A Change in Plans

“When man makes plans, God laughs”

As a compulsive planner, I’ve always taken issue with that statement; yet, it has proven to be the gospel time and time again.

So, I was minding my own business last night while watching the swimming and women’s track and field finals of the London Olympics; I was also eating a mini-sized Haagen Dazs dulce de leche after 3 sweaty hours playing ping pong in preparation for my job’s annual table tennis tournament that I mentioned in my last post–AFTER a shoulder workout at the gym and 35 minutes of cardio earlier in the day, mind you. So needless to say, I had well earned my evening of semi-glutinous hedonism.

Then, my phone rang. It was my good friend and MBA applicant S&M madame Cheetarah1980. Ok, so the S&M reference is a joke and completely untrue, but I really think–no, I know she gets a kick out of imagining my crestfallen face each time she casually drops another H-bomb on my “plans” with things that I need to either rework,  rethink or completely redo in this MBA application process. Her sadism notwithstanding, I would only be about 40% of where I am in this process if not for her blog and sage advice, so for that I am eternally grateful.


“I’m bored”, she said.

:SIDEBAR: I really love direct people. Rather than blowing some PC BS my way like “how are you?” or “I was wondering how your MBA journey was going and wanted to give you a forum through which to express yourself this evening”, she opted for blunt admission of self interest; refreshing. :END SIDEBAR:

She needed someone to help her remain occupied and awake while driving through the night from Philly to Chicago before starting her first year at Chicago Booth this fall. Since I’m on the west coast, she knew it would not be an indecent hour. She also wanted to regale me with tales of her high-rolling, bourgie times while gallivanting through Europe on her pre-MBA vacation during the past few weeks.

So, I was about to be used–sorta like that racist chick from True Blood that Tara’s vampire mother Pam gave to her as a gift; I believe her exact description of Tara’s new possession was “unpaid food whore” (sorry, but this series really cracks me up! LOL)…

OK Fine…whatever; it was late anyway–plus I kinda owe this woman for her previous, priceless advice. Bite away.

What I did not see coming was the benefit that I was about to gain out of this transaction–a whole lotta common sense.


“You know, most schools don’t consider the Consortium apps until the second round, regardless of when you apply,” she started in. I knew this, but had previously planned to apply to my Consortium target schools (Tuck, Haas, Yale SOM) in R1 (November) just to get it done.

“And I know that you’ve been raving about some articles you’ve read about Booth’s entrepreneurship curriculum and recent start ups like GrubHub”, she continued. I knew that this was a shameless plug for her (excellent and fantastic) school, but I continued to listen.

“So you may as well just get your Booth app done in the first round so you can get a final admissions decision out of one more target school by January. Also, since you’ve made such great progress on your essays, you should not have a difficult time squeezing in one more set of essays well within time. Bottom line, you’ll get a final decision from one additional target school for the same money and less essays.”

And you know what? She made total sense. So now my R1/R2 app lineup is as follows (in chronological order)


Harvard – Sept 24th

Wharton – Oct 1st

Chicago Booth – Oct 2nd

Stanford GSB – Oct 3rd

MIT Sloan – Oct 24th


Kellogg – Jan 3rd

Dartmouth Tuck (Consortium) – 2/28

Berkeley Haas (Consortium) – 2/28

Yale SOM (Consortium) – 2/28


While my new app submission schedule is a little more front loaded, I have a much wider gap between R1 and R2 that will allow me to A) be more single-minded (less distracted) while preparing for whatever interviews I end being offered and B) devote more focused time to my Kellogg, Tuck, Haas and Yale essays after a bit of  a rest from writing.

An MIT Sloan/Berkeley Haas Flip/Flop

This also means that I will be backing out of the Berkeley Haas info session that I signed up for in July. Since I won’t be applying until February, that time would be better used attending the MIT Sloan info session that I recently found out occurs on the same day at virtually the same time (so I signed up!).

Then after my R1 submissions are in I can invest some time into getting to know more (MUCH more) about Tuck, Haas and Yale SOM.

A Quick Kudos to Booth

I’ve just finished my Booth application, and I must applaud them on a few quick things. First, theirs is the first app that I’ve filled out that does not use that Hobson’s hosted software program. Its 3x as fast, you are allowed to copy and paste and the app itself just really gives you a lot of room to express yourself  and your bid for candidacy (though, I must say that I’d hate to be the adcom who is tasked with reading all of that!).’

Of course, ease of application will have zero bearing on where I might choose to attend once I get my final admissions decisions, but it makes for a warm spot in this long and cold process.

CONFIRMATION: A Shout Out to The Essay Snark

A while ago I began following the Essay Snarks blog–a fantastic, must-read reservoir of MBA applicant essay knowledge. I also took the snark up on a lottery for a freebie review…not sure if I won the review but I did get THIS TWEET as confirmation that at the very least I am on the right path. Thanks Snark!


One more app so soon, however, puts a larger question mark over the GMAT retake that I’ve been itching for. I still plan to pull it off, but won’t be too depressed if I end up not doing so in order to be smart about my other priorities–namely managing my apps, recommendations and essays–and choose instead to focus on those. GMAT #3 or not, I refuse to sacrifice the quality of those three elements of my apps, no matter what.


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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14 Comments on “A Change in Plans”

  1. LadyRoadWarrior Says:

    I’m glad ms Cheet pointed this out. I had been thinking this same thing! I must applaud you for being so gosh-darn on schedule. Your lack of procrastination alone warrants admission 🙂


  2. Alison (aka mrsjonstewart) Says:

    That cheetarah, so wise and so generous with her good advice! And yes, reading this post is a like a swift kick in my slacker butt. Less Olympics, more essay writing!


    • mbaover30 Says:

      That’s right Alison. Get to it! Your future awaits; in fact, watching the Olympics just makes me MORE amped to work on essays and apps. Seeing other people accomplish such incredible goals inspires me to get in action to go after mine. There is something about sitting in front of the TV watching someone like Michael Phelps be named the greatest Olympian EVER while I’m on my couch with an app undone that makes me feel like a slacker. I used that emotion as fuel to knock out my Booth app last night lol.


  3. bschool2013 Says:

    In case you don’t get to the GMAT again, this post should make you feel better. 🙂



  4. Sassafras Says:

    Just found your blog and it’s great. I’ve been feeling pretty lonely in this whole process and it’s nice to find someone so candid. I am hooked to learn more about your story. I don’t know much about the consortium, but I’m curious if you’re planning on applying even if you get in to your R1 schools?


    • mbaover30 Says:

      Hey there Sassafras,

      Thanks for your interest and for adding to this conversation. You can definitely find out about everything one might want to know about my story on this blog. “A Not So Winding Road” would be a great start. At this time I plan to apply to each school on my list. I definitely invite you to subscribe, stick around and see what unfolds!


  5. km80 Says:

    great blog! I am 32 and I have similar goals as you. The problem I have noticed talking to students who say they want to pursue entrepreneurship is by the 2nd year they have given up on their dreams because of the insane amount of student debts . They usually end up signing up with a MC company who offer to take care of their 2nd year tuition loans if the student signs the offer letter with the company in advance. And these to me a legitimate concerns. How do you plan to work around this problem? Wouldn’t a ‘safety’ school such as USC which can give you a tuition waiver look more appealing to you?


    • mbaover30 Says:

      Thanks for commenting! I don’t see it as a problem. A an older candidate I am probably a bit more resold in what I will and don’t do than someone who can afford spending a few years doing what they don’t want. I also dot mind taking a job first before I start another company. USC is a fantastic school, but I am not choosing schools based on their willingness to give a tuition waver. I am choosing based on ecosystem, network and cultural fit. Please keep reading and don’t forget to subscribe !



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