Application Process

Maximizing Your School Visits

Maximizing Your School Visits

Making the most of your MBA campus visits is a paramount gesture when choosing where you want to apply.  If you think simply stopping by and walking around is going to do the trick, think again.

Not So Fast

Not So Fast

This time of year is about finishing well and new beginnings.  And Summertime, and sipping lemonade and relaxing.  Before you head off to the beach, however, you might want to do a few things to advance your MBA application process.

Getting an MBA While the World Falls Apart (2018)

Getting an MBA While the World Falls Apart (2018)

There are times when things feel so crazy, out of control, and even hopeless that our own individual pursuits start to feel trivial, selfish, and even misguided.

I can remember vivid moments over the past 10+ years where I had a distinct feeling of living the wrong life, given what was going on around me.  When the financial collapse took hold in 2009, I thought to myself "why did I leave corporate law - where I could be part of the solution - to instead help people apply to business school right in the teeth of a recession?"  I watched "Making a Murderer" on Netflix and kicked myself for not remaining a lawyer ... but this time not a corporate lawyer, but instead a constitutional attorney like the individuals portrayed early in that documentary series. And now, as police/citizen animus and race problems in America reach new heights, as the EU teeters, as a sitting US President remains clouded in controversy, and as [seriously, enter any of a dozen paralyzing issues] I sometimes am not even sure what I should be doing.  But I do know it doesn't feel like enough; it feels to insular and self-absorbed and small.  But then it occurred to me: I bet a lot of people feel that way, including my past and present clients pursuing an MBA.  So let's talk about that.

Why You Just Got Dinged (Probably)

Why You Just Got Dinged (Probably)

These days, in addition to helping our clients get ready for interviews we also meet a lot of new folks who didn't use admissions consulting services to apply - but now are wondering if perhaps they should have.  Most often, they are asking for "ding analysis," which is basically "please tell me if I did something wrong and whether I can fix it for next time."  We are happy to oblige, of course, and so we see a lot (we mean A LOT) of rejected applications, to a lot of schools. 

Tips for Getting Off the Waitlist and into B-school (Updated)

Tips for Getting Off the Waitlist and into B-school (Updated)

Waitlist season is in full bloom and with R3 notification deadlines wrapping up the countdown clock is ticking for those still waiting in line.  Of course it’s inevitable that most of you will be waitlisted at some of your top school choices - after all, getting waitlisted at a stretch school means that you hedged effectively.  (Note - my opinion is that an effective hedging strategy should include a stretch, safe-stretch and backup school selections.)

So what can you do at this point in the game?

5 Tips for Negotiating Your Offer of Admission

5 Tips for Negotiating Your Offer of Admission

Today's blog post is about negotiating your offer of admission ... except that it's not.  Because "negotiation" is not what you do when it comes to securing more financial aid from a business school.  The term of art for what you are going to be doing is "asking."  Let us explain. Obviously, any discussion of an offer in this context automatically means we're dealing with some good news: you've been accepted.  So congrats on that!  However, with the news that a b-school wants you to enroll comes the sobering reality that they also want you to *pay* for that privilege.  Sure, offers often come with dollar signs attached, but the amount left in the "you" column is almost always going to be the bigger number.  And that fact tends to bring up the following question: "How can I negotiate my offer?"

5 Tips for Negotiating Your MBA Admissions Offer

5 Tips for Negotiating Your MBA Admissions Offer

Today's blog post is about negotiating your offer of admission ... except that it's not.  Because "negotiation" is not what you do when it comes to securing more financial aid from a business school.  The term of art for what you are going to be doing is "asking."  Let us explain. Obviously, any discussion of an offer in this context automatically means we're dealing with some good news: you've been accepted.  

Fail to Prepare at Your Peril

Fail to Prepare at Your Peril

Preparing business school applications is a grueling process, but there is another use of the word “prepare” which is far more important than the actual process itself.  How about this play on words: Are you making proper preparations to prepare your applications?

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

Well, it's February, which means it's time to take a break from writing round three essays to re-watch Groundhog Day.  The 1993 classic Bill Murray comedy chronicles a day in the life of Phil, a weatherman who is cursed to re-live the same day over and over again.  As an MBA applicant, you can sometimes feel like this is also the curse of the application process.  Here are some tips to avoid the long and arduous grind...

The MBA Round 2 Advantage

The MBA Round 2 Advantage

It's the time of year where I start having the "Round 2 conversation" a lot with individual clients. Basically, the idea is that Round 2 might be offering a slight advantage, based on theories of market inefficiencies and so forth.  For years, the prevailing belief is that Round 1 is the best round to apply to business school. While there is no hard-core evidence to suggest otherwise, some common sense may point to a different result.

Navigating the Perils of MBA Application Season

Navigating the Perils of MBA Application Season

It’s getting real.  School packages are out. Applications are rolling into the top schools and the sorting and reading has begun. Unless you are way ahead of the pack, you have likely just begun to organize your approach to MBA application season.  Do you know what to look out for?

2017 MBA Application Trends

2017 MBA Application Trends

As the 2017 application season gets off to a start with school package releases, it’s a good idea to take a look at some recent trends in b-school application world before you dive in.  Make sure you consider these subtle but important changes before you undertake your application process...

The Part time-Full time MBA Jobs Battle

The Part time-Full time MBA Jobs Battle

One of the main challenges at the schools with both part time and full time programs has nothing to do with rankings, but rather with job placement.  Getting your MBA is mostly about landing that dream job at the end, and the last thing a graduating MBA needs to worry about is whether or not they will be able to land one.  But this can sometimes be exactly the challenge at schools with large part time programs.   In fact, since these schools often have a far larger part time program than their full time program, there is sometimes a glut of graduating MBAs at these schools who are competing against each other for jobs from both tracks.

MBA Networking Tips

MBA Networking Tips

We have established that MBA networking should begin well before business school and that some schools have better networking than others.  What we haven’t really covered yet, are the nuts and bolts of networking and how you go about doing it effectively.  Below is a baker’s dozen tips for building a network which will pay dividends as you apply to business school, as you attend business school and as you dive into your post MBA career…

What Flavor MBA Suits You?

What Flavor MBA Suits You?

The MBA degree has evolved over the years into a multi-faceted graduate degree option that comes in several different flavors.  This means that before you apply, you must first decide which flavor suits you best.

How to Identify the Right MBA Program for You

How to Identify the Right MBA Program for You

Finding the best MBA programs in the world is not a difficult task.  To be sure, resources abound which slice, dice and rank top programs from just about every angle imaginable.  The digital age has made this process even easier.  In fact, there is so much data out there, one can quickly get mired down in “analysis paralysis,” in the absence of a perspective.  Your main focus, however, should not be to find the best programs, but rather to find the best programs for you.  How can you do this?

5 Tips for MBA Initial Consultation Calls

5 Tips for MBA Initial Consultation Calls

Obviously we take a ton of "free consults" or Initial Consultation calls as part of our business model, so it seemed like a good idea to pass along some thoughts on how applicants can best utilize these.  It depends on the people involved (both the consultant and the applicant) obviously, but as general rules, these might help you go in better prepared - not only to respond to questions, but to have a clear agenda for what you can achieve and take away from the experience.  

Can I Quit My Job to Get Ready for B-school?

Can I Quit My Job to Get Ready for B-school?

Lots of folks ask about quitting their jobs when applying to business school, but are there reasons for doing so that will not put off the admissions committees?  Perhaps.

Applying to B-school Straight out of Undergrad

Applying to B-school Straight out of Undergrad

This time of year is replete with many young candidates who want to apply to business school directly out of undergrad.  Is this possible?  In some cases, yes it is. 

How to prepare for Application Season

How to prepare for Application Season

While for those who just finished off their third round b-school applications, it’s already time for others to begin thinking about “next season.”  Application season begins in earnest after all of last year’s applications are processed, and every final offer of admission is made and filled.