Most Difficult Application - Poll : The B-School Application
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Most Difficult Application - Poll

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Most Difficult Application - Poll [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2008, 17:48
Now that all of the applications are out, just curious as to what the hardest application is this year? Share the specific question that is giving you the most trouble and why, below.

Last edited by jb32 on 21 Aug 2008, 17:56, edited 1 time in total.
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21 Aug 2008, 17:49
Yale! Not on your list, followed by Chicago. I thank my stars I'm not applying to those schools.

I certainly think Yale's essays ask about some really specific things and allow very little leeway to use material from other school's applications. Ditto for Chicago.
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21 Aug 2008, 17:56
Unfortunately I could only put ten on the list, but I'm replacing Anderson with Yale.
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21 Aug 2008, 18:36
Chicago's essay 2 is the toughest one I'll be encountering. Stanford's infamous #1 is probably tougher, but I'm not applying there
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Re: Most Difficult Application - Poll [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2008, 21:07
#1 Stanford
#2 Harvard
#3 Chicago

Everything else is a cakewalk compared to these.
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Re: Most Difficult Application - Poll [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2008, 02:37
for me its Oxford, solely because of essay 2.

"What recent development, world event or book has most influenced your thinking and why? 2000 Words"

The question hasn't changed in 3 years at least and it has been bugging me since March of this year. I can't put down my thinking and influence to one event or book. Any ideas?
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Re: Most Difficult Application - Poll [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2008, 02:39
The Olympics in China? Globalization is a tried and tested them on b-school applications.

for me its Oxford, solely because of essay 2.

"What recent development, world event or book has most influenced your thinking and why? 2000 Words"

The question hasn't changed in 3 years at least and it has been bugging me since March of this year. I can't put down my thinking and influence to one event or book. Any ideas?
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22 Aug 2008, 02:42
solaris1 wrote:
The Olympics in China? Globalization is a tried and tested them on b-school applications.

for me its Oxford, solely because of essay 2.

"What recent development, world event or book has most influenced your thinking and why? 2000 Words"

The question hasn't changed in 3 years at least and it has been bugging me since March of this year. I can't put down my thinking and influence to one event or book. Any ideas?

just imagine how many chinese applicants will have that theme....and besides its hard to write 2000 words about something that has really not changed your thinking.

And the only book i've read recently is the GMAT OG
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Re: Most Difficult Application - Poll [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2008, 03:11
a lot of developments.

Islamic fundamentalism - good as party talk, not sure if it gels in an essay

Paris Hilton - always a good choice..provided it goes with pics and videos

Microfinance - hot topic yesterday, cold potato tomorrow

America's Best Dance Crew - as usual proving the theory white men cannot dance.

and my favorite......

Kim Kardashian - a new development that is still developing...

as usual I have hijacked the thread..now back to regular programming

I should throw in LBS essays..not that they are not hard, but with word limits like 200, 400, and 500.. you have to scratch your head to figure out what to write without using conjunctions, propositions and the occassional verb and still make sense
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Re: Most Difficult Application - Poll [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2008, 06:50
jb32 wrote:
Now that all of the applications are out, just curious as to what the hardest application is this year? Share the specific question that is giving you the most trouble and why, below.

Hey jb,
Is it only me or anyone else thinks that Darden application is tough this year due to their ridiculous word limits....... (1000 words for three essays)...... should be on the poll.....
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Re: Most Difficult Application - Poll [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2008, 07:01
For me, that's an easy question: What Got You Here Won't Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith.

http://www.amazon.com/What-Got-Here-Won ... 289&sr=1-1

This book got me to thinking about what I've done with my career, how I came to the point where I am currently am, and where I want to go. It's an awesome book. I highlights what people do subconsciously to sabatoge their own careers and they don't even know it. Marshall Goldsmith is an executive coach. He walks the reader through the different characteristics he sees in people with huge potential, but they lack in some fundamental area that is holding them back.

for me its Oxford, solely because of essay 2.

"What recent development, world event or book has most influenced your thinking and why? 2000 Words"

The question hasn't changed in 3 years at least and it has been bugging me since March of this year. I can't put down my thinking and influence to one event or book. Any ideas?

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Re: Most Difficult Application - Poll [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2008, 08:03
Note first, to avoid comments: I don't wanna give even slightest impression that I'll get admitted there or even get close to admissions (i.e. interview). But my $0.02 below... What's so difficult about Harvard or Stanford? Maybe that's only me, but I really have an impression that people exaggerate H/S simply b/c of their rankings/reputation. What do you find so difficult about Harvard (below)? 1: standard. 2: standard. 3-6: nice mixture of standard and creative so something nice for everybody. 1. What are your three most substantial accomplishments and why do you view them as such? (600-word limit) 2. What have you learned from a mistake? (400-word limit) Please respond to two of the following (400-word limit each): 3. What would you like the MBA Admissions Board to know about your undergraduate academic experience? 4. Discuss how you have engaged with a community or organization. 5. What area of the world are you most curious about and why? 6. What is your career vision and why is this choice meaningful to you? Stanford... different (1-2) and standard (3-6). Anyway better than boring standard stuff other schools ask. No BS here (i.e. short-/mid-term career vision which anyway will change while at school and majority writes this type of essay in a very 'acceptable' way - how do I look honest, but in reality give AdCom an impression of 'employability' after MBA). At least for Stanford you really write what your heart tells you (for essays 1-2). So all in all I really don't get it... what so difficult here? Chicago no.2 - that's different story. Boring and nightmare to write. SVP Joined: 11 Mar 2008 Posts: 1634 Location: Southern California Schools: Chicago (dinged), Tuck (November), Columbia (RD) Followers: 9 Kudos [?]: 201 [0], given: 0 Re: Most Difficult Application - Poll [#permalink] Show Tags 22 Aug 2008, 08:25 garbus222 wrote: Note first, to avoid comments: I don't wanna give even slightest impression that I'll get admitted there or even get close to admissions (i.e. interview). But my$0.02 below...

What's so difficult about Harvard or Stanford? Maybe that's only me, but I really have an impression that people exaggerate H/S simply b/c of their rankings/reputation.

What do you find so difficult about Harvard (below)? 1: standard. 2: standard. 3-6: nice mixture of standard and creative so something nice for everybody.

1. What are your three most substantial accomplishments and why do you view them as such? (600-word limit)
2. What have you learned from a mistake? (400-word limit)
Please respond to two of the following (400-word limit each):
4. Discuss how you have engaged with a community or organization.
5. What area of the world are you most curious about and why?
6. What is your career vision and why is this choice meaningful to you?

Stanford... different (1-2) and standard (3-6). Anyway better than boring standard stuff other schools ask. No BS here (i.e. short-/mid-term career vision which anyway will change while at school and majority writes this type of essay in a very 'acceptable' way - how do I look honest, but in reality give AdCom an impression of 'employability' after MBA). At least for Stanford you really write what your heart tells you (for essays 1-2).

So all in all I really don't get it... what so difficult here? Chicago no.2 - that's different story. Boring and nightmare to write.

#1 is a very difficult question - just like Stanford's "What matters to you most and why". It requires a lot of introspection and digging deep - unless you're a superstar and you can rattle off those 3 accomplishments without much effort. The other difficult part about HBS is the word limits - 200 words for each of your 3 greatest accomplishments is tough.
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Re: Most Difficult Application - Poll [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2008, 08:40
Agree that word limit is a challenge at Harvard (more than at other schools).

As for H1... B/c it's Harvard, majority of us will write about those 3 accomplishments that resulted from 3 most significant leadership experiences. So pretty much this essay is about leadership. If so, lots of other schools ask for leadership (Wharton, Kellogg, Tuck to name few) so for me H1 is not any different than Kellogg3 etc.

As for S1... I find it relatively easy as deep down I know very well what I really care about. I think everybody knows very well. Admitting it is a different story (e.g. difficult to admit openly that I might be driven by such a 'shallow' values as power or prestige). So at the end of the day the difficult part is to pick, from the list of all our values, the ones which are ok to write about in MBA application.
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22 Aug 2008, 08:42
garbus222 wrote:
Note first, to avoid comments: I don't wanna give even slightest impression that I'll get admitted there or even get close to admissions (i.e. interview). But my \$0.02 below...

What's so difficult about Harvard or Stanford? Maybe that's only me, but I really have an impression that people exaggerate H/S simply b/c of their rankings/reputation.

What do you find so difficult about Harvard (below)? 1: standard. 2: standard. 3-6: nice mixture of standard and creative so something nice for everybody.

1. What are your three most substantial accomplishments and why do you view them as such? (600-word limit)
2. What have you learned from a mistake? (400-word limit)
Please respond to two of the following (400-word limit each):
4. Discuss how you have engaged with a community or organization.
5. What area of the world are you most curious about and why?
6. What is your career vision and why is this choice meaningful to you?

Stanford... different (1-2) and standard (3-6). Anyway better than boring standard stuff other schools ask. No BS here (i.e. short-/mid-term career vision which anyway will change while at school and majority writes this type of essay in a very 'acceptable' way - how do I look honest, but in reality give AdCom an impression of 'employability' after MBA). At least for Stanford you really write what your heart tells you (for essays 1-2).

So all in all I really don't get it... what so difficult here? Chicago no.2 - that's different story. Boring and nightmare to write.

I agree the HBS questions don't look especially tough to me. Of course, HBS is out of my league and I'm not even applying there but I think Chicago's app is WAY tougher.

Also, I wanted to respond on the comment about the Yale essays. I actually thought they seemed relatively easy (relative is the key word here, I think the essays for every school are tough so I'm just talking in relative terms here). For essay 3 they give you 7 options and then for essay 4 you can choose another of those 7 or make up any question you want. That gives you a lot of leeway to find a couple essays you can borrow from other schools. As with most schools you can also borrow a lot for essay 1, the career essay, except that Yale does add a twist about your impact on the world which is pretty tough.

I voted for Chicago. I think essay 2 is the toughest essay of any school. And for non creative types, like myself, the powerpoint question is probably the 2nd hardest of any school. I'm dreading this application.
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22 Aug 2008, 08:45
garbus222 wrote:
As for S1... I find it relatively easy as deep down I know very well what I really care about. I think everybody knows very well. Admitting it is a different story (e.g. difficult to admit openly that I might be driven by such a 'shallow' values as power or prestige). So at the end of the day the difficult part is to pick, from the list of all our values, the ones which are ok to write about in MBA application.

Let's not kid ourselves here, 90% of applicants are going to business school because they want a) more interesting/impactful/powerful work, b) higher compensation, or c) preferably both. However, you can't write this in the application and therefore it requires a lot of introspection by most people.
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Re: Most Difficult Application - Poll [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2008, 08:47
Last year I hated MIT's application questions. They want a ton of detail but give you only 500 words. Even though its only 3 shorter essays it took me longer than Kelloggs which I had to write more than double the material.
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22 Aug 2008, 08:50
terp06 wrote:
Let's not kid ourselves here, 90% of applicants are going to business school because they want a) more interesting/impactful/powerful work, b) higher compensation, or c) preferably both. However, you can't write this in the application and therefore it requires a lot of introspection by most people.

Agree. I withdraw therefore my previous statement about 'writing what heart tells you' for S. It's the same BS as for others - just wrapped differently
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22 Aug 2008, 09:13
IHateTheGMAT wrote:
I voted for Chicago. I think essay 2 is the toughest essay of any school. And for non creative types, like myself, the powerpoint question is probably the 2nd hardest of any school. I'm dreading this application.

I personally thought before i began my Chicago app that essay 2 would be the toughest, but after finishing Chicago I'm not so sure anymore. It flowed much better when I sat down to write it. And while I sat in front of the computer for a week or so cursing and trying to figure out the PPT, I think in the end that it is the best question of any school. You can pretty much include anything you want to tell the rest of your story, fill in any gaps, etc. Your Chicago app (compared to your other apps) should be the most complete story about you because you have so much freedom to tell it.
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Re: Most Difficult Application - Poll [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2008, 10:15
jb32 wrote:
IHateTheGMAT wrote:
I voted for Chicago. I think essay 2 is the toughest essay of any school. And for non creative types, like myself, the powerpoint question is probably the 2nd hardest of any school. I'm dreading this application.

I personally thought before i began my Chicago app that essay 2 would be the toughest, but after finishing Chicago I'm not so sure anymore. It flowed much better when I sat down to write it. And while I sat in front of the computer for a week or so cursing and trying to figure out the PPT, I think in the end that it is the best question of any school. You can pretty much include anything you want to tell the rest of your story, fill in any gaps, etc. Your Chicago app (compared to your other apps) should be the most complete story about you because you have so much freedom to tell it.

I really hope your right. I haven't started my Chicago essays yet and would be very happy if I had the same experience! I've sort of pushed those essays down my list because they look so hard. I finished my Columbia essays, which were pretty tough but not impossible. And now I'm doing the Tuck essays, which are hard but fair. They are definitely very introspective but they are also pretty straightforward and give you the chance to tell your whole story.
Re: Most Difficult Application - Poll   [#permalink] 22 Aug 2008, 10:15

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