Archive : MBA Admissions

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What to Expect with the Video MBA Essay Questions

What to Expect with the Video MBA Essay Questions

Written essay questions have been the foundation of MBA applications for as long as we can remember but some leading graduate business schools have introduced a new wrinkle over the last few years. Recent technological advances have made video essays a reality within the admissions process at top b-schools around the world. However, there’s no need to worry, this new addition at schools like Kellogg, Yale and Rotman are not meant to stump you.

Don't Be Redundant and Don't Repeat Yourself in MBA Applications

Don't Be Redundant and Don't Repeat Yourself in MBA Applications

See what I did there?  With the trend towards shorter essays, I have noticed a phenomenon in the applications which I can only describe as “redundancy.”

Shortening the essays has resulted in more questions and even mini-essays or micro-essays within the application itself, where often applicants end up repeating information about themselves that is found elsewhere in the application.

The Best Strategy for Completing Your MBA Applications

The Best Strategy for Completing Your MBA Applications

The stress of any approaching deadline causes some degree of anxiety, but if the task is something of monumental importance such as your application to business school, the anxiety can be downright debilitating.  Managing your schedule in a way which leaves you not only enough time to create a fantastic application but also enough time to do your day job can be tough.

Prospective Student Days for MBA-Bound Military Veterans

Prospective Student Days for MBA-Bound Military Veterans

Each year military veterans typically make up around 5% of the incoming classes as top MBA programs in the U.S., making veterans an important demographic for business schools. Prospective military applicants have a secret weapon for business school applications not available to applicants from other industries:  armed forces clubs. These clubs are a great way to learn more about individual programs in addition to providing a wealth of insider information. Whether you are just beginning your b-school research or planning on submitting applications this season, one of the first things I recommend to all military applicants is to reach out to these clubs.

Get to Know Your MBA Professors

Get to Know Your MBA Professors

Over the summer, one of my Veritas Prep clients from last year asked me if I had any advice for him before school started. Offering advice is what I do for a living, so it’s a safe bet that I did, but he probably knew that before he asked. This 3-part blog series grew out of that initial off-the-cuff email response and is designed for anyone in any stage of business school, whether you’re still researching schools, walking onto campus for the first time, or have graduation in the near future. Your two years will fly by, and you want to make sure you graduate without saying “If only I had ….”

How to Succeed as a Young MBA Applicant

How to Succeed as a Young MBA Applicant

Age is nothing but a number, is how the old saying goes, but when it comes to the world of business school admissions, this particular number can negatively signal much, much more. “Immature”, “not ready”, “lack of work experience”, “no leadership” are some of the thoughts admissions officers toss around when discussing the applications of young candidates.

What Should I Do After I Submit My MBA Applications?

What Should I Do After I Submit My MBA Applications?

Congratulations! You have submitted your MBA applications! But, just because you have hit the submit button does not necessarily mean you have reached the end of the business school application process. This assumes of course that you have put your best foot forward in the process and followed all of my helpful advice!  The first thing to do, after the celebratory beer or soda of course, is to sit down and make an assessment of your plans.

When Should I Submit My Finished MBA Application?

When Should I Submit My Finished MBA Application?

With deadlines approaching rapidly and everyone’s inbox at work piling up in concert, applicants this time of year from all over the world are beginning to face the reality of whether or not they will make it in time to submit for round one.  Still others have the opposite problem.  These are the folks you love to hate, the overachievers, who have worked diligently all summer on their applications and have now been sitting on it for several days while they spend some reflective,  contemplative time mulling over its nuances, just in case they think of that last little insight to make it even better before they turn it in.  Like a pastry chef putting the last ribbon of icing on a perfectly crafted wedding cake, these sure-fire seat stealers are asking themselves an entirely different question:

3 Reasons That Extracurricular Activities Are Essential For Your Business School Applications

3 Reasons That Extracurricular Activities Are Essential For Your Business School Applications

Do I need to re-take my GMAT? Is my GPA high enough? Do I have enough years of work experience? These are just a slew of the questions we receive from MBA applicants every year.

One question that is rarely asked and often overlooked is “Have I done enough outside of the office and classroom?” Business schools are looking in-depth at all aspects of the application process from the essays to the GMAT score to the resume. One area that candidates either forget or neglect to highlight in their application or cultivate throughout their academic and professional careers is extra-curricular activities. Admissions officers at MBA programs around the world take this aspect very seriously, and here are three reasons why you should do the same.

4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Business School Experience

4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Business School Experience

Over the summer, one of my Veritas Prep clients from last year asked me if I had any advice for him before school started. Offering advice is what I do for a living, so it’s a safe bet that I did, but he probably knew that before he asked. This 3-part blog series grew out of that initial off-the-cuff email response and is designed for anyone in any stage of business school, whether you’re still researching schools, walking onto campus for the first time, or have graduation in the near future. Your two years will fly by, and you want to make sure you graduate without saying “If only I had ….”

Veritas Prep Consultant Spotlight: Get to know Kenyata, Chicago Booth MBA

Veritas Prep Consultant Spotlight: Get to know Kenyata, Chicago Booth MBA

Applying to the world’s most elite business schools requires much more than a high GMAT score and strong resume.  Self refection, creating your personal brand, understanding school fit, addressing profile weaknesses and capitalizing on your unique strengths are essential in crafting a successful application.  Don’t go at this alone – we can help!  Veritas Prep has the most stellar MBA admissions consulting team in the industry and we can help you achieve your MBA goals!

How Many Times Should I Take the GMAT?

How Many Times Should I Take the GMAT?

The GMAT is of course one of the most important components of the application process, so there is little else more devastating than not doing well on it.  Often, applicants find their actual performance is below their practice exams, leaving them not only bewildered and shocked, but also desperate with anxiety.  Schools know how tough the test is, and expect to see applicants who have taken it more than once, but a common question always seems to be:  how many times is too many?  It might help to first discuss how schools look at the test overall.

This Kind of Leadership Will Get You into Business School

This Kind of Leadership Will Get You into Business School

One of the most stressful moments in an applicant’s trek through the business school due diligence process is when they realize they have done very little engaging with anyone or anything outside of work.  Let’s face it—life gets busy, and while you may have been in every club and organization you could get your hands on in college, once out in the real world, you may have found it very easy to simply go to work and come home at night without doing much else.

You Should Apply for Early Action to Business School If...

You Should Apply for Early Action to Business School If...

Here’s a good, basic rule of thumb for when during the application season you should apply to b-school:  go for round one if you can, but only if your application is at its best.  This rule will serve you well, particularly if you fall into either one of two categories:  you have several different schools you would be thrilled to get into, and you consider yourself to be a fairly competitive candidate.

Determine Which Business School Has the Right Culture for You

Determine Which Business School Has the Right Culture for You

When applying to business school, one of the most reliable questions you will get from just about any institution deals with how you feel you will fit within that school’s culture.  While it’s fairly easy to see if you have an academic fit or a professional fit at a school (by researching their curriculum and statistics for admitted students), it’s far more difficult sometimes to ascertain the “culture” of a school.

3 Benefits of Applying in Round 2 for your MBA

3 Benefits of Applying in Round 2 for your MBA

In my last post, I wrote about the virtues of applying in round one, but there are a few reasons why you might want to consider applying in round two instead.

Round 1 vs. Round 2: When Is It Best for You to Apply to Business School?

Round 1 vs. Round 2: When Is It Best for You to Apply to Business School?

There is little more debated in the b-school application world than whether it’s better to apply in round one or round two.  Most can agree that the third round is the most challenging, but late night discussions have endured and fights started over the topic of whether to submit for the first or second deadline.  For those of you with a short attention span, I will go ahead and cut to the chase by quoting Bruce DelMonico, assistant dean and director of admissions at Yale SOM, who says: We definitely advise people to avoid the third round if possible, because space can become an issue by the time the third round rolls around. But we do view the first two rounds as roughly equivalent.”

Veritas Prep Consultant Spotlight: Get to Know Heidy, Stanford MBA

Veritas Prep Consultant Spotlight: Get to Know Heidy, Stanford MBA

Applying to the world’s most elite business schools requires much more than a high GMAT score and strong resume.  Self reflection, creating your personal brand, understanding school fit, addressing profile weaknesses and capitalizing on your unique strengths are all essential in crafting a successful application.  Don’t go at this alone – we can help!  Veritas Prep has the most stellar MBA admissions consulting team in the industry and we can help you achieve your MBA goals!

Become a Leader in Your Community and Strengthen Your MBA Applications

Become a Leader in Your Community and Strengthen Your MBA Applications

One of the most stressful moments in an applicant’s trek through the business school due diligence process is when they realize they have done very little engaging with anyone or anything outside of work.  Let’s face it—life gets busy, and while you may have been in every club and organization you could get your hands on in college, once out in the real world, you may have found it very easy to simply go to work and come home at night without doing much else.

Balance Your MBA Applications by Conveying Qualitative and Quantitative Impact

Balance Your MBA Applications by Conveying Qualitative and Quantitative Impact

When it comes to conveying your marketing message to the admissions committees at top business schools, it is important to relate your various profile characteristics in a meaningful way.  Often, applicants are naturally very good at doing this in either a quantitative or qualitative way, but it’s actually important to do both.

Veritas Prep Consultant Spotlight: Get to Know Marcus, Wharton MBA

Veritas Prep Consultant Spotlight: Get to Know Marcus, Wharton MBA

Are you applying to the world’s top business schools?  Do you need help crafting the best application possible and standing out to admissions committees?  Veritas Prep has the most stellar MBA admissions consulting team in the industry – we’re talking the Jedi Knights of admissions consulting – and we can help you achieve your MBA goals!

The Importance of Innovation in Your MBA Applications

The Importance of Innovation in Your MBA Applications

In addition to being a strong leader, a team player and an all-around impressive contributor to the workplace, business schools are looking for innovative thinkers.  When you hear the word innovation, many think of filing patents or launching products, both of which would certainly go a long way towards demonstrating innovative thinking to be sure, but innovation can be so much more.

Craft a Compelling Work History for Your MBA Applications

Craft a Compelling Work History for Your MBA Applications

One of the most important profile characteristics for any b-school applicant is their work history.  Unlike Law School, Medical School and just about every other terminal degree or master’s level program, business school requires students to come with some kind of work experience under their belts in order to “qualify.”   In addition to being unique, therefore it’s also very important to have this credential, since much of what you learn in business school ends up coming from your classmates, and in turn, they learn from your perspective and experience.

Build a Stronger Application for Business School

Build a Stronger Application for Business School

It’s not uncommon for students to have an academic transgression in their undergraduate experience.  Perhaps you failed your introductory computer programming course as I did, or just never got your mind around all those esoteric English courses or math courses.  Even if you graduated with a decent GPA, unless you had a perfect record, you likely have something you can point to in college that you wish you could do over.  While you can’t go back and literally do it over again, you do have the opportunity now to build what some refer to as an “alternative transcript,” which can help mitigate the poor performance of the past and reassure the admissions committee you now have what it takes to succeed in a rigorous curriculum.

What Do Top MBA Programs Like Harvard, Wharton, and Booth Look for in Your Application?

What Do Top MBA Programs Like Harvard, Wharton, and Booth Look for in Your Application?

When deciding to go back to business school, the first thing applicants often do is make a self-assessment of their core qualifications.  While things like work experience and career goals can be very subjective, there are two key numbers which like it or not, tend to size up candidates fairly easily, at least from a cursory overview.  It’s no big secret that these metrics are the GMAT score and the grade point average.

The Key to Crafting Your MBA Application

The Key to Crafting Your MBA Application

Business schools receive applications from a wide variety of people from very diverse backgrounds.  Because there are no strict requirements about what you have done (only that you have indeed done something), business schools entertain hopeful applications from just about every career field imaginable.  Still, most applicants to business school come from what’s considered “traditional” industries and functions.  In fact, from the chart below compiled at the Veritas Prep home office, you will see something you may not have noticed on your own.  The overwhelming majority of the accepted applicants to top business schools in recent years (70%) have come from just four professional fields:  Consulting, Finance, Sales/Marketing, and Management.

Where Do You Fit into the MBA Admissions Process?

Where Do You Fit into the MBA Admissions Process?

There are traditionally two types of business school students, which I grant you, fall into very broad, generalized buckets: Poets & Quants.  It’s likely if you have begun digging into b-school research already that you have come across these categories and have therefore considered where you might be located.  It’s often fairly obvious who fits in where, and certainly there are exceptions for folks who truly straddle both categories, but by and large, you will identify with either one or the other, and knowing where you come from can often help you in the application process.  It can possibly also help you in other ways as well, such as when you are working on team projects in school, or afterwards, when the time comes to choose your post MBA job opportunity.

How to Make the Switch from Engineering to Business School

How to Make the Switch from Engineering to Business School

Having graduated from a top engineering school, I know the vernacular is different in the tech world.  Often, engineers wake up one day after graduation and several years on the job realizing they have been speaking this tech language exclusively and now that they have the inkling to go back to business school, they fear failure in the admissions process for lack of “socialization” with the real world such as their fellow applicants from other industries may have.

How to Get a Hiring Advantage after Business School

How to Get a Hiring Advantage after Business School

Recently, a client and I were discussing their approach to the Harvard Business School application process.  This client was very excited about HBS and like many other applicants, saw himself as the perfect fit for Harvard for a variety of very good reasons.

As we began diving into his backstory and working together to organize an approach, it also came out that this person wanted to work for one of the top five investment banks after business school.  It seems part of his logic in applying to Harvard and assessing his fit for their program was that it would “look good” to these top investment banks who must of course think highly of HBS and enjoy hiring their freshly minted MBAs.

First Mover Advantage: Start Your MBA Applications Early & Improve Your Chances of Admission into Top Business Schools

First Mover Advantage: Start Your MBA Applications Early & Improve Your Chances of Admission into Top Business Schools

At Veritas Prep headquarters, spring is definitely one of our favorite times of the year!  Not just because of the warmer weather, but also because our admissions consulting clients are letting us know what top-tier MBA programs they’re hearing from and sharing their success stories with us.

International Business Experience Could Make All the Difference in Your MBA Applications

International Business Experience Could Make All the Difference in Your MBA Applications

There’s no arguing that the world is getting smaller.  Technology has finally connected just about any remote part of the globe which until just a few years ago, still operated in many cases as if in the dark ages.  Even in the remotest villages of Africa, we now find cell phones and smart phones.  Where we once had to fly to client locations to meet “face to face,” we can now meet remotely via telepresence, which has become as easy as finding a mobile connection.

Find Out Why Right Now is the Best Time for You to Apply to Business School

Find Out Why Right Now is the Best Time for You to Apply to Business School

We get lots of questions from applicants about the best time to return to business school.  While this is certainly an individual assessment, and one size does not fit all, from an admissions perspective, there are good seasons and bad seasons to maximize your odds of acceptance.

Six years ago, during a time none of us will soon forget, the air was let out of the economy.  A similar rushing sound was also heard in the country’s top business schools, but it was the sound of people rushing in.  Applications peaked the next year as everyone ran to hide from old man recession for two years in hopes the job market would come back while they were getting smarter and checking the graduate school box.

3 Ways to Get Into the Stanford GSB MSx Program

3 Ways to Get Into the Stanford GSB MSx Program

The Stanford MSx program, previously known as the Stanford Sloan Master’s Program, is the one-year, full time Masters of Science program for experienced professionals.  Ok, so the program is not really new, but is experiencing a huge uptick in interest from business school applicants.

Stanford’s traditional MBA program is the only one in the world with an acceptance rate and average work experience both in the single digits; so experienced applicants have started flocking to this alternative option in droves.  Make no mistake, though, “alternative” does not mean “easy!”

Do You Need More Work Experience before Submitting a Strong Business School Application?

Do You Need More Work Experience before Submitting a Strong Business School Application?

Often clients are confused when trying to determine if they have gathered enough work experience to return to business school.  Certainly it takes a few laps around the proverbial block to gather enough real world knowledge to be valuable in a classroom discussion—this is why B-schools require you to come with work experience.

Can I Get Accepted into Harvard, Stanford, or Wharton with a 650 GMAT Score?

Can I Get Accepted into Harvard, Stanford, or Wharton with a 650 GMAT Score?

Yes you can.

But it becomes statistically less and less likely every year.  One thing is certain:  there are a lot of folks out there who have cracked the code on the formidable GMAT exam and scores continue to rise to stratospheric levels, pushing the average up of course.  Most schools publish the percentages of each level of the GMAT who gain admission every year, but these three schools, often considered the “holy grail” of b-schools, are exceptions.

How to Write the Best Essay for Your MBA Applications

How to Write the Best Essay for Your MBA Applications

Having graduated from a top MBA program as a non-native English speaker, I still remember being quite worried about the MBA application, fearing that my English was not sophisticated enough. So I focused on improving my writing skills by doing just that – writing.

Now as a Veritas Prep School Specialist, I have found working with my clients that there are a few common essay-writing pitfalls.

How to Navigate the Waitlist for MBA Admission

How to Navigate the Waitlist for MBA Admission

Earlier this week, we talked about what it means to be on the waitlist. Today, we’ll go into more detail on what you can do if you’re on the waitlist. Despite the name “waitlist,” there are several things you can do besides simply wait for your dream school to call.  From a strategic standpoint, sitting in a state of limbo gives you the opportunity to improve your profile or status as a candidate, and such improvements can and should be communicated to the admissions committees.

What It Means to Be on the Waitlist for MBA Admission

What It Means to Be on the Waitlist for MBA Admission

This time of year, many applicants find themselves stuck in the waitlist process at one or more schools, which can be a very slow and painful waiting period.   Not only are you competing for fewer and fewer seats, you are doing so against everyone on the waitlist all the way back from round one as well as any fresh, new applicants from the final rounds.

Should I Apply for My MBA in Round 3 or Wait Until Round 1?

Should I Apply for My MBA in Round 3 or Wait Until Round 1?

Round three is commonly thought of as the most competitive round, where applicants vie for the few remaining seats in coveted programs along with some of the most highly qualified candidates of the season.  Because these well qualified candidates know they will be desirable to the adcoms, they often wait until the last possible minute, since there appears to be a correlation between highly successful business achievers and the lack of free time on their schedules to complete applications.

3 Reasons to Wait Until Round 1 to Apply for Your MBA

3 Reasons to Wait Until Round 1 to Apply for Your MBA

Most of the top U.S. business schools accept students in two or three rounds. Applicants are not always sure in which round to apply, and when they make a decision, they usually underestimate the time it takes to put together a solid application.

Applying for an MBA is not like applying for a job. A well-rounded application not only needs quantitative data such as undergraduate grades and test scores, but also needs an accurate depiction of your qualitative traits, which are usually shown through your essays, letters of recommendation, CV and extracurricular activities.