I had an interesting conversation with a friend this morning, and I realized I need to add a last word on the series of posts on my application process. Five key words: it is not admission advice! It is simply the summary of the personal approach I took, and the steps I followed.
Firstly, if you are deciding to apply to an MBA program, you might decide to follow a completely different approach (based on your timelines, goals, personality traits, etc.), and yet be successful. Or follow my approach, and be rejected! Every story is unique, so you should simply interpret my words as one witness out of thousands of successful applicants at a top business school.
Secondly, no candidate receives any feedback on his own application. Therefore, I have no idea about what worked and what did not work in my application to Harvard and Stanford. Holistically I know that the application was successful (and yes, I assume that 740 is better than 640 at the GMAT), but I can’t pinpoint my positive result to any specific factor. Therefore, it is possible that I might have actually taken the wrong approach on some elements, which was offset by other positive elements in my application.
The advice that I received from friends, blogs, forums in the early stage of my application process was extremely useful. And this is why I decided to give back to the MBA applicant community, and share my story. But ultimately, I took some bits of advice, ignored other bits, and decided to follow a strategy which suited me. And that is what I think every candidate should strive to do.