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Running on empty.. [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2008, 08:38
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This post is meant to be a catharsis of my MBA process. I woke up this morning and as I looked at my essays, for the first time in this process I felt...tired.

My MBA process started last November. Yes Novemeber 2007. I decided that it was time for me to move onto a different career path and realized that MBA is the only way to do so. I set things in motion, registering for the GMAT in February 2008 and that's when I stumbled onto GmatClub. I had an idea about what a "story" should be like, but by going through hundreds of posts on GmatClub, I finally gained a sense of perspective - of what works and what doesn't. Small things like addressing Why now? Why this school? etc - knowlede I would never have gained if I had started this process cold.

I studied for the GMAT, giving it 2 hours every day and 9 hours on weekends, but my score of 720 dissapointed me. Don't get me wrong, I am not disillussioned by any means that this is a bad score - but I knew I could do better. I decided to not think abou the GMAT but instead set out to craft my March.

So yes - I started writing my essays in March. For a month I researched schools, went through employment reports, reached out to atleast 50 students overall spanning the 5 -6 schools I am interested in. In parallel, I started to put together my story on paper. Since March, I have opened and edited my essays every single day..until today when I noticed that the final version of my goals essay for Columbia is draft-version 32. 32!!!! And that's just Columbia...

I registered for the GMAT again for August, and started my studying again in June. Back to the 2 hrs every day, 9 hrs on final score - 750. No more excuses now..

I am about 95% done with all my essays - and given that I am 2 months out before the R1 deadlines are due, I feel fairly comfortable that I can finish things up. I need to check back with my recommenders, start to fill out the forms themselves and I am still left with visiting the schools - which I am doing in September. I continue to reach out the students in my target schools and every week I get a reply from one of them that give me another aspect to add to my app..

So why am I saying all this? Cos I am finally running on empty..this process which started last September has taken so much out of me, that I need a time-out just so that I have energy remaining for the final lap - the applications and hopefully interviews themselves. All those Friday nights spent drafting essays, reading essays or studying for GMAT instead of partying is slowly but surely takings it toll. I fully understand that the amount of time does not correlate directly with admission results, but at the end of all this I can atleast say that I do not have regrets. I am by no means disillusioned that this process will result in success as I know that there are simply too many variables in play..but I am positive because I have given it my best.

I understand many on this board may be going though the same thing, some may have started the process MUCH earlier (looking at the number of next year's applicants on this board) but how do I get past this? I am definetely taking a week off - and coming back to this final leg with renewed energy.

The process is JUST starting and I cannot afford to burn out..

..end rant :)
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Re: Running on empty.. [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2008, 09:44
Wow, what an incredible display of dedication and discipline. I am sure all of your hard work will be rewarded very soon sterny :)

I too have had business school in my sights for the last several years and consciously worked towards it every single day. I've told myself that once the applications and interviews are all said and done, I'm going to back off of all my current commitments and just completely chill out for the months leading up to enrollment.

Aiming for admission to a top business school has been the driving force behind my post-college growth and maturation...but like you, it may soon be time to slow down and smell the roses :)

Best of luck in the rest of your application process - it sounds like you are well on top of things.
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Re: Running on empty.. [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2008, 11:48
This is an impressive post to see someone that has been able to keep up the stamina required for nearly a year now. I've only been truly interested in top-tier programs since the end of April 2008, and the stress of it is killing me. Best of luck in your applications sterny.

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**I'm pretty sure I'm right, but then again, I'm just a guy with his head up his a$$.

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Re: Running on empty.. [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2008, 12:42
I would agree with JAllen that your post is quite impressive, but at the same time I would caution you to heed the law of diminishing returns. At some version of your essays they won't get any better, they will just be different than previous versions. I think your hard work will definitely pay off this fall, but I think its time to put 85% of your focus on recommenders. Good luck to you. Stay sane. :wink:
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Re: Running on empty.. [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2008, 13:38
good work on improving your gmat and getting to your essays early.

my advice would be for you to take a couple of weeks off to clear your head. you have the time to do it. don't open a book or magazine or website or your essays or anything that is MBA related for 2 weeks. heck, you should watch the olympics or something.

i think you'll find that after 2 weeks you'll be refreshed and looking at your essays will result in a new perspective. you certainly can afford the time and i think that'll have rejuvenate your efforts as well as bring your essays to the finish line.


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Re: Running on empty.. [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2008, 13:50
Hey Congradulations on all your hard work. It is quite impressive. Goodluck!

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Re: Running on empty.. [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2008, 10:55
Like all the other posters, I'm impressed. I started the whole process in September 2007. I mean that I started CONSIDERING an MBA then. In December I was done with the Gmat, the Toefl, the recos and the essays. And I thought THAT was long. So all in all, respect and keep up the good work!

I would however suggest to give it 2 or 3 weeks break, breathe a little, the re-read the whole package: you'll have a fresh view on it.

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Re: Running on empty.. [#permalink] New post 23 Aug 2008, 14:56
I recommend haivng some current students review your essays, especially for the "Why School X" question. I'm starting at Stern and have gone through half the orientation program where the school highlights its differences and not very well known yet very popular programs.
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Re: Running on empty.. [#permalink] New post 23 Aug 2008, 18:42
Holy cow. Man, that's what is called dedication.

Definitely take a time-out. Two weeks sound good. By no means you want to feel (and look) burned out during your visits and final essay polishes.

P.S. Funny to say that I'm your exact antipode. It took me 1 (one) week to write essays, resume and arrange recommendations for my Haas applications. :)
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Re: Running on empty.. [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2008, 19:44
braindancer wrote:
P.S. Funny to say that I'm your exact antipode. It took me 1 (one) week to write essays, resume and arrange recommendations for my Haas applications. :)

I REALLY need to meet you now, haha :P

But sterny, great dedication so far. You deserve a vacation. You'd be amazed at how it'll refresh your mind! :) Best of luck, mate!

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Re: Running on empty.. [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2013, 20:49
Hello from the GMAT Club MBAbot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
Re: Running on empty..   [#permalink] 18 Dec 2013, 20:49
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