [#permalink]  25 Jan 2008, 15:50
2
KUDOS
Found this thread on the s2s forums:

http://s2s.wharton.upenn.edu/wh-wharton/messages/?msg=20838

Basically a R1 Wharton reapplicant who got dinged put up his application and wanted feedback on why he was dinged. I think the responses to this thread is very informative and would highly recommend everyone thinking about applying next year to take a look at this thread.
GMAT Club Legend
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Joined: 05 Apr 2006
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Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2009
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Re: Application review... [#permalink]  26 Jan 2008, 05:13
2
KUDOS
1) Resume is very weak - it fails completely to describe what he did and what the results of those actions are.

2) His essay attempts to recast the core question - the question asks how do you expect Wharton to help you achieve these goals - not "Why Wharton". It's a small difference, but there is a difference. Regardless, his why Wharton is exactly the kind of mindless paragraph that says nothing of consequence. I mean heck, his first point is that he has "no doubt" Wharton is "credible".... Its terrible any way you dice it, but its especially terrible since it's "qualified".. It's like saying to a friend "I have no doubt that you are capable" vs "You are really good at this". I don't advocate pandering, but if you are going to do it, at least make it sound like you actually believe it. He actually qualifies a lot of his words... things like "I think my exposure"? You think? You don't know? I also hate the 4th grader approach of providing headlines. Use transitional sentences. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter, but it just makes for choppy reading.

3) Most damaging of all, its completely unclear what he wants from an MBA. He fails to answer that. Raise your hand if you think he forgot to tell you his long term goal? I raised mine.... but actually, its there... it just took me a while to realize it. The problem is, I thought his short term goal was to join a utility company or the World Bank. As it turns out, he lists his short term goal as getting an MBA, and the utility company thing is a long term goal! I think its pretty clear that "getting an MBA" is a horribly weak short term goal. He didn't understand the question, and thus, he didn't really answer it. This alone probably did him in.

4) I have to point this out too... The World Bank is a pretty HUGE leap from a utility company. The two have almost nothing in common. Immediately, it seems clear he has no clue what his goals are.

5) His why now is basically "I want it now cause my career isn't going anywhere". Not especially convincing.

6) The essays lack passion or introspection -- as a result they are entirely forgettable.

7) Differences from last application... This should have been the wow moment - the differentiator - but there's nothing here. He got promoted. He ran a few meetings. He raised $7k (I'd rather know what he did specifically than how much he made). He "managed large teams"... etc There's just nothing here but a laundry list of things, completely unconnected and most of them say nothing of consequence. So he ran meetings... with what goal? What was achieved? Why does it matter? How is that important for graduate school? What did he learn? Etc. etc. etc. I could go on and on.... In short, If I had to pick the top 3: 1) He failed to answer what his goals are / why he needs an mba. 2) Completely and totally fails to explain why Wharton 3) Whether its through lack of introspection or just a mediocre experience thus far, nothing in here is at all memorable. How did he get an interview? Its possible last years essays fill in some of these gaps. Or maybe, they decided to interview him to better understand the answers to these questions. Director Joined: 25 Dec 2007 Posts: 524 Schools: Harvard '11 Followers: 9 Kudos [?]: 63 [0], given: 28 Re: Application review... [#permalink] 26 Jan 2008, 06:20 That was very helpful for me to read. He seems qualified, but I agree with Rhyme - his essays are too generic. Thanks for the link dosa! Current Student Joined: 07 Aug 2007 Posts: 1062 Followers: 4 Kudos [?]: 31 [1] , given: 0 Re: Application review... [#permalink] 26 Jan 2008, 06:38 1 This post received KUDOS Thanks rhyme- that was a really detailed evaluation from your side. Definitely helps to get some expert opinions from you msday-when you visit chicago and attend a gsb live event, they share an application similar to this and discuss what they look for as well. i thought this was a good example on what NOT to do in an app. Senior Manager Joined: 26 Sep 2007 Posts: 264 Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 4 [0], given: 0 Re: Application review... [#permalink] 26 Jan 2008, 07:15 Nice dosa! Uno kudos for you! Current Student Joined: 01 Aug 2007 Posts: 157 Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 13 [0], given: 1 Re: Application review... [#permalink] 26 Jan 2008, 07:52 Now, we all can say what was wrong with his application. But the starnge thing is, if those flaws in essays were so blatant and easy to identify ( assuming nobody of the commentors in that thread went over his app for more than 20-30 minutes), then why Wharton decided to interview him ( after their stringent process of reading and re-reading and stacking of app files)? Did they not read his essays? And according to Wharton website, they care about the highest GMAT, then why in the feedback they mentioned the first GMAT score? This point is having an implication beyond that guy's application. This pokes me to think , how much should we trust the schools' to follow their own policies? Director Joined: 25 Dec 2007 Posts: 524 Schools: Harvard '11 Followers: 9 Kudos [?]: 63 [0], given: 28 Re: Application review... [#permalink] 26 Jan 2008, 08:35 It's entirely possible that he had very good recommendations...I think I value recommendations very highly in the process, as it is the only thing that is entirely out of your control. If you can get 2-3 other people to say very nice things about you (in the professional sense), then I think that'd be very important. filmcity wrote: Now, we all can say what was wrong with his application. But the starnge thing is, if those flaws in essays were so blatant and easy to identify ( assuming nobody of the commentors in that thread went over his app for more than 20-30 minutes), then why Wharton decided to interview him ( after their stringent process of reading and re-reading and stacking of app files)? Did they not read his essays? And according to Wharton website, they care about the highest GMAT, then why in the feedback they mentioned the first GMAT score? This point is having an implication beyond that guy's application. This pokes me to think , how much should we trust the schools' to follow their own policies? VP Joined: 10 Jun 2007 Posts: 1461 Followers: 6 Kudos [?]: 179 [0], given: 0 Re: Application review... [#permalink] 26 Jan 2008, 09:05 Great post. My redundant comments... The guy certainly has great GMAT score, great GPA from reputable engineering school, and nice salary. His work can potentially make significant impact in our deteriorating environment. In addition, he has shown the admission committee that he truly want to attend the school by being a re-applicant and desire to improve weaknesses by obtaining feedback. These maybe the reasons he was interviewed. On the other hand, it is unfortunate that his goal/passion/potentials doesn't come across in the essays. If I am the CEO of a company, I would not hire him simply from his writing. To me, his essays proof that 88%tile in verbal and 5.5 AWA in GMAT do not equate good writing. A lot of claims he made did not sound convincing, no specific details, no passion, confused, not logical, which ultimately led the readers to believe that he did not give enough thoughts on his essays. So much potentials lost Intern Joined: 26 Jan 2008 Posts: 9 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0 Re: Application review... [#permalink] 26 Jan 2008, 10:15 In general, I would NEVER try to explain a low GMAT score in the optional essay or anywhere else (whether 1st or 2nd try). It just is what it is. Trying to explain it makes you look weak in my opinion. _________________ http://mbavolunteers.weebly.com - Application feedback in exchange for a donation to a non-profit Manager Joined: 23 Aug 2007 Posts: 136 Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 0 Re: Application review... [#permalink] 26 Jan 2008, 10:17 I find it hard to criticise since I am not a good writer either, but I can provide my comments on the facts. The reasons mentioned to select CIVIL engineering are not convincing to me and the statement where he mentions "The idea of drinking water straight out of a tap without boiling it was alien to me until I traveled to Hungary as a 12 year old." would raise question mark if even one person at adcomm knew about India because most of the middle and lower class drinks water right out the tap without boiling it. "However, at EWBLA I felt that most members were treating chapter activities either as opportunities for having social gatherings or as a fashion or status symbol." Part judgmental, may be honest but schools will not like this if next thing you say is, "To avoid further conflict within the team I gradually reduced my inputs and started looking for other avenues to volunteer." If there was so much concern about victims as to make judgment that was made in the first statement, one must never give up the efforts for few people not collaborating. SVP Joined: 05 Aug 2007 Posts: 1502 Schools: NYU Stern '11 Followers: 15 Kudos [?]: 210 [0], given: 22 Re: Application review... [#permalink] 26 Jan 2008, 10:41 Useful comments but hindsight vision is always 20/20. I'm sure a lot of us will make the same mistakes when we actually write our essays on our own under the pressure of deadlines. As his interview call might indicate, a 'weak' essay isn't necessarily a dealbreaker. Maybe he just wasn't able to make the best use of his face to face time with the adcom during the interview. Current Student Joined: 22 Apr 2007 Posts: 1097 Followers: 5 Kudos [?]: 22 [0], given: 0 Re: Application review... [#permalink] 26 Jan 2008, 10:49 Rhyme has done a good job evaluating the application. I agree with most of the posters that the biggest problem seems to be his somewhat unclear goals. I have had the same problem in my goals essays .. I haven't been able to make them very clear. hbs.aspirant wrote: "However, at EWBLA I felt that most members were treating chapter activities either as opportunities for having social gatherings or as a fashion or status symbol." Part judgmental, may be honest but schools will not like this if next thing you say is, "To avoid further conflict within the team I gradually reduced my inputs and started looking for other avenues to volunteer." If there was so much concern about victims as to make judgment that was made in the first statement, one must never give up the efforts for few people not collaborating. You brought up interesting points and I completely agree with you. I agree that the first statement is judgmental and will not seem good to the adcom. Also, if you are so concerned about the 'cause', then you would certainly not give it up because others are not sincerely working for it. In fact, my belief is that for every one person that is completely devoted to the cause, there are another 50+ people who would start working for the cause with a bang only to move away in a few days or weeks. Those 50+ people may have started the work as a fashion/status symbol, they may have had just a brief urge to do something for the community or humanity or they may have found the work more involving than they first thought. But this does not mean that they don't want good for the cause. And this does not mean that the cause can't get any value out of them. Anybody who has attempted to raise awareness for a good cause would know that you desperately need those 50+ people even if you know that they aren't completely devoted to the cause. If nothing else, they can help you tremendously with viral marketing (By telling friends, posting on their forums / social websites etc). Even their brief urges to do good for the community provide you$ through donations and viral marketing that are simply invaluable for the cause. There is this one girl who had this urge to help our 'school for poor ' one day. She told me that she was sending an email about our school to 6000+ members of her community in a social website. I don't care if that girl did this only to show off to her friends that she was doing something good or if she just had a moment of truth. Bottomline is that she had put our school on the radars of 6000+ people in one go. Her contribution is by no means lesser than that of people like this Wharton applicant who has perhaps spent many many hours volunteering or that of anybody else.

There are millions of people who turn a blind eye to all social causes or make fun of people involved in social causes. In such a world, how can you complain about people who are at least aware of the needs of the community and who are at least making the effort of coming to a social event?

BTW, great post, dosa. This application review thread may help 2009 applicants a lot (Depending on the kind of comments people post here). Kudos to you.
Director
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Re: Application review... [#permalink]  26 Jan 2008, 11:21
I agree with rhyme, but also, i think there are some serious logical problems as well e.g., His career has plateaued, yet he is only 23 and achieved a promotion in the last year? How does that show it`s plateaued?

Not that saying your career has plateaued is a good thing.

One thing i do during interviews when explaing a why mba and why not engineering; i use a comparative description that most people understand. Typecasting and bring in an example of acting.
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Re: Application review... [#permalink]  28 Jan 2008, 15:28
darn, I guess I missed it. He removed his application already.

But this discussion is good, so it'll stay linked in the Knowledge vault.
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Re: Application review...   [#permalink] 28 Jan 2008, 15:28
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