One MBA Essay Shy of Done (for now at least)

So, after several days of feverish button mashing and tedious edits, I’ve ended up being just one essay away from having all of my R1 non-consortium essays done. Of course, there will still be edits and iterations after what I have; however, each set of essays that I’ve completed thus far is solid enough where I neither see myself making major changes to the content nor structure.

Also, all of them have been “approved” by folks who are either alumni or current students at top 10 (top 5, actually) business schools. Having folks who are experienced at crafting effective MBA essays to critique, bash and rip my essays apart has been the leading factor that has contributed to the relative speed at which I have been able to come up with acceptable drafts–not my writing.

The feedback was harsh, but eventually I was able to internalize a certain rhythm and set of rules that began to make my essays come together the way they were supposed to. No matter how many qualified folks review your essays, however, it is difficult to shake that worrisome feeling of “will these be good enough?”

At any rate, here’s how things break down for me going into August:

Essays for R1 (non-consortium) Schools:

Wharton – 3/3

MIT – 3/3 (includes cover letter)

HBS – 1/2

Stanford – 3/3

My final HBS essay (Tell us about something you wish you had done better) may take me a week or two to get half right. It leans heavily toward introspection, and I expect similar pain and discomfort to what I experienced while bloodying my nose trying to pull together my Stanford What Matters Most essay.

There is also an addtional MIT essay that I plan to take advantage of; but since it is not required, I have not included it in the count above.

Applications (Data):

HBS – 95% done

Stanford – 95% done

Wharton – Opens 8/1

MIT – Opens 8/1

Consortium – Opens sometime in August

A Full Dance Card for August

Since my previous post a few days ago, I’ve put a few more dates on the calendar. I was able to scoop up a face-to-face (diversity event) with Wharton adcom members (finally!) and applied for Tuck’s Diversity Conference, which is actually in November.

Later in August I’ll have diversity events for Berkeley and Stanford here in LA as well as the Riordan event with adcom reps from 10-15 top b-schools. I will also be managing my recommendations and moving into some moderate GMAT study to see if I feel like getting in the ring one more time.


Would you like my help getting into your dream b-school? Well, there are two starting points for that:

1. Get a Free Profile Analysis (after receiving your information, I’ll let you know whether or not I think I can help you)

2. Get Help Now (If you already know that you want help and what you want help on, then just skip to here)

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About mbaover30

Wharton MBA and admissions expert

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8 Comments on “One MBA Essay Shy of Done (for now at least)”

  1. Kaps Says:

    Hi MBAover30 – Your blog is indeed quite inspirational, and I being another over30 applicant follow it regularly. Congrats on your drafts ..It will be great if you could share some of your thinking on tackling the dreaded question – Why an MBA Now when you are 35? It will be relevant and worthy for all your readers.



    • mbaover30 Says:

      Thanks Kaps. A lot of the info regarding the question that you answered is in the post Ultimately, why one person in our age range may need an MBA at this stage vs. another is really a very personal and individual deal that will be different for each person. Was it military duty? Did you start a family very young and now you’re looking to launch an impactful career? Is the timing just better for you now? Why? I think those are the kinds of questions that will lead to your own personal realization of why this is the right time for you.


  2. justaparna Says:

    Wow! All the best! that’s quite a lot of work in a short period of time!


  3. Angie Says:

    Hello there. If I may ask, which events in LA are you going to for Berkeley and Stanford? Just curious on that. Thanks.


    • mbaover30 Says:

      Hey there Angie. For Wharton and Stanford I opted for the diversity events, betting they’d be less crowded. For Berkeley it’s just a regular info session.


  4. Francis Roshan Says:

    Hey there!!…Great work….I’m also applying to MIT and having trouble with its cover letter.Would you help me with the format you have chosen for it.Any references, guide something…….


    • mbaover30 Says:

      Hey there Francis! Unfortunately, they don’t produce guides; however, they ask for a standard cover letter format, so I just used that–standard letter format. Best of luck to you!


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