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Journey to my MBA

Friday, January 14, 2005

Who me? Stress?

Today was rather eventful. I re-ordered my transcript and had it faxed to me. But to do so, I had to western union money to the school to get them. Apparently, my alma mater doesn't take credit cards.

I've refined and completed my Cornell essays!!!! Yay! Now, I'm just filling in the time consuming app work. It's taking HOURS! Dirty Martini has mentioned this before. She's right on! I have yet to finish my Tuck essays. I've written 70% of them except for one that I haven't even started.... yikes.

I've been working with my recommendation writers and it's been good and stressful. One is on the ball and I don't have to worry about him. The other is another story. He's in charge of an organization of over nearly 4,000 members and although I sent him the paperwork, he only just started on the Cornell recommendation today.... and it's due tommorrow.

So I called Cornell and Tuck to ask them about timing for recommendation writers. They are so understanding. Cornell allows the recommendations to come in 3-4 day's after the due date. Tuck said up to a week was even acceptable. It all comes down to understanding what they are going through with all the application submissions. They have to double check each app and make sure all the items are submitted. Going through thousands takes days and they always spend time working with applicants to ask them for a document they may have missed taking into consideration that technical issues may have been the cause rather than the submitter. Gotta give benefit of the doubt on this issue. Uh... although this sounds like my opinion... it's really not. I'm actually writing down what they told me.

So with all the stress I hear about what people are going through in meeting deadlines with recommendation writers... don't sweat it. I'm finding that nearly every school is understanding about needing more time for them.

On the other hand... our application submissions are not as flexible. Our essay's and etc... really do need to be submitted before the deadline. But even then, I doubt they'll kill you're app for being an hour late. Just as long as you double check with them to VERIFY that it's ok.

I don't know why, but I wasn't stressed about the recommendation letter aspect of my app until last night. I trusted and believed that I chose the right people. However, last night when I put my head down on my pillow, I couldn't stop thinking about all that I had completed thus far and the urgent and important priorities that I had this morning. Mostly, I was thinking that I needed to find out why it was two days before the deadline and I hadn't heard anything from one of my recommendation writers despite my inquiries via e-mail and phone. I think I stayed up for 2 hours before I could fall asleep. For me... that's saying a lot because I normally go out like a light within 5 minutes of getting into bed. My wife is amazed by how fast I go to sleep. She's the opposite and it often takes her an hour to go out.

So I talked with my wife tonight about the shuffle iPod idea for the recommenders and she thinks they are overpriced and a bad present. So now, I'm searching for other ideas.

One last thought.... I'm thinking about R3 apps. In one of my previous Blog entries, I mentioned that while I was at an MBA conference, many of the schools were saying that applications last year were weird because with overall app submissions being down.. the chances of getting acceptances in R3 was about the same as R2. This year... it seems app submissions are similiar in number at some schools, but even less than last year for a good majority of the top schools. For years, this has been completely unheard of as R3 is typically a highly competitive time to be submitting applications.

So now I'm thinking. Are there any other schools that I could apply to that I would prefer to attend over my current submissions and what schools seem to have R3 chances similiar to R2 submissions? Right now, I'm thinking about Wharton, Michigan, Columbia, Darden and Harvard. But with my app stats... I'm thinking more about Wharton, Michigan, Columbia and Darden.

My plan as it sits right now is to work with a few of the schools where I met and built a relationship with the admissions directors. Then send some essay's I've written along with my stats and discuss with them what they think about my fit at the school and whether they would be interested in asking me to pursue R3 because they like my profile and not because they are just being nice. I believe I can do this.. .because at Darden for example, one of the admissions directors liked my background so much that she wanted to see me get an MBA regardless of whether it was at Darden or not and that they said they would personally help me out. Any thoughts?

Seriously though, if I got into Tuck or Cornell for example... I've come to realize that these two schools really do meet my criteria for my MBA need and job future. But I think a Wharton or Michigan would be a bit less appealing to me because of the bigger class sizes, but would have better job opportunities after graduation. That's the reason why I'm thinking about them. I'm thinking about the future and considering how to improve my career path.


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