While the fundamental principles of business never change, it has an inherently fluid nature. The idea is simple: you must adapt to survive. Big players like Google, Intel and Facebook have been drawing MBAs into the Silicon Valley at a steadily-increasing rate for years, however, startup companies are now also garnering a unique attraction for MBAs with brand new degrees and strong desires for innovative and creative opportunities, as well.
Archive : MBA AdmissionsRSS feed
The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has always taken a holistic view of their application process and the criteria with which it assesses candidates. Before diving head-first into the application process, candidates should review the evaluation criteria that the school has publicly communicated.
Is it a twenty million dollar marketing gimmick? Or is it simply the “most innovative business school in the world” being the most innovative business school in the world? Arizona State University’s Carey School of Business has announced that a MBA from their school will now come free of charge, no strings attached.
You have spent considerable time collecting valuable work experience since college and even more time reflecting back on this experience as you prepare to apply to business school, possibly even making notes or an outline on how you plan to ideally relate your story to the admissions committees. Now that the application season is well underway, your stomach sinks as you see your target school has put a 250 character limit on describing your post-MBA goals, or a 400 word limit on explaining why you want to go to their school. Worse yet, your aspirations for Harvard Business School begin to wane as you see their one essay this year has no posted word limit—is this a trick?
One of the most competitive MBA applicant pools year-in and year-out is the vast crop of talented applicants originating from the subcontinent of India. Every year, top business schools are flooded with qualified Indian applicants that present a bevy of challenging decisions for admissions committees around the world. If you’re a member of the Indian applicant pool, it is important to understand how the admission committee will view you – having a good handle on this can help a smart applicant properly strategize on producing a “winning” application.
Fall is a very busy time, whether or not you are adding b-school applications to your agenda. Football games abound; the summer weather breaks, providing more opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking or viewing the changing foliage. Additionally, work on the job often picks up in the fall, since many corporations operate their fiscal year in sync with the calendar year.
Most schools require two recommendations, and the typical approach is to use a current and former supervisor to do them. But sometimes this is either not practical or not ideal, in which case it might make sense to approach a former professor. We frequently receive questions about recommendations, one of the most common of which is, “Should I use a professor as a recommender?” The answer to this is not straightforward, and can be best encapsulated with “it depends.”
Whether you’re the applicant who has never taken an analytical class in your life, trying to account for a low GPA in college or just trying to refresh your memory on some dated concepts from your academic past, taking pre-MBA coursework is a great way to prep for Day One in business school. There are many different options when it comes to which classes you should take – popular and valuable business school classes like marketing and strategy may not be the best use of your time during application season.
Everyone has their dream school, and of course everyone ends up only attending one school, however, unless you are super confident of your admissibility, you will likely end up applying to several schools. Even the most qualified candidates submit more than one application, if not for any other reason than they want to have a choice of schools. Once you have decided to apply to business school, and carved out enough time to spend on applications, the next step is to decide how many applications to submit. But what are the criteria you are using to make this decision?
A new resource has recently gained prominence in the business school application process amongst enterprising MBA candidates. With candidates always looking for an edge during application season, the UCLA Extension has provided a nice option for students looking to improve their chances of admission.
Leadership of the business world and business schools came together at the White House in August to address the need for policies and programs that work to create opportunities for women and work better for families as a whole. From this meeting, an outline of the best practices discussed emerged to guide business schools in better meeting both current and future needs of students.
What makes the ideal business school student? Is there even such a thing? Well the folks who bring you the GMAT wanted to find out. The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) asked 650 graduate business school programs what make the ideal applicant for their school. Each school listed three adjectives to describe that applicant, and their responses might surprise you: the most common responses were “motivated,” “driven,” and “experienced.” What do business schools mean when they talk about these qualities? Let’s break down each one:
There are many touchpoints in the MBA application process. From the GMAT to the essays to the resume, each aspect plays an important role in gaining admission into your target program, as well as prepares you to flourish in Year 1 as a student. No application package is perfect and many candidates recognize holes within their profile that cannot be addressed entirely through the aforementioned typical application points.
First, you must recognize that business schools are unique compared to other graduate schools in that they generally require real world experience prior to matriculation. If you think about law school, medical school or just about any other occupational education, it is most common to simply take on the degree as a continuation of your current academic career. As a potential applicant to business school, however, you likely have noticed most schools have an average work experience figure approaching 5 years.
Before you dive in, take a look at Part 1 of this post!
If you have decided to give it another attempt at a school where you were rejected, one of the most valuable things you can seek is feedback on why you didn’t make the cut last time. Some schools will actually provide this information if you ask for it, so don’t be shy about reaching out to them.
With the recent release of 2015 MBA applications, you may be considering trying again at a school where you were rejected last year. Schools are generally encouraging with re-applicants, but it’s a good idea to also come up with a plan B for this go-round. It’s fine to re-apply to your dream school, but you if you happen to get rejected again, you need to have a fallback this time — a program you’d be satisfied attending even if it’s not your top choice.
One thing we generally recommend to clients is to use a matrix to ensure you are communicating a balance of core essentials to the admissions committees. If you use this approach, you will be much more organized as you apply and will also be able to quickly ascertain where you may be coming up short. How does this work? We view the four core essentials of a perfect application as the following: Leadership, Innovation, Maturity, and Teamwork. These are the four critical areas that all business schools desire to see in their applicants.
The process of applying to business school involves several steps: filling out an admissions application, writing an essay, and submitting GMAT or GRE scores are just a few of them. Another important step is the admissions interview. An interview allows business school admissions officials to get a look at the student behind the application. It also gives students the chance to ask the admissions officials a few questions about the school and it’s MBA program.
With the recent changes in the 2015 Harvard Business School application, it is clear that shortening the number of essays is a trend that is here to stay. With only one essay again on the HBS application this year, it is becoming more important than ever to not only communicate effectively and concisely, but also to leverage the balance of the application (and of course the interview) to stand out from the crowd.
Collectively, you and everyone you graduated with from your institution are alumni. Alumni is the latin plural form of a word that originally meant foster son or pupil. Everyone who graduated from your school is a former pupil or “foster son” (or daughter) of that institution. You might even have a sticker on your car that says “State U Alumni,” which is a nod to everyone who graduated as an entire group, male and female alike.
Deciding when to apply to business school can often get applicants twisted up, as they attempt to inject strategy into the process. We can speak more specifically to this strategy in another post, but it also makes sense to talk about early action. It seems more and more schools have an early action option which throws yet another wrench in the round one vs. round two vs. round three discussion.
This time of year, the biggest question I get from clients seems to be which business schools they should be targeting for application. We understand that with so many choices out there, both domestically (in the US) and internationally, it can be a bit overwhelming. Time and time again, we find ourselves having to remind everyone of the one key word to focus on when choosing schools: FIT.
Application season at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business is officially underway with the release of the school’s 2015-2016 essay questions. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach these new essay prompts. With all of your essays for Fuqua, treat your responses holistically and try to paint a complete picture of your candidacy. This post will focus on the actual required essay prompts but keep in mind, Fuqua does also have three required short answers focused on career goals, so it makes sense to limit those discussions to that that section.
With a fairly consistent test format for more than fifty years, the Graduate Management Admissions Council revamped the test a couple of years ago with new assessments. Most recently, the Integrated Reasoning Section, a 30-minute portion of the GMAT made up of 12 questions, was designed to measure one’s ability to discern patterns and combine verbal and quantitative reasoning so solve problems.
So many applicants these days look alike on paper in terms of experience, education, test scores and outside involvement, that even highly qualified candidates get lost in the shuffle. We all think we’re pretty unique until we find out that the next guy also volunteered at a similar NGO, or was promoted to VP before his colleagues. Particularly if you come from a feeder industry such as banking, finance or technology/engineering, it gets harder every year to stand out.
Applying to business school can be a very daunting experience for the uninitiated. With so many different programs, specialties, and teaching styles, knowing how to get started in the process is an area that many applicants struggle with. Should you start with school research or extra coursework? Ordering your transcripts from your undergrad institution or reaching out to current students for a chat?
Application season at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business is officially underway with the release of the school’s 2015-2016 MBA admission essay questions. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach these new essay prompts. There is only one required essay question this year, but an additional “optional” essay that candidates should strongly consider addressing is also presented.
Application season at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business is officially underway with the release of the school’s 2015-2016 essay questions. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach these new essay prompts. With all of your essays for Tuck, treat your responses holistically and try to paint a complete picture of your candidacy within the school-specific suite of essay questions.
One of the biggest complaints admissions committees have with submitted packages is the lack of school-specific references within an application. MBA programs are looking for applicants to showcase why their school is uniquely tailored to help the applicant reach their development goals – what schools receive instead are ill-tailored, non-customized packages that don’t distinguish one candidate from the next.
Schools have gotten increasingly stingy over the years on how much information they are willing to accept from applicants. Partly due to the increase in applications to top schools (making it onerous to review everyone’s application in full), and partly due to the wide range of responses schools were receiving (making it difficult to compare applicants), the overall application, including the essay word counts, has been trimmed.
Application season at the Haas School of Business is officially underway with the release of the school’s 2015-2016 essay questions. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach these new essay prompts. Haas has three required essays, so keep in mind how you plan to balance out your narratives across them all.
Application season at the Yale School of Management is officially underway with the release of the school’s 2015-2016 essay question. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach this year’s single essay prompt from Yale:
The Yale School of Management educates individuals who will have deep and lasting impacts on the organizations they lead. Describe how you have positively influenced an organization as an employee, a member, or an outside constituent (500 words maximum).
Obtaining an MBA degree is one of the most transformative experiences that a businessperson can undertake. Many articles are written that tout the value of this degree, with current MBA students and alums reflecting on the beneficial impact business school has had on both their professional and personal lives and all of the good reasons one should pursue an MBA. But is this degree for everyone?
I currently work at a top business school and am therefore able to keep my finger right on the pulse of b-school trends. Earlier this week, I had a discussion with our Director of Admissions about the GRE. It seems that over the past several years, there has been a subtle migration away from GMAT exclusivity among the top b-schools for several reasons.
In many of the great business school application essays, candidates who are able to leverage creative writing tactics as the baseline for their essay responses create breakthrough essays. Now business school essays should remain polished and professional, but breakthrough essays tend to create a compelling and visual portrait of the situation and circumstances addressed with a response to an essay prompt.