My girlfriend and I are applying for business school this coming fall. Given that many top US business schools emphasize the fact that each of their students is unique, we are concerned that our similar professional backgrounds (see below) will make it difficult for us to get accepted to the same school. Does anyone have any idea whether or not this will be a problem? Should we apply to different schools? Any suggestions for what strategy we might use?
Nationality: New Zealand
Undergraduate Major : Spanish & Psychology
Post College Work:
- Financial Analyst Investment Banking Morgan Stanley in NY (2 years)
- Co-founder & Managing Director of of start-up (3 years)
Specials: Summa Cum Laude
Undergrad Major: Economics & Mathematics
Post College Work:
- Financial Analyst Investment Banking Salomon Smith Barney in NY (2 years)
- Founder & Managing Director of start-up (3 years)
Specials: Professional athlete (pre-college)
Thanks in advance for your advice and feedback.
Alain, to me your personal backgrounds don't look that similar at all. One of you is Swiss, more quantitativley inclined, and athletic. The other is from New Zealand and majored in Spanish and psychology. Those are differences.
Your professional background is similar, but I suspect that the particulars of your responsibilities will also help to distinguish you. For example, assuming that you are both managing directors of the same start-up, you probably did not have identical responsibilities and do exactly the same thing. Show how you achieved certain goals and your girlfriend accomplished others. Although it may be a little more difficult at Morgan Stanley if you worked on projects together, the goal would be the same.
You should have no trouble distinguishing your personal and educational backgrounds. For your professional backgrounds, the details will make the difference. For a brief article on using details to distinguish yourself, please see "The Devil is in the Details."
The following article may also be of help to you:
MBA Admissions: Application Advice for Investment Bankers
Finally, our ebook, The Finance Professional's Guide to MBA Admissions Success
talks a lot about how investments bankers should distinguish themselves from other investment bankers in the admissions process.
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