For some reason I thought that all my stress and fears about the future would fleet away after I successfully finished taking the GMAT. While this may have been true for a week, it’s definitely not the case right now.
I’m really starting to feel the pressure for getting my essays done. I would say it’s probably less intense than what I felt on the GMAT, but it’s still causing me to lose sleep every once in a while. You can see my progress below from the very cool Clear Admit MBA Planner app. (OMG – only a month left for Haas! ;)) As you can probably tell, I’ve only finished submitting my GMAT scores to each of my schools.
Thing I need to do:
- Prepare General Question List for Alumni Interview
- Schedule informational interviews with school alumni in my network
- Prepare school specific questions for each interview
- Complete General School Research: adcom blogs, school website, school guides,etc.
- Choose the story for each essay question I plan to answer
- Finish signing up on all of the school admissions websites
- Schedule my essay review deadlines with my “review committee”
- Setup each of my recommenders with specific details regarding what I’m asking of them
- Review my old performance reviews to derive content for my essays
- Download my free mbaMission school guide from Manhattan GMAT
- Send transcripts to each of the schools
- Finish my application resume
Couple of updates regarding my list:
I’ve dropped Michigan from my Round 2 applications. I think Ross is an amazing program, but I simply had too many deadlines in December and had to drop at least one from my list. I thought this would be a good way to improve the quality of my applications this Round. I still might apply to Ross in Round 3.
School research is where I’m lacking the most right now. Every school has one question or another that simply asks: “why do you want to go here?” The answer for most people applying to the Top 10 business schools is: “because you’re in the Top 10.” Obviously that wouldn’t suffice in an essay.
I’ve found the actual “writing” part of the essays as not that difficult and sometimes even enjoyable. It feels great when you come up with a line that you just know will impress the admissions committee. The difficult part is figuring out which story to use. I have done a number of interesting and unique projects in my career, and most can be spun either as a leadership example, a creativity example, or an accomplishment example. It’s tricky choosing which story to use and then making sure it fits in well with the rest of the questions the school is asking.
I think the finality of it all is what’s causing me stress. Sure these are just essays and only one component of the application process. But they represent four years of my professional career, long hours of blood, sweat and tears, all of which I’m supposed to fit in a 500 word-limit.
In signing up for each of the admissions websites, I’ve realized that (after accidentally creating two logins) many schools use the same admissions website vendor. This will definitely save time in navigating each application.