Initially I intended to apply for Sloan class of 2014. However, as I registered interest in the Sloan programme on LBS website, I received an email in September 2012 stating that there are a few seats available in class of 2013 and I can apply in fast track mode.
Here is why I applied in fast track mode:
- You just need to submit your essays and 1 recommendation
- I thought the chances of making it to the class are higher as there are few seats left and probably the admissions team would want to fill the class as they have sent a follow up email asking to apply in fast track mode.
- I can atleast get my essays into some shape and if I do not make it, I can reapply to class of 2014
I took leave and sat for 5 consecutive days full time to bring my essays into some shape. I went through multiple iterations and finally submitted the application.
There was some confusion during my application submission. There were several pages in the application and the standard process is to fill in the details in all pages and then submit the application.
However there was some communication gap between me and the program coordinator and I got the message that I just need to save the personal information page and also the essays page after uploading essays. Having done the ‘save’ pages part, I was waiting to hear on the status of my application.
When I followed up couple of weeks later, program coordinator advised me to submit the whole application as my application was not picked up by the admissions officer since it was not submitted. I went to application website and submitted the whole application. Even though it was past the admissions deadline, admissions team agreed to review my application.
My advise to prospective students is to make sure you submit the application and follow up with program coordinator if you do not receive an acknowledgement email.
Within two weeks, I received a message that my application did not make it to the next stage of the admissions process which is interview.
As I did post-mortem analysis, I requested admissions officer to provide specific feedback and also re-read my essays and reflected on the overall application journey. Not many schools provide application feedback, so one good thing about LBS Sloan Programme team is that the admissions team patiently provides feedback both prior to applying to advise on the fitment and also post application on a request basis.
Below is my self-assessment of what went wrong with my application:
- Answers were not to the point: When I re-read my essays, I understood that I did not answer all parts of the questions in the essays
- Unclear Objectives: My objectives were not clear enough and I did not mention enough about how Sloan program/LBS will help me realize these objectives.
- No Weaknesses demonstrated: I did not explicitly state my weaknesses and how the program would help me address them
- Incorrect Assumptions: Assumed that getting in is easier as there were few seats left and the final deadline for applications was fast approaching. LBS or any good b-school for that matter does not take candidates just to fill the class
- Wrong Instances: I quoted instances which were too old and which did not exhibit decision making qualities at a strategic/higher level
In summary, I did not spend enough time on my application and this resulted in a poor quality application.
However this whole journey made me think and reflect back what I have done so far in my career and where I want to head to. I always believed that ‘failure is the stepping stone to success’. Even though I did not make it to the class of 2013, I gained enough experience to put in a much stronger application for the class of 2014. And as I write this post today, I am glad that I learned from my mistakes and successfully made it to the class of 2014.