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Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would?

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Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2009, 13:27
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Now that a lot of people are done with their apps and have heard back from all or most of their schools, I'm curious how it all worked out!

Did the best apps turn into admits?
Did your lesser apps get you denied or waitlisted?
Did you get admitted to your stretch school but denied to one you thought was a sure thing?


I'll start:
Ross - my first app and the low word count made this my worst app of them all, not that surprised I got waitlisted.

Duke - my second app. I thought the questions were easier to answer and I also did a lot better job of writing. Didn't think I was guaranteed an admit by any means, so I was very happy when I did.

Tuck - not sure how I pulled this off. I think my essays were as good as they were going to be. However, I have almost no ECs to speak of, my GPA was 0.35 points lower and my GMAT was 8 points higher than the average .

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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2009, 16:00
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I only applied to one school R1 (Duke) because I was traveling in late September and Duke's R1 deadline was rather late, so I had more time.

I, too, enjoyed writing the Duke essays, including the dreaded LOC essay. I kid you not, I didn't put pen to paper until the Friday before apps were do on Monday but I thought about what I was going to write for a while. I also liked their "Describe a significant experience/person/event from your past" essay It helped that I've been through the app process last year (but not at Duke) so I already had an idea for "Why MBA? Why now?" type questions.

In R2, I applied to:

LBS - Essay questions were straightforward, which I liked. I'm hoping for an interview invite next week.
Chicago - I like the PowerPoint essay. I went rather simple and hit my main themes. Essay 2 ("Describe a time where you had to choose between two equally important obligations") was very difficult for me. I didn't feel good about this essay and my brother didn't give me the thumbs up he gave me for the Duke essay. They're halfway done with interview invites so I shall see if it was good enough.
Columbia - I felt OK about the essays but I don't think they would necessarily make great reading for the reviewer.
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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2009, 17:07
My results turned out as I expected, and even better in one case.

My two best applications were LBS and Oxford. I received admits from both, but also knew that LBS would be a stretch for me. So that was better than expected!

My second stretch, INSEAD, was also my first submitted application overall. Thus, though I devoted significant time to it, it probably wasn't my best effort. I was eventually waitlisted.

My final application, Cambridge, was finished after interview invites for the other three schools, so I basically did a half-assed job on it (pieced together from previous apps). No surprise that I was waitlisted there.

Since one of my stretch schools obviously came through, there was no need to start my R2 apps!
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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2009, 18:08
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Yes, essentially they did work out the way I thought.

HBS - First application I did and thus it received the most TLC. I felt this program was a good fit from the beginning, and that I'd bring a unique point of view to the class. Of course this school isn't a safety by anyone's standards, so I was really honored to be accepted.

MIT - My second application and the essays here came the easiest. I was done in one weekend. I used a combination of formal business writing (in the cover letter) and creative writing (in one of the essays). I felt I showcased my writing abilities along with my other accomplishments and themes. Again, by no means did I consider MIT to be a safety, but I had a really good feeling the whole way through.

Stanford - This was my third application and it was excruciating. It took me a month to figure out what was 'most important.' I can list a bunch of reasons why I didn't even get an interview here:
1. I live 5 minutes from campus and work at a large tech company where lots of people apply to GSB... so I'm not as diverse as I will be in Boston
2. I live 5 minutes from campus, yet I didn't go to an info session...it's not that I didn't try, but when I took a vacation day specifically to tour, it was canceled for that day. I also got caught in traffic on the way to an info session up in SF and didn't feel right walking in an hour late.
3. I made a TERRIBLE spelling error. Very embarrassing. Can't yet admit to it even in this semi-anonymous forum.
4. The alumni I talked to suggested that I should make my 'most important' essay very personal. In retrospect, I may have gone too far...like, maybe into TMI territory.
Basically, this just wasn't meant to be.

Haas - Final application. I applied for R2, so it's too early to know if I'll be interviewed. I had a good feeling about it when I sent it in though! I'm considering withdrawing given my R1 acceptances, but part of me wants to keep it as an open option since I live in the area and I'm in a serious relationship here. I really loved Haas when I visited the campus. The students and professors were all super friendly, helpful, smart, etc.



...Wow, writing all that down was like a therapy session.
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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2009, 19:45
Honestly, my expectations were all over the map during the application process. Some days I was looking seriously at plan-B because I was not confident, other days I felt I had a shot at Harvard.

Realistically, I didn't have much of a shot at HBS, I thought I'd get into Duke, and was hoping for the best at Kellogg and Wharton. Wharton was my only surprise in the end — had a good interview, good rapport with everyone I met there, and enjoyed the visit, but then got dinged. Otherwise, everything went more or less according to plan (even my HBS ding, heh).
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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2009, 21:15
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BigBad wrote:
3. I made a TERRIBLE spelling error. Very embarrassing. Can't yet admit to it even in this semi-anonymous forum.


My guess: you left the n out in Stanford
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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2009, 22:31
dharmabum wrote:
My guess: you left the n out in Stanford


Standford :oops:

Spelled it right 6 times though...
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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2009, 04:36
BigBad wrote:
dharmabum wrote:
My guess: you left the n out in Stanford


Standford :oops:

Spelled it right 6 times though...


If you spelled it correctly 6 times, that's a pretty minor error. If you had misspelled it throughout, then yeah, they would look very bad!

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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2009, 05:53
BigBad wrote:
Standford

Spelled it right 6 times though...


I was so close!
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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2009, 07:18
A +1 to dharmabum for that guess.

Duke's was my first application, and guess I did a pretty decent job, especially in the LOC essay. Coming from a group which has a huge pool of applicants, had to distinguish myself, and somehow managed to do so.

After submitting Duke's application, read Montauk's book for the 1st time, and got scared that I might have screwed up. So began applying to Darden. IMO Darden's was a very terse application, suited to my taste; finished it in a week. Received interview invite but then withdrew.

Post Duke admit, when the loan issue cropped up, I started looking for schools that were still giving loans w/o cosigner. So applied to Kellogg, though couldn't put my best, in back of the mind had this urge to reuse the essays written for Duke and Darden. Only when I hear back from them, shall know how good was the application.
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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2009, 16:18
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I definitely had mixed feelings. I remember at one point when starting my HBS app, I basically asked myself why am I even trying? My wife reminded me that if I'm going to apply that I better give it my best. Man, do I owe her now!

HBS - As said above, I initially didn't put a lot of effort into this one. I still don't think it was my best as the shorter word limits didn't allow me to incorporate the creativity that I used in my other apps. I was shocked to get an interview invite. However, once I got the invite, I knew I had a fighting chance as interviewing is definitely my strength. After the interview, I felt great. It was my best interview and also my last which I believe made a huge difference. I was still not very confident in getting in because it's HBS. I kept telling myself that I wasn't going to get in so I wouldn't get my hopes up. We were shocked and excited when I got in, but both of us had this feeling inside that I was in after the interview.

Wharton - This was the surprise of my apps. I thought it was my best app due to the questions and lengths. After getting the HBS invite, I thought I would for sure get a Wharton invite. I did not. Oh well, their loss. :)

Kellogg - This was my target school and first app and interview. I put a lot of time into it, but after I submitted and interviewed I was pretty nervous as I knew my other apps/interviews were better. I wasn't sure if I was going to get an admit as I knew I could have done much better. However, Kellogg was my first admit and I was extremely excited and thrilled to get an admit.

Ross - I felt I was somewhat safe here, but not a sure thing. After getting the Super Interview Invite, I felt great though and wasn't surprised at all when I got the call.

Duke - This ended up being my safety as my stats were well above average. I felt good about getting an admit here.
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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2009, 17:14
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I have to say I began the application season not confident at all. With all the talk about so many applicants this year, I felt that any admit would be a blessing so I definitely did not expect to get into more than 1 or 2.

UCLA - This was my first app, and I felt like it was one of my strongest. I put a lot of thought and emotion behind it, and it took me a good 2 weeks and many revisions to get it right but I felt great about the application. I also felt like a good fit there, just from the students and alum I have met, and the campus visit.

HBS - I knew this would be a long shot for me. I felt my essays were good, and I felt my stats were in line although my GPA was a bit lower, when I read my essays again I noticed a big error. I accidentally deleted a word, somehow, and it was in a sentence that was supposed to make a major emphasis in an essay that was personal. Aside from the obvious that this school is a stretch, I knew this pretty much kicked me out of the race.

Kellogg - Another one of my first applications, I felt this application was mediocre. For some reason I had a lot of difficulty with this application, it took me the longest, and I couldn't get my thoughts down as easily as for other schools. My interview was meh, nothing great, nothing bad - but after that interview I didn't feel great about it. That and the fact that I work for a company that many people apply to kellogg from, and am in an industry that many people apply to kellogg from - I just didn't stand out enough.

Chicago - I felt as confident about this application as UCLA. I loved the powerpoint. I know people usually hate it but, I really liked being able to be more creative and felt like I was able to portray myself in a more accurate way through this medium. My visit was great, my interview went really well, the students were amazing and my overall experience there just took me by surprise. I thought it would be a long shot for me to get into Booth, because of the hype with the rankings and the recent donation, so I was very happy with the admit.

Duke - I felt good about this application, not great about it though. My on campus experience was great though - my interview went really well. The student community there is wonderful, you can tell that people who go to Duke really enjoy it. The LOC essay was pretty easy I thought, and I felt confident about it.

Berkeley - I withdrew but, I think this application was definitely my best because it was my last. But I withdrew out of pure exhaustion from applying to 5 round 1 schools and couldn't stomach the thought of going through the process again. That and I was pretty set on Booth.

By the time December rolled around I started freaking out about a round 2 plan, with Stern, Georgetown part time, Columbia, and USC but I'm glad that things ended up working out. When I started this process, I had no idea what I was in for at all. I can't believe I cranked out 5 applications in 1.5 months, life definitely sucked! Isa either amazes me or I think she is crazy for doing 8. :)
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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 07 Feb 2009, 04:12
BigBad wrote:
dharmabum wrote:
My guess: you left the n out in Stanford


Standford :oops:

Spelled it right 6 times though...


haha honestly, if you think about how many times you type "and" a day, stanDford is a pretty easy typo if you type fast.
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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2009, 10:51
Mine worked out about how I expected:

HBS: I didn't think my essays were as good as for other schools and this was always a pretty big stretch for me. I also didn't fit in with their push towards younger applicants so I never had any realistic expectations of getting accepted here. (Result: denied w/o interview)

Booth: I thought my essays were good here but not consistently strong: the written ones were very good but I never really got the powerpoint to a place that I looked at it and thought that it was both true to who I was and engaging for the reader. I thought I interviewed well, but given the competition I only gave myself 50-50 chances since I'm sure my powerpoint was not as good as others. (Result: denied after interview)

Duke: I thought I put together a very strong application here. I really liked the essay prompts and felt that I could tell some really great stories here and present myself well. I thought I did very well in the interview as well - I connected well with the 2nd year interviewer, touched on all the main points I wanted to make about why I was a great candidate for Duke, and just really was 'in the zone' that day. (Result: admitted w/ half tuition scholarship)

Kellogg: Again, I really liked Kellogg's essays and thought that they gave me a great opportunity to talk about myself in a very well rounded way. I also think that I am a great fit for Kellogg - both in terms of personality as well as career goals - and was able to convey that in my essays. On the other hand, I didn't feel great about my interview. The adcoms that interviewed me were very guarded in their reaction to what I was saying and it just generally felt like an interrogation. However, their questions allowed me to touch on my key themes of why I am a great fit. (Result: admitted)

I can't really comment on Columbia since I withdrew and don't know what their decision would have been. I thought my essays were pretty good, but to be honest of all the schools I applied to I was least excited about Columbia so that probably could be seen in the essays.
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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2009, 20:26
I think mine worked out as expected, although I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting. Only applied to 2 schools as I was ok with not getting in and reapplying to a broader range next year. In the end it worked out because I was able to devote a ton of time to both apps.

HBS: 1st app... spent a ton of time on the essays and making them into what I thought were as perfect as could be and showed lots of leadership. I had a pretty good feeling about my candidacy going in and the interview went really well. I guess no one can ever be sure about HBS or Stanford, but I had a much better feeling about my HBS app as a whole including the interview.

Stanford: 2nd app... pretty much adapted my HBS essays to fit all the Stanford essays except the what matters most and why question, which I spent a lot of time on. I thought I was actually a better fit for Stanford based on career goals and friends that are currently at the GSB and alumni friends. Interview went alright... I thought the interviewer and I hit it off pretty well but I did receive an interview pretty late in the round, which I really do think meant I was a marginal candidate. Then when I didn't blow them away in the interview, I was dinged.

Still I went into app season knowing I would be completely happy at either school and luckily, they made what would have been a very difficult decision for me.
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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2009, 21:50
I spent maybe 2-3 hours on my app to Kelley (I know it's not HBS or Wharton but it was my stretch school and my last app). I rushed through it, putting exactly what I thought for each question, no BSing or anything. There's a question about naming 3 people who you would want to take a roadtrip with and why. I put Mark Cuban even though he's from IU (I told them I knew that but I didn't care and I liked his style so he was coming along. He was busted a few weeks later for securities charges hahaha, whoops!) Anyway, to make a long story short, I got in with scholarships and a GA. I still remember being like wtf? How did this happen?? I thought it might be a Northwestern fake out issue until students and alumni started calling. :-D
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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2009, 20:55
I can say that my acceptances/waitlists/dings did not work out as I imagined at all, but when thinking about this question, I think my confidence in the essays correlates well.

Ross-
My first app and definitely my best. I remember reading the essay questions the first time and just smiling as I knew what I would write immediately. I actually had fun writing these essays. After an interview invitation mishap, I had a rushed interview that went well. All and all, best overally performance and my only admit so far despite being (arguably) the most difficult program I applied to.

Johnson-
I was never comfortable with these essays and had a so-so inteview at best. Before submission, I truly thought that this would be where I was headed next fall, but for some reason I just could not get it together for this app and therefore waitlist.

Darden-
In all honesty, I completely rushed through this app and did not put that much effort into the very, very short essays. I thought that they were either going to be interested in me or not and there was not a whole lot I could fit into 1000 words over 3 essays that was going to make that much of an impact. I was right, they were not interested at all...no interview.

McCombs-
I put together a pretty good app here and thought that I had strong essays. This was my first interview, but I dont think I made a big enough impression either way. Very, very surprised by the waitlist letter yesterday. This just goes to show that you cant predict what adcoms are thinking.

Simon-
I believe this app is very strong and had two great interviews over the past few months. I will definitely be surprised if I am not admitted here, but we shall see. Despite its lower ranking, I really like this school.

Four months ago, I never would have thought these would be the results....but I am definitely excited with the Ross admit!
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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2009, 21:28
Kellogg - Really had mixed feeling about this one all the way up until I almost drove off the road when I finally got the voice mail that I was accepted. My strengths that I saw going in were (1) being prior military, I was competing with a smaller applicant pool and had very good WE to draw from (2) the MMM program fit very well with my undergraduate major as well as the consulting work that I currently do (3) strong undergraduate record (4) thought I had a pretty strong interview. My perceived weakness were (1) GMAT - with a 690 I was on what I considered the bubble in terms of acceptable score (come to find out, the average GMAT score for round 1 admits was 719 and average GPA was 3.6) (2) my essays. Man, did I struggle with these puppies right up 11:49 pm the day of the deadline. All along I felt like I was a strong candidate, I just didn't know how well I was able to present myself in the essays.

Darden - was pretty confident in this one from the beginning and really didn't stress out about this one too much. Being military, and a Virginian, I thought I had a pretty good shot at getting in. I was able to cut and paste quite a bit from my Kellogg essays and literally knocked them out in the two days before the deadline.
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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2009, 07:29
I still have two outstanding applications. I can say that my applications got stronger as I went through this process.

Wharton – first application. I put a lot of time into it since it was my first. I thought it was good at first, but now that I am finished with 5 applications I can honestly say it was by far my worst application. Looking back, my major mistakes were not being humble enough in my leadership essays and not using a very good example for the failure essay. I did visit the school and felt I demonstrated adequate knowledge of the program though. This was one of my “reach” schools. (Result = ding w/out interview)

Kellogg/Tuck – my next two applications. I also put a lot of time into both of these. The difference here was I had a current Kellogg MBA student review my Kellogg essays. He made some great comments that I was able to apply to my remaining 4 applications. I visited both schools and interviewed on campus at Tuck. I feel like these were “target” programs for me. (Result = accepted at both)

Chicago Booth – one of my two R2 applications. I put a lot of time into this one as well. The essays/powerpoint were difficult at first, but overall it turned out to be my strongest application. I visited campus in the spring and interviewed on campus. I feel like this is a “target” program for me as well. (Result = invite to interview, still awaiting decision)

HBS – my other R2 application. I put a lot of time into this one as well. I thought the essays were pretty straightforward and incorporated my best stories. This was one of my strongest applications (probably right behind Booth). I have never visited campus. This was my other “reach” school. (Result = not invited to interview, probably dinged)
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Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would? [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2009, 08:19
When I started this process, I was really hoping for an admit to any one of the 8 schools I applied to. I have a low-ish GPA, a high GMAT, solid WE at a no-brand company - I didn't know how the combination of all that would impact my admissions results so I applied to 8 schools.

Kellogg - I decided to start with Kellogg since their essays were the most recyclable. The questions were comprehensive enough that I ended up spending the most amount of time on this app. I think my interview went well, the essays were solid. I think I was able to convey my fit to Kellogg pretty well in both those areas. (result - admitted on the last day)

Wharton - During all the iterations of my "which schools do I apply to list" this was one of the schools that was always on it (at the top of the list in fact). I did this app after Kellogg. I think my essays were mostly fine here - if I could go back and change one thing about the app, I'd swap out the failure/setback essay for something else. I don't think I chose the right example for it. I think my interviews on campus also went fairly well. (result - waitlisted after interview)

Booth - During all the iterations of my "which schools do I apply to list" this was the other schools that was always on it. I actually visited campus/hung out with Boothies way more than for any other school. I think it really helped me articulate how I'd fit in, during my essays. I think my PPT was actually pretty lame but my essays were fine so that helped balance it. I think my interview on campus also went fairly well. (result - admitted)

Tuck - I applied during the EA round to Tuck. It was actually my first interview so I was grateful it went surprisingly well. I was def able to leverage my visit and the insights I gathered about Tuck culture in my essays. After I visited though, I was nervous about how small Hanover was; after living in a smaller city for the last 3.6 years, I wasn't sure I wanted an even smaller town! I applied anyway, thinking that there was no chance I'd be admitted and if I was, I'd figure it out then. Somehow I was admitted! After several agonizing weeks, I decided to turn it down in favor of a more urban school. (result - admitted w/ merit scholarship)

HBS - This was a ridiculously long-shot school for me. I have aspects of my profile that are good, unique but nothing that is remotely "stellar" for a school like HBS. I applied anyway - what's one more app when you're already doing 7? :P I thought my essays were "meh" - nothing amazing, nothing horrible. (result - ding)

Duke - I was really attracted to Duke's HSM program. I visited campus for my interview, found the students to be warm, engaging and could easily see myself having a great time on campus with them. I went back for their Women's Weekend that gave more insight into what life at Fuqua would be like. I thought my essays were pretty good (even the LOC one that just took forever to write) and a couple of them really captured the concept of Team Fuqua. My interviewer and I had great rapport so that helped the interview go really well. (result - admitted w/ merit scholarship)

Columbia - I applied RD for CBS. My essays were pretty good, so was my interview. I didn't visit campus or any cbs-on-the-road type events. I just spoke w/ a couple of current students that I knew to get their insights and incorporated those into my essays. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough. (result - dinged after interview)

MIT - I was one of the ones dinged during MIT's R1 bloodbath. I thought my essays (esp the cover letter) were pretty good. I had visited campus so was able to incorporate a lot of that into my essays. Unfortunately, none of that helped and I was dinged. (result - dinged w/o interview)

I think my results were far better than I expected. I'm very grateful I'm in a position where I get to make a choice :)
Re: Did your accept/denies work out like you thought they would?   [#permalink] 12 Feb 2009, 08:19
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