Who is "Tad Holbie"?
Tad Holbie is a pseudonym I created
to protect my privacy and identity as I apply to business school (don't believe me?
Google it for yourself).
I am a young, American, first-time applicant to some of the elite business schools in the fall of 2002. My e-mail is
If I am accepted to one of the business schools I've applied to, I will be more revealing about my identity and personal details.
When did I start all this?
I started this Weblog a couple months after I got serious about applying to business school. The
first post was on August 28th, 2002. When do I have time to write this site? In between my
full-time job and writing essays, time is limited. But I am a fast typist and am quick to jot down
my thoughts during spare moments.
Why MBA Admissions Wire?
I started this website to record and share my experiences applying to business school (a long
and stressful process). As time has gone by and greater numbers of readers e-mailed me to
ask for advice, encourage me, and share their experiences, I have turned this site into a
resource for all MBA applicants, in effect creating an online community.
How do I do MBA Admissions Wire?
It's very easy, and (best of all) free. Just go to Blogger.com
and after a free registration you can have your own Weblog too! Even better, they offer free hosting on their
Disclaimer:I am not an admissions officer, nor am I affiliated with any of the schools, organizations, or sites listed on this page (i.e. I haven't even been accepted to any B-School--this is my first time applying!).
The events described on this web page are real events, though certain names, genders, locations, and dates (i.e. interview dates, submission dates, etc.) may be changed to protect my identity.
If you are applying to any of the schools listed on this page, please refer to their official web sites for the definitive deadline dates, application procedures, etc.
(i.e. It's not a smart move to rely on this page while applying). The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author.
I am also neither a lawyer nor an accountant. All information and events describing or related to financial aid, tuition, scholarships, loans, and other monetary matters is strictly meant to only describe "Tad Holbie's" situation, and should not be
considered instructions, financial advice, or in any way pertaining to the [reader's] financial situation. Consult your own accountant/lawyer when making important financial decisions.
Any questions, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org (and no, that isn't my real name).
I may or may not disclose if/when/with whom I have been invited to interviews. At present, I'm leaning towards discussing my interview
experiences a few days/weeks after they happen. Mark me "undecided".
If you choose to e-mail me, I promise not to publish your name, e-mail address, or contact information on my website without first getting your permission.
I may excerpt part or all of your e-mail on my site, but will take care to edit out any information that might identify the source.
If you don't want any or your e-mail posted on my site, just put "Please keep private" at the bottom of your e-mail.
Any questions, e-mail me at email@example.com.
Basically, anything you post can be reviewed by me. If I find a post to the message board or comment system
that is sufficiently rude, offensive, moronic, I'll feel free to a) delete it, and/or b) ban you from posting ever again.
In conclusion: You don't have free speech on my site, so don't be a jerk.
Welcome! First time visitors are encouraged to
Now I'm seriously starting to stress about my third HBS rec. I e-mailed the recommender on Wednesday and didn't get any reply. Now that it's the weekend I won't be able to get in touch with this person. Monday is a holiday. So the first chance I'll have to talk to them is Tuesday, the day before the submission date. If I don't see that rec submitted by Monday, it's no more Mr. Nice Guy (they've had over 2 months!!!!)...
Has anyone else had this problem? What did you do?
I'd like to take a moment to remind everyone of my credentials. I am not a college admissions officer. I am not a business school student. I have not even applied to business school before.
Please keep these in mind when you read my site and/or e-mail me. Any comments, advice, insights I give come as a first-time B-School applicant who is figuring things out as I go along. If you think a tip I have is worthwhile, great, use it! If you think it is worthless, treat it as such.
As we start entering the deadline weeks, I just wanted to remind everyone of this fact. I'm in the same situation as you, it's just I decided to write a Weblog about it...
Friday Deadline Countdown >> 6 days left until the HBS Round I deadline
>> 13 days left until the Wharton Round I deadline
>> 19 days left until the Stanford GSB Round I deadline
>> 26 days left until the MIT Sloan Round I deadline
>> 28 days left until the Chicago Round I deadlines
GMAT - Done
Transcripts - All collected
Recommendations - 2 HBS recs done (where the $%&! is my third recommendation!?!); 2 Wharton recs done; 1 Stanford rec done, 1 in progress
Essays - All Wharton fifth drafts done (in review by friends); All Stanford first drafts done; Chicago, MIT first drafts in progress
Data Forms - Wharton on-line forms complete; All on-line forms are 90% complete
So Business Week posted its new Top 30 business schools list yesterday. You need to do a free registration to view the web list. Here's the top 5:
No big news here. Sloan is #6.
(I'll update the link to the list later...)
(For those interested, my prediction is here)
Some advice for this year's applicants:
1) Remember how lucky you are! There are other Americans our age who are giving their lives in foreign lands to defend our nation. Every time you want to start stressing about how terrible the GMAT, essays, etc. are, remind yourself of this fact (I need to do this too).
2) If you are not having fun writing the essays, ask yourself why. After all, this is a chance to talk about the most interesting person you know, right? (If you don't think you're interesting, you're probably right--and no matter what you write the AdComms will know it)
3) Read and re-read your essays, out loud if possible. You'll catch the little spelling mistakes and ackward phrases.
4) Have someone else read your essays, if possible.
5) Remember that the servers might be busy in the final hours before the deadline. Submit when you app is ready, don't dawdle.
6) Smile. Seriously, smiling does improve your mood.
7) Remember, the past tense of "to lead" is spelled "led" (this has gotten me countless times).
That's about all the tips I can think of now. Have fun!
Posted 12:36 PM EST by Tad Holbie, Post #82745871:
I hate writing these "Dear Recommender, I noticed that your recommendation still says "not submitted". Is there any problem holding it up?" emails. They know I am saying "What's the holdup?". I know I'm saying it. But it's better to write 20 reminder e-mails until they submit than miss a deadline because of them, right?
Posted 12:31 PM EST by Tad Holbie, Post #82745674:
With the deadlines approaching, the forums are starting to get a bit hysterical/panicked. I think over the next few weeks I'll be visiting them less and less, to avoid getting the (very contagious) paranoia strain that's going around.
Posted 12:27 PM EST by Tad Holbie, Post #82745500:
If anyone reading this blog is planning to apply to B-School next year, a word of advice:
Do not tell your recommenders the real application deadline.
I gave my recommenders the forms/logins in early August. I told them I'd like the HBS and Wharton recommendations by Sept. 28, seeing as how I wouldn't be able to work much on the apps the two following weeks. But I also made the mistake of saying something like, "The actual deadline isn't until _____". The result is my HBS app has been sitting around for about two weeks and I am sweating out the deadlines.
I am not trying to knock my recommenders (who don't know about this site); They are good people and I know they're busy. But that's why I gave them two @$%!ing months!
If I had it to do over again, I would tell them, "My deadline is Sept. 27" or "I must have them by Sept. 27", and never mention the real deadline. That way I wouldn't be lying and I'd (hopefully) get them earlier.
Finally had the chance to read through my Wharton essays (I guess these are the fifth drafts? I'm starting to lose count...). I made a fair amount of grammar/spelling/style corrections (easy to correct), but overall am happy with the content and flow (which would be much harder to correct). Having the final drafts of them done sometime next week looks doable.