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New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track

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New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 28 Oct 2010, 15:18
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Added by Walker: As an entrepreneur I can say that it's very difficult for a start-up actually to start: Nobody knows you and you have no idea whether your brilliant product will be next google or just waste of time. When one of the founder approached me at Booth, I decided why not to help them to find the answer. So, guys, they offer free accounts for GMAT Club's members - try it and post here your feedback: what you like and what you would improve.
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Dear GMAT Club community,

We are excited to introduce to you Apply in the Sky, the first online workspace that helps you streamline, organize and manage your MBA applications across schools. As part of our introduction, we’d like to open this thread as a way to answer your questions, hear your thoughts, and find ways to make our product even better.

As a special offer, we'll be offering premium Apply in the Sky accounts to a select number GMAT Club users free of charge (a $75 value). See instructions below on how to redeem your free account.

As current and former business school applicants (including one full-time MBA at Booth, one 2010 Fuqua MBA grad, and a third who is applying this season), Apply in the Sky is a very personal endeavor for us, backed by our sincere desire to address pain points that we personally encountered in the admissions process. Please help us by providing us with your honest feedback (both good and bad) in order to build this into the best possible tool for MBA applicants.


Why should I use Apply in the Sky?

Apply in the Sky’s tools help you save time, get organized and stay on track of your business school applications. In a process where self-organization typically involves scattered word documents, spreadsheets, calendar items, emails and to-do lists, Apply in the Sky provides applicants with one user-friendly online dashboard, pre-populated with specific school requirements and all the tools you need to get working and stay on track.

By freeing you from the overwhelming organizational burden, Apply in the Sky enables you to focus on what's truly important: choosing the right programs, crafting your story, and putting together the best applications possible.

Let us clarify that we are not admissions consultants, and we do not purport to know what is best for you individually. But we are familiar with the challenges that applicants face, and we believe our product can help you overcome them.


How can I take advantage of the GMAT Club promotion for a free Apply in the Sky account?

Free accounts are available to GMAT Club members who have contributed 50+ forum posts. Everyone else is welcome to register for our 2-week free trial.

Three simple steps to redeem your free account:
1) Go to our homepage: http://applyinthesky.com/
2) Click "SIGN UP" and create your account
3) Email us at info@applyinthesky.com with "GMAT Club" in the subject line and your Apply in the Sky username in the email body

We'll upgrade the first 40 respondents’ account to premium, free of charge, which will provide full access to the site for the entirety of the application season.


And what about this thread?

Through this thread, we really want to keep the conversation open and hear your candid thoughts. Please feel free to ask us any questions about Apply in the Sky or our personal experiences with business school and the application process.

We look forward to hearing from many of you. And in the meantime, best of luck with your admissions process!
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Current Student
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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 28 Oct 2010, 18:05
Will we have access to materials after the application season? The offer says full access to the site for the application season, but what if we want to pull our information off after we get in, or something similar along those lines? Is there a way to export our data?
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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 28 Oct 2010, 19:44
We haven't fully figured out what to do with everyone's accounts after the application season, but one thing is for sure, nobody will lose any work. This is especially important for people who might end up reapplying and will want to reference their previous year's applications when they go through the process again. It might also be interesting for MBA students going into the recruiting process, because they might want to revisit their old essay questions as they think about how to present themselves to employers.

We are interested in thinking, however, of the best ways to make this information available to users once they are done applying to school. What would be best? Creating a system to export everything from Apply in the Sky in a simple summarized form? Porting it to a different interface that is better suiting to future needs (like recruiting, for example) that are different from the admissions process needs?

Would be interested in your thoughts.
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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 28 Oct 2010, 20:18
What security measures have you or are currently putting in place to ensure our data is safe?

This looks like a promising endeavor, best of luck to you!

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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 28 Oct 2010, 22:31
Thank you for the encouraging words!!

We've been very concerned about security from the start. We back up everyone's work regularly and the entire site past the registration wall is in https to prevent hacking or security breaches of any sort. If there's anything we wanted to be super sure of is that everyone's application essays and documents would be safe.
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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 29 Oct 2010, 03:35
I like the interface so far, it's really slick. The tools (reminders, essay review, etc.) all look really awesome. I haven't played with it too much yet (gonna start uploading stuff and trying it out today with my Rd2 schools), and can provide much better feedback after I start inputting stuff in, but thanks for the account upgrade!

I'm honestly not sure myself as to what would be the most useful way to export the information. Maybe it could be some sort of "view only" mode, but then again I'm sure you guys wouldn't want to be storing data in perpetuity. I wonder if it would be useful to export in some sort of searchable .pdf format, or as an HTML document where users could click around to see their applications etc? Perhaps as a flash document of some sort?
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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 29 Oct 2010, 06:47
Here's something that would be really useful for us to know -- especially from current applicants who are in the thick of it right now.

Forget for a moment what the current product does. What do you find to be the biggest pain points in applying to business school, and what would you like to see to make things easier? Is it about staying organized? About figuring out what to write for your essays? Providing writing aids for the essays (e.g. structure templates, a key-word based phrase generator to get some ideas going)? Connecting you with alumni? Helping you pick schools? Assessing your chances of getting in?

Would love to hear any thoughts you might have.
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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 29 Oct 2010, 06:52
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I would say:
1) managing the essay process
2) reminding recommenders

but that's just me.
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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 29 Oct 2010, 13:05
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On the essay management front, we've definitely put a lot of work into it, though we think there are still ways we can improve to make it more intuitive and seamless.

We haven't yet implemented the recommendations suggestion you mentioned, but it's definitely on our minds. When I was applying last year, chasing down my managers to get those recommendations done was such a chore! A lot of them had this attitude that, yeah they cared about my professional development, but they were essentially helping me to leave my job so they weren't going to put *that* much effort into it. Consequently, I was hounding them to the very last day. Even had to get their assistants on board to send them reminders.

I like your idea a lot! I think the trick will be to do it in a way that is transparent and professional. As an applicant I'd be worried about a product that might start sending naggy inappropriate emails to my bosses about writing my recommendation...
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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 30 Oct 2010, 19:12
worst part of the whole process is the waiting period after hitting submit. if you can solve that then God bless you.

i, personally, don't feel that i need a tool for the rest of it but i am sure others would disagree. good luck.
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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 02 Nov 2010, 14:45
Great tool- just signed up for an account, haven't really played around with it. Version control for my essays and tracking reviewer comments is a big issue for me. I look forward to trying out how Applyinthesky manages this process.

EDIT: Having just started to upload essay versions, I would appreciate the ability to start a new version of the same essay, in addition to being able to edit drafts and track draft history.
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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2010, 10:29
The site looks good. I'm excited to start using it. One random thing, I entered my birthdate correctly, but under my profile pic in the corner it lists my age incorrectly. Just thought I'd mention it
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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2010, 10:33
Excellent idea for a product. I just signed up for an account, and I really like the design and layout. I'll tinker around with it a bit more and give better feedback, but it looks great and I'm sure I'll use it.

Oh, and also I put in my date of birth and it shows the wrong age under my avatar. So maybe a little code tinkering there would help.
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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2010, 10:35
mrwuzzman wrote:
Excellent idea for a product. I just signed up for an account, and I really like the design and layout. I'll tinker around with it a bit more and give better feedback, but it looks great and I'm sure I'll use it.

Oh, and also I put in my date of birth and it shows the wrong age under my avatar. So maybe a little code tinkering there would help.


This is also a problem with my account. Must be a code issue..
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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2010, 11:28
This tool looks incredible, thanks very much!
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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 05 Nov 2010, 14:19
Hello GMAT Club users - thank you VERY much for your feedback on Apply in the Sky! We hear that many of you have reported that our service is displaying your age as "negative one years old (-1)."

While we wish this was due to the fact that applying to business school is making you younger, the reason this is happening is because you didn't select your birth year during registration and it defaulted to 2010. While we work to make this a non-issue on our end, the way to fix this after you've created an account is to go to "My Profile" and edit your birthday.

We hope this helps you resolve your issue! Thank you and keep the feedback coming!
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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 06 Nov 2010, 14:34
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Dear GMAT Club users,

We wanted to share some good news. Apply in the Sky just won the jury & audience awards at the Women 2.0 Pitch Night competition in San Francisco.
http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/05/2010-w ... n-winners/

Of course, this is not as important as getting your feedback and solving your problems. So don't worry, that's still our number 1 concern! But in the meantime, we were just excited to share some happy news.

Please keep the feedback coming. It has truly been amazing, and hopefully we're managing to address your concerns in a timely enough fashion.
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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 06 Nov 2010, 17:50
Expert's post
Congrats!!!

:)

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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 06 Nov 2010, 19:27
Congratulations!
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Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2010, 08:45
Congratulations for the award! You are doing a great job. I just signed up and after using it for a while will certainly bring some feedback.

Good luck!
Re: New tech start-up helps MBA applicants stay on track   [#permalink] 07 Nov 2010, 08:45
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