Essays and Strategy

So I picked my schools and now it’s time to stick to my guns and not be wavered by general opinion… which is much harder than it sounds! I have started working on my essays, which basically means I have started reading every single essay analysis I find online and have begun to re-read ’50 Successful Harvard Application Essays’. I’m a decent enough writer but I want to make sure that I don’t fall into any of the common traps that us applicants normally do. My writing tends to both extremes — either I get excited and start writing super choppy sentences or I run out of interesting things to say and fill the page up with flowery crap. Luckily, I have a consultant to help review my essays and make sure I don’t go overboard. He’s helped plan my application strategy and I must say I’m pretty impressed. If I didn’t know me and I read about this person (a.k.a me) on paper, I would be like ‘Whoa, this person is accomplished’. But since it’s just me, I don’t see it.

GrantMeAdmission asked me on an earlier post what my application strategy is going to be like. Well, I’ve kinda always known what I was going to do, so here is my plan:

  1. Apply to a maximum of four schools, leaving plenty of schools open for next year in the likely event that I don’t make it in anywhere this year.
  2. Having chosen the four schools, I have decided to apply to Tuck Early Action because I love whatever I have heard about the school and the location is something that I am absolutely looking forward to. After all the Indian crowds and summers, I am ready for winter wonderland and solitude, although I’m pretty sure I’ll change my tune once I’m bundled in ten layers of clothing and slipping on frozen patches of ice.
  3. All the other schools including Yale, Johnson and Darden/Said, I want to apply in R1. I don’t see the point of stretching it out and unless something funky happens with my recommenders, I think I can make it. I am quite used to churning out words in large numbers so if I don’t suffer from a major case of writers block, I should be okay.
  4. If I get called for any interviews in R1, that would be the perfect scenario. If I get dinged by them all, then that’s it guys. I’m done for this year, no more rounds for me. I’ll gracefully retire and focus my energies on work and becoming a stronger applicant for next year. I’m only 22 now (I was born in 1992), so I have age on my side. I will obviously be disappointed, but this process has already been so revealing and I can only imagine how much stronger I’ll come out of it.

Yeah, so that’s about it. I think it is going to get a little hectic trying to juggle four schools but their deadlines are far enough apart, so I think it shouldn’t be too bad. Also, for everyone reading, I would love to hear your opinion on the IE and IESE business schools. They are ranked higher than Said and they do seem to place a lot of people into consulting but I’m a little skeptical. If you know anything about these schools either from firsthand information or otherwise, please hit me up. Thanks!


13 thoughts on “Essays and Strategy

  1. Yay for a plan!! I wish you the best of luck. I think you have the right idea about only applying to 4 schools and not trying to force the issue into R2 if you get dinged by everyone (fingers crossed that doesnt happen). That’s how I feel about applying to safety schools. I’m young, I dont HAVE to go to business school right this second if it’s not in the cards for me this year.


  2. Yes, you have time on your hands, for sure!

    Seems like you have a robust plan to implement! Good job! 4 schools isn’t too bad, you have only got the applications to worry about, none of that god-awful GMAT prep for you! I am sure you will nail it! 🙂

    This is about the 5th time someone’s talked about the ’50 successful Harvard application essays’ book. I am going to get me one of those!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done – this is really coming along nicely (and putting pressure on the rest of us!).

    I’m also being focused on my application strategy but for different reasons, basically that I have other ways to realise my dream and the opportunity cost of going to a b school I’m not 100% in love with is just not worth it.

    In the worst case, the knowledge you’ll get going through this process will put you in pole position for a string of offers from great b schools next time but, as texaswannabecali says, fingers crossed that doesn’t happen and you get to follow your dream this time around.

    I’m watching for the next development…

    P.S. Be careful reading other peoples’ essays (like the Harvard 50 best book) – it’s your dream and only you can write about it!


    1. I think it sounds better than it is, but having the GMAT out of the way really helps things. That is actually a very important consideration I think! For me the opportunity cost isn’t that big so it never mattered. I’m sure for you, it is a major factor.

      Yes, I hope so too. Let’s see how this year goes for all of us! I know, I just want to make sure that my essay is great rather than just good, kind of like a frame of reference 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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