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We got in to 3 out of 4 BS! A family success story)

This topic has 2 member replies
Sk1ver Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
11 May 2012
14 messages
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We got in to 3 out of 4 BS! A family success story)

Post Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:05 am
So here it is! Our success story!

I applied with my fiancee to Tuck, Duke, Kellogg and Haas. We both got admitted to Tuck, Duke and Kellogg (both WL at Haas).

I will try not to write a lot of words here, so if any of you need some more information, please feel free to contact me (skiver list ru) or EugyMo (my fiancee, here at this forum).


We are both from Moscow, Russia and we both work in the same company (Big4), actually, we both work within the same unit and function.
Work experience ~ 5,5/6 years
Age ~ 28/29
Major - Economics


The race for a good GMAT score started for us two and a half years ago. The verbal part was definitely the most difficult. I spent around 3 months studying (during weekdays around 1-2 hrs, weekends 5-6 hours). I also attended to some GMAT courses in Moscow. My first attempt was 690 (q48, v37) and it was my best attempt =)

My first though when I received the score was that it is a good score (it is actually!), but that it's not enough to get to a top school (this was my biggest mistake).

The next year and a half I tried to repeat my gmat three more times (!!!), and all my attempts were unsuccessful. My scores were 640, 660 and 670. I think I studied from every available source, tried different tactics, but all of them failed for me. I'm still not sure what was the issue for me.

What about my fiancee, she made the other way. She also attempted it four times, but always improved a little bit and got a 700 at her last exam.


This one was easier for me, I got 113/120. My fiancee got 98/120 and 102/120 (second attempt). We didn't spend a lot of time preparing for it.

School choice

When we started our research we fast came with the idea “they are all the same!”. And, well.. you can argue with me, but in fact most of the Top-15 schools will offer you same great opportunities, almost the same courses and cool activities and clubs. The things that really differ are - the location, the class size, the Top recruiting firms and the culture of the school (not so much actually, but still I found that it differs).

To understand all these factors, we decided to visit or top priorities - UCLA, Berkeley, Tuck, Duke, Columbia, Stern. For our top-top priorities, beforehand, we made a good and solid research, so we could meet with current students, take the tours, get into the classes and talk to a lot of people. We also decided to apply to Kellogg, but this one was the only school we couldn’t visit, anyway we found some folks from there and got some skype calls with them.

All these activities gave us a looot of new emotions and feelings to put into essays (you cant say that you are in love with Tuck if you don’t visit Hanover =) ).


100% the most difficult part of the application process. My best advice - group the essays of your schools. You will notice that a lot of them will match and contain the same question (why mba, why now, ST and LT goals, leadership, personal), so you can actually repeat your story all along.

An advice for couples

If you are applying with your significant other, mention it in your essays. We even wrote it at an optional essay. If your background is similar - don’t worry, try to differentiate each other at a personal level. My fiancee has the same professional background as me, we both have an almost identical CV and we both have the same ST and LT goals, but we are really different, that’s why we are together =) this is also a good hint for all of you who think “I have the same profile as thousands of other applicants.. my chances are very low”.. this is bull@it! You are unique and you have to put that into the essay.

Tips and hints

A GMAT and a TOEFL is only another way to differentiate. If you have a strong CV, some good stories to tell to the admissions, the gmat won’t hurt your application - get into the mid-80 range (for top-15 its usually 670+) and concentrate on your essays.

Do the homework - research the schools, talk to alums, visit the school, do the open interview if it’s available, talk to admissions, mention all these things in your essays. We think that this is a KEY success factor.

Schools - spend some money and visit the schools. Even if you are located 12 ths miles away. You will spend only 1-2% of your total investment.

I think that's it! I made the summary of our story!
Good luck to all of you!

See you in Tuck! Smile

Thanked by: willowtree2
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willowtree2 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
05 May 2015
2 messages
Post Sun May 17, 2015 3:45 pm
This is awesome! My partner and I are thinking about applying to the same schools as well. Hoping we have the same success as the both of you did!

bleiggge Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
15 Nov 2015
3 messages
Post Sun Nov 15, 2015 2:18 pm
Thanks for sharing your story and obviously congratulations to both of you.

May I ask what your GPAs were?


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