Thursday, October 28, 2010


Chicago Booth began announcing interviews yesterday. I submitted my application a day ahead of the deadline so I'm hopeful to hear sooner than later. Going into this I convinced myself I shouldn't get an invite in the first day. Nor should I be stressed if I don't get one this week. Well that was wishiful thinking. Like everyone else, I'm refreshing my email every 60 seconds, especially around 9 and 10cst (which is the time most agree that Booth releases interviews).

I'm trying to forget about the whole process, and work has definitely kept me occupied, but it's not as easy as I remembered...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Applications are complete, but not the process

Well I guess it's been a while since I've posted. Although I've completed my applications my schedule hasn't opened up as much as I hoped/expected. It's been great to relax a bit, but leaves me wanting more. So what's kept me busy this week (aside from checking my application status, 3 are now complete per the schools, reviewing blogs and posts to determine when interview invites came out last year, and worrying about whether I should begin additional applications for round 2):

1. Begun to reach out to a few people at my target schools again - this should help if/when I have interviews and it never hurts since you could hit on a key alum willing to write another letter for your file...

2. Gotten back into the gym - yes, this is mostly to help with the stress/anxiety but it definitely calms me

3. Recommitted myself to my job - I work for a professional services firm and with applications a couple things slide a little bit so now is the time to hit hard again so people don't get the feeling I'm checked out, this will be critical later on...

4. Saw some friends - yup, after weeks/months of hibernation I saw a few people and had some week night fun, shocking

5. Who knows where the rest of the time goes...I know there's more but for me those were the more important things on my mind. After the next couple of weeks, I'm sure I'll get back to a more normal routine and begin to define my next steps a bit more, I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

DONE!!! (well almost)

It's official, I've submitted my 5th application of round 1. I'm done. Now to begin prepping for my next interview (hopefully of a couple at least). It's quite a relief, although it's a strange feeling. At this point, I have no control over my application. All I can do is sit back and wait...hmm...this is tougher than I remember and it's only been 10 minutes.

The almost is referring to the Tuck Scholarship application. It's something that I, like most people I'm sure, put off until tonight or tomorrow morning. Don't get me wrong, I'd love a scholarship to Tuck. At this point, I'd be thrilled by an acceptance though. I do my best work in the morning so I think I'm going to celebrate and let myself get to sleep. Then I'll work a bit more on it in the morning, I mean how hard is it to write 500 words about myself with all the great material I've submitted over the past week, right?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Last one...

Everyone had always told me that the last application is the easiest. You had all this material to work with. You've defined your themes and key messages. Now it's just molding all of it to fit the next group of questions. I approached this last first round application as a simple task. I knew exactly how to sum up my candidacy and the points I wanted to hit. But here I am, days away from the deadline and not confident in the package. The biggest issue I have is that I've repeated my story so many times now that I don't want to bend it. It is what it is. They should either accept it or not. Well, unfortunately, that's not how this all works. I need to prove to them that I want to go to their school. That I'm committed to them. And the best way to do that, provide a convincing application that is tailored to their school and answers their questions...ok, back to recrafting this thing. Devoting the time now will be well worth it. No regrets.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Four submitted

Four down. Yesterday I spent all day editing essays and data forms. By end of day, I had submitted 4 completed applications. I've now applied to Tuck, Haas, Kellogg and Booth. My recommenders, after a bit of a panic, completed the recommendations for these schools. Now there's nothing left to do but sit back and relax until any potential interviews. Well, aside from UCLA of course. It's a bit surreal, I can't believe it's completely out of my control at this point. I almost wish I still had something to do, some piece to control...instead I had to accept the uncertainty and just wait. I suppose I should get to UCLA.

In the mean time, any book recommendations? I have a few sitting beside my bed that I've been meaning to get to. With the extra time on my hands, I'm trying to develop a new reading list so suggestions welcome.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

One down!!!

Well it's official. I'm done with one application. It's off and there is nothing more I can do. That is except continue to meet students and alumni who might be willing give my application a little push toward the top of the pile. I already have a couple extra notes in this application file so I feel pretty confident with it. OK, there's my celebration. Now back to it.

A quick lesson too, I've had some difficulty with the applying program at Kellogg. I'm a reapplicant so it was difficult to set up a new application. I contacted the IT support but it took a day or two for them to respond, in the mean time I created a new gmail account and used that to open the application. Now I'm having trouble with the submit function. As a reapplicant I don't have to submit essay 4, instead writing a reapplication statement which is a bit over the word limit (15%ish) so I don't want to seem overly needy with my word demands. So I've uploaded all my essays and transcripts and went to submit/pull up the package in pdf format to review. I keep getting an error message that I have no answered question 4 which is optional. I reached out to the IT support mid-afternoon yesterday and I'm still waiting for a reply. I suppose I', fortunate the deadline is Thursday and I did this early enough to wait for the IT support but it's incredibly frustrating this close to the deadline. My advise to everyone reading this, check your system now! Make sure you don't run into this sort of trouble with only hours until the drop dead minute. Trust me, it'll save you the stress.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Proof reading

Well with days until the deadlines I feel like I've read and reread my essays hundreds of times by now. Despite this constant checking and rechecking, I'm still not quite ready to give up control over this process. I know I'm not alone here. Though at this point, my story is sound. The content is there. I've put my strategy into use. I've had it validated by several people, including those from a couple of my top choice schools who do not know me (very much appreciated, and I will pass it forward next year). All this to say, I'm on track by have yet to hit submit. With each passing hour, I am trying to convince myself to just give it up...if only it were as easy as hitting a button. Oh wait, right.

Alright, back to proofing these pages and pages. Hope everyone else is feeling confident and marching toward submitting "when they're ready". Good luck finalizing those round 1 applications.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

One week to go...

For four of the round 1 five applications there is about a week to go; hence the slow down in posts. My mood keeps swinging between the "oh wow, I'm almost done. This is great. I can't wait to hit submit and just sit back and wait because I'm confident this year will be the year" and the "Oh god, how am I ever going to pull this all together in time". I don't think I'm alone by any stretch of the imagination. As I sit here before heading into the office, cleaning up another essay, I'm in good spirits. A couple applications are more or less done. With some editing this week/weekend I should have a stress free week next week. Well, aside from the panic that hitting submit brings.

On a side note, I attended another presentation for UCLA last night. At this stage, most of these presentations are becoming rather repetitive. There are always the nuggets I pull out but for the most part, my research has tipped me off the key themes of what they offer and how the differentiate. I'm scheduled for another one tomorrow night with Tuck but since I've already been to three or four such presentations I'm inclined to skip it to work on my applications. It's amusing if you take a step back. Why should I go back and forth about this? It won't impact my candidacy (aside from standing up in the front row and yelling obscene remarks and making sure my name is known at the time) yet I'm still on the fence. Funny anecdote about that: I called Kellogg to reschedule my interview due to work demands. When I called to check availability I was cut off at the end of the conversation. There was nothing more for me to say by then except "Thank you, I'll be in touch soon. Have a good day." Yet, I contemplated calling back to say just that as my mind raced to thoughts of him marking my file with a note of "rude, hung up on me". When I took a deep breathe I realized how insane that sounded. Pulled my hand off the phone and walked away. Catching the same guy the next day, I was able to joke about it all. Point of all this: To all of us control freaks, take the deep breathe. At the end of the day, most of these little interactions will have no bearing on your application. So take solace in it and enjoy the ride.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday Morning

Well typically I'd be settling into the couch, potentially after a work out, to watch some college gameday on ESPN and determine which were can't miss games for the weekend. Or prepping for a golf tournament I can't attend (particularly bitter about this one). This week, like the last few, that is not the case. I'm sure everyone else feels it too, but I just want my life back or some assurance it'll all pay off come mid-December. Anyway, I sprung out of bed (probably more from anxiety than excitement) to get going on essays. It's only 10am and I've already edited 3 essays and 1 additional statement (which I'm not sure I'll use). You know what, that brings me to a question to all of you out there reading: are you using an extra statement to explain anything additional to the adcom? My example, my GPA improved each year except my senior year. I took 3 courses (2 at a higher ranked school across town-note, I went to a top 50 so not much difference), worked 20 hours a week and applied to law school. Justified? What's your extra story, if you have one?

That was a nice distraction. I'm sure I'll be back later in the weekend. Until then, happy essay writing everyone.