Well yesterday marked 6 weeks until the deadline for the HBS R1 applications. While 6 weeks is a good amount of time, I am starting to feel a bit pressured. There's a lot going on at work, and I have three business trips to Europe next month, with a fourth unfortunately scheduled for the week of the deadline, so I'll need to submit before I leave (even though I've never had a problem connecting to the internet from hotels when I'm in Europe, I'd much rather not take the chance). So I know these next six weeks are going to go by incredibly fast.
I am making good progress on the recommender front. I sent out a packet last night to my current boss (who has the unfortunate distinction of being the only person who I've asked to write multiple recommendations) and to a partner I used to work closely with in the past, and who is writing a recommendation for my HBS application. I speak today to a partner I currently work closely with, and who I'd like to use as a recommendation to HBS, so hopefully by the end of the day all 3 of my HBS recommenders will be in the system and have the info they need to write me a rec. I'm still not sure who to ask for a peer rec for Stanford. Because of the nature of my current job, I work most closely with partners and directors (who, even though I don't report to them, technically aren't my peers since they are more senior). In my past life as an auditor, our teams didn't have a lot of people at the same level, so everyone on the team either reported to me or was my supervisor directly or indirectly. I was part of a leadership program where I was part of a team and was considering asking one of my team mates from that (our team has kept close since the end of the program) but that was 3 years ago so I don't know if it's current enough. I'm leaning towards asking one of the partners I've recently worked closely with (but don't report to), but would appreciate anyone's thoughts on this.
I'm making less good progress on essays, and am falling behind in my goal to have a draft of Chicago's essays by the weekend. The first essay on career goals is coming along nicely - and the 1,500 word limit seems ginormous after working with the much smaller HBS word counts - and my powerpoint seems to be shaping up, but I haven't come up with an outline I really like for the putting myself in someone's shoes essay. I have ideas, but when I begin to put pen to paper they all start sounding like I'm writing what the adcom wants to hear rather than showcasing who I am. While part of me wants these next 2 months to go really slowly so I have time to complete all the applications, part of me just wants to get the applications behind me so I can start the next phase of nervous anticipation.