Find all School-related info fast with the new School-Specific MBA Forum

It is currently 16 Apr 2014, 23:07

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Events & Promotions

Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
TAGS:
29 KUDOS received
Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 12 Sep 2011
Posts: 900
Concentration: Finance, Finance
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
Followers: 111

Kudos [?]: 523 [29] , given: 114

GMAT Tests User
BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 05 Jun 2012, 09:00
29
This post received
KUDOS
During GMAT Club's existence, we've had the pleasure of helping many students achieve their dreams of attending a top business school. During that time, many of these members have contributed their best application tips and advice once they've completed their applications. Use this thread of quotes to learn from some of our most successful members what it takes to build a top application!

The thread is broken into 5 sections:
  • Essay Tips
  • Application Tips
  • General Advice
  • Interview Tips
  • Resume Tips


Have questions or suggestions to improve this thread? Would you like to add your own tips? Please PM me.


Essay Tips

Quote:
1. Be as specific as possible when it comes to career goals in your essays. Show the adcom that you have done a ton of research on the firms you want to work for and the industry you want to work in. My early apps said 'I want to do investment banking', while my later apps (i.e. the ones I got in with) said 'I want to do technology investment banking focused on SaaS companies because this is an emerging area of technology. I want to work at Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, or Thomas Wiesel due to their immense domain expertise and market leading position in this area...". The second sentance got me into Texas and Kellogg, while the first one got me dinged from UCLA and Chicago w/o interview. You do the math.

2. Your 2nd app will be better than your 1st, your 3rd better than your 2nd, etc. Don't do your dream school first. Maybe even wait for the 2nd round for your dream school. I know that requires some serious patience, but it may be worth waiting. At some point you'll see diminishing returns, but until you reach that point put off your all-star schools.

3. This may not be a universal opinion, but i say interview on campus whenever possible because if you really knock the interview out of the park, then you have a real live person sitting there in meetings pulling for you. If you interview with an alum, this excitement may not be as evident and could get lost in translation. It's always a good thing to have an AdCom on your side in admission decision meetings saying, "yup, this guy/gal was a pleasure and a joy to meet with. They certainly have my vote. I think we should definitely admit them." That can only work in your favor."

jb32
Kellogg



Quote:
It's all about the essays.

My R1 was a disaster. I got an interview invite to Chicago, and nothing from Stanford and Berkeley. R2 was the exact opposite. Admits to Kellogg, UCLA and my safety school, Wisconsin, gave me full ride plus huge stipend.

This is what I figured out given my analysis of my essays combined with the results of my apps.

1. Have a story
-My Chicago story was about critical thinking and self-growth
-My UCLA story was about pursuing your dreams instead of doing what you should
-My Kellogg story was about self-discovery and redemption
-Stanford and Haas had no unifying theme, even though some of the individual essays were among my best ones (especially Stanford's what is important to you and why)

2. Have clear goals
-Chicago, Stanford, and Berkeley all fell short in this regard - my goals were totally abstract and unachievable
-UCLA had clear goals which fit my story
-Kellogg had clear goals that completed my story

3. Personalize your weaknesses and illustrate your strengths
-in my case, my greatest strength was also my greatest weakness (international experience, but no conventional business experience)
-For Stanford and Haas, I didn't really talk about the dark side at all, and simply listed my strengths
-While Chicago also did not address my weaknesses, it was also by far the most explicit of my round 1 apps in highlighting my strengths (in part thanks to the Powerpoint). That said, I fell apart at this point during the interview
-My UCLA's essays failed to address my weaknesses, but I covered it during my interview (which was after I figured it all out while doing my Kellogg app). UCLA's essays were also explicit in addressing my strengths (again I was helped by the audio recording)
-Kellogg is where it all came together. I illustrated my strengths in my best essay of the season, and also acknowledged the dark side in one of the most personal essays I have ever written. I was literally in tears when I proofread it. The only reason I did it - and the reason I'm writing this to save you from my struggles - is because I was desperate. I was dinged or on the verge of being dinged from all my R1 schools, my proofreader told me (accurately) that my essays sucked, and I had no choice but to write from the heart.

So I guess that's the biggest thing. Be honest. First and foremost, be honest with yourself. Don't dwell on your weaknesses, but do address them, preferably as personally as possible. Be proud of your strengths, but don't write about them, ILLUSTRATE them. And tie them all together with goals that address your weaknesses and are tailored to your strengths. I am fully confident I would get an interview to every school I applied to next year if I did it again. That's how much better my R2 essays were...

So to sum up:
Chicago - 1.5 out of 3 - dinged with interview
Berkeley and Stanford - 0 out of 3 - no interview
UCLA - 2 out of 3 - admitted
Kellogg - 3 out of 3 – admitted"

Monkbent
Kellogg



Quote:
1. When you're told to be specific in your career goals, how specific did you really get ?
I didn't identify specific job titles I wanted but did describe the type of short and long term functions I wanted, at specific types of firms. In my case, it was something like "lead strategic planning and business development at firms that specialize in xyz".

2. To what extent did you go to explain WHY you had the career goals you do, if at all?
I explained the "why" behind my career goals. Depending on the essay length, I used anywhere between one and three sentences to show that it was a long term interest (ie not a goal that sounded good on apps), show why I'd been passionate about my field (healthcare) for a long period of time. I also thought it would be a good way to distinguish myself from other applicants interested in the same field.

3. How much did you discuss WHAT you wanted to do in your position(s) post-MBA?
So the Duke "leader of consequence" essay was mostly around What I wanted to do. For other essays, I spent maybe 1-2 paragraphs discussing long term career goals. The "what" discussion was part of that.

4. When you tie school resources into your essays (i.e. to answer the 'why our school' question), how did you go about doing that ? Did you simply mention a few clubs and classes, mention your discussions with alumni/current students?
Nearly every essay had an element of "why x" in it. In reviewing each school's essay set (that is all the essays pulled together for that school), across the essays, I covered: professors + specific classes, clubs I'd want to lead, clubs I'd want to start, relevant alumni, misc other benefits of the school (e.g. "tight-knit community" for Tuck). I hadn't spoken with too many current students, so I didn't mention them in essays. I did bring them up in the interviews though. (That also helped ensure that my interviews weren't a rehash of my essays but instead contributed new information to my application)

5. How much did you get into your past work experience? I know that youre supposed to do this and draw a clear line between what you have, and what you want, in terms of goals, but some questions, like LBS's essay 1 question, dont give you too much room to really get into it, given the question:
In what role do you see yourself working immediately after graduation? Why? How will your past and present experiences help you achieve this? How will the London Business School MBA Programme contribute to this goal? Why is this the right time for you to pursue an MBA? (600 words)
A LOT. By the end, I had paragraphs that gave the 45-second view of my career path and key accomplishments, as well as longer anecdotal ones that went into specific examples of leadership/mentoring/obstacles/etc. In the LBS essay, I'd spend something like 150 words on post-graduation goals, 200 words on past/present WE, 200 on why LBS.

isa
Kellogg



Quote:
I will give a similar seemingly contradictory advice.

1) You are better than you think you are.
2) You are worse than you think you are.

On your worse days, when everything you write seems to come out like gibberish, or every GMAT question seem insolvable, etc., keep in mind the first piece of advice. There's a lot to tell from even the smallest accomplishments, encounters, and experiences.

On your best days, when you feel you're not just writing the best application essay, but you think you'll become the next great author, keep in mind the second piece of advice. Many people with amazing achievements have applied to business schools, so don't even think about impressing the AdCom with achievements alone. The only way you can wow the AdCom is write from your own unique perspective, which can only be achieved by being completely honest.

xenok
Booth



Quote:
One thing that kept coming up over and over during this long app season, with friends, on forums, even for myself, is CAREER GOALS. Very very important! Only when I updated my career goals did I get accepted from the waitlist.

It seems many applicants spend most of their time and energy on explaining who they are and their past and why this school, but overlook the future and making meaningful and realistic career goals, which may be the most important part. When I updated my goals, they went from being very general and rather broad, to being very very specific, I'm talking specific to the point of company names, programs, and positions.

To get even just a few sentences of detailed career goals required weeks of research, maybe why many overlook it. I read hundreds of pages about my target industry and target specializations within it, I had to speak to many current MBA students in that track, and even spoke to successful executives in that field, etc, etc. Very time-consuming, but VERY important.

By pinning you down to very specific goals, the school can insure that you are a planned person on the path to success. Also, they can lump you into a demographic for their class diversity. So be careful about choosing a goal that is common, as you may place yourself into the most oversubscribed demographic, as a friend who went 0-for-5 did. I have very non-traditional goals (that fit my past and present), but now that I'm in I can take a well-traveled route if I choose.
decemberblues
Ross



Quote:
My best advice is...

1. Write in your own voice (except for situations like the MIT cover letter where you should write business formal). Use humor, dialogue, an occasional colloquialism. You can get away with it as long as your grammar and spelling are perfect.
2. This sounds cheesy, but figure out what makes you unique. Whatever you're passionate about (yes, outside of your career) should be one of your main themes. During interviews you might want to talk about intellectual interests too. Art, feminism, and online privacy were all topics I explored in my essays and interviews.
3. Don't bore the adcom. I fell asleep trying to read the essays in Montauk's book. I'm sure the adcom is 100x more bored by that kind of essay because they see so many.
4. Be confident; don't be arrogant.
5. Ladies, it's good to be a bit stylish for your interviews. I think we feel more confident as young, hip professionals than we do when trying to dress like men in stiff, button-down shirts.

BigBad
Harvard



Quote:
Not sure if this qualifies as a tip, but it helped me immensely when I wrote my essays.

Turn on ‘Show Readability Statistics’ and select ‘Grammar and Style’ from the accompanying dropdown menu in Microsoft Word. You can do this by clicking on the Office button (Word 2007 onwards) -> Word Options -> Proofing.

What this does is suggest changes to the style elements of your essay, along with checking the grammar. It suggests you to change ‘but’ to ‘however’, ‘also’ to ‘in addition’ and so on depending on the context and red flags anything passive. I have this habit of writing long sentences and this tool ensured that I broke them up. At the end of all checks, it shows a couple of scales that measure how easy it is to read your essay.

You can launch the tool after enabling it by pressing Function 7 (F7) in your keyboard.

The readability stats for the last four paragraphs are:
Passive Sentences: 0%
Flesch Reading Ease: 67.7
Flesch-Kincaid Grad Level: 8.3

Here is more on the two scales mentions above: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flesch%E2% ... ading_Ease

KingShark
Stern



Quote:
My tip... be a USED CAR SALESMAN. I mean this very seriously. Think of a blend of a used car salesman (not fat white dude with 80's porn beard and yellow shirt) and a real estate agent. You want to make sure your listing matches the buyer (adcom) and then make sure your salespitch is convincing enough to get them to buy that PoShit 1988 civic with 398K miles for a premium price. In all seriousness guys... you should make sure you're selling all your best qualities and explaining why you're the right person for them to choose. Also, make sure all 3, 4, or 5 essays you're writing for each school tell the same story. Clearly they have different questions/objectives.. but when you read them each one should be a subsequent chapter of your life/story within the same book (application package).

Best of luck... stay focused, stay humble, and realize... almost everyone gets a ding

Losttravelor
Columbia


Quote:
Not sure if anyone starting the process has thought about this one too much - but really flesh out your every incident in life - from going on vacation to falling and injuring yourself like you are trying to chronicle every key moment ever - THEN, you can identify stories and relevant facts much easier just from the process of having accessed those memories recently.

I'd draw a Potteresque analogy to a Pensieve or to pulling stored memories out from the "hard drive" to the RAM / current memories!

shr30
McCombs



Application Tips

Quote:
I wanted to document and share my lessons learned over the course of this process, for whatever benefit it can have for future applicants. I'm no expert and don't have any inside information. I don't have a comprehensive system, just some tips. But if I could travel back in time nine months and give myself advice, it would be this:

1) MBA admissions is a subjective process To the extent there are "rules" or a "checklist" they are minimum necessary requirements, not sufficient reason for admission. You have to accept this and embrace it. Get used to living with uncertainty and don't let it consume you. Know what your backup plan is if you get rejected everywhere - your mind will run there during the darker moments in the process. (Mine was to stay on at current job and reapply next year.) If you don't have a backup plan, apply to multiple safeties, as that is the only way to ensure admissions. And define safety very conservatively.

2) Start early Researching schools takes time. Essay writing takes time. A lot of time. And by time, I don't mean number of hours spent in front of a computer. By time, I mean number of days where you are thinking about essays. Good essays take time to marinate in your subconscious over several weeks. The more weeks you spend thinking about essays, the more good ideas will pop into your head. You can't compress that process of good idea generation into a few months of hectic essay writing. Spread it out over as long a period as you can. Start brainstorming before essay topics even come out. Now (March 2011) is a good time to start brainstorming and planning for class of 2014 admissions. Start now and make a little progress each week. It will save you time, and stress, over the long run.

3) Be clearly unique Formulate a clear brand about who you are, why you're unique, and what unique value you would bring to an MBA class. It should be multifaceted but coherent. Build your application around that brand. Give your draft essay to a confidante and ask them to "reverse engineer" what your brand is - ie, ask them to write the 3 bullet summary of what comes across in your essays. You'll be surprised at how unclear and opaque you're actually being in communicating your brand. Themes that seem obvious to you are likely to be completely missed or at least misinterpreted by the uninitiated reader. Keep clarifying until you pass this "reverse engineering" test. If you're friends and family can't do it, a total stranger on the admissions committee definitely can't.

4) Be authentically unique Never, ever, ever write what you think they want to hear, or what other people have successfully written in the past. Admissions directors love to be surprised. They love to see something they've never seen before. And you can only find that uniqueness inside yourself. As you read these forums and other sources of information, you will be pulled towards the seductive false logic of copying other models that have proven successful. It's only natural, but it's still a losing strategy. Everyone is unique, so don't despair, even if you think you're the most boring person on earth. If you get stuck, look at the full range of your experiences, and synthesize a few key themes. There are certainly other people who have each of your individual experiences, but no one else has your exact portfolio of experiences. It's the connections and interactions between your experiences that make you unique.

5) Keep your writing simple Write like you're writing for the AP, not for the Economist. Use short, simple sentences. Don't use fancy vocabulary or jargon. If the average man on the street won't immediately grasp a concept, you have to explain it or, better yet, not use it. You want to be remembered for the content of your ideas, not the fanciness of your communication. If they're focusing on the medium they're not focusing on the message.

6) Use stories to convey leadership A very large percentage of your word count should be spent telling vivid, moment-in-time stories. Stories should be your primary venue for communicating information whenever possible. Why MBA? Tell the story of when you realized you needed an MBA. etc. Stories are powerful. Stories are primal - they play a central role in pretty much every human culture that has evolved. When we hear a story, we project ourselves into the protagonist's role. We feel what they feel. And, we fill in the gaps with our own imagination, turning a two dimensional anecdote into a three dimensional shared experience. That is why admissions readers like stories. It lets them make the "blink" (as in Malcolm Gladwell) style assessments it takes to evaluate something subjective like leadership. Some schools explicitly ask for stories, but I think it's a pretty surefire approach for most any school. Stories are the only way for admissions readers to put themselves in your shoes and understand your leadership. So use plenty of stories to give them plenty of evidence about your leadership.

7) Practice Don't write your dream school's essay first. You WILL get better at essay writing with each essay you write. You should go sequentially, finishing one school before moving on to the next, so you can focus on giving each school a logically coherent package. But, I'm telling you right now, your first application will be pretty bad, no matter how much time you spend on it. You might even consider doing a dummy "practice" application to get that first bad one out of your system. What the heck, here's a set of dummy essay topics for you: A) Assume you are admitted, and are attending your 5 year MBA reunion. Describe what you have accomplished since graduating, how your MBA helped you achieve it, and what your plans for the future are. B) Write a leadership autobiography, describing the key moments in your life that shaped your leadership style. C) Assume that, once admitted, you will have to "apply" to a learning team. What would you say to your fellow classmates to convince them that you would be a valuable addition to their learning team?

Try to enjoy the process. Treat it like a fun autobiographical exercise. It'll help you do better, and help maintain your sanity.

Best of luck everyone! Work hard, be passionate, do well.
motion
Booth


Quote:
First tip, you dont have to apply r1 and compromise on the quality of your application, remember saying you are leader isnt going to cut it, you need to give examples. Dont hesitate to reach out to the CEO and get him to notice you and hopefully come R2 he will write your LOR.

Second tip, make sure your essays are not boring, dont appear monotone; make em exciting and lively. Key to any good essay is that the first line is catchy ..and as I read it I get more involved and i want to get to the end of it!

Third tip, contrary to popular belief you dont need to get a letter from the manager who has known you since child birth..the big names matter PERIOD! if some guy happens to advice the President of the USA, his letter/phone call will get the Deans of these schools scrambling to get you!

Fourth tip, HBS really doenst give much weight to GMAT, they care more about GPA, they are willing to overlook a subpar gmat score if your GPA is solid..i got this from own experience, I asked the adcom during my interview, why she hadn't asked about my sub-rockstar gmat score and she plainly said, we care more about your UG/Grad GPA. So if you went to a decent academic UG school, your GPA will carry you!

Fifth tip, please prepare for the B-school interview! I realize it was a bad idea for me to stop my kellogg interviewer halfway in the interview and tell her she is wasting her time asking me mundane questions that really are not very important to my profile.. I will say spend $$$ and call HBSguru, his coaching helped me stay to the point, not go into story telling and yet be very high-level, details are boring and only you like em cause you went thru em...unless of course you are talking about your experience being shot at by the taliban in the swat valley while you were trying to protect kids in the school you had helped build (true story by the way)!

FN
Wharton


Quote:
I have two application tips which I doubt anyone else would say:

1. Don't think the current step is the hardest, the next one is harder. I thought my GMAT class was hard, then studying was worse, then the test day itself was terrible to anticipate. After that, picking a school to send scores to, actually applying to schools, telling your boss you need a reference because "you think you might like to go to B-School" in the fall was worse. The post-application process of interviews, letters of decline, and acceptance letters was even more difficult, then choosing among the schools that accepted you was ever harder then all that. And it doesn't get easier when you finally have registered and decided on a school - quitting your job, the months between giving notice and your actual end-date are awkward, finding an apartment, moving, finding loans, applying for scholarships, saying goodbye to life pre-MBA... I'm waiting for classes to start on September 7 so I can finally take a breather (lord knows it's probably even harder)!

2. Don't get psyched by the prodigies on this board. I found this board while preparing for my GMAT exam, and there is a wealth of info, but take it with a grain of salt. In every aspect of life, there are worry-warts who are over-concerned with their future. If they don't get into Harvard, Stanford, or Oxford, life is over! In life, when you hear it, it's ephemeral and easy to ignore, but seeing it in writing weighs on you more and you begin to wonder if your choice of b-school or where you actually end up is worth all the work, or if your behind the game because your applying to the same schools and not doing as much preparatory work. When reading about all-stars who are preparing for the GMAT two years in advance, only applying to LBS, Wharton, HBS, and Stanford, and taking classes they will be taking during their MBA before they actually go to b-school, you can't let it phase you. My GMAT instructor said this on our first day: "To get accepted to undergrad university, you had to be an elite high school student and to graduate from that you had to be an elite university pupil. Now that you're taking the GMAT and applying for b-school, you are the cream of the crop in the workforce. But the rest of the people are also the cream of the crop, so don't get a big head but don't lose confidence in yourself either." Remember that - you're doing great, and some people just like to prepare and plan WAY more than you.

Krussell
Schulich


Quote:
1. Think long and hard about yourself beyond the numbers. What makes you different from the thousands of others applying? Forget your GMAT and GPA - they can't be changed. What is your best face, and how do you show that face to the adcoms on every single page of your application?

1a. Print a PDF of all your applications before you submit. Refer back to this PDF before your interviews to make sure your message is consistent.

2. Be humble and acknowledge your weaknesses directly in your essays (no one is perfect after all), and also why you think you can overcome your weaknesses to be a leader at b-school.

3. Show off a little bit in your essays - it's ok to be proud of what you've accomplished!

(at first glance, 2 and 3 seem to contradict each other, but I think the best essays show (a) pride in past accomplishments and (b) honest reflections about past mistakes/weaknesses)

Msday
Harvard


Quote:
The three general tips I have:

1) Don't apply to 10 schools in one round. Or even 8. In theory, this sounds doable. In reality, you end up rushing a couple of apps and really killing any hope of any free time during those 3 months. It's better to split them between rounds.

2) Pick your schools carefully. Someone told me when I was making the school list to only apply to schools that I'd actually attend. As in, make sure you answer yes to "if you only got into school x, would you go to x?". That'll help you save time and money in the app process.

3) Save vacation time. You'll need it to visit campus, do interviews. In my case, I also took a couple of sick days to finish my essays in time for the app deadlines.

isa
Kellogg



Quote:
Summary:
1) Take the GMAT early
2) Trust your writing/creative/brag-about-yourself style
3) Don't pretend. You are who you are.
4) Accept the randomness!

Details for the masochists:
1) Take the GMAT early. My best decision was to get it over with well before applications were released with enough time for at least one retake (luckily not necessary). This will help you focus on applications.

2) Trust your writing/creative/brag-about-yourself style. I spent a lot of time writing for Booth and did Wharton's last minute. Result: admit at Wharton and double-waitlisted at Booth. I have to go back to high-school for validation on essay writing since I studied and worked as an engineer, but I never started one essay earlier than the day before it was due and I usually got good grades. That is just how I work. (That doesn't mean I wasn't thinking about what to write, just didn't put it on paper) I don't recommend this, but don't change your style just for b-school apps. Also, I am self-deprecating and have trouble bragging about myself when there are many others out there who seem much "better" than me. So that's how I wrote. Threw in a few jokes, talked about what was fun for me, and showed this during my interviews as well.

3) Don't be afraid to admit who you are and what you do in your applications. I wasn't a "save the world" kind of guy and it wasn't worth trying to force it (aka no volunteer work). I didn't think I had a great chance at the top schools, so I figured I'd admit to what I really like to do. I may be one of the few who left "social chair" on their resume and included my eagerness to organize tailgates. I can't say for sure that these things helped, but these schools know they need people who can handle the academics and contribute to the fun factor. Also, no special gift or quality is too aged or small to mention if it may excite an app reader. They get bored.

4) Accept the randomness! Unless you are the ultimate bada$$, then it will require luck to get in to many top schools. Who interviews you, the mood of essay readers, the landscape of other applicants, and the strategy of the school all contribute and are out of your control. This is true in your career, search for a mate, and pretty much most of life. Don't be too hard on yourself.

Wow. This post got long. If you got this far, then congratulate yourself and go do something fun or interesting.

daymon
Wharton


Quote:
1) Don't apply to your favorite school first. As doubtful as I was about this, my applications did in fact get better as I applied to more schools. And not only for the essays...the biggest difference was with the interviews. I had learned to better position myself in a face-to-face setting after some interview experience and my last interview as my best because of it.

2) Decide early on which schools you MIGHT apply to and visit/research them early on. I thought I would shoot for only my round 1 reach schools, but then decided to diversify going into round 2 (thank God). But when I decided to pull the trigger on that it was too late to visit Dartmouth, which I knew I liked before then. Living close by and not visiting would have really hurt my chances of getting in and I decided not to apply.

3) If you are interested in Kellogg, do those essays first (unless maybe it's your top choice as per #1). Kellogg's essays were tough (I prefer word limits) but I found their structured nature to be helpful for completing other essays and I wish I had done them before doing my round 1 essays.

Rubashov1
Kellogg


Quote:
If applying to more than one school make a "master app" in word. Your master app should contain:
Your address
Work experiences + descriptions, addresses, contacts
Undergrad info + gpa/rank/ etc
extracuriculars, hours you participated etc

as you go through your apps keep adding to your master app so yoiu can just cut and paste.

Also before yoiur write really think about your experiences and how they will contribute to your future goals

most importantly MAKE SURE YOU ACTUALLY ANSWER THE QUESTION ASKED.

Have your friends look over your essays - this is key

SmokedPotatoes2
Yale SOM


Quote:
1. Talk it out!

Tell your friends, family, coworkers, you want to get an MBA. This will spark a lot of natural questions - why? what schools are you applying to? what do you want to do after?

At the begining of my applications I sat down with jb32 over lunch to talk schools, goals, and application strategy. He brought up a bunch of questions I hadn't thought of. Point being by the time you talk to a bunch of people you will really have your story down. You will be ready for your applications and interviews. You need to know your "story" forwards and backwards.

The other thing I got better at is what jb talked about in his post being more specific (this came with refining my story) - when I got to Ross I had gone from "I want to do consulting" to "I want to do strategy consulting for a top firm focusing on the energy industry so that I can expand on my core skills and make a move into energy venture capital and clean energy."

lsuguy7
Ross


Quote:
10 most common mistakes I have seen as an admissions consultant and how you should avoid them:

- Overemphasizing your business experience in your application essays – Top MBA programs want to get to know you as a person. What are your passions? What has shaped you into the person you are today? Simply listing one professional accomplishment after another you will not lead to an acceptance letter.

- Overemphasizing the GMAT/GRE – We’ve helped students with GMATs in the 500s gain entry into HBS. We’ve also worked with clients who seek our help when reapplying after applying on their own and being rejected from HBS despite scoring a 750+ on the GMAT. Unlike other undergraduate and graduate programs, admission to MBA programs is based as much as or more on qualitative factors than quantitative factors.

- Presenting a career vision that is disconnected from your current and prior experience – Certainly many people get an MBA in order to pivot in their careers. But trying to convince a school that you could start an AIDS awareness nonprofit in Zimbabwe after working on Wall Street for 10 years is unlikely to be successful. Schools want to be sure they will be able to place you into a job at graduation, so if the pivot is too significant they may not admit you.

- Not having a focused career vision – Many students think they will explore a number of different career options during their first year in an MBA program. But admissions officers know the reality of the situation: There is very little time for exploration, since you’ll start searching for summer jobs by October of your first year. So make sure you have a focused career plan and convey it in your application.

- Sending the same essay to multiple schools when they ask the same or similar questions – Each top school is looking for VERY different student profile; you’ll need to “sell” them what they’re looking to “buy.” When we work with clients applying to schools that have similar essay questions, we insist the clients write completely unique essays that best position them for acceptance to each individual school.

- Misunderstanding the importance of extracurricular activities – Many students think schools just want to see that you give back to your community through extracurricular activities. In reality, schools are assessing your leadership potential through your extracurricular involvement. They want to see what projects you have spearheaded and what teams you have led. Depth of involvement is much more important than breadth.

- Choosing a recommender because you feel like you have to – The #1 reason applicants do not get into schools that they should is a lukewarm or average recommendation. Choose recommenders who will say that you are the most incredible professional and individual they have worked with in their career. Don’t choose people who you know are tough recommenders just because they are direct supervisors or would be offended if you didn’t ask them.

- Not prepping for admissions interviews – MBA admissions interviews are very different from job interviews. They emphasize substance and are about much more than just connecting with the interviewer. Many applicants have been so successful at “schmoozing” in job interviews that they do not prepare properly for the hard questions—and often less personable interviewers—they are likely to encounter in MBA admissions interviews.

- Deviating from your “story” in the interview – Interviewers may push back on your career vision during an interview. Do NOT concede that your career vision was not well thought out or suggest that it is just one option. Do NOT try to change your career vision during the interview. Instead be prepared to defend your professional plans, as that is what admissions officers want to see.

- Not thinking through your list of schools before you apply – The top MBA programs are quite diverse. You will be more personally and professionally fulfilled at some and less so at others. While ranking is important (see my previous article on the ROI of MBA programs), do NOT choose a school that is ranked only a couple places higher than another school that would be a much better fit for you. Also, always apply to a safety school even if you don’t think you would go there. You might earn a merit-based scholarship which, as I often advise my clients, you can parlay into financial aid at the school of your choice.
Fonti
School unknown

Research - Seriously Research. If you've found this place before applying you're at the begining of the right track. I didn't put my best foot forward this year because I didn't do enough research. There is a reasonly long line of Gmatclub members who have had the same experience their first go round. When you're looking at schools if you can't explain to someone else the differences between one school and another then you haven't done enough research. I used to think that the "what other schools are you applying to, what is the common thread between those schools" question that I got asked at Cornell was a tough question. Now I think it's a very very good question. If you really know enough about your schools it should probably be pretty easy. The same goes for careers but other people have covered that. GoBruins summed it up best for me when he told me that my goals looked like when a 5 year old tells his mom he wants to be a fireman.

Sleepy
Georgetown



General Advice

Quote:
my advice would be to try to avoid getting totally absorbed by the process mentally and emotionally. I know I was partially guilty of this myself, and waiting sucks, but life goes on. It's a long process from start to finish, and you should try to make sure you take the time to step away now and then and enjoy it. Also, getting dinged isn't the end of the world, even if you get dinged everywhere you apply. The 2008 Zero Admits Revisited thread is full of examples of people who struck out last year, and got into some pretty incredible schools this year.

Jerz
Kellogg


Quote:
I have some insight into R1, R2, R3 and so on

The best advice I can give from my experience which I did not know beforehand is that there is no difference between R1 and R2.

In fact, considering that you are highly likely to write better essays in R2, it might even be easier, in real world terms.

I made a huge mistake by "putting all my marbles" in R1, thinking it would help me very marginally to be early. It didn't. My R2 apps were better and I knew what the hell I was doing.

I say you should have 3 groups scheduled:

In R1 you should choose that one lowest safety which you would attend if you got all dings, one from the top tier (but NOT your top), and one you think you would get into but aren't sure.

R2 should be your dream school, plus 2-3 from from your middle tier

I don't recommend R3 except for those schools which have 4 rounds like Carnegie Mellon. CMU is the perfect elite school to be applying to in March if you still aren't satisfied with your propects. You are certain to have very sharp essays and self-presentation by that time.

Tarmac
Tepper


Quote:
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is don't just apply to the top schools, even if you think you'll get into one. I figured I would only go and take on the debt if I got into a M7 school, so I applied to four of them and nothing else (1 admit/1 waitlist). Now I wish I had applied to some lower ranked schools and maybe gotten a scholarship. I would definitely give up M7 for a full ride to another top 15 school without hesitation, I can't see why some people on here give up that money. $100k to me is a big deal, a bigger deal than a few places in the rankings...

Another thing that has been mentioned, but I'll say again, don't apply to more than 3 schools in one round. It sucks big time and makes the quality of each app suffer. Stick to 2-3 schools in rounds 1 and 2, and you should get into at least 1. Of course many people apply to more with success, but I just think life is too short to be writing essays for 8 schools in the same round!!

Mbafwi
School unknown


Quote:
My best advice has been mentioned several times and is super-common, but it's hard to remeber sometimes: BE YOURSELF. Be honest. I am a totally a-typical applicant and I felt enormous pressure to try and seem like a "business school student." But that means nothing. Who know what a "business school student" should be? Thankfully, my rebellious inner teenager usually took over and gave me an outward attitude of "This is who I am, if you don't like me I don't care." (Although I resisted the urge to dye my hair blue.... this time....) That kept me true to myself. If I had gotten accepted somewhere based on false pretense, chances are I wouldn't be happy there anyhow.

My second best advice came from one of my essay editors: she pointed out that I was undermining my accomplishments with my hesitation to sound conceited. I tend to be pretty self-depricating, and it was coming through in my essays. NOT a good time for it! Don't be afraid to talk about how awesome you are. And extend that confidence into your interviews. (Although there is, of course, a limit to this, and humility is important too!)

Conmisdosmanos
Ross


Quote:
I have a different view towards the 'starting early' from others, so it depends on your working style.

1. Take the GMAT before, but other than that, it is possible to write apps for a few schools within a short period
The entire Bschool app process is long - from the GMAT and application to interview and finally decision time. I decided to take my GMAT in beginning of August, took my GMAT in the end of August (note that I had studied on/off before over a longer period though). I then wrote three apps essentially in the next 1.5 months. This isn't for everyone, but I can be pretty disciplined and there are economies of scale from writing all your essays at the same time. If you are good at working under a deadline and not sure a long, drawn-out app process is for you, it may not be necessary to start too early. Things I WOULD try to get out of the way, looking back, are the GMAT, resume, etc.

2. Have prior accepted students read your essays
I didn't ask many people to read my essays, essentially 1 person for all three schools, and 1 person for each school (who is currently studying there).

3. A regret I had - not hiring an admissions consultant for the interview
I ultimately ended up doing well in my app season, but I had a moment of panic post-interview where I thought I didn't do well and should have employed a consultant for just the interviews. Your cost is purely monetary.

4. Have backup plans - the process is very subjective
As we learned from the shift in acceptances for HBS this year, there is no perfect profile and subjectivity and demographics play a huge role. As such, unless you are dead set on Bschool, I'd look into other options - promotions, switching to another field, etc.

5. Speak to recommenders early
I thought I had it all planned out, but minutes before the deadline, I was calling a recommender asking if she could submit it soon. This is one aspect of the app process you can't control and of which you should be very, very wary.

Sunnyc
Columbia


Quote:
Quote:
For me a big eye-opener and research breakthrough was... the list of school clubs!
That infomation provides you several important insights:
- an idea about a school demographics
- an impression about school's culture
- a great overview of what are the strong specializations of a school


Absolutely agree that researching a school's clubs gives very valuable insight into the student culture and the school's strengths / weaknesses.

One additional point I'll add: also look into the club leadership. See if you can find an email address of a student leader. Most of the time, these people will be willing to speak with you at the very least about their club if not about the school overall.

Not only will you be able to gain valuable insight into the school, but you can also reference your meeting / discussion with the student leader in your essay. For example, you can mention your meeting with the President of the Marketing Club if consumer marketing just so happens to be your career interest. That would really show commitment and interest in the school!

HBSGrad
Harvard


Quote:
Two good tips for you all (well... some anyhow :) ):

1. If you are a candidate who comes from a family business, use THIS as your goal. Show the AdCom how you will make this one of the biggest and best firms in your industry.

2. If you can secure a post-MBA return job offer from your current employer, do so and tell the AdCom that you have done so.

Having a secure guarantee at the end of the line makes you a VERY appealing candidate, cause the school no longer has to worry about their single most important stat - Employment. The more impressive your guaranteed post after your MBA, the better schools you can apply to.

If this is relevant to you, you WILL get into B-school.

JohnPrecissionEssay
Harvard


Quote:
Just a couple tips from me.

1) Find an extracurricular activity that will keep your mind occupied during the application process. I took up marathon training and it tremendously helped to keep my stress level in check.

2) Be yourself and let your personality show on your application. Your GMAT, GPA, past extracurriculars, awards, duty position is what it is. Above all else, the application essays is your clay to mold and really show the adcom who you are, as a human.

3) Finally, believe in yourself and have faith that you will prevail. But at the same time, you have to be very honest with yourself.

During the application process, the Stockdale Paradox came to mind. For those of you who have read Jim Collins' Good To Great, you should be familiar with it. Here's the best quote: Another long pause, and more walking. Then he turned to me and said, “This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” - Admiral Stockdale (retired)

You can read that excerpt here from the website: http://www.jimcollins.com/lib/goodToGreat/ch4_p83.html

armycamel
Ross



Quote:
lots of folks have PMed asking about what I did to get accepted in R3..

here is something i wrote on another thread but pretty much here it is..

you are welcome..remember try to find examples of leadership ..you still have time to ..so go do something about it!

First tip, you dont have to apply r1 and compromise on the quality of your application, remember saying you are leader isnt going to cut it, you need to give examples. Dont hesitate to reach out to the CEO and get him to notice you and hopefully come R2 he will write your LOR.

Second tip, make sure your essays are not boring, dont appear monotone; make em exciting and lively. Key to any good essay is that the first line is catchy ..and as I read it I get more involved and i want to get to the end of it!

Third tip, contrary to popular belief you dont need to get a letter from the manager who has known you since child birth..the big names matter PERIOD! if some guy happens to advice the President of the USA, his letter/phone call will get the Deans of these schools scrambling to get you!

Fourth tip, HBS really doenst give much weight to GMAT, they care more about GPA, they are willing to overlook a subpar gmat score if your GPA is solid..i got this from own experience, I asked the adcom during my interview, why she hadn't asked about my sub-rockstar gmat score and she plainly said, we care more about your UG/Grad GPA. So if you went to a decent academic UG school, your GPA will carry you!

Fifth tip, please prepare for the B-school interview! I realize it was a bad idea for me to stop my kellogg interviewer halfway in the interview and tell her she is wasting her time asking me mundane questions that really are not very important to my profile.. I will say spend $$$ and call HBSguru, his coaching helped me stay to the point, not go into story telling and yet be very high-level, details are boring and only you like em cause you went thru em...unless of course you are talking about your experience being shot at by the taliban in the swat valley while you were trying to protect kids in the school you had helped build (true story by the way)!

FN
Wharton


Quote:
Couple of pointers from a different angle:

If you are an international applicant:

1) Be aware about the student and post-study work visa formalities of the country that you are applying to. ESPECIALLY the student visa.
2) Be aware about funding options - a lot of internationals had to decline their seats this year as citi bank had to withdraw their loan.

If you have a family:

1) Start the process early enough so that you can spend time with your family. Trust me - you would need that to recharge in between apps.

Funny story related to the above advice - My 2 year old literally pushed me out of bed the first day after all my apps were submitted as he thought daddy coming to bed early meant that mommy is not going read him his bedtime story.

Tips for scheduling interviews:

1) Make sure that there are atleast a couple of weeks in between the interview date and the deadline. That would help if you need to cancel the interview due to unexpected developments.

scorpioguy
Cranfield SOM


Quote:
know the difference between things that you can say for yourself and things that are better off said by your recommender. for example, may be better to let your recommender talk about certain strengths - more credible and less show-offy. however, may be better to speak for yourself when discussing career goals. I never really thought about using recommenders strategically like that and thought it was a pretty good tip.

shawdaff
School Unknown


Quote:
The one thing I wished I did differently was to not be so hard on myself during the whole process
and to appreciate those little blessings in disguise. I was not happy with my 690 GMAT score and after wasting 5 more months studying only to get a lower score the second time, I was pretty depressed. But now I think if I had gotten that 700+ score I probably wouldn't have felt the need to hire an admissions consultant and my essays would not have been as strong as a result. I fully believe my essays are what made the difference in my application and what got me admitted.

More tips: I would wait to visit the schools for the interview if possible. I think the benefit from visiting before applying just so you can say you visited in your essays is overrated, unless you are closeby and know you can get out there more than once. Plus I would try to interview during one of the school's big interview weekends. I got so much info from just hanging out with current students that proved very useful in my interviews

For recommenders, I think it is actually better to get two different viewpoints. People advised me against using a former co-worker, but I already had a letter from 1 direct supervisor and I felt getting a letter from another supervisor (current or former) would not add much new perspective to my application. Instead my former co-worker (who happened to be a lower position than I was) really knocked it out of the park for me and talked extensively about how I took her under my wing and led projects we worked on together in a team setting. She went on to get promoted and recently landed a director role in another company, and credited me as inspiring her to that path. I think that was pretty powerful.
Michmax3
Booth


Quote:
My biggest tip is to visit the schools prior to applying.

I've completed two interviews thus far, and I think that out of all I said during those interviews, what impressed the interviewers the most was when I told them about my campus visit.

I think that adcoms think very highly of applicants that visit their school, but more importantly, these visits give you SO much more information than you can find online. This information, which you can incorporate into your essays, will really set you apart from other applicants.

Sure, visiting these schools is costly and takes time, but you're about to make a $150K+ investment, you might as well really make sure you want to go there before spending 50-100hrs preparing your application.

And also remember, schools care about yield, and the more you know about the school your applying to (e.g. information that isn't obvious and that is hard to find without visiting), the more it shows that you've done your research and are committed to attending.
MDF
Booth


Quote:
Now that the application process is finally over, here's my 2 cents on admissions consultants:

Whether you think you need a consultant or whether you think you don't, you're probably right. They can be a great resource to guide you in the right direction if you feel lost or overwhelmed, but may only of marginal help (or sometimes not at all) if you have a clear idea of what your story is. I wrestled with the idea when I first started applying - I didn't mind spending the money if it helped my case, but I couldn't get over the fact that I basically have my whole story ready, and now I have to spend time explaining it someone else when I could be concentrating on the actual app? It became more of an annoyance for me than an ease of mind. But for others, I've heard very positive things on how they didn't know where to start and everything became clear once they engaged an admissions consultant.

I did use some essay editing services - it was good to have another pair of eyes skim for grammar/sentence structure issues. At times they made a suggestion to content and I actually didn't incorporate any of it (further reassuring me that only I know my story). I recommend Proofreading Pal if you just want that - a proofread - it's about $40 per essay.

On the other hand, I found interview prep services to be a great help. There are many more unanticipated things that can happen in a 30min period that serves as a final hurdle (compared to say, hours you can spend thinking and packaging your essays). I used Sandy who made a tremendous difference in the way I approach the questions but I've also heard many positive reviews of others. Compared to other services, $300-$400 is a small price to pay to get into your top choice school. You don't want to mess up when you're "almost there." But again, like I said before, if you're totally confident of your story and have read all the Wiki reports and feel 100% prepared, you're probably fine too.

Best of luck to all.

CharmWithSubstance
Harvard


Quote:
Just wanted to add a useful tip coming from a software developer...

I am putting all my app materials in the cloud, so I can work from multiple computers and make changes whenever I am near an Internet connection.

I am currently using Google Docs to store my spreadsheet of dates and deadlines and my master list of accomplishments and general key themes, and use Dropbox to store my scanned transcripts, resume, and essays. Dropbox is nice because it automatically stores revision history, so I can easily roll back to old versions of any document.

boogs
Kellogg


Interview Tips

Quote:
For international students: choose off-campus interview in your country instead of on-campus one. It will be much easier to explain all your achievements and motives.

Walker
Booth


Quote:
Is it better to interview on campus or in your local area? I imagine doing interviews with alumns A LOT easier than adcoms. You won't be as nervous, and the conversations would go much smoother. But then again, these alumns don't have as much pull as an adcom. Should I take the risk and go interview with an adcom?

After researching this topic last year, I decided that optimally I should go on-campus for interviews and pray that I got an adcom. I feel like I interview well (especially to ease the engineer stigma), so this appeared to be my best option. I focused on Booth as a reach school, so I flew out for a day and got interviewed by an adcom (female too which I thought was another advantage since I seem to interview better with the opposite sex). Interview was quick, professional, and a little boring, but overall I felt it went well (disclaimer: not an innuendo and description does not parallel my "personal" life) Result: waitlisted twice.

Wharton felt like a super-stretch for me, so I went the opposite direction and got interviewed by an alum at the Starbucks down the street. Went out late the night before, popped two excedrine in the morning, and ordered a large ice-water before he arrived. He tried to ask the formal questions and take notes, but that lasted about 2.5 minutes and we basically just had a conversation for over an hour. Had no idea what to make of it and figured I wouldn't get in anyway. Result: got in 2 hours after Booth WL'd me.

Tough to make a conclusion based on this, but I'll take a stab. On-campus is definitely not a guaranteed advantage and may in fact be a disadvantage in certain situations. It seems more likely to have a relaxed, conversational interview with an alum (same experience with Haas), so if that fits your personality don't feel obligated to go on-campus (especially if you've already visited). Also, if you live in a region separate from the school you'll be interviewed by someone who has a perspective on both areas. This can help you find things in common during the interview and you can ask questions very pertinent to your situation (e.g. "Will I have a nervous breakdown if I move from SoCal to Philly?")

Still, luck and randomness are likely to throw off any pre-planned strategies, so don't spend too much time worrying about the decision.

dayman
Wharton


Quote:
Unlike job interviews, nailing a bschool interview is no guarantee to a spot at the school, especially schools that use second year students as interviewers. I might be very biased on this, but it seems that interview reports from 2nd year students just don't carry that much weight because after all, they aren't the ones making the call on admit/dings.

For example, I had great interviews at Chicago w/ a 2nd year student, and another great one with HBS adcom. My Chicago essays were actually a tad better than my HBS essays. Had great recs to both schools. Guess what, denied at Chicago and in at HBS.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't freak out too much about interviews, it's not a do or die situation like job interviews (where the only criteria is how well u do on the interview itself). Of course, when you get a chance to interview with adcom, it's a good opportunity to really stand out.

sonicjiafei
Harvard


Resume Tips

Quote:
Is an objective statement necessary?
I can't comment from an admissions or HR POV, but I can tell you that when we get candidates for analyst or director positions, their "objectives" usually don't help them at all, but that's because their delivery is usually bottom-of-the-barrel, not a matter of principle regarding "objectives".

Like all things, it's about coherence and pitch. A bland "objectives" statement that is full of meaningless, verbose platitudes with suspicious diction such as "I crave the opportunity to utilize all my skills and experiences in your esteemed and dynamic organization, where I believe I can contribute my proven people skills, leadership, entrepreneurship, responsibility, diligence, professionalism, enthusiasm, quantitative abilities, presentation skills, and other"... is going straight to the recycling bin. Believe me, I see that kind of sh!t more often than is mentally healthy.

I know that when I applied for one of my first successful internships, my objectives were directly focused on the actual firm and position: "I am seeking an entry-level position in Western Europe involving the gathering of intelligence in multiple languages... etc etc etc". It probably helped, because the MD who called me and interviewed me over the phone made a reference to my goals ("I see that you're interested in intelligence and investigations").

The goals have to make sense. I interviewed a poor kid who told me that "if I can't get work-study with you, I think I'll enroll in Sandhurst", as if the two were commonly interchangeable. That told me that he had no clue what we did, didn't do his homework, and that he himself had no clue what he wanted.

I guess I've never seen an "objectives" statement that left me indifferent, or had no bearing on my view of an applicant. So if you're going to put it in, it'll help you a lot, or doom you. The candidates I liked the most didn't include one, and kept their CVs capped at two pages, with lots of relevant details.

osbornecox
Booth


Quote:
If you are writing a resume for MBA recruiting (i.e. you're in b-school and you're looking for a job/intern), then I think Education before Work Experience makes sense.

If you are writing a resume for MBA admissions (i.e. you're an applicant), I think Work Experience should be placed before Education.

My tips for resumes are (although I have not applied them to my most current resume):
- Spend more bullet points on your recent achievements.
- Make sure your resume is well rounded, e.g. is there an example of teamwork, leadership, etc.?

xenok
Booth



Have questions or suggestions to improve this thread? Would you like to add your own tips? Please PM me.

Facebook TwitterGoogle+LinkedIn
_________________

New to the GMAT Club? <START HERE>

My GMAT and BSchool Tips:


Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesManhattan GMAT Discount Codes
1 KUDOS received
Intern
Intern
Status: Ready to Enhance , Explore , Enjoy
Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 12
Location: Singapore
Schools: Kellog,UCLA,Ross,Emory,Broad
WE 1: Software Banking Product Development
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 1 [1] , given: 0

Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2012, 07:06
1
This post received
KUDOS
this is gold!!

fantastic work!!

Thanks!!!!
_________________

Warden Samuel Norton: I believe in two things: discipline and the Bible. Here you'll receive both. Put your trust in the Lord; your ass belongs to me. Welcome to Shawshank.

Rocky to his son :
Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that!

Kellogg Thread Master
User avatar
Status: Applying
Joined: 15 Jun 2012
Posts: 106
Location: India
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
GMAT 1: 700 Q45 V40
GMAT 2: 700 Q49 V35
GPA: 3.5
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 23 [0], given: 63

Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2012, 18:07
This thread is a goldmine for lesser mortals like me. Thanks a ton. Please keep this updated.
_________________

All that matters, comes after the word 'but'.

Current Student
Joined: 17 Aug 2011
Posts: 22
GMAT 1: 750 Q48 V44
GPA: 3.8
WE: Management Consulting (Consulting)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 2

Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2012, 17:26
Amazing stuff!! Please keep this updated!
Intern
Intern
Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 9
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2012, 21:58
Stressing about testing, over time, away from concern about your writing style to ensure your content is bright, fresh and new.
When asked to write essays, schools are looking for certain characteristics such as leadership, ambition, team spirit, maturity, passion, commitment, dedication, creativity and communication skills.
Here are some things you can consider before you start to type in their ideas.

_______________________
Online MBA in USA | MBA in IT
Intern
Intern
Joined: 04 Sep 2012
Posts: 8
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2012, 22:15
Awesome.
Hey .. Thank you for the information. I am preparing for the MBA exams and i am likely to refer this one for sure.
Intern
Intern
Joined: 11 Sep 2012
Posts: 11
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2012, 03:16
wow.......I am the student to MBA and I was looking for such tips so thanks for nice sharing.
Manhattan Review Test Prep & Admissions
User avatar
Affiliations: Columbia, Wharton, LBS
Joined: 02 Nov 2009
Posts: 592
Schools: Harvard, Stanford, LBS, Columbia, Wharton, HEC Paris
Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 112 [0], given: 1

GMAT Tests User
Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2012, 15:51
Expert's post
(a) Give yourself plenty of time: This is a very consuming process and you need to make sure that you allocate enough time to make sure that your applications are the best that they can be.
(b) Make yourself the priority: Your company will continue to survive if you take a few days off to focus on your future; also your boss most probably will not remember your name after you leave -- so make sure that you stay focused on what is important and are not distracted by others, rules, regulations or fear.
(c) Stay on top of your recommenders: Since the people writing your recommendation are not they ones applying to school; many often wait until the last minute to write and submit their recommendations and rush just to get it in. I always recommend providing gentle reminders to recommenders just so that it stays on top of their minds.
(d) Be careful of who you choose as your advisors: Just because somebody is a good writer or went to a particular business school may not mean that the advise they provide is current, pertinent or relevant. Also, do not have too many people read your essays as essays become dilutes with too many divergent ideas. If you can afford an admissions consultant, hire one.
(e) Remember the investment. Attending a premier graduate business program is a huge investment on many fronts -- two years of your life, an average of $150,000 in lost wages, $200,000 in tuition, living expenses, etc. When you do your personal math, you will realize the importance of going to the right school and investing in test prep, admissions consulting and the like. This is not the time to be cost conscious.
(f) Try to have fun -- knowing that it is a stressful process -- make time for exercise, limited socializing, an occasional movie, etc. Your body and brain will appreciate the break.

Good luck.

Kimberly Plaga
Wharton
Senior Admissions Consultant
Manhattan Review
_________________

Manhattan Review GMAT Prep & MBA Admissions Consulting
Web: http://www.manhattanreview.com | Phone: +1.212.316.2000
Receive 20% off Admissions Consultings as GMATClub member!

Intern
Intern
Joined: 21 Feb 2012
Posts: 4
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 1

Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 16 Oct 2012, 02:13
Thanks for this list! It is a very helpful guide to periodically reference back to during the application process.

I would like clarification on one point, though: There is a lot of advice regarding saving your dream schools for R2. What happens if you receive an R1 offer but have not heard from your top schools?

In my particular situation, I am aiming for Haas (10/17), Anderson (10/24) and Marshall (11/1). Earlier tonight I felt that the rushed deadline for Haas was compromising the quality and decided to push my submission to R2 instead. I still plan on applying to Anderson and Marshall in R1. Although my chances at Haas are slim (28/Banking, Entrepreneurship/750/3.2) I do not want to sell myself short.

I have heard that a deposit and decision is usually due within 2-4 weeks after notification, but have been unable to verify this.
Intern
Intern
Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 12
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2012, 23:32
Program: MBA FT
Area of interest in MBA : gen mgmt, strategy
GMAT: 800 (51/51)
GPA, ugrad: 3.8 - chemical engineering
GPA, grad: 4.0 - bioengineering
Work experience(WE): 2 years non-profit, 1 year research
Nationality: USA
Age: 26 at mat
Gender: Male
Extra-curriculars/community: Plenty
_________________

A virtual business office can offer high quality Virtual Offices with telecommunications solutions.The solutions just provide full flexibility and are suitable to any budget. This kind of office can offer a prestigious business address, automated phone system and a professional virtual receptionist.

Intern
Intern
Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 12
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 3

Reviews Badge
Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2012, 09:53
What an amazing resource! really great stuff, kudos for you!
1 KUDOS received
VP
VP
User avatar
Status: Current Student
Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 1347
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
WE: Sales (Consumer Products)
Followers: 90

Kudos [?]: 394 [1] , given: 73

GMAT Tests User Premium Member
Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2012, 14:30
1
This post received
KUDOS
High200s wrote:
Thanks for this list! It is a very helpful guide to periodically reference back to during the application process.

I would like clarification on one point, though: There is a lot of advice regarding saving your dream schools for R2. What happens if you receive an R1 offer but have not heard from your top schools?

In my particular situation, I am aiming for Haas (10/17), Anderson (10/24) and Marshall (11/1). Earlier tonight I felt that the rushed deadline for Haas was compromising the quality and decided to push my submission to R2 instead. I still plan on applying to Anderson and Marshall in R1. Although my chances at Haas are slim (28/Banking, Entrepreneurship/750/3.2) I do not want to sell myself short.

I have heard that a deposit and decision is usually due within 2-4 weeks after notification, but have been unable to verify this.

Deposits are usually due 6-12 weeks after the decision is rendered. This time frame gets smaller with each round. I received notification that I got into my R1 schools in mid December and didn't have to pay a deposit until early March. I got into my R2 schools in late March and had to pay a deposit by late April/early May. It's going to depend for each school. If you applied to schools in R1 and you get in it is almost guaranteed that you will need to pay a deposit before you hear back from your R2 school if you want to secure a spot somewhere. Schools rarely grant extensions and if they do it's a matter of days, not weeks.
I ate a R1 deposit to Kellogg and attended Booth instead. In the grand scheme of things that $2000 doesn't make much of a difference given how much the degree costs.
_________________

The Brain Dump - From Low GPA to Top MBA (Updated September 1, 2013) - A Few of My Favorite Things--> http://cheetarah1980.blogspot.com
Image

Intern
Intern
Status: student
Joined: 06 Dec 2012
Posts: 15
Location: India
vinash: kumar
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 0

Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2012, 20:58
this is superb one...
great and best work..
Intern
Intern
Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 2
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2012, 21:46
In fact, there is only one way to get an MBA online. The Internet has made the sea quite possible that more and more students to earn an MBA online through an MBA program.
1 KUDOS received
Intern
Intern
Status: student
Joined: 06 Dec 2012
Posts: 15
Location: India
vinash: kumar
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 6 [1] , given: 0

Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2012, 22:44
1
This post received
KUDOS
mslherry wrote:
In fact, there is only one way to get an MBA online. The Internet has made the sea quite possible that more and more students to earn an MBA online through an MBA program.



dear mslherry; any one can do Online MBA any where and any time that you required, also it doesnt required an internet connection as well...
1 KUDOS received
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
Joined: 30 Jun 2011
Posts: 275
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 18 [1] , given: 20

Reviews Badge
Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2013, 01:33
1
This post received
KUDOS
great post !!!
3 KUDOS received
MBA Admissions Consulting
User avatar
Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Posts: 816
Followers: 46

Kudos [?]: 173 [3] , given: 179

Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 05 May 2013, 02:44
3
This post received
KUDOS
Expert's post
If this helps, I have posted a few application tips here .... 11th-hour-app-advice-things-to-consider-before-submitting-139615.html

1. Most applications on the applyyourself.com domain won't take scanned transcripts bigger than 700kb. You can shrink your transcripts (online) here - http://goo.gl/8EQeC
2 . Schools like Columbia host their own applications (ie. not through applyyouself.com) - I wouldn't push the limits of good judgment when submitting close to the deadline. Try to submit a few hours before the deadline or risk having the server slow way down.
3 . You can't cut and paste short answers onto the online app fields when using Google Chrome. You have to use Firefox. No one uses Internet Explorer .... joking, but I have not tested cut/paste with Explorer.
4. Most schools include short essays on their app. Tuck has their international experience essays (250 words), Yale has a professional statement, HBS does ask you for your goals and Darden does a good job of hitting you up with an elevator pitch essay.
5. Also know that all schools have a short answers on their app that will ask you for employment history, significant awards, extracurriculars. Do not simply cut and paste from your resume - try to make your answers complete sentences.
6. Short answers on the app will most likely have character limits, not word limits. There is a difference. Also note - that characters includes spaces.
7. In general, don't mail it in on your online app answers - the "data sheet" is the first thing the admissions committee will see. Do not get off on the wrong foot by being sloppy or incomplete. Grammar counts.
8. Some schools ask you what other schools you are applying to - this has a purpose. It's like being on a date and getting asked how many other people you are seeing.
9. Columbia asks you what "current students" you have spoken to - they want names. Other schools simply ask you what student or alums you have talked to.
10. Don't put down that you have attended an event if you have not. They do try and keep track - and they will check.
11. Resumes should be traditional - no color, pictures, weird fonts. The resume is supposed to be a sales document - so it has to be aesthically pleasing. Think like this - would a recruiter hire me for a consulting job if they saw my rainbow colored, alphabet soup looking resume?
12. Columbia asks for a picture - use a picture that is professional, not gangsta or gangnam. So don't fake bake, pucker your lips or wear anything with sequins or flair. Chicago wants a slide show - no grainy motorola star-tac quality pics, or pics with your shirt off.
13. If you're cutting it close on the word counts or if you are filling up all the short answer boxes on the online form, it is okay to use acronyms. Just don't go crazy using them if the adcom doesn't have a clue as to what they are. Reference this post - question-about-acronyms-140189.html#p1128830
14. Don't be a dbag and submit your recommendation on behalf of your recommender. If he or she is too busy find another recommender or dress up as a clown to get their attention. A good reason is that the writing will probably sound like your style of writing. A better reason is that some schools do record your IP address. It really looks un-kosher to have your app, your rec 1 and rec 2, coming from the same IP. Don't believe me, see linky - https://technolutions.com/slate/advantage. Scroll down to the bottom and read the fraud section - ya, they are talking about you Willis.
15. Download Ginger Software - http://bit.ly/R7S0YB. It's a free online proofreader as well as a downloadable executable file and chrome extension. It's not 100% fool-proof, but it is good to catch most errors. In fact, I think it's remarkably good at catching most errors. It's an especially useful tool for ESL applicants.
Also, for those of you who need a basic grammar refresher look here - http://bit.ly/S11O8g
16. Create the online applications for your schools as the very first step in the application (granted the school has released their app). Trust me please, do it early and do it now. Do not start the online app a week before it is due or at the 11th hour! Why? Because an individual program may have a few additional areas (also, essays as I noted in number 4 above) they would like you to address, such as short answers regarding when you visited the school, why you did not use your current boss as a recommender, gaps in employment, awards/involvement and other general background information they want to know about you.
17. Make sure you send your recommendations to your boss' work email address. Gmail, Yahoo and adultfriendfinder.com email addresses are red flags.
18. Related to number 6 above - Need to count the characters on the online app? Tired of cutting and pasting from MS Word into the free form text boxes on applyyourself.com? Have 10 mins until the deadline? Install the Google Chrome extension "Text Statistics." Once installed, highlight the text you want to count (in the Chrome window) and right-click. In the menu, select "Text Statistics." This gives you both the word count and the character count. Bam!
Download Text Statistics here: http://goo.gl/z9Mt4

Kudos anyone? lol.
_________________


Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | mba@amerasiaconsulting.com | 877.866.9251

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton

1 KUDOS received
Intern
Intern
Joined: 06 Jun 2013
Posts: 8
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 1 [1] , given: 0

Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2013, 05:08
1
This post received
KUDOS
Thanks,
1 KUDOS received
Intern
Intern
Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 1 [1] , given: 0

Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2013, 21:58
1
This post received
KUDOS
Wonderful tips! Thanks :)
1 KUDOS received
Intern
Intern
Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 6
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 1 [1] , given: 3

Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2013, 04:47
1
This post received
KUDOS
This is priceless - particularly the advice on writing admission essays. Thank you. I am saving this page right now.
Re: BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students   [#permalink] 08 Jul 2013, 04:47
    Similar topics Author Replies Last post
Similar
Topics:
This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies. New 127 Experts publish their posts in the topic Best MBA application tips? isa 64 15 Apr 2009, 11:49
New posts Experts publish their posts in the topic Video On MBA Applications Tips StacyBlackman 0 08 Feb 2011, 11:22
New posts Experts publish their posts in the topic Any ambassadors/students/alumni from UC Irvine MBA? goodbyeboy 2 26 Sep 2011, 16:29
New posts Tips for MBA Applications? CharliePrice 2 04 Oct 2012, 06:07
New posts 2 Experts publish their posts in the topic Best MBA Application Tips from GMAT Club Members Bunuel 5 21 Nov 2012, 11:59
Display posts from previous: Sort by

BEST MBA Application Tips from Elite Alumni and Students

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  

Go to page    1   2    Next  [ 24 posts ] 



GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Privacy Policy| Terms and Conditions| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group and phpBB SEO

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.