Getting graded. It’s been a necessary evil in everyone’s life since we were all old enough to hold a crayon. At every stage, we either cut the mustard or we don’t and then progress to the next level of grading. For those applying to graduate school, you may have thought those college grades were all but forgotten, but now find yourself having to face them once again. And guess what? The grading doesn’t stop with the application process, because very soon you’ll be back in the classroom. This begs the question…do grades really matter?
In case you haven’t noticed, Kellogg recently launched a new “motto” that reads: “Think Bravely: we believe that business can be bravely led, passionately collaborative, and world changing.” The introduction of this laboratory-cooked slogan caused much hand-wringing among Round 1 applicants, so now that we have a moment, we wanted to address it and help out those of you applying to Kellogg in Round 2. So, should you focus your applications on “Thinking Bravely”? Let’s break it down.
Yesterday was October 23rd. A relatively uneventful day for many humans, but a big one for a select group of Wharton applicants who received an interview invite. It’s obviously a magical moment to get that letter, err, email that says that mighty Wharton wants to talk to you. However, this year that feeling of excitement is lasting for about two seconds for most applicants as it is quickly replaced by a feeling of uncertainty. That’s because Wharton has partnered with the Wharton Innovation Group to come up with a whole new style of interviewing … the group interview.
MIT Sloan is one of “those” schools – the ones that seem to slip into the nooks and crannies of the admissions process. People don’t talk about Sloan as much as its elite counterparts. Nobody immediately thinks about it in terms of being a top 5 program until you start digging and realize, wow, this program is insanely good. Most importantly, because of its unique end-of-October deadline and equally unique two-round admissions process, we would wager that application quality on Sloan apps is far lower than on other top programs (which is a *massive* problem if you want to be admitted there). Candidates often don’t even start on their Sloan apps until after the October 3-16 gauntlet of deadlines and then they race to finish because they fear waiting until the “last” round.
Today’s blog post concerns the tricky Columbia Regular Decision deadline, which starts the day after Early Decision (which had a deadline of October 3rd this year) and extends all the way into April. While long, rolling deadlines are commonplace in college admissions or law school admissions, they are strangely out of place in the MBA space, which creates a lot of consternation on the part of applicants everywhere. Here’s the weird part though: normally when applicants ring their hands over something ambiguous and unfamiliar we tell them to buck up and have some courage (“Stop worrying so much,” is a common refrain around here), but in this case, there actually is some very real strategy to consider. We take into consideration a few rules of thumb, some common sense, and our own experiences sitting in the admissions officer’s chair to arrive at a recommendation.