Switching up schools

It’s official. I’m removing Darden from my list of schools and putting Fuqua into the mix instead. Darden did tick a lot of boxes for me, but as good as it is for consulting, I don’t want to put myself under an undue amount of stress and pressure. I’m not saying that an MBA should be a breeze, but I don’t want to spend all of my time cooped up indoors. As an engineering grad with a 9+ GPA, I’ve spent enough time with my nose stuck to a book. I want to have enough time to really explore the campus, get involved in all the activities a school has to offer and meet a ton of different people.

This means I’m now applying to:

  1. Yale R1
  2. Tuck Early Action
  3. Johnson R1
  4. Fuqua R1

I guess that means my scientific analysis was a little skewed. But I guess I would have to change a few entries in that to get a better picture of schools that fit me best. Darden wouldn’t score as much in the ‘Fit’ section and Fuqua would get some points there. Durham, NC isn’t that bad after all. Also with Fuqua, I will have an alumni referral and Team Fuqua seems to be pretty big on that. Hopefully that helps because I really love the sound of the program and the bond that students seem to have even decades after graduating. I guess it really helps to talk to someone from the program face to face rather than over email!

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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!