Archive : MBA Admissions

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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.

How to Overcome the Disadvantages of Applying to Business School in Round 3

How to Overcome the Disadvantages of Applying to Business School in Round 3

If you have decided you will take the plunge and apply to school in Round three, there are a few things you need to know.  First and foremost, you must realize the odds of admission go dramatically down in round three because of the relatively few number of slots that remain.  This is simple mathematics—the lower the seat count, the more competitive it is to get one of them—think of it as musical chairs with way more people than chairs.

Take the 2014 MBA Applicant Survey and Win $500!

Take the 2014 MBA Applicant Survey and Win $500!

It’s that time of year again! The Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) has launched the 2014 edition of its business school applicant survey. If you are applying to business school now, or have recently been admitted and plan on starting an MBA program in 2014, you could win $500 just for spending 5 minutes completing this survey!

Applying for Your MBA in the 3rd Round? Check out Our Round 3 Application Guarantee!

Applying for Your MBA in the 3rd Round? Check out Our Round 3 Application Guarantee!

We find that many applicants consider applying for top MBA programs in the 3rd or final round, but hesitate because they feel there is absolutely no chance for them to be admitted. It’s true that 90% or more of the spots in an MBA class are already taken, but Veritas Prep has a proven track record of success for successful Round 3 applications.

How to Select the Right MBA Program for You

How to Select the Right MBA Program for You

Just as the quality of a stage production or musical performance depends on all of the work that went into months and months of rehearsal before the performance, how successful you are in your business school applications depends a great deal on all of the work you do before you ever start drafting an essay. Remember that your application is a mere snapshot of who you are (and how well you can present yourself) at one point in time. How well that message will be received will partly depend on whether you’re targeting the right schools, and how well MBA admissions officers at those schools see a good fit between you and their institution. And this comes down to knowing how to select the right MBA program for you.

Is Applying to Business School in Round 3 a Good Idea?

Is Applying to Business School in Round 3 a Good Idea?

The final round of the business school application process is often referred to as “no-man’s land,” with scarce slots still left for b-school hopefuls and time literally running out.  Still, there are many who end up applying in round three, some who simply put off the process because they were busy in the fall, or perhaps others who were rejected in round one and are trying one last time.   But is it a good idea?

How Much Time Should You Spend on Your MBA Applications?

How Much Time Should You Spend on Your MBA Applications?

Inevitably there are applicants each season who decide rather late in the game to apply to business school.  While it’s hard to believe for those who spend months or even years preparing themselves specifically for a run at top schools, due to career focus or simple procrastination, some applicants find themselves with a short window before due dates pass.

What to Know About the Off Campus MBA Interview

What to Know About the Off Campus MBA Interview

Having just completed an extensive overview of MBA interviewing, it occurred to me I forgot to address an area which affects a large portion of applicants:  the off-campus interview.  While it’s always preferable to do the interview on campus, due to travel and scheduling complications, most schools will make alternatives available, the most common of which being the off-campus alumni interview or the dreaded phone or Skype interview (you can probably tell which is my least recommended option!).

The Importance of Self Reflection Before your MBA Admissions Interview

The Importance of Self Reflection Before your MBA Admissions Interview

As we wrap up our dissection of the business school interview, we cannot over-emphasize the importance of self reflection.  Make sure you are spending time not only recalling your work history and personal experiences, but how they have shaped you and why you have made decisions in the past.  Getting to the why is the most revealing part of the questions which may include:

6 Unexpected Questions You May Get Asked in Your MBA Admissions Interview

6 Unexpected Questions You May Get Asked in Your MBA Admissions Interview

We continue today with another post in our MBA interview series. When interviewing, applicants are generally prepared for the obvious questions, but what about the tougher questions?  It would behoove you to ponder some of the following questions, which have been known to trip up even the most prepared applicants:

Prepare for Your MBA Interview: 5 Important Questions

Prepare for Your MBA Interview: 5 Important Questions

In this continuing series on the all-important interview, we discuss more questions which are typically heard during business school admissions interviews including:

11 Questions You Might Hear in Your MBA Admissions Interview

11 Questions You Might Hear in Your MBA Admissions Interview

We always get asked what kinds of questions to expect from interviewers, so I have compiled an introductory list of eleven which you might hear as you sit in various b-school interview sessions as well as what they are “really” asking:

1.   Walk me through your resume

How to Prepare for a Business School Admissions Interview

How to Prepare for a Business School Admissions Interview

Business School admissions interviewing can be nerve-wracking to say the least.  Everything you have worked your entire career for is on the line as you sit and sweat, waiting in your target school’s office for the one shot you will have to make a case in person for a seat in business school.

But if you do find yourself in this situation, consider yourself one of the lucky ones, since only about 20% of applicants are invited to interview at top schools. The better news is, about 50% of the interviewees are admitted on average!  While that still puts you in a precarious tie with a coin-flip, it’s still far better than the low double or even single digit percentage of general applicants who are admitted.

3 Ways to Improve Your Work Experience: Part III

3 Ways to Improve Your Work Experience: Part III

Previously, we covered two strategies to improve the perceived quality of your work experience, wherever you are. The first and fastest was asking for budget. The second and slower was finding subordinates.

3 Ways to Improve Your Work Experience: Part II

3 Ways to Improve Your Work Experience: Part II

Previously, we discussed probably the easiest and fastest single factor that you can proactively do to gain impressiveness with your work experience. That was to ask for budget.

3 Ways to Improve Your Work Experience

3 Ways to Improve Your Work Experience

Business schools have a very difficult problem. For most intents and purposes, their applicant pools are junior business acolytes whose days usually consist of menial desk labor at the beck and call of a perhaps marginal superior. The issue is that it is very difficult to separate a good candidate from a bad one among a pool of people doing this type of work.

When Should You Submit Your MBA Applications?

When Should You Submit Your MBA Applications?

With application deadlines upon us, the question sometimes surfaces about whether or not there is any strategy around when to submit your application.  To answer this, you must first determine if your school is accepting applications on a rolling admissions basis or a rounds/deadline basis.  A rolling admissions calendar accepts and considers applications as they are submitted, and then they return a decision to the applicant as soon as that decision is made, most often within a few weeks of submission.

3 Advantages to Applying Through the Consortium

3 Advantages to Applying Through the Consortium

In 1966, a professor at Washington University, Sterling Schoen created The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management in order to give African American men the business skills they needed to secure positions in American corporations.  Just two years after the Civil Rights Movement, this was a bold endeavor, and one whose impact is stronger than ever today.

How to Stand Out in Your MBA Applications

How to Stand Out in Your MBA Applications

It’s getting more and more difficult to stand out these days.    It sometimes seems as if everyone meanders through life with the same or similar routine, all doing the same or similar thing, so when it comes time to differentiate yourself in your b-school application, how do you pull it off?

When to Use the Optional Essay in MBA Applications

When to Use the Optional Essay in MBA Applications

Many schools have become super restrictive on how many essays they allow you to submit.  The crushing numbers of applicants has forced schools to streamline the evaluation process and they simply do not have the staff or time to read 1000 word essays from everyone.

Harvard, as an extreme example, actually has no required essays as part of this year’s application!  They allow you to submit one essay if you like, but it’s not technically a requirement for consideration as an MBA applicant.  While we don’t recommend you submit to HBS without leveraging the essay, this shift in the process highlights the fact that every word does indeed count.

How to Think Like an Admissions Committee Member: Part III

How to Think Like an Admissions Committee Member: Part III

In this final post about how to think like an admissions committee member, we should discuss how to let your personality shine through. First, be sure to take a look at Part I and Part II from this mini-series.

How to Think Like an Admissions Committee Member: Part II

How to Think Like an Admissions Committee Member: Part II

I outlined in my previous post how to frame your stories around some key attributes that all business schools are looking for. But the natural question to ask is, “how can I stand out when everyone is demonstrating the same attributes?” This is where the personal story comes in.

Show Leadership in Your MBA Applications

Show Leadership in Your MBA Applications

Like beauty, leadership is often desired but hard to figure out for those who do not have it.

Even among experts, the exact definition of leadership is quite murky, like the exact expert definition of beauty. Entire careers have been dedicated to the study of leadership and it is probably a concept that changes depending on the context. Military leadership, for example, is probably quite a different matter from business leadership or intellectual leadership, despite areas of possible overlap.

Should Women Skip Business School?

Should Women Skip Business School?

In a recent opinion piece in the New Yorker titled “Why Women Should Skip Business School”, author Laura Hemphill argues that, since women are far more likely to experience a career interruption (usually because of having kids) than men, they should work as much as possible while they’re young and aren’t get juggling family obligations. Make money and get far ahead now, she argues, and you’ll have more options later on than you will with an MBA.

How to Think Like an Admissions Committee Member

How to Think Like an Admissions Committee Member

Reverse engineering is an amazing process.  Why reinvent the wheel when you can pick apart someone else’s expertise to inspire you or lead you in the right direction?  While this concept is largely applied in the technology and manufacturing world, it can be readily utilized in your business school application process as well.

In Which Round Should You Apply for Your MBA?

In Which Round Should You Apply for Your MBA?

With precious little time between the release of the applications from business schools and the application deadlines in the first round (or even earlier for early decision rounds) we often see clients vexing over whether or not to push off an application to subsequent rounds.  This leads to natural questions about whether this is a good strategy, a bad strategy, or a neutral decision.

3 Factors to Consider in Choosing a Business School: Part III

3 Factors to Consider in Choosing a Business School: Part III

Last week, we began a 3-part series exploring a few factors to consider when choosing a business school. The first two factors include location and career services.

What Should Your Recommenders Say About You?

What Should Your Recommenders Say About You?

Now that applications have been released, many clients are beginning to reach out to their recommenders.  We often get questions about the best approach to ensuring this portion of your application is the best it can be, so I thought it would be helpful to give you some tips for working with your recommenders so your end result is just that.  I have written other articles on how to wisely choose your recommenders, so I will assume you have done that part already.

3 Factors to Consider in Choosing a Business School: Part II

3 Factors to Consider in Choosing a Business School: Part II

Last week, we began a 3-part series exploring a few factors to consider when choosing a business school. The first factor to consider is location, and today we’ll take a look at the second factor, which is the career services provided by different institutions.