MBA Admissions Wire by "Tad Holbie"

"Tad Holbie's" weblog of his 2002-03 business school application experience.
Home | Tad's Applications | Archives | Site Info | Disclaimers | Epilogue
Useful Links
Applicant Weblogs
* League of MBA Bloggers - best resource for listing all MBA blogs.
* Modz (Anderson-bound)
* Thibault (Kellogg-bound)
* Michael (Wharton-bound)
Currently Reading:
Liar's Poker
Liar's Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage on Wall Street

Bond Market
How the Bond Market Works

MBA Prep Books I Used:
How To Get Into the Top MBA Programs

Kaplan GMAT 2003

Kaplan 800
Kaplan GMAT 800
Message Boards & Chat Rooms
* Business Week Forum
* Wharton S2S Message Board
* Wharton S2S Chat Room
* scheduled chats
* Business Week 2003 Rankings (free registration required)
* Financial Times 2003 Rankings (PDF)
* US News & World Report 2003 Rankings
* Wall Street Journal 2003 Rankings
* Forbes Magazine 2001 Rankings
Internet Tools
The MBA Admissions Wire would not be possible without all the cool stuff available for free on the internet:
* Blogger - Publishing tools
* Hotmail - E-mail
* MSN - Groups
* SiteMeter - Traffic monitoring
* SurveyMonkey - Web surveys
* HaloScan - Commenting system
* Tag-Board - Message board
* ZonkBoard - Message board (old)
* BlogHop - Weblog rating system
* FreeFind - Free website search engine
* WhoIS - IP/Domain Lookup
My Applications
Status: Admitted in R2!
* Homepage
* Ambasador Program
* M-Track Message Board
* Monroe Street Journal newspaper
* University of Michigan Merchandise
* UMBSA FAQ about life in Ann Arbor
* Ann Arbor Weather
My posts:
* List of essay topics
* Outlining the essays
* My alumni interview
* UMBS/Ann Arbor photos:
Image not available
(Click to enter my UMBS photo album)
Chicago GSB
Status: Submitted for R1; Denied Admissions after interview
* Homepage
* ChiBus newspaper
My posts:
* My alumni interview
* Approach/status of essays: 1, 2, 3, 4
* Posts on essay B: 1, 2
* Dinged!
* Chicago photos:
(Click to enter my Chicago photo album)
Status: Denied Admissions after Interview
* Homepage
* Online Status Check
* Finance Dept. homepage
* The Bottom Line Newspaper
* Columbia Merchandise
* Adrian Hind, student weblog
* New York weather
My posts:
* Info session summary
* My second campus visit
* List of essay topics
* Outlining the essays
* Posts on essay #1: 1
* Posts on essay #2: 1, 2
* Posts on essay #3: 1
* My alumni interview
* Columbia photos:
(Click to enter my Columbia photo album)
Status: Submitted for R1; Denied Admissions
* Homepage
* HarBus newspaper
* Adam Medros, student weblog
My posts:
* Info session summary
* Recommendation e-mail
* Approach/status of essays: 1, 2, 3, 4
* Essay word counts
* Posts on essay #3 and #4: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
* Posts on essay #6: 1, 2, 3
* Photos from campus
* Class visit experience
* Dinged!
* HBS photos:
(Click to enter my HBS photo album)
Status: Denied admissions after waitlist
* Homepage
* Online Status Check
* 2002-03 Calendar
* Kellogg Merger newspaper
* Professor McGee's Musings
* Northwestern University Merchandise
* Evanston weather
My posts:
* 2002 Waitlist Wrapup
* List of essay topics
* Starting the Kellogg app
* Outlining the essays
* Posts on essay #1: 1, 2
* Posts on essay #2: 1
* Posts on essay #3: 1, 2
* Posts on essay #4: 1
* Reviewing my essays
* My alumni interview
* Notes on my second campus visit
* Northwestern/Kellogg photos:
(Click to enter my August Kellogg photo album)
(Click to enter my April Kellogg photo album)
Status: Submitted for R1; Denied admissions after interview.
* Homepage
* Sloan Management Review
* 2002 Employment Report (PDF)
My posts:
* Info session summary
* Links to Sloan's tracks
* Note the mail-in items
* Approach/status of essays: 1, 2
* Cover letter: 1, 2
* Post on essay #1
* Post on essay #3
* My interview experience
* MIT/Sloan photos:
(Click to enter my Sloan photo album)
Stanford GSB
Status: Submitted for R1; Denied Admissions
* Homepage
* Stanford Reporter newspaper
My posts:
* Online recommender setup
* Posts on essay A: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
* Posts on essay B: 1
* Dinged!
Status: Submitted for R1; Denied Admissions after interview
* Homepage
* Student2Student message board
* Wharton Journal newspaper
* Laura Bennett, student diary
* Student Diaries
My posts:
* Info session summary
* Approach/status of essays: 1, 2, 3, 4
* Posts on essay #1: 1, 2
* Posts on essay #4: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
* Photos from campus
* The interview experience
* Dinged!
* Wharton photos:
(Click to enter my Wharton photo album)
Search Archives:

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08/25/2002 - 08/31/2002
09/01/2002 - 09/07/2002
09/08/2002 - 09/14/2002
09/15/2002 - 09/21/2002
09/22/2002 - 09/28/2002
09/29/2002 - 10/05/2002
10/06/2002 - 10/12/2002
10/13/2002 - 10/19/2002
10/20/2002 - 10/26/2002
10/27/2002 - 11/02/2002
11/03/2002 - 11/09/2002
11/10/2002 - 11/16/2002
11/17/2002 - 11/23/2002
11/24/2002 - 11/30/2002
12/01/2002 - 12/07/2002
12/08/2002 - 12/14/2002
12/15/2002 - 12/21/2002
12/22/2002 - 12/28/2002
12/29/2002 - 01/04/2003
01/05/2003 - 01/11/2003
01/12/2002 - 01/18/2003
01/19/2002 - 01/25/2003
01/26/2002 - 02/01/2003
02/02/2002 - 02/08/2003
02/09/2002 - 02/15/2003
02/16/2002 - 02/22/2003
02/23/2002 - 03/01/2003
03/02/2002 - 03/08/2003
03/09/2002 - 03/15/2003
03/16/2002 - 03/22/2003
03/23/2002 - 03/29/2003
03/30/2002 - 04/05/2003
04/06/2002 - 04/12/2003
04/13/2002 - 04/19/2003
04/20/2002 - 04/26/2003
04/27/2002 - 05/03/2003
05/04/2002 - 05/10/2003
05/11/2002 - 05/17/2003
05/18/2002 - 05/24/2003
05/25/2002 - 05/31/2003
06/01/2002 - 06/07/2003
06/08/2002 - 06/14/2003
06/15/2002 - 06/21/2003
06/22/2002 - 06/28/2003
06/29/2002 - 07/05/2003
Taken: Once, in 2002
Score: 760+
Advice: Get it over with quickly, aim for 670+
* Thoughts on the GMAT: 1, 2, 3
Advice: Ask them at least 2 months in advance
* Initial thoughts
* On delays: 1, 2
Advice: Develop an overall message. Write outlines. Revise many times. Have a friend proofread. Be honest. Answer what is asked.
* My initial thoughts
* Don't write what you think they want to hear
* My process
Advice: Know yourself. Review your application, answers to common questions.
* AdComm or Alum?
* My list of prep questions
Application Process
Advice: Start early. Give yourself at least two months to finish your first application.
* The "bible" of MBA application's, Montauk's How to Get Into the Top MBA Programs
* Tips on where to start
* Living the double life
* Dealing with disappointment
Financial Aid
Advice: Start early, even before getting accepted anywhere. Americans should fill-out and submit their FAFSA forms as soon as they have 2002 financial/tax info.
* Department of Education FAFSA Website
* Request a PIN for the FAFSA
* List of documents needed to complete the FAFSA form
* FAFSA School Code Lookup
* Legal Disclaimer
Site Info
Started: August 28, 2002
Creator: "Tad Holbie"
Daily Traffic:

Emails Received: 909 (as of 6/26/03)
Rate this site:
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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 and after a free registration you can have your own Weblog too! Even better, they offer free hosting on their server!
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 (and no, that isn't my real name).
About Interviews: 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".
Privacy Policy: 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
Posting Policy: 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 start here.

Friday, May 30, 2003

Posted 4:46 PM EST by Tad Holbie, Post #200365297:

The Story So Far
For those of you that are visiting for the first time...welcome. This site is a weblog of my MBA application experiences over the past year. I applied to a bunch of schools, got dinged by most of them, and will be attending the University of Michigan Business School this fall. The site is now in wind-down mode (after all, I'm done applying), but you can read back through the posts to get a feel for what business school applications are like.

Posted 7:15 AM EST by Tad Holbie, Post #200361763:

Samsung Cell Phones
A word of advice on Samsung cells phones: the ring volume is really, really low. I recently got an SCH-a310, and a friend got a SCH-a530. I like everything about them--size, design, call volume (hey, I can actually hear what the caller is saying!)--except for the ring volume. Even at max volume, it's nearly impossible to hear the phone ring when outdoors or around traffic.

Thursday, May 29, 2003
Posted 3:16 PM EST by Tad Holbie, Post #200358676:

Wi-Fi, 802.11b, 802.11g, etc.
If you are as confused about all the different wireless standards as I was, read this PCWorld article for the details (this chart also helps). My summary:
* 802.11b is also known as "Wi-Fi". It is the generally accepted standard for wireless computer networks, and transmits data at about 11 megabits per second (mbps).
* 802.11g is a new extension to 802.11g, but has not yet gained much ground on it. 802.11g would transmit data about 5 times faster, but just as important, uses the same radio frequency as 802.11b, so its networking cards would be compatible with current wi-fi networks.
* 802.11a is about as fast as 802.11g (54 mbps), but uses a different radio frequency, so its cards are incompatible with b and g networks.
* Bluetooth is a networking technology for connecting components over very short lesdistances. It is meant less for networking computers and more for connecting components (for example, you might have surround-sound stereos connected to your TV via Bluetooth, rather than wires).

The most important point is that 802.11b is wi-fi. And thus, with wi-fi "hot spots" popping up around the country (in Starbucks and other shops), buying a wi-fi enabled computer will offer you extensive mobility.

Posted 3:07 PM EST by Tad Holbie, Post #200358633:

Windows Security Hole
If you are running Windows 98 (or higher), you have a security hole in your browser. See Microsoft's site for the fix, PCWorld for the details. End: Public Service Announcement.

Posted 11:41 AM EST by Tad Holbie, Post #200357547:

It's kind of weird knowing that at this very moment, there are strangers wandering through my kitchen, peeking around my bedroom, and checking out my living room (got a realtor open house going on today). It's just a weird feeling.

Posted 11:11 AM EST by Tad Holbie, Post #200357370:

UMBS Important Dates
Friendly reminders:
June 2 - Sign-up deadline for the M-Treks
June 27 - Michigan football ticket orders due
July 1 - Sign-up deadline for the QSW

Only 96 days until the first day of classes!

Posted 10:10 AM EST by Tad Holbie, Post #200357035:

Don't Lock in Your Student Loans Yet!
From today's Wall Street Journal (subscribers only):

"The Department of Education is expected to announce new student-loan rates today, lowering the already record-low rate of 4.06% for most borrowers by more than a half-percentage point.

Student-loan rates are adjusted annually based on the 91-day Treasury bill, which was auctioned Wednesday at an investment rate of 1.121%.

Based on the formula used by the Department of Education, the new rate for college graduates repaying a federally guaranteed loan, known as a Stafford loan, will fall to 3.42% while the rate for students still in school, recently graduated or deferring their loans will drop to a new low of 2.82% from 3.46%..."

Wednesday, May 28, 2003
Posted 4:56 PM EST by Tad Holbie, Post #200354399:

If you really love cats, don't watch this Japanese TV commercial.

Update: ...and if you really hate cats, don't watch this musical number.

Posted 11:43 AM EST by Tad Holbie, Post #200353002:

This and That
* Blogging's been pretty light because I'm busy prepping my place for sale. Basically I've spent the last four days packing up the stuff I won't need before August (which is like 80% of all my belongings), vacuuming, cleaning, dusting, etc. The realtor open house is tomorrow; the public open house, Sunday.
* In the course of my cleaning, I've come across the five or six different books on capital markets and debt securities that I've accumulated over the years. To me, they were a reminder of how frustrating it is to try to learn a new subject while working a full-time job, and thus, why a [full-time] MBA program was right for me. I tried night classes, seminars, self-study, computer-based courses--if you work a moderately demanding full-time job already, learning a new one is pretty near impossible.
* Got one of the hubcaps of my VW New Beetle stolen over the weekend. Frankly, I now feel embarassed to drive around in it (there's something about driving a car that's missing a hubcap that gives me "poor white trash" vibes). I'm reminded of John Travolta's monologue in Pulp Fiction ("...I'd give anything to catch 'em doin' it. It'a been worth his doin' it, if I coulda just caught 'em..."). I've gotta to get this fixed ASAP.
* Incidentally, I'm pretty sure the hubcap was stolen while I was delivering unworn clothing to the Salvation Army. An hour round-trip drive (to that part of town) and a hubcap stolen; tossing old clothes in the garbage bin just got that much more attractive.
* If you do order an IBM laptop, watch out. On the system configuration page you might be given the option of choosing among several promotional packages (like a free carrying case). If you use an educational discount during your purchase, those choices might be invalidated. According to the IBM service rep I contacted, all educational discounts invalidate any other special offers. Be careful to check the fine print.

Posted 11:20 AM EST by Tad Holbie, Post #200352875:

Some of the pre-term M-Trek trips are already full (I assume that's what "CLOSED" means?); if you UMBS admits are interested in Treking, you'd better sign up soon.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Posted 9:27 AM EST by Tad Holbie, Post #200344212:

The Wall Street Journal's Career Journal website has a column this morning by the famed Richard Montauk, "Should You Invest In an M.B.A.?" It's a common-sense run-down of why people choose to do an MBA, what you may get out of it, and other practical considerations (including a word of caution for career changers). Found via FrenchMBA.

Posted 5:55 AM EST by Tad Holbie, Post #200343692:

I recently discovered the blog GoodspeedUpdate, which is devoted purely to Michigan news and info. It recently discovered this site, which it describes as "a blog of a somewhat neurotic future UMBS student who chronicled the business school admissions process on his website". "Neurotic"?!? Only my three psychotherapists are allowed to call me "neurotic", pal!


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