When you have an idiosyncratic profile, I suggest, aside from turning in great applications, to apply to as many programs as possible. The reason is that the idiosyncratic element will elicit subjective responses all across the spectrum, from “Ugh, gambling, forget it” to “Wow, poker shows highly advanced reasoning and people-reading skills” to “Interesting, he went through a huge personal transformation” – in other words, each adcom reader will have a distinctive and unique response, making it much harder to predict outcomes – at any level of program competitiveness. So your application has to really “click” with adcoms, and doing many applications simply maximizes that possibility.
I consider programs at the level of Fuqua and Darden, although you’re qualified, to be reaches – but because of that idiosyncratic element, I can’t tell how “reasonable reaches” they are. I believe it would make sense to apply to some schools at this level, but also to some target less competitive programs – such as Foster – as long as they meet your needs.
Finally, a stellar application
that puts your experience in perspective and demonstrates growth from it is a must.
Senior Advisor, Accepted
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