The Round One Days Dwindle Down To A Precious Few

Stanford’s application is due in one week, Yale’s the day after, and then I have a week plus break before Northwestern’s and Berkeley’s clocks strike twelve.  I’m almost there, and my goal is to hit submit on all of them sooner rather than later. So what’s left to do and is anyone else applying?

First item first: what’s left to do?


  • My drafts are done but I need to update my “Why Haas” section with stuff I learned during my recent visit.
  • SO MANY DATA FORMS.  Haas really wants to make sure you’re into them (which I appreciate because I am into them), but with all their fields, regular essays, optional essays, and follow-up questions, it’s certainly a good tool to ensure people are applying are really psyched on Haas.
  • I feel the least confident about my Yale essays.  No one has reviewed them and there are only a few of them and each is so short.
  • But Yale doesn’t use the unwieldy and irritating interface. Yay!
  • I feel alternately great and mediocre about my essays, depending on the day. Mostly I am happy with them, but it never feels like quite enough.
  • The data forms are unusually demanding here.  They want explanations of significant accomplishments and challenges and a description of the organization.  Kind of feels like a new challenge each time.
  • I think these might be my strongest essays.  They’re the most coherent and expressive of me.
  • I’m psyched to have already scheduled my interview during the diversity weekend in November.
Now onto the second item: are people applying to business school? Is this round going to surge because of the number of GMAT tests taken to beat the changes or is it going to bust because the MBA is a useless degree?Should we be expecting a deep trough of application numbers or are we looking at a boom year for business schools?

I’m predicting (read: hoping) for a slight drop so competition is a bit less stiff…

Counting down to submission, but is the count of applications up?  In the end it doesn’t matter because we’re either in or out according to the adcom and these schools are damn competitive applications down or not.

Sassafras is a 29-year-old MBA applicant who works for a San Francisco-based non-profit organization with a primary focus on youth development and education. With a 730 GMAT and a 3.4 grade point average from a highly ranked liberal arts college, he currently blogs at MBA: My Break Away? His previous posts for Poets&Quants:
  • Trent Steelman

    These guys helped me out a lot with my essays:

  • Tzeentch99

    Yep, I’m applying first round with all my apps but I’m pretty afraid that everyone else is to, since they all took the GMAT and the apps are shorter. Going to be a blood bath this year 🙁

  • Tzeentch99

    Are you not applying to Kellogg and MIT round I? I thought you were and those aren’t due for weeks.

  • Miami Phil

    Good luck.

  • I share your hope for less apps. The fact that the competition would be stiff even if the apps were cut in half does not erode the fact that (on many levels), this is a numbers game. About 70%-80% of applicants are reportedly qualified; thus, I really don’t mind any of them decided to defer to another year. In fact, free Starbucks on me for anyone from my demographic (ethno, industry or age group) who chooses to do so to one of my target schools (amortized over the next 20 years, BTW lol).

    Stanford’s app does ask a lot; but I like it because you feel like they really want to get to know you. That feels much better than a more truncated app. Even though that stuff does not sway admissions in a huge way (or so I’ve heard), it certainly feels a lot better when you feel you’ve had your say and have been able to make a strong 360 deg. pitch for yourself.

    I’ll be wrapping up 3 apps this week/weekend myself. I’ll only have Sloan after that, so I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as the inclined side of this admissions mountain is concern. I have no doubt that you will spin out fantastic essays for The GSB, Yale and Berkeley and be proud of what you submit when you do. Some of the best ideas for minor tweaks come at the last minute; at least that has been my experience.