Changing my Game Plan


changeIt’s only been almost 1 week since my last post! So sorry, between my insane work schedule, my final GMAT studying, finalizing my Harvard app, and getting my recommendations set, I have been insanely busy. No fear, I am still alive (although barely), and I definitely feel like I am starting to run on empty. I will be immensely happy when my GMAT is over with on August 23, so I can focus 100% on my apps.

Today’s [long] post is about changing my game plan. Before I was planning on applying to 8 schools in EA/R1. However, after much though revolving around the impracticality of devoting QUALITY attention to each application/essay COUPLED with the stress on my recommenders for that many schools, I have decided to split my applications between EA/R1 and R2. Not to mention if I get asked to interview at many schools, that could be tricky.

Previous List of Schools

My list of 8 is Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg, MIT, Tuck, Duke, Yale, and Berkeley (for a lowdown of how I came to choosing these schools refer to this post: I am Changing My School Selection). These schools were chosen based on many factors, including location, culture, and recruiting.

Who is R1 and who is R2 and WHY?!?!?

Clearly, I absolutely have to reapply to Tuck in the EA round. Tuck has a special soft spot in my heart based on their amazing culture (shown by their 71% alumni giving rate). Also, it seems Tuck encourages reapplicants to apply again! I got an early start on HBS’s application (due on 9/9), and am excited to apply to such a fantastic program that incorporates the case study (a favorite aspect of mine). I also plan on applying to Wharton, whose vision of “Knowledge for Action” I absolutely love (and how I embody that in my workplace).

Speaking of loving schools, the more I read about Kellogg, the more I am falling for this school. The passion of their students literally jumps out at me (and I’m planning my trip to Evanston right now, where I will also interview) and I love the attitude of their alumni. Finally, I will be applying to Yale, a fantastic program that is growing in big ways and has a fantastic new campus. Yale also shares the same letter of recommendation prompt as Harvard and Wharton, making it a little easier on my recommenders. Three schools will share a letter of recommendation prompt; I will also be able to interview at Tuck and Kellogg based on my schedule (those schools have an open interview policy).

I plan on applying to Duke, Berkeley and MIT in R2. By moving them to R2, it frees up my schedule to visit/interview Duke at the end of the year (Duke also has an open interview policy). Also, it will help my interview scheduling if these schools are in a separate round.

Current Plan

EA/R1: Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg, Tuck, Yale
R2: MIT, Berkeley, Duke

Here is my updated progress:MACM


I definitely have my work cut out for me…. time to get it done!

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23 Responses to “Changing my Game Plan”

  1. MBA on my mind

    That’s a smart decision. Quality over quantity, always!
    Yes, I know what you mean, my days are getting crazier as the GMAT and the application deadlines hurtle toward me. This is definitely a test of character. But you seem to have it all under control. Great Job!
    And I absolutely know what you mean about Kellogg, I am smitten by the people there. I so wish I could make a trip down to Evanston! 😦 Please give them my regards and ask them to watch out for my application ! 😀

      • MBA on my mind

        I wantt to, but I live all the way in India! I simply cannot afford the trip, at this point. 😦
        When you say interview, you plan to make the trip after you submit your app, right?

      • GrantMeAdmission

        Yes! It will be shortly after… You can’t fly from India to visit? Isn’t it just about $200USD?… haha That’s okay… they have a great video portion of the application.

      • MBA on my mind

        Hahaha! More like 1200USD! But its not just about the money, thing at my company are getting so busy, can’t afford the time away.
        Anyway, keep me posted on how your visit goes, I could glean information vicariously, through you!:D

  2. topdogmba

    Best of luck GrantMeAdmission!

    It is fast becoming a lonely world out there with infrequent blogs (I’m one of the worst offenders at the moment!) and then only complaints about how busy we all are. At least the grim reality of the MBA applicant lifestyle is there for all to see – caveat emptor!

    I’ve spoken to so many b school students who just hated this process and, despite being ridiculously busy at school too, they still had grins on their face knowing what I’m going through right now.

    Our time in the sunshine awaits us …soon my friend!

  3. hugoness

    I think that is a wise decision. Split them, so you have more time to focus on your R1 schools and also leave things open for R2 if needed. That is at least the plan I am following.

    By the way we have a similar School selection. The only difference is that I have LBS instead of Yale.

    Good luck on the 23rd!!


    • GrantMeAdmission

      Absolutely agree… I think it’s not only the amount of focus… but also positioning for interviews etc and “spreading” the pain if you will.

  4. pullingthatmbatrigger

    Good decision! I would have been absolutely swamped if I had to deal with 8 schools in EA/R1, so kudos to you for being able to even consider it. But I think you’re making a great choice distributing schools between rounds. Also, I’m applying to Tuck and Yale EA/R1 as well 😀 my application shall meet your application then!

  5. RD

    Just a thought: MIT accepts equal numbers of students in R1 and R2, but receives a significantly greater number of applicants in R2, so you face pretty tough odds in R2. If that’s enough of a concern to you, you could consider applying to MIT in R1 (and switch another school to R2). Obviously this is just one of several factors to consider. Good luck!

    • GrantMeAdmission

      Great comment and thought…. I thought the same thing. So I HAVE to apply EA for Tuck (re-applicant), Harvard is almost done, Wharton I want to R1 as well, and Yale’s rec matches Harvard’s and Wharton’s. (I also saw today that Kellogg’s does as well.) Ultimately, while it’s not best to apply to MIT in R2, I think for my situation it’s the best I can do… Thanks for the thoughts though! (I’m hoping to get through these five apps relatively quickly and try to pump out MIT.)

  6. Linda Abraham

    Good move. That’s exactly what I would recommend. Quality always trumps quantity, and in this case, you aren’t given up on quantity.

    Good luck on the GMAT next week.

  7. Madison

    G – I apologize in advance if you’ve already covered this, but I just started reading your blog and have not gone through all the posts yet. I always thought that standardized tests like the GMAT are all about practice, however I’ve noticed that you’ve referred to “studying” multiple times. What are you studying exactly?

  8. Madison

    Thanks for the prompt reply! I’m loving the blog! It’s the only one I’ve been reading so far since I decided to get my MBA. I wish you all the best!


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