Based on personal experience, here are somethings that can go wrong in the bschool application process:
So you've written the essays for your applications, and you're feeling all proud of your work. So what do you want to do next? You want to show your essay the light of the day. It's really important to get your essays reviewed by the right people. A lot of people will offer to review it for you. Still more will agree when you approach them to review. It is your call on who you want to pick. There is lot of gyaan on the net about the right kind of people to pick to review your essays. So I am not going to repeat that. But I will warn that there is a chance that none of your reviewers will get back to you with their inputs. Your printouts/emails will be languishing in their shelf/mailbox and you'll never hear from them. I found my saviour in two people, thankfully, one who patiently reviewed my essays ( and will continue to do so) and the other who I approached right at the last minute when I was desperately in need of another reviewer. This second person was the last person I would have thought to ask. Just goes to show that you can find help in the most unexpected places.
Essays are really not too much of a battle. The real battle is the recommendations. Again, there is enough gyaan on the net about whom to pick as recommenders and that titles don't work blah blah blah. It is most important to heed that advice. It is even more important to make sure you give your evaluators enough time to fill this stuff. If you looked at the questions you would know that they do not require too much thinking. One hour tops. If your evaluator had good things to say about you, then he/she will not have to dig right into the recesses of his/her brain to get them out. People who read this blog and know the screw ups that happened in my recommendations will know what I am talking about. So here is where choosing the right evaluators comes into the picture. Choose someone who can manage his/her time well enough to not give you excuses a week before your deadline about how they were caught up in work - this after being nominated 2 months in advance. Choose someone who really knows what to write for you. It doesn't matter if he/she has written recommendations for other people. You still have to evaluate if this person has the right skills ( viz communication, thinking) to give you a recommendation. Remember that it can make or break your application. I know it has broken at least one of mine.
Dont wait till the last deadline. There is a possibility that you might get transferred. Or go onsite. Or have a sudden upheaval at the workplace that ruins your state of mind and saps you of motivation. Or all of the above. I know you're thinking, " Man, I'm so screwed if this happens!" Well it does. Trust me.
At the end of all of this, if you still manage to get your applications in on time, then you'd better have strong prayers. Because after all the screw ups, it will dawn on you that you cannot go through this again, and that you'd rather get out of your current situation than have to stick around another year or two and give Wharton a go, because you'd have more work experience or you'd have got your promotion or you'd have international experience or all of the above.
For having warned you, please send out a prayer for me so that I may get through a college of my preference and not have to go through this crap again.