Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lessons learned during MBA application process

After a long time, I have got a weekend free at home and I spent time to pause and analyse what I did so far in this entire year that took me closer or away from my plan of an MBA. I have been fully energized since the beginning of this year to pursue an  MBA degree from reputed institute and take my career in the right direction. But I took few steps that helped me and some that hurt me.

The MBA application process is a very demanding process and it can be rightly classified as a part-time job in which you have no other incentive other than a hope that a top-rank MBA institute will recruit you soon.It has that perinneal ensuing uncertainity in which no one can be easily confident that he will get exactly what he wants. As much as the reputation of the instititute matters, the entire process becomes a matter of personal ambition and whether in the end you are compromising or getting the best deal you think you deserve.

After appearing for GMAT last year I postponed the idea of applying and I had a year in my hand to plan on the process and also a chance to improve weaknesses in my profile.The initial plan went like this:
1) Work dedicatedly in improving the profile till June 2010.
2) Shortlist schools till June end
3) Start writing essays for one school since beginning of July and give each school not more than three weeks.
4) Apply to atleast three schools in Round 1

What I actially did:
1) I did improve my profile till beginning of June
2) I shortlisted schools by July end
3) I strated writing essays for Ross but was never able to complete them till two days before deadline. I started writing apps for Tuck after one month of starting Ross without finalizing even one essay for Ross.
4) I was never able to officially start Kellogg essays.In the essays I submitted I think I would have done few minor things differently.
5) I trusted my reviewers and while waiting for their responses I kept on updating my essays. All my reviewers gave me good feedback but in retrospect I think it's better to take a professional feedback which I did mere three weeks before the deadline. I say this because students and grads of the school have limited time and they cannot give proper justice to your essays on continous basis. So trust your reviewers but don't expect a lot. They will never be in frame of mind of AdCom but their review would help you to understand what's absolutely crap in your essays.

During last week, I was in tremendous pressure which is the situation one should avoid. If I had sticked to my plan then I would have been very confident of three applications I submitted. But the last week's pressure I really should have avoided. I felt I was completing few part of the apps for the purspose of completing them and even when I was reading them second time, I wasn't able to critically evaluate what I have written. i have to sleep over only to find out what stupididity I have done the previous night. thankfully, I had completed most part of the apps earlier but I still edited a lot during last days which certainly was traumatising.

I think the biggest fault was not to submit the app much ahead of the deadline. This was obviously factored by delay in right feedback. I would say that it's really very important that you make a definite target of submitting one app much ahead of its deadline.

I dont think I coluld have made apps better if I have postponed to round 2 but I did feel this process deserves much definite timeline and assured reviewers because a wrong reviewer can hurt your timeline badly and a improper time schedules can destroy your application. Also, I agree with Richard Montauk viewpoint to start with app that has longest essays and in which you have more content to cover such as that of Kellogg.

I am still in phase of waiting but now I have stopped worrying. Now I have got some time to pick few incompleted taksks again and I am not going to waste it on worrying. Que sera sera!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Well said Mukaam...part-time work indeed (the app process). Your learnings are valuable.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. This Was a very good post! Love the insight into your journey, Good Luck for the final decisions!! You are going to be awesome whereever you end up!