Thursday, December 23, 2010

Here we go (again)

Just when you thought it was all over, it begins anew.

I was so close to having written my last application, or so I thought. Now with 3 rejections and no certainty I'm climbing back on that horse. I've selected another couple of schools and I'm beginning to pull together my applications. The timing I suppose works well from my stand point as I'll have ample time to devote to applications. For my recommenders, that might be a different story. As the holiday season has set in, my recommenders have set off. I'm trying to get in touch with the second but he already is on vacation. As you can probably imagine, this is creating quite a bit of anxiety on my part. He has been incredibly helpful in the past; however, I'm sure his enthusiasm is beginning to wane. On top of it all, he recently accepted a new role within the firm. It's a great step for him but I wonder how this will impact his holiday and, more specifically, his time to devote to my recommendations. At this point, all I can do is wait and then make it as easy as I can on him.

From my side, the two applications don't seem too bad. The questions are fairly straight forward and I've already written almost all of them. Now it's just adapting that material to their prompt. Of course, I also need to learn more about them. I'm working my way through the clearadmit school guides (yes, shameless plug but they have been helpful). I'm hopefully that plus a couple additional data points more specific to my story and I'll be ready to attack the essays. Given the state of my essays, I'm optimistically looking to complete the two applications by early next week - too optimistic? Anyone want to put their money for or against me here? Anyone? Vegas will have the spread shortly but I'm willing to create some early action...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What now?

So much for a relaxing holiday break. After the sting of 3 dings last week, Tuck, Kellogg and Booth, I am trying to figure out my next steps. Although I have 2 applications still out to UCLA and Haas, I am nervous that by mid-January I will be sitting here without an acceptance AND without having submitted additional applications. As much confidence as I have in receiving a call from at least one, probably UCLA, nothing is certain. It's a weird position. My confidence is low due to three dings, yet I'm optimistic about the remaining two. I'm also not looking forward to pressing myself into researching and creating new applications to several schools (and defining which schools now). I chose the schools that excited me most, to begin again (ok, maybe not completely from scratch) is a bit daunting. Which schools would fit my needs best? And more importantly, which school would let me in? I am not willing to go through this process AGAIN and come back with a handful of dings. I guess, I'll begin with the criteria I began with and start narrowing it down. So the main things:

1. General management curriculum
2. Experiential learning opportunities
3. Community that is highly energized and involved
4. Opportunities to join a brand-name consulting firm post graduation

Ok so that leaves a fairly wide list, I've begun to narrow it down based on first impressions since I can't do them all. I've also pulled the essay questions (I think my material is still pretty good, I did have interviews at Booth and UCLA) to see where they overlap with my previous essays. From here, I still have a pretty long list below. Now the other question is how many schools I have time to apply to and how many I will need to. Given some of the deadlines, I could create the application and wait to hear from UCLA and Haas before hitting submit and spending the extra couple hundred dollars (then again, at this point what's a couple hundred in the grand scheme of this process). So without further ado, my new long list of round 2 possible schools:

1. Michigan
2. Duke
3. NYU - deadline is after UCLA/Haas decision
4. LBS - yup, international...could be an interesting option but I'm not sure I'm ready to move across the world for a few years and develop relationships/network/etc abroad; lots of positives to the program and gaining international experience though
5. USC - not thrilled as I have the impression their career services aren't stellar but TBD; also deadline is after I hear from UCLA/Haas so could be a nice just in case
6. UVA - not sure I'm the case method type, plus I've heard many people say "UVA students are just as good as HBS and we work harder to prove it" - not sure I want to join a program with inferiority complex

To me, the first three are fairly similar on the surface. I need a lot more research to understand which are best for me. Still a lot more work to be done but that's a start.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ding #2

Well 2 up, 2 down. It's unfortunate. I am pretty disappointed but I need to keep my spirits up and focus on the 3 remaining schools. I'd be thrilled to attend any of them. If only I already knew.

I realize I still owe a post on my UCLA interview experience but I'm just not in the mood right now (I wonder why). I'll try to throw something else here soon. Tuck decision on Friday so hopefully that'll encourage me. At least a wait list? Wow, I never thought I'd say that but here I am.

First Ding of the Season

I'm not going to Kellogg. I found out yesterday morning, before their pleasant email told me to check my status.

It's really disappointing. On the one hand, I knew I wouldn't be accepted to all schools. On the other, I was really looking forward to some good news. Without a call from Booth yesterday I fear the worst there. The worst part is that if I don't receive an acceptance by the end of the week I have to decide whether or not to apply to more schools. At this point, I really don't want to enter the process for a third time, with diminished confidence. I could roll the dice and pray I'm accepted to UCLA or Haas, but that doesn't seem like a good bet.

With all this running through my head, I'm trying to wait out the week. It's just one school. I've already received interview invites from Booth and UCLA so now to keep things upbeat.

Congrats to all the admits already, I'm hoping to join you soon.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

No news is...good (?) news..?

Well after the barrage of admits from Kellogg last week, I am still waiting. It's a bit tough to know they released so many decisions last week and I'm still on the outside. Now, of course, I don't expect to go 5 for 5 but the first one always seems to be the hardest. After going through the cycle last year without an admit, I'm a bit on edge heading into this week. Since three schools will get back to me by next Monday (Kellogg, Booth and Tuck), I'm freaking out a bit. Even if I am dinged by all three, I'll still have two in limbo. The problem is I won't hear from them before most round 2 deadlines. So if I'm not admitting this week I'll have to do some soul searching and gear up to complete a few round 2 applications (and try to decide which schools to apply to).

To all those incessantly checking your phone/email, I'm with you. At least it's almost least that's what I keep telling myself. I was in LA this weekend (interview at UCLA, more to follow) staying with a college friend who watched me unravel a couple of times. He also made fun of my constantly for my obsessive phone checking. It's nice to be outside the bubble once in a while and put it all in perspective. Then again, he's not in this position. Nor does he realize what's at stake, the effort that's behind applying to these schools and how much it does mean to me. Oh well, the ups and downs continue. It's almost over.