Wednesday, April 12, 2006


grad schoooool

oof. I sincerely applaud anyone who goes to grad school at night after working a full day. I just got home from accounting class at UCLA, which was ... rough. :) It's the first class, so fingers crossed that it gets better. Or it could be that I no longer have an attention span after a full day at work. Somehow, when I first moved to LA it was easier than this; back then I didn't mind schlepping all the way from Manhattan Beach to Westwood for German class. (maybe I am getting old?!?!):)

But despite all this, I feel like writing, so I thought I would tell you a tale about how not to apply to business school. The story begins on October 16, 2004 when I forgot to write down the address for the GMAT test center, ended up 10 minutes late to the exam, which miraculously, they still let me take. Fortunately, the lateness killed the nervousness, so I was actually thinking clearly when I took it! But a few words of wisdom: if you do plan on taking the GMAT, find the test center BEFORE the exam, and MAKE SURE YOU STUDY!!! I'm not going to kid you, the GMAT is hard, even if you are a whiz kid wunderkind, which I most assuredly am not. So practice, ESPECIALLY online with the practice tests from ETS.

The other thing that I would strongly recommend not doing is applying to only one school. Due to a combination of factors: work, college football, friends, The Bachelor, the beach, etc., I started my HBS application in July, and finished it four hours before the deadline on January 3rd, effectively spending 5 months ruminating on my essays, and 50 hours writing them. But, truth be told, I do my best work under pressure. Most people, in contrast, sit down in front of the computer for a week, and just pound out their applications. The latter approach will save you money on antacids. :) (In my defense, I also only applied to Michigan for undergrad, so this is pretty much my MO.)

Applying to business school is a grueling endeavour. Unlike law schools, which use a common application, no two B-schools ask the exact same essay questions. Even when the questions are similar, they often require different word counts, challenging because there is a big difference between crafting a 1000-word essay and a 300-word essay. In short, any B-school application to a top-tier program will require a significant time investment, so do your research in advance.

But, despite the somewhat laissez-faire approach I took to writing my apps, I have to admit that it's pretty exciting to log into the website on decision day and seeing an acceptance letter. And more importantly, I'm pysched about HBS!

Ok, I'm really sleepy, so I guess I'll close by saying that if you have any questions about the b-school application process, feel free to e-mail me at


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