Mother of God, he lives.
Sorry for being away friends. I have been writing essays like a maniac, in preparation for Round 1 deadlines. For those of you that are not regular blog readers, I am applying to 6 top tier schools in Round 1, and yes, I wouldn’t recommend you try to do the same. I have Tuck, Ross, and Wharton pretty much ready to go, Johnson about 75% of the way there, Fuqua and Darden about 50% complete. I am right on pace, but need to keep hammering away. While there are upsides to having a lot of apps in early, it takes a LOT of planning and a BIG commitment to getting your applications lined up and ready to go in time for the deadline. Sure, it doesn’t take too long to fill out the online form, and no, drafting up an outline only takes a little bit of time. but getting your story to be as strong as you possibly can takes weeks. With that, I have some Super Trooper themed updates on where I am, and some tips for you second rounders.
From the first essay set I worked on, Ross, to my most recent, Johnson, I can already see my story evolve from a loosely defined plan, to a coherent vision for the future. Now, I’m not saying it is 100% there yet either, but I will say that it is 100x better than where I started. Since I started writing in early July, I’ve had months to review, revise, edit, re-review, re-revise, re-edit, etc., and that has paid off big. One of the best methods I have found to improve your story is to do nothing. No really, do nothing. Sit down, no cell phone, no TV, no computer, and just reflect. Think about what you want your story to say about you and connect the dots from there to where you are, using concrete examples from your past. Just like in Supertroopers.. Enhance…. Enhance…
Another tip I have for you Round 2-ers is to start the application portion early. Like now. I opened the applications as soon as they were available, and saved myself some headaches by doing so. First, you get to see everything that you’ll need in order to submit your application. GMAT scores, resume, transcripts, are a given, but often there are hidden
gems, and I say gems facetiously, that will required some extra work. Knowing this ahead of time helps you plan for this, and avoid a lot of rushed typing the night of the deadline. Speaking of deadlines, get this portion of your application done as soon as possible. It doesn’t take much effort to fill out the text boxes, and will free you up to work on essays later in the application process. Find a time that works for you – I did mine almost exclusively at work :)
Throughout the process I’ve leaned on a lot of people who, aside from being absolutely awesome – big props to LRW, Cheet, and SP!, have provided sanity checks for me along the way, reviewing essays, listen to some ideas for essays, and generally answered any one off questions. Start building a network of current students, former students, and even good writers. I recommend not seeking too much help, as you could end up with too many cooks in the kitchen that won’t create better food, but rather more angry cooks. Also, be aware that the people you’re thinking about asking to help you have lives too. They are not there to answer 100% of your questions, write your essays, or baby you through your nervous breakdowns. They are doing this out of their own goodwill, and as long as you don’t pull and shenanigans and respect their time, they’ll be helpful.
Finally, I have interviews coming up. Being the grand planner that I am, I scheduled back to back weekends of interviews through Fuqua and Tuck which is awesome, except for the fact that these two weekends are right before Round 1 deadlines start to hit. Oops. Looks like I will be toting a laptop around the country with me as I polish up my essays before submitting. I’m very much looking forward to interviews, as I think the open interview period at schools gives a huge opportunity for those that are early enough to really shine.
That is really about it guys and gals. I am probably going to go radio silent again until I get some more of this off my plate, but I’m definitely seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Also, I want to thank all of my loyal readers out there, as it looks like we’ll pass 10,000 views this week! I can’t believe that. Hopefully the adcom finds my application as interesting as you all have found the blog (hopefully there are a LOT less typos in my application too). Good luck to my fellow round 1 applicants, and as always, feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions via comments or email!