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Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants

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Director
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Joined: 26 Oct 2007
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Schools: Tuck, Yale (ding), NYU, Columbia, Duke (int)
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2008, 10:13
Does your recommender have to write school specific recommendations? My boss is incredibly impatient...I cannot imagine him taking the time to write out different recs for 5-7 different schools. I REALLY hope this is not the case.
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2008, 10:23
VictoryMBA wrote:
Does your recommender have to write school specific recommendations? My boss is incredibly impatient...I cannot imagine him taking the time to write out different recs for 5-7 different schools. I REALLY hope this is not the case.


I've been wondering the exact same thing. I looked at the reccomendation forms for a few schools (Columbia, Wharton, Tuck) and they all have a very specific set of questions. I was only able to see the pdfs however. Do the online forms ask your reccomenders to answer these questions individually (sort of like short answer/essay) or does it give a space where they can just write a letter that covers the range of questions.
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2008, 10:32
Btw to answer the original questions...

1) Columbia, Wharton, Cornell, Tuck. I feel really good about these 4 but I'm looking to add a one more in the elite range. Probably either NYU, Yale or Duke.

2) I've taken the GMAT already (I think I have a long post elswhere on this forum on my battle with the GMAT), I'm visiting schools this month and I've started making notes on potential stories, experiences, etc

3) The number of applicants - without a doubt. This most recent application season had a dramatic increase in applicants and it's expected to be worse for us. My only hope is that since app volume last year was already approaching records, maybe the increase this year will be more moderate than some are expecting (say a 5-10% increase)

4) I am 100% committed to applying in the fall
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2008, 12:44
When the adcom put applicants into different pools, are they putting them into pools according to their career goal or background, or career goal and background? Just wondering, because next year all the lay-off bankers expected to apply. Just wondering whether coming from a non-finance background aiming for banking as post-mba career goal is going to be a disadvantage next year.
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2008, 12:59
I gave my recommenders 1.5 months, and in the end, they still barely got it in on time. Kellogg was due all the way in January and I was still hounding my recommenders. This is with my infamous 40+ page "opus" of outline and info I gave them. Maybe they passed out every time they read that thing. :P

But yeah, give them at least 2 months if you have 3 or more schools. You can never underestimate the time it takes to get them to start writing the recs (which take the most time). Also, start preparing what you want to give them 2-3 weeks beforehand, since that took me 2 weeks, when I thought it would only take a few days.
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Director
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2008, 15:18
Are the recs school specific? And if so, how specifc? Are we talking one tweak here or there...or a complete re-write?
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2008, 16:35
yes, the recs are very specific, BUT there is a LOT of overlap. I would do it either of two ways:

1. Gather all your schools' rec letter forms, and figure out which two your recommender should work on first. These two forms should cover most of the questions from the other schools such that your recommender will only have to copy and paste, with minor modifications, for the other schools. Your recommender will thank you for that. My recommenders were crusing after the first two and the rest were copy and paste jobs.

2. If that's not possible, then gather all the questions, and have your recommender write one long letter that covers every question, and just send that letter to all your schools (changing the school name, of course). The schools understand that it's a huge time suck to have your recommenders write so many letters in a short period of time.

I would do #1 if you apply to 4 or fewer schools and your recommender isn't too busy, and do #2 if your recommender is super busy or you're applying to 5 or more schools.
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2008, 16:39
Yeah .. please go with #1
Director
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2008, 21:22
kryzak wrote:
yes, the recs are very specific, BUT there is a LOT of overlap. I would do it either of two ways:

1. Gather all your schools' rec letter forms, and figure out which two your recommender should work on first. These two forms should cover most of the questions from the other schools such that your recommender will only have to copy and paste, with minor modifications, for the other schools. Your recommender will thank you for that. My recommenders were crusing after the first two and the rest were copy and paste jobs.

2. If that's not possible, then gather all the questions, and have your recommender write one long letter that covers every question, and just send that letter to all your schools (changing the school name, of course). The schools understand that it's a huge time suck to have your recommenders write so many letters in a short period of time.

I would do #1 if you apply to 4 or fewer schools and your recommender isn't too busy, and do #2 if your recommender is super busy or you're applying to 5 or more schools.


Awesome tip Kryzak, thanks. There is a lot of debating soft issues regarding the b-school app...but that's a pretty solid tip if you ask me :-D (thanks for the pm notification too)

That question has been bugging me for awhile!
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2008, 07:34
1) What schools are on your list right now? In Order of preference: Chicago GSB, Kellogg, MIT Sloan, Columbia, Haas, Duke

2) What is the state of your current preparations? Finished the GMAT (780) in March - glad to have it out of the way, trying to get leadership roles at my volunteering place. Also, about to send emails to potential recommenders warning them about what's coming up in the fall.

3) What's the scariest part of the process at this point? A few things concern me:
-my profile as an Indian engineer (US Citizen however)
-low UGPA, hopefully overcome by high GMAT and Masters GPA
-my age (29), probably won't reapply next year if I don't get in due to age bias setting in at top programs
-jump in apps next year
-Writing convicing essays

4) How serious is your pursuit at this point? Very top of my list. Not a day goes by that I don't think about the upcoming apps this fall.
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2008, 12:59
1) What schools are on your list right now? UCLA, Haas, Notre Dame (Mendoza), Texas, Virginia....

2) What is the state of your current preparations? GMAT Prep.... My GMAT Showdown is in June

3) What's the scariest part of the process at this point? $$$, I will be sad to see my savings go :(

4) How serious is your pursuit at this point? 9/10... I NEED this. My MBA plans are the driving force behind my saving and spending habits :)
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2008, 18:24
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We discussed the recs a lot last year. I found it to be one of the more stressful parts of the process in many ways. You have zero control over it and also they always seem to barely get them in (you have to stay on top of them). You shouldn't tell them what to write or god forbid write it for them...BUT you certainly should guide them in writing them. They are far different than an employment rec, extremely detailed and they should be focused on your leadership, teamwork, initiatives, stuff like that with tangible examples...schools wont care about your ability to engineer something or write code.

I spent sometime this winter and gathered most of our best practices and ideas together into the wiki for recs, its probably the most put together guide for a portion of the applications on the wiki at the moment. Many of us have been far to busy and forgetful to do much to improve it...but definitely check this out, it really will be a life saver for the recs.

http://gmatclub.com/wiki/Recommendations

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Change of topic

Since I joined this site around this time last year after lurking for a few months off and on, (a year ago next week) I bet there are a lot of next years applicants starting to drift in. Honestly, I was extremely intimidated at first when I came here, it was all talk about people making decisions for schools and who was getting in where. I kind of avoid those topics since I felt that no one would care about the following years applicants since they were all wrapped up in the end of the application process, and getting started on financial aid and figuring out their lives for the next two years.

Dont be afraid to ask questions, that what this place is about. Someone will answer it, probably several people. We want to pass on what we learned during this process. I think the frequent posters on here put a ton of time, thought, and energy into learning a lot about the application process and there is a wealth of info that can be gathered from people...they can definitely point you in the right direction if nothing else. Of course getting into schools validates that hardwork but it is good to pass it along to the next group of people...

One piece of advice, start picking peoples brains now because a lot of folks on here will slowly disappear in the coming months. Rare are the folks like Rhyme, pelihu, and aau that stick around at all as students. We were all in your position not too long ago and trust me we were as clueless as everyone when we began...we probably had the same questions and concerns so dont be shy.
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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: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2008, 18:48
1) What schools are on your list right now? Chicago GSB, Wharton, Kellogg, Columbia, Tuck, Yale

2) What is the state of your current preparations? 3 apps - 2 Dings, 1WL

3) What's the scariest part of the process at this point? Chicago GSB is my first choice but since I am WL this year, I am not sure if I should even reapply there next year since I can't show any major improvements in 5 months (May - October). Also, the high application volume is a concern.

4) How serious is your pursuit at this point? Extremely. I have to get into b-school next fall.
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2008, 20:12
Thanks Riverripper, I appreciate that. I think GMAT Club is a great resource. It helped me a TON to hit my target GMAT score - much more than the overpriced prep courses I took.

I actually just posted a new topic about information that's repeated accross your application. Maybe you could pop over and take a look if you get the chance? I would really appreciate your input. Thanks
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 04 Apr 2008, 00:34
great stuff as usual, RR.

A shameless plug for the KNOWLEDGE VAULT, which is new this year and should help people find some relevant topics to answer most questions. Check that out, read through some of the threads, and your questions will be that much more specific and will help us help you better.

River is right, this year's class owe their admits to returning people like rhyme, pelihu, AAu, and a few others (sorry if I don't mention your name here). Hopefully a few more of us will stay around next year (since last year was the first time they had the B-School application forum). I expect river, myself, NC, mNeo, nervous, terry, darden, dosa, KK, and others to be around... if not, we'll hunt them down since we have GMATClubbers in almost every top 30 school now!
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 04 Apr 2008, 11:52
Can someone let me know how the national reputation for Duke is like...
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 04 Apr 2008, 14:03
So my flight from Cleveland to Los Angeles leaves tomorrow morning. iPod is filled, camera is charged, clothes are in the dryer. I'm about ready! Any words of advice? I'm doing the information session then the class visit. Not too sure what to expect. Also, what is appropriate dress?

And if anyone has any suggestions on how I should spend my Saturday and Sunday, I'm all ears!
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 04 Apr 2008, 15:38
Omne, you'll have a lot of fun!

Alright, dress code is casual, but shirt and slacks or shirt and jeans is good enough. Most students will be wearing short sleeves if the weather is warm.

Expect the infosession to be terrible, that's just how it is and how all of us experienced it. Take out of it the content and the program offerings of Anderson (which are great). If the infosession turns out to be good, then that will be a pleasant surprise.

Class visit, Mondays sometimes Professor Cockrum teaches an "entrepreneurial Finance" class, try to get in on that. HE's a great professor. Professor Abe is also a very good professor to sit in on.

I forgot what you were looking to do as a career, but check out the Price Center for Entrepreneurship, see if you can get face time with Elaine Hagan and get insights from her.

Walk around and see all the club offerings on the bulletin boards between two buildings, eat or have coffee in the Cafe Roma, check out the wonderful library. Talk to Marta at the Financial Aid office, she's wonderful. Skip the admissions office, unless you can talk to the Jessicas (two of them) or Craig. Check out the Student Services office, the AMR office, and talk to the the lady in the Global Management and International Exchange office. She's great. Check with the Career Center and see what they have to offer.

Enjoy the sunshine and campus. Walk around Bruin Walk to where the undergrad dorms are. Check out their football fields, tennis courts, and basketball Pauley Pavillion. Go to the Ackerman Student Union, you'll be amazed that it's a student union. Have Cookie/Ice Cream Sandwiches for $1.50 at Diddy Riese (926 Broxton Ave). You'll love the campus.

What to do in LA Saturday Sunday? Drive along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu and Santa Monica. Go to the Santa Monica Pier to see the sunset, check out 3rd street Promenade. Shop the Beverly Hills Fashion Island Mall and all the malls around there. Take a walk around Hollywood, Walk of Fame, Mann Chinese Theater, etc... Venice Beach is also good. Getty Center has a beautiful view of LA (if it's not too smoggy).

alright, is that enough to keep you busy? :)
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 04 Apr 2008, 16:05
Has anyone started to write essays? I'm working on my first draft of "Why MBA?" essay, and it is VERY tough. I have a feeling I'll find out much more about myself through this process than I intended.

On a related note, I'm trying to keep the draft to 400 words (I think Montauk suggested this limit), but different schools have different limits. Is 400 words pretty typical, or should I go for a longer/shorter essay?
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants [#permalink] New post 04 Apr 2008, 16:28
your "why MBA" essay at 400 words is good, because some schools ask it separately, and others have you include it on a 1000 or 1500 word essay (which will include "why this school" and "career progress"). So that's a good start.

But for those longer essays, you might need to weave in more "why mba" all throughout the essay.
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Re: Early Birds: Fall 2009 Applicants   [#permalink] 04 Apr 2008, 16:28
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