Creating huge scholarships from two top US business schools isn’t easy, but George did it!
George had an average profile. He had 2 years of entrepreneurship experience, approximately 2 years in sales and marketing, and had just started with EY in an entry-level role. He also had a GMAT score of 720.
He came from an engineering background. This meant he was a part of an oversaturated applicant pool. However, his sincerity towards the application process, diligence in completing all the assignments, and receptiveness for the feedback, got him into top US business schools with scholarships.
George had a goals story, the short-term goal of consulting, and a long-term goal of entrepreneurship. Then he had another goals story, a short-term and long-term goal of entrepreneurship.
The problem wasn’t that he wanted to shift his goals story, it was that he himself wasn’t convinced of it. If as an applicant you’re not fully convinced of how you want to use your MBA education, how are you going to convince the school of it?
This was a major issue with George.
Although we liked George’s approach to the essay questions, he had a lot of unnecessary details and redundant points that just kept increasing the word limit.
The interesting thing was that he was answering the question, but hadn’t read between the lines. In an essay question, the admissions committee asks an applicant about their biggest challenge, and George detailed his biggest challenge. He had detailed the situation and mentioned the end result. Technically, he had answered the question.
However, what the admissions committee really wants through such an essay is to know an applicant’s thought process. What George required to do was mention the challenge, his weaknesses, other environmental roadblocks, his journey to come up with a solution, and then the solution.
A lot of applicants do the same thing that George had done. Thus, they end up with long answers and still end up getting a ding.
George, however, was able to create a good essay after the detailed feedback.
Small errors on an applicant’s profile can be much more fatal than one would imagine. This is why double and triple-checking every component of your profile is important before hitting the submit button.
George was making such errors too. He would forget changing the school’s name in essays when using a previous essay for a new school. While it is a careless error, on being caught, the school won’t even want to look at the rest of your profile anymore.
Thankfully, after we mentioned it a couple of times, he was much more careful and we never faced this problem again.
After the application process and the interviews were almost done, we received a piece of disappointing news. George had been waitlisted by Mendoza. We knew at this point that we were not ready to let this one slip from our hands and started working on a post shortlisting strategy.
Our aim was to show the school that we valued them since they hadn’t dinged us for the same reason. We decided to meet Mendoza alumni in India, send the school another recommendation letter, and be even more aggressive with our networking strategy.
We even came up with around 2 strategies as there was no sure shot way of knowing if the waitlist strategy would make a difference for Mendoza. However, Mendoza came through and were convinced of George’s motivations to join their school due to the waitlist strategy.