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Student interaction - a must for essays?

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Student interaction - a must for essays? [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2008, 17:22
Ok. I know how the theory goes, put in the student interactions that you've made over the application process to show the effort that you've put in to learn about the school and see whether you're a fit or not.

But is it necessary? I've read 2 essays - admit to Chicago/Wharton that didn't do that.

Is it ideal? Or is it an application myth? The Wharton admit said that while student interaction wasn't in the essay, it was brought up during the interview.
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Re: Student interaction - a must for essays? [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2008, 17:28
I didnt call out any students at Kellogg I talked to. I didnt use any names, mentioned that I did go to an event and talked to alums and what not. During my interview I wasnt asked if I talked to any students or alums, but was asked what I knew about Kellogg's culture and how I learned that. If you did talk to a student in detail I would use it, however if you didnt then its not a deal breaker. Also I think not using a students name can backfire if they happen to ask them about you (never know it could happen) and that person has no clue who you are.
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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: Student interaction - a must for essays? [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2008, 17:33
adcxaway wrote:
Ok. I know how the theory goes, put in the student interactions that you've made over the application process to show the effort that you've put in to learn about the school and see whether you're a fit or not.

But is it necessary? I've read 2 essays - admit to Chicago/Wharton that didn't do that.

Is it ideal? Or is it an application myth? The Wharton admit said that while student interaction wasn't in the essay, it was brought up during the interview.


While I can't speak to the "must-have's" in essays, I can offer my personal experience. I didn't mention any student interactions in my Kellogg essays and was accepted. That said, I made sure to demonstrate my knowledge of the program, its intricacies, and why it is the best for me. In addition, I listed all of the info sessions I attended.

To sum up, I believe that what the adcoms are looking for is your deep understanding of why this particular school is good for you and what you will be able to contribute to the program. How you are going to show it is up to you.
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Re: Student interaction - a must for essays? [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2008, 17:34
As a counter point...I did use student interaction and a lot more personal experience with Chicago and I got a straightup ding.
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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: Student interaction - a must for essays? [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2008, 17:35
adcxaway wrote:
Ok. I know how the theory goes, put in the student interactions that you've made over the application process to show the effort that you've put in to learn about the school and see whether you're a fit or not.

But is it necessary? I've read 2 essays - admit to Chicago/Wharton that didn't do that.

Is it ideal? Or is it an application myth? The Wharton admit said that while student interaction wasn't in the essay, it was brought up during the interview.


I dunno. I had the exact same Wharton experience... didn't mention any student interactions in my essays, because I hadn't had a chance to visit the school yet. I did visit shortly after I submitted, though, and was able to talk about the students I met at my interview. On the s2s board, the Adcom and students make it clear that visits and student interactions aren't necessary for a successful application. As long as you can somehow make a compelling case for "Why Wharton," you should be fine.

For some other schools (Sloan and Haas come to mind), I think it is a bigger deal... but I don't think it's a deal-breaker if you're unable to work it into your essays.
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Re: Student interaction - a must for essays? [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2008, 17:46
I think it depends on situations too. I think if you lived in chicago but never visited NW or GSB then that is going to kill your chances. Live within a several hour drive then you have NO excuse for at least visiting and meeting someone. If you live across the country or in another country entirely then its not gonna be as big of an issue.
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Re: Student interaction - a must for essays? [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2008, 18:07
i probably mentioned 5 people by name in my chicago essay, and several in my wharton essay. only 1 in my sloan cover letter
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Re: Student interaction - a must for essays? [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2008, 18:32
I generally mention the names of people I spoke with in relation to the clubs, programs, professors, and activities I learn about the school. That is because I did most of my school research by talking to students and alums, and did quite a few visits for each school (only one for Kellogg). So far I've gotten into UCLA and have an interview with Haas. We'll see if it works for Kellogg and Stanford.

I would say as long as you show you did your homework on the school, really learned about their programs, interacted with their students/alum/adcom at either infosessions or visits, you're fine. Many Kellogg students I spoke with did NOT visit Kellogg and got accepted, but then you have schools like UCLA which rejected someone because they never visited (they probably sensed that they were a "backup" school).
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Re: Student interaction - a must for essays? [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2008, 18:35
kryzak wrote:
then you have schools like UCLA which rejected someone because they never visited (they probably sensed that they were a "backup" school).


Thats a great point...a lot of the schools in the 10-20 range have to be weary of applicants who have a good chance of getting into a top 5 school. No one wants to know they are someones backup plan.
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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: Student interaction - a must for essays? [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2008, 19:13
I think there's a tendency to boil these applications down to a VERY long list of "stuff to do." Some of it is key (take the gmat, research the school) but a lot of it is merely good or helpful. If you've talked to students and it fits into your essay, then by all means. But if you haven't, then put it other stuff. It's probably not a make or break.
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Re: Student interaction - a must for essays? [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2008, 19:26
I did a lot of my school research based on informational interviews with students and alumni. I definitely mentioned some of them into the essays (though not all). I also made sure it wasn't forced.
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Re: Student interaction - a must for essays? [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2008, 19:43
I mentioned a few GSB'ers in my application because I got to know them very well. They were interns in the strategic planning department at work and I would always be asking them questions over IM or lunch, so I wanted to mention how much their insight impacted me.
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Re: Student interaction - a must for essays? [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2008, 10:30
I never touched the subject in my essays. Honestly, I never even thought about mentioning student interaction at all. I was more worried about telling my story and what I knew about the school and how it would fit. I wasn't worried about telling them how I knew that information. Granted, it did come up in my interview, but I think that's because my interviewer saw me coming out of a class that I got to sit in on that morning. I really don't think its a must for essays.
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Re: Student interaction - a must for essays?   [#permalink] 04 Jan 2008, 10:30
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