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2009年7月份,我给一个老朋友(Simon FT-MBA,2010春季班)为申请MBA而写的Essay提了几点比较关键的修改建议。后来,她成功拿到Simon的Offer。再后来,她建议我做留学DIY咨询方面的工作,并向我介绍了我的第一个客户。最终,我的第一个客户也成功拿到几个TOP16商学院的面试并顺利拿到Duke Fuqua商学院MBA的录取。 本人毕业于上海复旦大学管理学院国际企业管理系,属于商科科班出身并且做过管理工作、有领导经验的人士。

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留学参考:Dinged By HBS, Stanford & Wharton. A Year Later, Admitted To All Three  

2017-04-26 02:40:42|  分类: DIY留学综合信息 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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留学参考:Dinged By HBS, Stanford & Wharton. A Year Later, Admitted To All Three


 
BY: MARC ETHIER ON APRIL 19, 2017

 

 

One of the big lessons Piyush Pratik learned from his first attempt to get into an elite U.S. business school: When everyone says you have nothing to worry about, that’s when you should be really concerned.

Friends, family, co-workers, business students, peers, and others all praised Pratik’s application materials for Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His application was impeccable, they said. One or both of the schools would be thrilled to have him. He had nothing to worry about.

Then he got dinged by Harvard without an interview. He secured an interview at Wharton but got dinged there, too. And after applying to Stanford’s Graduate School of Business in round 2 and getting an interview there, he was dinged a third time.

Pratik was, understandably, devastated. But after taking some time for serious introspection, he was determined to try again. And a year later — after this time ignoring the advice he received, which tended to emphasize how slim his chances were — Pratik was accepted by all three schools, as well as Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, for good measure.

“Many people at the time told me that as a reapplicant my chances were extremely slim and that I should not kid myself with these Tier 1 schools,” Pratik says. “I want reapplicants all over the world to know that it can be done.”

‘I WAS CONVINCED I WOULD NEVER RE-APPLY’

It’s hard to conclude that Pratik, 29, didn’t have the chops all along to get into a top-tier B-school. He graduated in 2011 with a dual bachelor’s-master’s in technology from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, graduating summa cum laude with a GPA equivalent of 3.5. His four years (at the time) of work experience included two as an associate at consulting giant Bain & Company. He is an executive at InMobi in Bangalore, India’s first unicorn and only the second Indian unicorn to turn profitable. And he scored a 760 on his only attempt at the General Management Admission Test — well above the average at Harvard (725), Wharton (732), and Stanford (733). And he speaks three languages: Hindi, Arabic and English.

Of course, Harvard (10.7%) and Stanford (6.1%) also have the lowest acceptance rates of any business school in the world; Wharton (19.8%) is less selective but no cakewalk, either. Nevertheless, Pratik was crestfallen in early 2016 when he learned that he would not even receive an interview at Harvard. His hopes rose, briefly, when he was invited to Wharton’s team-based discussion/interview stage, and it seemed to go well. “And again everyone told me, ‘At HBS there are a few unlucky folks who deserve to be there and don’t make it, but with Wharton you should definitely be able to make it.'” So he was all the more deflated when he was dinged again.

Despite growing self-doubt, Pratik rallied to apply to Stanford in round 2, where he got another interview. That in itself was something of a victory. But it ended with him getting rejected yet again.

“At the time I couldn’t believe this was happening to me, but it did,” says Pratik, speaking toPoets&Quants from Bangalore, India, where he is InMobi’s director of remarketing and commerce advertising. “And at the time, I was convinced I would never re-apply, as this was very demotivating for me.

“I don’t think I can describe it in words exactly how the feeling is. The kind of profile I had in terms of my academic background and work experience, and even in terms of the content of my application, everyone I had spoken to had given me some comfort level: ‘At least you will make it to the short list, because we don’t see any major flaw.’ So getting that first ding from HBS was for me completely unexpected. And everyone I knew was very surprised as to what happened.”

THE BEGINNING OF THE TURNAROUND: LOOKING INWARD

Pratik says he chalked up the first ding to bad luck, “or maybe there was some area where I had not positioned myself well.” But after the second rejection, he began to realize he needed a new approach entirely. “It started to hit me,” he says. “Is there something really wrong about my profile or the way I’m looking at it? Or even worse — is there actually something wrong with me? It was a very bad time in terms of negative emotions.

“My self-confidence was totally shattered,” Pratik continues. “You feel like you are actually good and you deserve to be in places like these, but when one after the other schools do it to you, it brings you very low.” Even with the “small bright spot” of reaching the Stanford short list despite applying in round 2, getting dinged a third time “was rock bottom for me,” Pratik concedes.

It was time to look inward. Which is what he did — and that was the first step to his complete turnaround in fortunes.

THREE MOST COMMON WAYS TO REAPPLY: A BETTER GMAT, A PROMOTION, OR NEW REC LETTERS

“I used to go to forums like P&Q and search for reapplicants’ success stories to boost my own self-confidence, and I used to find them useful,” he says. “Many applicants who are unsuccessful wonder whether they can find the courage to apply again. I was at that spot exactly a year back, thinking ‘Maybe I just don’t cut it.’ The motivation to apply again took a lot of introspection — at least a couple of months — and a lot of effort.” But by May of 2016 he had decided, “I should give it a second shot — a much better and more prepared shot, to take another crack at these three schools and see what happens.”

Of course, most re-applicants follow one or several of three routes in the hopes of getting a second chance. They retake the GMAT to get a better score. Or they progress further in their careers and can then report back to a school that they have landed a new plum job, promotion or assignment. Or, they get recommenders willing to up the game, with more specific and more laudatory letters of recommendation.

 

LEARNING FROM MISTAKES, AND MAKING A SOUND ARGUMENT

Pratik tried none of those strategies, though he knew changes were needed. First, he improved the quality of his essays, giving them “more introspection, more depth.” He also did a lot more research about the schools, talking to students and alumni to understand how successful applicants approach their application. And he did a lot more preparation for his interviews. In fact, he says, he hadn’t done much last year at all — a mistake he was determined not to make again.

“I think I was able to identify the areas of improvement and learn from those mistakes to improve,” Pratik says. “Also, I think I articulated my life story and my aspirations in a much better manner versus last year. Furthermore, through my applications, I was able to present a sound argument of why I was a better candidate this year versus last year and show the growth, addressing the reapplicant question.”

With the help of an admissions consultant, Pratik overhauled the presentation, packaging, and storytelling of his application, “clearly bringing out the impact/learning in each life story shared versus simply listing them down in a task-focused manner.” And he pinpointed a flaw in his execution, and decided he could get closer to admission by improving upon it.

‘A LOT MORE RESEARCH’ — AND A LOT OF INTROSPECTION

So what was the flaw in his execution? “If I just look at the way I approached the application process, it was by leaps and bounds much better this year,” Pratik says. “Last year I don’t think I had a process in mind, in terms of what it takes to put together a good B-school application. Specifically, this year versus last year I spent a lot more time — I think 10 times or 20 times more time — thinking through my life, my experiences, what I learned from them, the growth I’ve seen, versus last year when I think the first time I thought about this was when I was actually drafting my first essay. I kind of paid the price for it.

“This year, I did a lot more research to understand what made previous applicants, successful applicants — what are the kind of experiences they write about and share with these schools? What are the kinds of interview questions you get? — to form some sort of an idea of what exactly they might be looking for.”

And he spent time — months, not weeks — thinking about his life. Just thinking and shaping his life story for the telling.

“I think from the period of early May to about late July or even early August, I was just thinking it through,” Pratik says. “Not drafting essays, not writing my CV, just really going deep into each one of my experiences — all the time thinking about how I can see a pattern in these. Do they tell my life story in terms of who I am today? And what are the experiences I can talk about and what are not? This level of execution I had definitely not done the last time around.”

OUTCOME-FOCUSED RATHER THAN TASK-ORIENTED

The schools themselves weren’t much help. Seeking feedback after his series of dings, Pratik came up empty.

“The day I got dinged from HBS, I reached out to the admissions committee office, but the only response I got is that many times it’s about how the class fits, ‘so while we did not see any glaring problems … ‘ It was more of a cookie-cutter response,” he says. “At Wharton I reached out to them but never heard back. And with Stanford I did reach out, but then again it was a very standard response, ‘Stanford protocol does not allow me to give any personalized feedback, but at the end of the day it’s about how holistically you come out as a candidate, etc., and there are so many different factors, external factors, diversity, and other things.’ So nothing concrete came out of that feedback, unfortunately.”

He was, in a big way, on his own. One thing he did know: There wasn’t enough time to have any dramatic changes in job experience to feature in a new application. So he knew he needed to position his experiences better.

“I did not know before that maybe the admissions committees, after reading about my experiences, would be thinking, ‘OK, so what is it that he’s learned and applied in some way?’ This time around, those are lenses through which I reviewed each one of my stories,” Pratik says, “and when I packaged them or presented them, I was a bit more outcome- or impact-focused, rather than being task-oriented.”

 

‘JUST PUT YOUR HEAD DOWN AND FOCUS ON EXECUTION’

Pratik has three key pieces of advice for B-school applicants and re-applicants. First, spend a lot of time on introspection. “I feel 90% of the effort is ‘thinking through’ your life experiences and what make those unique, your learnings and growth, etc. Writing is the relatively easier part.”

Next, practice for interviews — or as he puts it, practice, practice, practice. “Try to simulate the actual interview in a formal setting,” Pratik says. “The idea is to get comfortable with the format and get over the nervousness and jitters. I felt I suffered from this in my attempts and blew my Stanford interview.”

Third, nail your CV. “Each of my bullet points in my CV actually gave full context about what the challenge was, what the situation was, and what was the impact I delivered. If I were to summarize it, I would say my CV or my application last year was more like a job description, whereas this year it was more about telling a story. The point is, you must focus a lot on what is a good way to tell a story.”

Finally, he has some advice exclusively for re-applicants: Successfully reapplying is possible. “Once dinged, don’t carry forward the negativity to your second attempt. Many told me that I was at a disadvantage as a re-applicant, but all through the process I never felt like one. It’s doable, possible. So just put your head down and focus on execution.”

BACKUP PLAN

Pratik rolled the dice in a big way by re-applying to three schools that had rejected him. But he had one big safety net: applying to a fourth school that he most wanted to attend.

Pratik says his decision to apply to Kellogg along with his three re-applications was a matter of practicality — and that’s another key piece of advice for re-applicants: Have a backup.

“My plan was, if in the end these three don’t happen, I know I only have limited time to apply to another school in the first round. Last year I only had time to apply to two in the first round, and to add one more was a huge, huge stretch.

“If none of these schools had worked out, then definitely I feel I would have applied to more schools in round 2, like an INSEAD, or a Booth, or a Columbia. That was my plan.”

AND THE WINNER IS … 

Piyush Pratik didn’t need to apply to any other schools. He got in where he wanted to — finally. So now the question is, which will he pick?

And the answer? He hasn’t decided.

“Between the four schools, I have been able to narrow it down to two,” Pratik says, “and of course they are the most obvious two that you would guess. So it is between HBS and Stanford, definitely, and I still have a couple of weeks before I have to communicate my final decision. This is by far one of the toughest decisions that I have had to make — and I am still in the middle of it.”

 

 

以上内容摘自:

http://poetsandquants.com/2017/04/19/draft-dinged-hbs-stanford-wharton-year-later-admitted-3/ 

 

 

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