On March 30, 2009, after being rejected by two top business schools, I received an e-mail from a third that began:
The Admissions Committee is absolutely delighted to offer you a place starting in August 2009...
Several weeks later I received a rejection from the fourth school I had applied to. Although all three rejections were disappointing, none of them mattered – I had gotten into a great school.
I'm thrilled at having been admitted to a great business school, but in retrospect the application process was more difficult than it needed to be. If I knew then what I know now, I could have avoided a number of mistakes -- saving time and improving my application.
In this blog I will document my business school application process - partly to preserve that arduous 6-month slog for posterity - but also as a service to current MBA applicants. By posting a detailed account of my experiences, I can walk you through my thought process as I considered a number of difficult decisions, prepped for and took the GMAT, and wrote my essays. This will help prepare you for the application process and learn from my mistakes, improving your odds of getting into the business school of your choice.
Here's an outline of what I'm planning over the next few weeks:
- Why I Decided to go to Business School
- The MBA/EMBA Dilemma for applicants in their Late 20s/Early 30s
- Why I Ignored the Advice to Pick a Backup School
- First Steps in the Application Process
- How I Earned a Top Score on the GMAT
- My Application Timeline
- A Simple way to Estimate Your Odds of Getting In
- On Admissions Consultants
- My Essay Writing Process
- On Choosing and Coaching Recommenders
- Time and Money: the Costs of Applying to Business School
- Summary of Lessons Learned
If there's anything else you'd like to see -- or if there are some subjects you'd like me to get to sooner -- please post your request in a comment to this page.
You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.