Affiliations: CBS Class of 2014
Joined: 07 May 2011
 , given: 8
Application Season is Here! Hows Your Story? [#permalink]
18 Jul 2012, 08:33
This post received
So, as a 'seasoned' member here at GMATClub, and going through the long-winded application process last year, I consider myself pretty well versed on most of the top schools that are mentioned on this forum. What I found incredibly useful last year during my application process was leveraging some GMATClub members who were current 1Y students at some of the schools I was interested in. Through reaching out to them and having them review my application essays and resume, I was able to really craft a good story of my profile and understand how to tie in every aspect of the application to round out my 'story'. I did compensate them for their time which typically was about $100 to review my essays for consistency.
So you LT, what's your point? You had some help on your essays and you are going to Columbia Business School, congratulations, the world of GMATClub already knows. Well, in light of my recent unemployment, er resignation, and with application season upon us, I figured it's time to try and put some monetary value around my experience and knowledge of crafting a 'story' and building a proper application.
Ok, so you are telling us you are going to start an admissions service and charge us lots of money with no guarantee? Sounds enticing, doesn't it? Well WRONG! Borrowing the idea from the Ross students last year, although I was planning on doing this before they posted, I'm going to try and shake it up a bit. Here's what I think about the MBA admissions process and if you disagree, then by all means punch your ticket and be glad you didn't read on!
Your entire application should read like a book. So lets be serious here... what makes us pick up some random book at B&N or order offline at Amazon if we have no recommendation on it? Well it's the cover and title that gets us first interested, right? We already know the genre - mba admissions, so now it's onto the comparison. Your GMAT is kind of like the title of the book, if you have a great one you will lure them in but still not commit them to purchasing. However, a poor GMAT won't necessarily keep you out... but, let's be serious with ourselves. If you are trying to sell me a good story and the author couldn't even come up with a decent title, how good can the book really be? You can control your GMAT score, so don't let it be a poor title. If it's not stellar, that's ok but at least be realistic about your target audience (which schools you are applying to). Now onto your GPA. Your GPA my friends is the image on the cover of the book. This is one of those things that the better the title and more enticing the picture, the less reliance the potential reader is going to have on what's inside since you have already convinced them, through imagery and headlines, that you are a good read. However, if your picture isn't that exciting and lacks real 'attention grabbing' characteristics... lets simplify it. Richard Bach's Illusions had a feather on the cover, that's right, A BLUE FLIPPING FEATHER! Yet, somehow, that book leaves you feeling like a new type of person and broadens your perspective. My point is, the feather alone isn't selling us on the book so you can overcome that with some hard work.
Ok, thanks for yet another analogy on MBA admissions, but really you kind of have me interested but are leaving out the meat and potatoes man. I know, I know. So let's GET ON WITH IT! What I'm offering is a simple helping hand of crafting what is in my ability to help craft. Your table of contents and the read of your story. You have to put in the legwork for the title and I know it's painful that the picture you already put on the cover can't change without some work (alternate transcripts), but this is life, and you are applying to business school, so toughen up my friends.
So here's the deal. I'm not going to waste my time, your time or your MONEY! That's right, I'm not going to waste your money. If I don't think there's enough of a story in place, defined goals or enough content to really craft a compelling application for your 'target' schools, I will be straight up with you and suggest you pay one of the 'big time' admissions consultants who will most definitely take $2K from you to help write a good story if you don't want to be realistic. I'm no pessimist but I do try to be a realist. There are exceptions to every rule but the reality is, if you are banking on being the 'exception', I'll bet against those odds and even with my losses, will come out way ahead.
What I am offering is my own realistic thoughts on your profile, goals and target schools. If I think that we have something we can work with for those schools then I will certainly help you craft your essays and application package. If not, I'll simply suggest you look elsewhere or reassess your target schools. I would love to be so wealthy that I could do all this gratis, but the reality is, Columbia is expensive and my student debt doesn't get paid on goodwill. For $50 per essay/per school, I will help you craft your resume and story for your career goals and that schools profile. So if the school has (3) essays this year, the fee is going to be $150 for me to help you with your resume and do two iterations of review of each of the (3) essays. I will NOT write your essays but I will give you targeted ideas and strengths, based on your own resume and goals, to use when writing the essays to help you understand how to answer the question and keep consistency throughout the application. There will be no 'splitting' of schools/essays, ie, I won't do your resume for free if you pay me to help with Essay 1 from Tuck but not the others. It's the schools essay number multiplied by $50 to help with that package. I also will not accept multiple school payments at once. After you do one schools essays and understand the real 'method' for putting your application together, I'm confident you will be capable of doing your remaining schools on your own. If not, I will certainly help with the others but would urge you to save your money if you feel comfortable with what you're doing.
Benefits to you? You save a lot of money and have the added value of working with someone who just went through this last year. I'm not removed from the process and I am very good at wordsmithing and creatively telling your story. I'm not going to take your money blindly if I don't think there is even a chance that my help would be of value for your application based on your profile and target school. I have lots of free time before orientation starts and TRULY enjoy helping people with their essays. I've helped a few colleagues for free because I genuinely enjoy this process despite all the stress it caused me last year.
I also encourage people thinking about Stanford or Harvard to just ignore this post. My personal opinion on those two schools is that if you have the credentials that will really get you in, you certainly shouldn't require my help. Sandy, HBSGuru, would be a good person to talk with if he's not busy. I applied, was waitlisted and subsequently withdrew my application as the uncertainty for me was just daunting given that I was already moving forward with CBS.
You can reach me through PM's here. In your PM I ask that you include your email address where I can reach you, your GPA + UG University, your GMAT Score with Quant/Verbal splits and if you scored at least a 4 on AWA, your current profession (can keep company out for privacy if you more comfortable at first) and stature of company (ie, are you working for a BB, F100, MBB, 2nd tier consulting firm, NonProfit, etc) and lastly... what do you want to do when you graduate? None of your information will be shared with anyone and will be treated confidentially.
To all others, GOODLUCK!