Harvard | Mr. Polyglot
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Stanford GSB | Mr. Rocket Scientist Lawyer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65 Cumulative
Tuck | Mr. Consulting To Tech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Classic Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Wharton | Mr. Sr. Systems Engineer
GRE 1280, GPA 3.3
Cambridge Judge Business School | Mr. Social Scientist
GRE 330, GPA 3.5
Darden | Mr. Federal Consultant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.26
INSEAD | Mr. Consulting Fin
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Enlisted Undergrad
GRE 315, GPA 3.75
INSEAD | Ms. Hope & Goodwill
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Navy Officer
GMAT 770, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Milk Before Cereals
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3 (16/20 Portuguese scale)
Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Leading Petty Officer
GRE (MCAT) 501, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Sales To Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 3.49
Columbia | Mr. NYC Native
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Tepper | Mr. Leadership Developement
GMAT 740, GPA 3.77
Harvard | Ms. Athlete Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Education Consulting
GRE 326, GPA 3.58
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Unrealistic Ambitions
GMAT 710, GPA 2.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Equal Opportunity
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Tuck | Mr. Over-Experienced
GRE 330, GPA 3.0
HEC Paris | Mr. Indian Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 2.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Community Uplift
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Worldwide
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1

A 2012-2013 Application Strategy

So it’s been exactly ten days since I unloaded a huge weight off my back by hitting the 700 GMAT mark–if only by a hair.

Though I am about 85% sure to go for a retake, my “700 Club” status has decreased the pressure of this whole process to the point that I’m actually enjoying it for a change. Even the light GMAT review that I’ve been doing lacks the constrained, edgy feeling that it had when I wondered if I’d ever be able to break into the top 10% of test takers on the ever so cryptic GMAT exam.

After close to a week of rest from ANYTHING related to business school, I jumped head first (or perhaps it was with both feet?) into essay mode several days ago.

My 2012-2013 Application Strategy: To Chicago or Not to Chicago

In my application strategy (DISCLAIMER: subject to change based on changes of heart, cash flow and/or preferred admissions status) I have the 9 schools that are currently on my list split unevenly between Round 1 and Round 2. The current version of my strategy has me applying to all non-Chicago schools in Round 1 and the Chicago schools in Round 2.

There are two reasons for this seemingly random division. The first is that while I’m intrigued by the Chicago-area business schools (Booth and Kellogg), I really need to take some time to learn more about them both. Applying during December/January will allow me that time. And should I move forward with applying to both and be fortunate enough to be offered an interview from Chicago Booth (the Kellogg interview is mandatory for all who wish to be accepted), I can accomplish both interviews on one round trip plane ticket.

The second reason is that I haven’t wrapped my head around the idea of being in Chicago just yet. Intellectually, I am pretty sure that I would like it if I ended up there based on what I have heard from friends who live and used to live there. Nevertheless, I’ve always been a beach/coast person and will really need to experience “The Chi” in person before I can realistically envision myself not living next to an ocean; an NO, Lake Michigan doesn’t count.

My Round 1 MBA Admissions Splits

The seven schools that I plan to apply to in Round 1 are broken up into two groups: Consortium schools and non-Consortium schools. My Consortium picks are Berkeley Haas, Darthmouth Tuck and Yale SOM. My non-Consortium R1 schools are MIT Sloan, Wharton, Stanford and HBS.

Since the Consortium R1 deadline is not until mid-November (you can apply to up to 6 consortium schools on one application) and some Consortium Schools (like Tuck) consider all Consortium candidates in one big block in the spring after Rounds 1 and 2 have passed, it makes the most sense to tackle my non-Consortium apps first.

The non-Consortium app deadlines break down as follows:

September 24 – HBS

October 1 – Wharton

October 3 – Stanford

October 24 – MIT

I have this crazy goal to try and get the essays for all four of these schools done by August–and by “done” I mean strong working drafts to tweak and iterate–but mostly done. We’ll see how pie in the sky that goal is (or isn’t) in a few weeks. Of course I know that each essay is likely to see many incarnations and tons of revisions, but I’d like to have the foundation–the MEAT–locked down early so that I won’t have to sweat about this part of my app at the last minute. I’ll also need plenty of time to work on my essays for the 3 Consortium schools prior to November and won’t want to be rushed on those, either.

MBA Essays in Fits and Starts

I had this delusional thought about a week ago; I thought, “hey, if i knock out my Stanford What Matters Most to You and Why essay first and get all connected with my inner purpose, that’ll make all of my other essays a shoe in for epic execution!”

Emmm…Not so Much.