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Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far)

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Re: Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far) [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 10:21
I wish I had met current students from more schools early on. The only schools I visited before submitting the apps were Chicago (student hosted summer event), Tuck (campus visit/class), MIT (campus visit/class).

this would have helped in two ways:
1) I definitely had a better grasp of their school culture (more for Chicago and Tuck) and was able to reflect that in the essays. I think essays for other schools would also have been stronger if I had visited/contacted current students.

2) Would have helped me have a better idea of fit. I spent an awfully long time figuring out which schools to apply to, had a hard time gauging fit. Speaking with the current students on the forum definitely helped me get a sense of what's important for fit, etc but it doesn't compare to being on campus or at a student-event and asking the question "Can I see myself here for two years?"
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Re: Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far) [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 13:02
great stuff everyone! I'm putting this in the knowledge vault so future generations can read about it. Everything you guys said is so true! :)

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Re: Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far) [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 13:24
i regret----

1) not applying to more schools r1
i applied to wharton, harvard and stanford r1. i really wanted to do booth as well, but i had less than a week to do hbs after wharton, couldn't really divide the time to do two quality applications. after a ding from wharton, i am frantically working on 2 more appliations, but it's really hard getting back to essay writing mode after a break.

2) not visiting schools early on
i had initially crossed columbia off my list because of its location in manhattan, but i was surprised when i visited in november. i loved it! the visit itself was really rushed because i arranged it very last minute after not getting an interview invite from wharton, and i don't really have any time for any follow up visit or anything like that. same thing with chicago or other potential r2 schools, i just left it all to very last minute. if i had visited some schools earlier this year, i think i might have come up with a different list of schools to apply to/different mix of r1/r2, etc. oh well....
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Re: Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far) [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 13:55
1. I wish I would have lined my briefcase with plastic wrap so I could stuff it full of delicious savories from the Darden dining hall.
2. I wish I would have taken the OG11 that Vanderbilt gave out free.
3. I wish I would have lurked around the CRC and gawked at the undergrads at Emory a little longer.

Truthfully, I wish I would have diversified my app portfolio with more ultra-elite schools. I basically started the process with one school in mind, and then looked at other schools in the region. By the time R1 rolled around, I had complete tunnel vision on three schools and convinced myself I wouldn't be a fit for M7 schools. But now, knowing that admissions decisions can sometimes come down to which way the wind's blowing that day, I should have put more time into researching top schools and picked one or two to throw in. My top school is still my top school, but I am no longer under the impression that "if I can't get in there, I couldn't get into [top ten school] any way."
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Re: Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far) [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 17:27
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I regret not starting with the application process earlier than I did. The admission process was such a humbling experience for me. With no admits in hand so far, I am starting to wonder about my future.

What an eye opener....
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Re: Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far) [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 18:05
i think i will have more learnings, since it's still early to tell what will ultimately happen, but i wish i hadn't gotten myself stuck on stanford's essay a. do that last and not be crazy and try to do it first! because it's the hardest one (unless you really know what matters most to you and why) working through all your other essays will make this one a lot easier when you get around to it.
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Re: Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far) [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 20:25
I regret -

1) Rushing on my Duke and Tepper apps in an attempt to submit them for Round 1. This was after I submitted my Tuck and Ross apps for Round 1.

2) Having way too high hopes after getting an interview invite from Ross.

Tuck and Ross have been my best apps in terms of quality. After dings from Duke, Tuck and Tepper, I have started thinking of the possibility of not entering business school in fall 09 as I expect more dings. I have slowly prepared myself for that and told myself that this is not the end !!
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Re: Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far) [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 20:33
I followed this to some extent, but not as much as I should have: Treat every application as if it's a huge reach -- as if it's the H, S, or W -- and don't assume any program to be a sure thing.
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Re: Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far) [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 20:38
MBAngst wrote:
I followed this to some extent, but not as much as I should have: Treat every application as if it's a huge reach -- as if it's the H, S, or W -- and don't assume any program to be a sure thing.

Where were you before I started apping ? :-D But seriously I agree with you completely.
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Re: Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far) [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 22:22
I regret NOT preparing soon enough. :cry:
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Re: Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far) [#permalink] New post 24 Dec 2008, 13:19
Like alot of comments so far, I wish I had spent more time visiting schools before applying. Not only would it have made my essays stronger, but frankly, based on the couple of schools that I did visit, easier to write. Applying to school wasn't some last minute decision, I could have visited schools last spring. The second bit that I've learned is to include friends and family earlier in the editing process. I'm not used to relying on other people to heavily edit my writing, but it's always helpful to have a second set of eyes. Even if it's just to help with that one line that doesn't sound right, it can save you a lot of time and aggrevation.
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Re: Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far) [#permalink] New post 25 Dec 2008, 11:30
I am a living proof...
ninkorn wrote:
cereal255 wrote:
I wish I would have waited a year to apply.

I would have been less on the borderline with my WE and would have had more time to really write more convincing essays. My lack of clearly defined career goals hurt me in my opinion.


Don't think that way.

You have bschool app experience under your belt now. You can learn from your mistakes and make your application stronger - should you decide to reapply next year.

Also, many adcoms look at re-applicants favorably.
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Re: Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far) [#permalink] New post 25 Dec 2008, 11:52
cs11 wrote:
Like alot of comments so far, I wish I had spent more time visiting schools before applying. Not only would it have made my essays stronger, but frankly, based on the couple of schools that I did visit, easier to write.


I agree. The smart thing to do would be to visit schools in the spring of the year that you apply. It's really hard to judge a school by the website or even talking to alumni.

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Re: Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far) [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2008, 14:36
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Bringing this thread back up, because I thought of one more thing I wish I had done. I wish I had spent some time at the beginning of my application process looking at scholarships. If I had it to do over again, I think I might have thrown in a Round 1 app to ASU/Carey in the hopes of a fellowship (I did the same for UCSD, and it worked out well, but it could just have easily not have), and I also would have applied for one of the JPMorgan minority scholarships/internships (for which the deadline was right around 2 of my R1 schools, and I simply didn't have the time to commit to it). I don't make a lot of money, and I'm going to be financing my education myself. Sure, I want to get in, but I also want to investigate as many scholarships as possible, and this takes time and preparation.

Also, for any future applicants reading, there are some things I did right: I applied to Tuck, USC, and NYU through the Consortium. I applied to both my reaches AND my safety schools R1, instead of the usual strategy of doing only highest-ranked schools first (I think this more than anything resulted in a fellowship from UCSD). I wrote the extra essay for the Haas Achievement Award. So all in all, I did lots of work on the money front...but of course, I could have done more.
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Re: Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far) [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2008, 14:01
agold wrote:
1) I wish I spent more time on the GMAT and took it more seriously. A 710 is seemingly no longer very competitive unless you have other things in your profile that are locking you in.


I understand you have had some bad luck on decisions, but this is just plain ridiculous. Firstly, it gives a lot of people the wrong impression who are starting out on things (this is like the worst of the 700 club BS I have seen) and secondly it just isn't true.

Virtually every school in the top 10 will have over 40% of its class with scores of a 710 or below. Probably nearer half. As for your self assessment, I think looking at the 710 as the reason why your application is weak is missing a big elephant somewhere. It will be something else, I am absolutely certain.

Besides, if you haven't got anything else in your app beyond a GMAT score, why are you applying. Everyone has something they can pitch, and maybe it depends on how you pitch it.
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Re: Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far) [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2008, 14:16
Here are my two biggest regrets:

1) Dicking around in undergrad. When I transferred, I had two options: graduate on time (ie, within the usual four-year window) or graduate with a high GPA. I had to retake most courses as well as my major courses, and I ended up doing this in two and a half years. Naturally, doing a program twice as fast meant my GPA suffered. Looking at numbers, my GPA sucks.

2) Trusting my instincts. I joined here in February, studied somewhat diligently for the GMAT and scored better than I thought but a hair below my goal in July. I started some apps once they went live. However, around August or September, I had a crisis of confidence and became convinced I couldn't get in and was wasting money I didn't really have. So, most of my original schools went out the window and work stopped. Late September/early October, I started back up again, but missed most of the R1 deadlines. I made Georgetown and UCLA (sort of), but missed EA for UNC and Duke and the December Done-In-A-Day event at WFU. I wanted to know by now, but blew my chances.

Trust yourself, and treat every application as if it was the most important one. Best advice I can give.
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Re: Year End Regrets from Your BSchool Journey (So Far)   [#permalink] 29 Dec 2008, 14:16
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