It was a frenetic weekend, which was mostly spent typing away on my keyboard. Iteration after iteration of the essays ensued, and there was always something lacking and something missing. While the grammatical and logical errors were easy to identify at the start. The task became more arduous as I moved on to solidifying the flow of the essays, making them crisper and cutting the flab to make them fit the word limit. But after an epic battle by my and my friends (thank you all AGAIN :)), we finally managed to nail the essays.
I was pretty happy with my final drafts, and don’t think I could have done a much better job. The recommendations arrived in a timely manner and I waited on the essays for the night of 9th. On the 10th morning I took a print out of the essays for a final proof-read (I just love paper!) and voila, there were 2 mistakes still waiting for me to correct. A through had been spelled as though and there was an incomplete phrase in one of the essays. So all corrections done, I logged in to the online app and submitted my application. This is my first complete application and I have enjoyed the process thoroughly.
I think I am now in a position to add a few words of wisdom of my own to the trillions of bytes of MBA application related tips already floating on the net.
1. Start early : I think the MBA application procedure itself utilizes a lot of skills the adcom is looking for in potential candidates. You have to be smart, be a good communicator, have focus, possess marketing skills (to sell yourself), be tenacious (its a long loooong road my friend). But more than anything else you have to be planned and organized. Start the process early – start researching colleges that attract you, get in touch with alumni, get the GMAT out of the way.
2. Ask for help : as in an MBA class, don’t be shy to ask for help when you need it. There are no extra points for making it on your own. Ask fellow applicants to form GMAT study groups, ask alumni questions to identify fit, ask your friends about your character traits, ask someone who knows you about your successes and failures, ask people you trust to review your essays.
3. Don’t bite more than you can chew : You are your own best judge. Don’t cram more schools than you can handle in one round. Two good quality apps will have better chance of a convert then five average ones (at least I hope so :)).
4. Take a break : I had planned to have rough drafts for essays for both my applications ready by end of September. I worked hard to meet the deadline and then I took a vacation to Greece! I cam back refreshed and was really glad I took the break. I had become too engrossed in my own essays to see their shortcoming, the break gave me an opportunity to step back and look at the complete picture I was presenting. Moreover I had started on this journey way back in May with my GMAT preparation. I took a break just to prevent a possible burnout.
5. Don’t bet everything on it : It is just an application. If you have all the qualities you mention in the essays, if you have all those skills, if you have all those successes behind you, I am sure you will make it to your goal one day – with or without the MBA.
6. Enjoy it while it lasts : Having completed my essays for Michigan, I already feel a slight loss. I miss all those hours thinking about my career, my personality and my ambitions. The constant writing, pondering and rewriting. The research. The anticipation. (don’t worry I will get over it :))
Hope you guys are enjoying your odysseys as much as I am.