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My 2 cents on the entire application process...

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I've been on this forum browsing and posting since the end of April 2008. Many of the postings and the thoughts about b-school and the application process seem to be skewed, or maybe I just happen to read certain posts and have magically missed the ones where people think logically about the application process and b-school in general. I have decided to present what I believe are myths and/or assumptions about b-school and the application process. I realize that something I may label here as a myth actually has some truth to it, and a more accurate label may be "exaggeration" rather than myth. If this happens to be true in what I say, please look at the core of what I'm saying. If you think I'm 90% correct, don't scream and shout about the 10% disagreement.

Myth #1
To make a ton of money in my career I have to go to an M7 school.

My thoughts...
I think the key phrase to this is "have to" and second key phrase is "ton of money". I acknowledge this is not the only motivating factor for going to b-school, and in this economy, that's a good thing. I think it is human nature to want to take something such as our success and place the responsibility for that success in the hands of some other person or thing. If we don't get into an M7 school, then we can say "That's why I'm not a millionaire/CEO/CFO/handsome model-dating stud." or "Things would be going exactly as I wanted them to go IF ONLY one of the M7 schools had let me in." We want to think we did all that we could and the deck was stacked against us. Our current situation couldn't possibly be a result of our own decisions or our own failures, but the truth is that when we recognize the connection between our decisions and our success, that's when we get control and can really make things happen. When you acknowledge that you can work harder and capitalize on presented opportunities, then you are not longer subject to what happens TO you. (Yes, things do happen TO you, but you're reaction to these circumstances is under your control.) There are many people that are amazingly successful and didn't go to an M7. These people work hard and take things while others work only as hard as they are required and wait for things to come to them.

How's this for a hypothetical? You borrow a friend's car to go on a date. You get pulled over for going 7 mph over the limit, and the cop is about to give you a warning when he sees a plastic baggie under the back seat. You're arrested for possession of cocaine (great friend you've got there,huh?). Do you want the lawyer that went to a top law school and was last in his class because he has a horrible work ethic and is going to screw up your case, or do you want the attorney that isn't as naturally smart as the top law grad but works 3 times as hard and will do his best which results in the charges being dropped? The same logic applies for b-schools. You don't have to have an MBA from an M7!!! Will people give you more opportunities because of your pedigree? Certainly. But this does not equate with a need to attend one of these schools. You can go to a lower-ranked school and work your tail off. You will have to make some of your own opportunities. Many people in companies would rather hire MBA's that go out and make things happen for themselves rather than wait on someone to come to them because they have a Kellogg MBA.

Where you went to school for your MBA does not change your personal abilities to succeed once you're done. Focus on that. Sure, go to the best school you can get into, but even if you get into Stanford, don't think that your ticket is punched forever. Do you think no Stanford graduate has ever failed?


Myth #2 - A 710 GMAT score is so-so.

Are you kidding me ? This is absolutely insane to me. If you look at this and see it as average among accepted students at the top schools and you're not used to being average in your entire life...welcome to b-school. You moved from the pond in Tenneessee to the Great Lakes. You may have taken up 1/2 of that little pond, but there you blend in with the school in the Great Lakes. And once you're done with b-school, you're swimming in the ocean my friend. Average is not a bad thing depending on your location. Average in b-schools (or most grad programs in general) is still going to be above average to the rest of people. The state with the highest % of population 25-and-older with master's degrees was Massachusetts, with 14.5%. That's the higest. So even in the highest state, once you get that MBA, you're more educated than 6 of out 7 people. I think the words I'm looking for are "relativity" and "perspective".

For those people that think their 700+ score is "not great", follow these simple rules:
1) Never talk about your score in public (I mean outside of GMATClub) and certainly not at b-school
2) If you do talk about it at b-school, duck. I say this because I hope someone that hears you and has a lower score smacks you back to reality. If you don't mind getting hit, break Rule #2.
3) Go volunteer at a shelter regularly. The very fact that you are now considering applying to b-school means so much, and evidently this significance has been lost on you. There are people that would kill (some literally) to have the opportunities you have had to this point. I don't care how difficult it has been for you to get to this point...it's still exponentially better than billions of others in this world. Don't apologize for your abilities or the opportunities you've been given. Be thankful for them because if you didn't take these opportunities when given the chance, that'd be a shame too.

I hope this wasn't too much of a rant, but I think some people on here need to get a better sense of perspective.

My mom has a bachelor's degree and is a high school english teacher. My father has a high school dimploma and has taken many college classes. My brother is an ER doctor in Ohio and I'm an attorney in Oklahoma. My parents have said numerous times they've been asked by people how they were able to raise 2 sons that went on to get doctoral degrees. I'm not sure how they responded, but it makes me so happy that I've brought my parents that honor and sense of pride that they're recognized by those around them for how they raised my brother and me. You are doing the same thing for your family. You've got your bachelor's degree and will be getting an MBA from somewhere. You don't know yet where, but you WILL get this degree. Appreciate this and tell your parents or whoever raised you "Thank you for giving me what I needed to be able to do the things I'm doing today." If you do this out of the blue, it will blow them away. You didn't fall on the top of the mountain, and you weren't climbing alone.
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We should have a separate forum for folks looking at schools outside the top 20. This would be a good kick-off thread for that. Maybe cue some emo or death metal music in the background while we're at it.
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New post 21 Nov 2008, 09:37
I had not realized that these problems were plaguing this forum. Thank you for addressing them.
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New post 21 Nov 2008, 09:39
agold wrote:
We should have a separate forum for folks looking at schools outside the top 20. This would be a good kick-off thread for that. Maybe cue some emo music in the background while we're at it.


And we should put yellow insignias on all their posts to make sure we don't mingle with them inadvertently. :x
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rca215 wrote:
agold wrote:
We should have a separate forum for folks looking at schools outside the top 20. This would be a good kick-off thread for that. Maybe cue some emo music in the background while we're at it.


And we should put yellow insignias on all their posts to make sure we don't mingle with them inadvertently. :x


Yes. Instead of guides on how to write perfect essays and ace your interviews, we could have guides on how to most efficiently wash the car of your M7 graduate boss and how to signify that you're "working hard".
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New post 21 Nov 2008, 09:46
agold wrote:
rca215 wrote:
agold wrote:
We should have a separate forum for folks looking at schools outside the top 20. This would be a good kick-off thread for that. Maybe cue some emo music in the background while we're at it.


And we should put yellow insignias on all their posts to make sure we don't mingle with them inadvertently. :x


Yes. Instead of guides on how to write perfect essays and ace your interviews, we could have guides on how to most efficiently wash the car of your M7 graduate boss and how to signify that you're "working hard".


LOL, jallenmorris is going to hunt both of you down and pummel you.

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New post 21 Nov 2008, 09:49
Not both of them, just agold. A separate thread for those looking outside the top 20? Agold - did you even read what I wrote? You're a freaking moron sometimes. Certainly not all the time, you have some very good posts, but other times I just don't have a clue where you're coming from.
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New post 21 Nov 2008, 09:51
Sooooo, how about this weather we are having? Huh? :?
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New post 21 Nov 2008, 09:55
raabenb wrote:
Sooooo, how about this weather we are having? Huh? :?


The fog and wind is making it much more difficult for us to scale this molehill.
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New post 21 Nov 2008, 09:56
81 and sunny here in LaLa Land.

But still gloomy........

http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/081121/business ... ldman.html
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New post 21 Nov 2008, 10:01
55 in Bay Area....I am so looking forward to experiencing seasons in Chicago or Philadelphia next year.

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New post 21 Nov 2008, 10:04
Im here in Philly looking out of my office window dreading scraping this snow and ice off of my car!

levfin2003 wrote:
55 in Bay Area....I am so looking forward to experiencing seasons in Chicago or Philadelphia next year.

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Though I can't disagree with any of your points jallen, I think the pressures of these top 20 schools exist for a lot of us specifically *because* of how lucky we realize we are. We're well aware that we have had many opportunities handed to us in life, and it's certainly understandable to want to take the utmost advantage of them.

To give an example, think of those people from high school who are washing cars for a living. Yes, it's easy to say 'well, I can't complain, at least I'm not doing that', but at least for me, I have known for a long time that I was born with a lot more innate intelligence (at least in the academic sense) than the large majority of them. I know that sounds REALLY pompous, but for me it's just leads me to feel that I have more potential than just an 'average' job. And to desire to make the absolute most of said 'potential', there's nothing wrong with that. To me, that's how I view myself and the large majority of posters here - people who were dealt a good hand in life and now want to make the most of it. Should johnny car-washer apologize for getting a 710 on his GMAT? of course not. But what if its someone who has always had math come naturally to him/her, and truly, innately feels that other people with less natural talent have outworked/outhustled him/her to get a better score? There's nothing wrong with having a little anxiety there, you're just being someone who feels they didn't hit their potential in this instance. Keyword: in this instance.

But ultimately I feel that as long as one 'leaves it all on the table', aka they put all they could into getting the most out of Bschool (be in the application AND the 2 years on campus), they shouldn't have any regrets, and shouldn't feel apologetic for their whole experience as a whole. And in the long run, that's all that will matter.

As always, just my 2 cents.

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New post 21 Nov 2008, 10:23
I agree with everything you've said. Let me clarify the thing about the GMAT score. There is one certain post I'm thinking of made recently about this person's GMAT score and the post wasn't stating they thought they could do better. The post said that a 710 isn't great and they weren't sure they could get into a top school with that GMAT score.

bostonsparky wrote:
Though I can't disagree with any of your points jallen, I think the pressures of these top 20 schools exist for a lot of us specifically *because* of how lucky we realize we are. We're well aware that we have had many opportunities handed to us in life, and it's certainly understandable to want to take the utmost advantage of them.

To give an example, think of those people from high school who are washing cars for a living. Yes, it's easy to say 'well, I can't complain, at least I'm not doing that', but at least for me, I have known for a long time that I was born with a lot more innate intelligence (at least in the academic sense) than the large majority of them. I know that sounds REALLY pompous, but for me it's just leads me to feel that I have more potential than just an 'average' job. And to desire to make the absolute most of said 'potential', there's nothing wrong with that. To me, that's how I view myself and the large majority of posters here - people who were dealt a good hand in life and now want to make the most of it. Should johnny car-washer apologize for getting a 710 on his GMAT? of course not. But what if its someone who has always had math come naturally to him/her, and truly, innately feels that other people with less natural talent have outworked/outhustled him/her to get a better score? There's nothing wrong with having a little anxiety there, you're just being someone who feels they didn't hit their potential in this instance. Keyword: in this instance.

But ultimately I feel that as long as one 'leaves it all on the table', aka they put all they could into getting the most out of Bschool (be in the application AND the 2 years on campus), they shouldn't have any regrets, and shouldn't feel apologetic for their whole experience as a whole. And in the long run, that's all that will matter.

As always, just my 2 cents.

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What, did you get a 710? Actually.. you probably got a bit higher... 720?

Oh please - a 710 is an average score for top schools. Does it mean you're less intelligent than others? Probably not. Does it mean you can't succeed at a top business school? No. Does it mean that people who scored higher are better? No. Does it mean that you're better than those who scored lower? No. HOWEVER, it is a "so-so score" if you're trying to go for a top school. It won't help you get in, but it also won't keep you out. You're completely confusing things since most of us here are aspiring to go to top schools. Should I be happy if I scored a 550 and am applying to harvard... just because i did better than the median? Everyone has their own needs for a score, and if someone only needs a 500 to get into their chosen school, then good for them on that 550. And if your 710/720 is sufficient to get into the schools you want to, then great... but don't go on a freaking crusade to tell everyone off who is disappointed with their 710... apparently because they "lack perspective". Dude, where's your perspective? Get off your high horse and don't act like you're coming in here and saving the day by imparting your ridiculous 'wisdom'. There's so much wrong with nearly everything you wrote. Get over yourself.

P.S. I got a 760 and was disappointed. I didn't take it again because i knew it wouldn't make a difference for my purposes... but i knew i could have done better.

jallenmorris wrote:
Myth #2 - A 710 GMAT score is so-so.

Are you kidding me ? This is absolutely insane to me. If you look at this and see it as average among accepted students at the top schools and you're not used to being average in your entire life...welcome to b-school. You moved from the pond in Tenneessee to the Great Lakes. You may have taken up 1/2 of that little pond, but there you blend in with the school in the Great Lakes. And once you're done with b-school, you're swimming in the ocean my friend. Average is not a bad thing depending on your location. Average in b-schools (or most grad programs in general) is still going to be above average to the rest of people. The state with the highest % of population 25-and-older with master's degrees was Massachusetts, with 14.5%. That's the higest. So even in the highest state, once you get that MBA, you're more educated than 6 of out 7 people. I think the words I'm looking for are "relativity" and "perspective".

For those people that think their 700+ score is "not great", follow these simple rules:
1) Never talk about your score in public (I mean outside of GMATClub) and certainly not at b-school
2) If you do talk about it at b-school, duck. I say this because I hope someone that hears you and has a lower score smacks you back to reality. If you don't mind getting hit, break Rule #2.
3) Go volunteer at a shelter regularly. The very fact that you are now considering applying to b-school means so much, and evidently this significance has been lost on you. There are people that would kill (some literally) to have the opportunities you have had to this point. I don't care how difficult it has been for you to get to this point...it's still exponentially better than billions of others in this world. Don't apologize for your abilities or the opportunities you've been given. Be thankful for them because if you didn't take these opportunities when given the chance, that'd be a shame too.

I hope this wasn't too much of a rant, but I think some people on here need to get a better sense of perspective.

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New post 21 Nov 2008, 11:03
egy wrote:
What, did you get a 710? Actually.. you probably got a bit higher... 720?

Oh please - a 710 is an average score for top schools. Does it mean you're less intelligent than others? Probably not. Does it mean you can't succeed at a top business school? No. Does it mean that people who scored higher are better? No. Does it mean that you're better than those who scored lower? No. HOWEVER, it is a "so-so score" if you're trying to go for a top school. It won't help you get in, but it also won't keep you out. You're completely confusing things since most of us here are aspiring to go to top schools. Should I be happy if I scored a 550 and am applying to harvard... just because i did better than the median? Everyone has their own needs for a score, and if someone only needs a 500 to get into their chosen school, then good for them on that 550. And if your 710/720 is sufficient to get into the schools you want to, then great... but don't go on a freaking crusade to tell everyone off who is disappointed with their 710... apparently because they "lack perspective". Dude, where's your perspective? Get off your high horse and don't act like you're coming in here and saving the day by imparting your ridiculous 'wisdom'. There's so much wrong with nearly everything you wrote. Get over yourself.

P.S. I got a 760 and was disappointed. I didn't take it again because i knew it wouldn't make a difference for my purposes... but i knew i could have done better.


Thank you for breathing some sanity back to this thread. +1

For reference, I have a 710 with a low quant score. If I don't get in to a Top 10 school this year (highly likely in a competitive year like this), I will be retaking the test, aiming for 750+, and re-applying next year. If I get into a Top 10 school, I will probably be retaking the test anyway to be competitive for the top firms (a 710 is a joke if you want to get into M/B/B or MS/GS).
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New post 21 Nov 2008, 11:12
Excellent entertainment on a Friday afternoon! :lol:
My view is this: anyone wanna join a Friday afternoon chat?
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New post 21 Nov 2008, 11:35
Thank you for demonstrating my point. There is nothing wrong with thinking you can do better or trying to do the best you can. Some people that browse this forum don't ever write anything because they don't think they can contribute because they don't want or even need a high GMAT score to get into their school of choice. People saying a 710 is a so-so score is only saying that from the perspective of someone that thinks they need a 770 to get into a top school. No GMAT score will earn you automatic admission.

You seem to think I'm trying to tell everyone off that is disappointed with their 710. No, that's not at all what I'm trying to do. I'm specifically talking about those people that think a 710 is a so-so score. It's not a so-so score. There is NOTHING wrong with someone being disappointed with their 710 if they believe they can do better. I have not said it is wrong for someone to be disappointed. Don't put words and meaning in my posts that aren't there.

It is a small group that I think lacks perspective. The group of people that think a 710 is a so-so score regardless of who gets it. That's just not true. It's a good score no matter who gets it, even if the person could retake and do much better. Then that person would have a good score and a great score.

egy wrote:
What, did you get a 710? Actually.. you probably got a bit higher... 720?

Oh please - a 710 is an average score for top schools. Does it mean you're less intelligent than others? Probably not. Does it mean you can't succeed at a top business school? No. Does it mean that people who scored higher are better? No. Does it mean that you're better than those who scored lower? No. HOWEVER, it is a "so-so score" if you're trying to go for a top school. It won't help you get in, but it also won't keep you out. You're completely confusing things since most of us here are aspiring to go to top schools. Should I be happy if I scored a 550 and am applying to harvard... just because i did better than the median? Everyone has their own needs for a score, and if someone only needs a 500 to get into their chosen school, then good for them on that 550. And if your 710/720 is sufficient to get into the schools you want to, then great... but don't go on a freaking crusade to tell everyone off who is disappointed with their 710... apparently because they "lack perspective". Dude, where's your perspective? Get off your high horse and don't act like you're coming in here and saving the day by imparting your ridiculous 'wisdom'. There's so much wrong with nearly everything you wrote. Get over yourself.

P.S. I got a 760 and was disappointed. I didn't take it again because i knew it wouldn't make a difference for my purposes... but i knew i could have done better.

jallenmorris wrote:
Myth #2 - A 710 GMAT score is so-so.

Are you kidding me ? This is absolutely insane to me. If you look at this and see it as average among accepted students at the top schools and you're not used to being average in your entire life...welcome to b-school. You moved from the pond in Tenneessee to the Great Lakes. You may have taken up 1/2 of that little pond, but there you blend in with the school in the Great Lakes. And once you're done with b-school, you're swimming in the ocean my friend. Average is not a bad thing depending on your location. Average in b-schools (or most grad programs in general) is still going to be above average to the rest of people. The state with the highest % of population 25-and-older with master's degrees was Massachusetts, with 14.5%. That's the higest. So even in the highest state, once you get that MBA, you're more educated than 6 of out 7 people. I think the words I'm looking for are "relativity" and "perspective".

For those people that think their 700+ score is "not great", follow these simple rules:
1) Never talk about your score in public (I mean outside of GMATClub) and certainly not at b-school
2) If you do talk about it at b-school, duck. I say this because I hope someone that hears you and has a lower score smacks you back to reality. If you don't mind getting hit, break Rule #2.
3) Go volunteer at a shelter regularly. The very fact that you are now considering applying to b-school means so much, and evidently this significance has been lost on you. There are people that would kill (some literally) to have the opportunities you have had to this point. I don't care how difficult it has been for you to get to this point...it's still exponentially better than billions of others in this world. Don't apologize for your abilities or the opportunities you've been given. Be thankful for them because if you didn't take these opportunities when given the chance, that'd be a shame too.

I hope this wasn't too much of a rant, but I think some people on here need to get a better sense of perspective.

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J Allen Morris
**I'm pretty sure I'm right, but then again, I'm just a guy with his head up his a$$.

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Re: My 2 cents on the entire application process... [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2008, 11:42
Why lock the thread? Damage control? It was just getting interesting.

jallen - share some more interesting revelations for us. Is a 3.2 GPA really solid?
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Re: My 2 cents on the entire application process...   [#permalink] 21 Nov 2008, 11:42
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My 2 cents on the entire application process...

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