Fear, Loathing & Panic in the Wee Small Hours of the Night to Meet Those Round Two MBA Application Deadlines

The journey is partly over!  I would like to tell you all about my day today because it was EXHAUSTING. I’m not sure how long this post is going to be, but I have a lot to get off my chest, so you may need to grab a snack and a drink.


At 11:30 last night I was still working on my essays. As I said previously, I was working in tandem with my friend who would read my essays for grammar and then send them back to me with fixes. This may seem like an easy plan, but when you fix one thing with grammar, it may change your original intended meaning, so then you get into editing sentences—and whole paragraphs.

Multiply that process by something like 13 essays. So it went like this. I would write and edit an essay, send it to my friend, and then start work on another one. No sooner than I would send the next essay to her, she would send the previous one back to me. Repeat this over and over again 13 torturous times. Then once I got through all of them, I went back to the first one she sent back and redid that one. So we essentially went through 26 essays in one night.

I finally finished my essays and felt good about going into today only having to enter the essays into the application. Easy stuff right?  Ha! Yeah… you’ll see. I figured I had gotten by the hard part.

I finally turned my light out at 1:15 am because my eyes were closing from the all-nighter I pulled the night before. At this point, my computer was on my bed and I was picking something off my floor when I saw that I had a message from my friend who is also applying. (There were about six people on my buddy list who were all working on essays last night.)  The message said: “GET ON SKYPE I AM FREAKING OUT!”

I thought that she was just overwhelmed with everything and needed someone to talk her off the ledge. Little did I know that her next words to me would make me want to GET ON the ledge.

Via Skype, she said something to the effect that “someone on Facebook posted that the Consortium application is due at 3 am for us!”

“UM…. COME AGAIN?,” I said.

“Yeah,” she replied, “someone said that on the email from the Consortium it said that the application was due by 12 pm Pacific time.”

“Yes, that’s right… 12 pm Pacific time is technically 3 am on the east coast for us on Thursday.”

So then, of course, the doubt set in. What if I misunderstood and this person is correct?  At this point I was not stressing out about it because it was 1:30 in the morning and I thought I would have enough time to input my essays. I mean I had just finished them right?

She and I frantically tried calling the Consortium phone number in the hopes that someone would be there to answer our call. No luck.

Granted, it was the middle of the night, so I don’t know why we even tried.

I thought to myself “How in the world can you find out for sure?” I went to   the Consortium Facebook page and saw that 12 minutes before I checked Facebook there was a Consortium Tweet that said “APPLICATIONS ARE DUE TODAY – SUBMIT NOW!”

I then started to think that this random person was right. I pulled up Twitter and sent a message to #cgsm asking, “Does this mean 3 am on the 5th for people on the East Coast or essentially 3 am on the 6th for people on the East Coast?”

I was hoping that since the person tweeted (Or they could have scheduled that tweet) not too long ago, that they might respond. But no such luck!  Then I went back to the Facebook page and posted asking the same question, again hoping that someone would respond.  Again… NO RESPONSE.  So I look for my friend who lives in California to check his FB status and a couple hours prior he posted “JUST APPLIED TO BUSINESS SCHOOL.”


By this time it was 2a m, so I thought I only had an hour to get everything submitted. I went into the Consortium system and started filling out my information. That was easy until I realized that my updated resume was on my work computer!!!!  (insert curse words here) I was so pissed at myself.  Then I remembered that I had a copy in my personal email.  Phew!

So I had my updated resume…I had my essays… I filled out the boxes that I could fill out….and I had my transcripts.  Perfect, right? All I now have to do is upload it.

First, I tried uploading my transcript. THE FILE WAS TOO LARGE! The file size limit was 1000kb and mine was 1500kb. The only way I know how to compress a PDF is with Adobe and I don’t have Adobe on my computer. (Insert curse words here). I started giving up hope, thinking “Okay, I’ll just apply in Round 3 but will have to write all new essays.”  I then figured maybe they’ve had this problem before and I can send my transcript later…let me get my essays in.

I open up my essay and here is my inner monologue:

Copy it. Click into the dedicated box within the application and click paste. But it doesn’t it paste. That’s odd. Let me try again.

Copy. Paste. It still doesn’t work. Oh, I think I’m using the wrong keys.

COPY. PASTE.  I think I need to restart my computer. Okay, let’s try this again.

COPY. PASTE. WTF IT’S NOT WORKING!!!!!  Let me try typing a couple of words in the box to see if it works. WTF WHY DID THAT WORK while the other one didn’t?

By this time it was 2:50 a.m. I tried to convince myself that this person had actually gotten the times mixed up.  By this time, with the lack of sleep really hitting me, I tried to close my eyes and give in to my exhaustion. Two hours later, after many pillow punches, I fell asleep.

Two hours later, it’s time to wake up. Honestly, I didn’t feel tired because I was still on that adrenaline high!  So I wake up and immediately get sick to my stomach. I keep thinking the worst.  What if that person was right and I’ve totally fucked by the deadline?!?!  So I got dressed and didn’t even work on anything on the bus ride going into New York. Normally I look over essays or something, but I was so pissed off that I could not think straight.

I thought that I had blown it. I thought I had missed the deadline. I was pissed because I thought that I would have to TYPE all of my essays into those small boxes in the application….and pissed because I was tired!!!  I got to work and immediately called the Consortium and asked what the deadline was and she said it was today!

I had the biggest smile on my face and said “ok I can do this.” When I got to my desk, one of my recommenders came over and said “You know what’s dumb… that you can’t copy and paste from a document!”


Livid, I signed onto gchat and was venting to everyone on my buddy list. It’s a good thing I did that because when I asked my friend who is also submitting today, she said “No, I was just able to do it.”

Then I realized. WAIT A SECOND – I’M USING CHROME!  I asked her what she was using and she said INTERNET EXPLORER.  So I immediately opened up Internet Explorer as well as one of my essays and the Consortium application.  I COPIED and It PASTED!  You can imagine my relief.

Now all I had to do was copy and paste all of them.

Upload the three core essays and send my transcript to my friend to have her compress the file.

Upload my NYU transcript.

Fill out some more personal information.

Upload my resume. Fix the last part of an essay.

Yeah… I was at work, but I was doing this in between my tasks.  At one point my manager came over and saw me and said “Hey Richard I’m sorry to bother you but I just have a question about something.”  Again…I’m blessed to have understanding people at work, although had this been the beginning of December things would have been different.

After that fiasco, the day went on and I was just fixing up things here and there… formatting essays… etc.  Then I reviewed each element of the application about 10 times. I didn’t want to leave anything out. I must have uploaded – then deleted my core essays four or five times. But I got them JUST RIGHT!  At this point it was 4 pm!  Yes…. it takes THAT long, and I am not an isolated case because all of my friends who also submitted today finished +/- 30 minutes from me.

Finally, I clicked “Preview Full Application” and then printed it out.

I felt myself get misty eyed and then had to get tissue and go to the bathroom. It had nothing to do with being nervous about it. It was more of a release after a year of really hard work.

My saga was not over yet because I still had to pay the $300 application fee. That’s how they snap you out of your fantasyland of “YES I’VE APPLIED” because then they’re like, “OK that’s great that you uploaded everything but can I have your money please?”

I paid my $300 since I applied to 6 schools and then was elated to see a sign pop up that read: “Submission Complete!”

Time to open the bubbly.



This report is adapted from Richard Battle-Baxter’s blog posts at “Ellipsing My Way…To Business School.”

Previous posts by Richard at Poets&Quants:

Should You Hire an MBA Consultant?

Study for the GMAT or Polish Off an Essay?

Am I Really Cut Out For This?

My First Round Applications Are Looking Elusive

A Frustrating Day and Night on GMAT Prep

Having Trouble Hitting the Submit Button

It’s Nearly Midnight. Where Are All My Friends?

“Why An Admissions Consultant Objected To My Essay on Coming Out”

“Brain Racing at 4 a.m. Thinking About Business School”

“After Scoring a 620 on My GMAT, I Want To Die”

“Walk Me Through Your Resume” – My Interview at Dartmouth’s Tuck”

“My GMAT Students Are ‘Totally Obsessed Weirdoes With Unbelievable Work Ethics”

“With Apologies to Paul Simon, 50 Ways To Tell You’re Getting an MBA”

“My 30-Day Countdown to an MBA Acceptance”

“Tis’ The Season For Racing Hearts & Sweaty Palms”

“East Coast Blizzard Means More Time To Work on MBA Applications”