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Re: How long did you spend per school on your applications? [#permalink]
20 Nov 2007, 06:15
i know it probably varies per school ("the" stanford essay seems to trip a lot of people up), but, generally speaking, how long did you spend on each application? 25 hours?
25 isn't a bad estimate. It took an 1-2 hours to brainstorm for my essays, 5-6 hours or so to write my first draft of W essays, 2-3 hours to revise them, and I'll probably revise them another couple times. Then filling out all the online portions, sending out recommendation forms, etc. can take 5 or 6 hours after you've gone over everything a bajillion times.
However, that's 25 full hours. If you're revising while watching TV (like I am sometimes guiltying of doing), you'll obviously take more time.
Hard for me to count the hours, but I would say 2-3 weeks for my first school, to get all the kinks out with 4 reviewers. Then 1-2 weeks for UCLA and 2-3 weeks for Stanford. I would say in each of those weeks, I would spend 3-4 hours a night for 3-4 nights during the week, and one day on the weekend doing about 8 hours.
1. How prolific a writer you are - I probably have average writing abilities
2. How long before the app season you started thinking about your apps and goals? - Irrespective of how good you are. It takes a while for your story to come together.
3. How much a schools essay Qs fit your experiences. For instance, I could answer the 2 Ross short answer essays in 1 day because I had just the right things to say about them. In other cases, I have struggled to fit a theme to an essay Q for days.
In my case, it took me atleast 100 hours for each school. I spent the most hours on my HBS app(approx 200+ hours).
I'd say I probably spent 40-50 hours or so on Wharton, 30-40 for Kellogg/LBS and 20 for Cornell. This doesn't count brainstorming ideas which took much longer. The best part is that while recycling is hard, recycling examples and stories is pretty easy to do.
so as not to mislead anyone, my hours did not include brainstorming time. I probably spent at least 1-2 hours a day just thinking about my "themes" for each question while driving, eating, watching TV, or whatever. So the hours I listed are actual writing, staring at computer screen, and reviewing with friends time.
i can't really see myself spending more than 25-30 hours on any of the applications, though i think part of that is because i have read through the essay questions and been thinking about them for some time. at least half of the essays are already written in my mind, and since i was a humanities major in college, i can bust out a quality essay very quickly. recos are a wild card, so i'll have to stay on top of those (not that hard since i work with the people who have agreed to write them). i guess we will see... if it gets bad, i can always take a week off of work and/or drop my 5th school. even still december is going to be a brutal month
Probably around 15-20 hours per app of actually writing/revising the essays and any other stuff they ask for (ie "extended resume," etc).
However - I work better having all the info prepped prior to sitting down and writing. So brainstorming, flushing out stories and matching them with positioning, goal breakdowns, school / fit breakdowns, etc aren't included in this and probably took 125-200 hours total.
braindancer: haha, it was the week when you guys also had Mondavi come in to talk in your OB class.
one week eh? A Stanford guy I talked with also did his in a week, but he took the week off from work to do it, and Stanford was the only school he applied to. I can be done, but definitely not recommended.
Well, it's not ALL about time spent. If you're an HBS magna cum laude undergrad, community leader, minority representative, and a 5-year McKinsey consulting commando - you can file the apps in 2 hours, and you're in.