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Starting my admission journey next week, aiming top US BS. I have read a lot of information on this website, but to be on the safe side, I also decided to get some books from professionals and insiders:
Secrets to Getting into Business School: 100 Proven Admissions Strategies to Get You Accepted at the MBA Program of Your Dreams - Brandon Royal, 2010
MBA Admissions Strategy: From Profile Building to Essay Writing - Avi Gordon, 2005
The Best Business Schools' Admissions Secrets: A Former Harvard Business School Admissions Board Member Reveals the Insider Keys to Getting In - Chioma Isiadinso, 2008
How To Get Into the Top MBA Programs, 4th Edition - J.D., Richard Montauk, 2007
Your MBA Game Plan: Proven Strategies for Getting into the Top Business Schools - Omari Bouknight, 2007
65 Successful Harvard Business School Application Essays, Second Edition: With Analysis by the Staff of The Harbus, the Harvard Business School Newspaper - The Harbus, 2009
Is the list too long, if I am applying for the first round this fall (first deadline 1st of October)? Anything that should be excluded from the list? Any recommendations?
I used the Montauk book as a way to get a better understanding of the process from start to finish, and then again to help me prep for interviews, but I honestly didn't look at it much throughout the writing process.
I found the 65 Successful HBS Application Essays really useful--similar to a book I used for undergrad. Useful for all schools, not HBS, because it gives you an idea of different ways you can tackle essays creatively.
Totally your preference, but using *all* of these books you listed might be overkill--you might be better served only buying 2 or 3 and saving the other money for your applications or GMAT. But again, that's up to you
Well, I was tempted to get all of those because they are so inexpensive, just over 100 dollars for all of them. And I also have read reviews for these books, and each one gets the "must-have" reviews. Montauk is classsic, I just don't want to miss anything that all the others know. Harvard insider is also quite tempting. Brandon Royal was published a couple of months ago, might add some current day touch. Gordon and Bouknight, I guess, might be skipped really, however I've seen recommendations to use these together with Montauk, as they complement each other.
The Montauk is a great reference, although I think there may be a newer edition, and the HBS essays book can be helpful to give you a sense of how people write essays. The admissions strategies book is probably going to have a lot of overlap with Montauk, but there may be some other helpful info. I'd cut out the "secrets" books - there's really nothing that's in those books that you won't find in Montauk or by asking the adcom directly. Business schools don't really make a secret of what they're looking for, and between adcom and current students there's really no shortage of free resources to find that information out.
Thanks for advice. Finally I got 4 books: Harvard essays, Montauk, and 2 cheaper guides with really excellent recommendations by readers, one by ex-Harvard admissions board member and another one which promises a different approach. I have cut the total price by two, but was suprised by really unfavorable exchange rate.
I like Montauk's book for reference more than anything. One of the most useful books I found (and I've read or skimmed over pretty much all the books on your list) is the one by Paul Bodine
I second what ariel said. I didn't buy Montauk because it was relatively expensive, but skimmed over parts of it as reference in the book store. I purchased and used game plan throughout the process. I also bought the book by the ex-HBS adcom, but found myself referring to game plan more often. I skimmed the bodine essay book at the store, and it looked good, but I was so late in the process that I wouldn't have time to digest it all before doing my apps. I'd recommend game plan + bodine essays for future applicants.
I believe I've posted this somewhere on this forum, but I found this to be a super helpful to provide to those writing recommendations - and if you end up having to write one for yourself.
Those books are all helpful to get you started. One warning though - lots of applicants read those books and you can fall into a trap of writing essays that sound just like everyone else's. Use these as a guide, but stay true to your style and to yourself (not trying to sound cliche). As has already been noted, there is no secret to getting in. You've got to tell a compelling story about yourself using your entire application.
Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).
Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
The best book I've ever read is MBA Admissions Strategy by Avi Gordon. I'm only disappointed that I didn't write this book myself because it is so good. It doesn't give you essay examples per se but does help you strategize and structure your essays.
If you guys are interested in admissions/essay books one site that I've used a couple of times is called EssayScoop. You can search them on google and find them pretty easily. It's like essay books but in a website format. They have some cool essays you can probably check out for examples. I think it's still fairly new though but a couple of my friends have used it and found it helpful.