Monday, September 12, 2005

So, this is what being an AdCom feels like.

After four successive nights of getting to bed past 3 AM, I decided to take it a little easy today. I hope to get to bed by 2.

No, I'm not out partying like the previous week. I am, in fact, reading application essays. One of the privileges that has stemmed from my blogging is being considered worthy enough by some applicants to review or comment on their essays. I must apologize that I have slightly disabused that privilege this past week, caught up as I was in the heady, albeit boozy-headed, beginning to my b-school experience. I have spent a good part of today correcting it. I should be all backlog-cleaned-up by tomorrow.

This is the first time that I have read back-to-back-to-back sets of essays and I'm sitting here with a renewed appreciation for the AdComs at the various schools. Partly for the work they have to do, and partly for the work they have to *NOT* do. I mean, it is REALLY hard to read each application *un-influenced* by what you just read previously. At least for an untrained person like me.

Harder yet must be the ability to listen to each application as an equal music. What I mean is, moods matter a lot in influencing opinions formed from reading the essays. I'm now pretty convinced the one person in the b-school-world who said "yes, let's admit this guy" must have had the best sex (or chocolate) of their life right before [no implications implied about the sex lives (or access to chocolate) of AdComs who rejected me ;-)].

I also have a few other observations, but take it with the requisite amount of salt. You're listening to a wannabe pilot who's put on his first uniform and already thinks he's going to make TopGun.
Surprises are good things - a different opening, an unexpected twist to a story.
Humor can be a good thing - 'can be' being the operative word.
A good story is a very powerful thing.
Being Yourself is the most important thing.

I mean, it is pretty incredible how some applications seem to have a person jump out from the words. No, I'm not exaggerating [any ex-AdCom's :) want to comment on this?] And I realize I wasn't doing much jumping myself when I looked back at some of my old essays (which is what i wasted some time doing today, along with writing this blog entry). I'll repeat the cliche that you should write what you want to write and not what you *think* you're expected to write. I don't know, it just makes for more interesting reading.

Now, let me clarify that I'm not trying to do an AdCom here, but just giving some feedback by taking a critical eye to the essays. But, in the process, couldn't help myself thinking about what it would be like to sit in one of those chairs. Hence this post.

1:56 AM says the clock. Class starts at 8:30. Alarm set for 8:10. Yeah, I'm that lucky. My commute, door-to-door, is 3 minutes. G'night.

[Disclosure: I am NOT on the Chicago GSB Admissions Committee. I am more likely what they call an Admissions Mistake. Which means I most likely won't ever be on any such committee :-)]


Blogger PowerYogi said...

wow, it should be interesting to read essays, and reflect on them...looks like the storyteller is enjoying some stories for a change
forrestgump | 09.12.05 - 7:25 am | #


As another Adcom and alumna, I tried to drill down to the substance of the stories: responsibilities, leadership role, intelligence, maturity and execution. A good candicate must be able to demonstrate all the core values along with good writing, humor, and surprises...
Ricebaby | 09.12.05 - 11:25 am | #

19 November, 2005 03:10  

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