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Stanford Application: How I Got Admitted There

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MBA Strategy Admissions Consultant
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Stanford Application: How I Got Admitted There [#permalink]

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New post 27 Apr 2017, 01:16
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Hi!
Last week we interviewed the MBA Strategy's client, who became a successful Stanford MSx candidate from Russia. We got many questions to him, with "Who is Stanford offering a place?" being the most interesting for us. Traditionally, we haven't been given the only right receipt to get admitted to Stanford, of course! There were many important issues to focus on, however, so we've decided to post the original interview for those, who look at Stanford as his/her dream school. Here it is:

Why did you decide to apply for a degree in Business Administration at this stage of your career?


I must say that my goals evolved significantly during the preparation process. Initially, having hit a ceiling in my current career, I wanted to get away from it all, to live abroad for a while and to acquire new knowledge and experience. With this in mind, after graduation, I aimed to find a job in a large technological company and establish myself in the USA. However, as I realized afterwards, with such ambivalent goals I had no chance to get to any top school since each of them expects to receive a clear and consistent answer to the question “Why do you want to get admitted to our particular school?”
The good news is that while preparing to write business school essays, crafting a CV and filling out application forms, each candidate has to analyze his or her achievements, strengths and weaknesses and desired way of further development. In my particular case, it turned out that I was interested in several new directions, which I could even develop at my current company if only I had the necessary competences. As a result, I applied to Stanford in pursuit of new knowledge in management and entrepreneurship, skills of developing and launching new technological products and a better understanding of the global market. My willingness to bring in this knowledge in order to help my company reach new markets became my motivation to obtain an MBA.
In sum, the preparation process itself is a priceless experience that helps to sort out one’s feelings and finally set goals for one’s progress. Indeed, it is a great value that would remain with you, regardless of your admission decision.

Why did you choose Stanford?


Initially, I applied to three schools: Stanford, Berkeley, and MIT.
First, all of them provide a solid technical background that is suitable for my industry. Second, these schools have a strong focus on entrepreneurship, which was essential for me, as launching a new product in a new market does not differ a lot from establishing a company from the ground zero.
Nevertheless, Stanford was special to me and it was not only about its worldwide recognition and highest rankings. Like Berkeley, Stanford is situated in California – the place I have been deeply admiring for a long time. Besides, Stanford, as MIT, offers a Sloan Fellows program that I was especially interested in. Sloan Fellows is a 12-month full-time MBA course for managers with significant work experience. Stanford launched this program in 2013 calling it Stanford MSx.
All in all, although I would be happy to receive an admission offer from any of my chosen schools, Stanford was my top choice by any definition.

What gave you confidence while applying to Stanford?


To be honest, I was not confident at all. I was perfectly aware of the highest entry requirements and felt a clear gap between Stanford's level and me. However, I passionately wanted to try. I decided that if I applied to top-tier schools in the first round, I would not lose anything, whereas I always had the second round for my safe choices. Today, having achieved my goal, I can outline several things that actually helped me.
First, I had a cohesive story of my 12-year experience in a single company, during which I contributed to its growth and development of the whole market where it operates.
Second, I had a comprehensive and consistent legend of how my academic aspirations are connected with my company’s global plans.
Third, I managed to find recommenders who supported and empowered my story, highlighting my key strengths to the admissions committee.
Regarding my tests results, they were sufficient, but pretty average for the schools I chose (TOEFL 112, GMAT 740).

What were the red flags in your application?


The thing that bothered me the most was my GPA that was only 2.7 out of 4.0. I even received a comment from Berkeley that, despite they did not prohibit me from applying, they usually considered students with GPA no lower than 3.0 for admission. As I thought that my GPA was my major weakness at the moment, I decided not to conceal it, but to put it into my story of evolution from a careless student to a purposeful professional.
Besides, I had little international experience, which was limited by attending a range of international industry conferences. Finally, I have never studied at a widely known educational establishment and never worked for a large international company.

What do you think became the key to your successful application to Stanford?


I suppose that actually, I have never set an ultimate goal to get to Stanford. It seemed to me so ambitious, complicated and unachievable that I would probably be still procrastinating without any idea where to start.
Instead, I divided the whole application process into several smaller goals, each of which was attainable: to pass the TOEFL, then the GMAT, move on to writing the essays and submitting an application.
At every step I focused only on a particular smaller goal: first, I passed the TOEFL without concentrating on my further plans, just for myself. Second, I passed the GMAT to satisfy my curiosity of how many points I could get there. Then I submitted an application – well, I did not make any commitment yet, let’s see what is going to be next. Then I was invited for an interview and it was absurd to deny the invitation, and finally, all I had to do was waiting for the outcome.
In fact, I realized the actual scale of my goal at the finish, when it was already too late to be scared. This is like climbing up a fire ladder on the way to rooftop: you should look neither upwards nor downwards. Just go up step by step and sooner or later you will reach the top.

What is your piece of advice for those who are going to apply to Stanford GSB and other business schools?


First, divide your path into many smaller steps and focus on them by turn. I had no rush during my preparations: I started beating the TOEFL in summer 2015 and passed my exam at the end of that year. Then, in April 2016 I passed the GMAT and started crafting my application package that was ready by autumn. During that time I managed to think of my achievements, goals and motivations and, consequently, worked out a captivating CV. Finally, I submitted my application in September 2016.
Second, express your real thoughts and feelings in your application documents. Write what matters most to you and never afraid that it may seem weird and unconventional. Be honest. This is what the school's representatives recommend during their information sessions and in my case honesty and openness helped me make my essays more engaging and likable.
Third, be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Highlight the strengths in any viable way. Explain your weaknesses or turn them into growth areas. Regarding my story, the low GPA helped me prove how I can refine myself, and achievements at work allowed getting to the program for experienced managers.
Finally, don't be afraid and believe in yourself. If you have a desire for something, you should definitely try, at least in order to have no regrets about an untaken chance. You should "hit the maximum", especially during the first round, since if you cannot make it now, you will always have the second one. On the other hand, it may turn out that you will not need the second round at all. My story is an illustrious example of this.
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Find a Lot of Answers to Top Schools Admissions on Our Blog

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Re: Stanford Application: How I Got Admitted There [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2017, 23:22
Hi ... really motivating story....
Could you please share the profile of this guy... such as work exp etc...?

Heartiest congratulations for this grand success and making it successful to Stanford.

Thanks
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Re: Stanford Application: How I Got Admitted There [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2017, 09:01
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mbaaspirant80 wrote:
Hi ... really motivating story....
Could you please share the profile of this guy... such as work exp etc...?

Heartiest congratulations for this grand success and making it successful to Stanford.

Thanks


Hi mbaaspirant80!

Some of the details were shared in this post: the applicant had undergraduate GPA 2.7/4.0, GMAT 740, TOEFL 112, and 12+ years work experience in the same company in his home country.
If you need more information, please feel free to ask questions.
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Victoria, MBA Strategy Application Team Lead
Find a Lot of Answers to Top Schools Admissions on Our Blog

1 KUDOS received
Manager
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Joined: 14 Apr 2017
Posts: 246
Location: India
sandeep : sharma
Concentration: International Business, Entrepreneurship
GPA: 3.9
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Re: Stanford Application: How I Got Admitted There [#permalink]

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New post 11 May 2017, 02:05
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mbastrategycom wrote:
mbaaspirant80 wrote:
Hi ... really motivating story....
Could you please share the profile of this guy... such as work exp etc...?

Heartiest congratulations for this grand success and making it successful to Stanford.

Thanks


Hi mbaaspirant80!

Some of the details were shared in this post: the applicant had undergraduate GPA 2.7/4.0, GMAT 740, TOEFL 112, and 12+ years work experience in the same company in his home country.
If you need more information, please feel free to ask questions.



Thanks for sharing the profile of this guy who got admitted to Stanford.
As I heard that Stanford accepts people with less experience, Stanford does not accept people with 10 years or more exp guys.
This is first time, I am hearing some one with 12 years work exp got admitted to Stanford . This is really motivating for me.
This is a sign of hope for m e.

regards
_________________

Thanks
71 tough IR questions218-ds-questions-for-practice
awa-ppt-the-best-resource-for-gmat
new-critical-reasoning-super-megathread-updated

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Re: Stanford Application: How I Got Admitted There [#permalink]

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New post 11 May 2017, 04:51
This is really motivational. Thanks for sharing!
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MBA Strategy Admissions Consultant
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Re: Stanford Application: How I Got Admitted There [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2017, 00:56
mbaaspirant80 wrote:
mbastrategycom wrote:
mbaaspirant80 wrote:
Hi ... really motivating story....
Could you please share the profile of this guy... such as work exp etc...?

Heartiest congratulations for this grand success and making it successful to Stanford.

Thanks


Hi mbaaspirant80!

Some of the details were shared in this post: the applicant had undergraduate GPA 2.7/4.0, GMAT 740, TOEFL 112, and 12+ years work experience in the same company in his home country.
If you need more information, please feel free to ask questions.



Thanks for sharing the profile of this guy who got admitted to Stanford.
As I heard that Stanford accepts people with less experience, Stanford does not accept people with 10 years or more exp guys.
This is first time, I am hearing some one with 12 years work exp got admitted to Stanford . This is really motivating for me.
This is a sign of hope for m e.

regards


Please keep in mind that it was the MSx Program, not a Full-Time MBA. MSx welcomes applicants with 8+ years of work experience. However, your work experience may not be such a big deal, we had applicants admitted to Full-Time MBA in the USA in their fifties. Good luck!
_________________

Victoria, MBA Strategy Application Team Lead
Find a Lot of Answers to Top Schools Admissions on Our Blog

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Re: Stanford Application: How I Got Admitted There [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jun 2017, 22:45
Thanks for sharing such an inspiring story. Learned a lot from it!
MBA Strategy Admissions Consultant
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Re: Stanford Application: How I Got Admitted There [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2017, 03:05
Simon1994 wrote:
Thanks for sharing such an inspiring story. Learned a lot from it!

you are welcome!
visit our free webinar with a current MBA student: register at https://mbastrategy.com/free-webinar/
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Victoria, MBA Strategy Application Team Lead
Find a Lot of Answers to Top Schools Admissions on Our Blog

Re: Stanford Application: How I Got Admitted There   [#permalink] 13 Jun 2017, 03:05
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Stanford Application: How I Got Admitted There

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