The Round Two Fire Drill To Apply

Jeremy Shinewald, founder and president of mbaMission, recalls the time an applicant with a sub-600 GMAT who asked for help just 12 days before the round one deadlines to apply to Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton. “She signed up the day before Rosh Hashanah and had completed Stanford, Harvard and Wharton by the day after Yom Kippur,” he remembers. “And, she was an observant and took those days off! She was a remarkable applicant and person – she worked round the clock, never complained and got all three done. We held our breath and she got into all three schools. I guess she is the person who throws off the GMAT range.”

There’s never a shortage of applicants who cut it close. “Every year, we are always struck by a few people who have everything under control and more – ‘Here are my final drafts, glad I got them done in time because I am getting married this weekend’ or ‘I am flying to some tropical destination to compete in an ironman’ or ‘I am taking the GMAT today and really want to focus,’” says Shinewald. “Of course, there are some who, despite constant warnings from us of impending deadlines, dawdle and then send us ten first drafts two or three days before a deadline, but we do everything we can to keep our clients moving.”

REFUSING LAST-MINUTE CLIENTS

Some consultants make it a practice to turn away people who want applications filed within days of contact. “I don’t take last minute applicants unless they are rock stars who can pull it off quickly and only if I have extra client capacity (I tightly control my capacity so that I maintain quality of service), otherwise they get referred to a few colleagues,” says Adam Markus, a long-time admissions consultant. Last minute non-rock stars are just high speed train wrecks and hence bad clients to work with from my perspective. I have the good fortune to be highly selective with who I work with.”

Markus says that the clients who are the most frustrating to deal with are always the ones who have contracted with him months in advance of deadlines and fail to follow up. “Even with my attempts at checking in on them, they end up doing everything or mostly everything at the last minute,” he says. “Great applications typically take time to put together, so instead of being focused on excellence produced by thoughtfully iterating multiple drafts and considering various options, the focus shifts to simply making it viable.”

DON’T MISS: 2014-2015 MBA APPLICATION DEADLINES AT TOP BUSINESS SCHOOL or THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF AN MBA APPLICANT’S JOURNEY TO BUSINESS SCHOOL

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