Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Harvard Decision ...

I am in!!

The feeling today at noon was absolutely surreal (and even the feeling that I have now). I had butterflies for the first 3 hrs of the day and just kept trying to distract myself in any way possible. Luckily at 11:50am my VP called me into his office to chat about American Idol last night and we talked until about 12:05pm at which point I rushed to my desk and got the amazing letter. I had to read it a few times to really accept that it was the truth and not my imagination. I feel absolutely humbled and honored to be part of the HBS Admit group. My interviewer called me this afternoon too and it was wonderful to speak with him and to hear his confidence that I would be a great addition to the Harvard community.

At this point I am 90% sure I am going to attend Harvard, but I have to still check out my other options, especially once this crazy excitement dies down (although I am not sure if ever will!!). Harvard and Chicago have their admit weekends during the same weekend so that puts in me in a bind also ... what to do, what to do.

I am definitely still attending Go Blue Rendezvous though!

Congrats to everyone else who is getting to the end of this journey too! I can't believe that this whole process is almost over and that soon we all will be starting journies that we dreamed about for so long. Thank you for everyone in this community for your support as well. It really has been great to see everyone so supportive and helpful of each other. This has truly been an amazing process!

Monday, March 26, 2007

A bunch more Admissions Results ...

Hello all ... I've been MIA for a while because of some personal stuff ... but thankfully everyone is ok and I'm back in action on this blog!

In the meantime, a bunch of admissions decisions have come in ...

Wharton: Waitlisted ... definitely better than a ding, but not excited to wait another TWO months for my decision. At least I have a chance!

Kellogg: Dinged ... ok with this and kind of expected. Knew an interview invite didn't mean anything since they interview everyone, and I did not click with my interviewer.

Columbia: Waitlisted ... gotta start showing them the Columbia love! Is it true that they try to increase their yield and so you really gotta love them and show them that they are number 1?

Chicago: Admitted! ... I got the call today at work and am SO excited!! I have to say I love their program and that I've heard that Chicago is an amazing city! This is definitely a top choice for me ... I'm excited for their Admitted Students Weekend! Who of you am I going to be seeing there??

So summary so far: 4 Admits, 2 Waitlists, 1 Ding, 1 Waiting. What an exciting time! Good luck to everyone still waiting!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Advice on Writing Essays

Hi all - so in response to a few of my commenters (thanks commenters!) I thought I'd write an entry on my approach to MBA Application essays. Obviously I am no expert, but I thought that maybe my process will click and work for someone else out there. So here goes (warning, a bit extensive!)

1) I didn't use Admissions Consultants. I felt like I know my story better than anyone else, and I know my voice more than anyone else. I didn't want to risk sounding like one person in my essays and another in my interviews. I personally do not think consultants are worth the money.

2) I did all my MBA Applications (from start to finish) between the 2nd-3rd week of December and the 2nd week of January. Granted, this was a bit crushed and I had no life outside of work and applications at this time, it just worked for me. I know I am someone (from college and work) that works really well under pressure and that a time crunch works to my advantage. For you, you should know how you work best - do you need friends/parents to pressure you? Do you have to wait until
the last minute? Do you have to have things done 2 weeks before the deadline? I think this is a subtle but important point. You've worked hard your whole life and been successful, so use what you've learned about yourself to your advantage!

3) Before I wrote my essays I reworked my resume. This seems a bit random, but it really helped me to figure out where my strengths are and what my story would be if I was presenting it to an employer. For example, I realized my story is about really strong academics and extracurriculars and that I would have to make sure I relayed a clear story about my recent career change. I think doing this is a good way to really get intimate with and internalize your story - only then can you realize how to best balance these 3 parts of your application. (I personally DO think extracurriculars are really important because they
show who you are more than work and also the schools want ppl who are going to be involved in clubs, etc. as an MBA student)

4) To actually work on the essays was 3 steps. First, I took all the essay questions and dropped them into Word. I did that for all the schools I was applying. Then, for about a week I went through and outlined each essay in the same document. I guess I used a simple "expository essay" format, where I tried to have a "thesis" in each essay getting across the point I wanted to make in response to the question asked. If needed, I included examples from my profile or from the schools websites (for Why XX School questions) in the outline itself so it would be a standalone document. I spent the majority of my time making strong outlines for each of my essays.

5) Second Step: After making the outline I waited a day or two and then sat down and wrote the essay in one go, usually in about 2 hours. I think doing it this way you have thought through the reasoning by outlining, so all the points you want to get across are there. However, by writing quickly and straight through your write more from your gut and heart and therefore the essay comes off as YOUR story instead of just A story. Also, giving the outline a day or two to "rest" lets you come back with fresh eyes to see any holes you may have missed in the outline.

6) Third Step: I would again leave the essay alone for a day or two and come back and read through it. First I would make sure that the major points I wanted to cover came across. Then I would look at grammar such as spelling, homonyms and parallel structure (really important for readability). Then I would do a read through again to make sure it is all good.

7) And then I would be about 90% done with my essays. I then inputted all the data and essays into the online form and before submitting printed out the final verison of my application. I spent a good 2-3 hours reviewing the application, not necessarily for minute errors, but to make sure that I had told a consistent, balanced and convincing story both through the data section and my essays. In every application I had to go back and tweak my essays to make sure they were aligned with the rest of the application and to ensure there were no discrepencies in what I was saying.

8) Click Submit!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

email address....

I think Abbra asked for this, but I can't seem to get to his/her page ... my email is agirlsmba@gmail.com.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

NYU Decision ...

Recently I've been reading lots of posts on the BW Forums of ppl getting calls about getting into NYU. So this morning when I got the "Your Status has been Updated" email I did not think it would be good news.

So ... I logged into the Status Check Site, clicked to see my Decision Letter ... and I am IN!!

Yay! Man ... I wish I could make the end of March come quicker!!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

A Good Day!

This morning was definitely nerve racking, with lots of people on the BW Forums waiting and waiting for the Duke decisions to come out ..

Well, they finally did ... and I'm in at Fuqua!! Yippee! So excited.

Then, I was still reeling from that good news when I got a call from a random number on my cell phone in the afternoon. I picked it up, and it was and AdCom member from Michigan (Ross) telling me ... that I am in!! With a scholarship!

Yay! What a wonderful way to start off the admit month. Hopefully this is the start of good things to come ... good luck to everyone else who is in this waiting game!