Find all School-related info fast with the new School-Specific MBA Forum

It is currently 25 Oct 2014, 02:22

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Events & Promotions

Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

My B-School Application Journey

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
TAGS:
8 KUDOS received
Director
Director
User avatar
Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 652
Schools: Duke 2012
Followers: 14

Kudos [?]: 116 [8] , given: 16

My B-School Application Journey [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2010, 07:50
8
This post received
KUDOS
1
This post was
BOOKMARKED
Or more affectionately known as "How the last two years of my life seemed like 10!". I will say this at the beginning in case it's too long and boring to make it to the end (which it seems is very possible given that my session timed out while I was writing this), if you have any questions about the process, my impression of schools, or anything else please, please, please ask. I am more than willing to pay forward what so many here gave to us.

I promised I would write this up and I'd encourage other applicants that are finished with the process to do the same.

I decided fairly late in the game that I wanted to get my MBA - probably Spring of 2008. I decided to take the GMAT and spend the next year getting to know the schools. So I spent a couple of months studying and took the GMAT in July 2008. I spent a lot of time in the next couple of months figuring out exactly what it was that I wanted to do and putting together my 2/5/10 year visions so to speak.

The next year I had the good fortune to be able to pick a lot of work trips to places that also had top MBA programs. I also visited all the places close to home. I combed through the school websites. I compiled a list of questions for students and sent them to students in clubs with areas I was interested in. Almost every student replied with info and was willing to talk via phone. As a female, I signed up for a couple of different women's events - these were very helpful.

I picked three schools that I felt met fit me. Around March '09 I started writing goals essays. Goals essays were frankly fairly easy for me to write given the work I'd put into figuring out my career aspirations. I wrote drafts of the schools' old essays (just one draft each, no revisions). When the final essays came out, some were different, but most were the same, so I went to town revising the essays.

I went through the old interview posts on gmatclub and answered a lot of the questions. For the very common ones, I put them together in a sample audio interview recording to listen to on the way to interviews. I get nervous when meeting new people. My mind tends to exaggerate and envision these horrendous things happening, so for me trying to ingrain this stuff into my head was a must. I don't know how much it helped, hopefully some (it was really boring to listen to over and over though).

I was in an awkward spot with recommendations because my company is a bit funny about departures. I couldn't possibly tell any of the supervisors I'd worked with, so I chose one that had voluntarily left a few months prior & then I ended up using a customer. My lack of choices was one of the reasons I kept the # of schools low. For each of them, I prepared a one page listing of goals, things that I would be discussing in my app, and accomplishments, plus a resume & one set of essays (the one for my customer was different as it contained info about other clients).

For essay review, I used some folks on gmatclub, a review from a friend that had no knowledge of the MBA process, a very brief read from an MBA student, and my recommender reviewed the set I sent him.

I think that about covers the process, on to my lessons/tips.

Lesson #1: If you are a native speaker with a good math background you should have no problem with the GMAT. See how you do on the practice tests, but a couple months and you should be golden.

Lesson #2: I visited a lot of schools. I think many current students will agree with this, but save a few unique things, schools are not that different. Unless you know MBA students across a lot of different schools, you are probably not going to get information that differentiates them (and maybe not even if you do). Pick the top three things to you. It may be rankings, location, and facilities. It could be specialties, location, and best social experience. Just pick three and make a list of schools that you think fit. Yes, you will spend two years of your life there (2%) and you really want to enjoy it, but on the flip side, the chances that you don't enjoy it are small - after all, you just spent 3-6 years working, school will be a "break". If there's one thing I've seen from visits, I could have fun at probably any of these schools.

Lesson #3: With that said, you have to visit the schools if possible. While I've said they all seem the same, you still may notice a different vibe. MIT was top on my list for an entire year and after I visited I didn't like it (and this was after having coincidentally known my student guide, not related to my not liking it btw).

Lesson #4: My resume could have used some work. My work portion was okay, but probably still could've used work. I didn't elaborate enough on the EC portion and the application itself didn't allow much detail, so this was an area that I felt I didn't deal with well.

Lesson #5: You may need to deal with your recommenders differently. I had one recommender that I knew was going to do a good job. He kept me informed about his progress and I only had to ask him one time near the deadlines about when he'd finish. I had another that I wasn't as sure about. He initially lost all the information I'd sent him and after I resent it, four hours later my recommendations were finished - I'm reasonably sure they weren't that good. He had an advanced degree (not MBA), so I thought he'd sort of know what to do. In hindsight, I probably would have scheduled time to go over each question with him and just discuss what to write. Not the way I'd prefer, but it may be necessary.

Lesson #6: Do your research on your chances and be confident with your picks. I had a good idea about my chances at the schools I was applying to and so the waiting wasn't that stressful for me (until my first decision was a deny :) ). If you are debating whether to do a safety R1 or R2, prior to this I would have said R2, I now emphatically say R1. While my Kellogg ding was frankly not that depressing to me, it gave me the worst case of nerves about what would happen down the line. Having a decision in R1 can make you less stressed in the spring.

Lesson #7: Converse to #6, don't leave anything on the table. I sometimes find myself wondering with the state of the current economy whether I should've applied to a few more top 7 schools. In the end I'm happy about where I'll be, but if you tend to live in the past, spend the extra $400 to not have any doubts.

Lesson #8: Finally, back to the 2 years that seemed like 10, I think my timeline was too long, i have been dying at work and really wish that I would have applied last year. This is different with everyone, but if you're thinking about sitting out next year to be able to take a lot of time to think things out, I might rethink that decision. I had a lot of downtime and I would've preferred to just be super busy last year and be in school right now (hopefully the jobs situation will be better and it will all work out better anyway).

With that I'll sign off & hopefully in two years I can write a summary of the next two.

Good luck!!
_________________

"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity." - Frank Leahy

Get the best GMAT Prep Resources with GMAT Club Premium Membership

Kaplan Promo CodeKnewton GMAT Discount CodesVeritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 20 Dec 2009
Posts: 74
Location: United States (CA)
Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V40
WE: General Management (Entertainment and Sports)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 13 [0], given: 13

Re: My B-School Application Journey [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2010, 18:16
congrats on the admits and great post, thanks! hopefully i will be writing one of these in the next couple of months.
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 26 May 2008
Posts: 432
Schools: Kellogg Class of 2012
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 58 [0], given: 4

Re: My B-School Application Journey [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2010, 20:39
Thanks Highhopes for the nice summary!
SVP
SVP
User avatar
Status: Burning mid-night oil....daily
Joined: 07 Nov 2008
Posts: 2400
Schools: Yale SOM 2011 Alum, Kellogg, Booth, Tuck
WE 1: IB - Restructuring & Distressed M&A
Followers: 73

Kudos [?]: 688 [0], given: 548

Reviews Badge
Re: My B-School Application Journey [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2010, 20:57
Been too busy with school and recruiting since January began and I had no idea about your awesome admits to Duke and Ross. Congrats, highhopes! Wish you awesome 2 years and multiple job offers before graduation.

:-D
_________________

Get the best GMAT Prep Resources with GMAT Club Premium Membership

Manager
Manager
User avatar
Joined: 22 Jan 2010
Posts: 123
Schools: UCLA, INSEAD
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 4 [0], given: 15

Re: My B-School Application Journey [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2010, 16:36
Thanks for sharing. Good luck with everything.
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 28 Jun 2009
Posts: 456
Location: United States (MA)
Followers: 15

Kudos [?]: 109 [0], given: 46

Re: My B-School Application Journey [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2010, 11:55
Great post HighHopes!! Good luck for your MBA journey!! :)
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 58
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 1

Re: My B-School Application Journey [#permalink] New post 27 May 2010, 10:12
Congratulations~
Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 01 Apr 2010
Posts: 300
Location: Kuwait
Schools: Sloan '16 (M)
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V37
GPA: 3.2
WE: Information Technology (Consulting)
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 54 [0], given: 11

Re: My B-School Application Journey [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2012, 13:31
Like the summary :) Congrats.
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 14 Nov 2011
Posts: 37
Location: Thailand
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, General Management
GMAT 1: 660 Q47 V34
GMAT 2: 720 Q48 V40
GPA: 3.57
WE: Sales (Other)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 11

Re: My B-School Application Journey [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2013, 06:59
Thanks. I will keep those in mind
Re: My B-School Application Journey   [#permalink] 24 Jul 2013, 06:59
    Similar topics Author Replies Last post
Similar
Topics:
2 Experts publish their posts in the topic my journey! Ironclaw 3 19 Apr 2013, 22:47
Blog: MBA Applications Journey mbaboy2011 3 30 Aug 2011, 21:25
9 My B-School Application Journey highhopes 8 23 Jan 2010, 07:50
1 GMAT Clubbers' B-School Application Journeys kryzak 1 23 Apr 2008, 10:15
Display posts from previous: Sort by

My B-School Application Journey

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  


GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Privacy Policy| Terms and Conditions| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group and phpBB SEO

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.