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The 7 phases of B-school application

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The 7 phases of B-school application [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2007, 14:55
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Edit: This thread has retired. For new discussion on MBA application phases please move here phases-of-mba-application-review-147148.html


Edit by rhyme: The below is humorous, but frankly, it's very very true and it gives you an idea of what to really expect after the GMAT. For those of you applying next year (at this point 2008), you should really read through this - get an idea of whats to come.

I'm attempting to summarize what most of us have gone through or will be going through in our path to B-school. I was partially motivated by several other posts within the forum (which I thank for) and partially on self experience (though the characters in this story are fictional, etc., you know the drill). School names are used as examples and by no means I intend to mock any organization or person, this is just an attempt at summarizing, in a humorous way, this rocky personal journey.

i.Introduction

Let's say you are 2 or 3 years out of college and the thought of an MBA starts lingering in your mind. Either you've heard some stories of former colleagues going for it and are curious about it or you think the name sounds cool.

You can talk to MBA alumni (if you have access to them) to start your research, or maybe to some friends. But this initial conversations can be biased (name 1 alumni who "officially" thinks his/her school sucked and you'll get a bonus!) for all you know.

So you decide you need some "objective data" to continue your research and you go pick up the latest issue of US news/ B-week, or whichever one is available at newsstands. You browse through their pages and start wondering:

1st phase (the MBA honeymoon):

- Wait, wasn't Kellogg a cereal brand?
- What's with the GMAT scores? why 700? over 1000? that's weird. What's GMAT btw?
- Ah, finally, I know Yale, I know Harvard, I know Stanford, MIT and UCLA. But where's Princeton? And Brown?
- I like International Business, so as per these rankings I should better be attending Thunderbird. But why are the starting salaries from there so much lower than from other schools?
- I loved Miami when I visited on spring break. Lemme see what their school's like.

2nd phase (Delussional optimism):

- I'm a wise person, so GMAT shouldn't be a problem for me. Maybe I'll take one of these intensive 1-week courses and go for it! Why would anybody spend months studying? That doesn't make any sense. I mean it's high school level math and English for crying out loud. Heck, I can speak English, I've taken Calculus classes.

- I'm a clear admit at HBS, plus I'll get a full scholarship. After all I'll get a top GMAT, I do speak four languages and have made steady progress at work so far.

3rd phase (Depression while taming the beast):

- GMAT sucks. My friends no longer talk to me. My girlfriend broke up with me and spending 150k for an MBA doesn't make much sense to me anymore (nor does it make sense to my family, my former friends nor my girlfriend). Do I really, really want to do this? Otherwise I could go back to having a life right now.

- Ok, so I'm headed for a 600 score, if I'm lucky. Let's see what that would do for me. Hmm, I'd better score at least 650. Wait, 650 ain't that bad! Oh boy, I'd kill for a 650.

- "So Johnny (an acquaintance of yours), how did your GMAT go?"
Johnny: "Oh man, I'm so depressed. I bombed my 7th attempt. I just can't get past 550. I'm about giving up"
You: "Crap, Johnny, after all the effort you've put into this, I can't believe what you are telling me. I mean, I'm still a zillion hours away from your study record to date. By the way, I'll better be heading home and attack those SCs again!"

- (at 4am in the morning on a working day): I suck, I suck, I suck! I can't believe the silly mistakes I'm making. Sigh, I wish I'd remember more about Statistics...

4th phase (post GMAT preliminary research)

- Ok, so I got a pretty decent GMAT. Now let me write sth and send my app right away so we can finally bring this "I'll pretend I read your app." game to an end. Let's check the instructions.

1st question) What matters most to you an why? [3 to 5 pages]
Hmm. Maybe I'll leave this one for tomorrow. Or let me brainstorm and write a shortlist:

1st shortlist (prior to any research):
a) Money.
b) Success.
c) Beer.
d) Getting my ticket stamped to land an IB job.

2nd shortlist (after some research):
a) Being mother Theresa.
b) Saving humanity.
c) Saving the environment.
d) "Changing the world".

- I'll apply to 147 schools. That way, I'd maximize my chances of getting a scholarship.

- What's with the letter of recommendation? Should I tell my boss about my plans? It looks like the point of no return to me.


5th phase (applying, AKA the emotional roller-coaster)

[staring at essay#1 version # 84]: This sucks! I can't believe how boring I sound. I should re-start from scratch!

- I should write about the snooker tournament I won when I was 16. That'd be original, plus I can spin it to show how I used my leadership, analytical and teamwork skills.

- Beh, I can apply in Round 2 as well.

- Crap! my recommenders haven't even accessed the website yet and it's only 2 days left! I'll send them "friendly reminder #27". No, wait, I sent #26 just 5 minutes ago. Maybe I'll wait another half hour.

- Wait, was Kellogg's deadline on the 5th? Or was that MIT? Maybe I should drop Wharton. I can't make deadlines on the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th. OK, I'll just drop Wharton from my list and have it as "fresh" backup for next year just in case.

- I wish I had applied to more schools in Round 1. Look at all these people getting interviews and admits!

6th phase (post application blues)

- Shoot, I won't get in anywhere. I mean look at the profiles of applicants! I should retake GMAT. My 700 is not enough. I should aim for 790+.

- Crap! Yale dinged me without interview! Ohmigod! If they did it, ANYONE can do it! THEY COULD ALL DO IT!

- I have an idea! I'll check which schools have rolling admissions and apply to those. I still have time!

- Suddenly University of Phoenix Online doesn't sound that bad.

- Why? Why? Why didn't apply to more backups? Why did I have to shake my interviewer's hand so firmly? Why didn't I coach my recommenders more thoroughly? I wonder what they've written. Probably nothing good. I wish I had submitted my app. a day earlier, that way I would have looked as a well organized person. I read that Kellogg dings all applicants above 28 years old who haven't made directors positions. Wait, is that a typo on my MIT essays? That's one school less, buddy. I'm soo doomed.

7th phase (endless joy)

- Hell yeah! I've made it! I've been admitted [dream school X] next year! I rule! I can't wait to get recruited by [dream employer]. When is admitted students weekend?

- 2nd admit! I rule!

- Should I go to [School X] with a 7k scholarship or to [School Y] with a 25 k scholarship?

- Work? What's work? Ah, right, that thing I'm supposed to be doing daily on weekdays from 9 to 5...

- I wonder whether spending this 150k makes sense after all...

- I'm so gonna get grilled at B-school! What if I mess up? I'd better start brushing up on some skills.

Hope you enjoy, and feel free to propose edits or add-ons. After all, we're all together in this journey!

Cheers. L.

Last edited by souvik101990 on 13 Feb 2013, 03:04, edited 6 times in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2007, 15:02
LOL, that was awesome!
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2007, 16:45
Haha, truly awesome...very similar to my phases (Except the "HBS clear admit and full scholarship. I thought that it would be a hugh success if I end up somewhere within top 30)
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2007, 16:51
:lol:
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2007, 17:07
That was an absolute riot.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2007, 18:21
I wish I could have read this a year ago so I would have known what I was in for, you really captured it all.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2007, 19:37
johnnyx9 wrote:
I wish I could have read this a year ago so I would have known what I was in for, you really captured it all.


You know, frankly, it should be on the front page. I'm stickying it.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2007, 19:54
Thanx, guys, for the positive comments. As i wrote, you have been a source of inspiration for this post and have helped (as part of this community) to make this journey somehow easier.

Good luck to all, especially 2008 applicants (you are in for the ride of your lives!).

Cheers. L.
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2007, 04:42
Totally agree with you ..its already been roller coaster for me ever since i was bit by the GMAT bug in June 2006.
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2007, 06:55
Hilarious . . .
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2007, 07:28
I'm still between 4th and 6th...
Long way to go unfourtunately...
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2007, 07:36
Brilliant, L! You rock.

Just what I went through. the only thing I would add is something in Phase 6:

Ding Before Admits
Crap! Yale dinged me without interview! Ohmigod! If they did it, ANYONE can do it! THEY COULD ALL DO IT!

(And then proceed to rolling admissions and back-up-back-up schools....
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2007, 08:30
Quote:
- Should I go to [School X] with a 7k scholarship or to [School Y] with a 25 k scholarship?


My version:

- Should I go to [School X] with no scholarship or to [School Y] with no scholarship?

:)

All your scholarship people suck!
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2007, 11:54
i guess im at step 4 :(
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2007, 15:22
This really hits the center.
But I could not laugh hard because I am still in the middle of the phases........ sucks!

Give me one admit!!!
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2007, 17:20
aaudetat wrote:
Brilliant, L! You rock.

Just what I went through. the only thing I would add is something in Phase 6:

Ding Before Admits
Crap! Yale dinged me without interview! Ohmigod! If they did it, ANYONE can do it! THEY COULD ALL DO IT!

(And then proceed to rolling admissions and back-up-back-up schools....


Spot on, aaud! I had forgotten about this particular part of the "blues", i.e., the first ding. I've added it to the 6th phase.

Cheers. L.
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2007, 17:28
Number of edits seems low to me. 84?

C:\Documents and Settings\rhyme\My Documents\Graduate-Applications>dir/s *.doc

573 File(s) 35,177,796 bytes
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2007, 17:30
rhyme wrote:
Number of edits seems low to me. 84?

C:\Documents and Settings\rhyme\My Documents\Applications-Graduate>dir/s *.doc

573 File(s) 35,177,796 bytes


Number 84 is just one of the several versions which got discarded.
:wink:
Actually, to be honest, I did about 10-20 edits for each essay.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2007, 07:36
rhyme wrote:
Number of edits seems low to me. 84?

C:\Documents and Settings\rhyme\My Documents\Graduate-Applications>dir/s *.doc

573 File(s) 35,177,796 bytes


Jesus Christ!!!!!!!! I better start drafting those essays!
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2007, 00:32
Awesome stuff, L! :lol:
  [#permalink] 26 Feb 2007, 00:32
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