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Top 3 Mistakes Made with the Duke Application 2015-2016

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Schools: Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Columbia, Chicago, MIT, NYU, Yale, +
Top 3 Mistakes Made with the Duke Application 2015-2016 [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2016, 12:51
From Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts),, email:

Interested in learning if we think you can be successful as an applicant or re-applicant?

Feel free to sign up for a FREE Profile Evaluation directly from Dr. Shel Watts, a Harvard and Oxford graduate with Harvard admissions experience and over 25 years of work with MBA applicants, fill out the form on our homepage at


Sign up for a Ding Analysis, in which we can review your prior application and give you detailed feedback about how to improve your next application. Current Special Pricing: $265. For a Ding Analysis, send an inquiry to or visit

Ask about our current specials – Comprehensive packages beginning at $1495 (Compare with our competitors who charge $4,400!); Basic editing of one application for $925. Valid through April 10, 2016. Opt to work directly with Dr. Shel on your MBA applications!

Top 3 Mistakes Made with the Duke Application 2015-2016

Given Duke Fuqua’s essay questions, relatively ample space on the application form, resume requirement and recommendation form questions, candidates should employ a solid strategy to present their best achievements and a compelling case for admission. The Fuqua application gives you great latitude in presenting a wide diversity of information that can help you present yourself as highly accomplished, unique and ambitious. Take advantage! Many applicants fail to strategize excellently and based on the candidates we have conducted Ding Analyses for thus far, here are the three most common mistakes that were made with the Fuqua application this 2015-2016 admission cycle:

Mistake #1: Failing to take great advantage of Fuqua essay #1, highlighting an ideal blend of “25” facts about yourself. This essay is very unique among MBA admissions essays and you need to write it specifically for Fuqua. What often goes wrong with this essay is that a candidate spends the entire content on silly facts that have no strategic value, such as “I love really hot, spicy pizza.” While there is plenty of room for some of this, remember that the goal of the essay is to gain you admission! So you should ensure that some of the content of this essay highlights your winning strengths and credentials and you should use excellent business-relevant language to convey some of those key points. Paint a very strong, compelling portrait of yourself, including your passions, skills, talents, greatest achievements, personal story and vision for the future. Your job is to sell the admissions committee through this essay on the idea that you will be a unique and valuable addition to their MBA class.

Mistake #2: Failing to maximize use of the application form. Fuqua, unlike many other top business schools, provides a relatively extensive application form. You should give thought to how you are going to present your short-term and long-term goals, because these can be used as factors that either help you get to an interview or cause your application to be cut before interview. Are your short-term goals achievable? Are they sensible as a step to your longer-term ambitions? Is your long-term goal impressive? Have you demonstrated a capacity to succeed in achieving it based on the past? How will you explain your movement between jobs and your responsibilities at each job? Strategize well and make sure the application form works well with the contents of your resume.

Mistake #3: Failing to distinguish yourself from the pool and also to establish a fit. What can be really problematic if you are a candidate from a highly over-represented profile is a failure to distinguish yourself from the general pool of candidates with your same background. So if you are a foreign national from India, South Asia or East Asia, use the essays excellently to distinguish yourself and make sure your long-term goal works to your advantage. If you are from a technology background, explain well why the school should choose you. What makes you value-added or unique? For all candidates, it is important to show a fit with Fuqua’s culture – including a desire to be part of Team Fuqua and a love for global perspectives.

If you are interested in re-applying to Fuqua, try to assess if you made any of these frequent mistakes and, if so, correct them in order to put forward an outstanding application.

We welcome you to sign up for our FREE informative Newsletter, which provides useful tips, insider information and guidance for applying to top MBA programs. Sign up on the right hand side of our homepage at

Best wishes,
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder of MBA Admit,.com, is a Harvard and Oxford graduate with Harvard admissions experience and over 26 years of work with MBA applicants. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process.

Direct email address:


Top 3 Mistakes Made with the Duke Application 2015-2016   [#permalink] 01 Apr 2016, 12:51
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Top 3 Mistakes Made with the Duke Application 2015-2016

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