Thursday, July 5, 2012
July 05, 2012 – Thoughts rushing through a re-applicant’s mind
Being a re-applicant is not something that I say with pride. The fact of the matter however is that either that I made mistakes during the last application or that my application as a whole did not live up to the expectations of the admissions committee. What then am I supposed to do this time around to succeed is the main thought running through my mind rather than what wrong did I do?
I have been awaiting feedback and unfortunately I do not now see the point in getting the feedback since even if I am provided some genuine comments they would surely be generic in nature. So, I have decided to take my feedback into my own hands. Following are the points that I think are important from a re-applicant’s perspective.
In my case, my GMAT score was really way below the average of the school. I took a chance with it and unfortunately it did not work out. So my task this time is pretty much set in terms of taking the GMAT. I know for sure that the feedback if at all officially provided will highlight this aspect. However the GMAT score for re-applicants with a score of ~700 can be a tricky aspect. A score in the range of 700 is really sufficient and I personally feel that putting in the efforts to raise the score from 700 to a 740 is going to be many times exponentially tough than raising it from 640 to 700. So then does a re-applicant retake the GMAT? While this can be a difficult question to answer, I personally feel there is no need for a retake. Putting in at least 1.5 to 2 months into the GMAT preparation again will be a daunting task in terms of the application. I believe this time can be better utilized in preparing the essays and building up the profile in terms of jotting down every small event / achievement that has happened in one’s career.
ii. Essays and Application
This is the biggest point where the hardest decisions have been made. So I applied after doing my research and by putting in my best foot forward. But it is pretty clear that it did not suffice. Now, do I approach someone professionally to help with my application and specifically my essays? This has been a dilemma for me. It is more to do with the fact that seeking help is sometimes looked upon by oneself rather than in view of others. What I personally need is someone to critically assess my essays and tell me bluntly where I am screwing up. If this can only be done by seeking professional guidance then so be it. After all there is no harm is asking to be directed properly if I do not know how to proceed ahead. This will always be a tough decision for any re-applicant and there is no easy answer to this. If you think it will help the application then do not think twice on it. Go for it. After all we are talking about precious time and years of one’s life. Research on the available help and I would personally advise that seek help from someone who is interested in knowing you and in helping you get to the dreams. As the famous dialogue from Jerry McGuire goes, you need to choose someone who says “help me help you” J
I have not researched a lot on what other schools do but the ISB allows carrying forward the recommendations from the previous application cycle provided one has applied in the immediate preceding cycle. The question then arises that should you retain the recommendations or seek new ones. Another toughie eh L Once again no correct answer to this one. I am 90% sure of getting in new recommenders this time, the reason being that they will bring in new information and a new perspective to me as an applicant. Also the previous recos will be with the school so they will surely review it when they review my application as a re-applicant. I have shifted jobs last June so ideally this is a good time to get in new recos from somebody I have worked with in the last one year. This will provide fresh insights into my new job related performance and achievements.
iv. The re-applicant essay
The dreaded question of “how has your profile changed since the last application cycle?” Fortunately, I have had changes which are drastic in nature and on the better side. I have had almost a year of international exposure in 3 countries in 3 different continents since the last year. I have achieved a promotion and a title change in 6 months of joining my new job. Personally and professionally I very strongly feel I have grown by leaps and bounds as a person and my experiences have really been colourful and have helped me mature. Not everyone might have such drastic changes. It is then best to present whatever changes no matter small in the best artistic way possible. I specifically used the word artistic because it is all about presentation here. You might have only done one good project but then you need to show clearly that the project was effectively life-changing in terms of your betterment. You saw the entire thing through and had a 10/10 score. I hope I have conveyed my point.
I have observed in a few forums that applicants tend to ask that how can the EC’s be improved. I feel 9 months since the last application is too short a time to work on this aspect and improve it. That said, I am sure each of us has EC’s. It is just that maybe we do not realize that it can be mentioned as an EC. So all I can say is introspect and find that 1 or 2 things that you think are great in you which you might have over-looked. All one needs to do here is introspect real hard thoroughly. I am sure something will come up as a EC that you simply missed the last time.
Right now these are the points that come to my mind. I will add and edit other points as and when I recall them. I hope my posts are at least informative and have been worthy of the 5-10 minutes that you have given to this blog. Please feel free to comment on the posts.