This was not an easy decision – to defer an application to R2 on which I was working so excitedly from last 5 weeks, yes 5 long weeks!
I started the Kellogg leadership essay on September 1st. I was writing day and night but it took me to 8 days to jot down 2 success and 1 failure leadership story. I tried to write them in a narrative style, taking reference from Harvard 65 successful essays book. I send them to my reviewers; only one replied after a week and found my stories pretty weak and suggested a lot of rework. By that time it was around 15th. I have already sent my goals essay for review. He replied pretty quick and a few places he mentioned gaps, with a very typical long term goal. He mentioned your profile is strong but is coming out well in this essay.
It was 18th and I was at square one. I went home to attend my cousin’s engagement which ate my 3 days. Just 2 weeks were left for Cambridge and I left Kellogg and picked up Cambridge, which has one atypical IT problems essay. As the time was running and none of my reviewers were replying, I decided to take help of a professional reviewer. She seemed very confident, but I always had a suspicion owing to my last year sad experience, and she transformed my suspicion into a belief. She wasted initial 7 days saying “she was busy with other clients; don’t worry, you are in safe hands.” It was 29th when she actually looked on my essays. I was hoping for see the best reviews ever but to my disbelief she return back the same essays - no review comments, just deleted a few lines – the lines which according to me were my strengths. When I tried to ask the reason, she replied I’m trained in this – I mean that could never be a justifiable explanation. Finally, I dismissed her service and prepared all my Cambridge essays myself. I feel they are pretty good. Fingers are crossed!
It’s was 6th Oct and none of my Kellogg essays was in submittal state. Further, I had Richard Ivey to submit on 12th. It was freaking me out. I knew how hard I would try I won’t be able to complete Kellogg and Ivey essays in a week without an outsider eye. One of my friend introduced me to another professional reviewer (pretty expensive), stating they are awesome. Can you believe after having bad experience twice with consultants, I took their service for Kellogg. Again to my disbelief, they turned out to be – awesome this time ;) I was like wow. I wanted a sanity check and the way they reviewed my essays, I was surprised. I have already incorporated my reviewer comments, but still so much to change. From 7th till yesterday, I wrote essays around 14 hours every day. But was able to transform just two Kellogg essays into a decent version, and still have scope for improvement. It was so tight, almost impossible to do another essays in 2 days when I had to submit my Richard Ivey (managed to write decent essays and also get reviewed by a student) as well. I was feeling worse thinking how I got stuck in this situation. I finally took decision to submit Ivey and defer Kellogg to round 2.
People say it’s not much difference between round 1 and 2 evaluation, but somehow I personally feel round 1 is always a edge. Time will tell...
Don’t know this is a wise decision, but I know I have to plan a little wiser now!
I hope this post might help others also to plan a little wiser in R2 – because time fly fast!!