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Important: MOST Common and Egregious MISTAKES: Stop these

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Important: MOST Common and Egregious MISTAKES: Stop these  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 18 Sep 2018, 07:51
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Hi,

Picked up great things in 11 years of an admissions consulting career and thought will share these with the community here. I am seeing this a lot in my applicants, and wanted to share this with the community to stop people from making these mistakes. I have given very specific examples as well.




1. It is Okay to be Rejected: When reapplicants reach out to me( Someone with a 740 got multiple rejects last year reached out to me a couple of weeks ago. Don't remember whether she applied herself or with another professional last year. She was rejected by schools such as Duke/UNC/Tepper/Emory. I was surprised to see UNC/Emory reject for a GMAT 740/Female applicant with her work profile). I could see some very strong organic mistakes in communication, and I encouraged her to go full throttle this year for places such as Tuck/Duke/Kellogg as I had seen people like her getting into these places. She told me that with the series of rejects last year, this year she is going to apply to those places where there is an absolute certainty of an admit. She isn’t keen on getting Rejection letters in her mail boxes. I could empathise with her, but I will strongly encourage people to get over it, and consider this a GAME that you are playing, and you just Play till January. I mean, if you are not willing to get rejected, you will have to settle for schools that are way below your league. I am not saying that everyone should apply to H/S/W. NO! But you should still fearlessly apply to schools that are slightly over your league, and be okay with someone sending you a rejection letter in the mailbox. You need ONE Solid admit even if that comes after 4 rejects.


2. Do not write your recommendation letters-
Even if your bosses tell you to do whatever you want, you should still not be writing these yourself. It is so easy to catch you. Someone who has read your essays will easily be able to see your prints in your recommendations as well. Schools that have a weakness question in the recommendation are more likely to see this. It is not easy for a human being to critique on him/herself( Unless you are Dr. Lecter and have serious personality disorder issues- and can write like two different people- or probably you are so much conscious in your life that you have the ability to completely switch your identify off ☺ I did not know this 11 years ago when I started my career. Trust me when I am saying this- do not try this at home ! :)

3. Weakness questions- it is okay to have weaknesses in life. A lot of my applicants approach this weakness question with a lot of hesitation. There is a tendency to either sugarcoat too much around the weakness, or share a strengths embedded in the form of a weakness. Steve Jobs had weaknesses, Obama Does, and so will you throughout your life. A lot of applicants come up with minimum risk, and maximum appreciation weaknesses too. In this cycle, the weakness of the year has been “ He finds it hard to say no” . Not sure if people are talking to each other or there is a common platform distributing these weaknesses on sale. Not being honest or original will not help your chances. However, even if you have this "Can't say no" weakness, show the impact it had on you, and your work /personal life. It is a genuine weakness, but when your recommender puts it in by describing you as someone who is very dependable and does not say no, he isn’t doing justice to your story.

4. Be authentic : Be honest while showcasing your accomplishments. You do not have to have million Dollar hits on the resume in order to crack the best schools. The way you describe your bits of success and your learnings matters a lot. I did not know this a lot in my first year of starting this career. I was lucky that my first applicant cracked Emory with a 50 or 60% scholarship. However, I learnt a lot in the last 11 years, and realised that MANY MANY Applicants try to demean or disregard their bits of real success, and try to PICK inorganic pieces of stories in order to make them more grandiose. Someone recently told me that his most significant life Accomplishment was that 3 months ago, he rolled out a beta product ( unknown product) in a large organisation( a company that would not even care about that product. To support this, he even had a Ninja Analysis ready. There were meeting boards, disagreements with bosses, and the entire communication paraphernalia needed to make this situation win. Well you know what- You should probably go spend some with yourself, and see how important your life has been so far, and what is by far the most important thing that you have accomplished. 5 Minutes of conversation with this applicant, and he told me that he really doesn’t care about this beta product. Chances are that there is no Alpha/Beta product that he was describing. But we later realised that he was the only male member in the family, and was supporting his two sisters in their education, and had helped his family in turning around a small real estate broking business. One iteration and he could really see that he has been making a very meaningful contribution to his family. There are bigger things in life than launching an Unknown Beta product that never took off.


5. Resume: A lot of engineers find it hard to understand the business implications of their actions at work. I see a lot of resume with strong technical results, but you got to understand that the audience for your resume isn’t the people in your organisation or your industry. If a Layman cannot appreciate the value of a particular bullet on your resume, he isn’t going to like you. $$’s, %ages, Legacy you created, and strong transferrable skills – these all count towards making a strong resume. You should definitely show your resume around to people outside your Industry and see if they understand your( without you standing next to them trying to explain those bullets


6. Interviews do not give advance notices a lot of times: A lot of applicatns freak out and start the interview preparation only after they get an interview invitation in their mailbox. I have seen many Indian techie applicants trying to ward off a Face to face interview or trying to get the last spot available in a month long window as they feel they are not prepared. It is very common for applicants to panic as they know they will have to personally represent their stories now. If you think you are slow in oral communication, you should start practicing in front of a mirror for an hour a day right when you get into this endeavour. You will be negotiation million dolllar deals in 3 years from now. It is quite okay for you to work on this weakness. Stand in front of the mirror and throw strong counter questions. Remember the exercise Robert Deniro did in the Movie Taxi Driver “ YOU TALKING TO ME? – Hey – You Talking to me?” ☺ - You got to do something similar with an MBA context.


I will continue to post more of these. But Seriously- Stop doing all these. You will do much better.
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Originally posted by pytha1gurus on 09 Sep 2018, 14:09.
Last edited by pytha1gurus on 18 Sep 2018, 07:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Important: MOST Common and Egregious MISTAKES: Stop these  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2018, 04:03
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Re: Important: MOST Common and Egregious MISTAKES: Stop these  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2018, 06:39
thans Narenn. Will definitely float more around.
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Our GMAT Program- Creating 750+ Scores
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Re: Important: MOST Common and Egregious MISTAKES: Stop these  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2018, 12:59
7. Had a conversation with an applicant recently. He was panicking as the first round deadlines just went past him, and despite 4 months of GMAT preparation, and a series of 740's and 750's on mocks, he got a 670 on the real test. Do you know- The difference between a mock test and a real test is - ONLY $250. A lot of applicants do not realise or see it that way. ONLINE TEST TAKING is a LOT like BOOKMYSHOW.COM. You go online, pick a date, and buy the entry tickets. If you don’t perform on the test day, you buy the TICKETS again, and retake the test. Funny thing is- you make it sound like a ONCE in a LIFE TIME Opportunity and PANIC! You got to seriously write this down before your real test- WHAT IS AT Stake ? And why are you making a big deal out of it? GMAT is not even a once a year EVENT like the Indian MBA Entrance examination( CAT ) . It is understandable if an MBA aspirant panics during the CAT exam as if things go wrong, there is a year long wait for the next opportunity. With GMAT, you can literally pick your own dates, and walk in for the next attempt. Consider it a Mock test that requires $250, and your passport. Keep it simple.

8. While writing the "Why this school?" essays for Wharton/Stanford/Tuck/Kellogg/Other top schools, do not create a BROCHURE for their MBA Program i.e. Your goal is not to tell them - WHY THEY ARE A GREAT PROGRAM? The idea is to tell them- WHY THEY ARE MEANT FOR YOU ? The Admissions committee members at the top schools are interested in Simply finding out HOW WILL THEY HELP YOU WITH YOUR CURRENT handicaps? If you and I went to Tuck, we will very likely experience a very different TUCK despite hanging out in the same buildings/campus. Those differences will arise from the things we want to grasp, the different futures that you and I have in mind, and our interests. It is important for you to identify your unique answers to "Why Stanford?", "Why Wharton?" etc. rather than narrating facts you gather through secondary research.
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Our GMAT Program- Creating 750+ Scores
Our MBA Consulting- Top Schools and significant Scholarships
PythaGURUS Education
http://www.pythagurus.in

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Re: Important: MOST Common and Egregious MISTAKES: Stop these &nbs [#permalink] 05 Oct 2018, 12:59
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